I left Minnesota this past Wednesday for my current solo trip to South Korea feeling lost, confused about my place in the world, isolated, and, above all, lonely. It’s been years since I’ve been so unsettled. The last time I felt this lost was a decade ago when I returned to Korea for the first time. Fortunately the flight was uneventful. However, I admit that I had a moment midway through the flight while flipping through pictures of my children on my phone. “Pictures of You” by The Cure popped into my mind. Soon my eyes filled with tears.
I’m halfway through my visit to “the homeland.” In an amazing turnaround, I woke up this morning focused, centered, grounded, and, most importantly, at peace in a way that I’ve never been. I have others to thank for this.
The daughter of one of my cousins – The hug she gave me at the airport was totally needed.
My family – As always, they’ve been welcoming and, this time around, have gone out of their way to offer me personal space.
Other Korean adoptees – The KADs I’ve met thus far have given me great advice and perspective. Jane Jeong Trenka, in particular, showed me a path that I can take that will help me to balance the work of Land of Gazillion Adoptees and my personal life as an adoptee.
My mother – I’m not religious or spiritual, but I know that my mother has “moved on.” For the first time, I shed no tears talking with her at her place of rest, which in the past has been surrounded by her loss, pain, and grief. Rather, I spoke of her legacy that resides within my children and me; I know in my heart that she has finally embraced internal peace.
Peace. Indeed, that’s what I’ve discovered here, and that’s what will be going back to Minnesota with me.