We are all united in this journey of life. There is a sense of interconnectedness we all feel when we share stories and hear others’ stories. There’s comfort in knowing no matter who we are, or where we’ve been, we are all in this together.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea and my life’s foundation was created in Missouri, where I was adopted as an infant and raised in a small town. The journey is ongoing. Feeling different, feeling the same. Knowing I look different than my family, forgetting that I do. Questions about my identity, acceptance just as I am. Feeling white but not Korean, feeling Korean but not white. Two different cultures, one world. All co-exist. And everything in between.
I’ve experienced the journey of loving adoptive parents in America and the journey of reunion with my biological family in Korea. Over a decade ago, medical health concerns activated my desire to search for my biological roots to learn about my medical history. I found my birth family in a relatively short time. Reunion was far more challenging than I could have ever prepared myself for. As a child, I remember thinking if I just met my birth family even once, they’d answer all the questions that plagued me as a child. My naive and youthful imagination conjured up many blissful possible scenarios of us meeting, and they were far more pleasant than reality. In reality, the reunion brought on a multitude of complexities and new questions. Many of which will never be answered. As a child, I thought freedom would come from the peace of having my questions answered. I now know freedom and peace does not come from an external source or answers. True freedom is knowing I can fly with or without these answers. The answers and/or lack of answers no longer weighs me down. Subscribing to this weight would mean giving up a life of joy and peace to be at the mercy of unanswered questions. Peace is a choice. It is a choice I embrace even as I navigate my relationships with my two families and embrace both with gratitude and grief, certainty and uncertainty.
Living life through my perspective an an adoptee is my perspective of life since I was an infant. My experience with reuniting with my biological roots has heightened my sense of compassion for every individual, adoptee or not. It is what inspires my interest in community and connection. Everyone, at the end of the day, wants to feel seen and heard and supported. And, at the end of the day, we are all connected in some way.
After years of questioning why I am here and if I have a true place in the world, I am grateful for the peace that comes with knowing why I am and that I do. I am invested in increasing awareness about adoption and in sharing the power of transformation. It is for everyone. We all have a purpose. And while some parts of my life were once riddled with reluctance, shame and confusion after listening to so much external noise then subsequently questioning myself, I have befriended this entire experience as an adoptee. We are very close friends...the ups and downs. The grace, the madness. The confidence, the inner child. The surviving, the thriving. The two families in this one world. The ongoing journey and navigation, entirely supported by listening to my inner voice and heart, wherever I am, all over the world.