Archive for July, 2006

A wiseman once asked me…

do we anguish about “who” we are, without knowing where we came from?

or do we anguish the answers of knowing where we come from, but knowing who we are?

– John

July 31, 2006 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

At War

 I’m living in a war-zone, on many different fronts. I moved to
Israel over a month ago to be a part of a medical treatment plan that is unavailable in the USA. An extra bonus to this all has been having much more family around me – especially cousins, who mean the world to me and have everything to do with my *new* and improved chances at recovery.

On Sunday, my cousin was drafted back into the army to serve his reserve in Southern Lebanon. Haven’t heard from him in a few days… and as I sit with his wife and three young daughters, I am reminded by the new flash on the TV that we are in the middle of a war zone.

Last Friday, I decided to go to the Kotel. I was just looking to take a walk, really, and ended up there – although unconsciously I was clearly walking in that direction since I started out of my apartment. Walking through the old city and down the stairs, I was totally unaware of the Shabbos hustle around me. I felt like I had ear plugs in my ears and blinders on my eyes – until I stepped up to the hand-washing station and all of a sudden I wondered, “why did I come here?”

I washed my hands and walked to the front of the women’s section. Kissed the warm stone and took a step back – bumped right into a Hasidic girl my age. She was in the middle of her prayer, crying, and with her fist at her chest so tight that her knuckles are white. As a general rule, you don’t interrupt someone’s prayers – but she started to shake and I forgot my manners and asked her if she needed to sit down. She looked up and was surprised to see me (as most Israelis are at the sight of an Asian girl speaking Hebrew). She didn’t answer my question, but she asked me why I was there instead. Almost as if she expected me to know why she was there. I asked her, “what are you praying for?” And she explained to me that she was recently married and her husband was now in reserves in the North. She asked me again, “why are you here?” and I replied, “I’m not sure.” She said, “I am.” And she wrapped her arm around mine – the arm who’s hand held her prayer book – and she finished her prayers – as I started mine.

 I always thought that feeling alone was the result of being a KAD. But being here, I never felt so un-alone. I think that is the result of being at war…

July 31, 2006 at 9:20 am 3 comments

On Asian Adoption

On a discussion forum recently a few people were chatting about why white people adopt transracially. Someone said that folks who adopt transracially are looking to be “out of the box.” While I think this is often true for white people who adopt black children … the majority of people I know who adopt asian kids are not in this category. I replied in that forum as follows (just a small snipet of my full response):

My parents adopted not to be outside the box (on the contrary) – they adopted because they thought if they pretended to be colorblind, the world will be too .. and that the pain of secondary infertility will be lost somewhere along the way. They know now, that they were wrong. And it’s a bitter pill for them to swallow. Fact is, my parents, and many other parents and parents-to-be … see Asian as “the other white meat.” They think race is black and white. That an Asian child will mesh like a white kid would — just they are “easier” to find when your in an infertile bind. I was a quick fix for my parents. They were not looking for a transracial adoption – matter of fact, they were not looking to deal with race at all. And that is how I was raised. Just like my sister (who was born to them). The only way they knew how to raise a kid. The way they were raised. Was it bad? Not at all. Was it ignorant? Kinda, yeah. What’s even more ignorant is that people in this day and age (who should have learned that race IS an issue with Asian adoption!) are still adopting with the mindset that my parents had. I forgive my parents ignorance…. but it’s annoying that some APs today are making the same assumptions.

I just cannot get it out of my head that in the adoption world asian kids are seen as “the other white meat.” It bothers me that I could be seen this way. (Maybe because I clearly am not white and my daily life is a reminder of that!) I almost have to force myself to type this… but it is the reason WHY I was adopted! It seems like such an unhealthy reason.

What I don’t understand is this…

If you want to adopt and race does not matter – then why aren’t you adopting a black infant in the United States? There certainly seems to be a shortage of families for black infants. You have a better chance of being able to meet the birth parents (and by this – I don’t mean it’s to YOUR benefit – but it is your child’s RIGHT to know where he/she came from, is it not?). You already share the same cultural background, language, foods, etc with this child – as you are both American. It’s easy to find a black community in most parts of the USA to expose your child to role models in his/her background.

I am not saying there is no good reason to adopt from Korea. Much to the contrary. But it seems like most families I have met that adopt from Korea lack all of the good reasons. They just think they can love an asian baby better than they can a black baby. And how selfish is that?

Haven’t we evolved better than that? Don’t the white people understand that Asian is a race – different than theirs?

July 27, 2006 at 11:06 am 14 comments


John is a GREAT Korean teacher! Here is him teaching me my name via IM…. 

John: so you want to know your name or what?
Julia: YES
John: 구 is easy
John: remember this one ㅜ?
John: ㅜ – is the vowel pronounced…”oo”
Julia: ooo
Julia: yeah
John: ㄱ –  is…g or k
John: depending on the word…
John: but it’s like between g/k
Julia: yeap
John: thus 구 – Goo or Ku or Koo all the same name in korea
Julia: yeah ok got that
John: next syllable
John: 지
John: ㅈ – remember?
John: what what is?
Julia: one sec baby
Julia: my doorbell rang
John: class has NOT been dismissed!
Julia: ok sorry
Julia: here I am!
John: ㅈ
John: is?
Julia: J
John: right
John: sound between j/k
Julia: yeah
John: the next letter ㅣ
Julia: i
John: is the sound “ee”
Julia: eee
John: yeah…
Julia: J/kee
John: oh shit
John: no k
John: j/ch
Julia: ok
John: Jee
John: or Chi
Julia: j/chee
John: or Chee
John: Or Ji
Julia: got it!
John: pretty much the same
John: last syllable
Julia: (someone told me Tee)
John: ㅎ – sound is “h”
John: no
John: not at all
Julia: ok
Julia: Jee
Julia: ㅎ is one letter?
John: yes
Julia: ok H
John: looks more complex than it is
John: ㅎ – h
Julia: ok
John: the next is a vowel attached to the ㅎ
John: ㅖ
John: it’s actually
John: “ye”
John: but pronounced just “eh”
Julia: omg that is rough one
John: or “hay”
John: it’s hard
Julia: Jee-hey?
John: cuz it’s what’s known as a double vowel
John: yup!
John: that’s it
John: Jee-Hye
Julia: don’t like it
John: Goo Jee Hye
John: or Goo Ji Hye
John: same thing
Julia: bad name
John: Ji Hye is a good name
Julia: I like yours better
Julia: you can have mine
Julia: I’ll take yours
John: girls name
John: boys name
John: you are a girl
John: you take the girls name
John: i am boy
John: i take boys name

July 21, 2006 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

Jewish Journal

Featuring yours truly…

Note: I am not the Bat Mitzvah in the photos (nor is my pic in the article at all).

July 14, 2006 at 5:16 pm 1 comment

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

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