It's a little bit strange being Kira here in Korea. For the past few years, since reconnecting with my family, when I've come to Korea, I become Kyung Joo, who in some ways is much different from Kira. Kyung Joo is quieter, a bit more unsure of the world around her. She floats through somewhat baffled at times, but she always manages to find her way home.
Even apart from my Korean family, a part of Kyung Joo remains, as I live and interact with other adoptees at Koroot, GOAL, and IKAA.
This is the first time I have had to remain as Kira here in Korea. Kira the academic, Kira the token adoptee in a roomful of Korean Studies students and professors. Things that usually go unspoken and understood must be explained and categorized, spoken of in terms of critical theory and epistemology. Loss, grief, family, orphanhood. As Kira in the US, addressing these things is often par for the course, but somehow it feels different here in the land of the morning calm. Perhaps it's because Kyung Joo is cautiously peeking through, her thinner skin not quite used to the rigors of being Kira the Academic, sure of herself and her position.
It has been a few days now since the Berkeley-Korea University conference now, so perhaps Kyung Joo will soon find it sage enough to emerge. Come out, little one. All is well.