Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arrival & Departure

Okay. Here is an essay I wrote when I was in Middle School. Back then, I used to write about my adoption and my memories of Korea in fear I would eventually forget my past or blur them together. Being so young, adopted and not able to turn to anyone to validate my memories was always tough. I have so many memories but yet do not know if they are only my interpretations of my past or if those memories were indeed my past. You would think, because I was adopted when I was around 7 years old, my identity would be more intact and there would be fewer questions. This is not the case. I hold many memories and fading faces that to this day trouble me. I guess you can say that I cannot remember a time when I did not feel that sense of uncertainty and void within my heart.

Departure & Arrival_

I stopped walking and stood in the middle of a huge white building. Echoes from the monitors continued to bounce off the brightly painted white walls. People rushed in every which direction as the voice over the speaker announced the departing flights. I wanted to turn back. I did not want to go. Tears ran down my face. I did not want to cry but it was too late. I turned to her, looking for approval, but the only response I received from my Foster Mother was for me to go on . She is telling me to be strong and brave. Brave for the younger ones that were also leaving for the same destination. I dried my eyes and did not look back. I continued to walk ahead as I carried a baby in one arm and held tight to a little girl's hand. When we arrived at our waiting area, a tall blond American Lady greeted us. She was my flight escort to America.

I was the last one to go. By the time my flight had arrived, the baby and the little girl had been taken away by their new care takers. The blond American Lady took my hand and led me onto the plane. All she knew how to say in Korean was, "KyungMee" my name.

Once I was on the plane, my thoughts went back to my Eldest Sister. It had been a few months since I last saw her. I wondered if she would come and take me home. I missed her and was angry at her as well. The ride seemed forever and I did not know how far or where America was. At one point during the ride, I peered out the small circular window. Looking down, I could see a lot of snow covered houses and people. As I continued to look, I realized that they were clouds.

When we arrived in America, the blond American Lady and I departed the plane to get onto another plane only slightly smaller. Most of the flight I kept busy with crayons and candy. At one point, I had to go use the bathroom. I tried to speak to the American Lady but she did not understand me. I found myself standing up and squatting to show I had to go. During the rest of my flight, I stared out of the little window wondering what my new family would look like.

Coming off the plane, we walked through a long walk way that led us into a very busy and loud waiting area. The people in the room seemed very different. They looked and dressed differently. It seemed everyone had blond hair. I could hear everyone talking but could not understand. No words spoken made sense to me. I suddenly felt very lost. The blond Lady grabbed my hand and headed for a strange moving stairway.

As I stood on these moving stairs, dressed in my brand new clothes, my eyes searched for anything familiar but there was nothing. I only heard loud voices echoing and confusing me. Finally, we reached the bottom floor, and the American lady led me towards my new Family. I tried not to look directly at them. Standing in front of me was my new Mother and Sister. They looked exactly the same as they did in the photographs I had in Korea. They embraced me with welcome and gave me many gifts. I could not share the same joy that day. In my mind, I knew, I had to be very good and useful to my new Mother so my Eldest Sister would be proud and come for me.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

What a heartbreaking and honest essay--and what a mature middle schooler you were! But I guess you had no choice but to be given your situation. Thank you for sharing that.

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