My Half-Assed Search
Remember, according to my adoption papers I was abandoned. My expectations, for this search, were extremely low. The research I had done about Korean adoptions told me that it would be nearly impossible to find my birth parents. Especially mine, where there was little information to go on in my paperwork.
Many children were adopted out of South Korea from the ’50s through the ’90s. During the time of my birth, it was likely that I would have been born to an unwed mother. A single mother, in Korea, would have been a heavy social stigma to deal with. This, to me, seemed like the most reasonable scenario. Therefore, I didn’t expect to come up with anything… But… I’ll go through the motions just to see… and say I did it.
In 2009, I sent an email to the Eastern Social Welfare Society in Korea. I asked if I could find my birth parents, how hard it was, and how much it would cost. That email was forwarded to Korean Social Services where Ms. Choon He Kim responded to me.
Ms. Kim asked for an official request letter along with my contact information, parents names, case number, Korean name and signature. I’m thinking… man… I gotta write an official looking letter? I don’t even remember how to write letters. The printer’s not hooked up. Then I gotta sign it and mail it. I don’t have stamps… I don’t even know how much they cost anymore and this letter is going to Korea. I hate going to the post office. Then I’ll have to talk to someone because this is a complicated piece of mail heading to a foreign county. I know… Maybe I can email it! I sent Ms. Kim another email asking if I can send it as an email. She said I could, as an attachment, because they needed my signature. …Crap! Now this involves scanning! The scanner’s not even hooked up! I could take a picture, but then I have to make sure the light’s right and then I’ll have to dump it from the card and go into Photoshop… then export a pd… Ah, Forget it! I’ll do it later! They probably won’t come up with anything anyway. I was abandoned with little information!
Seasons change…. many times…
November 13, 2013. The scanner is now hooked up. I send my required letter with my signature attached as a PDF. I get a reply back. They can’t accept my letter. The privacy laws have changed. I have to fill out two forms and send a copy of my US passport. What the frick…. new paperwork! …and I have no idea where my passport is since my wife and I moved into our new home. I tell them, “I don’t have current access to my passport”. They tell me “a driver’s license would be accepted”. Okay. This time I do it. I do everything they ask of me. November 18, 2013… everything is submitted and accepted!
Ms. Kim tells me they have a little information about my placement. They tell me they will search for my birth family and to be patient. It usually takes 6 months to 1 year to get information. They have a long waiting list of requests.
Okay. One year. Next November. Not a problem.
This is a beautiful story Scott. As the parent of an adopted son, I know the unanswered questions can be overwhelming at times. What a joy for your parents and your birth family to know you have some of those answers now.
Just finished reading your entire story. It made for interesting reading indeed! I’m so happy for you to find your birth family! It’s amazing how much you and your twin brother resemble each other. I look forward to reading the updates.
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I’m so happy for you and proud of you sharing. I am also more than proud of the man you have become and are still growing to be. You have come a long way and your talent speaks volumes. Now your voice is finally speaking even louder. I can’t wait to read more.
I remember Charlie showing me the baby picture of you. It was sent to them from Korea. You hadn’t attuned here yet. It was during a “Kelly reunion” you were very cute and he was soooo proud!
Unbelievable! Like right out of a story book. Can’t wait to read the next chapter. We’re so happy and excited for you!
I’m working on it… thanks!