Saturday, 23 February 2013

I'm ALMOST 22.

Hello Readers. Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday, but it marks loss not life. The day I was born was the same day my mother surrender me to a nurse to be adopted. To me it's the darkest grief I've ever experienced. And every year my birthday plans are an absolute mess. So of course I'm going out tonight AND tomorrow with most of my friends.

Yesterday I freaked out and went to two malls looking for a birthday outfit. At friend I was just crying around the department stores . All the woman kept asking if I was ok and all I could say was, "I'm looking for a birthday dress, and I lost my mother!" I couldn't turn off the tears, I had a task and all I could think about was loosing her in my life when I was just a baby. And how she lost her father, And then her firstborn and first daughter 6 months after.How 4 months after I was born Kang Sun Lee was murdered and her yellow body white washed.. How everything.. my family, my life, my culture, my entire identity was taken from me when that nurse took me from my mother's arms.. It's not fair I have to spend my live search for Kang Sun Lee, I'm supposed to be her.

I don't think such loss is something to be celebrated, but to keep my American parents and friends happy I go out every year. And every year it completely fucking sucks. The loss should be enough to deal with, but then my plans always become about what everyone else wants and doesn't want. I try to put my foot down, but there's little say from me. AND NO ONE EVER TELLS ME THEY'RE SORRY FOR MY LOSS! Like they all think I'm kidding when I say I should get "Sorry for your loss" cards vs birthday cards, because I think that would be a lot more humane for me to hear.

People force me into a time that downs work for me, make me go places I do no want to go, bring friends who they know I'm not cool with, and all sorts of other crappy things. I know it happens to everyone, but every single birthday has been like this, even as a child. I think I'm cursed. But year I say fuck'um! I set the time, I set the place, and I sent the invite don Facebook and they'll just have to deal. Oh yeah, Power looks hot on me!

This year I'm pretty sure no one made/bought me a cake, which isn't a big deal..but it's supposed to be a really called for American gesture right? And a bunch of people either canceled on me or just said they aren't coming. Which sucks because its all really fun people, or friends I have seen in a very long time. Also I didn't invite my sister and her husband, in fact I don't even know if my adoptive mom told them I'd be out tonight. But they both made my birthday super shitty last year, and neither of them are welcomed in my personal life right now.

But this year I have a little something to celebrate. The past few years have been really hard in my adoptive family, relationships, school work, jobs, artwork, adoptee life, and my mental health. I've worked really hard to overcome my obstacles. I'm educating my parents, cut out the toxic people in my life, went back to school, found an amazing job, got back in the saddle for art, speak out on adoption, and am finding new ways to cope with my anxiety and depression.

Things have gotten so much better than they were a year ago, and even with all the sad news I receive from Korea, I know my mother would be so proud I'm starting to make it. I love her so much, and have missed her my whole life, and hope that one day I'll have a birthday celebrating finding her. Even right now.. I'm crying for her, I'm crying over the horrific loss I feel..

But hopefully tonight will be better, hopefully it will be fun and only with the people I care about. So until my actually birthday post tomorrow, Cheers.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Mourning My Grandfather, My Hal-abeoji.

Hello Readers. Yesterday I was informed that my grandfather, my hal-abeoji, had passed when my mother was 3 months pregnant with me. It's so hard to hear that the hope and dream of his acceptance is a no, because there will never be that chance. It's hard to know the pain my mother must have felt in loosing her ah-pah. I feel crazy that when told the truth I suddenly felt all the pain of my family especially my grandmother had feels in loosing him.. But I'm an atheist and I know that's just a feeling not fact, but who knows.

There's a lot of traditional things that go into Korean funerals, and a lot that goes into more modern Korean funerals. One of these things is the family wearing a black ribbon or hemp clothing for 100 days starting the day their relative passes. Since I just found out only yesterday I wear a black ribbon today. I don't think I'll wear it for 100 days, but I will until I feel I can go with out wearing it. Think of it as not only a symbol of my grief, but as a crutch for my sadness in loosing him.

I have "Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World on repeat. There isn't a more perfect song for this. The few friend's that called or messaged me about all this seemed scared, like they didn't have a clue what to say. I guess I've experienced so much loss of my birth family and in my adoptive family growing up dealing with grief just seems natural, but most of my friends haven't even lost their grandparents yet. But even if you have nothing to say, just call or message, stop buy, come kidnap me, be a friend. Anything.

