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Archive for May, 2015

In 2001 I was reunited with my family after 27 years apart. Both my sisters called while I was on the air with the KBS show I Miss That Person. They said, among other things, that they searched for me the day I went missing.

I thought they were two impostors, but everything went too quickly, I hadn’t had the time to say my thought, everyone applauded and my airtime was passed to someone else…

When we met in persons a week later, they said, “you were not abandoned.”

Back in 1976, when I had started speaking the language of my adoptive parents, I had told them that I believed I was not abandoned. But my adoptive mother convinced me to that I was abandoned. So during 25 years, I had lived as an abandonee. It was the reason why I was available for adoption, according to my papers. abandoned

“You were not abandoned,” repeated my sister (through a translator), “I don’t care if you don’t believe me, but you were not abandoned, you were lost. You were a missing child.”

Last November when I was in Korea, pastor Kim of Koroot who translated us said, “your sister says you were a missing child.”

Yesterday, May 25, was International Missing Children’s Day. But I didn’t have the heart to write about it. So I’m writing in the middle of night, at almost 2:00 AM to honor missing children.

Suggested reading:

Your child is missing. Would you want their adoption to be easier?

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The attempts to degrade us to just a number completely failed in our group, as I see it. Had I become a number just because I had a number on my arm? Not for a minute. Our identity was not affected. I remained Bloeme Emden.
I can tell you something else. While we were in hiding, we used other names. You had to imprint yourself with those other names so that no matter what happened you wouldn’t say your own name. But the alias was nothing more than a pasted-on label. However terrible it was to be arrested and deported, one thing was nice, and that was being able to use your own name again. Your name is so interwoven with your identity, your being, your existence– you can taste it, as it were, on your lips. To say your own name aloud, “Bloeme Emden” That felt good.

By Bloeme Emden, survivor of the Holocaust, in the documentary The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank which was also pulished as a book.

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Her given name is Myung-Sook. Her surname is Kim.

This body I call mine belongs to her.
I grew stronger while she became weaker.
I began to talk when she began to lose her talk.
I was given a name when she lost her name.
I was born when she was buried.

I am because she is.
I live with her memories in her body.
I remember her past life in Korea when I didn’t exist yet.
She was proud of being a Korean.
She thought she was pretty with her beautiful big eyes.
She loved her name and was proud of it.

She’s not because I am.
Her life began to end when I learned to say and write my name.
My name is Kim Goudreau. I’m a Quebecoise de souche (“old stock Quebecker”).
I’m ashamed of Korea and being a Korean.
I wish I was entirely White.
I hate my ugly slanted eyes and my flat nose that make me a foreigner here.
I loathe my middle name, Myung-Sook. It sounds too Chinese and it’s irritating to my ears, just like fingernails being scratched on a blackboard.

Myung-Sook and I are totally different but we were one at the beginning of my life/at the end of her life.
This hand I call my hand wrote her name everywhere while she was dying.

She’s buried deep within me.
She’s my departed true self.
I am not me, I am her.

Every cell of my body yearns for her.
I’m homesick with grief when she yearns for her home country.
I’m wistful when she yearns for her lost language.
I’m nostalgic when she yearns her lost name.
I want to die when she yearns for her departed true self.
I want to die so that I can be reborn as her, my true self.

*hiraeth: a homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed; a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the past.

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I’m Quebecoise. She’s Korean.
I’m a Scorpio. She’s an Aries.
I was conceived when she was made a paper orphan.
I was bought, she was sold.
I was being born while she was dying.
I grew stronger while she became weaker.
I began to talk when she began to lose her talk.
I was given a name, she lost her name.
I was born when she was buried.

I’m not me. I’m her.
I live in her body with her memories and her ghost.
I lost my true self when I lost her.

I’m Quebecoise.
You snatched away everything but my memories.
You penetrated me forcefully with your mother tongue, your thought and your culture
while emptying me of my mother tongue, my thought and my culture.
I speak like you.
I do things like you.
I think like you.
I have a French Canadian name.
But you reject me because I’m Korean.

She’s Quebecoise. I’m Korean.
She’s a Scorpio. I’m an Aries.
She was created when I became a paper orphan.
She was exported from her country, I was imported to this country
She was being born while I was agonizing.
She grew stronger while I became weaker.
She began to talk when I began to lose my talk.
She was given a name, I lost my name.
She was born when I was buried.

She lost her true self when I lost my self.
She is because I am.
She’s not her. She’s me.

I’m Korean
I lost our talk.
I lost our culture.
I lost my self.
I lost my identity.
I lost everything but my memories of our life together,
because you rejected me, sold me, kicked me out from our land, exported me to a foreign land when I was a little girl.

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