So you may have seen this posted on my Facebook/Twitter today but I wanted to also do a quick blog post so I could speak a little more intimately with you all as well as express my excitement and support for my friend and fellow Korean Adoptee, Dan Matthews (DANakaDAN of afterschoolspecial).
So a few weeks ago while in Seoul, South Korea for the first time since I was born, I received an email from my friend Dan. He had gotten some pretty HUGE news and wanted to share it with me. In the email he attached a letter as well as some photographs, what was inside gave me an entirely new perspective on being an adoptee.
He had done a birth search and they had actually found his biological family! His parents were married and still are. He has a biological sister and TWIN BROTHER.
....I'll just give you a moment to let that sink in.
Now I personally don't really talk about my adoption very much, mostly because I feel like a lot of people wouldn't understand and I have found the words and actions of those types of people to be...just plain mean. After all it's not something that I sit and think about all the time, I've always been very "it is what it is" about it, especially as a child/teenager.
Of course if anyone (genuinely) asks me I have no problem talking about it. I just never like that to be the main thing people focus on. Growing up in a small country town in Connecticut with little to no Asian people for most of my life really allowed the whole 'adoption' topic to get pushed to the back burner in most conversations. It was so rare to see an Asian person (not working at the Casino) that adopted or not adopted didn't really seem to matter. I think in all my years in school, from Kindergarden to College I was pretty much always 1 of 2 Asian kids in the entire school. (At one point there were 3 - My little brother, myself and another little girl - all of us adopted.)
When I started flying out to Los Angeles in 2009 the fact that I was adopted seemed to come up in EVERY conversation that included Asian people -___- there was a lot of "ohh she's Korean...but she's adopted" - a.k.a. why I don't speak Korean, have any Korean tendencies (other than my temper ^_^), and whatever else people like to categorize Korean people to be like.
To be fair there are a TON of Asian people out here, and just people in general. So many different cultures and ethnicities so I guess that's an important or interesting topic. It seems to be the first question people generally ask me out here, especially if they are also Asian. It's cool to be around so many other Asian people I suppose but it's also kind isolating for me. Number one, I'm not use to it and number two, everyone seems to put so much emphasis on the fact that I'm adopted. It's like great I'm Korean, I'm now exposed to other Koreans...yet I still don't really fit in. It's something that I'm working on and something I'm sure a lot of adoptees experience.
WE'RE ALL JUST PEOPLE! Why can't it ever be that! lol.
Anyway, a couple years ago I met Dan through mutual friends and he is pretty into the whole adoptee thing, hearing other people's stories, connecting, etc. which was different for me because I'm really not. I think most of my life I just wanted to have the same type of family as everyone else. My parents are my parents. I don't want to talk about my biological family because for me that's not a family that I know. (And I know that probably sounds kind of harsh but please understand none of this is meant to be offensive or anything like that. Everyone processes things differently and sometimes you can't control how you feel. It's an ongoing battle for me and I think it probably always will be.) Talking with Dan and seeing adoption through his eyes and spirit have really given me new perspective on the topic. It has become kind of a new chapter emotionally for me, one that I am no longer scared or feel awkward to pursue.
I definitely want to thank him for that, for his persistence in talking to me about adoption and sharing milestones in his journey, despite me initially shying away from the topic. I can not express what I felt for him when I received his email about finding his birth family. So many emotions I almost can't explain how you could have so many at one time. Happiness, excitement, hope, curiosity, jealousy, and yes, I cried.
For me his outcome is something that I never thought possible, something that I would be too afraid to move forward with (for many reasons) on my own, he just did it. It happened, and this is just the beginning.
He's boarding a flight right now to Korea, he's going to perform, meet his birth family and...they're documenting the whole thing.
Now this is where you and I come in : )
In order to make this whole thing possible they have started a KickStarter.
It would mean so much to me if you would help support if you can. Even if it's just to share the video and get the word out, I would really appreciate it.
(I know Dan will too ^_^)
(and yes I will also be backing the project!)
Below I have linked both the video as well as Dan's KickStarter if you want to check it out! (The video can be viewed on the KickStarter site as well so if you just want to go directly there you can.)
You can also connect with Dan via:
And again to back his KickStarter project (Documentary + Album)
Dan, I wish you safe travels. I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back.
You will always have my support in everything you wish to pursue!
To everyone else, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. Definitely a little more personal that I normally like to get online but I felt like now was the time haha. It's probably something I wouldn't do a video on but if anyone out there is interested in hearing more about my...adopted-ness. LOL. - my adoption story/life, please let me know. It may be something I would be willing to blog about since I know that I do have some fellow Korean adoptees out there and it may be a helpful support to those looking for it. My thoughts on adoption/my adoption are really on their way to coming full circle I feel. I am in the best place I have ever been with it currently so I think now I actually would be able to, in a helpful/more insightful way.
Who knows maybe next time I will be posting about an email I get with some big news to share : )
Thanks so much for reading and I will talk to you all very soon!