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A portrait of one Korean Adoptee--Kim Yunmi Dot Com http://www.kimyunmi.com Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:01:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 Permanent Outsider http://www.kimyunmi.com/2013/09/12/permanent-outsider/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2013/09/12/permanent-outsider/#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2013 04:45:53 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=296 Continue reading ]]> I have to admit I sometimes feel like this.

You are Korean, but not Korean.

You are Jewish, but not Jewish.

You are an American, but not American.

So apparently, I can’t talk crap about the labels I subscribe to because everyone else kicks me out. Or at least some.

I get it, it’s really difficult to wrap your head around a Korean Adopted person to Atheist Jewish parents. So the question, What are you comes up a lot. As if it really matters which tribe I belong to.

I know that some people really do care that deeply. And I get that. But really, can’t I be all of the above? Can’t I decide who I am and how I define myself? Why do you need to kick me out of the club because I subscribe to club human? Sure I have a complicated life, but count me as human instead of going around and saying, “You are not American if you talk trash about Americans.”

Uhhh… I think I *earned* that right by being raised by Americans.

Can’t I complain about Americans, Koreans and Jews ’cause I’m an insider? Let me define myself, you worry about yourself, and then we’ll talk and you can figure it out without those generalized labels.

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I love my Kimchi http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/12/27/i-love-my-kimchi/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/12/27/i-love-my-kimchi/#comments Thu, 27 Dec 2012 15:29:06 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=289 Continue reading ]]> Sung to the tune of You are my Sunshine.

I love my kimchi,
my only kimchi
it makes me happy when my skies are gray
you never know, dear, how much I love my kimchi
please don’t take my kimchi away

The other night dear as I lay sleeping
I dreamed of kimchi in my mouth
When I awoke dear my kimchi was missing
And I found that it was gone


I told you once, dear, I really loved you
And nothing else could come between.
But now you’ve stolen all my kattuggi;
You have shattered my best onggi


In all my dreams, dear, you seem to eating
So bring back kimchi and make me happy
I’ll forgive you dear, if you make some more.

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Broken House http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/03/30/broken-house/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/03/30/broken-house/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:27:32 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=285 Continue reading ]]> When I was younger I used to particularly have a dream of a broken house–or a house that wasn’t right. I would spend a long time in the dream trying to fix it. Sometimes my family would watch, but they wouldn’t do anything to help. Maybe a comment that this or that was wrong, but they wouldn’t actually do the physical labor.

Then I had a dream about my childhood home with a broken foundation and how my parents didn’t care their house was sunken into the ground. My choice was between the Social Bunny of the Sims2 game and and my Dad who was ignorant of the world–I chose the social bunny–I preferred the lie over the reality.

Then again, another dream where I had a dream that the house was rebuilt, it had a second floor terrace with no railing, my parents were rich and they’d build the terrace out of cheap plywood–that particle board. So the maid whom they hired was sitting on the edge and almost falling off the edge. I’d been flying in the dream, and now the terrace was so crowded with iron chairs and iron tables that I could barely fit. When I landed in the house I could no longer fly freely. My parents who were rich beyond their wildest dreams were on vacation. So my brother called them from inside the house. My Dad answered and my brother told him that we could buy the materials to fix the terrace. “Wood?” my brother said. My Dad said to leave it alone because it was too expensive. “We’ll do it ourselves, it’s dangerous,” my brother said.

I was about to suggest tile when I woke up.

Was our family house always broken? It seems that my subconscious seems to think so and keeps reminding me of it. Even if the house were to be rebuilt–the family house, then I’d still have to do the majority of the work with my brother while my parents took the vacation. The metaphor works. No matter how hard we try they won’t pick up their portion of the slack. And I can’t live in a broken incomplete house. I can’t keep trying to fix it when a relationship is a two-way street. But it still hurts to figure this type of thing out.

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Yet Another Dream… http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/02/06/yet-another-dream/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/02/06/yet-another-dream/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 05:24:58 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=278 Continue reading ]]> I was dreaming in a pitch black place facing my Dad who was looking away from me. He didn’t seem to be listening so I was screaming trying to get him to look at me, but his eyes were dead. I was screaming at him that I missed him, the old him. The one that I loved when I was a child, because I do miss him. The father that could remember things with me, make remarks.

I wanted to know and perhaps my waking self wants to know why he has to smoke pot to make him forget all the things he said to me that made my heart happy. It’s like dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient sometimes. I say a memory to him and he doesn’t remember it with me.

I was screaming and crying so hard, but he wouldn’t turn to look at me at all.

Why can’t you remember your remarks about how you regret teaching math the way you did when I was a child? You said you should have just made me memorize by rout memorization rather than teaching a base of ten and how you regretted that. Do you have to die in front of my eyes like this?

Being around him is reaching in the dark only to try to grasp that dead looking face.

