my birth place

Gaebong area

Gaebong area

me and Didi

me and Didi

The kindest most helpful man at the Citizen Center

The kindest most helpful man at the Citizen Center

It wasn’t until I came to Seoul that I realized how much it matters to me that I know my full story. The more I dove into trying to find people or circumstances from my past, pre-adoption, the more I realized that most people know where they came from and that I did not. It’s weird to think that I have no idea who my birth parents are, what their life was like, how I got saved by Dr. Cha or what I was like as a newborn. I don’t even know where I was actually born. My adoption files say that I was born at Cha Maternity Hospital in an area called, Gaebong, in Seoul Korea, but I’ve been searching and this hospital does not exist, anywhere. My new friend Didi, with a nonprofit called GOAL (Global Overseas Adoptees Link), volunteered to help me and she’s so smart she should be a detective! We spent an entire day literally on a wild goose chase as we visited governmental offices, looked through records, searched on foot for the addresses that could possibly have been my birth place in search of a Dr. Cha and/or Cha Maternity Hospital from the 1970’s and NOTHING.

What I’ve learned from hearing other adoptee’s stories is that their paperwork is oftentimes different from the real circumstances. Sometimes so much that as they unravel their story, not one statement documented about their past is true. I’ve also learned that in circumstances when the social worker has the opportunity to talk to the mom, many moms cover up the truth about why they are leaving their babies because it’s their only way of saving face so they will make up a story that feels easier to swallow. In circumstances where the baby is literally left with no trace so a conversation cannot be had with the mom, oftentimes social services will document what they think is the truth because they have nothing else to go by.

With all of this said, I am not giving up but I am letting go. I will continue to visualize finding my birth mom and Dr. Cha and anyone else but I am loosening my controlled grip and man does that feel good. I knew from the beginning that I just had to try. I had to put my heart into this and give my all and now the true practice is staying in that space but be willing to let go at the exact same time.

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