Monday, 13 April 2015

K is for Korea — a letter from an adoptive mum





During April, I’m taking part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge (along with 1700 plus others that you can check out here). And I decided that my theme would be letters of various types—inspired by the letters of the alphabet. So we’re almost halfway through… but so far, typically, only one post has been a topic from the advance plan I made.
Today was meant to be King… but Korea (South) looms just too importantly for me to overlook her…

Oh magical bewildering Korea,

Finding a way to define my relationship with my own country is perplexing and complicated; often my views and words become tangled. Attempting to explain how I feel about you is even more troublesome. Please forgive me if I stumble a little.

Australia runs through my veins. The harshness of our light, the grey that tints our foliage, the impossibly awkward twang of our vowels and the blunt humour we embrace: they combine for me as a rich understanding of identity.  Five generations of my family have been born within Australia’s brief white timeline. I know her stories, her history, her art, her people. We are intimates. I can disparage and joke about her as mates do and she is not offended.   

Korea, you are something altogether different. You confuse me. You are both a venerated elder and a techno-crazy teen. You are at the same time intensely private and wildly extroverted. You are the Land of the Morning Calm and the dance party that lasts all night. 
But Korea, to me you are yet much more. You have entrusted me with two of your children. You allow me the immeasurable privilege of being their mother. As I took them away to grow up as Australians, you watched serenely, even though centuries of ancestors link their souls to yours.

Once, as I sat nervously strapped into an airline seat, my nose buried in the warmth of my baby son’s black hair, I watched the mountains of Seoul rush away beneath us and I made you a promise. I will always cherish you; just as I treasure the gifts you have given me. I do not speak in your tongue. I know little of your story, but I am joined at the heart to your people, so you are forever my other homeland.

Always yours,    
Wendy
          
All photos are mine... the babies above were all awaiting adoption last time we visited.

 

Song of the Day: something to lighten the mood, a bit of K-pop craziness with the very latest from Girls Generation: Catch Me If You Can (2015)


 

Question of the Day: What is your relationship with place?


18 comments:

  1. so beautifully written....needed to find some Kleenex at the end....something in my eyes....

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    1. I thought after the pic of those babes three in a cot, the happy song was needed.
      xx

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    2. See the little padded mats the babies have under their heads? Lauren and I are making a pile of those to take with us when we go to visit in June.

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful words, Wendy. xox

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    1. ...and YOU know about that precious cargo...
      xxx

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  3. Ok. Caught my breath and K-popped.Connection with place. At "The Temple on the Hill", as Milo calls it: atop the Acropolis in Athens. That's the place where I had the most profound and yes you could call it spiritually connected experience. Surrounded by tourists, with the sun blazing, I suddenly had a sense of knowing life beyond life. And the greatest and most compelling sense of peace. I have never felt connected to anything anywhere before. Not to Australia. Not to Greece. So the ripples of that day stay with me...

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    1. ...thanks for c=sharing that gorgeous story, Soph...
      I'm sure the generations of your ancestors were there, reaching into your soul...
      xxx

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  4. Exquisite. Painful. Beautifully written. Please send hankies ...

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    1. that's what happens when I bleed on the keyboard...

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  5. Beautiful Wendy...Those gorgeous babies....How lovely that you are going back in June with some mats for the babies.

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    1. It will be lovely, Judy. Lauren has asked to go back for a visit. She wants to deliver a letter and a photo to her file and have a social worker read to her all that is known about the conditions of her birth and her birthmother. She may change her mind when we get there, but there's only one way to know. Just the two of us are going, so it will be special. we get to help look after the newborns. and last time the nurses named one of the relinquished infants with Lauren's own Korean name ( both my kids also answer to their Korean names)

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  6. I admire you greatly for caring. What a wonderful person you are. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself. I feel if we weren't separated by thousands of miles we would be IRL friends. Mwah! :-*

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    1. ...nothing wonderful about me, Tracy... just another flawed human being... I was never able to give birth but i was lucky enough to marry a man who came with a toddler... ten years later, we adopted our two Korean kids. I wasn't trying to save the world. I just wanted a bigger family... so it was pretty selfish, really.
      But thank you for your kind words and I am glad to have found you as a blogging buddy.

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  7. Awww. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. Oh I can bore anyone pants-less talking about my kids...

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