Stairway to the peak-Image by Chi King via Flickr
The Conference for GOA'L "Crossing Borders" has finished. I was invited to speak at the session on Post Search Panel. One speaker from Germany, a young woman of 25, reported that she had not really been thinking of searching. She reflects some adoptees who do not feel a strong need at a certain time to search for Birth Family. Many adoptees also may feel this way. My friend Frank waited until both his Adoptive Parents had passed away before he begain his search.
The third adoptee, from France or Belgium, sorry I don't remember but he is a great photographer, related in his words a funny ending. "Funny" was not the best word but perhaps his way of dealing with it. Seems the search turned up three women with the same name. The one who might have been most likely to be his mother, due to age, strongly DENIED that she had given up a child for adoption. We just don't know if she is really NOT or doesn't want to reveal the truth. We have to understand that many Birth Mothers may NOT want to make contact in Korea.http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2009/07/137_48629.html
Reunion with birth families is a primary reason for adoptees to return to
I think the 2.7 percent or 2,100 plus is very low. Please read the rest of the article.*
Sebastian, moderator and GOA'L staff of the Birth Family Search section, also gave his reasons for not searching. Sebastian's Adoptive family includes three siblings also adopted, also told of how he did not want to search because if he DID find HIS parents he would feel guilty. This I can understand as well, and I admire his attitude in sacrificing or at least putting off his own search. All for one, one for all.
I had a chance to speak, probably too much as usual, giving my history, how long I have been in Korea. I related the newspaper and magazine articles that I had done only after one year in Korea. I too was not eager to search, for reasons I really don't know for sure. It just was not that strong for me, even after seeing the logbook in the museum at Holt Ilsan compound. I got my story in print but never really WANTED or expected any results.
Only in the past seven months have I really considered, "What if SHE responds? Then what?" This made me think over all the possibilities and ponder all sorts of things. I think the most important was the whole process helped me examine myself. That is good for the soul, but also nerve wracking and as some have said, "an emotional rollercoaster".
Well, I got the Post-Search Blues, don't know what to do...Feeling kind of down, waiting for a call that may never come. Yeah, expectations fade away, the post search is very difficult to go through. Now my hope has faded, coming back down to reality...the mind wonders, what was all that about? I must move on, yet as I told the twenty people in our session, "Don't give up, search when you are ready, look at other folks experiences online, examine yourself, most of all don't loose sight of yourself." I reminded everyone that Numero Uno is still the main person we have to focus on.
Oh, I had a chance to meet with some of the group of "First Trip Home", 40 adoptees from European countries and the USA. GOA'L is sponsoring them first to the Conference then to various tourist sites, then to the Adoption Agency that they were processed through. They are being guided through the pitfalls and general things to know about Search and Reunions. They will appear on the TV show "The Person I am Longing For". (I think they gave up one me! Which I can understand because every week adoptees are coming back to visit and many look into finding out more information from the Adoption Agencies.
Some have said that Holt and other adoption agencies never expected adoptees to return, but Molly Holt told me and the audience that Harry Holt always said that keeping records was very important for that very reason. In the mid-70's all the records were sent to Eugene, Ore. USA for safe keeping. I can personally testify to this as when I went to the 1990 Holt Heritage Camp I was given copies of myself and my sister Lorelei. They even had negatives of the photos. So anyone born prior to that period DOES have the records in USA, not in Holt Korea. There are facts on both side that need to be learned by all. More on this later.
I will soon post some other historical facts that seem to escape some who blame Holt for 'evil inter-country adoptions'. It has to do with Western versus Eastern minds think about many things. Bet you won't believe it, so I will wait for link to newspaper articles to confirm one of the reasons people should lay off the Holt FAMILY, once and for all.