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.
Hello everyone! I feel this is kind of random writing to you today and I apologize. In some way, I feel writing about my current affairs is not easy. Perhaps, because I am living out what I am writing and therefore feel that I am too emotionally involved to sort out what all the values are and where all the perspectives are coming from. I hope you understand this rambling.
For the most part of this journey of 'blogging' I have mainly concentrated on my memoirs of my pre-adoption and post- adoption (the early years). Then it happened, in the midst of writing, my past once again came forth into my present. It happened the first time in 2004, when we found my siblings from childhood in Korea and this time, it was my younger brother who was adopted to The Netherlands as an infant.
In some respect, with the past and present meeting each other again, I felt stuck. Upon our meeting, I wanted to share everything here but knew that I was full of new emotions and old that would effect my understanding of what was happening not only to me but to all those involved. With this thought in mind, I introduced our encounter and then quietly left it. To write about the events of your life and of those who share it with you is something you cannot do so freely. It comes with great responsibility and for me, I respect this very much. The way your present life plays out and how it is perceived and later is reflected changes greatly not only once but perhaps again and again. I believe this is very true for many adoptees including my own life. I see this as I have learned of my past and relearned it again as new people and of those from my past come with their memories of a past that we had shared. I am not excluded from this for each stage of my life, I have gone through various understanding and emotions that attached it to the memories of what were once a present thought. In this way, I am right back where I started with this blog. I am writing and letting it take me as I follow. For my reunions and new unions with the people that have come into my life is just that.
Tomorrow, I will be leaving to go to meet my younger brother, Kyung Il, who resides in The Netherlands with his adopted family. In these short weeks, I have gotten to know them a little and am very happy they have welcomed me not only into their lives but to have me at their home! I will be staying with them for the next two weeks. I am very happy and thrilled to have this opportunity to spend time with my new extended family and my dear brother that I have learned of only a few years ago and have found just a couple months ago. I have to say that we have been speaking to one another on a daily basis and it is so nice because he understands and speaks English. I am always saddened that the relationships that I have with my siblings in Korea is limited due to the lack of communication and translation.
I think of fate and how life works out at times. I have longed so long for to reunite with my family that I lost as a child to now have found a new member of the family that speaks my adopted language. In this short time, I feel we understand each other more than my siblings in Korea will ever understand or know. I feel the only way this could change is if one of us learns the others’ tongue. I have felt that it was the distance between us not just the language that separated us since we found we each other in 2004 but now understand more that the language barrier is much stronger and divides us farther.
I wish I could express to my family in Korea how I feel and that I will be meeting my brother but perhaps that will come in time like all things. I will send my eldest sister a note about my visit and hope she will let the others know of this. I also hope that she will try to reconnect with my sister, Kyung Ok. I had lost contact with her about two years ago and am afraid my siblings in Korea had lost contact as well. From what I know, no one really knows why this happened which only leaves me to guess all the possibilities that come with reunions.
So, I will be leaving tomorrow and will check on my blogs while I am gone but will not be writing again for awhile. You can bet I will take lots of pictures and will post when I return! Take care everyone
I thought I would post this message here as well. I had just posted this on my photoblog, Sheltersky. Hope everyone can visit ROEB's photoblog. He has a lot on there and going through his archives, found many beautiful poems there as well.
Here it is:
A couple days ago, I had come across an interesting blog called, ROEB. This blog is out of The Netherlands which now holds much interest to me since I had recently connected with my younger brother who resides in The Netherlands. An agency out of Korea helped us to connect about a couple months ago. You see, I was adopted to the States when I was 7 years old and my brother to The Netherlands when he was an infant. Although, I had grown up thinking I was the youngest of five, I have come to learn we are 6 siblings in total. I had found out about my younger brother when my husband and I were visiting Korea on our honeymoon in 2004. We left Korea, not only having found my surviving siblings who continue to reside there but that I had a younger brother living in The Netherlands. If you are interested in reading more about my childhood memoirs and of our meeting, you can go to, Korean American Adoptee Home is Within.
Going through ROEB's blog gives me an interesting perspective of a place that my brother lives and that I will be able to visit next week. To me, it is interesting further because it depicts and gives us a glimps of the mix in cultures that co-exist within Holland. It is a thoughtful site and one that leaves me feeling more inquisitve and feeling more responsible for how I view the world around me. I wish ROEB much luck with his photoblog and am very happy to have met him here in cyberworld!
I just recieved this message through Facebook / yKAN October Social Event! It will be held in Manhattan, New York . I don't think you have to belong to the group to go to the Parade but may have to contact the group for their special night event. The contact email is at the bottom of the message I pasted here from yKAN. I will be unfortunately away this weekend but hope some of you can go out and show your support and have fun!
Subject: October 3rd: Choosuk Festival and Parade & yKAN October Social Event
October 3rd is a busy day for yKAN, as we will be celebrating Lunar Autumn Festival (Choosuk) AND Oktoberfest, all in one day!!
Some of us from yKAN will be going to the Choosuk Festival and Parade in Manhattan before we head out to yKAN's October Social Event at a beer garden in Long Island City. If you care to join us for the Choosuk celebration, meet us at the RESIDENCE INN on 39th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan at 12:30 PM. Afterwards, we can head out to Beer Garden at around 3 PM.
Meeting location: RESIDENCE INN ON 39TH STREET AND 6TH AVENUE IN MANHATTAN
Meeting time: 12:30 PM
Korean Festival Venue: 32nd Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway.
Korean Parade will be from noon to 2:00 PM on 6th Avenue from 41st Street to 24th Street.
yKAN October Social Event
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, come join us on Saturday, October 3rd, for a night of food and drinks in an open-air German-style beer garden at Studio Square!
Studio Square, located in Long Island City, Queens, NY is home to one of NYC’s largest and newest beer gardens, having an open-air eating and drinking area with park benches, as well as large indoor areas. Studio Square’s self serve, cash only menu features German and American grill favorites and there are 19 imported, domestic, and craft beers on draft.
Look for our outdoor table at Studio Square starting at 4:00 PM. Eboard members will bring balloons and will be wearing yKAN t-shirts. The venue is accessible by subway by the R, V, G lines as well as the N, W lines.
See Studio Squares’ website (http://www.facebook.com/l/2b69b;www.studiosquarenyc.com) for more information regarding directions and venue info.
What: yKAN October Social Event
When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Studio Square (S²)
35-33 36th Street, Astoria, NY 11103
Who: yKANers and friends
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.facebook.com/l/2b69b;facebook.ykan.org
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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!