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.
Madeline Yochum, 25, and Andrew Blad, 28, share with us their experiences growing up in North America. On the surface, one might think they have a lot in common: both are millennial Korean adoptees living in Korea. But actually, they’ve had very different childhoods and as a couple, are learning from each other. Listen to their story.
Alicia Soon, 33, is a Korean-American adoptee living in Seoul, Korea. She talks to us about her childhood on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, how she struggled within her adoptive family and of ultimately liberating herself and of being back in the country of her birth. Below is a sampling of her ink drawings inspired by her reunion with her birth family.