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Archive for the ‘Why I hate Holt’ Category

Seoul then and now:korea-evolution

Koreans doing laundry then and now:
laundry

Television then and now:
TV

South Korea’s economy then and now 

korea economic

 

Baby boxes then and now:

korean baby boxes

Baby boxes then: Babies in cardboard boxes on a flight operated by Harry Holt Proxy Adoption Program, some of the airplane’s seats were removed to make room for the boxes. (1) and (2)  Baby Box now: baby abandoned anonymously in a metallic and heated box built and operated by pastor Lee at his church.(3) and (4)

International adoption began in the aftermath of the war, to save biracial babies from racism. It continued in the 1960s, 70s and 80s because of poverty and rapid industrialization that led to mass abandonment of children. In the 1980s and 90s, the country is rich but adoption is needed because of Confucian values that make families reluctant to raise someone else’s male child, because of stigma against unwed mothers.
International adoptions, say adoption supporters, should  continue until Koreans change their mentality, until Korea evolves…  But that will never happen as long as there is an adoption agency that prevent Korea to evolve.

Korea now…

 

child support

Park Eun-jeong (not her real name), a single mother of two, suffered a car accident just seven months after her divorce back in 2014. Her husband had agreed to wire 800,000 won ($688) monthly for child support when signing his divorce papers. But he abruptly changed his phone number and stopped paying the funds after learning about Park’s accident. (5)

 

(1) “Impressions on Meeting the Harry Holt Plane” by Arnold Lyslo, 1958.
(2) To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption, by Arissa H. Oh.
(3) Opinion divided on the merits of South Korean pastor’s ‘baby box’
(4) Should This Man Get a Nobel Peace Prize?
(5) South Koreans still struggle with idea of child support, Korea Herald.

 

 

 

 

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“Give an orphaned or vulnerable child a birthday to remember!” Holt International says.

holts liar

About three months before my 9th birthday, on January 29th, 1975, Holt gave me a birthday to remember.

There were about 12 of us girls who had been transferred from another orphanage. Holt gave each of us a birthday to remember.

There were no gifts, no cake, no birthday party. Nothing like that.

There were two (or three) men sitting behind a table with lot of papers. One of them was the director of St. Paul’s orphanage.

One man asked us our age, while others were busy writing on the papers. We were all the same age.

He then asked if any of us knew our birthday.  I  raised my hand and I answered proudly because I was the only one to know her birthday.

The man  gave each of the other girls a birthday and a new age. He also gave me a new age and a new birthday.

My birthday is on April. He gave a new “birth”day on November.

Another man said, “From now on, if someone asks your age, it’s important to give your new age… and you, MyungSook,  your new birthday.” He repeated it several times that it was important to remember our new age.

We did what they told us without questioning…

I didn’t question then because I was only a vulnerable child who obeyed the adults.

As an adult I want the world to know how adoption agencies are using the words “orphaned child”,  “vulnerable child” and “give a birthday”.

Vulnerable, I was.

Orphaned, I was not.

I want the world to know how Holt gave me a “birthday” that has nothing to do with my birth.

birthday

My family background information made up by Holt is here.

I want the world to know why I hate Holt and adoption agencies.

family background

 

 

 

 

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Holt records E - blog

As you can see above my family background information contains eight sentences. I’ll go over each sentence to show how a so called reputable agency creates an adoptable orphan.

1) Myung Sook’s mother is deceased.

Indeed, my mother died when I was six.

2) Sometime after her mother’s death, the child came to Seoul with her father, who left his hometown due to financial hardship.

Our hometown was Seoul.  I was born in Seoul. I lived in my birthplace with my family until the spring of 1974. My mother died in 1972.  My father and I moved to the countryside, Suwon, in 1974 because of financial hardship. My elder sister and her family still lived in Seoul near our former house. My brother still lived in Seoul at his workplace that was a few minutes away from our former house by walk. My second sister had left home to work as a maid in another part of Seoul.

3) For a while he worked as a labourer, but his income was very low.

My father lost his job in 1970 following a work accident that left one arm paralyzed. Since then he worked only one day for the landlord, one week as street vendor, and a day to sell cigarettes. I wouldn’t count these as a job. He didn’t work during the four to five months we lived in Suwon.

4) Then the father disappeared leaving Myung Sook in a boarding house.
5) After waiting in vain two or three days for the parent to return, the landlord transferred the child to the Lost Children’s Center; it was on 9/10/74.
6) She was in turn transferred to St. Paul’s Orphanage on 1/28/75.

