Saturday, February 27, 2010

taboo.

no, this post is not about the board game, although i do love me a good game of taboo...especially when it's korean/english taboo with my family! ask me about playing last christmas, it was quite a hoot!

actually, i wanted to use this post to talk about adoption and how it is often a taboo subject in korean circles. traditionally, there is so much emphasis placed on the idea of carrying on one's family name and the confucian ideal of filial piety is one of the virtues that is often held above all else. because of this, infertility is so often hidden and rarely made public because in some ways, many traditional, old-school thinking people find it shameful.

i don't know too much about it, but historically, there have been many instances of "secret" adoptions in korea. in other words, parents who couldn't have biological children would secretly adopt a child, pass it off as their own biological child and then never tell the child they were adopted. i imagine that these families did this to perserve their image and family name, but how horrible and sad for these children to grow up under false pretenses not knowing who they really are!

recently, the korean government has tried to erase some of this stigma around adoption and has encouraged domestic adoptions. a few well-known celebrities (cha in-pyo and his wife, shin ae-ra among them) have adopted children in korea very publicly, sharing openly about their adoptions and encouraging others to also adopt.

for the past several decades, most children up for adoption in korea were adopted internationally to families overseas. in 2007, korea passed new laws that prioritized domestic adoptions over international adoptions. this made international adoptions from korea a bit more difficult, but at least it is helping to change societal views regarding adoption in korea. in fact, all babies under 6 months are first up for domestic adoption, giving preference and first pick to families in korea adopting domestically. again, this means that international adoptions from korea now take longer and that the children are older when they are welcomed home to their families overseas, but again, this is great news for helping to change the social stigma of adoption.

we hope that as we bring our little one home, we will be able to share openly, honestly and proudly about our adoption. we plan to raise our little one so that he or she knows from the start where they came from and who they are, and how their journey helped build our family. we know that we are only one family, but our hope is that we will be able to use our journey and our story to continue to erase some of that stigma and help others to see adoption for what it is: a joy and a privilege! :)

13 comments:

  1. awesome news, grace!
    don't you feel like as we're getting older, there's so much of the korean culture that needs to be purged out of us, korean-americans, cause it was passed down to us?
    on a side note, is peter still set on naming your child batman? =)

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  2. thank you for sharing your lives and journey with us! i am so blessed and encouraged by your honesty and willingness to share! i can't wait for your little one to come - he/she will be so lucky to have you and peter as parents! i love you guys and am praying for your little one!!

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  3. So honored to be sharing your story with you! Thanks for being so open and honest . . . we look forward to this year and the many blessings yet to come. Our prayers are with you guys!

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  4. thanks so much for your prayers and love...we love you guys so much!

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  5. This is great :) so glad that you are doing it. Are you going to keep it private for only those that you invite can see it?
    I think others would benefit from seeing your journey!

    Whatever you decide, I'll be reading!

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  6. rereading my comment, i think it can be misunderstood. sorry if it did have that kind of effect, grace. i think i'll have to expand a bit but this isn't the place to do so.
    just know we're uberly excited for you guys and encouraged that you are so willing to share your journey with us.

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  7. thank you for sharing this journey and i feel honored to walk with you and peter. my prayers and excitement are right along side the both of you! love you both muCHooO! =)

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  8. don't worry kathleen uns, i know exactly what you mean :)
    tiff, this blog is now public, but don't go crazy telling everyone on the street about it, word?

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  9. Very proud of you both, beyond words!

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  10. your baby is going to be the luckiest one in the world to have you and peter for parents. i can't wait to meet him or her!!! :) thanks so much sharing your journey--i know it's hard, but God is using you!!! :)

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  11. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and being so honest. stay strong and positive!

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  12. i know 2 people who found out they were adopted by their parents when they were seniors in high school... needless to say it was life-changing...
    I love your approach and attitude! :D yay!

    - Lena

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why, hello there! do you have something to say? 'cause i'd so love to hear it!