Here are some more images of KyungIl that were taken during my visit in The Netherlands! For now, we are very excited about his visit and trying to go over a mental list of activities that we can do while he is with us! For my family in Korea, I have yet to write about his visit. I am wondering if I should just write to them in English so it can get to them sooner. It is something that is always on my mind..that I may lose the relationship we have made due to lack of communication and language barrier.
( These images were taken during my last day there. We spent the day walking around town and buying sweets for my children at home.)
A few weeks ago, my daughter and I went to the local Post Office to drop off mail for my brother, KyungIl's family. While waiting in line, a little boy came up to my daughter and began to talk to her. I looked down at them and smiled knowing my little one most likely would not dare to look at this cute boy trying very hard to get her attention. Instead, she shyly walked behind my legs and then proceeded to back up behind a poster nearby. As I watched her slip around the posterboard the little guy quickly followed her to sneak a peek around the poster and laugh. I could not help to laugh as well watching him so desperately to get her attention.
As the line moved forth, I continued to be mused by their actions as he continued to sneak a peek at my daughter and smile at her. Then, in the background, I heard a mother's voice calling to the little boy. I looked up to see his mother speaking to him in a familiar voice. I had heard this language before..and before I could help myself, I looked at her and asked her where she was from. She smiled and told me that she was from the Netherlands! Could you believe ...how funny things are! Standing there in line both of us with cards in hand waiting to be mailed to the Netherlands..we talked about her family and of my meeting with KyungIl and his family. I learned also that she had been in the Netherlands back in October 2009 while I also was visiting my Brother and his family! Tell me, what are the chances of something like this happening..right?
How special the day had turned out and how amazed I was to feel so close to my Brother and his family when only moments before I felt the distance between us as I held the card in my hand. This wonderful little boy and his mother allowed me to see we are as close as we allow ourself to feel.
Here are some more images from my visit back in October 2009. These images were taken while visiting Rotterdam Netherlands.
Hi everyone! I realize that much time has gone by here without any updates on how my relations have been since I had reconnected with my Eldest Sister in Korea and my Brother in The Netherlands. First, I want to announce that my Brother from The Netherlands will be coming out to visit this Spring bringing with him his Father and Brothers! We are very excited and looking forward to their visit. Our children will finally meet their Korean Dutch Uncle very soon! It is a wonderful feeling that my dreams of my children one day meeting the Family that I had once lost and thought would only be told of in stories. And I look into the future and tell our children that one day, we will fly to Korea for a Family Reunion..all United.
I cannot say that this is far fetched hopes for my distant dreams have truly come into reality. And I will take this with all its tears and laughter that it brings. For my Siblings in Korea..I am still hopeful and hope we will talk again.
I thought I would post some images of my Brother, KyungIl, from my visit to The Netherlands here from time to time until his arrival! The images below are from our lunch while visiting Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was his first time eating Asian-Fusion Food. I was very happy to share his First with him! A wonderful little place full of charactor and good feelings. Enjoy!
One night, during my visit in The Netherlands with my brother Kyung Il, he told me that I would be visiting his friends to make dinner. I was surprised and excited about this adventure of ours. My brother meets with a group of people every week and prepares a dish together. They meet and shop for their ingredients and later cook their meals...a very cool idea! Every week they take turns on deciding what they will eat.
Since I was visiting and a guess to their group, I was honored with a tradional Dutch meal. Served with this wonderful entree was one of my favorites..brussel sprouts! It was a pleasure to meet his friends and to cook with my brother. An opportunity that I will look forward to again.
These sweet new memories we made during my visit will be close to my heart...always.
I am always uneasy about writing on this space of my current affairs since it is hard to separate your emotions from what may be playing out in the moment. No time passed to reflect or to digest and understand total dynamics of the situation.
I have been thinking about translators and translation lately. I recently wrote a few letters to my siblings in Korea letting them know of my visit to The Netherlands and sent some photos of the trip and of our Brother, KyungIl and his family. I have not heard of any responses yet and don't expect one any time soon. That is how our relationship has been moving since we reunited back in 2004. I realize many factors play into this and some of them I may never know. What I do know and feel is that disappointment that I tell myself I would avoid since I decided to search for them. I could be happy to have just known them and have found them and in a way, I am pleased with just this. But inside always aches for more.
My friends tell me that if there are Translators that has offered to help me to use them. I wonder at what cost? Aside from our initial Translator that we found when we first came home from Korea, I have used many through listings and through chance meetings. But with each of them, it is awkward since I do not know them well and feel I am intruding or simply too many favors. Sometimes it is not that I can simply do a 3way conversation on my home phone but that if I would use their services, I would have to visit them in their home or work place at certain times and then make calls...and always not easy to do this.
And after I have made all the arrangements to call, they are not there or we speak for a few minutes and later try again and speak a little to find out that my family in Korea do not remember our last conversation and state that is not what was said. Translation lost? I don't image this is what all adoptees go through but perhaps some understand what I am speaking of?
