Dear Mom.

Dear Mom,

How are you handling COVID in Korea? I assume you still live in Korea, but I honestly do not know where you are living. I do not even know if you are still alive, actually. However, today I am going to assume you are both alive and living in Korea. I heard Korea is doing really well with the pandemic – probably the decades of habit in wearing a mask really helped. And the homogenous culture. In Louisville, Kentucky, it was as controlled as it could be for a little while. But then people started getting antsy and making “wearing a mask” a political statement or protest and our numbers have increased. My husband and I do not go out much. We were homebodies before the pandemic but we certainly are even more so now, uncomfortably so.

I suppose I’m small talking at the moment because I’m not sure where to start with my letter to you, and current events seems like a global thing to talk about. I have recently been involved in the adult adoptee community online. It has basically given me a purpose in life. Prior to the pandemic, I lived my life without any kind of community. I stopped going to church because it has been a painful process of understanding my time at my college ministry. It was a cult. I was in a cult. So I took a step back after being in several ministries for 13 years of my life.

So back to the adoptee community. Did you know there is such a thing? Where adoptees from all over the world use social media to communicate and build friendships? It’s amazing. If there was one thing that came from this pandemic, it was this community coming into my life. We talk about things that only other adoptees understand in similar ways. Abandonment. Rejection. Identity. Racism. Of course there are so many people who understand these issues, but adoptees GET these issues to our core.

What kind of community do you have in your life? Do you know any other birth moms? I know the culture of single mothers is so different in Korea and very much not accepted by society. I hate this about Korean culture. Ultimately, it seems to be a huge reason why mothers relinquish a child.

I hope to hear from you soon. Some days I have hope to meet you and other days, I feel the impossible weight of our separation. I hope you are well.


Kang So Yung, 강소영

I Miss That Person.

I have been searching for my birth family for 11 years. Actively searching for 11 years. In 2012, I lived in Korea and decided to pursue an adoptee’s last option – going on national television. For an adoptee who has no information, this is considered to be the last resort for our search.

I appeared on “I Miss That Person” on July 27, 2012. It was a popular show for anyone who had lost touch with someone in their life and wanted to reconnect. There were several adoptees who were interviewed on the show. The week before me, a Michigan adoptee reunited with his birth mother.

Much like any popular broadcast network, KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) likes a good show. Tears. Emotion. Drama. They told me it was okay if I cried. I had the feeling they were encouraging me to. But alas, I did not.

I felt nervous. Anxious. What if a family member was watching? What if someone put together some puzzle pieces of the past? I was sweating so bad, I was so nervous. I kept touching my face. Some makeup person kept powdering my face between breaks. I was nervous having to work with a translator. I was nervous about stumbling over my own words. I talk slow so I was also nervous about moving too slow for the hosts.

The interview went fine. It was as expected. I had 12 minutes with the hosts and translator. It was an adrenaline rush. It felt forever and flew by so quickly.

Nothing ever came from appearing on television. The KBS contact told me there were many callers after the show but no one had a solid piece of information on my family or my story. I left empty-handed and waited for anything to come from it. Weeks. Months. And all was forgotten.

Isn’t it something that I have to go on national television and share my entire adoption story just to attempt to gain some kind of information about my own life? It felt both liberating and embarrassing. But I did it. And I have been doing it over and over for 11 years. In online news outlets. Over the radio. In newspapers. Contacting my agency.

I would still like to return again and visit my hometown of Guri, located on the outskirts of Seoul. I have visited a couple times and would like to do more investigation with possibly some flyers.

I am unable to share my interview via YouTube due to copyright issues, however if you would like to watch them, I can email them to you, via DropBox. I have held on to these 3 short videos since 2012. I haven’t shared these to many but in lieu of watching “Closure” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” I wanted to share.