I was born at “Seoul Clinic” (the most vague name in the world), located in Kuri Town (구리), Namyangju County, Kyonggi Province. It takes about an hour and a half to get there by subway from Seoul Station in Seoul. My Korean name is Kang So Yung (강소영), however it is assumed my Korean name was given to me by an officer or someone at my adoption agency. This is actually a very common occurrence for adoptees – birthdays/date of birth were estimated or legal names were given by strangers. I was born 5 pounds and apparently loved taking baths (ironic, since I hate baths now).
A few days after I was born, my birth mother was no where to be found. She left me in the clinic. Alone. She did not register me. I was nameless and without my mother. Five days after I was born, I was taken to Namyangju County Office and then was taken to Holt Korea Reception Center, my adoption agency. I would love to know the strangers who transported me to each place. And I often wonder about my mother’s last thoughts as she left the hospital without me. What name did she have picked out for me?
Shortly after, I was placed with a foster family. These foster parents had four biological sons and had a good reputation of taking in many children preparing to be adopted. I was one of them. Ironic again, because unbeknownst to me, I would be adopted into a family with four biological sons to my adoptive parents as well.
I was going to be adopted quickly, however my eyelashes delayed my adoption – They were laying directly on my eyeball and there was much deliberation on whether or not I needed surgery. Thankfully, it worked itself out and after four months, I was flown to Memphis, TN along with other Korean adoptee babies.
My entire adoptive family was waiting for me in Memphis, TN. And then we drove home to Louisville, KY.