Four days later, I am beginning to be able to gather the impressions people have had of the show.
It’s been very difficult to ascertain because of the communication gap that exists due to most people’s English speaking levels. Mostly, I hear how sad it was. But I am coming to believe that “sad” is a catch-all word, and that the impression is more nuanced than that.
At lunch my Korean friends told me they had never heard about the bad side of adoption before, and that this was important for them to hear: they had often said in the past that they wished they had been adopted to America. One of my adult students said he was in tears. Just now on the roof, a Korean English teacher, with an excellent command of English, told me he hadn’t realized how frustrating it was to be separated from ones identity. He opined that he felt it was the fault of the Korean government for sending children away with no regard to how it affects the children and separates them from their country and culture. He expressed how now he can see things from the adoptee perspective and his opinion was greatly changed. Many students in my classes mentioned the show and several of the boys wanted to talk to me about it. One offered to teach me Korean (maybe I should take him up on it) and another said, “my country is (makes crazy sign at his temples). Not me/us, but the country.” I asked him to help me change it, and he nodded his head.
I am, to say the least, very very ecstatic over this.
People are asking me about how the adoption fees are spent and where the money goes. Seven Star spoke again about the time he escorted children to Europe for Holt. There were two escorts, and each were in charge of three children. He said they were not paid for this. I told him how Holt charges the parents escort fees. I told him about Myung-Sook’s being forced to escort children to be adopted (for free while the adoptive parents presumably still paid for escorts) and how emotionally heartbreaking it was. Everyone was outraged and said that the Korean people need to know.
Yes, they do.
I told them how HOLT thinks its okay for them, a COMPANY to hold our information from us. I told them how it’s okay for HOLT to drop a bomb on girl #4709, but that it’s not okay for any of girl #4708’s sentiments to be passed along, because that constitutes CONTACT, even though only HOLT knows her identity and contact information. What would be more shocking, a phone call from Holt after 40 years out of the blue? Or a letter from Holt that included a friendly note from me with an explanation of why I was inquiring after her? Because of the way they handled this, they have scared her away and possibly ruined the only chance I have to learn the truth. I told them that there is a special place in Hell for HOLT, and they all agreed.
I am, to say the least, feeling very very good that I’m not the only one that thinks so.
Some more information has come to light about my search that I’m not at liberty to publish, since Holt is reading my blog now, but I guess I can say that this chapter is not quite yet closed.
It was a mistake for HOLT to treat me so callously. It was a mistake for HOLT to lie to me. It is a mistake that HOLT continues to put policy over human decency. They say they are protecting girl 4709, but really, what are they really protecting?
Answer: their own self worth.