Can a person die in front of your eyes without them dying? I think they can. I have seen it myself. Only this person chose to do it early.

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“Rescuing a Child” http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/01/14/rescuing-a-child/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/01/14/rescuing-a-child/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2012 04:15:32 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=273 Continue reading ]]> In light of people arguing, “But adoption rescues children!” I’m going to take the number $25,000 which is the average amount for a domestic adoption for one child and break it down into what it could do to you know, actually rescue children AND cauterize the wound while we’re at it.

You can donate 25,000 dollars to Red Cross. You can specify which community it goes to, and also specify what it is donated towards, say children. 25,000 dollars could get toys, blood, shelter and help children find their relatives who may adopt them.

25,000 dollars to the Heifer International organization is a big enough package transform an entire region. Or simply by a little less than 20 goats. This would leave 99 dollars left over, of which you could buy a flock of hope, or a trio of rabbits, leaving 30 dollars left over. You could then buy some honeybees, and you’d still have 9 dollars left over. (How many children did you save?) This would help entire families and communities to get out of poverty–the organization doesn’t only donate the animals, but funds vets and care for those animals. When those animals breed the community benefits.

You can donate that 25,000 dollars to help single mothers in Korea keep their children because the Korean government has not caught up to industrialization in Korea. Considering that minimum wage in Korea is 4.00 an hour and single mothers are shunned, you would have given enough to fund more than one child and give the mother a fighting chance to keep her child. (Though Korean adoptions cost an average of 28,000 dollars).

You can donate 25,000 to organizations that need microloans to women in poverty who have business plans, but not the means to do it. Many of these business plans require only 5,000 dollars, or less, which means, if you invest the full 25,000 dollars, into these women, and specifically choose those that have children, then you could save 5 projects, maybe with 2 children each? So that’s 10 children.

With 25,000 dollars you could donate to places such as Operation Smile where they go around the world and repair things like cleft lips and cleft palates. They provide medical care to children who would be stigmatized by society for a minor birth defect–there are other organizations that also help with repairing birth defects.

Stop kidding yourself, if you wanted to “save a child” You wouldn’t adopt. You would donate and save more children and stop the causes that make the system have children that shouldn’t be in it in the first place rated by the amount of melanin in their skin tone/government they have. You want to adopt–it’s for yourself, it’s not to “save children”. The act of making a family is selfishness–own it, but once you own to that fact, don’t forget, it will not only be about you, but your child and the future that you want to show them. Do you want to show them a world where you don’t try to mend the world for your own gain, or do you want to show them a world where you could spend only 120 dollars to buy one animal from the Heifer foundation and see a woman go to college through that one animal? Do you want to show them that you put effort into helping women keep their children? Or do you want to show them that you think if women are poor and single in a stigmatized country that we should take their children? Do you want to be the person who asks when are the children going to be shipped out of a disaster area, or the person that donates money to help with relief that will help more people than the adoption of that one child. Think through your choices and justifications.

Own the choices you make, don’t make it heroic when it isn’t. And don’t blame Unicef for following the governments of the world in their policies.

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Adoption Numbers from 2011 http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/01/14/adoption-numbers-from-2011/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2012/01/14/adoption-numbers-from-2011/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2012 03:53:15 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=271 http://www.theadoptionguide.com/cost/articles/how-much-does-adoption-cost

We still have the phenomenon that the more melanin in the baby’s skin the cheaper they are. Something to think about.

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The things I can and can’t do. http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/12/25/the-things-i-can-and-cant-do/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/12/25/the-things-i-can-and-cant-do/#comments Sun, 25 Dec 2011 18:30:33 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=266 Continue reading ]]> I can love you no matter what, through thick and thin. I can forgive you when you do wrong by understanding what you are doing.

I can’t, however, make you nurture me, love me or make myself have a family not be at the other side of the world. I have another family. I can’t un-Koreran myself for you, no matter how hard I try, or ignore the fact that that history runs through my blood. I can’t un-American myself because they are part of my history of growing up and their history runs through me too.

The only thing I can do is love you, even when you turn your back on how I define myself and look at my nature. I can try to become stronger by focusing on becoming more resilient. But right now, I’m soft, I’m fragile and I don’t like when I feel like I’m being pulled into a million pieces of only what you want me to be. Because at the end of the day I can only define myself by my own choices and my own history and actions. I can’t be only your daughter, because I have three other parents to please–but in the end if I only please them, I will not be happy with me.

But I can’t make you nurturing, defending, caring, humble. I will not try, because those things are a part of you. I can hope, I can wait, but the gap and the divide will not close, because no matter what I cannot undo what is me.

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New Resource to Look At http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/11/17/new-resource-to-look-at/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/11/17/new-resource-to-look-at/#comments Thu, 17 Nov 2011 16:40:08 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=260 Continue reading ]]> The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s
Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing
by Bruce D. Perry

This book is really good. I highly recommend it. It goes over things like basic
parenting, what children need, myths of parenting (without trouncing on cultural
differences), and how to really treat RAD (attachment disorder). Saying things
like Holding therapy can make the child worse, not better.

