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Showing posts from April, 2020

the first few weeks of my search

Here's what I know to begin (the true story of my relinquishment): I was left at SOS Children's Village in Daegu, S. Korea on July 21, 1972 around 7pm Local police escorted me to White Lily Orphanage (that evening?) August 23, I was sent to Holt Children's Services in Seoul (second orphanage?) October 13, possible registration to foster family in Seoul December 19, 1972 - emigration to the US to join my adoptive family at JFK airport, My mom, dad, nana and papa were there to meet me off the plane. Here's where I've begun: Email inquiry sent to SOS Children's Village who says they have no record thus far, but are looking into a more thorough search with further info I provided.  Step 1, to initiate a search through my adoption agency, complete - confirmation of adoption facilitation through Holt International. Access to forms to request Post Adoption Services.  Step 2, Petition notarized and mailed to US office in OR, to be matched w

april something something

Something I'm working on :: Aside from the giant family history/archival project and birth family search I am doing in the background of my day to day, I am also in the process of re-visioning Studiofemme . One thing is for sure - it's time for a deep realignment and I'm leaning into some dreams and ideas that have been simmering on the back burner for years. I also know that as a bridge builder, my work wants me to explore new spaces. This strange and unsettling time has provided the much needed space and contrast to ask and seek hard answers to important questions about what I want my life and work to look like in the new world, which is also changing and emerging right before our eyes. It's challenging me to let go of many things, beliefs, especially pre-conceived notions of safety that no longer feel like a fit to who I am and who I'm meant to be. No exaggeration (and no surprise), such drastic internal and external shifts are slowly changing the lands

everything I never told you

Over the weekend I retrieved from the basement boxes of sentimental family photos I've been carting around for much of my adult life and began the task of sorting through and organizing them. Some of the pictures are in albums and others are loosely jumbled together in no particular order, many of which have no helpful dates or timestamps (note to future self: always date your photographs). I'm looking for visual cues while on this search, things tangible which tell stories and shake loose memory and emotion. This is a slow process of reorganization, pulling together all the pieces to now look at them through this new lens of deeper truth, even if much of that truth is still unknown. There is so much that I do know, and the memories of this life that have fully been mine are my anchor. As I touch each photo, each document, each feeling, one thing I am realizing is that what I'm uncovering is not just my own singular story, it's a shared narrative with no beginning

timelines and narratives

I couldn't sleep last night, so I finally surrendered to being wide-awake a little before 2am and climbed out of bed to go work in the studio under the twinkle lights. It must have been the diet coke I drank earlier in the afternoon. Caffeine and I don't generally party well. One of the things I've been wanting to create is a sort of log of my search efforts as I begin, as well as a timeline of all the dates and events that happened before my emigration and adoption. So last night I started pulling together all the bits and pieces of information from the the short stack of documents I finally gathered together into one folder, to begin to form a framework. It's as good a jumping off point as any. Even this early in the process, I can see that the story surrounding my adoption as I've always understood it, is likely not true. None of it really lines up. Let's go back to 1995... where I was working at a children's residential program

heart deep

Today I finish my last bit of work for Squam and make the transition into the liminal space, like so many others, to unemployed. That's not to say that there aren't any embers in the fire to fuel a possible return someday, but for now it's fully giving over to the unknown.  It is with some bit of grace that it feels like the loss of one thing is allowing the space to open up for something else. Having my days so free and clear under these highly unusual set of circumstances does indeed seem like an opportunity. The path feels wide open and beckoning, and I truly don't know if at any other time in my life I would have had the presence and availability to really be all-in in the way it's being presented to me in this moment. Even though the odds are against me - only about 15% of adoptees reunite with their birth family - I am one hundred percent here for whatever is meant to be. And so I've been binge listening the  Adapted  podcast, a series of

