It is my second year in college. Depending on how you look at things or who you talk to, my life was going just fine. Depending on what you looked at and what you examined, I was the same person. Those that knew me knew that something was a bit off, those that were meeting me at college for the first time simply thought I was a cool guy that got moody sometimes. People talk about “bipolar” issues but that word would not apply to me since I had so many different levels of moods it was amazing anyone could be around me. I was the smoothest talker and the life of the party or I was the reclusive guy that really just wanted everyone to get out of his apartment. And if you are curious, yes I had plenty of girlfriends (some might even say a lot), but I cannot remember most of their names and the ones I do remember are just memories. Nothing and no one was a focal point during this period.
It’s 2 A.M. and I am busy typing another email to the orphanage employee in Korea. Surprisingly I am getting great responses from people in Korea, everyone except for my contact at the actual orphanage. I have had no trouble convincing people in the news industry that I am serious about finding my birth mother, but the employee at the orphanage seems to be handling me with the common Korean courtesy reserved for subjects that they wish to ignore. Namely, they keep putting off or ignoring something in hopes that it goes away. I am a persistent human being, especially at 2 A.M., so I wasn’t going anywhere. The time difference in Korea was particularly frustrating at this point because I had to sit and wait for responses. It was encouraging though to have various people in Korea I had never met before offer their support and assistance.
If you have never met many Koreans you may not know this, but most of the stereotypical jokes about our names are true. Like the American name Johnson or Williams, there are staple last names in Korea. My last name was Ahn and that is very common, in fact if you threw a stone in a Korean market you would probably hit a few Ahn’s (and they would be very mad so don’t really do this). The key element in my case file, I just decided to name it a case file because that sounds much more fun, was the home address my mother had left when she returned for my sister. This address was step one and because God decided I deserved a break, step one is where she was at. It turned out she was still living there, but the orphanage employee, who oddly enough was the one that found this out for me, called her before telling me. He then informed me of the following.
“I am sorry, but I told her that you were looking for her and your sister and I asked her if she would like to speak with you. She said “no,” and for you to stop trying to contact her or your sister. When I tried calling her a second time, the line had been disconnected. I am truly sorry.”
And that is how it happens, one hand to pat you on the shoulder, the other hand to slap you in the face.
Jason C. Cushman