Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2013

I’m told that I’m lucky.

I’m not talking about the word lucky as in “You’re lucky, you were adopted.”  But I’m talking about the word lucky that comes from some adoptees who were adopted as infants or at a young age.

They say I’m lucky because I have some pictures of the orphanage. They tell me they wish they  had a picture from their orphanges. They say that without picture or record, their first X years of their life is nothing (X being 2, 3, 4 or 5).

The orphanage pictures are the oldest pictures I’ve of when I was 9 years old. I don’t even have a picture of me when I was 2, 3, 4 or 5 years old! I wish I had a picture of me when I was younger, yet I don’t say they’re lucky because they have pictures of them when they were 5.

Lucky isn’t the right word.

They tell me that I’m lucky  or that they’re envious of me because I remember my arrival day/gotcha day. They wish they had memory of the flight that brought them to their adoptive parents.

My arrival day was  a sad, lonely and frightening day. It’s the day that followed the day  my own people sent me away forever. I don’t understand why they would want to remember such a sad day.

Lucky isn’t the right word.

They tell me that I’m lucky  or that they’re envious of me because I have memory of my life in Korea with my natural family.

Yes, I remember well my Korean chilhood. Not only my Korean childhood, I also remember the part of my life when the Korean words were fading away from my head making a hole in my heart.

I remember my childhood in Korea, but I remember it as if it had taken place in French. I also remember the assimilation.

I remember my Korean childhood in French, that is to say I remember the things I’ve thought, heard or said as if it had taken place in French. I remember the things that I did, such as bowing in front of my parents or adults, receiving or giving things with my two hands. But I remember my Korean childhood with the mind of a French-speaking Quebecer.

Sometimes I try hard to remember the Korean words I’ve heard, thought or said; I then remember my Korean life as it had happened in English, my second language. When I make great effort trying to remember the words I’ve once spoken, it sometimes makes me sick with fever.

If you tell me I’m lucky you don’t know how it feels to remember your  life that had taken place in your mother language you don’t speak nor understand following a forced assimilation.  You don’t have a slight idea how it feels to remember  your childhood as if it had taken place in the language you were forced to learn by assimilation. You don’t have a slight idea how it feels to remember you were once  a Korean and to know you have since long became a French-speaking Quebecer by assimilation.

Assimilation is the rape of a soul. My body was emptied of everything Korean and forcefully penetrated with everything French Canadian. But they failed to empty my memory from it.

If there are two women who have been raped, one who doesn’t remember anything and the other who remembers the rape, you wouldn’t tell the woman who remembers that she’s lucky.

Lucky isn’t the right word.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: