Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Simple Sunday

Life doesn't stop. Even when your life ends, life continues. The never ending process of birth, growth, decline, and rest. It's a beautiful circle that spins in one direction. No possible chance to reverse it. The colors radiate brightly at the highlight of it's spin, then the colors fade. *brainstorm*now I have a writer's block*

I think I've spent enough time debating whether or not it's the right moment or the right choice to meet my biological mother. So that's why I've decided to meet her within the next month. This is a rather scary, big step for me. Jumping in and not knowing what I'm jumping in to is hard to do.

Over the last few days I've realized that things can change without notice. I don't want something to happen that would ruin my chances of ever meeting this woman.

Yesterday, it was rainy and foreshadowed the next season. Fall is coming and I'm excited. The colors, the weather, it makes me feel..hopeful...It's beautiful.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Goal Conference Weekend

This weekend I went to G.O.A.L's 10th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Conference.
G.O.A.L. is an organization for people who were adopted. This was the first time I had ever been to an event like this. It was odd being surrounded by so many people who had somewhat of a similar background as me. On Friday there was an opening ceremony and dinner. Saturday was definitely a long day filled with a variety of workshops, meals, and mingling.

A few of the workshops that I went to were rather interesting. The first one was about the myth of the angry adoptee which was presented by members of ASK. ASK is an organization that wants to put an end to intercontinental adoption from Korea. They believe that Korean children should be only placed up for adoption domestically which is difficult because many native Koreans don't want to adopt for the sake of their bloodline. I found this absurd and disagreed with what they were discussing. Some of the questions from the people at the workshops were not given clear answers. The presenters talked about the different stereotypes of the angry adoptee...If you're angry then it must be because you had bad experiences with your adoptive family, any time an adopted person is angry it's because they are adopted, etc.

I also went to a post-reunion discussion in the afternoon. There were four panelists that talked about their situations meeting their birth families and all had amazing stories. The discussion helped me a little with my decision to meet with my biological mother and in a way also hindered it as well. Some of the advice was to not wait too long because time might not be on your side, to really consider the feelings of your biological parents, to set boundaries and to set them up in the beginning, and to know what you want from them.

I'm not exactly sure what I want from my biological mother. I know I want answers, but then what? How do I set these boundaries if I don't know if I want her in my life? What if there is some kind of disappointment? What if she has expectations for me?

After the workshop I heard someone call out my Korean name. I turned around and realized it was Soo Hyun, my social worker from SWS. It was random to see her at the conference and also that she knew Sun (new coworker at E*Spirit). She told me that she had received the second letter from my biological mother and that she would send the translation sometime this week.

Saturday night there was a big party at Club Air in Apgujeong for all of the adoptees. I had a lot of fun mingling, dancing, and drinking. Although it took awhile for people to really start dancing because there was a lot of techno music (the majority of the crowd preferred hip-hop)...the music switched back and forth all night. Around 11pm, non-adoptees began to mix in and it got really packed. A group of us left around three in the morning.

Today I went to a show called JUMP. It's a comedic martial arts show and it was fantastic! The music had great beats and the performers had a lot of energy. They also were really fun to look at!

Final Days of My Adventure (quick overview)

The rest of the trip...

On the tiger temple tour I managed to see a few other places such as the River Kwai Bridge, War Museum, and a snake show.

Wednesday I got on a plane and flew to Koh Samui and stayed there for three days. The weather was wonderful for the majority of my visit. While I was in Koh Samui I stayed at Rummana Boutique was very nice but there wasn't much to do locally (Lamai). I had to go to Chaweng beach to get any shopping done.

I wanted to go snorkeling near Koh Tao but an island storm was approaching and I decided it was best not to go out on the water. So I went back to sleep and then woke up for the two hour "Touch of Paradise" treatment at the spa. This included: the steam room, mandarin full body scrub, aromatherapy full body massage, and many cups of delicious ginger tea. Afterwards I decided to go take a walk down the street to take a look at the popular rock formations called Hin Ta and Hin Yai. They are known as the grandmother and grandfather rocks and are popular because they resemble male and female genitalia. The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool and on the beach (the rainstorm cleared out rather quickly). While I ate lunch I heard a country version of Cotton Fields. It made me smile and think of all of my Masker girls.

The next day I ended up going snorkeling but I didn't go to Koh Tao. I went snorkeling near Dog Free Island/Koh Tan. The water wasn't that clear but I could see well enough. I noticed two kinds of fish and all of the neat coral as well. On Koh Tan I ate some Thai chicken and veggies with a family from Denmark and relaxed on the basically deserted island. Dennis, the tattooed uncle, talked to me the most. He was an amusing man and told me that I should come visit Denmark because it had the best beer in the world. Oh and he gave me the nickname "Mississippi."

That night I decided to go to Chaweng and do some shopping. I ate salmon and french fries (tsk tsk) at a local bar called The Orchid and enjoyed a mojito as well. Through out the night vehicles would drive down the road with advertisements blaring out of speakers for Thai boxing shows. At first it didn't bother me so much, but then I found it rather annoying. I was also asked if I was a "China person" or a "Japan person." One guy got offended when a Thai man asked if he was an Indian.

The next day I went to the elephant show and then caught a ride back to the airport. The elephants were amazing! Flower, the name of one of the younger elephants, got to come around and greet all of the guests. She would use her trunk to touch everyone. It was amusing to watch people freak out as she went for their heads. After the elephant show there was a monkey and short Thai boxing show. At the very end I got to go on about a 30 minute trek on an elephant up a hill. It was a little bit bumpy but overall the ride was enjoyable. On the way to the airport traffic started to back up. I thought it was a bad car accident. That wasn't it at all! The king had come to the island and stopped traffic until his dark blue van had passed....

Overall my journey to Thailand was exciting and memorable. I look forward to the time when I can make it back to see/do more things, meet more people, and perhaps enjoy the food as well! I'm already trying to decide where I want to go for winter vacation...