I am not sure how many posts this is going to take or how many shots of whiskey either. To be perfectly honest after I wrote “Depression and the Devil,” in my archives I did not plan to write on this topic again. But then I see the articles on the Russian to America adoptions being frozen, then some of the most ignorant comments on CNN website by Americans… I assume. The level of unknowns when dealing with adoption is high. Every child has his or her experiences, every host family has there’s. I do not criticize people with differing experiences, hell flip a couple cards a different way and I am an East African militia, who knows? Bottom line if you have NO experience on a topic, none at all, walk on eggshells. It is a sensitive topic.
Why is this topic so sensitive. I mean I even saw a commenter on the cnn.com blog say ” ADOPT AMERICAN” like it is a product. Amazing, sad actually. Unless you are using money to get pregnant, the money you use for an adoption is blood money. It is a promise to them that whatever happened before will never happen again. If you break that promise, you have spilled blood money. Because what you have essentially done is broken that child’s heart a second, third, or hundredth time. I have my stance on immigration policy, adoption is not immigration. Adoption is a gift of hope.
It is hot in the Summer of 2000. I am sitting here with two other adoptees and our translator. We are at the desk of one of the employees at the orphange in Pusan, South Korea (Koreans call it Busan) where I was adopted. It is really humid, many Koreans in the country and lower class deal without AC. Orphanages are probably lucky to have salaries. People in orphanages of South Korea are unwanted or cannot be cared for. Most times the action of placing them there is deliberate. I was ashamed to learn that those with mental illness are shunned in most Asian cultures, you can deny it, until you study the high number of mentally ill or even “handicapped” kids in orphanges. Koreans, as Asians go, are a prideful people. Imperfections are hidden, if you think I lie just watch a seasonal Korean drama. Our TV portrays our stereotypes and our realities as well.
The orphanage employee opens the old dusty record book from 1983 with a picture of me “entering the system.” It could have been one of those late night tug at your heart advertisements. My translator reaches over and asks something in Korean while pointing at an arrow from my picture to the girl above.
“He says that is your sister.”
Some scrambling and shuffling of paper, computer keyboard being used, tears… I just remember tears. I end up in the bathroom of the orphange. It is gloomy in here, possibly the set for the next North Korean horror movie, I am handed a tissue by the translator. Damn…
Jason C. Cushman