How 3 girls from Korea discovered friendship and their heritage in CNY
Kasey Buecheler, Allie Leogrande and Theresa Rutkowski were born in South Korea and adopted by American families in 1991.
They met through adoption support groups and Korean cultural events. Their families arranged play dates and cooked Korean food like bulgogi, or beef stir-fry, and mandu, or dumplings, to connect their children to their roots.
When the girls turned 5, they started attending Camp Mujigae, a Korean culture camp in Albany where they learned about Korean history, language and folklore.
As Korean children adopted by American parents, the teens are caught between two cultures. Although they’ve always been aware of their Korean heritage, they want to learn more.
"We have been exposed to a lot of Korean things throughout the years, but now we’re getting to appreciate it and we want to take it to another level," said Buecheler, 16, of Onondaga Hill.