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GOA’L

22 Feb

I insisted to my parents that we should go to GOA’L. This is an organization that helps adoptees. I wanted to get them a translator so when we met Appa, they could understand what he was saying. I thought this would help. And since the translation was free, I thought this would be a good idea.

What I didn’t realize was that my mom was getting more and more wound up. After asking my brother to meet Appa, and after I had started to act more and more Korean with a lot of effort, exchanging cultural notes. She became a lot stiffer. And since she became a lot stiffer, my Dad had a compulsion to protect her from everything, including me and my brother, even if it meant alienation.

So when I asked them to come to GOA’L with me to pick up a translator, I think this broke my Mom. My mom who really didn’t want to face the fact that her children had to be shared with someone she had never met. She had to meet other adoptees like me and confront the fact that she took children from another person. GOA’L seemed to represent that for her–all the issues that she never faced in the adoption were sitting right in front of her.

The nearer we got to GOA’L and the more I was happy to finally find the place from the subway station, the more my mom stiffened. She seemed to hate this country that was stealing her children, only her children one by one. What if on this trip, I decided to stay? I could feel that come from her. A desperation and an anger that we were leaving her, despite the fact we’d been adults and found a place in the world, she could not deal with it.

So by the time we got to GOA’L, she was so stiff in the chair and her back so straight that it was visible that she really didn’t want to be there. As the person there talked to us, (I know his name, but I’m trying to be fair), and talked more about adoption, the loss, gave us maps, the more I could see that she was breaking. And he talked about how I’d talked to him before and I could feel a wave rising within her. She was about to break. I tried to signal him that it was not the best thing to talk right now about adoption issues.

I calmly called my brother and got him the information and got them the translator after coordinating with my mom. I knew at this point that it was going to blow up, deep inside of me, but at the same time, I wanted to believe that even for a second they could handle this–they could handle facing my adoption, the country that they adopted from and one of the languages of my heart. I wanted to believe it so hard and tried so hard to believe it hat I was willing to delude myself that it wasn’t going to blow up.

I could feel my mom saying that I couldn’t leave today. The same air of control I felt from my last boyfriend sprung up and I knew it wasn’t going to be alright.

 

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