In June I submitted an application to Holt requesting my international adoption file and an assessment to be made on whether there is enough information to conduct a successful birth family search.
Holt is constantly receiving requests just like mine from adoptees with the same hope to meet their birth family. Because of this realization, I knew waiting for a response would require a lot of patience (not one of my strong points).
After almost six months of waiting, I finally received an e-mail from the Administrative Coordinator of Holt's Post Adoption Services, Debby Hanson. When I saw the e-mail sitting in my mailbox, I could hardly contain my excitement! I was at work at the moment, and had to maintain some professionalism, so I saved my happy-dance for when I got home.
In the e-mail I received a full set of documents from my file, both in English and Korean. I already had most of the same documents in my own personal records, but did find some new and very interesting information.
I found out that when I was born, my birth parents had been married for 13 years and had 5 daughters. I already knew about my 5 birth sisters but what I did not know was that the 5th daughter was also placed for adoption because my birth parents were waiting to have a son. Holt does not have any other information in their records about the 5th daughter because her adoption was not through their agency.
My birth family of 6 rented one room to live in and were struggling financially, barely getting by. My birth father had rented a tiny store to sell things, but when the owner went bankrupt, my birth father lost everything, including the security deposit money. This left him unemployed.
The file notes that my birth parents contacted Holt with the hope that they would be able to find a family that would provide me with the love and attention that I deserved. They were also very regretful for hoping for a son.
After being admitted to Holt on October 17, 1986, I was soon placed with a foster family in Seoul.
My birth father's last name is Kim and at the time I was placed, he was 5 ft. 8 inches and an average build. My birth mother's maiden name is Lee and at the time I was placed, she was 5 ft. 3 inches and a round face. One of the facts that made me chuckle was the personality description of my birth father was "cheerful, active and slightly inconsiderate" while my birth mothers' personality description was "patient". From the few words about my birth parents' disposition, I have a feeling I am more like my birth father.
The best news out of all of this information is that Holt does have enough information to conduct a search for my birth family. This does not guarantee that I will ever meet them in this lifetime but it does mean that I will continue to search for them with hope.
When I read about their longing for a son, it made me sad. I am not sad because they placed me for adoption, but sad for their situation at that time. I can only imagine their guilt and how hurt they must have been. I just want to meet them and let them know that I love them and I am grateful for the decision that they made.
I am most intrigued by the 5th daughter that was also placed for adoption. Of course, so many what-ifs have already run through my mind. Was she adopted by a family in the U.S.? What was growing up as an adoptee like for her? Is it possible for me to find her? Now that this new development has been added to the equation, my new mission is to find my birth parents and all 5 sisters.
I will always have hope.