I apologize that it has taken me this long to complete my letter! The past couple months have been very busy for me, as I have been completing my degree. I have finished my research and written my thesis. It is entitled, “The Claiming of Identity, Agency, and Advocacy in Korean Adoptee Literature” and looks at poetry written by adoptees. I’m planning on working for a year or so, and applying for PhD programs in 2011.
It’s hard to believe that almost a year has gone by since I last visited Korea. This past year has been full of new and exciting things for me. I know reconnecting was a major event in your year as well; I hope your past year has been as full of magic and wonder as mine has.
As I told you in my earlier letter, I am currently living in San Francisco. I’ve just completing my Master’s degree; I’ve been working hard to finish my research and writing. In addition to my own research, I am helping one of my professors with an Asian American public health research project. I am also a graduate student instructor for a class called “Koreans in America” this semester.
I’m really enjoying living in San Francisco. It’s much more culturally diverse than the town where I grew up in Michigan. I live just a few minutes away from a large Korean market, so I can get my favorite Korean foods. My colleagues in my department at the university have become like a family to me. My boyfriend and best friend, Amul and I are very happy together and our love grows by the day. These days, I spend my time reading, writing, hiking along the shore with my dog, and enjoying the company of friends and family.
I received your gift in the mail the day before my birthday—thank you so much! You seem to intuitively know my tastes—simple and classic. I love the clutch and I love the fact that I can carry your gift with me everywhere I go, and think of you every day as I go about my day, as I run errands or go to school.
Omoni, I want you to know that I am loved. I am content with my life. I admit, it has at times been a difficult road to get to where I am now; I have faced my share of hardship and tears throughout the years. I have missed having you in my life, but I’ve never blamed you or second-guessed your decision. I have always felt your love. I think it is fitting to have you in my life now, when I finally have really come into my own.
My family, too, is happy for me and excited at the prospect of our new relationship. My adoptive parents have always been supportive of me and are glad to know that you are well. I know they have always respected the sacrifices you made and are grateful to you for allowing me to be their daughter too.
I hope that you, too, feel this is the right time to become reacquainted. I know that you have a family and daughters to consider now, but perhaps it will be easier now than when you were a young woman, pregnant, scared, and alone. I hope this is true for your sake, that my reappearance in your life will not utterly disrupt the life you have built for yourself. In time, I hope that I will be able to meet your family—my halmoni, aunts, and uncles. And it would be wonderful to be able to have a relationship with my sisters.
I would love to hear more about your daughters, Ka Young and Ji Young. What are they like? What are their hobbies? I imagine they are both beautiful strong women like you.
I wanted to let you know that I’m planning on spending the month of October in Korea. I will arrive around October 3, and stay until October 30. Amul will be joining me for the last two weeks of my visit—I am looking forward to sharing with him all the things I love in Korea. It would be wonderful if we could meet sometime during my stay. I have no set itinerary, so my schedule is very flexible. If the circumstances are not conducive to us meeting this time, I understand. I know that when the time is right, we will see each other.
It seems like there is so much to share about our lives, but it is hard to convey everything in a letter! We have a lot of catching up to do, but I also want to share the little thoughts and events that go on in daily life. I am working on scanning photographs into an online photo album—perhaps the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is true. I hope that sharing photographs will help say all those things in my heart, big and small.
Omma, I hope you are well, and I think about you daily. Even from here, I can feel your love, and it warms me. I hope that your heart is as full and happy as mine, that you can feel my love as well.