Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

1 Big Family from a Korean Adoptee's POV

Expand Messages
  • Sunny Jo
    1 Big Family from a Korean Adoptee s POV jkincaid s picture Posted by jkincaid on 02/27/2012 - 10:46 There was never a time I didn’t know I was adopted.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2012
      1 Big Family from a Korean Adoptee's POV
      jkincaid's picture
      Posted by jkincaid on 02/27/2012 - 10:46

      There was never a time I didn’t know I was adopted. I’m not sure when
      I came to understand what that exactly meant, but as an Asian-featured
      child raised by Caucasian parents alongside two Caucasian siblings –
      and with the moniker of Jennifer Lindsey Kincaid – it wasn’t too
      difficult in my family to spot that one of us was not like the others.

      Unlike the orphans we work with here at Half the Sky, I came from
      Seoul, South Korea, not China. But I started the way so many of them
      have – left without any clue to my biological parents’ identity, at
      the age of 1 and a half, at a crowded bus stop in the heart of the
      city. I spent some time in an orphanage and foster care before being
      adopted by my parents and flown to Los Angeles at the age of 2, then
      taken to Sacramento, Calif., where I would live for the next 16 years.

      Growing up in Sacramento meant I didn’t lack for ethnic diversity. In
      fact, several years ago, Time Magazine ran an article on a Harvard
      University study that found Sacramento to be the most diverse city in
      the United States. But in the insular suburban neighborhood where I
      was raised, I didn’t know a single adopted person. Nor did I know any
      Koreans. And the thing is – I didn’t care. Sure, my mom made some
      amazing bolgolgi, but that was always paired with her famous potato
      salad whose origins lay somewhere in the Midwest (a South Dakota
      Baptist church picnic, most likely). I was called a “banana” – yellow
      on the outside, white on the inside. I ate more sauerkraut than

      It wasn’t as if I was discouraged from learning about my culture. In
      fact, when I was 14, my parents generously offered to take me back to
      South Korea to explore whatever unknowable roots I had there. “No
      thanks,” I told them with the haughty taking-for-granted attitude that
      only the adolescent can perfect. “I’d rather go to Europe.”

      But as I grew older, I realized that I didn’t know anything about
      where I came from, and it bothered me. I didn’t feel I was being
      disloyal to my parents – the ones who raised me and loved me and cared
      for me throughout my entire life – their background would always be
      mine. But it bothered me that I didn’t know anyone from the Korean
      culture or who had been adopted from Korea like me. I didn’t know
      about any customs or practices; even the Korean food was a mystery to
      me. And as I grew older and grew more curious about where I came from,
      I realized I had no clue where to start.

      The Internet had already become a commonplace thing, a veritable
      goldmine of information at my fingertips. But it was overwhelming. How
      do I find correct information? How do I find credible information? How
      can I find information that pertains to me, that is relevant to what I
      want to know for my own personal, identity-seeking reasons?

      This is why 1 Big Family has such appeal to me. It’s a community of
      people who are searching for clues, for background, identity and
      culture – all which is available in one portal. If only I had a
      resource like this – an online community where I can interact with
      people like me, who are seeking answers, just like me. Who want to ask
      questions, just like me.

      Those who belong to 1 Big Family are lucky. Take it from someone who
      doesn’t have a resource like 1 Big Family. Here is a community who
      gets to connect with others who are looking for the same thing – that
      connection that is so important and so difficult to find. 1 Big Family
      makes it all possible.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.