What a difference a decade makes

Ten years ago…

…I was a stay-at-home mom, to a 6-year old and a 1-year old.

…I was a college drop-out, who didn't think I had enough "book smarts" to get a college degree.

…I was searching for some kind of meaning in life.

…I was mentoring teen international Asian adoptees as a volunteer for the same agency my parents used to adopt me.

…I was just starting to publish my writing professionally.

…this month I met up with 7 other Korean adoptees from around
the U.S. to coordinate and plan our trip to Korea (my first), which we
called Y2K. Around 30+ other Korean adoptees met up with us, forming
the first mini-Gathering and my entree into the world of
Korean adoptees. Up until then, I had never been in a room with more
than one other Korean adoptee other than myself.

…(in March) I went to Korea for the first time since my adoption brought me to the U.S.

…I had no idea I would go back to college and finish my bachelor's degree. I had no clue that I would end the decade in a Ph.D. program. I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have become a social worker.

…I wouldn't have believed that I'd go to Korea 3 times before the decade was over, or that I would bring my partner and children to see the country where I was born. That they would get to visit the very steps where I was found, that they would walk the halls of the first orphanage where I lived.

…I could not have imagined that I would blog about my experiences, that anyone would even care about what I was writing about, or that I'd get to meet all these incredible transracial and international adoptees that are now like my family, through the internet.

It sounds cliche, but ten years ago I was a totally different person from who I am today. I was a shy, timid, private, introverted person, who believed that I'd never figure out how to do anything meaningful in my life. Everything I have done in these past ten years has been because I had supportive and loving people in my life, who believed I could amount to something in this world, even when I didn't believe them myself.

I hope that each and every one of you have people in your life who believe in you. May 2010 be your best year ever.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

8 thoughts

  1. It is amazing what ten years can bring. And mostly it is done one day at a time. Thinking of you and wishing you the best

  2. Wow. All I can say is thanks from the bottom of my heart. What a huge difference you have made in the life of many adult and future adult transracial adoptees!

  3. Interesting the changes that you personally underwent.
    How quickly a decade can pass.
    Though cliched, the saying about seizing the day certainly is true.

  4. Happy New Year, my friend!
    I know that 2010 will reveal more of your amazing accomplishments from the passion, dedication and hard work that you put forth into everything you do.
    Love and good health to you and yours,

  5. Happy new year, and thanks for reminding me just how far you can go in 10 years. πŸ™‚ Here’s to seeing what happens with 100 or more. πŸ™‚

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