Sometimes it really sucks being your own rock everyday, all the time.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Update From Korea: My Grandfather Is Dead.

Hello Readers. Today I got an email from my social worker asking for me to confirm a number to call. She said they've received updates from Korea. Class had just started, but I'd miss a test before waiting to hear ready to go news on my birth search. My phone started to glow and it was her calling. I practically ran out of there; I'm pretty sure I freaked out my classmates. I walked outside to take the call and it was colder than I expected. Rolling down my sleeves we talked, and I paced around the quad.

She said something about receiving news from Korea, asking how I was doing, asked about school and work, and seamlessly she moved onto the news. According to the consult my mother had when she chose adoption in the hospital (the same Initial Social History report they apparently didn't give me all the info on) stated that my grandfather had passed away before I was born. *Like taking a bullet*

My grandfather died of stomach cancer in August of 1990. About 3 months into my mother's pregnancy so he most likely never knew she was pregnant. He never even got the chance to approve of my mother having me.. Be never got the chance to know I existed or to know my mother had chosen adoption.

So here I am at school waiting for me night class to start. We have a big test, and a high scored in class activity after so we can't leave early because it's Valentine's Day. I've been crying in the bathrooms and laying down in the booths around the student center.. Just crying. I feel so much loss today. I always thought maybe if she had passed away or wasn't open to me, maybe my grandparents would be. Maybe they'd want to tell me about her, maybe they'd want to even meet me, and have me meet our family. Maybe I would be invited to come back home.

Maybe they'd even love me.

But my grandfather never got the chance to know I was carried to birth. I also feel the loss that my family must have felt loosing their head elder. How filled with grief my mother must have been to loose her father and her first born, her only daughter.. How my grandmother must have felt loosing her husband. Maybe even though it would hurt her a lot to think about the past, maybe my grandmother would still take me into her heart.

Everything is full of maybes, and hopes, and dreams, and wishes. But then there's the truth and reality. Since I don't have all the answers yet, my reality is that I know nothing. And the one truth that is my reality is that my grandfather is dead, and it's too late for us now,

The draper’s shop my grandmother owned is still stated in my Initial Social History. But there was nothing left in regards to the name of the shop or the location, so it's too difficult to make contact. Unfortunately my birth clinic, Huh Jung OB-GYN Clinic, is now closed. I had hopes to go beg them to give me anything they'd be willing to from my birth records.. Now that they're closed my only option is to beg the city records of the city I was born in and where my mother was born.

My social worker in Korea did say this though, "Through all these many questions, I can feel all the way over here that [the adoptee] Lee, Kang Sun feels sadness and discouragement." Maybe my mother and my family can feel me too..

They've tried on many occasions to obtain more information from KAS regarding people other than the birth parents, like other family members, my foster family, and the witness who signed with my mother. However, they say that based on legal limits, they are unable to provide that information. Because of this they're even pleading with foster mothers to contact the agency to update their contact info and allow contact from their foster children. They're continuously asking KAS to improve their new laws in light of all these difficulties.

I only received one positive piece of news. During the pregnancy my mother did not have any particular morning sickness. I'm very glad I didn't cause her that kind of sickness, and maybe one day if I have a child I won't either.

I did call into work and asked for tomorrow off. It would have only been a 4 hour shift, but it's nice knowing I don't have to go in tomorrow. So if any of my friends are reading this, call or text me, stop by, anything.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Valentine's Day.

Hello Readers! It's the lovely or for some of us not so lovely week of Valentine's Day! V-Day is a big social event and commercial event in the states. Everyone who's got a date runs out to buy cards, flowers, and candy. Some of us make reservations at bistros, or cook romantic dinners for two at home. For those of us who don't have dates we go to "I Hate Valentine's Day" parties, or just spent a quiet night at home. The point is in the states this shit is a big fucking deal! So what is it like in Korea?

