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Torn Between Two Cultures-Katie Mee Joo Putes
In 2006, Ms. Katie Mee Joo Kim Putes co-founded Korean Adoptees of Hawai'i (KAHI). Before moving to Korea, she served as President of KAHI and helped to organize the first Asian Adult Adoptee Gathering and Film Festival in Hawai'i.
Wednesday - December 27, 2006
Born in South Korea and adopted by a loving Kaneohe family at 3 months old, Putes grew up knowing other Korean adoptees in school and around the neighborhood, but she wrestled with questions of self-identity.
“When I was in high school and going through a bunch of identity struggles, I really wished there were other Korean adoptees I could reach out to that would understand where I’m coming from,” says Putes, who’s now a 23-year-old University of Hawaii senior. “I had one person like that but it would have been nice ... to be able to have support in that type of aspect.”
Today Katie Putes and Ji In Lugtu, a Korean adoptee from Iowa, have helped organize a group of adult Korean adoptees that aims to do just that.
Putes, Joelle Lee. (back) Sarah Fowler, Kristina Alger, Peter
Savasta, Charlie Ritts, Sabina Wilford, Ji In Lugtu, David
Clark, Alana Sasaki, Nate Kramer
….Although KAHI doesn’t focus on birth searches, it’s something that both Putes and Lugtu have successfully done.
We do suggest that the same request be done for the backlink article
as ANYONE can "google" and find the photo.
KWB IS NOT A "TERRORIST"
NOR DOES HE THREATEN WOMEN!!
If you don't want your story public DON'T go to the Online PRESS.
Both of these Adoptees have walked down the path,
a path that only 2,450 some KAD's have done so far.
Putes reunited with her Korean family last year while studying abroad in South Korea. She visited her family in the port city of Ulsan, a five-hour train ride southeast from Seoul, and learned she’s the youngest of seven children.
“When I found out I had two brothers, four sisters and 11 nieces and nephews ... that was kind of crazy,” says Putes, whose Korean name, Mee Joo, was given to her by her adoption agency.
While there, her family gathered for a studio portrait and placed Putes center stage, behind her seated parents and surrounded by all six of her siblings, two in-laws and 10 nieces and nephews. Her adoptive parents and birth parents have since met.
Ms. Katie Mee Joo Kim Putes might sometime share more on their reunion story when she cares to do so publicly. Reunions are sometimes difficult to work through. Language barriers, social barriers, embarrassment, many facets can come up and not all stories have "fairy tale endings". Media hype from Korea and international tend to "COLOR" reunion stories in unrealistic ways. We do not know from the internet about each case and each case is unique in itself.
Since the return of over 50 to 75,000 KADs that have returned for visits to the homeland many changes have occured and more help is offered. Some KAD's are on the first quick look to visit the land. Maybe on subsequent trips, some seek to search, appear in newspaper articles, or on Television programs. There have been only 2,450 some cases have had mixed results with reunion.
It is a challenge, as Ms. Putes' friend Lugtu relates more details from her own account.
Lugtu, meanwhile, learned she has three older Korean sisters. Her first meeting with her birth parents was an emotional one. Her mother cried the whole time “asking me for my forgiveness and saying how sorry she was,” Lugtu recalls. “My birth father was more traditional. ... He wasn’t very emotional. He kept telling my mother to stop crying and he didn’t look me in the eye. He was just looking down at the table and reciting that we were poor, we didn’t know what to do, we were very poor.”
“Traditional” means that with ‘three older Korean sisters’ and NO sons a fourth daughter was, well, traditionally bad news. The Birth father claims of being poor are not exactly the real reason for Ms. Lugtu being given away. Have any of you heard “SON PREFERENCE?” Traditional families follow the Confucian ways, needing a SON to remember you in the next life, doing the traditional ceremonies during the holidays. NO SON means no continuation of the BLOOD-LINE. Poverty had probably little to do with it. It was just his excuse. Reality is that four daughters was probably just too much for the “traditional” father.
While not every birth search is successful, Putes and Lugtu both say meeting their birth families was a positive experience that brings with it its own challenges in which some questions are answered and new ones arise….
e-mail KAHI at firstname.lastname@example.org ; a web-site will be coming soon at kahawaii.org
Well, Ms. Putes has been working as Vice Secretary General of GOA’L for many months and been caught up in this horror that was the Sham Fake election of 27 March, 2010.
Katie is supposed to be ‘wearing the hat’ of
The election was all a farce and exercise for pretense anyway, because the Board of Directors actually in the Bylaws will appoint the Secretary General.