I’m grateful. A lot of little things had to happen within a short period of time in order to make this blog come alive. In fact, things happened so quickly, I’m terrified of launching this site under such circumstances in case this whole project fails miserably. But as many successful innovators have told me time and time again, you just have to push those fears aside and forge ahead if you’re ever going to really have any sort of fighting chance at all. And so here we are, online less than a month since this whole thing germinated.
As an introduction, americanblends was created to share articles from my soon-to-debut column in Asia Trend Magazine, Adopted America. Asia Trend’s circulation is limited to the state of Florida, but as I started to tell others here in the Washington, DC area about the column I was launching, several expressed disappointment they couldn’t read my pieces because the magazine didn’t expand beyond Florida’s borders. After telling the magazine’s editor about the reactions folks outside of Florida were having in response to news of my upcoming column, she generously agreed to let me repost my work on a personal blog, and so here we are!
You’re probably wondering about the story behind Adopted America and what the column will be about. I’m grateful for the events that led to its creation, too. Like many endeavors, it started with an idea and someone with influence believing in me and my idea and presenting me with an opportunity.
First the facts. I am Korean. I am also American. And at a young age, I was internationally adopted. I’m not the only one with such a background, but with all the news, noise and politics that infiltrates our world, I might as well be. I know I have an interesting story, even though it consists of a lot of unknowns. I don’t know what time of day or night I was born; I don’t know which of my birth parents I look like or behave like. I don’t know where I got my freckles or who gave my feet such a high arch. I don’t speak the language of the country I was born in, and I have two names: a Korean name a stranger gave to me hours after I was born, and an American name my adoptive father gave me. I don’t look anything like the family who raised me, and I have spent years trying to find that balance between being Asian and American and coming to terms with the fact that not all Americans see me as American and not all Asians see me as Asian. It has been a journey for sure.
But over the years I’ve come to learn that I am not the only on this journey. There are thousands of Asian-Americans who have been internationally adopted like me. Many of them, also like me, are now full-grown adults contributing to society. Others are on their way to becoming so. And yet our stories, as unique as they are, kind of melt into the background.
I didn’t want that to happen. So I pitched my idea to Asia Trend Magazine about writing a column about Asian-Americans who have been internationally adopted. The column would cover their stories, the stories of their adoptive families and interviews with those who make international adoption possible: case workers, lawyers, judges and advocates. And so Adopted America was born.
As for the blog, americanblends, it will feature my stories as they are published on a monthly basis, but I hope to keep this space updated between stories with related news clips of interest, essays and musings and pieces of my own personal story that won’t make it to print in the magazine. So please be kind, knowing this is a work in progress. And please visit again as I work to make the stories of Asian-American adoptees heard more clearly in a world full of competing voices.