What I like about the book is that it has a really good narrative structure and
explains the rational for the treatment as well as the results of the various
cases. So it feels less like lecturing and more like problem-solving. The book
is also pretty good about admitting past mistakes and showing results of those
mistakes and what he wished he could have done better.

I have a thing for psychological books–especially since that community tends to
impose RAD on foster and Adoptive children and point fingers at various parts of
the triad as maladjusted and culturally wrong. (Not to say RAD doesn’t exist, as
to say it’s over diagnosed) The problem with other books is they go over the
symptoms for pages and pages then don’t go on to tell you how to solve it. So by
the end, they have links of places to look, but haven’t really given you what a
good therapy session would look like, what would make a good doctor and the
thought process behind why this person thinks so.

This book doesn’t do that, and is pleasing because it doesn’t place immediate
blame, but goes into the thought process of both the patients and the doctor.
It’s a little wordy in places, however traumatized or not, I think it’s a good
book to have in your arsenal.

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Is John Raible Too Negative http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/10/18/is-john-raible-too-negative/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/10/18/is-john-raible-too-negative/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:33:05 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=253 Continue reading ]]> The title was a search term on this blog.

No. Ten thousand times no. You can criticize him for being “angry”, but then I’ll direct you to: Angry Adoptee

You can call him negative for OMG talking about issues that we could better through social justice.

But really, are you being that petty? If someone came to you and told you they had been raped in an ally and you were a police officer, are you really going to say, “Stop being negative!”

If your relative was robbed in broad daylight are you going to shout at the right after the incident, “Stop being negative!”

Those are personal injustices. But what do you do when the women that’s raped goes to a police officer who says, “That’s a waste of my time and you’re being too negative.” Do you sit on your hands and call the woman a “whore” and “too negative” for speaking out about how society won’t support her through this horrid event? What do you do when the personal injustice is built into the system where you live and your every day interactions? Do you know what luxuries you probably got entitled to through activism and how many of those activists were probably also called “negative.” I can start listing them one by one. Give me your country. I’ll give you the list.

Calling John Raible negative is serious adoptism. I’m half tempted to set up angry adoptee dot com to give people like this a smack down. Apparently standing up for yourself and wanting to make the society a better place for those who are in the have not category are “negative” then the rest of you that think we should not make a change are “positive?” (of course the people in the middle who are not strong enough to stand up for themselves, who did not suffer, who do not see it as an issue the people who are in the “do not make a change” see as positive. Like the rape victim that was so traumatized that she can’t speak against her attacker. Yay! Let’s make the world a better place by shutting up. That was soo effective for African Americans against slavery and Indians under British Colonial rule.

Give polarization of adoptees a rest please. RIP it. It’s really tired back with “Angry black man” “Angry woman” “Angry gay” and all those other things you people who don’t like people speaking out go on about.

Go ahead. Call me an angry adoptee for this. I dare you.

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My mom’s selective memory… http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/07/04/my-moms-selective-memory/ http://www.kimyunmi.com/2011/07/04/my-moms-selective-memory/#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2011 07:08:33 +0000 http://www.kimyunmi.com/?p=232 Continue reading ]]> Why did I friggin’ open that stupid email anyway? I could have just filed it under adoption and been done with it. But there it was, I opened the damn thing and I went from sleepy and almost falling over to mad in a second and then my brain snapped awake. A thousand things I wanted to say to her rushed forward including the snarkiest lines I could come up with.

Hardly mature, but who expects maturity when you’re angry. Maybe restraint is maturity rather than thinking evil thoughts.

To be fair, she disputed that she ever said anything about Asians not being able to be actresses. That they would only play stereotypical roles. That she ever said those words over and over again while I ignored her.

So my snarky brain came back with, “You want to know where I got that from? The same mouth that said, The Japanese person spoke Japanese…” in the most hurt voice ever. But then I reconsidered actually hitting reply, remembering that I need to treat her like a dog. Reward only good behavior. Reward only good behavior, making me feel sick and resentful at the same time. Making me remember the incidents where she wouldn’t be a parent because she was more the victim.

But still, rejecting that my brain came up with other snarky lines. She doesn’t remember under the haze of Marijuana, because, remember, no matter what MJ is more important that your emotional being or existence.

Somewhere along here, I fall into the old pattern of wanting to be wrong, to want to remember wrong, but I remember again, this is how I got myself here in the first place. Wanting the world of a lie more than the reality and facing the reality of the cost it takes to myself. I remember, and through the remembering, I realize that it’s sadly not myself. It really is her and her inability to be able to define herself–to accept who she is and then find a definition of self from that.

I have to say to myself that no matter what, I will always come last in her world until I am gone. I don’t have that power to change her. No matter what I say.

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