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I Was Adopted From Korea — Here’s What It Was Like | Op-Docs



#who was adopted from korea #op docs #international adoption #how did international adoption begin? #News & Politics
What does it mean to adopted and brought up far away from your country of birth? In “Given Away,” this week’s moving new Op-Doc by directors Glenn and Julie Morey, Korean adoptees who grew up in Western countries reflect on the complicated emotional terrain that they’ve navigated in their lives..
Glenn Morey was himself adopted from Korea in the wake of the Korean war, and the directors have channeled that connection to create a beautifully nuanced and emotional film. As the Moreys write of Glenn’s experience interviewing adoptees, “He has needed others like him … to help him make sense of his life. They have also helped him make peace with the universe.”.
Read more: https://nyti.ms/2LC5Nw0
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Op-Docs is the New York Times’ award-winning series of short documentaries by independent filmmakers. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (NYTopinion).

#what is it like to be adopted from korea? #what is it like to be adopted from another country #adoption #what does it feel like to be adopted? #why are so many people adopted from korea? #korea #korean adoption

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It’s nice to hear other adoptees’ stories. I was found by a sanitation guy in a commercial trash can somewhere in Busan. I just took that as a sign of “please don’t come looking for me in the future.” I was adopted by an American couple but they gave me up when I was 4 because I was apparently too hard to take care of. Then after 2 years of foster care, I was finally adopted by an older single woman who had a successful career as a patent lawyer. And she loved me until the day she died. She’s the only mom I knew and still upset that she passed away at the early age of 71. I remember her taking me to my first day of private school and the concept was so foreign to me, I thought she was attempting to get rid of me like everyone else. I cried and said something like, “don’t throw me away.” And I’ll never forget her breaking down crying, turning me around, taking off work that day, and taking me to FAO Schwartz. I think from that day on, she didn’t miss a day of reminding me that I was her son forever. There truly are good people in this world and some of us adoptees get really lucky.

by Rudy Whitaker 1 year ago

How thoughtful of NYT to have added the Korean subtitles and tried to share this with Koreans who don’t speak English. I believe that this is pain we should all bear together. I’m a young Korean. My generation hasn’t experienced any of the hardship that Korea went through. However, there is this huge guilt... as an individual and as a part of this country for the pain the adoptees have gone through their whole life. This country is built on so many sacrifices and sad history. I know it’s not the adoptees’ intention to make the rest of us feel guilty. However, I wish Korea was strong enough to protect and support your families in Korea and provide safety net so that you wouldn’t have gone through such sadness. I’m sorry. We are sorry. I know this might be meaningless for me to say this but you are such strong, wonderful, beautiful human beings... I truly admire your courage to have survived and now share such deep rooted pain with the World. You are part of our history. You are part of all Koreans. We wish to somehow share your pain so that it can be lighter. I only hope one day the wounds in your hearts get healed completely, no matter how long it takes... Thank you for sharing this with us.

by sea change 1 year ago

The daughter of the G.I. speaks with a beautiful balance of grace and pain.

by Katherine C. 1 year ago

Today is the the 31st anniversary of my "plane day" I arrived from korea to the U.S. kind of serendipitous I would find this video today.

by Chris Smith 1 year ago

The older woman is so elegant and beautiful

by Ida Sesay 1 year ago

I didn't even realize that a lot of Korean adoptees actually have memories from the time before they were adopted. I used to assume that they must all had been too young to remember. I'd imagine these memories might have made it even more confusing for them, the whole fact that they remember about having family members give them away.

by Lala 1 year ago

As a Korean adoptee growing up in Wisconsin, I agree that the pain I have felt, the lack of identify; it's very all real. But I never can truly understand the feelings that my birthparents had in the moment or the feelings they have had to live with. But I do know the feelings of joy my adoptive parents had the moment I came and still have.

by Andrew Wachs 1 year ago

As a Korean this kills me to see this. It breaks my heart. Watching this made me just feel so emotional. It made me think of my cousins who were born to American Military men and those men stood by with my aunts to raise a family. I think about how lucky they are that my uncles stayed and did not abandon my aunts and my cousins. I truly feel for any adoptee. And I want any adoptee to know that you are loved.

by Brad Choe 1 year ago

I couldn’t hold back my tears when the man said his biological siblings told him their dad would say his and his brother’s names when he would get drunk. 💔💔💔 I’m happy he said he was ultimately grateful for the his father’s sacrifice.

by Jenna Sickels 10 months ago

"It was basically to purge the country of its human refuse" .. the way she speaks so stoically breaks my heart

by Donna Lee 1 year ago

wow, the last gentlemans story about his father getting drunk & calling out their names is haunting

by Chicanapunx LA 1 year ago

The older woman is so beautiful, and graceful. I wonder if she has done any ancestry test to find any relatives in the U.S.

by Benita 1 year ago

It’s hard not to cry with the interviewees, even though I’m neither Korean nor an adoptee.

by Elle W 1 year ago

Wow. So hard to watch when the woman tells the story of how she was left on the doorstep and her interpretation of that now as an adult. Heartbreaking.

by At Home in My Head 1 year ago

My boyfriend is also a Korean adoptee and after many years of encouraging him, he finally agreed to visit his motherland last year. We had such a beautiful time. He’s always had a negative feeling towards his adoption story but when we visited the city he was born in, he received some bit of peace. If you are adopted and you don’t intend to look for your biological family, I would still encourage you to visit the country/city of your birth.

by The Thrifty Hobbit 1 year ago

Adopted from Korea in 1988 during the Olympics. I was 3 months so I didn’t remember anything, but it definitely still had its hardships. Being an adoptee wasn’t really a thing so it was unusual to see a white family with an Asian kid. It was hard identity wise though, because I never felt like I fit in with white kids or Asian kids. My parents also never gave me a conversation about racism because they are white. So that’s something I had to deal with in my own way. I’ve never felt very Korean other than my looks, but I always felt that was due to my parents doing a great job on never making me feel different from them. For me I identify more as French Italian than anything. Being adopted in a weird way was like going through the stages of grieving. It’s hard and it will always be a piece of me, but it’s made me a stronger person.

by Jgallub 1 year ago

I'm a korean adoptee from MN and would like to thank NYTimes for producing something like this. Storytelling is a big buzz right now, but this shows a lot of uniqueness in each of the adoptee's testimonies. Not every adoptee feels so strongly about their narrative, some do. Not every adoptee was abandoned. Not every adoptee wishes to return or search for their birth family. Not every adoptee faces racism, prejudice, or feels misplaced, alienated, and isolated.

Grief is something that everyone interacts with - whether they go through it head first or choose to completely avoid it.


I just want to put out that your narrative is something that you and only you can decide to uncover. It's not your family's obligation, your communities, friends, or whomever's. They can certainly encourage, support, and are a part of it, but in the end, it's your narrative and you pursue it. Wherever someone is at in their journey, I hope he/she has support around them that also recognizes that.

by Karl Johnson 1 year ago

I am trying so hard to hold back tears - the sense of grief is overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your stories.

by Caleb Pan 1 year ago

I was barely breathing through a lot of this. I didn’t realize that there were so many adopted people like these folks in the U.S., and definitely had no idea how hard it is for them. Beautiful people, showing such courage and honesty. I was glad it ended on something like a positive note. Wow.

by Patty J. Ayers 1 year ago

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