Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Right at your finger tips

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.

14 comments:

golden zephyr said...

I understand the pain of not being able to connect with family members fully; the frustration of that language barrier there. I no longer have a relationship with either of my families because of this (I am not Korean... though my husband is)

I am currently studying Korean with the aim of being a translator (in part). I want to help adoptees reconnect with their families. I want to offer my time and services free, as something separate from my regular job. I've met many Korean adoptees in the US who wish to reconnect with their birth parents but don't even know how to begin, since they can't speak Korean.

I know what it's like to feel that sense of loss and disappointment and loneliness.

I hope that you can work things out soon--so that you can feel a little more... comfort.

Terra said...

Faith like courage requires hope to survive, and your heart is open and willing and walking a good path as you are means that anything can happen. I'm holding you in my heart.

Thank you Kyungmee for your kind words and caring. Your post at RB&C means a great deal to me.

In Spirit,
T.

kyungmee said...

thank you golden zepher:)
I think it is wonderful that you want to help and reach out to others!! It is hard like you said and at times very fustrating where you don't want to let it get the best of you and the situation. I am always hopeful and keep trying to reach out to them. I should be sending out another mail to hem and pictures soon. I hope at least they are recieving them and are happy with it. I am self teaching myself for some time..had lessons too but it is moving slowly. I try with what I know..langauge carries so much weight in relationships and identity..sometimes too much of an identifer...since we know there are so much more to who we are, how we identify, and our relationships with our past, other koreans, and families. Thanks for sharing here and hope to hear from you again!

kyungmee said...

Terra, I really do think you are doing something very special and meaningful to so many! I feel giulty that I have not gotton my act together to buy your book..I have told everyone I know about but have not done it myself..terrible! I will and I am glad to have met you here through these spaces we share.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyungmee,
I am sad to read about the frustrating situation. The language barrier certainly doesn't help but I think there are cultural elements too. Older generation Koreans find it very hard to express their feelings. As you live very different lives they can't even talk about mundane things either which makes it even harder. Also they probably have guilt feeling which they might get worse when they connect with you. Korea has saying "no news is good news" which indicates general attitute in staying in touch. Many of my korean friends who have married foreigners and live abroad often talks about this cultural difference. Thier husbands families send birthday cards, letters, thank you note ect on time but not korean families. Koreans will express their love for you in real terms/in action like mothers will drop everything to rush off to stay and look after the daughters family if and when they need etc really they will do anything for family. But they feel spoken even written words are superficial and used when people don't really mean it or can't be bother to do things. People often say "why do you need to hear us saying we love you you should know from all the things we do for you etc". I know all this is not that helpful but I want you to know that this kind of frustration is not unusual in ordinary korean households. Sanna

kyungmee said...

Hello Anonymos:)

Yes, I totally understand and agree! I have had Korean friends for many years and learned a lot over the years. I do also feel that sometimes it is an individual factor also that plays into things..along with cultural and situational. I really appreciate your comments here and hope that you will read some of my memoirs rom the beginning of this journey..from July & August..it may explain some things. All the best to you:)

Nozomi said...

Hi!!
I am sorry for how you feel right now...I know how wonderful it will be if they have better connection with you...but don't give up...they, too, might be where you are someday, right?

And sure, you should visit Korea! That's where you were born!!

What I understand from listening to Korean friends is in Korea,they have a lot of negative emotion about adoptions in general so maybe that is a part of the reason them not wanting to be so eager to reconnect...

It is hard to understand because Americans and Europeans are far more open and don't have such negative emotion toward adoption but even in Japan, adoptions are typically a taboo topic...

Anyway, hope you feel better..

kyungmee said...

Nozomi:)
Hi How are you? Yes, I hope to go back to Korea one day and seethem. I am still waiting to hear back but I think I will iether call or write again. I understand the differences and agree of that in Japan as well..from what I have heard. That is one reason I always have hope..it's been quite a journey so far..who knows what will happen next!

MIESFE - 64 said...

Hola puede ser muy interesanta poder canviar comentarios con otras culturas tan diferentes unas a otras un saludo de Miquel

kyungmee said...

MIESFE - 64 said... Hi can be very interesting to exchange comments with other cultures so different from each other a greeting from Miquel

miesfe, gracias por pasarse por aqui y comento!

peter lau said...

dear my friend, if i can said you my friend, i understand and can feel how your pain...but you have to get optimtic about this life...i belive you get a better day

korean war baby said...

Translation,
May I ask my Dutch friend who is familiar with me and has a blog http://bert-firebert.blogspot.com/
to translate your letters? I am sure he would do it for free. Bert Spoor used to work in films with me and lives back in the Netherlands. He has posted articles on Dutch adoptees even. I will ask him to send you an email. Once you have a link you could send Bert an email, then he could translate and send it to your brother, a visa versa. I am certain he would do it for me. Don't I have your email?
koreanwarbaby@gmail.com

kyungmee said...

korean war baby!
Hi. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Thank you for reaching out to me;) I will send you an email ..hope all is well with you!

Solim said...

Hi Kyungmee. I love your writing! I'm new to your blog and wanted to add your blog to my bloglist. Can you add my blog to your site as well? It's www.solimswalkinthepark.blogspot.com. I look forward to reading more of your stuff! Take care, Solim.

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