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…


  1. This is so moving! Be ready for more hits on that youtube! AAS 380 is reading this week.

  2. Your story is very inspirational and the video of you and your mother made me emotional! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hey..this is Ji Eun (Ellie).
    Your video made me cry......and I am happy for you met your mother.=)

  4. To me, reconnecting with your mother is like finding my lost wallet, but 100X better. Very touching and heartwarming. These stories of family reunification are great to watch, yet hard to swallow. I can't imagine not being with my family, so I hope you can cherish yours. This video should bring a movement to help many others to reunite with their family lost during the Korean War.

    Andrew Chen - AAS 380 Fall 2011 SFSU

  5. Hi. I've just watched your video, thank you for putting it online. For every 'gotcha day' video, with comments cooing about the 'miracle of adoption', how lucky these kids are etc. There are videos like yours, that show the true pain and grief that allows these 'gotcha days' to happen in the first place. People don't understand the feeling of abandonment, rejection and not feeling whole, that follows you around. They think we should be 'grateful' and appreciate how 'lucky' we are. I really hope you manage to find some healing from meeting your birth mother. Good luck.

  6. Kathleen Chan_AAS380 Spring 2012 SFSUMarch 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Wow...You are brave. It must have been something you've been waiting for all your life, yet the day you almost fear the most. I don't know if i could have done what you did. I hope you can eventually watch the video because there is a lot of love and emotions being exchanged. I hope it will heal your heart.