Writers Block: Nicole Chung
Join us for our third edition of Writers Block with author Nicole Chung! You will be able to listen to Nicole speak more about her book and her personal story.
Kam Redlawsk was born in Daegu, South Korea in 1979 and adopted by an American family in Michigan in 1983. Growing up in an almost entirely white community, she was made to feel like an outsider for her physical differences. It was during college that Ms. Redlawsk was diagnosed with what is known today as GNE myopathy, a rare genetic disease that leads to weakness and wasting in one’s muscles and affects only around one thousand people worldwide. Today, she uses her skills and artistic talent for advocacy and spreading awareness about rare diseases like hers. Dealing with loneliness and watching her disease progress to affect more and more of her physical abilities over time only pushed her to live life to the fullest by seeking out new experiences. In sharing her experiences as a Korean adoptee and someone affected by a physical disability, she hopes to spread the message that everyone has their own reserves of unlimited courage and that empathy can only be built when people begin to seek out each other’s differences.
Why Heritage Camp?
When our son Bart was only three he voiced emphatic dislike of his handsome Asian face. He wanted to ‘fit in’ to the Caucasian world he’d known since arriving home at age five months. His message was loud and clear, that even at a tender age, his self-esteem was wrapped up with his adoption, Korean heritage and being a “stranger in a strange land”.
Taneka Hye Wol Jennings, born in Cheongju, South Korea, was adopted at 3 months old into a white American family in New Jersey. Growing up, she sometimes felt alone navigating her life as a Korean adoptee and not having a community to identify with. Taneka speaks about her journey to find community and belonging to where she is today, being deeply involved in Asian American and adoptee human rights work. Taneka is currently the Deputy Director at HANA Center in Chicago, IL and is also involved in KAtCH: Korean Adoptees of Chicago.
In Memory Of
To pass the time, I have started doing Pilates, taking frequent naps. For three weeks, Tom insisted I watch Pulp Fiction. I’ve eaten close to a thousand Oreos in the past month and a half. This is not hyperbole.
I told myself I was going to be fine – I wasn’t going to let it happen to me. Each morning before sitting in my ergonomic chair, I procure a disinfectant wipe from the plastic container on my desk and begin my ritual with accuracy – wiping the mouse, the keyboard, headset and ear-pad, microphone, regular phone, receiver…chord connecting phone and receiver.
Matt Fischer – Part 2
In Part 2, Matt talks about the beauty of starting a new chapter with his family and the joys becoming a father to his own biological sons.
Matt Fischer – Part 1
Matt Fischer was born in Korea and adopted at the age of 7.
Chris Detrych came to America in 1985 at 3 months old where he was adopted by a Caucasian family in Detroit, Michigan.
Lynn Richards-Noyer – Love/Hate Project
Lynn Richards-Noyer shares how she found her birth family through an appearance on Korean television and how she “accidentally butt-dialed” her birth mother.
Alex Myung Wager – Love/Hate Project
Born in Daegu, South Korea and raised in Albany, New York since he was four months old, Alex Myung Wager struggled with his identity as not only a Korean adoptee but also a gay man.
Adopted from Seoul as a baby, Nellie Sung, the only person of color at her schools in Minneapolis, never felt like she fit in.
Lee-Ann Hanham – Love/Hate Project
Adopted at the age of two by a white family on Long Island, social worker Lee-Ann Hanham grew up with her non-biological, adopted Korean sister as the only Koreans in her neighborhood.
Michael Pulliam – Love/Hate Project
Michael Pulliam clearly remembers the time when he was punched squarely in the face right after he boarded the school.
Meg Campbell – Love/Hate Project
Meg Campbell grew up in Upstate New York with her 3 other adopted sisters, where she felt a strong sense of isolation and loneliness due to the strained relationship with her parents.
Marissa Martin – Love/Hate Project
“Everything in your life is not your choice.” Marissa Martin opens up about life as a Korean American adoptee.
HeeSun Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1983, and was adopted by a Chinese American family. You may have heard her rap on the Korean TV program Show Me the Money. Growing up as an adoptee, she felt stereotyped by other Koreans, which led her to write about what she was going through in her music. She shares how the experience shaped her journey in finding who she is.
Michael McDonald – Love/Hate Project
Michael McDonald was adopted to the U.S. at 3 months old.
Andy Marra – Love/Hate Project
Andy Marra is a Korean American adoptee and leader in LGBTQI advocacy.
Michael Mullen – Love/Hate Project
According to his adoption papers, Michael Mullen was left on the steps of a police station in Seoul, Korea.
Jae Rindner – Love/Hate Project
Jae was adopted at 4 months old from Seoul, South Korea, yet she did not come to terms with her Asian identity until college.
My Korean American Story: Brian Bomster-Jabs
My name is Brian Bomster-Jabs, and I am a Korean Adoptee. I was adopted when I was 5 months old and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. When I arrived, I had a brother waiting for me.
The Hardest Part About Being a Teenage Adoptee
Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees.
Korean American Adoptee Suicide Prevention Campaign Teaser
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees.
In a heartfelt and honest conversation on “Not Your Average,” host Julie Young and guest Danny Chung talk about the American dream, the complicated notion of family, and what it means to be a Korean American. He shares, “When you’re a hyphenated American, you tip-toe and you have to tight-rope between that hyphen of Korean and American.”
