Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Start of My Drama Addiction

By the time we went through the adoption process in 1998, it was clear to those in the adoption field that it is a must for the parents of Korean adoptees to at least have some basic knowledge about Korea as well as the race-related issues that face Asian Americans. Through the internet and organizations like KAAN, adult adoptees talked about the frustration and isolation of being a different race from their family and often their community. Indeed, some adoptees suggested that international adoption and interracial adoption should not be allowed at all. Adoption books, agency classes, and internet adoption groups talked about the importance of embracing the race of the adopted child, so that as the child grows, they have the freedom to explore their birth country and the support when needed if they struggle with race issues. In addition, adoption agencies began to sponsor culture camps, language classes, and cultural festivals. These cultural events are all designed to celebrate the child’s birth country and give them a sense of pride in being Korean-American.

Thus, as I threw myself into the adoption process, my quest to learn about Korea began. We were living in the Washington DC area when we brought our son home in 1999. Consequently, with "Korea Town" in Arlington, VA, nearby, we had easy access to the Korean community. We began to frequent Korean restaurants, shop at the Korean markets, and try cooking some Korean food at home, I also had a Korean babysitter for the kids when I worked, and I did the English-speaking youth service for a Korean church near our home.

When we moved to Honolulu in 2001, I was introduced for the first time to subtitled Korean dramas. Subtitled Korean TV is very popular in Hawaii and airs 7 days a week on KBFD. Within a week of moving to Honolulu, I was hooked. It literally opened up Korean culture for me. The values, beliefs, traditions, language and music come alive in dramas. I remember talking to a Korean friend of mine in DC and telling her that I was watching the dramas. She said, "oh now you understand me!" Haha- and she was right!

If you are not already watching Korean dramas, hopefully this blog can be a guide to getting started! I hope I can spread the Korean wave to other adoptive families who share my passion for learning about Korea.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Successful Liberation Day

Wow what an awesome Liberation Day we had!! Despite some last minute protests, my son successfully participated in the Liberation Parade! The 1.5 mile walk was packed with people and tons of fun. However, by the end of the parade route, the boys were all getting tired. After the parade, I loaded my tired and sweaty boy on my back and hiked to the parade start to meet up with the rest of our family and our friends. Though the smoke was thick, it was fun to walk past all the family tents along the parade route, and check out the many varieties of barbecue. Grilling is serious sport on the island! After the parade, we all came back to our house for a Liberation Day party.

One of the things I like best about having a party is having lots of kids running around and playing. This party was no exception. In providing one of the party’s lighter moments, the kids were playing outside in the driveway on bikes, scooters, etc, when they pulled out the wagon. They got the idea to harness our 70 pound chocolate lab Hana to the wagon and have her pull it. The adults weren’t paying much attention to the kids’ antics until suddenly my son came flying into the carport in the wagon, pulled by the dog running at full speed. The dog sent the wagon careening into a fancy beer cooler-stand thing that we had set up. It was house-warming gift, and we had the top tub full of beer and ice. The wagon ran into this thing at full speed, and the entire top bucket dumped into wagon and onto my son’s lap with a thunderous crash! I did my best Mom’s scream, and pulled him out of the beer and the ice soaking wet. Amazingly, he wasn’t hurt- just wet and embarrassed. Not a single beer bottle broke because everything landed inside the wagon. Once we realized he was ok, everyone starting applauding. It was quite the move, and something that will go down in family party history!

For her part, Hana the lab survived the party very well. When we have people over, she goes on food patrol and will wrestle any crumb she can from the younger crowd as well as get into any plate or napkin left sitting unattended. By the end of the night, I know she ate at the minimum one bowl of red beans and rice, an entire loaf of pumpkin bread left of the edge of the counter, and numerous chicken bones. Aigoo…that dog would risk a smack on the nose any day if it meant a chance at more food.


My First Blog Post

This is my first attempt at trying a blog, so we will see how this goes! Hafa Adai from Guam and Happy Liberation Day! This July 21st marks the 62nd anniversary of the arrival of the US Marines to liberate the island from Japanese occupation during World War II. It is a major holiday for Guam and is celebrated with a large festival, parade, and fireworks. We have lived on Guam for 2.5 years, and this will be the third parade that we have attended. This year, I will be walking in the parade with my 7-year-old son and his Cub Scout pack. He is so nervous…he doesn’t want to get run over by any floats or fire trucks in the parade. I assured him that it will be safe. Tropical Storm Kaemi is finally moving away from us, and hopefully, the weather will be nice. After the parade, the party is at our house. If you are visiting Guam, feel free to stop by!