Final Post – My Adoption Story: Depression and the Devil

Man’s greatest triumphs can sometimes be found during his most difficult times of adversity.

This is my new saying when I reflect upon the “Dark Ages” of my life and my deepest days of depression. I am often not a praying man, which is odd considering my father is a priest and a doctor, and I don’t consider praying in times of need and praying to win the lottery as being a “praying man.”

I feel comfortable talking about my dark ages now, perhaps it is the mask of my pseudonym that gives me courage; but no, it is actually because I have moved on to greener pastures. My dark ages were a product of finding my birth mother at the age of 18. This came about in the most innocent of ways, in the form of a senior graduating gift from my adopted parents, my real parents in my eyes, a gift of adventure and excitement. It was a trip to Korea with a group of other adoptees from Holt International Adoption agency. I could never have dreamed prior to that trip, a trip I packed for with such excitement and enthusiasm, that it would be a trip that would usher in my darkest days. Granted, I had an acceptable childhood (no childhood is perfect), I had already struggled with demons of race and depression. I never considered that those demons would be small compared to the Devil I was about to encounter.

I really won’t get into the specifics of the trip unless someone asks or I am inspired to do so at a later date. Needless to say, since I have already provided the window to view it through, this trip was awful. I had been provided my adoption package by my adopted parents at an earlier time so I “thought” I was prepared for this trip. I “thought” there would be no surprises. I was wrong, depressingly wrong.

I found the information about my birth mother and my blood sister in Busan, South Korea, in a pathetic orphanage that I don’t even remember the name of. I have never liked hospitals or orphanages and I now knew why. No one, unless you are also adopted, can understand the pain that is brought when you are faced with the reality that you were not wanted. Add to this the pain that your mother decided one sibling was less trouble than you would be, and what you have is a maelstrom of emotions, regret, and anger. My storm could have killed me, it almost did.

When I returned I immediately went to college. A time that was supposed to be filled with excitement and growth, was instead filled with depression, anger, weed, and alcohol. I filled my time finding things to fill my “hole.” It did not help; it only delayed the sorrow and pain that I had to face eventually. When I dropped out of college after three and a half years the only welcoming I really wanted was a grave. Failure had become a part of me and it evidently had originated when I was left on that lonely street in Busan, South Korea in 1983.

I become a drunk. At 23 years old I was a first class alcoholic. I recently read Anthony Bourdain’s book “Medium Raw,” and part of my inspiration for writing this comes from him. The other part comes from my loving wife and my two wonderful children, all three of whom I continually feel that I do not deserve but I am forever thankful that I have. So thank you Anthony for the courage to speak or rather to write.

I remember, vaguely of course, stopping every day at Joe’s liquor store and buying a daily pint of the rawest whisky I could find, I believe it cost around $3 dollars a pint, and feeling like the drunks I had always despised I would begin to guzzle it on my short ride home. Before you judge, YES I know this was highly stupid of me and irresponsible, but who can ever say they were responsible while being depressed and drunk? If you know anyone that can make that claim I can in the same breath claim that bastard is a liar. Alcohol was my friend, my confidant, and his name didn’t matter whether it originated in Mexico, America, or hell even some African country. It didn’t matter as long as it felt good touching my lips.

It was late; I would say 3 am, when I saw him. He was not what I expected and I really can’t be sure if it was him or if he just gave me a glimpse of what I would see if I ever really met HIM. I was drunk; I think Braveheart was playing in the background. I was in the upstairs of my parent’s house, yes at age 23 I was living at home again another dagger to my heart, and I felt a presence at my door. In my childhood my father used to have the (then) annoying habit of standing behind us and watching our TV show with us. I never thought about it then, but looking back, he just wanted to be with us even if we did not particularly, at age 15, want him there. This presence was not a comforting one; I felt the hair on my arms stand. I saw a man, it was a man, but he was a shadow of a man at the same time. He looked at me and something awakened in me, it was fear. I had never been so afraid in my life. Keeping in mind that alcohol and weed are the nectar of the gods and that with those coursing through my veins I had thought myself fearless. I was mistaken. With one look the Devil showed me my humanity and all I could think was that I desperately wanted to live. I cried and shut my eyes and when I opened them he was gone. I still to this day do not know if I was dreaming, I really doubt it.

