Being adopted – goin’ back to “my” roots

In a very random series of events, I’ve recently taken interest in something I’ve not really ever been interested in before…being adopted.  Part of this newfound interest has manifested in me becoming a member of the Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington organization…or in shorthand AAAW (“Triple A W”).  It’s essentially a community of fellow Asian-Americans who also happen to be adopted.  With 318 members on their Facebook page – that’s a lot of other people like me out there! 

AAAWMonthly AAAW dinner – this was my (and Micah’s) first one

While my membership tenure is short, and I’ve only just attended a monthly dinner, and then a few days later, a Holiday gathering – those two events alone have had a profound effect on me.  Until my experience living in Korea, I never really talked about being adopted, nor did I have anyone to talk to who had a similar experience (well, other than my sister…duh).  But since my time in Korea – I’ve met a number of people like me – Asian and adopted…and in particular, Korean and adopted.  And so begins the series of random events.
It would be way too hard and complicated to list it out, but just know that it involves a coincidental meeting in Korea (while I was presenting at a random teaching workshop) of an Asian adoptee from Seattle, a friend of a friend who told me about an exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum on the Asian Adoptee experience, a job interview, a comment from someone who read my blog – and lots of “it’s such a small world” references in between.
I’ll write more about it later – as I don’t have a lot to write yet.  But I think for me, it’s important to simply acknowledge that I have taken an interest in better understanding adoption and how it impacts not only my childhood but my adult life as well.  Being adopted is something I’ve always told people about and never felt the need to hide, but adoption’s impact on your life can go well beyond simply acknowledging that you are adopted.  I’m starting to understand – by talking to other people who understand it – just how much it has influenced my life: who I am, how I think, the future I want, etc.  Simply stated (but not easily said), I have issues that stem from being adopted.

And I want to be careful to point out that what I’m writing is a reflection of my thoughts and feelings.  Not every adoptee out there is going to have mixed feelings about their life, upbringing, family, relationships, etc.  But what I’m learning is that a lot of us do.
Just as I am a member of a book club – where we socialize and have a shared interest in reading, AAAW is similar in idea – with the exception that it’s a group of people I really never knew existed and probably would have rejected even just a few years ago.  Being able to talk to others who truly and genuinely can relate to my experience and have interest in my story (and vice-versa) – that’s what we all strive for in our friendships, memberships, affiliations, employment, etc.  So I find it really awesome that I’ve (through my random series of events) stumbled upon people who are not only cool, friendly, smart, etc. – but struggle (or have struggled) with similar issues of identity, belonging, curiosity, etc.  As cheesy as it sounds ala Michael Jackson (RIP!!!), “You are not alone.”

3 Responses to “Being adopted – goin’ back to “my” roots”

  1. 1 Katie Fingeroot December 13, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Do I spy Beth in that picture? 🙂

  2. 2 Mark Z. December 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Hey, you’re with AAAW? Wish I could’ve made it out for your mini-gathering this fall! Word on the street is we’re hosting one in Boston in 2014…maybe see you out here? 🙂

    Definitely agree with your post, it’s great to hang out with people who really relate to adoption experiences; it’s definitely helped me to reflect on my experiences, too. 🙂

  3. 3 Don Gordon Bell December 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    We who were adopted welcome you to the blogosphere of adoptees. You will find many voices out there, some will be very negative, others very positive about issues. What ALL of us have experienced, whether adopted within culture, race, or even family- is a separation from family. THOUGH the affect on our lives may/will probably vary, even with another sibling (like my sister and I) who was adopted.

    I did not think too much of my own adoption, even though I had lived in Korea as an English teacher until I met Global Overseas Adoptee’s Link founder Amie Nafzger back in 1997. I was one of the ‘original’ 12 members and began my own ‘journey’ learning about This Thing of Ours-Adoption. I look forward to hearing your own voice, as you blog about your experiences and feelings. Others will learn from you and most will identify with the range of emotions, thoughts, struggles with ‘loyalty issues between 2 families’, etc.

    Blog on, sister, Thank you for taking the time to document your journey.

    The Korean War Baby

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