Korean culture came to my house in a big way – through my adopted daughters. My daughters are from Ilmagwon orphanage in Gunsan, Korea, which is far from Seoul. They were babies when I adopted them and I lived at the small orphanage for a few months. My daughters and I traveled back to Korea in 2012 for the first time in about 40 years. It was an amazing trip.
Now the most exciting news– after my daughters and I traveled to Korea I blogged about it and several adoptees from Ilmagwon contacted me through my blog. Sixteen Ilmagwon adoptees from the 1970’s and 80’s have connected. Sixteen! That is such sweet news after not being in contact for years. Every time we find another lost sister, my heart is blessed. The girls live all over the U.S., from Florida to New York to California.
I feel like the godparent of these precious ones, some of whom lived in the orphanage the same time I did. A few girls got together in June 2014 for the first time. Rick Matthews, a GI who lived there and adopted a Korean baby too, came with his wife from Kansas.
We turned my house into a mini-Korean gajeong. We lowered the dining room table so we could sit on the floor. We tried on gorgeous hanbok dresses, watched an excellent tae kwon do performance (one of my Korean grandsons is a black belt) and catered in the most delicious Korea bulgogi and kimchi we could find. Then to top it off, we made homemade bimbops!