Adoptee

I am interning at an adoption agency and this has made a lot of my personal experiences as an adoptee surface. I never thought I cared so much about the topic!

Today, a family came into the agency after just picking up their new daughter from the airport (from Korea). It felt so weird looking at that scared little baby girl. I wonder if I acted like that when I came over? Her tiny little dress with American flag design on it seemed so inappropriate to me. Why did they put that on her? Is it like to prove she is theirs? Like “she is AMERICAN even though we know she doesn’t look it!” Made me feel bad for her. She couldn’t keep her eyes off me. I wonder if it was because I am Korean too? Is she old enough to know that??? Is she wondering why her life has changed so dramatically in the past few days??

I wish I could remember what I was thinking when I first came to the USA from Korea. I wish I could know and could tell her (even though she is just a baby), “hey kid, I know what you’re going through!”

I look at this kid and I really hope that all these new efforts to educate parents on adopting babies from other countries will pay off for her. Can it really make a difference for her?? Will she really have it easier? Does she miss her birthmother, like I do sometimes? Or maybe she does more, because it is all still fresh to her? A piece of me aches for this baby and a piece of me is so happy for her…

My mom told me this story: When I was a little girl — around 5 years old, my mom was telling a friend about when she gave birth to Sara (my older sister). My mom then noticed that I was listening and didn’t want me to feel bad .. so she turned the story into “and when we first adopted Julia….” She said that I sat and listened and listened and then said, “I wish I wasn’t adopted.” She said that she almost broke out in tears and asked “why?” And I said, “I wish I was born, like Sara. Not adopted!”

On the one hand – it’s a cute funny story. On the other hand.. it’s sad. I really thought I was never born. That no one huffed and puffed and labored for me to come into this world. No one cried when they first saw me — like they did for Sara. For me… my life started much later. Cheated out of the miracle of birth and the first 8 months of my life. It all seemed unfair.

Still, even today, I wish I knew the wonder of my birth. I wish I was not the product of the pain of secondary infertility for my mother. I just wish someone – who was there – could tell me the story… even if it was third-person account. Did she cry? Was I kissed? Was I cold and puffy and someone held me close and warmed me up? Did I look into her eyes and did she return my glance?

“Children thirst to hear where they came from…

they need to know that they were desired,

that their birth was a wonder, and they were always

the object of love and care.”

-Marcelle Clements

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. asacrificiallamb  |  March 26, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    “It all seemed unfair.”

    It was. It is.

    Reply
  • 2. nobody  |  October 23, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    A good reason to know your natural parents is so that you know what sort of diseases and problems you are likely to get later on ;).

    As for life being unfair, take some comfort that it’s unfair and not every bad thing that happened to you is because you deserved it ;). And that if life really was fair there would be no hope or salvation for bad/naughty people like me… So yay! :p

    Reply
  • 3. nobody  |  October 23, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Oops… just found out you were actually having those sort of problems…

    I suck… 😦

    Agh… I am such a bad person even when i’m not trying :(.

    Oh well. Hope and pray everything works out for you.

    Reply
  • 4. Lynelle  |  April 30, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Wonderful to read your blog Julia! Thanks for sharing the thoughts above .. so true that this is the type of sadness we adoptees carry around inside of us. I wish you all the best and know your journey is tough at the moment .. peace be to you and continue sharing with us as it helps us as it does you!

    Lynelle
    Vietnamese adoptee
    Founder/Director
    Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (www.icasn.org/)

    Reply
  • 5. jeni  |  May 31, 2008 at 11:11 am

    (((julia))) i feel like all i can say is, “wow”….

    all i want to do is just hug you.

    xoxoxo

    Reply
  • 6. Zandra  |  August 4, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your web site by
    accident, and I’m shocked why this coincidence did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

    Reply

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