about this girl

In her first life, Suh Young Sook (name assigned her by an institution) became a Korean foundling.

In her second life, Suki (misinterpreted Korean nick-name) was adopted to America by a troubled and dysfunctional family, which she traded in to become a child bride and mother of two.  Later as a single mom, welfare mom, jack of all trades, university graduate, then restless chameleon, she explored the ideas of beauty, meaning, and existence at every reinvention.

In her third life, Leanne (because Koreans prefer her name to sound foreign) has relocated to her native country to measure what she lost, what she gained, and to explore the profound impact adoption has had not only on her, but all other intercountry transracial adoptees and the Korean nation.

_MG_0995At this juncture, Girl #4708 is an investigator uncovering many truths that can only be revealed by the discomfort of culture shock.   Always a feminist, she is becoming aware of the need for advocacy for unwed mothers and has learned a great deal about the cycle of adoption and how it is a symptom of larger social pathologies and a global mind-set of colonization between the privileged and the defeated.  By living in Korea’s oppressive Confuscian society, she has come to believe the international adoption solution in Korea contributes to arresting development of social services which preserve existing family structures.

Girl #4708 is beginning to understand the society she was sent from, the realities of the adjummas who sent their children away for a better life, the awe inspiring economic development, the many centuries of culture behind it, and the realities of women and mothers here today.  None of it is so black and white, and she wants to share that with the rest of the world, that adoption is radical surgery and its efficacy should be questioned and be resorted to only when there are absolutely no other options.   She also wants to assist those who have already adopted in understanding how profound the dichotomy between loss and gain can be, and the schizm between the adoptee’s public family life and inner private feelings.

Girl #4708 is seeking the beginning of her story, and to know her real name and birth date.  As she uncovers the stories and gets closer to the truth, she is disturbed and lonely, but happier than she’s ever been.

10 Responses to about this girl

  1. Hello,

    I thought you might be interested in the new talk radio show on adoption @ http://toginet.com/shows/adoptionjourneytomotherhood
    Next week on my show, I will have DMC the King of RAP, from the group Run DMC and Sheila Jaffe who is the casting director for the Sopranos and Entourage! They are both adoptees and searched and found their birth families.
    Listen in on Mondays from 9-10 am EST or go to the link below to review our shows. Please share with your group.
    If you would like to post a comment/review please go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adoption-journey-to-motherhood/id360483358

    Thank you,

    Mary Beth Wells

  2. Jim says:

    You are no Marlo Thomas, woman! Good thing, too (in this context).

  3. John Raible says:

    I tried to leave a comment on your other blog, in response to your excellent questions list. Email me back so we can chat. And you might want to check out my blog:



  4. sarah says:

    Hi. I came across your blog while researching Cheongpyeong’s elementary school. I have an offer from them to work there starting this week. I’m also an adoptee and I have had the same trouble with finding a teaching job as you described in your blog. I’m glad I’m not the only one! It sounds like you like the town which is reassuring. I will keep up with your blog and maybe we will meet someday in Cheongpyeong. Thanks for writing!

  5. sukioki says:


    The thing I wanted to add is that the kids here are so much nicer than in the city and the burbs. I like Cheongpyeong a lot. But it’s isolated and not much to do. Most people in rural locations head to Seoul every weekend. We also have Chuncheon as a choice. Most people are not as busy as I am, though, with activist work, etc., so there being nothing to do here hasn’t affected me that much. But not having friends here has been awful.

    If you come, we should try and support one another on a regular basis. K. good luck!

  6. Von says:

    Found you!So like your ideas and writing on adoption, hits th spot exactly!

  7. […] Read more here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in Internet Crush, Korea, What I'm Watching and tagged Adoption, Girl #4708, Korea research […]

  8. Hey, are you still using this blog ? ;D

  9. girl4708 says:

    No. Topic has been exhausted, which turned any issues into history and rendered them powerless over me.

    I leave the blog up as a thorough document of one adoptee’s process. It was intense, concentrated, daily self-work and I hope that some of the over 800 sometimes raw, sometimes ugly – but always honest and always truly trying to understand – expository posts will have been / will be of some benefit to other adoptees on their journeys. Hopefully I’ve exposed some pitfalls they can avoid and maybe my age and other traumas have provided a perspective which produced conclusions others may not have considered before.

    I leave the blog up because somehow, after all that, the adoptee ends up feeling peaceful and yes, even happy. That’s a little different in the adoption landscape. I’m hoping others can catch that too.

    I guess my final analysis on what it means can be read in the interview Deva Lee recently did with me here:


    Thank you for taking an interest,


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