Korea Here I Come!

I can't wait. I leave Tuesday morning for a one-week trip to Korea, my fourth visit since 1994, most definitely not my last.

I'm going primarily to attend the KAAN Conference, which is taking place for the first time in Korea. International Korean Adoptee Services (InKAS) is the local coordinator, and with their efforts and those of many organizations in Korea that support Korean mothers, adopted Koreans, and Korean adoptive families (like G.O.A'L, ASK, GAIPS, Aeranwon, and KoRoot, to name just a few), the conference promises to be enlightening.

I'll be participating in a two-part panel discussion between domestic Korean adoptive parents and intercountry Korean adoptive parents. Although the panel was originally planned to be an opportunity for each group to share experiences and insights, there was a recent change in direction. The Korean a-parents are particularly interest in a specific topic: searching for first families. I'm really excited about this, because it seems to bear out what I've been hoping - which is that there is a change in direction regarding openness in Korean adoption. I'm glad that adoptive parents will have an opportunity to add our voices to this dialog. The US panel was asked to share our thoughts in writing so the interpreter could have a chance to prepare for the discussion, so I provided the two-minute versions of my family's experience and message to my children's families.

I'll also be visiting Eastern Social Welfare Society, the Korean agency that coordinated our children's adoptions, and will of course be doing battle with The File Nazis to check our children's files, confirm that the things we've asked to be included over the years are still there (especially the albums the kids made in 2001), to see if perhaps their first families have come to see the files, and to add letters and photos.

Although I only have two days for non-conference activities, I'll be making the most of them. I'm taking a day trip to Icheon, connecting with good friends who will be in Korea leading this year's Korea Homeland Tour, hopefully visiting three other Korean friends. And of course, I'll be eating some awesome Korean food and doing a little shopping. The kids, of course, are sending me with lists.

A little packing, one more day of work, and then I'm off. Every time I go to Korea (this will be my fourth trip), I discover something new, something that adds to my love for this amazing country and its amazing people. I can't wait to find out what it will be this time.


suz said…
have a safe trip. look forward to hearing about it when you get back.
Mama Nabi said…
Have a great time! And stay safe!
KimKim said…
Hope you have a wonderful journey.
This sounds so exciting! I hope you are going to post pictures for us! Are you learning any Korean? I am full of questions and I hope you are going to tell us everything you see and do and hear!! I have taught English to many Korean students and eaten some awesome Korean food. I've only been in the airport in Seoul once, never stepped foot outside. I am jealous of you! I'd love to hear what you hear on the news while there too, in regards to the political situation.
That sounds like a great trip, I am just curious why the kids are not going with you? Did they not want to? Couldnt?
Just wondering?
Mia said…
I can't WAIT to hear how this trip went!!! I hope you get the chance to post soon and I also hope your trip was everything you hoped it would be. I am particularly curious to know if the file nazis kept everything you sent. Fingers crossed!

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