Tales of Wonderlost

I'm a Korean-American adoptee living in Seoul, just finished my MA in Anthropology (yes, i took all of my classes in Korean TT). In my spare time, I volunteer at two great organizations: Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association (KUMFA) and the Women's Global Solidarity Action Network (WGSAN) - a group that works on various issues, including with the survivors of military sexual slavery during WWII ("Comfort Women"). I also love cooking and baking and going to the noraebang ^^ To make a monthly donation to the Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association, please click below!!
You can also make a one-time donation!
Recent Tweets @

"젖먹이를 버리는 비정한 엄마를 비난하기 이전에 아이를 버리는 ‘주범’은 과연 누구인지 따져봐야 한다. before we start judging cold-hearted mothers for abandoning their infants, we must ask who really is the ‘main culprit’ in child abandonment.

우선 시야를 넓혀서 보면 아동 유기는 줄어드는 추세다. 보건복지부 통계에 따르면 버려지는 아이인 기아(棄兒)는 1990년엔 1844명, 2000년엔 1270명이었다가 2010년엔 191명으로 줄었다. 그 뒤 다시 증가하여 지난해엔 285명이 버려졌지만 이는 아이를 안전하게 버릴 수 있는 곳으로 알려진 베이비박스의 영향이 크다. first of all, from a wider lens, the rate of child abandonment has decreased. according to statistics from the ministry of health and welfare, the number of abandoned children in 1990 was 1,844. in 2000, the number was 1,270 and in 2010, it went down to 191. after 2010, it increased with 285 babies being abandoned last year (2013), but the widespread information of a “safe place to abandon your baby,” the babybox, has had a large effect on this increase.

아이를 버리는 대신 직접 키우기를 선택하는 미혼모도 늘어나는 추세다. 2000년엔 아이 양육을 포기하고 입양, 시설 등으로 보낸 미혼모가 4000명이 넘었지만 지난해에는 1500명이었다. instead of abandoning their children, there has also been an increase in the number of unwed mothers who are choosing to raise their children. in 2000, the number of unwed moms who chose adoption or sent their children to welfare facilities was 4,000 but last year the number was 1,500.

그럼에도 불구하고 여전히 아이들은 버려진다. 입양 대상 아이들의 90% 가까이가 미혼모의 자녀다. 이 미혼모들은 어떤 맥락에 놓여 있길래 아이를 버리는 선택을 하는 걸까?” nonetheless, children are being abandoned. and nearly 90% of the children being put up for adoption are the children of unwed moms. we must look at what circumstances these mothers are facing that they are ‘choosing’ to abandon their children.”

photos from our 1st anniversary dinner last sunday (oct. 12th). ate lobster, steak, and pasta with scallops (=one happy pregnant lady) and finally got to taste the wedding cake that i didn’t even get to taste on the actual wedding day! can’t believe it’s already been a year!

bday dinner at home and blowing out the candles on his bday cupcakes one more time!


The other day, i was at the airport checking in for my flight. There was a Chinese family ahead of me in line, clearly struggling with a lot of luggage, and speaking loudly in Chinese. I could hear the white woman behind me getting increasingly disturbed by their mere presence, and when one…

"Aside from pure hatred, their attacks stem from their failure to see that their existence is not universal, and what they consider proper is completely relative. At the same time, they fail to follow values that are actually pretty universal, such as showing others kindness and empathy and respect. Blatantly attacking someone because they did not follow what you believe to be manners, which you are clearly so proud to be more versed in than them, is not only universally rude and terrible, but incredibly pathetic."


today is jinwoo’s 33rd birthday! wanted to surprise him, so i made zucchini/walnut bread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (topped with mango/walnut/chocolate shavings) and had them couriered over to his office…but he said his office atmosphere isn’t that kind of place so wish him happy bday over tumblr at least!

Adoption History Archive -call for object donations

Correspondence can be sent to: kad.archive@gmail.com

Thanks to early efforts stewarded by fellow adoptee and researcher Tobias Hübinette, overseas adopted Koreans are being acknowledged at the Korean migration museum as a significant part of both contemporary Korean society and the modern history of Korea. The archive currently contains memorabilia pertaining to: a global Korean adoption community of associations (magazines, photos, stickers, badges, posters, event fliers), and academic and cultural works created by adopted Koreans (theses, papers, books, art works).

