Tuesday, 18 February 2014

yeah, I said it...

I'm a member of several Facebook groups for Korean adoptees, and for some reason some of them have been extremely active lately.

obviously, I'm a member by my own choice, but it can be really emotionally draining to see post after post in my news feed because it obviously brings matters to my attention and triggers feelings.

one of the posts was a woman musing over, and asking for people's thoughts on the reason why it - in her point of view - seemed like there was a rough division within the KAD community of either "the angry" adoptee (against adoption, bad adoptive parents/family, bad life etc.) and "the happy" adoptee (good adoptive family, happy with his/her life etc.), and why the KADs weren't capable of/interested in supporting each other more since we're all KADs.

as much as people disagree, that is also roughly my experience. granted, human beings are complicated creatures, and nothing is as cut and dry as that, but in broad terms. you know, shameless generalization.

at least I have yet to meet an avid adoption opponent who has had a happy life. and by happy life I mean a life with all the struggles and heart aches that life entails in general, and with a family situation with issues that doesn't go beyond what child/parent issues could be expected in any homegrown family. someone like me.

don't get me wrong, I'm not saying adoption is a perfect system anywhere. I know there are unspeakable tragedies committed in the name of adoption every day around the world, and lots of adoptees and birth parents suffer on a daily basis. 
there are flaws and room for improvement, no doubt, but instead of going along with those who just thinks adoption should be banned, period, I think the way to create a more responsible system, is to change the cause of the system.


..I dunno this was not my point with this post. I think..... 

my thoughts are really jumbled right now cos everything is just mushing around in there, and at the moment I don't really have anyone to talk to about these things so everything just slushes around, tangents everywhere..

one thing she said, though, that really resonated with me, is the way some (several?) adoptees seem to think that if you're happy with your adoption, and don't harbour particularly ill will towards anything, you just haven't seen the light yet. 
you're still blind and naïve, and that right there sums up perfectly why I extremely rarely choose to engage in random group discussions about adoption because that condescending attitude just pisses me off. HOW. FUCKING. DARE. YOU.

a second thing that struck a chord with me, was people's responses to her "why can't/shouldn't we all just get along since we're all KADs" part.
because yes, I might agree about the generalizing two main sides, and yes, in general I definitely agree about being annoyed at the rudeness a lot of people often seem to show during discussions among KADs, but her reasoning that the fact that we're all KADs should make us band together..? nah.

I get that if you just look at it briefly, you might think that here's a group of people you have lots in common with, who understand you like no non-adopted person could, but while that might be true to some small extend. it can never be enough to unite as many people as the KADs of the world make up. I mean, come on.

at the end of the day we're all still just people with different personalities, experiences - both adoptive and in life in general - cultures, and other influences. 
how on earth should it be possible to unite a group as large as ours. I mean, that whole idea of people automatically bonding or feeling loyalty or closeness towards others simply because of a label is utopia. hell, I have family members I'm super awkward with cos I have no other relation to them other than them being "family". labels don't mean anything.

and today I read this article. yes, fair warning, it's in Danish.
it's called "I am not your brown friend". it's written by a 27 year old PH.D-student and mother-to-be, adopted from India. she addresses the way she feels adoptees constantly get defined by their skin colour (almost) before anything else, the subtle, often unintended ways racism gets to be part of our society, and how she hopes one day she can be "your friend" and not "your brown friend". 

again, while I do see her points, articles like this one always make me part excited because I do like adoption debate, but also part very tired cos they so often actually make me feel more alienated from other KADs.

and I feel like 90% of all KADs would jump me if I dared to speak my mind.

because I think a lot of KADs seem to be hyper sensitive about racism and appearance issues. I'm not saying they don't have reason, but no one ever seems to agree or admit that that's what they are.