Tell Me a Story
Probably each one of us said it at some point when we were small children. Some of us said it almost every night. Some begged and pleaded. We laughed and giggled and screamed when our pleadings were granted.
KRB Podcast: Pauline Park
In this month’s KoreanAmericanStory, partnered with KRB 87.7 FM, Pauline Park, a New York City-based LGBT and transgender rights activist, shares how she overcame multiple identity complexes through different stages of life as a transgender Korean American adoptee, and talks about the work she currently does with Queens Pride House and New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy.
KRB Podcast: Julie Young
In this week’s KoreanAmericanStory with KRB 87.7FM, Julie Young, former litigation attorney and writer for KoreanAmericanStory.org, talks about her life journey as an adoptee.
Aiyoung Choi – Part 3
A month after 9/11, Aiyoung Choi got contacted by KAFSC (Korean American Family Service Center) about a father who wanted to leave his son with someone for the weekend.
KRB Podcast: Joy Lieberthal Rho
In this week’s Korean American Story with KRB 87.7 FM, Joy Lieberthal Rho, adoptee, mother, and social worker, talks about discovering her multi-faceted identity, and how she was able to reunite with her birth mother along the way. Learn about her work with Camp Sejong, an organization where Korean American adoptee and American-born Korean youth learn about Korean culture and identity, as well as the mentoring program she’s involved in with Also-Known-As.
KRB Podcast: Katherine Kim Bradke
Korean American Story, in partnership with KRB 87.7 FM, invites Katherine Kim Bradke to talk about 325kamra.org, an organization dedicated to reuniting lost families through DNA. Born in Korea in 1957 and adopted to the U.S. at 3 years-old, Katherine talks about her experience growing up and discovering her unique identity as a Korean-American adoptee.
KRB Podcast: Milton Washington – Part 2
In this week’s Korean American Story with KRB 87.7 FM, Milton Washington talks about the tumultuous years of his life after his adoption to America, and how he came to resolve the inner conflicts regarding his identity.
KRB Podcast: Milton Washington – Part 1
In this week’s Korean American Story with KRB 87.7 FM, Milton Washington talks about his childhood in Korea as a half-Korean and half-African American boy. With pride, he shares about his prostitute mother – the essence of love and security up until his adoption to America at 8 years old, and the reason why he was able to endure the unfriendliness of a world that gave him birth.
KRB Podcast: Kathleen Carney Sacco
Kathleen Carney Sacco works for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. Her work involves inter-country adoption and international child abduction. In her Korean American Story with KRB 87.7 FM, she talks about coming to the U.S. at the age of 5 as a Korean adoptee and rediscovering her birth family as an adult.
My Korean American Story: Riding Horses in China by Matthew Salesses
One summer my wife and I toured half of the Silk Road through China. We were dating then. It was my first time traveling in a guided group—I had always traveled alone, cut off and trying for immersion, which might have been a way of reliving of my adoption.
Jack McGovern & Noah Sinangil
Jack McGovern and Noah Sinangil are both adopted Korean Americans that we interviewed at Sejong Camp in New Jersey.
Emily Lynch & Minjung Kim
Minjung Kim (24 years old) was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the US when she was 11 years old. Emily Lynch (27 years old) was also born in Seoul, Korea, but she was adopted along with her twin brother by a Caucasian family in Connecticut.
HyaeKyung Jo & Linda Priore
HyaeKyung Jo is a retired teacher with over 30 years of experience in primary and secondary education in US public schools. Linda Priore was the co-founder of Sejong Camp, a Korean culture camp that parents of adopted Korean children started in 1992.
Martha Crawford and her husband adopted two children from Korea.
Sabryna Ro & Leah Rice
Sabryna Ro and Leah Rice are both 17 years old and they met at Sejong Camp, a cultural camp for Korean adoptees and American born Koreans
Chris Todd & Steven Yeun
Chris Todd, 31, was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted by a Caucasian family when he was a baby. Steven Yeun, 31, was born in the US, and grew up in Long Island.
Where Are You Going, Thomas?: The Journey of a Korean War Orphan
This is the story of Thomas Park Clement, an abandoned bi-racial Korean War orphan, who was adopted by a white American family in 1958. He overcame many obstacles to become a successful entrepreneur and a humanitarian.
Joy Lieberthal Rho
Joy was adopted from Korea. She came to her family just shy of her sixth birthday.
A Song For My Mother
Somewhere in Korea, deep in the heart of Pyuang Chang Kun of Kangwon Province, a young mother stands alone.
My Korean American Story: Matthew Salesses
I am reading I Wish for You a Beautiful Life right now, for the first time, suggested to me by another Korean adoptee. It is a book of letters from birth mothers to their babies, letters I wish had come packaged with us.
My Korean American Story: Anne Sibley O’Brien
Our daughter Yunhee is getting married this weekend. With the enthusiastic support of her non-Korean husband-to-be, she’s chosen to have a traditional Korean ceremony tonight, followed by a white-gown-and-tuxedo wedding tomorrow.
It’s About How You Feel in Your Heart: Profile of Marja Vongerichten
Never in a million years did Marja Vongerichten think she would become the unofficial ambassador of Korean food to the United States. Her story is well known at this point. Born to a Korean mother and an African-American serviceman father, at the age of three she was adopted by an African-American couple, Colonel James Allen and Margo McKay.