Korean adoptee activist Kim Stoker, 44, sits down to talk with us about moving back to Korea and staying for nearly two decades. She’ll also share her thoughts on identity and of how she has forged one for herself here in Korea that resists the pressure of assimilation and acknowledges the many complex experiences that make up an adopted person’s life. Stoker was also one of the early members of ASK, or Adoptee Solidarity Korea, one of the first Korea-based advocacy groups by and for adoptees.
Mark Wilson, 31, is a Korean-American adoptee who has lived in Korea for the past six years. Wilson grew up as a typical suburban kid but struggled with feelings of fitting in and dealing with racism on his own in his almost all white town. At college, he befriended some Korean foreign exchange students and started to feel accepted as an ethnic Korean by his new friends. He also spent time as a youth counselor at a camp run by an adoption agency. Those experiences convinced him to return to and discover Korean for himself. Wilson shares some humorous and touching stories about his life here.
Six years ago, Korean adoptee Hana Crisp, 32, of Melbourne, Australia, found her birth family, including a biological half-brother Subin Kim, 29. Both agreed to be interviewed about their relationship and the reunion process over time. In separate interviews, the biological half-siblings provide a rare glimpse of what connecting and reestablishing family bonds is like after a lifetime apart, and within the context of relinquishment.
Brian Park, 25, is a Korean-American adoptee and is gay. He’s been living in Korea since 2014 when he met his birth family. Park is used to feeling different – first growing up in remote Iowa as one of only a few Asian faces, and later as he came to terms with his sexuality in Arizona, among new friends and at a new school. We’ll hear about his path to self-acceptance and and how being in Korea has meant having to negotiate a different set of societal norms, and why he does.
Miranda Kerkhove, 41, is a Korean adoptee from the Netherlands. A translator by trade, Kerkhove’s interest in her ethnic roots was first sparked by language, which prompted a move back to Korea. Kerkhove talks about life back in her birth country and a feeling of duality that has emerged.
Megan Arnesen, 30, of Plymouth, Minnesota spent the summer in Daejeon, Korea on an English teaching internship. She’s a Korean-American adoptee who had already lived in Korea, the land of her birth, previously. This time, Arnesen returned as a new bride and reflected on her reunion with her birth family, being raised in a nearly all-white community in the Midwest and about her feelings about being adopted.