Fear can drive a man crazy, but it can also drive a man to life. I look back on that day and I realize that fear had kicked my ass back into gear. Today I am content. People ask me if I am “happy” all the time, I don’t think like that anymore. I look upon my life with my wife and my daughters and I realize… sometimes being content is enough.


If you want to read the rest of my adoption articles please visit

My Mother’s Blog – Her Article on my Search

My mother wrote this awhile ago and it was published as an essay. If you wish to read her “take” on my adoption search and what I went through you can through the blogspot link below. This is my mom’s old blog site and her new blog is at She is not a social media marketer, but is a writer and is working on a novel right now. If you visit please be polite.





Additional Adoption Records

I have had some generous people ask for additional info so they can help me search. Below is the only photo I have of my sister when she was processed into the orphanage with me.

I also have a copy of the guest log which my birth mother signed when she got my sister. It has her old and possibly current address. She may very well still live there. It isn’t honestly an issue of “finding them,” but rather the huge IF of them connecting or not.

The correct spelling of my sister’s name is Ahn Jung Hee and my birth mother’s name is Kim Ie Soo. Do not send me any emails warning about sharing the info I am. It is my decision to do so and I’ve thought this over millions of times.

I will send info directly to those that asked for it. I have a few pieces I will withhold to verify if someone actually ever comes forward and claims to be my relative. Thank you again for all the shares and help.



Ahn Soo Jin

Asking for Help – Please Share and Help Me Find My Sister


[This post has been edited from the original]

I have tried before to locate my sister. I have failed. Part of me wants to never try again. A lot of me hates that part of me. I will try again because there is always a chance she might see this. One can hope.

My name is Jason Chandler Cushman and I was born in Pusan, South Korea in 1981. I have a sister who is a few years older me. I believe she is probably 37 now and her name was Ahn Jung Hee, my birth mother’s name is Kim Ie Soo. Our mother left us on a street when we were young. I was 2 years old and my sister was 5 I believe. We were taken to an orphanage and my mother later returned for only my sister. That was the last time I saw her. I found this out when I returned to Korea in 2000 during a Holt International Motherland tour. I was 18 years old at the time.

In 2002 I pulled a prodigal son and asked my father for the rest of my college tuition so that I could return to Korea to find the rest of the answers from my 2000 trip. I was determined to not return until I found them. I did not find my family, but I found an answer. A simple one from my birth mother. “Stop trying to see us and do not try to find your sister. She is still with me.” My sister was probably 23 at the time.

I am now 34 years old and have long since given up most hope of seeing them. But then I began this blog in 2013 and created a realistic way of reaching them. If they care to be found and if anyone cares to share my story so that my sister might see it. My blog has been viewed over 300,000 times from South Korea alone. I pray that maybe one of those people can share my story in such a manner that it might be seen by the one I seek.

I’ve never asked much from anyone on social media. Never needed anything from any of you really. I find myself in the unusual position of needing help now and hoping that someone might care to try. If you could please reblog this post and share it on other platforms so that there is a chance my sister might see it I would appreciate it. It would honestly mean a great deal to me. Good things rarely happen without effort and even when effort is applied they still don’t always come to fruition. I can only hope, as I have hoped for a lot of my life, to see my sister just once. To let her know I am alive and ok and that sometimes in the night I feel her presence still… even though I do not know her face.

Sister – if you find this post and feel the urge to reach out to me I will be waiting. As I have been waiting since 1983.


I am including some info from the other post. Below is a photo of my sister, Ahn Jung Hee. My mother signed for her when she came back and got her. That guest log is below as well and the address written in English was my mother’s as recently as 2003.



