Monday, December 5, 2011


Yay, I finally figured out the wacky formatting glitch that was sending my blog template on the fritz.  Shame on you, Instagram email posts, for not closing your code with </div>!

Monday, October 24, 2011

“We’re a Culture, Not a Costume”

A great PSA campaign by an Ohio University student group called Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS).



Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Whew, this week really put me through the wringer.  I got home last night completely drained.  I’ve been David L. Eng’s Feeling of Kinship this week for class, where he uses psychoanalysis and the Freudian Oedipal complex to commentate on First Person Plural and psychological case studies on Korean adoptees in therapy.  Oh, now I remember what it feels like to be an object without agency.  Honestly, the case study was difficult for me to read.  That was me four years ago.  But in worse shape.  If I wasn’t sawing on my wrists, I was locked up in the psych ward tranqued out on Xanax or strapped to a stretcher for electroshock therapy.  Not a point in my life I particularly care to revisit.
I really feel like this month’s year-marker since I’ve been “home” to Korea has taken its toll.  I miss being with Omma an Gayoung and family, but I also miss being with other adoptees.  I miss the unspoken understanding that we all have our issues, but we’re still okay.  We can be damaged goods without having to pull out Freudian psychobabble.  I miss my third space.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How do you measure a year?

It’s been a year since I was last in Korea, a year since I stepped into Holt Korea’s office and into Omma’s arms.  A lot has happened since then.  My family has grown exponentially.  Yet there’s something still so raw about it.  The video of Omma’s and my first moments together has over 3,700 views, and I still get messages from people who have been moved to tears by it.  But I have something to admit:  since uploading the video, I haven’t been able to watch it.  Navigating around YouTube or my blog, I’ll occasionally stumble upon it, and I have to hit pause to stop it from autoplaying.  It’s still too visceral, too close, too surreal that I haven’t been able to fully process everything yet.  Who knows if I ever will.

Despite that, I am so grateful for the gift I have been granted, the opportunity to meet Omma, to be re-enveloped into the family fold.  I am blessed with a sister who is one of the bravest, strongest, most compassionate people I have ever encountered.  I am still awed by the fact that far more family members knew of me and have been waiting for me to return than those from whom I was hidden.

For the first time in several years, I have not made the pilgrimage home this year.  And I can feel it in my bones, a yearning, like a kind of gravity, pulling, pulling.  I need to return…

Friday, October 7, 2011


It seems that the formatting of the template I had been using is buggy, so I’ve switched to a different template for the time being.  I apologize for the layout glitches.

Kira Donnell shared an Instagram photo with you

view full image
Olivia and the crab.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding Photos!

A small sample of the 2137 photos our photographers took that highlight the evening:

Picasa Wedding Album

Friday, September 23, 2011


I attended a Health and Wellness workshop yesterday on campus.  Basically, How to Avoid Going Crazy While in Grad School.  We were each given a slip of paper, half of us had blue, half of us had yellow.  The yellows had to write down five things that made them happy, the blues 5 things that got them down.  I got blue.  My list:

  1. Confrontations
  2. Cold showers (our apartment hadn’t had hot water all summer; I’ve been taking room temperature showers for months—it finally got fixed a couple weeks ago!)

And I was shocked that I couldn’t finish the list.   It made me realize that in my day-to-day life, I don’t encounter a lot of things that upset me anymore.  And that’s good.  But a little strange, too, in a way.  I think depression has been a part of my identity for so long, that it’s a little weird not carrying that burden anymore.  It recalls Steven Page’s lyrics in “War on Drugs”:

Won't it be dull when we rid ourselves
Of all these demons haunting us
To keep us company
Won't it be odd to be happy like we
Always thought we're supposed to feel
But never seem to be

It is a little odd, but I find I’m rather liking it.

Now, I didn’t get to write a list of 5 things that make me happy yesterday.  So I’ll take the liberty to do so now.  And I’m not stopping at 5.

  1. Amul
  2. Olivia
  3. Mugs of green tea
  4. The scent of ginseng
  5. Foam on the top of milk steamers
  6. The shape of gingko leaves
  7. Family
  8. Chapbooks
  9. Hot car
  10. Persimmons
  11. Baking bread
  12. The smell of Olivia’s feet (corn chips!)
  13. Cabbage
  14. Stationery and office supplies
  15. Sea glass
  16. Napping in the sun
  17. Walks with the dog on the beach
  18. Pajamas
  19. Palindromes
  20. Things in miniature
  21. Korean street food
  22. Crossword puzzles

What do your lists look like?

Monday, September 5, 2011

***Please Join Us! Exclusive Pre-Launch Event - Saturday, September 17th from 5pm -10pm***

Please Join Us!

in partnership 



Exclusive Invitation
 A Legacy for the Global Adoptee Community & Their Families
B A R    F U N D R A I S E R



Saturday, September 17, 2011
  5pm - 10pm

      3rd Avenue Sports Bar & Grill

     77 East 3rd Avenue, San Mateo
(650) 340-9872

Help us fundraise to support adoptees and their families and

Get an exclusive preview before its official launch of the

            Mixed Roots Foundation and its new programs & partners! 

