Thursday, January 13, 2011

{my miracle}

It's 2am and I can't sleep.
12 hours ago, my life changed.

Around 1pm I received a phone call from Steve, a post adoption caseworker with Holt. He left a voice message informing me of some news from Korea that I would probably be interested in hearing. Of course, after listening to the message I quickly returned his call... only to get a voice mailbox. I left my own message and anxiously awaited for the news. Although I tried not to jump to conclusions, I knew exactly what he was going to say...

At 2pm, Steve called back and asked if I had time to talk for a while... OF COURSE I DID! He beat around the bush for several minutes and finally I told him that he was making me really nervous and to just tell me already!

My birth family has been found.

Even though I knew that was what he was going to tell me, I was shocked. No amount of time could have prepared me for this feeling. I still cannot stop smiling.
The truly amazing part of my search is that when I submitted my application on December 17th, 2010, it was only 11 days later that Holt received a response from my birth family. Steve said that in the 6 years he has been doing this, he has never seen a birth family and adoptee connect so quickly.

The following are two e-mails that were sent to my caseworker from from Holt Korea:

Received December 28th

The following is the birth search update requested on December 17th.

The police search result showed that the birthfather, Mr. Kim, Dae-Shik, passed away in March

4, 2008.

It was the adoptee's aunt (the birthmother's younger brother's wife) who called this morning

regarding the telegram which was sent to the birthmother. According to the aunt, the

birthmother was really shocked, and did not know how to react to the telegram. She asked the

aunt to call us instead to learn what it was all about. The birthmother remembers of her

relinquished daughter, said the aunt.

The aunt tells me that the birthmother would like to receive the letter/photos of the adoptee,

and since none of her children is aware of the adoptee, the birthmother is somewhat fearful of

the past being found out and how her other children would react.

The birthmother currently lives alone, and working at a market place, selling vegetables and

fruit. She is 60 years old now, and she currently lives in the south province of Korea, Kwang-

Joo city.

I hope and pray that once receiving the adoptee's letter/photos, the birthmother would be able to

directly contact us.

The letter and photos will be mailed to them tomorrow.

I will continue to update you on this. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you

with this case.

Received January 6th

Today we received the letter and 2 family pictures from the birthmother herself who lives in

Kwang-Joo city. I also spoke with her on the phone.

Family picture #1 was taken long time ago (she does not quite remember when it was):

back row: birthmother & birthfather
front row (from left to right): Jin-Sook (3rd daughter), Eun-Jeong (4th daughter), Hang-

Woon (only son), Eun-Young (2nd daughter), Jin-Yi (the 1st born)

Family picture #2 was taken in 2010 to celebrate the birthmother's 61st birthday (Korean age).

The birthmother did not mention anything about the 5th daughter who was supposedly

relinquished too, according to our intake information. At this stage of my first contact with

the birthmother, I did not bringing this up.

She was very frank and honest about the past when her priority and reason to live was to bear a

son for the family.

The birthmother, Mrs. Lee, Keum-Soon, tells that the birthmother, Mr. Kim, Dae-Shik, was

such a healthy and active man until he had brain aneurism in 2008.

The family got together last week, and shared the pictures and letter from Hyo-Eun.

Birthsisters did not know about Hyo-Eun until recently, and they would also like to write to her

after some time of processing.

The following is a letter from my birth mother:

Dear my daughter whom I loved only in my heart,


I don’t even deserve to call you by that name, and “my daughter.” I have nothing but shame and guilt as I even dare to write this letter to you. Forgive for calling you, my daughter.

However as soon as I saw you in the pictures you sent me, resembling so much of your older sisters, I couldn’t help myself with a delusion that you have been always part of our lives.

Before anything else, I would like to express my sincere thanks to your adoptive parents who loved and raised you since you were a baby. You are now a well grown up with a daughter of your own. I am so grateful. No amount of word will be enough to express my gratitude.

Dear Hyo-Eun,

Thank you for growing up well, and I am truly sorry for not keeping you back then. I am so sorry. How could I possible put into words to explain why I had no choice to do what I did?

I just thank you for the effort to find me and your birthfamily like this. Thank you for letting me know how you are doing. I hope that I will be able to meet you and your adoptive parents too.

I hope that I will also be able to meet your family, your husband who seems to love you very much, and your beautiful daughter.

Please let me tell you a little about the family: You have 4 older sisters. Three of them are currently married and one is still single. Their names are (from oldest to the youngest – “Jin-Yi” (39) “Eun-Young,” (35) “ Jin-Sook,” (33) “Eun-Jeong.” (30) Eun-Jeong who is a beautician lives with me in Kwang-Joo city.

