Korea is Finally Giving a Damn!

So here we are 65 years later. The tables are slowly starting to turn on the unstoppable kingpins of the adoption empire.  Adoption agencies and  adoptive parents who called all the shots on- getting as many children as fast as possible as much as they wanted with no limits- for the past 6 decades are having to go down on their knees and beg to the higher ups. It’s about time the MOHW arm of the Korean government and local governments take back control over adoptions. They blatantly relinquished it to private adoption agencies who did nothing but abuse their power when greed took over their good intentions, and this is the sad state of affairs we are in now with the aftermath of reckless adoption practices. It’s all to save children pro-adoption supporters say, even though lawmakers like Nam InSoon are the ones implementing laws to protect children from potential abuse. A very hard and dark reality of adoption that Korea is finally finally finally taking seriously. Of course the pushback will be there from the pro-adoption side of MPAK based in America! Abuse rarely happens in adoption and mostly in biological families they say. Well get this- Korean culture is a bloodline mentality and they know that a child that is not biologically related will be treated differently, and it’s even allowed because bloodline means everything. No need to pretend otherwise. Koreans go hard on bloodline, if you’re not my flesh and blood, I don’t have to treat you the same as if you were. Adoptive parents claim they do otherwise, but the unfair treatment that countless adoptees (in and out of the closet) had to endure for decades says Koreans are right and they make no apologies for it.  Having said that, I do believe Koreans care about adoptees. But, and a very big but- they first must understand the magnitude of adoptees’ situation and how serious it is, and how much we have had to suffer. All this time they thought we were living the American dream. Abuse or loss of birth family, didn’t even enter their minds. They are finally starting to get it and damn it’s about time. It is interesting to note that Representative Nam did not take strong action to change adoption laws until the death of Eunbi in 2016 who was domestically adopted in Korea. This so outraged Koreans that they did a year long, in depth investigation comprised of lawmakers, civic groups and legal professionals and now furiously proposing the law revisions to protect children. Why did the death of Hyunsu not cause any changes or an uproar in Korea back in 2014? Could it be that the Korean government didn’t want to upset their foreign allies who run their adoption agencies who have been the means for them to rid their country of their unwanted children? Perhaps the sad case of Eunbi is the wake up call Korea needed and this time there was no Holt adoption agency to bow down to.

 

A Korean Adoptive Mother Speaks Truth

It’s a very big deal when Koreans adopt because of the importance of family bloodlines. It makes news.  Adoption is stigmatized, shameful and kept a secret to save face for everyone. This lengthy article goes into great detail about a Korean family; a pastor and his wife who adopted and the earth shattering events that led to this decision in their lives.  The father was very much interested in adopting but the mother was not emotionally ready. Then a loved one passed away and that changed their view of the world and opened their hearts to reconsider adoption.  They adopted in 2004 and since then the adoptive mother recently published a book about the new “universe” that was created with the adoption of Hee Eun. The adoptive mother, Kim Kyung-ae talks openly with a journalist about their lives as an adoptive family. This is breaking huge barriers and social norms in a society based on dynasties, patriarchy, ancestry and bloodlines. Even with all that formidable pressure, Kim Kyungae comes across as extremely well read and sensitive to the adoption issues within Korea and internationally. She speaks as a Korean adoptive mother, so we get a firsthand glimpse on adoption from inside Korea. What is even more amazing about the article is the forthright and candid commentary on her views on adoption overall. Those statements are noteworthy and translated below. 

“Mom, adoption is both sad and happy.” – Hee Eun

“Hee-eun came to my home with her own past, present and future, her own colors, her own pains and joy…..We chose to have an ‘ open adoption ‘ without secrets. Efforts to answer our daughter’s questions honestly.

Kim Kyung-ah said, ” Sometimes I feel helpless when I think about the issues concerning adoption. I only adopted one child. The complicated number of adoption issues, the large numbers of children who are adopted internationally and the lack of support for single mothers.

The Korean adoption issue is more complicated than I thought. Adoption can also be a form of “child abuse” because it is a violation of the original family and it is an involuntary decision done to the child. 

Korea was not responsible at all before 2012 and left the [domestic] adoption entirely to private agencies. The state neglected the children it should be responsible for and take care of. Korea will suffer from the fallout and serious consequences in the future. Even now, when an adoptee tries to find his biological parents after he has grown up, he is often unable to find them because the records at the time were falsified or didn’t exist “

Kim Kyung-ah speaks at lectures and writing activities to break the prejudice surrounding adoption. 