We are now looking to expand the collection of primary authentic and physical artifacts:

1) Pertaining to the personal experience of adoption (pre-placement, travel and adoption documents, placement, post-placement, search, reunion). These items can vary depending on type of adoption (private, military-facilitated, NGO-facilitated, agency etc) and can include: images and photographs related to the time before adoption, travel and adoption documents, telegrams or newspaper articles of arrival, letters from birth family members, clothes, memoirs, copies of songsheets, tapings of search & reunion tv shows, and so on.

2) Pertaining to transnational institutional history and social practices of adoption. These items may vary depending on placement country and can include photographs of baby orphanages, foster care paperwork, adoption agency gifts, escort memorabilia, flight logs and manifests, citizenship ceremony souvenirs, and so on.

Best regards and please spread this Call for Donations to the Korean migration museum!

P.S. If you are visiting S.Korea in the future, and are interested in carrying these objects for potential donation with you or perhaps sending them in via mail, please fill out the attachment in this email (shannon: if you need the attachment, please let me know and i will send it to you)



Happening Now (10.8.14): Oh dear God, not again. Another life lost in St Louis. So little information right now, but it seems that an unarmed 18-year old boy was tased then shot 16 times by an officer, possibly off-duty. Not clear what provoked the event, but I’ll keep you updated as info is released. #staywoke #blacklivesmatter

Follow the Argus Livestream as events unfold ztonight.

Oh god

(via danggeun)

more fun times with hilbopinthailand: bukak skyway night views, bukchon hanok village, suguksa temple (the only golden temple in korea).

fun times with hilbopinthailand: hyeri artists village, namdaemun, myeongdong, hiseoul festival, sewol ferry tragedy fasting/memorial in gwanghwamun plaza, samcheongdong, snuggles with kano, gangnam, deoksugung

Asker imnopicasso Asks:
Just curious about your opinion, on this: Your post about having the reporters who cover interviews with you quote your verbatim, including language mistakes, resonated with me, because I struggle sometimes when I record conversations between Busan and I that happen in English. If I don't remember his exact wording, I record it in native English, but when, for example, he's sitting right in front of me saying something right then, I include his mistakes. But I worry that it may come (cont.)
peaceshannon peaceshannon Said:


across as though I’m somehow mocking him. I was just wondering where you personally feel the line is with that, and how to balance showing respect for the way a person speaks in a second language.

i think you are referring to this post, right?

i think the fact that you’re worried that you may come off across as mocking him illustrates both your care for busan and your care for literary accuracy, which i can appreciate.  

my simple answer is: everyone has their own line and i think it’s best to consult each person and ask them what theirs is when you are recording their speech in a second language.

for me, wanting reporters to quote me verbatim is both practical and political. practical because i think reporters feel like they have more of a license to put words in my mouth while they are “fixing my grammar” and political because my korean, with all its awkwardness and mistakes is meaningful to me. it conveys something to the listener about my identity as an adoptee, something that i want people to be forced to feel and not be able to gloss over. for busan, his grammar mistakes in english may not be political for him, so in his opinion he may feel it is unnecessary to record it verbatim. though i would venture to say it may turn political for him if he ever immigrated to the states? but this is all just conjecture on my part - he may never feel that it has anything to do with his identity, which is why i would recommend asking him his thoughts on it personally ^^ 

today is hangeul day in korea, the day when korean people celebrate the invention of the korean alphabet - an alphabet that was created as a means to bring more widespread literacy to the korean people, whereas literacy had previously been a privilege of those educated in chinese characters.

as an adoptee who is now bilingual, the korean language has a special meaning to me. this day reminds me of this post i am reblogging now. reclaiming the korean language has had a large part in my journey to reclaim my korean identity and negotiate my place in the korean diaspora as a korean adoptee. but ultimately it is only one of many entry points in which adoptees can begin their own journey toward making peace with their korean identities (or lack thereof, if that is how they identify).

for that reason, adoptees’ relationship with the korean language and hangeul is diverse and complex. for adoptees who have felt the pain of the loss of a mother tongue, for adoptees who feel the sting of dismissal when people ask why you don’t speak korean well, for adoptees who feel embarrassment or resentment when korean people - even sometimes your own korean families - chide you about studying korean because you are korean, for adoptees who have felt the victories of even the simplest communications in your reclaimed korean, for adoptees who have felt the liberation of deciding that their koreanness is not dictated by their korean language ability, cheers to you all on hangeul day!