About

Jane Jeong Trenka


Hello and welcome! My name is Jane Jeong Trenka and I’m an overseas Korean adoptee (Korea Social Service / Lutheran Social Service). I was born in the Yongsan district in Seoul, which is the American military district. My 4/12 year old sister and I, six months old at the time, were sent to the U.S. in September 1972. Our Korean mother searched for us and found us by Christmas that year. So this happened before we were legally adopted or naturalized as American citizens. However, we did not have an “open” adoption.

We were raised in rural Minnesota on the outskirts of a small farming town with a population of about 1,000 by white American parents. My dad was a sheetmetal worker and my mom worked at a dentist’s office as a secretary. She also did childcare and worked in a potato chip factory for awhile. My grandparents were all farmers. We were raised very conservative Missouri Synod Lutheran — basically Christian fundamentalist. I always felt strange about that because I figured that my Korean family must be Buddhist and I did not want them to burn in hell.

One day in 1988 I got home before anybody else and I found a letter in the mailbox from my Korean mother. So I have had contact with my Korean family by phone or letter since 1988 — there was no internet back then. The important point is that our mother found us.

I had a deep desire to come back to Korea, but I didn’t have any money and I couldn’t figure out even how to buy an airplane ticket. Finally in 1995, after I graduated from college, I found a way. I went on the second Motherland Tour of Children’s Home Society with my brand new credit card that I had gotten as a recent college grad. I spent one week on the tour and one week with my mother. After that, from 1995-2004, I would go back and forth from Korea, ring up my credit card, spend a couple of years paying it off, and then return to Korea and repeat the cycle.

My adopted sister and I are biological sisters, also adopted to the same family. We have two other “whole” sisters, one half brother, and two half sisters, and of course a whole extended family in Korea. They are normal people with jobs and family lives, and no, none of them died from poverty or became prostitutes or beggars or any of that nonsense. I would say we have as a good a relationship as possible under the circumstances.

I learned the Korean alphabet in the hospital. We got a phone call one day from our older Korean sister saying that our mother was dying of brain cancer and that we should come quickly. My sister and I went to Korea, and our mom died after we came back to the U.S. It was 2000. I did not have enough money or vacation time at work to go to Korea again for her funeral. So that’s when I started to write The Language of Blood.

The Language of Blood: A Memoir was first released in Fall 2003. It came out in both an English paperback edition and a Korean edition in 2005. The Language of Blood was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a Minnesota Book Award winner. The Korean edition was a Fall 2005 selection in literature by the Korean Publication Ethics Commission.

Co-edited with Sun Yung Shin and Julia Chinyere Oparah, Outsiders Within: Writings on Transracial Adoption was published by South End Press in November 2006. It will be published in Korean in 2012.

Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee’s Return to Korea was released by Graywolf Press in 2009.  It will also be published in Korean in 2012.

I’ve lived in Korea since 2004/2005, and I enjoy it a lot. I worked at Yonhap News Agency for over three years, and I am now a master’s degree student in public policy at Seoul National University. But mostly I volunteer for TRACK. Life in Korea has been challenging and rewarding, and I recommend that adoptees try living here for a year. Whatever happens, I think it will change your life in some way. Certainly you will walk away with a much deeper understanding of Korea, if nothing else.

Best wishes to you from Seoul.

55 responses to “About

  1. My heart goes out to you, and all people ripped from their original countries/families! I am a birthmother (and I am white)in reunion! You have expressed your view point dramatically, and it echos my thoughts in many ways. I am only saddened to hear colour mentioned so many times, when I think this important human injustice is not limited to a colour issue. It is a family and human rights and dignity issue. I am impressed that you were able to find your original family! I know that is a difficult task and that the odds were against you.

