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« Please Don't Make Me Choose | Main | On Being Selfish »

April 30, 2007



Paula - you are so stunning!!!
This is the first time I've seen a pic of you - just beautiful!!!
I love this post - your first impressions - your first Korean meal - the police station - everything.
Just love it.
Thank you for sharing these precious moments.
(and I love your husband's idea of a 'meal' too!! LOL)
Biggest hugs,
Poss. xx


Possum said it -- you are STUNNING!! As beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. WOWZER!

And I love the pictures. I've heard that response from other international adoptees -- feeling a part of yet not a part of a place.

Have you read Somebody's Daughter? I just started it; friends gave it rave reviews.

So happy to see a picture of you, my friend!!


I would have to agree with what other's have are very stunningly beautiful in heart and physical appearance. I love to hear your first impressions. The first time I went back to Korea was in 2004 and I left in 1976, so it was a bit strange going back to Korea "my motherland" that I did and did not feel a part of all at the same time.


These are fantastic photos! Wow!

I think the photo of the police station was profound but honestly I thought the one of you pointing to your very first Korean meal was equally profound. Certainly not silly.

Thanks for sharing these!!!


As others said, you are stunning! Part of me loves to see Asian adults, to get a glipse of what my son may look like in the future. The pictures of Korea are beautiful...I loved being there for our trip, I'd love to go back and visit again, without the excitement of an adoption.

I understand the police station picture. Whenever I'd see a sign for a hospital in Korea, I'd wonder "is that where my son was born?" Humans like to have concrete connections. It's why my son has a Daddy Doll for when his dad is deployed, it's why I stop and loot at an American flag a little longer when he's gone too.

By the way, my husband and I took pictures of the first Korean meal we had, but yours was so more meaningful!


Thanks so much for sharing these, Paula. I can imagine that these photos hold so much more meaning than just what meets the eye. I'm lucky to have pics of the maternity room in the hospital in which my son was born. To the average observer they would just be pictures of a room with a bed and a bedside table (IF I let anyone else look at them - which I don't). However, I could get lost in thought for hours just looking at one picture of one small, pretty much empty room. Thanks again for giving us a little glimpse into your journey.


Paula, You are so strikingly beautiful. I love seeing the pictures of your trip. Even more so, I anticpate the day when you can share them with your son and your adoption story as well. I think it's great that you were pointing to your meal. That's how memories are made and stories become legends. Thank you for sharing more of yourself through these photos. Thinking of you, Rebecca


I agree with the others! The first thing that struck me is how pretty you are!

It must be amazing to visit the country you were born in. I look forward to the day that I can bring my DD back to China.

KT MeeHee

I love the photos--were the aerial ones taken at namsan mtn? I haven't been there yet, but really want to go (after seeing it via the Korean drama "My lovely samsoon, hehe)

and i can totally relate to the picture of the police box--although some ppl might feel it arbitrary, its all we have, you know?

I was left on an orphanage doorstep, but the orphanage was torn down a couple of years after my adoption and apartments were built in its place. Even though I knew the approx. location, its hard to "connect" with a bunch of apartments that used to the orphanage that I was brought to, you know? So I can relate.

I really hope that one day you'll be able to find out which police station you were brought to and more clues to your Korean family...

KT MeeHee

PS: since I've met you in person, I figured that I didn't have to say how pretty you are--but for the record, you are! :o)


Paula, you are as gorgeous outside as you are inside!

These photos make me want to scoop my family and get on the next plane! Is that bibimbab in that bowl? Yum!

As I read this post, it made me think of two photos that sort of jumped out at me when I went through all the pix of our family trip in 2001. They were of the kids, each taken near or where they were born. The both had absolutely stunned looks on their faces - deer-in-the-headlights eyes. I know from those photos that being where they were born was incredibly powerful.

Thanks for the photos, and as always your beautiful thoughts!

Paula O.

You all are much too kind. Out of the thousands of pictures taken of me (my mom is like the paparazzi - always taking pictures), about 5 are suitable for others to see - the rest are just too scary. Funny how the ones in Korea actually turned out okay. It must have been the great lighting in the restaurant, or the glow from the bibimbab (yes, you were right, Margie!).

Mia - thank you so much for pointing out the significance of the picture of me next to the meal - I had not thought of it that way, and your words really hit home with me.

Erica: Isn't it the strangest feeling to feel a part of something, yet so disconnected? It was like, I know I should feel like I fit in, and I did in a small way, but in many large, very important ways, I did not. I would love to hear more about your trip back.

Poss: Can you believe that we actually ate at more American chain-style restaurants in Seoul than we have here in the States? My husband is not too adventuresome about new foods, so it was funny to be in a Pizza Hut with me and my Bulgogi pizza and him with his personal pan pepperoni pizza! Haha.

MeeHee: You're so right about clinging onto to the little that we do have. I don't think it really registered until the past several years in just how important any and all information about myself really is to me.

Judy: I've heard great things about that book - I definitely want to check it out. Thank you for letting me know about it and for your kind words.

Margaret: It was amazing and I, too, really look forward to bringing our children to Korea one day, especially our son.

Rebecca: I think about what you said a lot - sharing my story with our son, and of course, learning from him as he grows to travel his own journey and learn from his story. Thank you for recognizing that part of us. Many hugs to you.

Zoe: I have really come to treasure these pictures more in the past several months. I think when I was there, my mind was more focused on our son than it was on the significance of me being back in Korea. These pictures mean so much more to me now as I've been searching for my parents (and myself) than I could have ever realized.

Mommavia: You're right - we do gravitate towards those concrete connections. I think for me it's because it affirms a part of me that I often felt others didn't really understand or recognize as so significant, including myself.

Margie: I can only imagine what that would have been like for your children. I hope to find out for myself one day. Thank you for your gracious words.


I got really emotional at these pictures. Thank you for these. And I know I'm late to the party, but wow, you are so beautiful.


Cool to see your pictures! By the way, the photo of you pointing to the food you ate is something I would do, too. Geeks rule!

If you were left at the police station it's where whoever left you there thought you'd be safest.

It can't be easy not having answers about who your family is.

You look pretty in the photos. It's so wonderful to get a glimpse of other countries.


Love the pictures. I still remember the donut-on-a-stick one :-)

Hard to beleive 2 years has gone by!

Paula O.

Theresa, you are so nice. Thank you. And I get emotional looking at them, too.

Thanks, Soon-young! I love all of our pictures from Seoul - especially the "geeky" ones. :)

Kim: Thank you for your kind and gentle words. I believe that too, about the location of where I was left - and cannot imagine how frightening it was for the person who left me there, whomever she or he was. ((((Kim))))

Rose: What a good memory you have! :) And who can forget that the Seoul economy took a serious hit after we left from S. not consuming dozens of donuts each and every day. :)


wow - i love your photos.
You are so beautiful.
I laughed and related to you finally having your first meal in a Korean restaurant - I had my first Korean meal last year (in Melbourne Australia - a big step nonetheless haha).
I totally get why you took those photos because it was a big deal to me too!
Also I relate to your need for a picture of a police station because I am the girl who a couple of weeks ago was guilty of giggling with my mum as we tried to google the hospital I was born in (with no success unfortunately).
I think it would help me if I found a picture and some more information.
My mum seemed so happy because that was the first time I had ever shown a REAL interest in my "history" and in Korea. She has been waiting for this for years.
I think it's made us even more close (if that was even possible)!
Love and peace to you


love the photos. thanks for sharing.

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