명예백인

입양과 관련한 보이지 않은 상처는 입양아의 가슴과 마음에 큰 상처를 남긴다.

입양인들은 부모를 잃은 것 뿐만 아니라 모든 가족, 문화, 언어 그리고 자신의 출신도 함께 잃은 것이다. 그들은 모든 사람과 모든 것을 잃었는데도 불구하고 이들을 입양한 양부모들에게 잃어버린 것들에 대해 위로 받지 못하고 무시당하는 경우가 많다. 전형적으로 모든 사회, 가정, 친구, 그리고 다른 입양인 들은 학대 받는 입양아들이 이러한 고통을 말할 수 있다는 것만으로 만족해야 한다는 분위기에 그들의 트라우마는 더 악화되고 있다. 입양인들은 행복에 대해 자신의 삶을 해석할 수 없다는 것처럼 강요 받고 있는 것이다. 이것은 분명히 현수나 다른 많은 입양인들 만의 경우가 아니다. 모든 입양인들은 다른 곳으로 입양되면서 손실과 비극적인 환경을 경험하게 된다. 양부모로부터 단지 학대가 없다는 이유로 입양인 들이 트라우마와 고통이 없을 것이라고 생각해서는 안 된다. 사랑과 이해심이 많은 양부모들이 많다. 그렇지만 입양인들은 그들이 입양되었다는 자체에 배려하는 마음이 없다는 것에 고통 받고 있다. 이것은 의도치 않은 형태의 무시 이지만 깊은, 보이지 않는 상처를 유발 시킨다. 국제 입양인들은 전형적으로 가족 안에서 “명예백인” 으로 살아가길 기대 받고 자란다. 이러한 역할은 입양인들에게 일반적으로 받아들여지는데 현상인데, 심각한 부모의 실패 이다. “정서적 무관심”이라고 한다. 입양인들은 감정을 인정받지 못했기 때문에 감정이 성장하지 못하고 상처를 받게 된다. 그리고 그 상태로 어린 시절 트라우마를 겪은 어른이 되는 것이다.

The Adoption Empire That Even God Doesn’t Approve Of

Korean Adoptees were never meant to return. But they do by the thousands and show up at the door of adoption agencies demanding to see their file. Upwards of 4,790 in 2012-2015 alone. Agencies are still playing the “we can’t tell you anything” game but the “Secrets and Lies” switch has been outed on adoption agencies. God doesn’t approve of lying. That’s Leviticus 19:11 for the SuperChristians who never sin. The gospel of adoption has been exposed.  The internet is powerful, virtually uncontrollable and global. Anyone can create a platform to get their message out to a worldwide audience. Black market policies that created a closed adoption system are still holding on but the power elite of adoption lobbyists, adoptive parents and government deals in bed with adoption agencies can no longer ignore the mobilizing force of adult adoptees and the momentum we are gaining. 

“When international adoptions from South Korea began in the 1950s, the process was not designed for reunions.”

“Then she said, in 1991 and 1998 someone who claims to be your mother looked for you.”

Fostervold was stunned.

“I was really upset,” he says, sitting inches away from his birth mother. “Then I asked [the social worker] why no one told my adoptive family because they have lived in the same house with the same phone number for 47 years, so they [KSS] could have easily written a letter or called.”

Especially stinging, he said, was to learn his mother had first contacted KSS looking for him more than 25 years ago.”

Trauma Goes Mainstream on 60 Minutes

Childhood trauma goes mainstream on 60 minutes special this Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. 

“Children are much more sensitive to trauma than adults, it literally changes the wiring in how the brain functions. If you have developmental trauma, the truth is you’re going to be at risk for almost any kind of physical health, mental health, social health problem that you can think of.” – Dr. Bruce Perry, leading expert on childhood trauma 

“If you don’t fix the hole in the soul, the thing that is where the wounds started, you’re working at the wrong thing…..What I recognize is is that a lot of NGOs, a lot of people working in philanthropic world, who are trying to help disadvantaged, challenged people from backgrounds that have been disenfranchised, are working on the wrong thing,” Winfrey added.

When will adoption agencies and adoptive parents address trauma for the sake of the adopted children? Isn’t it time to put children’s needs ahead of business, marketing, selfish motives and image?

