You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘First Generation Korean adoptee’ category.

You know that old saying, the one that goes something like, be careful for what you wish, you might just receive it or some such thing.  I have never been a big fan of that particular saying.  As life seems to enjoy a good laugh or two, at my expense (or so it seems), this week I have heard myself iterating this phrase and then I suppose reiterating the same saying.  Because I did make a wish and I am, indeed, receiving said wish.

In fact, I did more than send a wish into the Universe.  I crafted an invitation.  An invitation to a celebration, a party if you will in honor of myself.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I, as in me, myself and I.  A celebration of MY LIFE to coincide with one of my favorita days of the year Summer Solstice (the other favorita days of the year, Winter Solstice).  I crafted this invitation and then sent it out into the Universe to invitees both local and to those who live in what we fondly refer to as the Lower 48, even though there are 49 other states in the Union.  Some folks may be wondering what are we even considering here?  What’s the big deal?  Where’s the problem?  What is this post even about?  Well, read further dear blogging friends and I will further bare my fragile vulnerable underbelly of neurosis.

In sending this invitation, I was telling myself Number One, that I am valuable enough and could possibly be important enough to someone(s)’ that they would/will take time out of their lives to journey North to celebrate my life.  For those invitees from Outside there would/will be the travel expense, which is no small ‘taters.  The moment I hit the send button on my email invitation the anxiety that had already built to about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, hit about an 8.  That old and tired but loud whiny voice of who do you think you are little Missy and you are a selfish self-centered little girl aren’t you today blah blah blah took over.  Thankfully, before this part of me could overtake me and tackle me into the mud, I began receiving responses to my invitation within a half hour of its flight.

Thus, this week has been a life lesson of opening my heart again and again to the love that is there for me to receive.  Although overwhelming, I remind myself that I am a growed up woman, as my adoptive mother used to say about herself.  And a little or even a lot of overwhelm over receiving a lot of love from family and friends is some thing a growed up woman can handle on any given day.

My heart is full.

My heart is full and expanding.

Advertisements

One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will.  The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness.  Now that is life in the fast lane, baby.  And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet.  Oh my!

I grew up in rural areas.  My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard.  The constant being the oceans and country living.  For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity.  Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing.  My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it.  Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke.  Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid. 

Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time. 

So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life.  This blessing of running water.  A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna. 

Life is about perspective.  At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment.  Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.

It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

This past Monday we celebrated the Lunar New Year, which is commonly known in the United States as Chinese New Year. Since, however, other Asian cultures observe the lunar calendar, Lunar New Year, seems more appropriate. This particular new year is known as the Year of the Dragon and horoscopes based on the lunar new years further denotes it as the Year of the Black Water Dragon. The colors and the element signifiers are linked and this year’s Dragon is tempered by the sensitivity and fluidity of water.

I was born in the year of the Fire Rooster. I am told, anyway.
Being an adoptee, a First Generation Korean Adoptee to be precise, I have never known my true birth date much less the time and the positions of the moon, sun and stars.

After reading about the usual characteristics, strengths and foibles of Fire Rooster individuals, I can’t help but wonder if I was really born in the year that I have been told that I made my appearance on this planet. This birth date, after all, was merely assigned to me somewhere along the way in one of the orphanages and/or foster homes I dwelled in for varying lengths of short time periods. Sound vague, do I? Well guess what, this birth date mystery business has all felt a little or a lot vague, shrouded in fog and dimly lit. Throughout my life I have felt incomplete and more than a wee bit off center not knowing a simple date.

But it is never a simple anything… Along with the not knowing my birth date comes the ignorance about my first family. No true memories of my omma’s face, her scent or touch. A void where my life’s beginning would have been. Unrooted. At times unanchored and unhinged.

So somehow this celebration of the year of the Black Water Dragon got me going down the familiar but not recently walked path of wondering wishing and yearning for hints and knowledge of my past. There aren’t any pretty bows to tie on this particular piece of sharing ~ only a heart and spirit that feel incomplete, sometimes.

If you identify with the title of this post, please go F*CK yourself. No. If you identify with the title of this post, go F*CK yourself, without the please.

Oh my Gawd! The White Coated One (as in medical doctor) turned out to be the epitome of the title of this post. To be even more precise or to flesh out the visual more fully, I will add old. Old, and not in the good way of older and wiser or mature or seasoned with age. Just yucky old. Old with a scraggly ponytail, old. Old, with big beefy hairy hands old.

Yuck.
And yuck, again.

This White Lecherous Oriental Lover (WLOL) White Coated One, proudly told me that his wife was “an Oriental,” who like me was “an Oriental adoptee.” And guess what else? Lo and behold, his “Oriental wife” is two years older than me. Hallelujah. And strike up the band!

The White Coated WLOL shared all of this scintillating information after learning from my medical history that I am a Korean adoptee. When I said that I identify as Korean American or Asian, WLOL proudly reported that “my wife knows she’s a [sic] Oriental and she doesn’t mind being called one.” Well butter my bread on both sides, I was sure glad to get that 411.

As a woman of color and more specifically as an international adoptee, I have heard many a racist, backward, uneducated, biased, stereotyped remark in my day. Some of these oldies but never goodies have been directed at me and sometimes as descriptors or comments about others.

My outward response varies. Depending on the situation, time, place, previous relationship with speaker as well as the social and/or professional context. Oh, and then there’s always the factor of my overall mood in the moment ~ zen like or prickly or somewhere inbetween.

Sometimes I address the remark directly. Sometimes I attempt to provide social education. Sometimes I react before I think, attempting to construct a new orifice for the speaker. Sometimes I do not react or comment. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I exit the room.

What is consistent is the internal reaction that instantly occurs ~ the injury to my spirit or as some have described, as one of a hundred thousand small paper cuts.

Then, I get to dress the wound and go about figuring out, again and again, how to flourish in a world where ignorance thrives.

Ignorance and lechery. Never a good combination.

November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Archives

a