but why can't questions like "where are you from?" just be a form of genuine interest? maybe a tiny hope for a more interesting answer than "this small town outside of whatever" that is mostly the reply.
sure, that hope might be based on a difference in skin colour, but why does it have to be a derogatory thing? 
isn't it at least also just going with the odds? the odds that say that there's a bigger chance of a non-blond having a more unusual personal story to tell than your neighbour.

it irks me that having a curious mind is so often being turned into something rude.

and why can't asking where someone, who differs racially from the norm of your country, is from as one of the first things never just be an ice breaker? like asking someone with a cast on what happened? you know, using the obvious visuals instead of the weather or sports. 

and if asked politely, the way the other person answers should make it obvious if this is something they wish to talk more about, regardless if it's about race or cast.

wouldn't asking someone where they're from also be a way of getting to the inner points of a person? why do there have to be right and wrong ways of approaching a person? again, of course if asked in a respectful manner. 

and why is she and lots of other people of the perception that it's more racist to mention the visual appreciation of mixed kids than to compliment anyone else of their outer appearance?

it's like outer features should just be completely ignored, and I don't get that. 

it's stuff like this that makes me scared to talk to people. 
and I get tired when there have to be so many unspoken rules and hidden ways to get judged and labelled as insensitive and/or racist /sigh

but then again, me being "one of them" might get me perceived as an insider so not rude and racist...?

Monday, 17 February 2014


this will probably be turn out to be some weird post, but.. I dunno, it's been on my mind all day.

for a while now I've been an avid viewer of the Running Man, it's my absolute favourite TV show!
it took me a long while to see the light, but once I did I was hooked and I've been so ever since.

true to Korean variety TV, the cast is a diverse bunch, all with different characters to suit everyone's taste.
I love all of them, they sweet and funny and caring, all in their own ways, and by now they play their roles so well it's effortless.

but I have a sweet spot for Gwangsoo. in general I'm a champion of underdogs, I believe in treating people with respect, and that everyone is equal (until proven otherwise) and deserves to be treated as such. 
that means that there are certain aspects of Korean culture that..at least has the ability to rub me the wrong way, and even though RM and it's characters are just that, "characters", I think it still pushed some buttons in me from the get go when Gwangsoo is being treated like too bottom-of-the-food-chain-ish just because he's the youngest.

it's not like I'm pitying him, it's TV for god's sake, and I know they're all close off screen. Gwangsoo just...happens to fill a role I am sensitive to, let's put it like that. 

anyway. I follow an RM fanbase on twitter, and yesterday I just happened to be online when they tweeted something about an admin Yun and how she got to go on stage with Gwangsoo during a recent fanmeet, and RIP Yun.
at first I just thought they meant it as a joke cos she got to meet her idol, but turns out they meant it for real.

the short story about Yun and her love for Gwangsoo really touched me, probably cos I love him to bits, too, and I decided to link the post to Gwangsoo.

I basically ask him if he speaks English (since the article's in English), and then I tell him he's a very sweet and kind man and that I'm grateful for that, that I'll always cheer for him, that I love him, and I wish a him a good day. (at least that was my intention, I used Google Translate so >_>)

my Korean aside, I honestly don't think I expected him to..anything, really? I mean, this is a celebrity, don't they get hundreds, thousands of mentions??

the thought that he would actually pay attention to my tweet never even crossed my mind more seriously than me dreaming about Infinite returning my love confessions >_>

so my jaw nearly dropped this morning when I just happened to see said fanbase tweet Gwangsoo "thank you", and I went to check his twitter and he had posted this.


of course I can't know if a lot of other people also chose to alert him to either the blog post or Yun's story in general, but since I at least did, it really moved me.

obviously I didn't link him to make him feel sad or bad or to semi force some public statement about it out of him. there are other RM/Gwangsoo fans who pass away without the world noticing, so although I don't doubt Yun was passionate about Gwangsoo and RM (you kinda have to be to be admin on an active fanbase), I wasn't trying to "promote" her as special or anything.

I simply wanted him to see this one story, showing how loved he is, just by being the wonderful person he is