In Korea V-Day is for only the men. Woman give their dads, boyfriends, brothers, and male friends gifts. The most popular is handmade chocolates. Handmade shows a high level of care, value, and respect for that person. Handmade also shows a very high quality gift. One month later on March 14th the men in turn gift the woman gifts. Like many Asian countries Korea is obsessed with branding couples. There's a lot of boyfriend and girl shirts that when they stand together it's two cartoons kissing, or both holding an end of a red stringed can phone. Why the red string? Well it's not just red for love and V-Day.

The string between the can phones is from the a Korean belief in the red string of fate. A classic example is one of my very favorite Korean stories to tell..

There's a sweet Korean girl sitting on a bench in Seoul, and she's crying softly to herself. A very handsome university grad walks up to her. He sits with her and asks what's wrong. She looks up at the kind stranger and tells him she has just ran from her home. She tells him how when she got home from school that day her parents said they have arranged for her to marry and that she will be engaged tomorrow. She respects her parents decision for her, but says she's never even had a real boyfriend and she wants her first kiss to be from one of her choosing. The handsome stranger wipes her eyes and says that he will be her boyfriend for tonight, and tomorrow she can start her new path knowing she chose him first.

They spend the day together having fun, laughing, and their hearts glowing brighter. When the night ends they share their first kiss.. He tells her he is so happy to have met her, his wife to be. She steps back in shock. He knew who she was all day, that fate brought them together when she needed the kindness of a stranger for her to choose. And she had chosen him, her husband to be. That is what the red string of fate is, everything comes full circle.. Just like Ben Kweller's really fanatic song! (That's not Korean btw; I just really dig that song.)

Sometimes I feel that red string of fate, but being I'm an atheist and a social scientist I know it's not fact. Or at least I can say I personally believe what I'm feeling is not fact. But maybe I'm wrong? This semester on Thursdays I have a night class, hurray! Since we have a class on V-Day my professor decided to make it and exam day, and a high scored activity fallowing the test so we can't rush it and leave early. A few of the guys I've been seeing have asked me out for V-Day, but none of those dates worked out because no one wants their date to start at 10pm. I do not blame them at all.

Ok now let's get really personal with this Valentine's Day stuff. The last guy I shared to you all about was one of my best bros. We've both got the feels, I don't want a relationship, and la la la la la la. He doesn't care that I have a night class and asked me out for Valentine's Day, and I said yes. I also shared before that he's Caucasian and very into Asian culture, but not in a creepy scary way. I don't think we're doing the White Day thing, but I do think some of my bros will wish me a happy White Day when it rolls around in a month.

This is the first Valentine's Day that I've been single in years!! I love how little pressure I feel.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Want To Date Me?

Hello Readers. Lets talk about relationships, lets talk about dating adoptees, and Asian-Americans. My life is consumed by adoption. It's in my art, my everyday conversation, it's what I volunteer in, it's what I speak out on, it's why I'm a sociology major, and it's what both of my blogs are all about. I've been feeling happy and having a sense of control in my life the past couple months, but there are still l so many things wrong with me.

I still have depression, I'm still an anxiety riddled mess, and my stress level is just as insane as it's always been. I just manage it better now. I'm only dating, fooling around, and having fun because I don't think it's fair of me personally to ask someone it accept the burden of my incredible identity crisis. It's just too much to ask.

I was scared during the break up and even after when I met the first guy I really liked. How am I going to pull all of this big goals off, and search, and go home by myself? It's so hard doing this with out someone's hand to hold, but I honestly would never wish for a hand to hold. It's too much for me. I'd never want another person to have to deal with all this, constantly being weighed down by me. I'd never ask another person to do that. That's why no matter what a friend tells me that I can count on them, I'd never call them when I need someone. When I'm crying all the time, when I'm upset over all this stress, when I'm so depressed I want to quit life, when I'm so frustrated from the lack of love in my adoptive family I talk allowed to my mother and just deal. And I've learned to do it by myself.

Plus I don't want a relationship. I love the freedom of being single. I've said it a million times, but oh my god! It feels so good to only have to worry about me for a change, and not these major interactions with another person. My life goals and what I want each week comes first. I admit that it's selfish, but I've never really put myself first before.

I'm happy to be unattached since my break up. I love being able to rebuild my plan by myself, and then maybe find one whose plan can coexist and grow with my own. That's what relationships should really be. Not staying together because of history, not clinging to someone because your scared of being alone. Being with someone because you want who they are in your life. Because not only do you support each others life goals and want to be apart of them, but your plans also fit together with out force.

