Korean Adoptee Diaries: Visit to Adoption Agency

hi everyone i am recording this from the grand hilton soul i just got back from my adoption agency Eastern social welfare society I had asked them to find my foster mother so I can meet her and they weren't able to locate her but I got an email while I was while i arrived in korea saying that they had found her and that i was going to get to meet her today so i went in the first thing that they did was introduce me to the founder of Eastern social welfare society who's actually 93 years old and so after I met with the president and the founder the social worker took me back down stairs and my foster mother had arrived it's just I when I walked in and she started speaking Korean and the social worker hadn't gotten in yet so I couldn't understand any of it but she was just touching my face and like she kept putting my hair behind my ears and just like grabbing my arms and um she told the social worker to translate to me um how happy she was in how um it seems like just yesterday that I left she told me that um it's so hard to say goodbye to the babies when they go to their families and that sometimes after the babies was leave she wouldn't be able to eat for a few days and just how wonderful it was to see me again she told me that oh and I left I was she just remembers how young I was because I was only three months old when I was adopted so I was with one of the youngest to travel from Korea and she told me that she wanted me to meet her family that she is two sons and two daughters and they all remembered me and one of her daughters wanted to come with but she said that no it was her time with me so her dad she would let her daughter come only just it was hard because she I couldn't speak Korean and so we had to translate this social worker and I was really stupid I didn't bring any pictures of my family with to show her because she's asking about my parents and my brother and so I actually asked them if I could show her on the computer so I pulled up a photo album online of my family while we were on a cruise and pointed out you know maupin and I'm saying how do any higher aboagye um and she enjoyed that and so we taught and took pictures and she asked a few more questions about me and it was just wonderful she said that she hadn't she didn't have any words but that just looking at me and um was enough she didn't really have that many questions about my life because she said that I looked so happy and to thank my parents for taking such good care of me and when I left she gave me an envelope because she wants me to write her letters and she told me that her granddaughter speaks English and can translate for her she she'd pulls out money she gave me like um 3,000 blonde she just um wait I'm really bad at math whatever that's no that's like three dollars so like um 30,000 12 G gives me she could pull some money and puts in the envelope for me and I was like Annie Annie no no no I don't need any money from you but it was just really sweet and um she told me to buy a souvenir to bring back to my family and so she wanted to actually drive me back to my hotel so I wouldn't have to take a cab but then the social worker said that there was one more thing that I needed to do and um that she I she probably shouldn't wait for me so I said goodbye to her and it was just really hard because it felt like there was so much more that we needed to catch up on but we didn't have very much time and it was really hard with the translator so she said goodbye really quickly because she said that was too hard to say goodbye to me again oh and then my social worker brought out my file that I didn't know I was gonna get to see and she went through it with me she opened the file and um she told me that she didn't know how much my adoptive parents had told me and she didn't know how much they actually knew because because of Korean law they might have been told a different story because it was really hard for married couples to be able to give children up for adoption so the first thing she told me was that my birth parents were actually married when they when they relinquish me in that I have two older sisters um they had two two daughters already and my my biological father was a taxi driver like my parents told me and he got in a traffic accident he caused a traffic accident while he was driving his taxi so he wasn't able to work they took away his they suspended his license and so they were having trouble making money and so my birth mother I guess they were separated um and she thought that it would be better if they gave me up for adoption so she brought me in so she went to the agency and arranged my adoption um and she went through the details I'm telling me about um with what my birth mother had given them about her and my birth father telling me know their ages and where they were born and then my social worker told me um she said I have good news and bad news and she said the good news was that um they found the last known address of my birth mother but that they hadn't been able to get in contact with her and that she's going to try to send her a telegram I'm to see if she can get in touch with her while I'm here and then she told me that um the bad news was that she looked up the record for my biological father and it said that he had passed away in 2004 and so she said that she was so sorry but she didn't know any details she thought that it must have been maybe an accident of some kind since that's a young age for him to have died and that she would still keep trying to look for my biological mother and my sisters but that um my sisters were so young they might not have told them about me so um it might be difficult to find them and then she just asked if I had any more questions and I was so overwhelmed by all the information that I would be given but I just asked her to help me get it taxi because um sometimes it was hard it's hard for me to tell the taxi drivers where I want to go that I don't speak Korean um so she made photocopies of stuff oh and um she gave me this key on son that's my Korean name this is a book that my parents made from me and they sent to Korea um we can't wait to be your mom and dad this is our house I guess this picture fell um and they just it's sent pictures of my family my grandparents to introduce them at the end it says we love you hurry home and I just thought it was so sweet and I'm embarrassed to be so surprised that I have this when I tell them um but yeah so um I came back to the hotel and I supposed to meet up with the rest of the people at the conference um to have dinner but i think i'm just going to stay here because I need time to let everything sink in and your stuff out but um I just want to say that I know that a lot of other adoptees have been contacting me an adoptive parents through YouTube because of my videos and I just like to conclude by saying that um I don't regret going to the agency at all I wish that I had gone sooner but at the same time I'm glad that I was old enough to be able to appreciate everything and under stand everything and also that I was old enough to where I felt like going back I become somebody that they could be proud of so anyway I guess sorry wrong conclusion but what I'm saying is that if you're an adoptive parent I would definitely support your children's decision to go back and visit their agency and meet their foster parents because it was amazing and make sure that then they know that you're behind them and I know my parents were really excited for me to get to do this and adoptees if you're having any concerns or hesitations reservations about coming back to Korea do it I haven't seen much of soul because I've been cooped up in the hotel room but I know that I want to come back again and thinking about coming back here to teach English per year because I need to devote more time this something that I I can't even describe I'm not I'm not even to try to describe hopefully that will encourage you to come here and find out for yourself how important it is to come

18 thoughts on “Korean Adoptee Diaries: Visit to Adoption Agency”

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I was also adopted through Eastern Social Welfare Service and returned to Korea a couple years ago to review the file and visit the orphanage.

    I wish you the best in your search for you biological family.

    The book your parents sent was so sweet and adorable 🙂 I was shown letters that wrote to show my progress after I arrived in the states. It was really special!

  2. Hi. I stumbled upon your video(s) just now, on my google search for 'eastern' who I was also adopted through. I'm an adoptee from Wisconsin, came over to the states when I was 6 months. As I'm writing this, I'm in Seoul, heading to the eastern offices to check out my file in a few hours. Anyways, glad you've shared your experience…I have been documenting some of my search but not quite as organized as you..

  3. wow awesome story! did you go to korea by yourself? stay strong, your struggles will make you an even more amazing person. i'm very sorry about your birth-father 🙁

  4. Very touching video. Many of us can totally relate. I really liked how you are able to tell the story and share your experience with us.

    Now get naked.

  5. Stephanie – I just stumbled across your video and wanted to say hello and congratulations. I'm so happy for you that you had a great experience in Korea and that you were able to meet your foster mother. How wonderful! I wish you all the best and hopefully we'll cross paths somewhere (you know how we KADs often do)!
    Amy Anderson

  6. Stephanie, that video is just beautiful. I'm happy for you, and proud of you, and it's great that you documented this for others who are contemplating making a similar journey.

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