love without borders

It's day 31 since we've been sheltering at home, and new energies have been taking up space in the void. Inspired by  this little gem of video  created by by artist,  Misty Mawn's  daughter, I decided to create a spring inspiration wall in my studio - a smattering of new images and feelings for a brand new season beckoning me forward. I had recently pulled a stack of sweet magazine layouts that felt like little sparks for my soul, which have since been sitting on my studio table waiting to be pasted in my art journal or added to collages. As I flipped through them, I could sense new energy and themes in the images and words (my  Inner Alchemy  is always at work), and realized they were meant for a new wall. Along with a few pieces that I wished to carry forward from my last inspiration wall in my old studio before the move, I went to work wash-taping it all together. Some of the words:  this feisty Jack Kerouac shown quote shared below, also  "Quiet the mind

this is us

I woke up this morning with the urge to know the numbers, something that I have not look at in any detail since this began. They were easier than I expected to find with a state by state app built right into the feed, and staggering in their stark grimness: two thousand new cases yesterday in my county alone; six hundred deaths in my state. And once I had this snapshot there was no easy way to process the multitude of thoughts and emotions that those digits imply. I'm trying my best to not default to numbness against what is true. That to me feels like one of the real potential travesties, and yet I also understand we are all in this strange and surreal - yet very real - survival mode and we are doing the best we can to get through. Poor Hazel is even a bit out of sorts as well. Athen, my ten year old, said yesterday with a gush of sincerity that all he wants is to go back to school. He really misses his friends. When we all went into lockdown, he was just turning the c

what's your risk profile?

Yesterday I was thrilled to get out of the house to go work at Alex's empty school , which incidentally was originally built as a munitions bunker, perfect for a zombie apocalypse, and is actually a really cool place to hang out. The kids were happy to have a day alone without their parents looming about, and it felt really good to jump in the car and escape the same four walls for a while. This may be our new Wednesday routine. We also thought to stop by the wood shop to retrieve masks since my sewing machine had just gone kaput (we're happy to drop off one to anybody nearby who needs one!), and we may have even popped into Kane's for a little donut love.  Something else that's been weighing on my mind, which may be helpful to share, is this: In sex-positive circles you hear people talk a lot about their risk profile . Fundamentally I believe it's an agreement you have around how you will engage with others that includes a high level of perso

the next key on the quest

Days 24 and 25 ::  I let the earth hold me. I asked for help. I got my vitamin D. I connected with my people. I made good things from what was readily available. I napped when I felt bone weary. I found unexpected gifts and moments of flow. The Small Things We have daffodils and forsythia blooming in the yard. The neighbors are posting a joke a day in their window and leaving chalk doodles on their driveway. The goldfinches are in our feeders and we are hoping to see some hummingbirds this year. I went back for the book in the Little Free Library around the corner and found another that looks juicy too - I started reading it last night (so interesting somehow, that it's a love story that begins on 9/11) - thinking about what to leave in return. Future projects of their own timing and energy, are indeed brewing. I cooked up the best impromptu dinner of caprice sandwiches on fresh baguette with leftover homemade nut-free pesto and milk mozzarella,

what is real and true

I'm back in my notebooks mining for what has always inspired me and gotten me through, and really glad to have the messy record... while also wondering if all this is my magnum opus or fuel for a really big bonfire someday.  Every day, as a mother, I wonder if I'm doing enough to support them, to nurture them, to connect with them and help them process and make sense of all that's going on. What's too much and what's not enough - of everything - is the eternal question these days. I'm going to sew my family some masks. It's time. Even though very few people around here are wearing them. Though I will not have a job come the end of this month, talking about money has never felt safer. We actually never used to talk about money together, ever, something we've unpacked on so many different relational levels, which we now understand is also intertwined with underlying personal beliefs around value and worth. Yet another not so subtle nod t

painting it out

Yesterday was the hardest day yet.  I was way down deep in my feelings of grief and isolation. I think it finally hit me all at once, the loss of so many things... most especially a fundamental sense of safety in my own body - not just due to concerns about the virus, but now additionally because of the hate and ugliness that is playing out against people who look like me. Additionally hard is that no one in my immediate circle of love and support, as I'm surrounded by mostly white family and friends, can really understand what this experience is like. I've never felt more vulnerable and separate -- and then it also occurred to me that this level of intensity may be what it feels like to live as a black person in this country every single day, an awareness that felt crushing on top of everything else. I cried a lot. And so I started writing this soapbox of a post: I'd like to clear something up for anyone who is still uncertain -  we are all racist .