Separated by adoption?


So yesterday, the t.v. station sent me a still from the documentary.

This is the photo of me, Suh Yung Sook, on my log book entry, next to the photo of Kim Sook Ja.  Both of us were recorded as coming from the same city, on the same day, and ATYPICALLY we were both entered on the same document.  Holt Korea says we couldn’t possibly be sisters, because we have different family names – however, the document says our names were made up.

Holt Korea produced this photo of the other girl at our meeting in Seoul, presumably to prove to me that she was not my twin, because it says on that document we are the same age.  (which I always thought had pretty low odds anyway)  But instead of discouraging me, it made me think there was an even greater possibility we could be siblings.  What do you think?

My daughter thinks there might also a resemblance between both of us and my son…

My daughter Sara, to the left, and David, to the right

According to the birthdates Holt gave us, I am six months OLDER than Kim Sook Ja, so they say we “couldn’t possibly” be sisters, even though on the earliest document from Wonju, it says we are the same age.  Upon closer inspection, my age appears to have been re-written/traced over/changed. It is CLEAR from these photos that I “couldn’t possibly” be older than Kim Sook Ja!  What is OBVIOUS, though, is that my birth date was grossly off target (probably a full year off), which is a ludicrous degree: a degree that would only be lost on some adopting parent ordering a child sight un-seen.

Holt has repeatedly tried to explain away the Wonju document and stood behind the log book entries’ data as written, even as it becomes revealed that the data has such serious and obvious discrepencies.

Holt tried NOT to help me search for Kim Sook Ja and only acquiesed under pressure from me about going public.

Holt, who says they found her and called her, says she has not replied and is therefore uninterested in finding out whether or not we are siblings. 

Did Holt tell her about the discrepancies between the Wonju document and the log book entries? I bet they didn’t.

Did Holt pass along any information about me or that I merely wanted to know the truth? NO.  And they wouldn’t even let me send her a brief note explaining.

On a cold March day in 1966, two little girls began a journey which
would change their lives forever.  That day was the day they were transferred to an orphanage to begin their life as orphans, to be adopted and sent away to foreign lands with foreign people.

You and I were together that day.  You and I were together the next four
days and possibly the next nine months.  Were we together prior to that
day?  Only meeting can rule out the remote possibility of relations
undocumented.

You are the only living person I know who has anything to do with my
past and I would at the very least like to contact you, however you feel
comfortable.  We are sisters in solidarity, and I would be interested in
hearing how you’ve fared in life.

Fondest regards,

Leanne Leith

Because they define any self representation by me as CONTACT, even though I still don’t know her name or where she is.  They merely told her some adoptee thought she was their sister, and left it to her to decide, even though they failed to provide her with the full story.

They say this is to protect the other adoptee.

I say it is to protect themselves from being exposed as breaking up a sibling goup.

And you know what?  After moving to Korea, I can tell you that all Asians do not look alike, and that if unrelated and the sharing of abandonment date, place, and documents were really as random as they say, one would expect the two children pictured above to look radically diffferent.

At this point, I of course don’t want to meet her if she doesn’t want to.  But I would like to prove conclusively that we are or are not related, just so I know what’s true and not true about this chapter in my life.  We can meet in a DNA testing lab – that’s all I need from her at this point.  Of course I would be interested in hearing how she fared, but just the truth is enough.  And Holt should have provided her with all the information they had, so she could have made an INFORMED decision about receiving contact from me.

Wouldn’t anybody in my circumstance want the truth?  Does the way Holt has dealt with my case resemble the actions of people who purport to CARE ABOUT FAMILIES?

How many other Korean adoptees were split up for ease of sale and they are none the wiser?  Holt says they have nothing to hide.  But even if they  don’t, I believe their actions speak louder than their words, and they are afraid that if I find Kim Sook Ja and we are sisters, then it will expose them as an organization that SEPARATES families in order to create new ones.

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8 thoughts on “Separated by adoption?

  1. Thanks, Mei-Ling.
    I am not sad anymore, just angry.

    I am using that anger to fuel a new mission to convince Korean society to keep their children, to be proud of those who take responsibility for their actions, and to support the future of Korea.

    I want the world to know that Holt’s past misdeeds should be history – they should not perpetuate them into the present day. That they continue to do so is indicative of how pathological their benevolence is.

    We should all stop and think very very very carefully about the source of children and what it means to take them.

  2. I understand that the adoption industry makes children younger to make them adoptable to those who want infants, but I don’t understand why they made you older. It smells fishy.

    It doesn’t take a sense of observation to notice you were much younger than other girl. Moreover, unlikely the other girl, there was someone behind you holding you to take the photo.

    I’m sure they didn’t think a minute that adoptees would reclaim their stories once they grew up.

  3. If 4709 isnt related to you, I will take back every negative statement I have ever said about Holt! Until then….

    I am so pissed Holt continues to deny that they have the power to solve this issue. Equally upsetting is the stupidity of Holt to think you or anyone else cannot see the family resemblance.

    It sounds more like:

    1)Holt prefers to hide behind deceptive practices.
    2) Holt uses excuses instead of making solutions.
    3) Holt cares less about the Christian principles which they were founded upon, than their own agenda.

    Holt needs to step up and do the right thing. Even if the director of the orphanage or the principals involved with your adoption have passed away…even if records were changed…. even if records were not accurately kept…even if records have been lost…even if you and 4709 were adopted to separate families for good reasons…even if they use the excuse that they are overburdened with adoptee requests and they dont have enough resources within their post adoption services to help you ……even if they tried before and failed…..

    Holt can solve this issue! Holt can make contact with 4709. Holt can utilize their social worker to make this a positive process for everyone concerned and can take $400-$800 out of their millions in profit to pay for the DNA testing.

    I am not asking what Holt can do …but rather WHEN will someone within in Holt stop this injustice and do right for 4708 and 4709?

  4. btstormb2006, you are so right…

    So what about that, Molly?
    Why did it have to come to this?

    I know everyone at Holt International and Holt Korea are following their separate company policies, but those policies are SERIOUSLY messed up.

    You all act like your policies are legislation or the will of birth mothers or God himself.

    btstormb2006, the answer to your last question lies in they are afraid of opening floodgates. It’s so HARD to spend an hour here and there on all these pesky adoptees, imagine if there were thousands of them? God will understand, because what’s a few little civil rights violations here and there when you’ve SAVED them from their mothers and living in Korea?

  5. The excuse we are separate companies is so pathetic.

    Reminds me of calling Sprint back in the mid 90’s -“Oh, you need to talk to Sprint Local….then, “Oh, you need to talk to Sprint Long Distance..back and forth…back and forth….to the point of frustration or exhaustion or both. …hmmmm see the common name in both companies?…ummmmmm, yeah Sprint….bingo! Just like common name…Holt. Didnt Holt Korea and Holt International both participate in our adoptions back in the 60’s?

    I think there has to be more than just time challenges. If it was just time, I would be willing to stand in queue. Problem is….there is no queue. Just roadblocks and exit strategies.

  6. EXACTLY !!!!

    I’d just like anyone who reads my case to tell me how wonderful international adoption agencies are.

    Tell a friend, and have them tell two friends, and so on and so on…

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