Archive for May, 2006

Don’t count my candles…

Today is my birthday. That horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day is back. It happens every year. Yet every year I am surprised by it. Why have I not matured enough to get over the fact that this day is so depressing.

A BIRTHday. The day I was born. Another year away. So far away from that day. The day of mystery and confusion. Did she hold me near her? Did she kiss me? Did she look into my eyes? And did they look like her eyes? And did she never want to let go?

My birthday is celebrated as if it is all remembered. It's not. It's all gone. Gone into the past – a sealed record – an adoption file. A search not yet taken…

I remember the first time I cried on my BIRTHday. I was six years old that day and we were having a swimming party at the country club my parents were members of. Can you picture all the little white girls in their swimsuits? Those are my friends. We swam around and played games. I watched everyone have fun and through my fogged up swimming goggles it could all go away. I wanted a swimming party every year if I could have my fogged up goggles, too. I dreaded the birthday cake.

"Hey, Julia, your candles…." ,Rachel started to say.

"Don't count them! It's none of your business!" I screamed at her.

My mother was fast to correct my rude behavor and reminded me that they are our guests. She explained to Rachel and the rest of those happy — soon to be unhappy – girls that it was a candle for my birth mother. I picked up the extra candle that my mother always places there "in honor of your birth mother who gave us this day" and I threw it into the pool.

"Why am I the only one with an extra candle?!" I yelled back with tears streaming down my face. (And why can't anyone understand?)

Do you know what a cake with 24 candles looks like? It looks stupid. It looks sad. It looks different than everyone else's cake does on their 23rd birthday. It's an extra load. A reminder of the gap, the adoptee space.

May 29, 2006 at 9:22 am 5 comments


My mom tells me that when I was little, around the time I started sleeping in a "big girl bed" from a crib, I would wake up crying in the middle of the night (not often). When she came in to comfort me I would say to her "I want my mommy." She would respond with, "I'm here, my love, I'm here." And I would say, uncomforted by her, "I want my mommy." My mom says that it always confused her and she often wondered if I was having bad dreams about being abandoned by my first mother.

I don't remember those nights. However, when I reach my breaking point (either from pain, or illness, or stress, etc.) I have this huge urge inside me to say, "I want my mommy." Sometimes I do say it.

Honestly, I am not convinced that I am wishing to be with my first mother when I have this desire for "my mommy." I am just in need to be in a source of comfort. Back home. (Home to where? I don't know?!) But, home with my parents (adoptive) doesn't cut it in these moments either. Maybe it is a primal wound desire?

It goes without me needing to say that my mother (adoptive) brings me huge comfort. Recently, I spent the weekend in the hospital with pnuemonia. I requested my mother and she came. She crawled into the bed with me… and I felt comforted by her. I felt safe – at age 22. Not safe in the sense that it draws me back to that "little girl" stage. I was glad she came.

I have this tremendous love for my adoptive mother and a true and honest connection to her. I have a need for her in my life, a need to please her, and to receive from her in return this same love and acceptance (which she gives without hesitation).

Mother's day is usually about saying "Thank You" to your mom – but coming from an adoptee, "Thank You" is often misunderstood. I have been told by people who do not view my family with the same respect as they would a biological family, that I am "lucky" and should be "thankful." Being adopted is NOT a reason, in itself, to be thankful that you are parented. Just like my sister did not ask to be born, I did not ask to be adopted. It was just simply our fate in our lives. And if I am lucky (which I am), I am lucky for the same reasons as my sister is.

My mother has never asked for a thank you. It's not her style. And I'd like to think that it makes her just as uncomfortable as it makes me. And she considers herself lucky (although sometimes, I think she is blinded by love) and I consider myself lucky – but just not for the reasons you may think, just by looking at us.

May 10, 2006 at 10:03 am 2 comments

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Birthday to my favorite guy, John!

Also two less important things today: Children's Day (in Korea) and Cinco de Mayo!

Children's Day. John's birthday. Third day on chemo. Cinco de Mayo. Exit interview with the agency. Exams I'm not attending. Overwhelmed, overwhelmed… might as well blog about it.

"Children are the future of our nation. Let's show respect for children. Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in turn." 

                -Pang Chong-hwan, founder of Children's Day

I know John's birth mom must have a very hard time on Children's Day. I know how John feels about his birthday too. I wonder if my birth mom is celebrating Children's Day with perhaps her new children. And does she remember her first child today?

Me and my Birth Mom

May 5, 2006 at 2:11 pm 6 comments

Hangin’ On

This song takes on new meaning for me now, although I have always loved it.

Hang on Little Tomato

by Pink Martini

The sun has left and forgotten me
It’s dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I’m gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion

Somebody told me, I don’t know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you’re feelin’ all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find

You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it’s dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love

Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you’ll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something’s coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead

And so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you

May 5, 2006 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment


I’m sick.

When I tell people my diagnosis… there are a few different responses. Here they are in list of most popularity:

#1. “I’m so sorry.”

#2. “I hope you feel better soon.”

#3. “Oh my G-d! What are you going to do?”

#4. “Are you going to be okay?”

#5. “I had a {insert noun here} who had that!”

Say something I haven’t heard.

adj. sor·ri·er, sor·ri·est

  1. Feeling or expressing sympathy, pity, or regret: I’m sorry I’m late.
  2. Worthless or inferior; paltry: a sorry excuse.
  3. Causing sorrow, grief, or misfortune; grievous: a sorry development.

Amazing, how my life went from a cap and gown rental place to health care proxies and mediports. Things can turn so quickly. Is it luck? Is it life? A test, purhaps? Or a fluke? Maybe I should have skipped that Sweet ‘N Low packet? Or maybe my mysterious genetic material is finally making itself known.

May 4, 2006 at 1:40 pm 4 comments

Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

Glimpse of Julia

Blog Stats

  • 180,430 visitin' folks