Giving voice to a child
My mother gave birth to me at the airport in New York on Dec 2, 1975. She never specified which airport I was born thus I can’t tell the name of it but I remember every other details of this beautiful day because I was already 9 years old when I was born. If you are an adoptee reading this, please don’t be offended; it is my way of laughing at adoptive parents comparing adoption to paper pregnancy. When her female friends were talking about their childbirths, my adoptive mother loved to talk about my arrival day: "they (the adoptive parent at the airport) had the same feelings and pain than you… it is exactly the same thing than giving birth to a child", she said.
I was chosen and desired; after seeing my picture, she expected me to come to her life as a pregnant woman expecting a baby. “I was expecting you for your birthday but I was disappointed when I learned that I had to wait longer. But finally, you arrived just in time for Christmas. You are my living doll, my Christmas present that I asked for!” she said.
I remember the days following my “birth”, just like it was yesterday. Everything was new to me. I received a ton of toys and clothing. For me, it was like in a fairy tale or another planet. It was the first time that I saw a Christmas tree.
For my mother, our first Christmas together was the best Christmas she ever had in her whole life. For me, it was my first homesickness. At the best Christmas of my adoptive mother, I cried. I was very homesick but everybody thought I was tired.
“I miss my orphanage; I want my friends; I want my dad. I want to go back to home.” That’s what I wanted to say but I couldn’t talk their language. Nobody could understand my language.
Today, I know how to say these words, so I've added them to my photos with the help of software. By doing this, I’m giving a voice to the child I was and to the children of international adoption who are often silenced.
I cried even after receiving a doll that I asked for during my first shopping in USA.
Having my pyjamas put on, I continued to cry until I became too tired to cry. My mother was so happy to be a mother that she wouldn’t understand why I was crying.
Like any other adoptee, I eventually adapted to my new life with my new parents. In a short period of time, I began to consider my adoptive mother as a “real” mother. It took me more time to consider my adoptive father as my real father because I already had a real father in Korea. This should please adoptive parents who feel insecure when their adoptees use the expression “real parents” to talk about their “birth parents”: my adoptive parents were more real than my first parents.
I adapted to the life that the adoption industry gave me because I was given no other choice. If I had the choice, I would have chosen to remain in my country with my family. No, I never idealized my life in Korea; I lived in poverty with my (birth) family. And no, I’m not talking retrospectively as an abused adoptee. I'm talking about a choice that I would have made before my adaptation to my adoptive family when there was no abuse yet. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the life of fairy tale in America; I liked the wealth and the comfort but I wanted my family and my country.
My first family was given to me by God (and I was given to my first family by God). My adoptive family was not given by God; it was given to me by the industry of international adoption that made money from selling me to a childless woman. I was a gift given by God to my (first) parents; not to my adoptive parents. Do you really believe that your adopted child has been sent to you by God? The adoption industry sent it to you because you ordered it to fulfill your desire to become parent. Don’t ever talk to me about God's will in the adoption. Adoption is not God’s will; it is either the will of the persons wanting to parent or the will of the adoption industry working in the name of God to make more money.
To PAPs: If the baby you see in the picture could tell you to let him live in his country by helping its mother to keep him, what would be your answer/action?