"I am Korean"... Adoptees' journey to finding their Korean identity

2-week long ASIA Families Tour - 25 participants learned and experienced Korean culture

Korean Adoptive families and adult adoptees from ASIA Families visited Korea for a 2-week homeland tour and learned about their Korean identity as well as Korean culture.

The participants for the ASIA Families Tour visited Seoul, Gyeongju, and Busan from the 23rd of June through the 6th of July and experienced cultural and historical heritage of Korea.

The adoptees and the adoptive families also stayed with Korean host families to experience everyday life in Korea, as well as visiting Dongmyung Elementary School to serve as honorary teachers.

During the interview at the elementary school visit, Dana Schlafman (44) said "I was found near Miari, Seoul in 1974, and was adopted to the United States when I was three. Seeing the children at the elementary school made me feel like this would have been my life and the kind of education I would have received if I were not adopted." Schlafman teared up when saying that he has "strong feelings of identifying with being Korean."

Moreover, the adult adoptees visited Jang Dae Hyun North Korean Defectors School during their stay in Busan. The adult adoptees and the students had special time to connect with each other.

The tour schedule also included visiting adoptee's birth cities, adoption agencies, foster parents, and orphanage/nursery, as well as one of the adult adoptees meeting with his birth father.

Grace Song, the founder of ASIA, said "Homeland tour for adoptive families and adult adoptees has two main goals. First, for Korean adoptees of all ages to develop pride in their Korean identity; Second, for the adult adoptees to develop their leadership skills through interactions with various people all throughout Korea." 

ASIA Families Homeland Tour 2015 was sponsored by Jung-Hee Kim, director of Selah Art Group.