초현실적인 Surreal~안날레이

서울은 혼잡스럽고 갑갑하다
나는 폐소공포증을 느끼고 무력하다
낯선이들의 자비심에 기대야 하는 나는 외롭다
나는 말할 수 없다, 나는 방황하는 피난민 신세로 전락한다
Seoul is crowded and congested
I feel claustrophobic and helpless
lonely at the mercy of strangers
I can’t speak, I am reduced to a refugee that wanders
 
하지만, 내 모국은 나를 부르고, 나를 향해 외친다
내가 반드시 돌아와야 한다고 자신의 의지를 담아 부른다
이 무력감, 벙어리에 귀머거리가 된 듯한 느낌에도 불구하고
이 채워지지 않는 갈망은 도대체 무엇이란 말인가?
나는 이 나라에 속하지 않는다는 것을 알고 있으면서도 여전히 이 나라를 그리워한다
yet, my birth country calls to me, cries to me
beckons me with a will of it’s own that I must return
despite feeling powerless, mute and deaf
what is this insatiable longing?
knowing I will never belong but still longing
내 나라는 나를 버렸고, 내 정체성을 잃었다
그리고 그 댓가로 나는 내 동양인의 눈을 버렸다
내 눈은 내 백인의 정신에 어울리지 않는다
 I have been disowned by my country, disowned from my identity
and in turn I have disowned my slanted eyes
they do not fit my white mind
내 양부모는 내 이름을 바꿨다
친가족으로부터 단절되었을 때 내 영혼도 잘려나갔다
나는 사랑 없이 살아야만 했다
사지가 잘린 채로 살아야만 했던 환자처럼
renamed by my adoptive parents
my soul was amputated when I was severed from my birth family
like an amputee is forced to live without limbs
I have been forced to live without love
어머니와 아버지가 있다는 건 도대체 어떤 느낌일까?
사랑하는 가족이라고 불리는 그것을
나도 경험해 보고 싶다
what does it feel like to have a mother and father?
I would like to experience this thing called a loving family

What It Looks Like When Adoptive Parents Don’t Get, By a 16 Year Old KAD

Reblogging this Dear Adoption blogpost for the Korean nationals following our blog and for readers to see how really significant it is that such a young adoptee has the language for his/her feelings and openly discussing their hurt, frustration and loss without shame or guilt. Until recent history in the adoption world, fierce adoptee activists and social justice warriors have spoken out about the one sided narrative of adoption. That set off a firestorm of attacks and retaliation from adoptive parents and adoptees alike. But this, this is the result- that the younger generation has found their own voice and can wrap their minds around the concepts of loss and trauma and be validated by other adoptees; that what they are feeling is ok. That it’s a normal part of the grieving process of losing one’s birth family, and that nothing is wrong with them.  If this teen did not have the safe space and support of  the online blogging/adoption community to turn to, how would he/she handle their pain?  The well meaning but extremely hurtful comments from their adoptive parents is the brick wall that many adoptees have faced for decades. The fact that this teen wrote so simply and honestly says it all, on what it looks like when “adoptive parents don’t get it”.

Why is it so hard?

You never met your birth mom. She was just the body God used to bring you to your real family. Isn’t that beautiful?

Why is it so hard?

You should be thankful for everything you have.

Part 2

For my whole life I was told love means one mother gave me away and another mother purchased me. Yeah it sounds cold to say “purchased” except that is actually what happened.

Do you know what love is?

I am supposed to feel loved by the abandonment from my birth mom.

Do you know what love is?

I am supposed to feel loved by the transaction between my birth country and my parents.

Is that love?

입양아 출신의 입양아 전문학자 월튼 박사가 제기한 21C 한국 해외 입양 실태

입양아 출신의 입양아 전문학자 월튼 박사가 제기한 21C 한국 해외 입양 실태

매년 한국으로 돌아오는 해외 입양아는 2,000여명으로 추산됩니다. 대 부분 친 가족들을 찾기 위해서인데요. 그 가운데는 미국에 입양 됐지만 입양 가족과 구조적인 실패로 한국으로 추방된 몇몇 경우도 있었고, 수 천명은 시민권을 획득하지 못해 추방의 위험이 있는 이들도 있다고 합니다.

월튼 박사는 지난 30년 동안 성인이 된 입양아들이 자신의 권리와 해외 입양 후 지원 서비스 그리고 미혼모들의 인권을 위해 싸워왔다고 설명했습니다.

