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I first wanted to put a title like "I feel stupid" but after finishing to write it, I changed it to unbrainwashing.

After discovering the lies on my adoption records, my bullshit meter has been slowly destroyed by a bullshit-message that I believed during almost 25 years.

The bullshit-message was that two Christians named Holt  have rescued the biracial babies dumped by their Korean unwed mothers. Whenever the story came out from the mouth of my adoptive mother, the word "Holts" sounded like Saints and the word "Korean mothers" sounded like prostitutes who slept with the American soldiers. I remember at the beginning and at some time of my life being and disgusted by the American soldiers but I was usually more disgusted by the Korean prostitutes. Even if I have lived six years with all my (first) family and that my mother had nothing to do with my adoption, it didn't take long time for the people to make me believe that my birth mother was not different than the other Korean prostitutes who have dumped their babies.

During those 25 years of total assimilation, my anger at Holt resurfaced only once in 1989 during a family tour in Korea. But at that time, I belived that Holt made a huge mistake only in my case and that the other happy adoptees had the truth written on their documents.

Although I felt angry at Holt and at Korea before going there to search my family in 2001, with my bullshit meter destroyed, I went to Molly Holt's house to bring her some toys, sweets and money for the handicapped children that the Saints were taking care of at Ilsan Holt Center.

Molly told me I could go to Holt office to get the help to find my family.  Once at Holt Korea office, I was surprised to be welcomed by a nice-wanting-to-help-me director. I couldn't understand why they were willing to help me whereas they refused to help me in 1977 and 1989.

When the nice-wanting-to-help-me director of Holt Korea took me to a room to pray for the ready-to-be-shipped babies, it hurt me badly because I remembered being in the same room the day of my departure to USA in 1975  and also before the departure of a few dozens of babies in 1989. Despite my hurt, I could only see a good Christian praying for the unwanted and rejected babies of Korea before sending them to some nice families wanting them, just like I have been always told during 25 years.

Then the nice-wanting-to-help-me director introduced me to a Korean adoptee working at their office. For the first time of my life, I was in front of someone just like me who was telling me she has suffered of being adopted in a foreing country, who was telling me she didn't fit in here, nor there. What she was telling me was what I have always felt but I never said these words.

Despite seeing a woman broken by adoption, I only had more admiration for Holt for giving her a job in Korea. She is the person who urged me to move to Molly Holt's house for the rest of my stay because she knew it was difficult for me to stay in a Korean family who couldn't understand my language and my culture. I felt grateful to Holt for giving me a better place to live during my trip and I decided to work as a volunteer with other Korean adoptees during the rest of my trip.

With all the gods-message from Molly Holt such as :  "Accept-the-Christ-as-your-saviour-and-you-should-be-grateful-to-the-Lord", I felt guily for having the feelings I had. The feeling of anger for being rejected by Koreans came out the day before my departure to Korea. I told Molly I was angry particularly at Holt for their mistake regarding my adoption records and I told her I remembered feeling the anger in 1989, when my adoptive mother wanted to take a picture of me with Grandma Holt. I  felt  I had no right to be angry at Christians, particularly Molly, who was helping real orphans and the handicapped persons at Ilsan Holt Center. I felt that admitting my anger would give me the forgiveness from her and God. When I came back from my search trip, I sent Molly and Holt's staff a thank-you card for welcoming me to her house and for helping me during my stay.

When I  came back, I had difficult times dealing with the mixed emotions: relief and gratitude for finding my family, and some other emotions and feelings that I couldn't name but that I always had deep inside me. Few months later, I started crying day and night.

While I was depressed, something like an external force was telling me to go back to Korea to get the answers to my present depression and past depression. So I sent an email to Molly that I was going back there ASAP. I asked her if I could stay at her house but I told her I will find somewhere else to go once there.

Just like during my first trip, I cried each day while walking in the streets of Seoul but this time, I could put the names on my feelings: rejection, anger, hurt, depression, sadness, sorrow, wanting badly to die, wanting to revenge, etc.

I expressed my anger and my hatred in front of Molly. She started saying again the gods-messages such as "forgive-and-accept-Christ-as-your-saviour" and  "it-was-better-for-you-to-be-adopted-and-you-should-be-grateful". Her words were not different of those she told  during my first stay with her but now, the latter message appeared to me as a bullshit-message. Now that I could put the words to my feelings and emotions, I couldn't simply deny or bury them.

My bullshit meter started working again by itself....

I finally told Molly Holt I was angry for their lies (this time, I didn't take the word mistakes) and I couldn't forgive them.  I found another place to live for the rest of my stay.

I still felt guilty for having the feelings knowing that they were taking good care of the disabled people at Ilsan, so I bought a cloth for an abandoned baby the Holt found during my stay at Molly's house. Just when I went to Holt office, I saw the young foster mothers crying after they left their babies ready to be shipped to foreign countries. This time, I recognized the feeing of hatred at Korea came from being rejected  by Korea.

When I came back from Korea, I realized Holt actually never assisted me with my search. I realized that I didn't even ask them to help me because I already knew they wrote "father: unknown, mother: unknown" and "abandoned" some 26 years ago. My search was succesful because of my memory and the help of God. I obtained the rest of the informations that the time has erased from my memory at the archives of the first orphanage. Molly Holt told me the name of my first orphanage only after I already got it from then nun of my 2nd orphanage.

Where I felt stupid is that it took me more years to understand fully that the Holts were not the Saints I was let to believe.

Now that I have finished to write down this, maybe I wasn't that stupid for taking so much time to realize who were Holts and what Holt agency is. The consquences of 25 years of brainwashing can't go away within few days.

Some of the consequences will never go away and the part of me which has been unbrainwashed makes it harder to accept what I  became as a result of brainwashing that most people call assimilation.

by kimette on Tuesday, 28 October 2008