Post-Reunion

It’s hard to fathom that it’s been about 5 months since I met my mom in Korea.  The time has flown by, and all the things I wanted to when I returned don’t seem remotely possible anymore.

1.  Learn Korean – Well, I did enroll in a free Korean language course for a few months when I returned.  I got a copy of Rosetta Stone and studied in the morning before work every day.  Posted on my cousins’ and sister’s facebook wall in Konglish, and tried from time to time to write to my mom in Korean too.  But I know that if I really truly want to learn Korean, I will have to move to Korea for a little while.

2.  Keep In Touch – My cousins and sister joined facebook.  We message each other from time to time, and every once in a while I get to see photos of vacations and even marriages.  And I’ve come to realize that my mom keeps up on my life by checking on my facebook photos and status messages.  It’s a tough way to communicate, but it will have to do for now.  I’ve been told by other adoptees that keeping up communication post-reunion is tough.  And I’m realizing how hard it really is to have another family yet not be able to communicate directly.

3.  Sort Out My Feelings – The reality of meeting my mom for the first time is just starting to set in-call it decompression, or whatever.  It has finally happened, and here I am, in the same place as before but with a knowledge of a family that exists in another country.  What does this mean for my relationship with both my families?  How do I feel about not knowing my father’s side of the family?  Will I ever feel like I want to meet him?  Could I ever forgive myself if I asked my mom to help find him after everything he’s put her through?

4.  Resume Life – My life has been on hold ever since I got back…Well, it’s been on hold for a few years, but it’s felt more pronounced lately.  I feel like I need to move on to whatever my next step is in life.  However, I know there is this nagging urge to tackle everything related to my family whether it’s language acquisition, developing new relationships with my family, and maybe even reconciling with my father.

5.  Reality – I know it’s only been a few months since my trip.  But I feel like I’m being pulled in multiple directions, so much so, that I am standing still as families, languages, and complex circumstances play tug of war with my body and mind…

I need some assurance from other KADs that this is normal.  Although I AM part of the KAD community, I feel lost-the same type of lost I felt as a kid.   -GS

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4 Comments on “Post-Reunion

  1. I haven’t been what you’ve been through, so I can’t relate to your particular feelings. But I think it IS normal from what I’ve seen from so many others I know who have been through reunion. Each story is unique and has different complications but the same themes of how to connect seems to be something they have in common.

  2. Perfectly, absolutely normal, GS. It’s been 7+ years since my first reunion with my kajok, and sometimes I still feel as though I’m moving in slow motion, and being stretched and pulled and pushed in all different directions. That’s why I really hate the myth of “resolution” or “closure.” It’s a dangerous, false expectation to place on the search & reunion experience. Please don’t pressure yourself to tackle all these things right away. You’re not alone! (BTW, I also had a kind of delayed reality-setting-in reaction after reuniting with my mother.)

    I think the most helpful thing for me to begin processing my reunion situation was to talk to other KADs who had also been through reunions. If you ever want to chat about it, or just talk at someone, please just let me know. I understand how deep these feelings run, and how alienating and numbing it can be.

  3. Thanks you two! I can always count on you. It’s strange because I have BKA out here, but I still feel very much alone. There are not many members that have been through a reunion. And on top of that, I’m always curious about male KAD perspectives on reunion. But I don’t know many. Do you know other KAD bloggers who have gone through reunion?

  4. I agree with JR, everyones experience is different. From talking to other adoptees there are so many stories and they’re all unique but in almost all cases it just takes time to develop a relationship.
    I’m still working out a lot of my own feelings regarding reunion, and I had similar ideas about what I had to do such as learning the language etc. Now it’s less about what I “have to do” and more about what I “want to do,” and make a part of my life that I’m ok with. In this sense I don’t feel like I’m being pulled in different directions, I’m choosing the direction (I know, easier said than done). As far as building a relationship I really try to keep my expectations low and let things happen on their own. I still get frustrated, but I don’t want to expect something that may or may not happen because other adoptees had that experience.

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