Happy Kinda Sorta Birthday to Me

March 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

Today is gonna be my new birthday. My real birthday falls near the start of the holidays which makes it really tough to get friends together to hang out, especially when so many of them live out of town or have families of their own now. Everyone is either traveling or getting ready for people who are traveling to see them. Some of my friends were joking that I should move my day to maybe halfway or something. I wasn’t sure what date I would pick and then I remembered that 3/29 is the day I arrived here in America. I call it my Adoption Day ’cause it’s a lot shorter than saying ‘happy day that I came to this country’. I guess I could call it Arrival Day, but that seems just kind of, well, boring.

I was born in Korea and adopted by two awesome parents that gave me a German last name. A favorite story of mine is when I went to college. They sent out the ‘get to know your roommates’ letter with all our names on it. I was in a room with 3 other girls and they all had definitely Asian last names and then there was mine. One of them (who I am still good friends with) found out that my name was German and was worried that I would feel left out as this blonde haired, blue eyed Caucasian chick among all these Asian girls. Well, imagine their surprise when I showed up and was just as Asian as the rest of them. I was the last one to arrive and I remember poking my head in the door with a box in my hands and the looks on their faces was pretty funny when they realized I was their roommate. Ah yes, fun times.

In all seriousness though, I feel truly blessed to have been chosen by my parents. Sometimes people ask me how I feel about adoption, about losing my culture. I do not feel that way at all. Mom and dad have always educated me (and the whole family for that matter) about my Korean heritage. I was even taking Korean language lessons at one point as a child, but then the one lady who taught it moved and believe me, where I was growing up it wasn’t like you could just go next door and continue lessons with the next person. Mom often did summer school classes to elementary school kids and had a section on Korean life. My sister eventually went over to teach in Korea for a year and it was during that year that four out of five of my family members were able to all travel there and stay in Seoul for a week. It was such a cool experience to be in my birth country with my family. Mom and dad also told me my Korean name once, but I can’t remember it right now (I’m doing well to set my alarm correctly for work these days, eek). So other than my short term memory loss due to cramming my schedule as full as I can, I really don’t feel like I have ‘lost my culture’ at all.

I have some friends who have adopted or are thinking of doing so, and I get kind of emotional thinking about it. I think it is such a wonderful thing to bring in a child to your home and give them a family that they otherwise may not have had. I know that I would seriously consider adopting a child myself once I am married. There are so many children out there who need loving, stable homes.

If you are interested in adoption for your family, here is a link to Holt International, the agency that my parents went through for both me and my brother (who is also adopted from Korea).

P.S. Before we all break out the kimchi and celebrate, apparently I still fail at picking birthday celebration dates. My plans were foiled (a friend and I were going to go out for burgers) when I realized that I had a staff development class for the same day and our lunches wouldn’t coincide. Maybe next year I’ll pick my citizenship day?? The day that my parents found out I was going to be their daughter??? The first day I started walking??? Um….running out of options here….

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Yay for a TBA! Kumiho

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