Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Please tell me if this has happened to you!
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There's a holiday in Korea called Chu'sok, basically the Korean version of the American Thanksgiving. In case you were wondering, it's celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar moon. (got it?!)
Most people call it the "Harvest Moon" festival.
On the morning of this very important holiday, Koreans perform an ancestor worship ritual and offer them food made of new crops to show thanks.
The holiday is also celebrated in other countries like China and Vietnam.
Anyway, there will be a small get-together at Phelps Grove Park on October 6th to celebrate. I believe it will be mostly attended by international adoptive families, but I think the more the merrier. I will definitely show my mug for a good time and good food...under the full moon! By the way, lucky red paper laterns will be available for the kiddies to carry in a traditional lantern parade! If you have traditional dresses, this is a good time to wear them! I have a hanbok, but, ahem, I think I've grown out of it...
5 pm – 8 pm
Phelps Grove Park, Springfield.
Friday, September 22, 2006
The line starts at 7am.
Simon Cowell and the producers from American Idol teammed up with NBC to find the hottest variety and novelty acts from across the country. Regis Philbin is the host. Judges are David Hasselhoff, Brandy, and some British guy named Piers Morgan.
Mimes, magicians, animal acts, acrobats, ventriloquists are just a few of the acts they're looking for...wonder why they picked Branson????!!!
I hope I get to cover this Monday. For more information, click on the link below:
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I believe the meetings are the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Patton Alley Pub...help me out, is that right?
Monday, September 18, 2006
I went to Tulsa on my days off to volunteer for Dillon International. I am trying to put a video together for the agency's birthland tours. Very exciting...
Besides that, my friend Hannah recently sent me a picture of me with some birds. I'd like to think of myself as a parrot whisperer--
Monday, September 11, 2006
It's bad enough to get all bloodied-up on television...but to add insult to injury, the guy who opened the can of whup-ass later went on national TV and called the reporter a "disturbed man". I guess that means he's not sorry:
You'll be sorry if you don't watch the video--you have to double click on it, and it will redirect you to YouTube. Tell me what you think!! Did the reporter do the right thing or do you think he should have hit back? Tough call! Legal advice, anyone?
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
therefore, I'd like to share mine with you...the quick version, at least!
I was born in Pusan, South Korea, and came to the United States when I was six months old. These are my parents, Charles and Sharon:
I know Korean children have found permanent homes in the states since the 1950s, but I really feel like my parents were ahead of their time when they adopted me 20-some-odd years later. They worked and sacrified to give me the world, at least as much as you can in small-town Missouri.
Anyway, when I was 18, my parents surprised me with a trip to Korea. I went with Dillon International, the agency I volunteered with for four years (www.dillonadopt.org). The trip, called a birthland tour, catered to an adoptee and his or her family. Not only did we travel the country to get a glimpse of the culture, we also stayed at the Eastern Social Welfare Society where we held newborns awaiting homes in the U.S. We visited an unwed mothers' home, and saw our own adoption files, too.
I was adopted through Holt International (www.holtintl.org), so when I had some free time, I went to the agency's office. One day, I even had the privilege to eat with Molly Holt, the daughter of the agency's founder, Harry Holt. We had pizza! What an amazing woman.
I did say this is the short version, right?
Anyway, I wasn't expecting to meet my birth family, but I did a few days before I left the country. It was overwhelming. My Korean parents are still married, and I have three biological sisters--two older, one younger.
I thought it was pretty interesting since I had no idea of my background, but it's not near as fascinating as the story that landed me in the states--this is what I was told:
My Korean parents were not doing well financially in the 70s. They already had two toddlers and were expecting their third (me). My birth father was a fisherman, and he went away to work. He and my birth mother hoped for a son. It's a cultural thing, sons traditionally bring more honor to a family since their role is to take care of the aging parents.
When my Korean mother gave birth to me in a free clinic, I guess she felt desperate. She relinquished me and told my birth father that I had died. When he returned, he consoled her, and almost immediately she got pregnant again. However, she kept her secret for 18 years, until the summer I made my way back to my birthland. Isn't that crazy?
We're almost at the end...this is longer than I thought.
How did it all turn out?! My birth father was shocked, but in the end, he apologized to my Korean mother for putting so much pressure on her to have a son. I suppose my birth mother finally felt relieved...and they were both extremely grateful to my parents, Charles and Sharon, for "raising such a happy child". I was ecstatic to learn that I had sisters, but at the same time I was incredibly sad to go through such a life-changing experience without my parents. They were a wreck back in Missouri! The international phone bill was more than the value of my current car, which really isn't saying that much, but c'mon!
My dream is for my parents to meet my birth family. Charles and Sharon are just too dang old to take a long flight and then walk all over Korea. My mom has bad knees, my dad has a bad back, and he's had a long and hard year recovering from brain tumor surgery. On the other hand, it would cost a fortune to bring my entire Korean family over for a visit. So, if anyone knows how they can meet, give me some ideas!! Please!
My sisters are all wonderful women. My Korean parents got back on their feet and were able to put the girls through college. They're single and workin' it! They are a blast, and there's not a day goes by I don't think of them. We can sort of communicate because I took two years of college Korean, and they learned English in school as well.
So that's my story! If you can believe it, it's actually WAY longer. But I talk for a living, what did you expect?! Thank you for all of your stories, please send me more and post them so we can all share!