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This is a Memoir…

18 Dec

Before you start reading this, this is a memoir. It is not a blog. It is not talking about current events, nor are the dates attached real dates of these happenings. It is put in roughly sequential order. It is not fully edited, however, it is the best I could do for the time I was given at the time I did write this.

It will be updated, restructured, rewritten as I see fit.

This is not a preaching tool, but something that I hope will help those inside and outside of the triad with the aspects they connect with.

I have tried my very best to include fairly the immature and mature behavior of myself and others. It is not a statement of perfection or absolute imperfection. It is a life of one adoptee, but not representative of all adoptees ever. Please take this memoir with that good faith.

 
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Learning Disability

02 Feb

My mom was convinced that because I was Korean I had to have a learning disability. In fact, the school was quite convinced of this too on several occasions. Because the first language I learned was not English, then I must be deficient more than other children in English.

Because they were convinced based on this profiling, my mom and the school both tried to place me in a remedial class. The thing was that I was faster than the other kids at English than they were. Despite this, my mom would not be convinced, and I went for another round. But since I was faster than the other kids she gave up at some point at “trying” to correct my English. She was always grim when I sounded out a word wrong, something that looked to me like, “If you fail at this, you are going to fail for the rest of your life.” Because the words out of her mouth was, ‘Sounding out words [in English] is a life skill.” Anyone with any fluency in English knows how ridiculous saying, “you have to sound it out” is, and even more ridiculous to a person whose first language is not English.

She was convinced from the time we first arrived to the time we were in High School that our English was deficient. To some point I believed her, especially when she got that grim look on her face and her lips would become thin as she frowned.

I learned later that this was a projection of her insecurities about herself, and not abotu me. Because her mother had made her learn handwriting and put on braces, and taken manners classes, she projected the same behavior on us. She would complain about her mother as we went through these things, often making her complaining seem irrelevant.

She still jumps on us for bad English. To this point, my English grammar is better than most Americans and I don’t like chatspeak. I don’t think it did harm so much as it’s the conviction behind it that bothers me. It’s like she said later, “Because you are Asian you can learn Asian languages faster.”

Maybe she also thought the reverse. I know she knows better and doesn’t really understand the words that come out of her mouth, but it still hurts and perhaps if I had looked and seen better, the divide between us would have been better. But then, racism wasn’t really taught between anything other than black and white, so I didn’t have the tools then that I have now. It’s hard to get along with someone when you feel racism coming from them to you.

 
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“Marriage” Counselor

05 Feb

My Mom was worried that my dad being away would effect the family. So she had her marriage counselor see the entire family. She forced my brother and me to go. She had always complained about people in the psychology business.

I really didn’t like that guy. He was fake. He just smiled and didn’t deal with the issues I raised. I was the one that talked while my Mom smiled and defended, my brother retracted and My dad had that, I am not going to cross my wife look in his eyes.

I later learned that my Mom approved of him because he smoked pot. After two sessions he declared the family “Healthy” and that everything was “alright.” But this was not true. Because I said as such.

That’s not therapy.

 
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“Angry Adoptee”

19 Feb

Do you know what they called a Black Man that spoke out against the white masters? An”Angry Black Man” this served to function to other the person so they were not human but “other.”

What was Malcolm X? An Angry Black Man.
What was Rosa Parks? An Angry Black Woman.
What was Martin Luther King? An Angry Black Man.

Who was the “good” black man? The one that shut up and took the oppression and let himself seem dumb to his masters. Because this man was grateful to his masters for feeding him, clothing him, and treating him like crap when the master dehumanized him. Sure, these masters also committed genocide on 30% of the full 90% of Native American populations and sure there were plenty of acts later down the line to prove that White Superiority was shown through things like “Manifest Destiny” Immigration Acts (mainly to block Chinese, Japanese and “foreign”, let’s admit it, “other than white” races.) But let’s get this straight. The man who does not speak up against oppression is the “good” slave and the one that speaks up is the “bad” slave.

Since most East Asians use passive means of social correction, this makes them the “good” minority.

The bad minority are those Native Americans without tribes, you know the “red” people whom we like to misnomer things like “Indian” and “Eskimo” (For anyone living in a cold climate must be “Eskimo”) that do things like sue the government for reparation money for the 90% of the population and irreplaceable land they lost through sleazy displacing. Yup, they are the “angry” ones. The ones that we like to call things like, “Skinheads.” (taking from a Mohawk stereotype… and mixing it with Blackfoot Native American traditions… Way to go! Mix those Plains Indians with Sedentary Agricultural New York State Native Americans!) Don’t forget those African Americans (Why should they be angry at almost 150 years of slavery and prejudice?) And those Catholics too… Man, what were they thinking by believing in the Pope. Let’s ban those “bad” white people of Eastern Europe from coming into the country with their Papist views. They are “angry” Irish and “drunk” Scots and “seductive” Italians with Immigration Acts to ban them from the country–religious freedom! Yay! If they speak out they are “angry.”

So Uncle Tom that lived in the cabin was a “good” slave, but Jim was a “bad” slave, ’cause he ran away from his master/mistress in Huckleberry Finn.

What do I think when someone calls me an “Angry Adoptee?” I think the “good” adoptee is the one that has faced hardships and tried very, very hard to cope with their surroundings, but is afraid to speak out. While the ones that speak about the injustices of the system are the “angry” adoptees. As history has shown for the African American slaves, I don’t think either is the “wrong” way. There are good and bad adoptions, things that are good and things that need to change. And if I point out things that need to change at the same time that I point out the good things about adoption, it’s likely I’ll be labeled as the “angry” adoptee. Because I called for change to the system. Because I feel like certain unalienable rights were taken away when I had to take on this label given to me by certain institutions and governments. And if I fight for them and the next generation of adoptees, isn’t that just as frightening as it was when advocates of race spoke out? So it’s easier to label me as angry, take away my humanity and voice by labeling me with a “negative” emotion, because who wants change to a system that seems to serve the adoptive parents’ and agencys’ good which the media entirely endorses (well, most of the time). However, remember that Susan Soon-keum Cox of Holt said, “Families for children, not children for families.”

So go ahead and call me angry. And I’ll be happy to call you out right back–prejudiced and afraid. And if you are prejudiced and afraid, then please educate yourself so you are not. Because I think the next generation of children–adopted or not–deserve that much.

 
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Posted in Adoptism, Uncategorized

 

Seoul Bridge

19 Feb

This filled my heart with glee. I saw the bridge and because I’d watched so many Korean dramas, I had a moment where I was wondering if it was that bridge that people crossed in the Korean dramas. I found out later it was. I could feel the blood rushing to my head. I wanted to know and see more, but the time seemed to be shrinking and expanding before me.

Around this time I started to wonder if I would be the same person after the trip that I would be before this trip. Would I get to see new fantastic things? Then it sunk into me, and tears threatened my eyes, that I had through my very hard work gotten here through my own efforts and accomplished one of my very many dreams.

I started to stare at the passing lights with a mixed feeling of anticipation, longing, accomplishment, disbelief, and excitement. Around this time I felt like I was slipping into my own skin, that my skin didn’t matter any more, and this rush of freedom came over me. Twenty-some odd years of looks and I felt like I was just another person in the crowd. Something I always longed for.

 
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