HLH is doing groundbreaking work in Korea through our nonprofit foundation in bridging the language barrier and becoming one voice for Korean birth families and adoptees. We share this first person account of a Korean mother who lost her daughter to adoption in their own words in real time of April 2018:
To my beloved daughter,
Thirty five years later, I am holding a pen to write to you with a heavy heart. I have been wanting to see you so much, but I had no idea how to find you. I found out that by writing to you through Holt Adoption Agency, I have a glimmer of hope to find you. I am overwhelmed with emotions writing this letter.
I met your dad when I was 17 years old, on Christmas Eve at a party. When I got there, there were lots of people and it was snowing heavily. Your dad asked me to be his girlfriend. We continued to see each other after that day and eventually married. One day, your dad’s family had to move from Cheonan to Seoul. After a while, your dad said we needed to move in with his family in Seoul, which was an entirely different life for me. My new life in Seoul consisted of living with your dad’s family, my in-laws. I found out later the reason why your dad’s family had to move to Seoul was because of financial difficulties. Shortly after, I became pregnant a second time, this time with you. My mother-in-law was upset by this. She made things very difficult during my 10 month pregnancy. It was a sad period of my life where I had little control over anything. After I gave birth to you, my mother-in-law and her daughter had already made arrangements to have you adopted through Holt. My consent was never given. The day after you were born, a Holt worker came to visit me. I cried so much holding you in my arms and that was our goodbye. I was devastated.
My memory of you has never changed. It is of you as a newborn baby that I had just given birth to. My heart is still so torn and painful from losing you like it happened yesterday. I always carry you deep in my heart. Would I ever be able to find you? Would I ever be able to see you again?
I wonder if you are alive.
I have so many questions but I have no way of knowing. If you are still alive, I wonder if you are happy, if you are married. I would like to tell you that in Korea, you have me your mom, your dad, an older sister, a younger brother, and a niece and a nephew. Your sister is married with one girl and a boy. When you were born, you had many similar facial features from your sister and your dad. When I look at your sister’s daughter, I think about you.
I am not able to see you, but I pray for you always. I know you left with your adoptive parents. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to your adoptive parents and I wish you and your adoptive parents health and happiness.
I love you so much and I am very sorry,