Dear Young Hye,
The story of your journey published in The Korea Daily on February 28, 2018—describing your experience as a toddler, moving from Korea to the USA, and then as a college reporter traveling from the USA to Pyung Chang, Korea—touched me and many hearts around me.
You may wonder what it mean by ‘many hearts’. The folks I am alluding to are the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Korean Language and Culture in the USA (FKLC), who have been closely working together to promote Korean language and culture in American public schools. This nonprofit organization, located in Los Angeles, creates and supports Korean language classes for both formal and informal education contexts. All of our directors, including executive and vice-executive directors, are dedicated and committed to the mission of sharing Korean language and culture. In fact, Dr. Steven Lee, the President of George Mason University in Inchon where you are a student, is one of the board of directors at our Foundation. While I am not a teacher ( but a medical doctor specializing in Radiation Oncology, a mother of 2 professional daughters, and grandmother of 4), I was elected to be the President of the Foundation for this term. It is a great honor for me.
One of our programs includes supporting visits to Korea for American high school scholars (like you once were) who are interested in Korea, it’s language, and culture. The chosen high school scholars gain opportunities to experience Korea first-hand on Korean soil. We hope that our high school scholars can see Korea, in its richness and complexity of history, just as you have.
Young Hye! I am guessing that your experiences growing up in the USA might have been difficult at times, sad at other times. But I am convinced that you are one of the most blessed individuals on earth. Your story in The Korea Daily tells me that.
I would like to say that we are all in the same boat called ‘life,’ whether you are an adoptee or non-adopted child. This boat can be too small or too big, too rough or too complicated. The ocean the boat sails on is often more turbulent than smooth or easy. But somehow we persevere, and your story showed us how we can do so gracefully while getting to the places we would like to reach. Your story teaches us to be positive, inquisitive, courageous, resilient, wise and happy.
Before concluding my letter to you, I would like to send special thanks to your adopted parents for the love and life they have shared with you. Their daughter, Younghye, has shown us the way to reach someone, somewhere. Tell them we admire their daughter Younghye!
Best of luck in locating your birth parents and, biological brother!
Monica C. Ryoo, M.D.
Foundation for Korean Language and Culture in the USA
680 Wilshire Pl. Suite 416
Los Angeles, CA 90005
E-mail : info@klacUSA.org
Website : http://www.klacUSA.org
이 편지는 중앙일보 본국지 2월 28일자에 보도된 한국출생 미국 입양아의 기사를 읽고 쓴 글로 곧 중앙일보에 publish 될 것입니다. ‘The roots’를 생각해 보았습니다.