Opening a Pandora’s Box: Taking a DNA Test

 

Not too long ago, I wrote about my decision to take a DNA test as a Korean adoptee. This was a very personal choice that took me a few years to comfortably make. For various reasons, I resisted the desire to learn more about where I came from for as one fellow adoptee said to me regarding us adoptees’ personal resolutions to do anything related to unearthing more information about ourselves and our pasts, such a step can be scary, because once you open that Pandora’s box, you cannot control what comes out.  Continue reading “Opening a Pandora’s Box: Taking a DNA Test”

My Life as an Adoptee in Q&A

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Almost any adoptee can relate to the curiosity one’s friends and peers might have about what it’s like being adopted. Some questions are household staples, others come dangerously close to being too personal and some are flat-out inappropriate. I’ve compiled list of some of the common questions I have been asked over the years and my responses to each: Continue reading “My Life as an Adoptee in Q&A”

Why I’ve Decided to Take a DNA Test

For several years now, DNA tests have been used to help adoptees find their biological parents and/or living family members. They have also been instrumental in absence of family medical records.

The Korean adoptee community has been at the forefront of utilizing DNA tests to pair adoptees with living biological family members—or at least attempt to give adoptees more information about their genetic make-up, but as an outside observer has pointed out to me, this collection of DNA is doing something much more—it’s compiling recorded data on Korea’s adoptee community, something that has not existed before. Continue reading “Why I’ve Decided to Take a DNA Test”

Living with two names: reclaiming birth identities

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When I was in second grade, I went through a mini identity crisis. For reasons I can’t really remember (I was probably bored and wanted to seem unique), I decided to use my Korean birth name on all my school papers. Of course everyone at school, including my teacher, knew me as Jodi, but for some reason, I wanted people to start knowing me as Soh Young (or Lee Soh Young / 이소영 to be exact). And so for a couple months, that was what I did. I used my Korean name on all my school papers and temporarily went by the first name of Soh Young. Kind of dorky, I know. But for some reason, it seemed important to me at the time.

It didn’t last long. Continue reading “Living with two names: reclaiming birth identities”

Why I Have Chosen Not to Search for My Birth Parents

Last night I spoke with a good friend of mine who is also an adoptee from Korea. We’ve known each other for years, and I am very familiar with his story and his search for his biological parents. In fact, he has agreed to be the subject of one of my upcoming column articles – although his story doesn’t have a happy ending, it is still incredibly fascinating and shows the very realistic side of searching for one’s birth parents.

During our conversation last night, he asked me about my own search story. He said it is funny how after all these years of knowing each other, he has never heard me share my experience. Continue reading “Why I Have Chosen Not to Search for My Birth Parents”