must’ve been destiny


I think the following poem should be required reading by anyone considering international adoption, and it’s a fine companion piece to John Raible’s spoken-word piece on transracial adoption, Better Off, Better Smile.  It was written by my KAD sister, Myung-Sook, from her unapologetic and profoundly heartwrenching blog, Holt Adoption Product.

It was Myung-Sook who heard my small scared voice three years ago and comforted me, and it is Myung-Sook who holds my hand today when I am frightened or alone.  If I hold your hand too, it is because of her.

Please read her blog, but as an intro, please enjoy this poem presented in the same manner she did and be sure to start the music while you are reading. (each line of the poem corresponds with a phrase in the song, so that will help with the pacing of the accompanying music)

당신은 사랑받기위해 태어난 사람 means
You were born to be abandoned,
because 사랑해요 means I love you.

You were born to be abandoned
Because you were born to a wrong father
You were born to be rejected
Because 사랑해요 means I love you

Do not worry
There is a married woman whose womb has been closed by God; her name is Hannah.
Hannah has great faith in God and she is praying hard to have a child

You were born to be abandoned
Because your were born to a poor parent
You were born to be tagged with a price
Because you were born in a poor country

Do not worry
Hannah lives in a rich country.
And she’ll pay any price to have a child

You were born to be abandoned
Because you were born to a sinner
You were born to be sold
Because you were born in Korea

Do not worry
There is man who heard Hannah’s prayer; his name is Eli
Eli will fix your mother’s mistakes in the name of Jesus

You were born to be abandoned
Because God placed you in the wrong womb
You were born to be shipped off to strangers
Because you were born in the wrong country

Do not worry
The followers of Jesus will fix God’s mistakes.
And the followers of Confucius will send you off with an escort

Be grateful that you are not useless
Hannah’s is happy now, because of your existence in this world.
Followers of Jesus made huge sum of money, because of your existence in this world.
And the followers of Confucius will be happy, the day you’ll visit your birth country to spend your money.

당신은 사랑받기위해 태어난 사람…

The Contemporary Christian use of adoption for personal gain obliterates the fact that we international adoptees are a product of social injustice, and both Myung-Sook and John Raibel’s pieces give voice to the children who were silenced during this process.  International adoption capitalizes on social injustice and benefits from its continuation:  it is no charitable act.

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4 thoughts on “must’ve been destiny

  1. “You were born to be tagged with a price
    Because you were born in a poor country”

    I always wonder, what does this mean for the siblings who were kept?

  2. Haven’t a clue. From the few stories I’ve heard, when times are hard, it’s usually the youngest who get sent away. I also hear stories of older siblings who couldn’t forget the missing baby and have searched tirelessly to find out what became of them. Other stories I have heard are the ones left behind have to deal with the family’s hardship and erroneously aggrandize the adoptee’s new life and are envious and resentful.

    But I’ve only heard a few stories, so I can’t say with any expertise.
    Later siblings often are not told, so they don’t mourn the loss.

  3. My elder sister was born to a different father in the 1950s. I don’t know if she was born before or after my mother met my father. In either case, she was born under the typical conditions (war, poverty and single mother) which led thousands of other children to be abandoned/adopted.
    When I learned that, I couldn’t help thinking that she should have been the one to be adopted, not me.

  4. Wow! Your mother was a single mother! Your father must have loved her a lot…

    It’s just so disturbing how International Adoption has skewed destiny.

    I sometimes wonder what are lives were supposed to be without this intervention. I can see how it would have been so much better after coming to Korea.

    It would have been just fine. Just like your sister’s.

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