Thursday, August 12, 2010

Becoming A Member of a New Family

After the Korean War and its destruction of the Korean way of life, many orphans were sent to the West for adoption. The figure heard frequently is more than 200,000 children, most of them to the United States, 60,000 to Europe

The children most likely to be considered for adoption were fathered by Americn soldiers and abandoned, along with their mothers, after the war. Even today, although the government has tried to reduce the numbers of adopted children sent overseas with welfare programs, they are still the largest in modern history. over a thousand every year.

A recent article in the Peace Weekly describes a reunion between a mother and daughter, reunited after many years of separation, the daughter having been sent to Italy for adoption. It was a joyful and tearful meeting, with the mother saying: "You are the same as you were, the same." At the time of the adoption, the mother had recently divorced and felt that for the good of the child, adoption was her only choice.

The daughter, Kim Maria, now 40 years old, had been happy with her adopted parents. She graduated from a university with a doctorate degree, was the mother of two girls and had found work in Rome. But the thought of her birth mother was always with her.

She got in touch with a Korean priest, Fr. Kim, who was in Italy on a study program, and asked him to help find her mother. He was unsuccessful, even after an account of his search for Maria appeared in the Peace Weekly back in March of 2002.  Maria was finally able to find the mother by contacting the agency that put her up for adoption. She immediately notified Fr.Kim  and made the trip to Korea. Fr. Kim arranged for the reunion and served as interpreter.

On witnessing the meeting of mother and daughter, he said it  was like being part of the family. His work is finished, his hope now is that mother and daughter will continue to find happiness.