I am still dreaming of one day going back to Korea to visit them. I fear that I will lose total contact once again or become so distant that it would be awkward to go there. I will keep sending them my letters and photos from here. I hope that I will one day receive one back and hear from them of how they are doing in their homes.
Prior to my visit to The Netherlands, I told me brother, KyungIl, that he must try korean food while I am visiting him in Holland. He explained that he would love this very much but would need to research where we may find them, perhaps, in Amsterdam. We must have googled Korean restaurants several times in search for Korean food but found that there were maybe only 8 or 9 listings and at least half of them were shut down or too far away for us to travel. I was amazed and could not believe how difficult it was to find them even for a major city. We did come across one that was not a very long distance away to adventure out and for my brother to try! So, my brother KyungIl, his oldest brother, and I set out on our quest. It was very exciting and I felt the pressure to know my Korean and Korean selections if you readers understand what I mean. Especially other adoptees out there. But knowing the fact I enjoy and eat in Korean Restaurants often I knew what comes with dining in one too. I was ready and hoped they would very much enjoy their first experience.
While we were there, we discovered that most of the people working and dining at the restaurant were not Korean, perhaps, one? I do not think anyone spoke Korean and if they did they did not respond back to me as Koreans usually do when I spoke to them with my " broken Korean Tongue". This often stirred up conversation in "most" restaurants or any Korean stores. I found it very interesting and was curious about the food. To my surprise most everything they brought out was very good..a little different but good! I was very happy that they both really enjoyed it and would try Korean food again. It was nice to know that maybe there were other Korean stores and markets nearby that my brother could shop at and try some other Korean foods. It was a very special evening to sit and eat with them at their very first Korean Experience. We ate, laughed, and carried the evening away with good conversations that a good meal brings to the table. A special night for I hope not only me but all of us!
A short time prior to my visit to The Netherlands, my brother created a weblog. I was thrilled that he wanted to create and share his experiences on his very own blog. Once it was set, it sat and waited for our meeting. He wanted to begin his adventure from our initial beginnings-my arrival in Amsterdam. How special this made me feel. Now he can share with his family, friends, and everyone his story and of our two weeks together. I am excited to see where this will take him. Only a couple months ago, I started a blog in hope to connect with other adoptees as well as my birth family and now I am introducing the blog of my brother from The Netherlands. I hope you can give his site a visit! His blog is called, yookyungil.
Upon arriving at the airport in Amsterdam about 6 AM on Saturday the 16th of October, KyungIl, his parents, and his sister and her family came out to greet me at my arrival. How emotional and wonderful it was that morning.
Here, KyungIl and his Sister and family pose for a picture.
The two photos above were taken during our visit to Heusden. A very old town that once was used as a military fort. *I have to admit we visited many places and I hope that I am remembering everything correctly.
The photo above is of KyungIl and his oldest brother in front his Teak Furniture Store.
Me & KyungIl. Taken by his brother on our train ride home after a day in Amsterdam together.
Jelle - (parents of KyungIl) family dog.
KyungIl's brother-in-law and his son.
KyungIl's middle brother and his daughter
KyungIl and his sister- in-law
Photos taken during his Mother's Birthday Party which we celebrated together during my visit there.
The nieces working on a project during the Birthday party.
His Sister. Photo taken in his Mother's house during her Birthday celebration.
KyungIl and his very good friend. One evening, we went to visit his friend in the town where he resides. It was very nice to meet her and her family. It was so great to be able to see a little bit of his world and the friendships he cherishes.
How suiting that I should look out my window to see the rain fall, drenching all that surrounds this house with its cool dampness and heavy thoughts that will continue to coat this house until I am to feel the weight of what has passed. There is no escaping it for it rains all around me. I wish not to run for cover for I shall welcome the rain and all new life that shall grow from it.
Home. It has been a couple days now since I have landed and had time to settle into my routine and bond with my family. And although I am so very happy to have returned I am missing very much my new family in The Netherlands. I had a great opportunity to meet and to get to know them in these last two weeks. They welcomed me into their homes and into their hearts. I am overjoyed by their kindness and especially happy that they are now part of my life as I hope I am to theirs.
My trip to The Netherlands opened the doors to our past and to our new future. I have not come back as the person I had left only a few days ago but changed with new memories and new hopes for our future. I welcome this new me with all that comes with change. I will not fight it or wish to for I know that I no longer can be the person I was only two weeks ago. Like every phase in this life, I do not know what it holds but I do welcome it as they have welcomed me into their life and into their hearts.
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A little BIO:)
What started as a need and desire to reach out to other Korean Adoptees and to also to look within myself has led me through an incredible journey. Since I had started my first blog, Korean American Adoptee Home is Within, I have reconnected with my family in Korea as well as found my younger brother in the Netherlands. I have also connected with many other adoptees,APs, and Artists who I feel are truly inspirational and empowering individuals. It has paved a way for me to learn, discover, and express my visions of how I see this world we share!