Debra Johnson, Author

Debra Johnson: [00:00:00] My name is Deborah Johnson and I am an adult Korean adoptee from Minneapolis Minnesota. I grew up in Minneapolis. I was adopted from Korea when I was almost five. I was originally in the Seoul City baby home. And then after a short period of time I was tra…

[00:00:28] I’m the youngest of five. I’m the only adopted child in my family. I have three sisters and a brother. My father was a Lutheran pastor. He’s retired now and my mother was a full time homemaker. She has since passed away and I think that they really wanted to add to their family. I also think that after hearing a presentation about all the needy children in the street children in Korea they were really touched and thought that they could provide a good home and a good family for a child who needed one. I’m 44.

[00:01:05] I’m 44 and they destroyed all their records so I don’t really have a story like I was left at a police station or in a park or anything like that so there’s not enough detail that would be recognizable to anyone. And I’ve sort of toyed with the idea of you know doing you know newspaper or TV but I just hasn’t hasn’t felt comfortable to me that feels really public and I’m to yeah I’m kind of this is a really private issue for me. And so that hasn’t felt like a comfortable avenue for me. Read more...

Katy Robinson, Author

[00:00:00] My name is Katie Robinson and I’m the author of a memoir about my adoption experience called a single score picture a Korean adoptees search for her roots. I grew up in Salt Lake City Utah and currently I live in Boise Idaho. I was adopted from Korea and my experience is a little bit different from most adoptees because I was older. I was 7 years old and before my adoption i lived with my Korean mother and grandmother right up until the time of my adoption. So I came to the United States with a lot of memories about Korea and about my family.

[00:00:48] So my parents adopted me. It was 1977 and at that time adoptions were being done very differently in that agencies were advising parents to assimilate us into the white culture as quickly as possible. Give us American names and basically help us to forget about the past and start over in a new life. So I grew up very out of touch with my Korean identity. My parents had three sons biologically so I was the only Asian in my family the only one adopted and I was the only Asian person in my entire school from kindergarten through eighth grade. And by the time I went to high school there was only one other Asian American in our school and he was Japanese American. So I grew up very isolated from the Asian culture.

[00:01:42] Well I didn’t realize it was a problem until much later but how I dealt with that is that I try to assimilate as quickly as possible I think I learned English in about six months and in the process completely forgot Korean. Read more...

Thomas Park Clement, Author

Thomas Park-Clement
Interviewed by Miae Kim

Thomas Park Clement: [00:00:00] I’m Thomas Park Clement and I am from Bloomington Indiana. Well let me see as many adoptees. I’m not sure exactly what date I was born. So it was somewhere around 1950 1951. And at the latest nineteen fifty two and as you probably know the war started in June 1950 and the cease fire was around July of 1953 and I have quite a few memories from that period. I have a theory that if your childhood is fairly uneventful then you will have a hard time remembering back to an earlier age. But because of the war it was so eventful that I can remember when I was 2 and 3 years old.

Thomas Park Clement [00:01:06] The, my, I lived with my birth mother and father for approximately four years. And when I was around four and a half years old my father disappeared and then right around that period my mother had brought me to a street corner and told me to look down the street and not turn back. And that was the last time I saw her. So I was living on the streets for a while. I have no idea how long until I was found by a Methodist missionary nurse and I am half and half. So she was on the lookout for – we call them hop hoppers which is half Caucasian half asian children and she brought me to an orphanage and I was there for perhaps two years and then Congress had passed a acceptance of international adoptees in 1957 and I was adopted into the U.S. in 1958. Read more...