The last time I saw my father was near the place where my second sister lived and worked as a maid. He wanted to get some money of her pay. He had told me he would wait for me while I would go meet her boss to tell him  that if he didn’t want to pay my father would take my sister back. When I returned, my father was not at the place he was.  I left the place thinking that he had abandoned me.  I didn’t even wait a second for him to return.(It was not the first time I thought I was abandoned. I feared abandonment since my mother’s dead.)  When I thought of going back to the place where my father was supposed to wait for me, I realized I was lost. So the one who disappeared was me, not my father. (While I was lost, my father was scolding my sister for my disappearance, and then they were searching for me.)

I ended up in a police station which transferred me to another police station, which in turn transferred me to a place for lost children. After a day or two the lost children’s center transferred me to a children’s shelter on 9/10/74.

A man (from St. Paul’s orphanage) came to take a few girls. The second time he came, he asked those who knew their address to raise hand. I raised mine. I told him what I had already told to an office worker of the orphanage, that I lived in Suwon, but I didn’t know my new address yet and I gave him my former address, and  told him to bring me to my former address in Seoul, that my elder sister and brother were still living near that place, and that I even knew how to go back  home by myself alone from there, etc.  The man promised me he would search for my elder sister and would come back.

He came back a week later to bring us home. In fact he just transferred us to his orphanage, St. Paul’s orphanage, on 1/28/75. He put me up for adoption without searching for my elder sister and my father.

7) Myung Sook says she has neither brother nor sister. 

I talked about my elder sister, brother and/or second sister at each place I went except at the second police station where I didn’t stay long enough to talk. I talked  about my brother at the first police station, I told the policeman how I lost my father after visiting my second sister. I told the same thing at the lost children’s center. I gave my former address to the first orphanage worker and the second orphanage director and told them my elder sister and brother lived there. I often talked about my siblings to other kids in front of the nuns and the housemother while living at St. Paul’s orphanage.

8) She does not remember, either, where she lived before her coming to Seoul.

Read  what I wrote for #3, 4, 5  and 6.

Remark: I found the  correct dates 9/10/74 and 1/28/75 on the record of the first orphanage. I also found the former address and the name of my father.

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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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I had started to talk to my adoptive parents about my life and family in Korea as soon as I had learned to to speak their language. It was a year after my arrival, but I would have talked sooner if we hadn’t moved  to Quebec seven months after my arrival to the USA, which forced me to learn their mother language, French, and forget the little bit of English I had learned in the US.

I would tell them how and when my mother died (in a bus accident when I was six years old) and they would usually listen without saying a word. When there was any response,  my adoptive father’s  response was something that came out of his twisted or pervert imagination, “hmm, maybe she commited suicide?” or worst he would imply that my biological mother could had been a prostitute.

Maybe that was the reason why I talked more to my adoptive mother than to him, although her reaction was not better than his.  Her usual response was, “No, your biological mom died when you were four.”  When I told her how I lost my father, she replied, “No, it’s not true. He abandoned you to his landlord, and after three or four days he was gone, the landloard took you to a home for abandoned children.” I could feel the anger and the frustration rising in me, but  I would control myself and patiently repeat my story again or explain her how things really happened or what age I was when they happened. I felt that she wasn’t listening to me  or that she believed I was a liar. She even asked me a few times if I hadn’t imagined everything.

She would sometimes say, “I see that from what you’re telling me, Korea is late by thirty years” or “from what you’re telling me, Korea is like Canada was thirty years ago.” The latter response encouraged me to talk about my childhood in Korea.  I realized  many years later  that she listened to me and believed me only when I talked about my life or general life in Korea without specifically talking about my family, otherwise she treated me as a liar. I didn’t know then that that she believed the lies the adoption agency had told her or wrote on my adoption papers. She loved their lies.

A few years later I was in deep depression.  The only thing that made me hold to the life was my little hope of being reunited with my family. The nun of my former orphanage (from which Holt processed my adoption) put me in contact with a Qubecoise nun who had worked with her in Korea.  I brought my memoir (which I had began to write  to search my family when I was teen and that I resumed as a therapeutic mean encouraged by my doctor) and I read her a part of it. My intention was to ask her to help me find my family after reading her that part of my life growing up with my siblings (I had thought she could help me with the searching since she had lived in Korea recently), but she suddenly cut in with the question, “are you sure you didn’t imagine or invent everything?” I swallowed my anger and sadness and I said calmly, “of course not, how could I?” and again she asked, “are you sure you didn’t invent this story?” She loved their lies too.

Adoption agencies’ truth is made up with lies. And adoptive parents love their lies.

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