Posts Tagged ‘transcultural adoption’

Her family was removed from her
Her country was removed from her
Because she didn’t matter.

She was exported to a foreign land
She was sold to a new family she didn’t look like at all
Because she didn’t matter.

Her birth date was removed from her
Her name was removed from her
Her manners were removed from her
Her words were removed from her
Her ways of thinking were removed from her
Because she didn’t matter.

She was given a new birth date that has nothing to do with her birth
She was given a new name that didn’t match her face
She was taught new manners as being the right manners
She was forcefully penetrated with new words to become her new mother tongue and new ways of thinking
Because she didn’t matter.

She was killed when I was created
She is not because I am
I am not me I’m her.
Don’t tell me I matter when she didn’t

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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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I lost my Mother tongue when I was a little girl.

Transported to a foreign land, I was colonized, emptied of every word you taught me and forcefully penetrated by foreign words.

I feel guilty for speaking their language as if it was my mother tongue.
I feel dirty speaking and thinking in the language that took the place of our Mother tongue.

My ‘mother tongue’, as defined by Statistics Canada, is the language I speak now, the language that was forced upon me.

I feel guilty and dirty for using their twisted definition of a mother tongue.

Our life together, I remember vividly.
The words you told me, I remember them as if you had told them in the language I speak now. The things I said or thought, I remember them as if I had said or thought them in my ‘mother tongue’.

I feel raped in my soul thinking of our life together in my ‘mother tongue’ that forcefully penetrated me leaving no space for our Mother tongue.

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We Were Children is a documentary about the experiences of First Nations children in the Canadian Indian residential schools system.


For over 130 years till 1996, 150 000 Aboriginal children were removed from their families and sent to faraway schools which were part of a wider program of assimilation designed to integrate the native population into “Canadian society” and were established with the express purpose ‘To kill the Indian in the child.’  These children endured physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and the complete erasure of their culture.

The last of the 30 residential schools closed in 1996. In 2008, the Canadian government offered a publicy apology and the Indian Residencial Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established.

I was a child. I too was removed from family and my country, sent to a faraway country where I endured forced assimilation, abuse and complete erasure of language and culture.  They killed the Korean  in me. They say I should be grateful for being saved. They call it international adoption.

Korea has been selling its children to 15 countries for 60 years. Canada is one of the countries which buy them.

International adoption: import-export of priced-tagged children, forced removal from family and coutry, forced assimilation, abuse for many and complete erasure of language and culture.

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