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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Motherly Rejection

I have been rejected twice in my short life, it all begun when I was born or even before my actual birth. My maternal grandmother rejected me decided that I was not know my blood relatives. She thought that six young daughters was enough, a married woman with no son was worth next to nothing. The husband had reason to divorce his wife should she fail to give birth to a son. It was told to me years later that since my birthmother was dying they all feared she would not survive.

Karen Grassle aka Mrs Ingalls and daughters in Little House on the Prarie 

At the time of my birth social workers and adoption agencies fully covered the birth mother's medical bill for her treatment and it is a fact that my birth parents were empoverished when I was born so I suspect they needed the money more than another mouth to feed. Easy solution I get a better life and my birth mother gets treatment and can focus on the daughters' that she has.

They say Korea is hierarchial society and that may be true, but a woman who has given birth to eight children is the matriarch in her family. I learned this just recently after my second trip back, my mother has advised everyone to give me a cold shoulder, I longed for her love and confrimation yet now when we have met she is choosing to dishonor me. Perhaps I was not what she imagined, maybe she believed I was more like her and less Western. Fact is that I was raised in a Western country and people generally believe Europe and Scandinavia is an affluent part of the world, and supposedly it did not help that my birthfamily already was familiar with the Western world since one of their daugthers married a European, settled in Europe and raised a family.

Eleanor Parker as Baroness von Schraeder in Sound of Music 
Unconciously, I believe that they assumed I was the female equivalent of my older brother-in-law, it is true that I may have had something similar to material wealth but my APs were never rich. Yes, it does cost a lot of many to adopt and my parents did it twice. But my APs belong to the middle class not even upper middle class. Both mum and dad have since long retired and me and my (adoptive) brother still struggle with trying to finish our upper studies.

My birth father was a warm, generous, caring but timid man. It hurts me to think that my father might suffer and secretly still want to maintain in contact. All of because of my birth mother and his wife, we cannot.I realize now that I have always missed the unconditional love from my first father, and even though my birth mother made sure that her opinion was the final one.  She has deprived me of my birth father, intially when I first initated the birth family search all I could think of was my birth mother. Since I failed to keep my end of the bargain I'm of no use to her.

I know I am fortunate for being able to locate and meet my supposed birth parents. I located my birth parents in 2004, eventually I reunited with them in 2010. Meet them again in 2011 and by 2012 the Special Adoption law was ratified to protect birth parents identites from being given to adoptees. Instead it seems like some adoptees are able to be reunite with their birth families much thanks to DNA.

When I located my supposed birth parents the scientific research was not developed for that purpose yet. Unless I have scientific proof for something I tend to disbelief it. Mom especially wants me to stop second guessing that my birth parents aren't actually my burth parents. The reason for that is that my birth involves exraordinary circumstances just as my birth mother's health has similiar extraprdinary circumstances.

Fortunately, science is availble for adoptees and birth families. However it is only recently available so the highest likelihood of getting a DNA match is if you have a birth parent with another ethnicity. Koreans rarely relies in DNA, secondly adoption is still considered a huge stigma. Statistically perhaps only a couple thousand adoptees will find blood relative from DNA.

The truth is this, I blame my adoptive mother for my adoption separation. I would have been content and happy living with my peasant birth family even if they were- and still is poor. Why do I blame my adoptive mother then? The reason why my APs decided to pursue adoption is because my A mom was infertile. My A mom reminds me of the mother that I lost and never got a chance to know as a child. My A dad would have been able to father his own natural children if it had not been for my A mom. Perhaps my dad actually has older biological children out there...

That's at least technically possible.

I really wish my AP's wouldn't feel like their decision to adopt me through intercountry adoption as an infant was justified. They still consider that they saved me from a difficult life in poverty without any chance of a proper education or a decent life,

Even though I most likely would have been poor, I would still have my birthparents and older siblings in my life. That's not insignificant and the importance of blood or biological ties should not be underestimated. I was legally removed from my birthparents and instead placed with strangers.