  • Meet the new AKASF Board and Network with Others


  • All Tips given between 5pm - 8pm benefit the Mixed Roots Foundation and AKASF


  • At the Door- ONLY $2 Appetizers (Purchase & Redeem Tickets)


 Please make checks payable to Mixed Roots Foundation or you can donate via 


The Mixed Roots Foundation and AKASF are both  501(c)(3) non profit organizations.

  All Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law.


AMP is now a new program

of the Mixed Roots Foundation!

To better serve the needs of adult adoptee mentors, mentees and their families,
AMP now has a permanent place they can call home, The Mixed Roots Foundation!

  AMP will serve as one of Mixed Roots charter programs that will reach out and match adult adoptee mentors with youth who are adopted into a unique one to one mentoring relationship ranging from all various adoption/foster care, race and cultural, and geographic backgrounds. 

Mixed Roots will also be partnering with other organizations to help identify adopted children in need as well as provide adult adoptee mentors who can serve as positive role models that share common adoption bond and have the opportunity to learn from one another by exchanging cross cultural experiences.

 Please attend our Pre-Launch Fundraising event (see above) for more details in how you and/or your child can participate and ultimately
make a difference in someone's life
! Current AMP matches will be present to share their success stories!!

A Message from the new AKASF President, Kira Donnell      


Dear AKASF & Community Members,

It is a great responsibility to serve as AKASF's new President, and I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with such a vibrant, unique, and dedicated network of people whose lives have been changed by adoption. I look forward to continuing the programs and partnerships that have been recently developed over the past couple of years and making AKASF a valuable resource for Korean adoptees and their families.

I am excited by the prospect of establishing some new network connections and new resources for
AKASF, including partnering with the Mixed Roots Foundation. Mixed Roots Foundation will be supporting organizations that serve as a resource, creating more awareness of the adoption experience, and inspiring the next generation of adoptees to become leaders within the community.  AKASF and Mixed Roots will be working closely together to offer new and exciting benefits for our members and their families.

Coming from a long line of academics, literary critics, and librarians, I have a great appreciation for books and media resources. With AKASF's database of over 600 e-mail contacts, we have the potential to promote adoption awareness and education to countless people with a digitized database and an extensive lending library of adoption resources. From children's books about Korea and adoption, to Korean movie classics, to the most recent academic research in Korean Adoption Studies, AKASF's resource database will be able to provide its members and families with a vast range of media on Korea and adoption.


The majority of Korean adoptees in the United States today are adults, adopted during the peak of Korean international adoption in the 1970s and 1980s. As an adult population, our adoption support needs have shifted. As adults, we are searching for and reconnecting with our birthfamilies as well as establishing families of our own. Recognizing this, I would like to expand AKASF's family programs to include Korean culture day camps, as well as establish some post-reunion resources to help adoptees with the difficult task of building lasting relationship with both their adoptive families, but most importantly with their birthfamilies.

With all these new developments in the works, it is important that we continue to grow as an organization, both in membership, and in funds. AKASF's fundraising goal for this fall is to raise $5,000 to continue our mission "to empower adoptees and their families to share common adoption experiences as well as create multicultural learning opportunities through shared partner programs, events and resources."
Please support AKASF by
becoming a member today or donate, or even volunteer - We need you!

AKASF's future looks bright, and along with the great leadership of AKASF's Board of Directors, members and dedicated volunteers, I am confident that continuing our vision of becoming "a premiere resource by serving the greater adoptee community and their families through these various programs and services that we will be able to help promote multicultural education and more awareness of adoption throughout Northern California and beyond" and most importantly make a positive impact for all adoptees and
their families.



Kira Donnell



 Mixed Roots Foundation is partnering up with
College Planning Club to bring adoptees and their families financial peace of mind.

Get a sneak preview of how College Planning Club can save you money and help your child go to college as well as help protect your assets, so you can worry more about spending time with your child rather than spend time worrying about how you arimagee
going to pay your bills!

Certified and Licensed College Planning & Funding Specialist,

George A. Burgess will be present at the Pre-Launch Fundraising event (see above) to answer any questions and provide more information in how you and your family can sign up and become exclusive members of the
College Planning Club.

---------------------------------------------SPECIAL OFFER----------------------------------------------

For those who donate at any level to the Mixed Roots Foundation, College Planning Club will offer a Tuition Rewards Certificate in the value of $500 worth of Tuition Rewards in helping to kick start the planning and saving for your and/or your child's college education.

You can also check out to learn more and
Sign Up and Become a Member Today!





*Please Fill out your name, phone,
and email and have a chance to win one of several raffle prizes!
Need to be present to win.


A Legacy for the Global Adoptee Community & Their Families


Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 5pm - 10 pm
                  3rd Ave Sports Bar & Grill
77 East 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA  94401 - 650.340.9872


Please redeem this coupon with your server.  Coupon must be printed and presented in person in order to be valid. Only one per person. This coupon is transferable, so please invite and share this special offer with friends and family to maximize the fundraising experience all benefiting the adoptee community and their families.

Any tips given between 5pm - 8pm will benefit the
Mixed Roots Foundation and AKASF.

Any/all other donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law

Offer Expires: Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 10:00 p.m. PST