Friday, June 23, 2006

Making Korea a False Utopia

I was on an adoption forum the other day and I was reading through some posts at random. I noticed one particular thread was all about how wonderful Korea is and how the parent couldn’t quite understand why their adoptee was not as enthralled as they were. It made me start thinking.

Korea is a very interesting place to learn about. Now that I have my blogs, I’ve learned a lot more about it than I did in thirty years of just growing up as a Korean Adoptee. However, though Korea is a wonderful country, it isn’t perfect. Korea, like all other countries, is made up of people and people are definitely not perfect.

I worry a little bit that we (parents of Korean Adoptees) may cause some problems in our eagerness to share the Korean culture with our children. If we always paint Korea with the same brush – showing it as the perfect place – we risk letting our children growing up believing that Korea is a Utopia. We create a world where they will believe they can go and be free of the bad things that happen to them in this world. They may view Korea as an escape from their reality.

For some Korean adoptees, going back to Korea works and they are able to find their home there. However, for most of us, Korea is still a foreign country and it is not any more comfortable there than it is in their adopted country. For an older child who has built dreams based on their fantasy Korea, the disappointment is harsh.

I really think that we need to walk that fine line again. I’m always talking about that fine line. We have to remember that we can not always edit out the bad. Sometimes, it is to everyone’s benefit to understand the whole picture.

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