My dear baby sister, Hyo-Eun…
My name is Eun-Jeong, your 4th older sister (unni). I am right above you in line. We all truly appreciate your letter and pictures.
You and your baby… we really want to see you both. My baby niece is so pretty and adorable. If you were near by, I could just hug and spoil her.
March in Korea is Spring time, and we are experiencing final phase of winter. However we can sense that forsythias and cherry blossom trees are ready to bud any time now. I hope that it will get warmer soon… ^^
Now please let me quench some of your thirst to learn more about the family. Shall I start by introducing them one by one?
First, there is our mother, Lee, Keum-Soon, who misses you so very much. Before you and I were born, she worked at all kinds of job to make living for the struggling family… She still works, selling vegetables at a public market place.
You have four sisters: the eldest one is Jin-Hee. She is married with two boys. She is a daycare teacher.
Next eldest sister is Eun-Young. She is also married, and a mother of 1 boy and 1 girl. She is a nurse.
The third sister’s name is Jin-Sook. She is married and just last year she had a baby girl. She is now 9-month old. Jin-Sook is a kindergarten teacher. (In Korea, there are different licensing for daycare and kindergarten schools.)
And I worked as a beautician, but now I run an internet shopping mall. My philosophy is to work hard when we are young for the better life in future. ^^
Finally our brother’s name is Hang-Woon. He just graduated from college, and now he is preparing for a two-year-long Korea military service which is a mandatory for all healthy Korean men.
As I am writing this, I am with many emotions, crying and laughing all at once. .. ^^
Since I was young, I always envied my friends with baby sisters, playing with each other’s hair. I was always the last girl in the family, and I was hoping for a younger sister of my own. ^^
Are you still planning on coming to Korea in September? Mother keeps on asking in anticipation to meet you in person as soon as possible. We are all eager to meet you in September, and though our languages are different, we are still the family. We will communicate with hearts.
We framed your pictures, and we enjoy them very much.
I will send you pictures next time.
Hope to hear from you.
and here is my response...
My beautiful sister Eun Jeong,
I am so grateful for you letter! Hearing from you makes me so happy! Each letter from Korea is a special gift and I feel so blessed to have a family there that is waiting for me. You all have been so kind. I can’t imagine how shocking it must have been when Um-ma gave you the news that you had another sister after all these years. I want to meet all of you, especially Um-ma. I have been waiting all my life to hug her and be with her.
I am so glad you gave me some information about the rest of the family! I have your pictures hanging up in my house as well and I look at them every day and think about you. I am still amazed at how many of you there are. To answer your question, yes- I am still planning on coming to Korea in September to meet you! I am still unsure as to whether I will be bringing my daughter. Would you prefer for me to come with her or without her? I know it will be an overwhelming experience and I want to make it as easy for everyone as possible.
Well, what else can I tell you about me? I work two days a week for my dad. He is an Oral Surgeon and I work in his office. I love working and am grateful that I can still spend most of my time at home raising my daughter. I was surprised to find out that you are a beautician because I went to school to become a beautician. I am not licensed but I do provide hair services out of my home for family and friends.
My husband is a college student, works in a warehouse and also serves for the US Marine Corps. Although his military duties are demanding, I am blessed to be married to such an honorable man that loves his country.
As for my adoptive family, I have three older siblings. My oldest brother Eric is 16 years older than me and my other brother Kevin is 14 years older than me. I also have a sister Jenelle that is 10 years older than me. Just like you, I always wished as a young girl that I had a sister close to my age. With such a large age difference between my siblings, I was raised almost as an only child for several years. Often times it was lonely living with just my parents and I at home. I wanted a sister to share clothes with and talk about boys together. I guess I had a sister close to my age afterall, just thousands of miles away! Even though we were not able to share our childhood together, at least we have the rest of our lives being there for each other. I am so excited to meet you!
I have eight nieces and one nephew here and am so thrilled to meet all of my Korean nieces and nephews. I have so much family to love now!
Thank you so much for your letter. It means so much to me that you all are so accepting of me in your family. I especially appreciate when you said “though our languages are different, we are still family . We will communicate with hearts.” I have been so concerned about how meeting will work with the language barrier but your words have assured me that everything will be okay. I know it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. You are absolutely right. We are family and nothing can keep us from being together any longer.
All my love,