Photo credit: Kyung Sook, De Foreldrelose - VG

“We Are NOT Orphans.”

In Adoptee Stories, All, Interviews, Special Request by KAW

Inspired by the Norwegian’s amazing VG article, THE ORPHANS includes heartbreaking stories from Korea to Norway of unnecessary adoptions.

“These children were adopted from South Korea to Norway as orphans. As adults, they found the families that had missed them since they were little.”

Why did someone write in Kyung Sook‘s adoption papers that she was an orphan?

With this passport, she is adopted to Norway – as a baby.  Kyung Sook grows up not knowing that she has a large biological family. Her mother died shortly after the birth. The father is left with little Kyung Sook and her three sisters. She falls ill and is admitted to hospital.

It will be the last thing the father sees of the baby.

Kyung Sook is sent to an orphanage and adopted to Norway. The adoption papers state that she is orphaned. But her father was still alive when she arrived in Norway in 1972.  He is looking for her. For several decades, she has been called Nina. She doesn’t feel at home where she is.

Kyung Sook dreams that there is a biological father out there.

Only when she comes of age does an opportunity arise to travel to South Korea. She visits the orphanage. It turns out that the nanny has had the uncle’s number all along. Just one phone call is all it takes for her to fashion him and one of her sisters. The message she gives is disheartening: “My father died, unfortunately. My eldest sister sat by his side. And his last words to her were:

‘You must find Kyung Sook…because you have to look after each other’.”

The closest she sometimes gets to her father is to visit his grave to mourn.

Now, they are four sisters again, together and close to each other as the father wanted. But it also hurts…

“…to feel that love, it’s absolutely amazing. I still remember the first moment when I saw my sister, we hugged each other, it was absolutely overwhelming. I felt that I was at home.”

Kyung Sook’s story is also in Adoptionland: Orphans to Activists, or her personal memoir, Cries of the Soul: The True Story of a Korean Adoptee’s Fight to Survive.

Cries of the Soul.