I am sitting here in front of my computer wondering how I should tell this story. I realized earlier that I had completely forgotten when the story of my twin brothers was told. I feel I have a mental block, something holding back this memory. I asked my husband to recall our honeymoon and the day we learned of my brothers..and nothing. He remembered hearing of them while we were in KyungOk's home but I am not sure. I too, feel that is where it occurred but am concerned that there is no certainty. I went through my photo albums and hoped I had written down the events that led to our discovery to only find that I had written down a line or two of mentioning my brothers. To some it may not seem that important to remember the details of a memory, but for me and perhaps others, it is the only original source to their personal history.
My twin brothers. Much like my past, they come to me with no concrete definite answers but only more questions. While we were in Korea in 2004, I tell my sister, KyungSook, how I had always felt responsible for my Mother's death. How I carried this guilt for so many years. My sister speaks to our translator and he tells us that my Mother did not pass away after I was born..or at least not right away. She had died a few years later after she gave birth to twin boys. When they were born, I was at least three or four years old. After giving birth, my Mother's blood pressure had dropped and she later died of low blood pressure.
My sister explains that after my Mother passed away, she and my Father tried to care for all of us. The responsibility was overwhelming for my Father and my sister. KyungSook, continues to explain that she suddenly had to care for four boys and two little sisters. She had to cook for the family and work. They realized quickly that the best and only thing to do was to place my brothers up for adoption. They were given over to the care of the adoption agency around 1975-76. The names given to them were Yoo, KyungLee and Yoo, KyungIll (유경이 and 유경일). My sister tells the translator that they were given names one and two.. since they were twins.
Our brothers came into our lives and then were taken away before we had the chance to know them. I could not believe I was hearing this story of my twin brothers. My emotions soared up with joy and then must have fallen into every word to understand the fate of our little brothers. Soon after they had arrived at the agency, one of the twins became weak and passed away while he was still in the agency's care. I learned that the other twin baby brother was sent to The Netherlands and was adopted by a family there.
After thirty years of believing that I was the youngest of five children, I discovered that I was an older sister to twin brothers. My sister explains to me that I was the youngest to them since my twin brothers were put up for adoption when infants. I felt very guilty that I had forgotten them. That I never knew of them. I also had a sense of relief that rushed over me. I did not cause my Mother's death. I would like to say the guilt I had carried for so long instantly disappeared but it did not - only relieved and troubled. Troubled and sadden to find out we had a baby brother that had passed and a little brother living somewhere in The Netherlands. He is no longer so little now..maybe around mid-thirties? In a single visit, in one conversation, my past was rewritten. We all take in my sisters' story as we face each other, understanding what we must do. We decided to find him but we do not know where to start. My brother, KyungJin, tells us that they will try to contact some agencies. And here is where we left off.
5 years ago