' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Korean Adoptee Meets Birth/First Family in Seoul

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Korean Adoptee Meets Birth/First Family in Seoul

An addendum to yesterday's post about Koreans reuniting with their birth parents back in South Korea: The Harrison (Arkansas) Daily Times has a long story about the reunion of Willie Whitescarver, or Jo Kyung Nam, with his natural family, including his birth/first mother, Choi Chun-Hak of Seoul, in October. Willie, a 54-year-old building contractor in Harrison, took his wife, their three children and spouses with them to meet her family.
From the Daily Times: Now, at her home near Seoul, [Whitescaver's] 81-year-old mother is wearing a necklace her American son gave her, with half of a metal coin dangling from a chain, and back here in Arkansas, Willie is wearing a necklace with the other half of the coin. On the coins, the Mizpah blessing from Genesis is inscribed: “May the Lord watch between me and thee while apart from one another.” Willie gave the necklace to his mother as a gift during their visit.
 Whitescaver said he hopes to go back to Seoul to help the Holt International Adoption Agency and orphanage, which facilitated his adoption, to repair and rebuild its building, and after that, bring his mother to Arkansas for a visit. Meeting his birth mother was “the experience of a lifetime,” Whitescarver said.

The story at the Daily Times page has photographs, including a shot of how the story ran in a Korean newspaper. In light of our discussion yesterday about educating adoptive parents to not feel rejected if their children seek out their natural parents (see Osolomama's comment) , we wish we had a comment from the adoptive mother, who lives near Whitescarver in Arkansas. The comments at the end of the newspaper story are all positive--you might want to add your own. --lorraine


  1. RE: positive comments on reunion story. I've noticed this is more likely to occur with a reunion of international adoptees. For domestic, there seems to be more negativity, i.e. "does she live in a trailer, is she a junkie" or adoptees themsevles saying "I'm glad I was adopted, my APs are only parents" etc.

    Anyone else notice this?

  2. I am delighted that someone of that age group found his mother! I have a friend who believes that she never will, and the orphanage that she was adopted from is supposedly gone. (I wonder how she knows this since she has never been there since she was a child)

    Yes, I have noted that the children of our nation tend to be more angry. Is it possible that they feel that, somehow, in the richest country in the world, we were supposed to be helped and to overcome whatever obstical? In our country, children put up for adoption are told all kinds of things for reasons why - my friend was told that her mother could not keep her because she was half American and it would have been a severe hardship on her. (She was in the home a couple years, but was 9 when she was adopted....makes no sense to me)

    American kids are taught that their parents are the best, they are the richest, on and on and on....yet we don't see the connection between their rage at our failure to be there with the things that we (all adults) teach them. America is rich. We take care of our own. We help others in need.

    Would you believe a mother that told you no one would help her after being taught all that? I doubt it. And you would be angry.

    Just a thought.

    I still see a positive in many ways with regard to the article - most Korean children adopted in that 10 to 15 years will never find their parents, especially if they were half American. Bravo and blessed be!



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