You also have a younger brother who is now a sophomore in college. His name is “Hang-woon.”

I hope that the day of our big reunion will come sooner than later.

Until that day, please be well and take a good care of yourself.

I will look forward to your next letter.

Um-Ma (mom)

I still cannot fully put into words all that I am feeling, so I will just share what I wrote in response.

My Dear Um-Ma,

I received a call from Holt today, notifying me of your response to my search for you. I am still in shock that I finally found you.

I can’t stop staring at the photos that you sent of my Korean family. It makes me so happy to see how much I look like my sisters and especially like you.

I was saddened to hear that my birth father passed away almost 3 years ago. I am especially sorry for your loss and hope that someday you can share with me, who he was and what he was like.

Now that I have found you, I want to go to Korea and meet you soon. I would love for my daughter to meet her cousins, aunts, uncles and especially her grandmother. My adoptive parents and I have been hoping for the day to come when we could finally meet you and thank you for all that you have done for us.

I can’t express to you enough how much I have always loved you. I would be honored for you to call me your daughter, as I am blessed to call you my “Um-Ma”.

I look forward to your next letter.

All my love,

Kacie (Hyo Eun)

I can't stop looking at the photos and analyzing who I resemble most, who Londyn looks like and whether I even resemble them at all. When I look at their faces, I love them already. It's instant. I love how sweet my Um-Ma looks and how close of a family they appear to be.

Even though I have never met them, I miss them. Is that strange? I want so badly to meet them and know them. I want Londyn to meet her cousins and get to play with family that look just like her. I never had that.

Even in all the excitement, I keep thinking about the 5th daughter. Finding my Korean family gives me that much more hope to find her. I want to meet her and know her story. I know she's out there. She doesn't even know I exist... but I have a strong feeling that she wants to find me too.

My parents are already talking about a trip to Korea this summer. It can't come soon enough. I haven't even cried yet. I'm still processing all that has taken place, but I have a strong feeling that when the day comes and I reunite with my Um-Ma, I will shed 24 years worth of tears.


  1. kacie, what an amazing story i know that you havent cried but you have mad me cyr.. it is so amazing what has happened and i am so happy for you... you are so lucky to have found them most people who are adobted from the usa and live in the same place as their birth paerents never find thier birth families .. i wish you all the luck on meeting them and reuniting with them.

  2. What an amazing story. I am so thankful that you choose to share it with us. I am truly, truly overjoyed for you and your birth family. To be able to find out why you do what you do and then realize your Um-ma does the same thing, or has the same facial expression, or struggles with the same feeling, etc... How you must feel to know that they wanted to find you just as much as you wanted to find them. That feeling of acceptance, belonging, and fitting in. Even if it is just looking at their faces and seeing some of you in them. I pray that all will go well. I know all will go well... You have such an AWESOME support group with your family here. You are loved all around the world now for sure. Smile, drink it in and enjoy every moment. You are blessed and Heavenly Father knows you, loves you and all things come in time.
    Sincerely, Michelle Hardinger
    Sincerely, Michelle Hardinger

  3. Kacie- I love the pictures of your birth family. They look so sweet, tender, and close in heart. You resemble your birth mother. Her letter was so are so loved by her. What a relief it must be for her to not have to wonder or worry anymore about the sweet baby that she had to give up. You are safe and have always been greatly loved by your adoptive family and that must warm her heart to know that you have grown up, beautiful, smart, talented,and wonderful. What a great work you have before you! How exciting to even think about finding your sister here in America. I hope and pray that she too has a beautiful loving family like you have.

    A trip to korea will be amazing......I can't wait to hear of your adventures.

    What tender mercies you have experienced!

  4. Kacie,
    what words could I possibly say, I have and I am sure others reading your good news have shed tears for you.
    I can say that I feel emotions for you and both of your familes, that they are so blessed to have you.... what an un-knowingly un-selfish sacrifice your Korean mom did (it must have brocken a piece of her heart that is now mending) so that your Mom here could have such an amazing daughter and friend. I can't imagine how loved you are by TWO families. You are lucky to have so much love and heartfelt suport surounding you with this news. All my love and all the best for this new chapter in all of your lives. I feel so honored to have felt apart of your family for all these years.

  5. Kacie,

    I am sobbing after reading this. When you were little, you and I would talk about what it would be like to re-unite with your birth family, and I am overwhelmed that this day has come. Your Mom and I talked at length about it, and I am thrilled for you and can't imagine how you must be feeling. What miracle and blessing this is. I can't wait to talk to you one on one about this.

    I love you. . .

    Sue Anne

  6. I'm over joyed for you Kacie. I cried when I read your um-ma's letter. It's apparent that although unexpected, she is truly happy that you found her.


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