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“My friend, there are a few mental issues with some of the people I’ve interacted with on the forums.”: My Conversation With James Ziomek

The more folks I talk to, the more I realize how “domestic” my life is.  Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy my life quite a bit; “domestic bliss” is alive and well.  Nevertheless, other adoptees do some interesting stuff with their lives…


Land of Gazillion Adoptees: What the heck are you doing in Baghdad?

James: I work in aviation services for a government contractor. I actually fell into this job back in 2005. I took a voluntary layoff from my last job because I had a study trip to Korea planned. So, after I returned I bummed around until the savings went down to about zero and took a job with my current company in the purchasing department. I worked in Florida until August 2010. Then I decided it was time to go make some real money. Also, I’m here for other reasons, too. My work schedule is 90 days on and 30 days off and so I can go to Korea every three months. And I’m trying to get my mortgages paid. I took out some equity when “the gettin’ was good” 😦

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Minus the mortgages, the 90 days on, 30 days off, and hanging out in Korea sounds fantastic! Moving on. You took issues with Dawn Davenport’s piece on Korean adoption.  Would you mind sharing what you said to her in response? Perhaps you’d like to elaborate?

James: I didn’t disagree with her entire article, just the portion that stated as fact that mental health issues shouldn’t be factored in. Actually, I found it offensive. You and I belong to the same forums and have run into some of the same people via the internet. Unfortunately, not all of the forums are as mature as “Our Community” and I’ve read some of the stories from other adoptees. My friend, there are a few mental issues with some of the people I’ve interacted with on the forums. Although I can’t relate with all of them as my adoptive parents were all kinds of awesomeness, I can relate to the feelings of confusion and anger which lead to self-esteem issues.

I’ve never been diagnosed, but I think I dealt with depression at some time in my life. I think that being adopted had contributed to those feelings. Ms. Davenport developed a fine article and it’s backed with reputable sources, but I have to call bullshit on the mental health issue. My hope is that someday Korea evolves and distances herself from some of the stereotypes that has plagued her and causes her to export one of the country’s greatest resources.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Thanks, James. So, while interacting with other Korean adoptees on Facebook forums, what has surprised you the most?

James: Hmm… I guess one of the most surprising things that I’ve noticed is the difference between the 70’s adoptees and younger adoptees. I was born in ’75 and adopted the same year. Back then assimilation was the name of the game. I never went to any “culture camps.” In fact, I’m not sure my parents knew the camps existed and they very well may not have in the late 70’s and early 80’s. What’s funny is that the first time I tried kimchi was when I was around the age of 29. I was surprised that it’s a cold dish! LOL! I had no idea that it wasn’t a warm dish.

Back to the question. I recently de-friended (OMG, right? LOL!) a younger adoptee on FB just because her posts were over the top. I’m not sure if those posts are due to being adopted or due to age, but I’ve seen some serious anger coming from her. Whether it’s from age and experience I’m not sure. However,  the older adoptees seem more comfortable with who they are whereas some of the younger ones want to be divisive. I think we can all come together and make a real impact. Sometimes I wish the older seasoned adoptees could mentor some of the younger ones, but for that to happen the younger adoptees have to want to receive the mentoring. Maybe it’s our fault for not reaching out. I dunno. Just thinking out loud now.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: I think you’re onto something, James…  But, ah, kimchi is a cold dish?!

2 Comments on “My friend, there are a few mental issues with some of the people I’ve interacted with on the forums.”: My Conversation With James Ziomek

  1. I think the forums you mention definitely speak to your points of the real, existing fact of mental health issues among adoptees and the fact that even adoptees from the “new” age of adoption are clearly not receiving the tools and resources to build a healthy adoptee identities or communities.

  2. This is great! I love your answers! I am in a similar boat as you are and the same generation. You are definitely onto something. Something else that GEN Y needs to consider is that our parents had minimal resources during our era of GEN X. Mentoring younger adoptees is really cool, but they really have to want it and cooperate w/us ‘oldsters.’ It takes both parties and cooperation is crucial. Adoption really needs to utilize a holistic & realistic approach. Thank you again. 🙂

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