-Opinionated Man

Jason Chandler Cushman

Ahn Soo Jin



Adopting Yourself – By: Jason C. Cushman

The ironic part about adoption is that for an adoptee the first and final steps of their lives are the same. Ultimately we must all adopt ourselves and accept who we are and where we came from. Or where we did not come from. The life of an adoptee is complex and unique because we are all uniquely complex in being singular as human beings. Never allow someone to tell you that your life is a statistic or that you fall within a group. Break that stereotype by showing people that you are not a group, you are a fucking person.

There is a war being waged in the adoption world. This war is not between two sides, it is not between “evil” and “good,” and it cannot be quantified by numbers as so many try to. The war on adoption is a personal battle fought by people within the struggle. The opinions of those on the outside are rarely worth much. The reason for this is due to how sensitive the topics are. You have adoptees that hate the world, adoptees that hate their birth parents, adoptees that hate foster parents, adoptees that hate nations, adoptees that hate their past, and adoptees that just want to forget that they are adopted. On another side, not the “other side,” you have birth mothers that were coerced into giving up their children, you have birth mothers that were forced into giving up their babies, you have birth mothers that hate adoption, you have birth mothers that advocate for adoption, and you have birth mothers that think abortion is a better alternative to adoption in every case. The extreme nature of these sides is due directly to their own lives and the opinions those lives have formed.

When I was two years old my mother left my sister and I on a street in Pusan. She returned days later to get my sister only after a change of heart. I spent ten years trying to reconnect with them only to have her shut me down and out continuously. My personal story, my personal experience, formed my hate for my birth mother and many people call me a “true adoptee.” I don’t accept that label. There is no “true adoptees” or “fake adoptees” in this world, there are simply children that weren’t wanted or loved by their parents and those that were. Do some young women get tricked, forced, or coerced into giving up their kids? Absolutely this happens, I was raised in the bible belt here in America and know what that culture can be like. It is also not hard for me to imagine such pride and shame being used in Asian countries where shame plays such a large daily role. Although I allow my past to color my feelings towards my birth mother, I do not allow it to shape my opinion of adoption as a whole. That is the difference I think between me and many birth mothers who appear to be overly reactive towards adoption due to their personal past and pain.

Adoption is a GOOD thing. No one can change that opinion in me. Sure, I’ve seen the statistics that adoption causes suicidal tendencies and that it isn’t really helping. It amazes me how often people use stats that include “X out of 5” because using 5 really makes the scale tip right? I hate when people throw statistics at me without basis. I don’t care if “Sally Adoption Advocate” is the top adoption writer in the world. If Sally didn’t interview EVERY FUCKING ADOPTEE IN THE WORLD then Sally cannot make the statement “70% of adoptees in this world do ____.” What adoptees did you interview? Far too often these anti-adoption sites will state such facts and it annoys the shit out of me. Samples are just that… samples, you cannot write a factual report on adoption without taking a HUGE international sample and still that won’t be accurate. Otherwise your facts are shit and I don’t buy them. Adoption isn’t a movement or a focus group… it can be the gift of love given by a humble heart.

Recently I entered into a discussion on a board that was full of birth mothers that were against adoption. They advocate for empowering the “mother” into keeping her child. The funny part is I agree that is a great thing! But in the same voice I will NEVER bash adoption or put it down. Many of these women do because they had bad experiences. Well, as I discussed, so did I, but I wouldn’t allow my personal experience in this matter to change my heart as a whole. That is not fair to adoptees stuck in hellish orphanages receiving two bowls of rice a day. I wonder if people that are against adoption have actually visited these places. Sure, someone will advocate for adopting foster kids or ADOPT AMERICAN like people are a product. That shit makes me angry as well and honestly it all comes back to my main point. In the end you must adopt yourself because acceptance of one’s self is the first and last step in life. There is nothing wrong with walking a road less traveled. The only thing ever wrong in life is to stop trying at life altogether.

-Opinionated Man

Jason Chandler Cushman

Ahn Soo Jin – Adopted 1983 from Busan, South Korea