When I date someone I make sure we're on the same page. Completely chill and casual dating, and no catching major feels. That we're both in it to have fun, and not looking for a relationship. But I'm a cool Asian intellectual, who can take shots, kick your ass in a video game, and can do it all in bold red lips. But being a smart girl who is also a chill bro not pushing for a boyfriend tends to get a lot of attention from my dates. Basically whenever a guy I'm dating wants more of an exclusive relationship, I shut it down. They caught the feels, something we both said we didn't want.

Since getting back into the dating game there's only been two guys I've really liked. One couldn't handle the by products of my adoption issues, and the one right now.. Well he's one of my best friends. Every time we all go out, he makes it spectacular.

He makes everything simple, and seem so easy, and I want him. He's an extraordinary person and open to learning and accepting my crazy adoptive problems.

But I still have to say no. My plan and possible life in Korea isn't far along enough for me to want to be in a relationship. Maybe in a couple months, maybe in 2 years, but not right now. He is such a fanatic bright light, I'd never want to take some of that away from him. I fear burning anyone out with my crazy adoptee issues.

This is what it's like to date me an adoptee. It's a pretty wild ride, but if you get in too deep.. I'll run and kick you out if my life.

Let Me Explain My Adoptive Parents.

Hello Readers. I haven't posted for a while, but boy are you in for a treat! My instructor canceled our appointment, and now have all morning free! Since I have no homework, It shall be all blog time! And I have lots of blogs that only need to be edited and posted! *Also warning this post is insanely long. Grab a drink, a snack, and make sure to take a bathroom break ^_-

I always try to find new ways to find new ways of explaining the incredibly traumatic psychological abuse many adoptees receive from their adoptive parents. For me I was constantly told how much my adoptive parents didn't like Korean anything. They hate the food, they find no interest in the culture, and have random very expensive Chinese decor in the house. They raised me to be white; to be their American Girl doll. Unfortunately for them my butt still has a couple greenish spots that say, "Made In Korea". *Also many Asians have those funny colored spots where the yellow pigment in our skin has misdeveloped. They're nicknamed Mongolian Spots.

Anyways this crazy, super intense fight broke out in the kitchen a few weeks ago and I think it's a really good example of the kind of psychological abuse my parents gear towards now that I'm older. Keeping in mind of course like most adoptive parents, they don't mean to psychologically abuse their children. But also like many adoptive parents no matter how many times they're told their words and actions make their kids feel hurt, want to self harm, or even kill themselves they can't stop.

So my whole life I've had these little weird bonds with my adoptive dad. Because of him I put mayo on one slice of bread for my sandwich and butter on the other. Because of him I eat and love lutefisk. Because of him I love super corny dorky jokes or maybe that's the Korean love of corny humor? But by no means are we close, we've never been close. I've spent my whole life literally tip toeing around the house and avoiding him 24/7. At some point in elementary school I didn't have to try so hard, because I realized he was doing it too. I've spent my whole life trying to at least get him to like me.. I think that's why I picked up on those little bonds as habits.

A few weeks ago in the middle of my adoptive parents eating dinner and me making my own my mom started her usual psychotic screaming. She was reading my paycheck and freaking out about the taxes blah blah. I told her I never read that amount please don't tell me. She freaks out more, screaming. I told her I never look and never want know because if it means helping my fellow human being regardless of what services and do and do not use, I want to help. She keeps freaking out, my adoptive dad booms in and screams at me to, "Stop your bitching!" Yup.

Yeah let me back up for you and explain that again. My adoptive mom is literally screaming at me for not caring about how much the government takes out of my pay check and how Obama is turning us into socialists, I ask her to not tell me and to respect my beliefs, and my adoptive dad tells me to stop MY bitching. The man has said hardly a paragraph to me in 21 years, but finds that ok to say. He goes on and tells me how selfish I am. One time he told me I was the most selfish bitch he knew; I was 15. A guy of very few words, but he knows how to really make them count.

