Michelin-Starred Korean-Belgian Chef to Study Local Cuisine

The Korea Times has this article about a Korean-Belgian adoptee.

Michelin-starred chef Sang-hoon Degeimbre, a Korean adoptee to Belgium, has returned to Korea for the first time in 35 years.

Degeimbre was invited by the Korean Culture and Information Service to
observe and learn about Korean cuisine and culture. He arrived Monday,
and will be in Seoul through Aug. 20, according to the Ministry of
Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Degeimbre was born in Korea, but was orphaned. In 1975, a Belgian couple adopted the five-year-old and moved him to Belgium.

You can read the whole article here.

Addicted to Race Episode 116 – Black kids white community, bluest eye, international adoption and culture

How do we raise black children in an all-white community and still maintain a healthy sense of identity? How do we combat Eurocentric standards of beauty? Do
internationally adoptive parents go too far with the cultural
activities, at the expense of talking to their kids about race? Carmen
Van Kerckhove, Tami Winfrey Harris, and Jae Ran Kim discuss, today at 11 Central/12 Eastern, live.

Subscribe here.

Chinese adoptee discovers he was not abandoned but lost

Thanks Millicent for the link. From the Baltimore Sun. This actually happens a lot more often than people think. I know of a number of Korean adoptees who discovered they were not "abandoned" but got lost. People often think this could never happen, but you need to look at it in greater context. In South Korea, for example, where there are few surnames, where people are often called by titles and not first names, and where addresses are extremely long and difficult to learn, it is not at all unfathomable to me that people can and do get lost and a young child would have no way of knowing how to name his or her parents and/or address. I've heard firsthand accounts by people who were separated in busy markets or train station platforms from their older siblings or parents and never found them again.

A new mission to China
: An Easton woman helps her adopted son trace his birth parents — and the contradictions of his mysterious youth

Julia Norris

The boy was near age 6 when he was abandoned in 1998. Police found him under a bridge in Luoyang, a city in eastern China. Unable to learn how he got there or where he came from, officers deposited him at a busy orphanage in town.

That was the story Julia Norris heard two years later, in June 2000,
when she visited the orphanage. That was still the story in April 2001,
when she returned to adopt the boy and bring him to America. And it
remained the story this spring as Christian Norris finished 10th grade
at Easton High School, where he plays lacrosse and has a crew of

Then, in late May came the e-mail that suddenly recast the narrative of
his young life. Christian had not been abandoned. No, he'd simply
gotten lost, the result of a tragic mistake. So said the boy's birth
parents. And now they very much wanted to meet the young man.

You can read the article here.

Adoption and facebook etiquette

From Feministe blog come this post about an adoptive parent's response to seeing her daughter's photo on the first mother's Facebook page.

Eve and her two mothers.

Jay writes,

No one taught me Facebook etiquette when I was growing up, and no one
taught me how to build a relationship with my daughter’s birthmother.
One of these things is more important than the other, but both require
common sense, clarity of purpose and generosity of soul. Here’s hoping
I can find all three when I need them.

Story of adoption disruption in the New York Times Motherlode blog

from the New York Times Motherlode blog comes a personal story about disrupting an international adoption. Apparently the Motherlode blog has published several posts about adoption. I made the mistake of reading the comments afterwards which is usually a mistake, but I'm sure I saw a few familiar names representing a more balanced view of the typical adoption narrative.

Terminating an Adoption

Regular Motherlode readers have already met Anita Tedaldi, who blogs at ovolina.com. She has written a few guest posts about being a military spouse. But she has never before written anything like this.

A few months ago, when another guest blogger wrote about secondary infertility,
many of the comments were along the lines of “why don’t you just
adopt?” and some of the responses were in the vein of “adoption is not
always that easy.” In the middle of that I heard from Anita, who asked
to share the story of D., her adopted son (she has used her real name
here, but changed his), whom she raised for 18 months before she
relinquished him to another family last year, when he was about
two-and-a-half years old.

The termination of an adoption is a fraught topic, raising questions
of love and loyalty and the definition of parenting. Anita’s tale will
make some of you angry, but she hopes it will trigger a deeper
understanding of how fragile and fierce the bonds of adoption can be.

** ETA: Oops, forgot to add the link again. You can read the whole article here.

Language barrier at CPS

A very disturbing article about how CPS bungled the case of a Chinese-American family. Clearly this child could have been raised by relatives, yet because the caseworker and the agency did not provide interpreters and basically operated out of a white, English-language framework, this child has now been with his foster parents long enough for the courts to consider it in his best interests to remain with them.

As a former public child welfare worker, I believe the agency and caseworker completely mishandled this case and operated out of a white supremacist framework. Harsh words, maybe, but there was a complete lack of best practices here.

Language Barrier at Child Protective Services

For the first year, Baby Raymond lived happily with
his family. Then the agency took him away and even though his
Chinese-American family fought to get him back, they couldn't find the
right words.

If Raymond loses access to his extended family, there is a good
chance he will never be apprised of the facts surrounding his removal
from their lives. This story has tried to present the unvarnished
facts, which are buried in a bungle of oft-­puzzling court orders and
about 1,000 pages of trial testimony and exhibits. Hopefully, if
Raymond ever chooses to read anything about that part of his life, he
will have the time to look at the primary sources.

And if he chooses to read anything else, I hope it would be this:

Raymond, due to language and geographic issues, it has been
difficult to illustrate exactly how much your Aunt Connie loves you,
and how this ordeal has torn her, and the rest of your family, apart.

However Connie appeared to the jurors, her words on paper express a
woman unsure of her tongue and unsure of the legal system, who was
stumbling over herself to, in her words, "try to explain so the jury
member can understand better."

By the time your mother's case went to trial, it really ceased to be
about the truth and about what was best for Raymond Liu. It was purely
adversarial. It was about using your family's lack of English and lack
of legal sophistication against them. And it worked. Sure, it was also
about pointing the finger at CPS. And you can make up your own mind
about that.

This is an extremely long-winded way of saying you have to believe
this: Your Aunt Connie loves you. She fought hard for you. She and your
Aunt Ling were there for the first year of your life. They had such
respect for your grandmother, who they always wanted you to be with, so
she could care for you like she cared for them. And you have to believe
this: You were happy.

You can read the entire article here (it is very lengthy)