First of all, overhearing a conversation right now between an adoptee here at Koroot and Pastor Kim, I love the fact that Pastor Kim is referring Korean pastors to Frantz Fanon to understand approaches to adoptee issues.
It’s raining today in Seoul, it’s hot and muggy. I’m in the second-story sitting room at Koroot, watching the rain drip down the unripe persimmon fruit on the tree out the window.
I’m reminded of my parents’ trip to Korea thirty years ago at just this time. Apparently, the story goes, it was pouring rain the day they were to pick me up from the adoption agency, which meant that everyone in Seoul crowded into the taxis. My parents waited and waited in a taxi queue with growing anxiety as Holt Agency’s closing time loomed closer and closer. My mother, somewhat panicky, afraid that she would be unable to hold the child she had waited so long for, afraid that Holt would close for the weekend before they could get there, turned to my father, and voiced her concerns. My father was at a loss, having no answers for her, when the Korean behind them spoke up. “The next taxi, you go!” the stranger ordered.
And so, when the next taxi pulled up to the taxi stand, with the stranger’s blessing, my parents cut the winding line of Seoullites and dove into the backseat of the car, and arrived at the adoption agency in time to take me into their arms.
I always imagine that scene as something out of an action movie, thunder and lightning, my parents diving into a taxi, yelling at the driver to “step on it!” My parents make it with seconds to spare, and the credits scroll over an image of our newly-completed family. I’m sure it was much more mundane, I’m sure the Koreans waiting in line grumbled about stupid white tourists cutting in line for a taxi. I’m sure the adoption agency would have ensured my parents were able to pick me up. All the same, it’s fun to imagine otherwise sometimes.