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!

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