지난 해 촛불 시위를 한국에서 직접 지켜 본 월튼 박사는 한국이 변화를 맞은 만큼 입양과 미혼모 문제에 대한 지원도 이뤄지길 바란다고 밝혔는데요. 평창 올림픽으로 전 세계의 관심이 한국에 있는 지금, 1988년 서울 올림픽 부터 2018년 평창 올림픽까지 지금까지 한국이 거둔 성과와 더불어 한국이 해결한  사회적인 문제는 얼마만큼인지를 살펴볼 시간이라고 지적했습니다. 그리고 월튼 박사는 한국은 진정한 사회, 문화적인 변화를 감당할만한 능력이 있는 국가라는 점을 강조했습니다.

Jung Kyung Sook’s Adoption Story

My name is Jung Kyung Sook. I will soon be 50 years old and I want to tell my adoption story. My life began on the countryside of Korea on a little farming village. I was meant to be a farmer’s daughter but fate led me to have a life full of suffering through adoption. Something that I couldn’t understand at first but would come to understand through the seasons of my life, year after year crying for my homeland and crying for my people. Through tears and screams I have lived a life so far away from my birth country and the little village where I was born. As far away as it is possible to be sent, I was shipped to Europe from Korea illegally, yet it was falsified as legal on paper. Holt was my adoption agency.

I was sent out of Korea to Norway to a cruel and harsh family. I suffered abuse, severe neglect and various kinds of punishments from my adoptive parents. I was made to be their servant in their house, treated like a slave where I was beaten and punished. I was suppose to have my childhood but instead my innocence was stolen from me. I was told I was a burden to them and they never let me forget for even one minute I was their lifelong debt, since I was paid for with their house mortgage. From my first diaper I cost them too much, that in their anger they used their fists on my little body. I’ve wondered many times why I am still alive today because sometimes I was beaten so badly. Strange enough, no one did anything to help me. Some people knew what was going on, but being a whistleblower take some guts, and that was apparently non-existent, back then. No one bothered to even pick up the phone and call the police. My adoptive parents could have ended up in jail for years, if only someone had bothered to pick up a phone. I was beaten, yelled at, and called hateful names. Eventually, I was kicked out of my so called forever family as a teen late one summer night….I still remember it like it happened yesterday. I was called a whore, retarded, an idiot. Yes I was the black sheep of the family. The one everybody could blame, beat and get rid of all of their frustrations upon day after day. Because of the trauma and abuse, I was given complex PTSD by my adoptive family.

The years went by and I returned home to my birth country for the first time. There I learned the devastating news that I was sent out of Korea without the knowledge of my birth family. They did not even know if I was alive or dead back then In 1987. My father and oldest sister searched for years for me in Korea not knowing I had been sent for adoption to Norway. Last Year in 2017 I returned once again to honour the grave of both of my Korean parents for the first time and the last time In my life. I was at last home but it was too late for me to meet my appa and my omma who died way too early, only months after I was born. For me to finally come full circle with one of my birth sisters was so painfully hard, I cried like I never cried before. Adoption to me is the most cruel act that happened to me. Compared to all of my beatings through the years, I will say this- we are all given one life, where we are suppose to bloom and thrive before death takes us all naturally. I was not given my chance to live my life, Instead I was given a cruel life filled with unimaginable suffering.

As a self healing way to recovery, I’ve written my life story called “Cries of the Soul”. It has helped me to write my story and face my ghosts that have haunted me for years. Now as an adult, I have become an activist and want to say one thing very clearly: I don’t want anyone else to experience what I had to endure for a second. Both of my Norwegian parents are now long gone, but I still have one member of my Norwegian family who threatens me he will take me to court, because of my book and blog exposing the truth of what happened- in his eyes our parents were saints. Every child deserves the best life possible to become the person that we were meant to be. In my opinion adoption must be abolished, how many more will have to die? I know I have had the thought of killing myself more than once. I’ve had to catch my breath just to live another day, and to manage my life with C-PTSD. I may have had an extreme upbringing, but I have heard stories not that far from my own, and it saddens me that Korea still today export it’s children abroad. Now it’s soon the Winter Games 2018 In Korea, still they have not ended this very sad business of selling babies, which has taken so many lives through the years. Either Korean adoptees have killed themselves or in Hyunsus case, he was killed at the hands of his adoptive father. Back In the Summer Games in Korea In 1988 they were so ashamed to be called the “Worlds Largest Export Nation of Babies”, but it seems it was just a temporary feeling. I wonder if the adoption world will have to see more deaths before it comes to it’s senses. I hope not. One life taken is one too many. What happened to little Hyunsu is tragic beyond any words could describe. I hope many will help, support and donate to Hyunsus Legacy of Hope in the years to come.