I decided to get some balls and tell my adoptive dad about the new laws in Korea making searching almost impossible. I guess I was hoping if he heard something from me for a change and not through my adoptive mom he'd finally get it. I tried to explain the importance in searching and all the possible outcomes. That most likely my mother is a rape victim and probably won't want anything to do with me, but I won't know the truth until I try. He didn't look at me the whole time. He just gets angry like why would I waste his time with that. He told me that they aren't real problems, that all he has is his sister now and he never complains. Basically that what I constantly want to kill myself over is bullshit and selfish. He goes on to say I have nothing to feel upset about and to get over myself.

Lately I've been taking on a lot more responsibility. Focusing on going back to school this spring, starting a new job that pays immensely well.. So I took right then to show him how serious I am about this. I admitted that I felt like they were shafted in adopting me. That I know they didn't get what they wanted, like what they got from my "white" adoptive sister. That despite my intellect I'm an academic mess, a failure even, and that it makes me a huge financial pile for them. I admit it.

I thought I was showing a lot of responsibility, and being an adult, and everything I thought my adoptive dad wanted from me.. By telling them I wasn't going to go home this summer. I thought about it a lot and that it's something I should pay for. I told them most adoptees have to wait until their 30s and 40s to go; That I should be able to wait to. In fact I think me going at such a young age seems so unfair to those much older than me who haven't been able to go back yet.

I told my adoptive parents that I should be the one paying for it, especially since my adoptive dad doesn't support any of this. The whole time he couldn't even look at me once. I thought I was being everything he wanted out of a daughter, I was trying so hard to sacrifice for them and make up for my mistakes and stop being such a disappointment to him. I just really want him to like me. So badly.

"I'm trying really hard to demonstrate everything you've always asked of me. I just want you to at least like me for once! You'll probably never love me, but I at least need you to like me!" He never answered, he never looked up, then my adoptive mom answered for him, "Well I don't know why you think we don't love you." And that's just it, it's right there in her "answer"! They NEVER say it, my adoptive mom just says she doesn't know why I feel that way. Well I don't know, maybe because that's you're fucking answer!

I offered to give up Korea this summer, and wait to pay my own way, to show my adoptive dad how badly I'm trying to gain his respect. That I can never be white for him like my adoptive sister is, but I can still be a good responsible person. And nothing. My adoptive mom said no, that they're budgeting for Korea, and that's final. She said they were both on board for me going. That they were told me and my sister might want to go back. She went on to say how rare the case was supposed to be though..

I told them I felt like shit that I was the messed up one of their 2 daughters that needed to go back. My adoptive dad said they were paying for Korea, to keep my job part time, and to stay in school, and that's final. He just got up and left..

Sometimes my adoptive mom talks as if she really cares. Maybe she does, but it's hard to show you care about something you don't want to understand. She said she can barely get my adoptive dad to talk about what movie to rent let alone his feelings on me going to Korea. But the look on his face whenever anything Asian even stupid ramyun noodles is mentions.. His face.. It would be better if he stabbed me in the gut, the look on his face completely destroys me. The way my adoptive mom tried to sweep around them not loving me and them both thinking they got shafted in adopting the fucked up kid, that kills too.

To them this isn't real, and if they keep ignoring it and buying me things it will all stay just a dream. Sometimes I can't believe I'm the only person in the family who admits our reality is real. Sometimes they play their cards of believing none of this is real so well that I just need to scream on Facebook about what a fucking psychopath my adoptive mom is. It helps to just let it out in a public service announcement. I don't care if it's disrespectful, it helps give me that pinch to know I'm awake, that my feelings are real, that all of this is real.. It amazes me this isn't just a nightmare.. It amazes me that my body isn't in a coma in some hospital. I desperately wish it was though, so I could wake up and find a real loving family around me.

That is the best example I can give on what it's like when your adoptive parents are psychologically abusive. Whether they mean to be or not it means things will always be boiling over. Changing the social structure of an individual family is hard and takes a lot of time. I've posted in past blogs all the things I do to try and bring about change, but with very little success.

I always say, I will not shut up about this subject to my adoptive parents or to anyone. Our stories and feelings need to be heard. We are the transracial adoptees, we were the ones taken from our birth countries, and washed in whatever paint our adoptive countries had. They promised us a better life. But the truth it many of us didn't get one. We got things and money instead a family that loved and supported us, instead of a family that respected our birth cultures.