Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{Korea or Bust!}

Fabulous news! Our trip to Korea is in the works! It hasn't been easy working around lots of different schedules. I have been e-mailing with Holt as they have been in contact with my birth mom to try and confirm dates that will work for everyone. We finally nailed some dates in and we can now begin planning... which isn't going to be the easy. But, so worth it!

For some reason, I had always thought that since I was adopted from Holt in Seoul, that that is where my Um-Ma would be. Wrong. She lives in Kwangju, which is a significant distance from Seoul. Since we would like to visit Seoul and especially see the orphanages and the Holt office, we have decided to travel to Kwangju for 5 or 6 days and finish our trip in Seoul before returning back to Oregon.

I am not the easiest traveler as I have a difficult time with change and foreign situations... as do many adoptees, but I am comforted knowing that I will have my family with me. I would not be able to survive such an event without my husband. He is always by my side during the rough times, the good times and especially the crazy-wife times.

It has been a constant struggle trying to decide whether I will be bringing my daughter who will be 26 months old when we travel to Korea. I have been so anxious about tackling a 12 hour flight with a very active toddler, but it all comes down to the fact that I just wouldn't be able to enjoy the trip without her there with me. Even though she runs me ragged some days, I need her. I have a connection with her that I have with no one else in this world. Not only do I have that connection that only a mother has with her daughter, but she is the only flesh and blood that I have ever known. In many ways, she is my security blanket for me. I don't think she'll ever know how much she has helped me in finding myself, my identity and the courage to search for my birth family. It really is because of her that I am ready to open this whole new chapter of my life.

In response to my sister Jin-Sook and my Um-Ma, the following are the two letters I sent to them today.

Dear Jin-Sook,

I am so grateful for your letter as it feels like an eternity while waiting to hear from you. I can’t wait until we can finally be together and in person.

How are you and the rest of the family? I so want to give all of you a big hug and talk to each of you as there is so much I have missed over the last twenty-four years.

Your last letter really touched me and taught me more about Um-Ma and the wonderful woman she is for the family. I can see why you respect her so much as she deserves all of the love and support you each have to offer. Her hard work and concern for my loneliness while visiting makes me love her even more than I already do. I am so touched that she is worried about my time in Korea and I am happy to tell you that I will be visiting with my husband, daughter and parents. They are so excited to meet all of you, as we share something so beautiful. You are part of their family too.

Like all of you, the language barrier will be difficult. But I have faith that if the miracle of finding each other is possible, our hearts will lead us in understanding. I know very few words in Korean but plan to learn at least some before our visit. We have decided to go to Kwangju around August 31st and stay until September 5th. We will then travel from Kwangju to Seoul and stay there until September 8th. We haven’t made any reservations for these dates but hope to make a decision very soon.

I am eager to meet my other siblings and family members. How many do you think I will be able to see when I come to visit? I can’t wait for my daughter to meet her cousins. We will all be making some very special memories.

I know we are anxious about the reunion but it will be such a wonderful time that I don’t want to worry too much about what may or may not happen. I feel a very reassuring peace that we will all be prepared and able to handle what is to come.

I love you, my sweet sister and await your next letter.

With all my love,



My Dearest Um-Ma,

I am still in shock that it will be only four short months before I get to hug you and tell you how much I love you. I know that you work very hard and have a busy schedule, but I hope I will be able to spend time with you as I have been waiting for this reunion for so long.

I received some pictures from Jin-Sook a few days ago and the photo of you in your hanbok is stunning. Many of my friends and family think that I look most like you. I hope they are right because it has always been my secret dream to find you and actually look like you. I get that same warm feeling when I look at my own daughter and see a resemblance. It is a connection I hold very dear as she is the first person that I have been able to share that experience with.

I am so eager for our reunion as I have so many questions for you, but most of all I just want to be with you. I can only imagine how difficult it has been to hold such feelings hidden in your heart all of these years and I want you to know that even from all the way across the world, you are continuously in my thoughts and prayers.

I am blessed for this upcoming opportunity to finally be with you after you have sacrificed so much, not only for me but for all of your other children. I am also looking forward to the opportunity I have to introduce you to my mom. You will love her as much as I do. Even though you don’t know each other, she has always spoken of you in a sacred and loving way. We are all blessed because of the sacrifice you made 24 years ago.

I would love to see more photos of my birth family and learn about everyone, especially my father. I am sad that I won’t get to meet him but know that his spirit will be with us when we are together.

Um-Ma, I am not sure why but I have this strong feeling that you are concerned about our reunion. If this is true, you have no need to worry. We have made it so far to be together again and everything will be alright.

I love you and look forward to your next letter.

Your daughter,



  1. sobbing reading the beautiful loving letters you sent. they are lovely.

  2. beautiful post Kacie ... now I have to go check my make-up :) We are excited for you to be able to go to Korea to meet your family.

  3. Loved reading this. Absolutely loved it. You have a gift for words, that's for sure! Wow! You are handling this with so much love.

    On Saturday Noah was sending a text to his birthmom to wish her a happy birthmother's day and he asked me if all kids that are adopted love their birthmoms. I'm going to tell him about your story. I think he would love to hear all this...


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