My name is L. Soo Hee (연수희). I am a transnational adoptee, born in South Korea in 1983, adopted and raised in Minneapolis, MN (Land of “gazillion adoptees”).
How is this adoption blog different?
There are a lot of blogs out there about adoption, some very personal, others exploring the broader social, political, and economic contexts that create the need for adoption in the first place. This blog is a melding of those two…a blend of personal and political, if you will.
Adoption is not a one-time event, but a life-long journey. I am continually living my adoption story. Through each stage of my life, from birth through adulthood, I have engaged with the question of what it means to be adopted transnationally and transracially, and how this self-knowledge influences my world-view, my work, and my relationships. This blog is a place to write and share that story, to explore the evolution of how I relate to my adoption, and to engage in discussion with members of the adoption constellation on the politics, economics, ethics, practices, and lived experiences around adoption.
Adoption is not just about the individuals of a family, it’s also about the cultural institutions that sanction the creation and destruction of family. It’s about power–who has it and who doesn’t–and it’s about the economic transfer and migration of a precious commodity: children. I want to explore the intersections of the personal and the political because adoption sits right in the middle of that intersection, forcing us to confront issues that make us feel uncomfortable. Even more compelling than the individual stories of families being created (and destroyed) are the large cultural stories we tell ourselves about kinship, and how we justify those stories in our legal and financial frameworks.
Why “geography of adoption”?
As a geography major in college, I spent a lot of time exploring what home means in the context of globalization: how we find meaning in and create relationships with the places we live, and how I personally navigate the various borders and bridges in my life as an adoptee. The musings were chaotic and messy–all over the map, as it were–and there was no clear sense of order. Even the messy maps tell a story, though.
I think of this blog as a map in progress, just as my own story and the way I tell it continue to unfold. This is a space to bring voices and experiences together, to highlight the voices that aren’t heard, to draw relationships between them through time and space, and see how they might be arranged to illuminate the complexity of being born in one country to one family, and then raised in another country with a completely different family.
I don’t always expect that everyone will agree with me, but I ask that comments be written respectfully.
Thanks for reading.