  2. Thanks for your message. Yes, you are right that adoption is not limited to a race issue. People working in the international adoption industry who are wondering how natural mothers in “foreign” countries feel about having their children taken for adoption would do well to ask a mother of the Baby Scoop living in their own backyard — whether in Canada, the U.S., Australia, or the U.K. Mothers are all mothers, no matter where the live, what language they speak, what their culture is.
    However, the adoption system and the way it intersects with other world systems in order to exploit women who have few resources has been especially brutal to women of color ever since the days of the American Indian boarding schools and the “Stolen Generation” in Australia. That is because of the power of global institutionalized racism is getting exercised in addition to the patriarchy and moral police that work together to take mothers’ children away from them.
    The brutal practice of taking children away from their mothers and calling it “social service” continues especially in “intercountry” adoption (20,000+ per year to the U.S.) which is usually transracial and transcultural in nature (though not always). I think there is some bonus dehumanizing that happens when the mother of the adoptee is a woman of color; that’s one of the reasons why U.S. family immigration law is as it is and why the international adoption system has been constructed as it has been. So that’s why I am talking about race — because the landscape has literally shifted from white mothers in Western countries as suppliers to “foreign” countries and to women of color as the suppliers of children for adopters.
    For a detailed discussion about how institutionalized racism and the international adoption industry work together with other systems to rob women of their children, such as the U.S. prison industrial complex and U.S. military interventions, I hope you’ll check out my anthology “Outsiders Within,” co-edited with Sun Yung Shin and Julia Chinyere Oparah.
    Anyway I think we all have a lot to learn from each other and we are all basically in the same boat. The Korean mothers (who are also a racial majority in their own country as you are in yours; it only becomes a transracial situation when their children go to white families and adoptees grow up as racial minorities, often even within their own families) are interested in learning from white mothers about how to make the kinds of changes in society that will help them keep their own children. We are having a Baby Scoop in Korea right now, except that Korean children are being sent not just to different families, but overwhelmingly to completely different countries, to adoptive parents who do not share their race, language, culture, or anything else.
    I’m thankful to all the white natural mothers in North America, Australia, and the U.K. who are sharing their stories and organizing, as in this whole world system, your work also benefits the 20,000+ women in Korea, China, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Russia, Vietnam, etc. who lose their children to the U.S. international adoption system every year. Most of those children who will never be found by their families again. The barriers are just too great. (In Korea we are batting less than 2% for reunions. Then we have to learn the Korean language to even communicate with our families if we are lucky enough to find them. Grim. Frustrating.)
    I am very lucky because my mother found ME. She passed away 6 years ago, but I hope that I will live to see the day when adoption as it is practiced today is viewed as the archaic, primitive, and exploitative practice that it really is.
    Best wishes to all the moms, solidarity –
    jane
    The brutal practice of taking children away from their mothers and calling it “social service” continues especially in “intercountry” adoption (20,000+ per year to the U.S.) which is usually transracial and transcultural in nature (though not always). I think there is some bonus dehumanizing that goes on when the mother of the adoptee is a woman of color; that’s one of the reasons why U.S. family immigration law is as it is and why the international adoption system has been constructed as it has been. So that’s why I am talking about race — because the landscape has literally shifted from white mothers in Western countries as suppliers “foreign” countries and to women of color as the suppliers of children for adopters.
    For a detailed discussion about how institutionalized racism and the international adoption industry work together with other systems to rob women of their children, such as the U.S. prison industrial complex and U.S. military interventions, I hope you’ll check out my anthology “Outsiders Within,” co-edited with Sun Yung Shin and Julia Chinyere Oparah.
    Anyway I think we all have a lot to learn from each other and we are all basically in the same boat. The Korean mothers (who are also a racial majority in their own country as you are in yours; it only becomes a transracial situation when their children go to white families) are interested in learning from the white mothers in the U.S. about how to make the kinds of changes in society that will help them keep their own children. We are having a Baby Scoop in Korea right now, except that Korean children are being sent not just to different families, but overwhelmingly to different _countries_ to parents who do not share their race, language, culture, or anything else.
    I’m thankful to all the white natural mothers in North America, Australia, and the U.K. who are sharing their stories and organizing, as in this whole world system, your work also benefits the 20,000+ women in Korea, China, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Russia, Vietnam, etc. who lose their children to the U.S. international adoption system every year. Most of those children who will never be found again. (In Korea we are batting less than 2% for reunions. Then we have to learn the Korean language to even communicate with our families if we are lucky enough to find them. Grim.)
    I am very lucky because my mother found ME. She is dead now, but I hope that I will live to see the day when adoption as it is practiced today is viewed as the archaic, primitive, and exploitative practice that it really is.
    Best wishes to all the moms, solidarity —
    jane

  3. hope/hyunjin

    Hi Jane,
    I thought I’d say hi since I often check your blog, which I’m thankful to have access to for the informative content. I also wanted to express my gratitude as a tra for your dedication to and the hard questions you raise on the subject of transnational adoption.

  4. Hi H/H!

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind words :) Hope to see meet you sometime in Seoul!

    Jane

  5. thank you for your work! i’m reading your book language of the blood (?… i got that right i hope)… which i love… you are doing very important work…

    i’m also tra… but just learning about it at 51… i’m japanese and cuban… raised in colorado… i hope someday to know more about this and myself!

  6. Hello Jane ~ I am a First Generation Korean adoptee having been adopted in 1958 by a White American couple. I read your book, The Language of Blood, several years ago and was very touched by your story and the beauty in which you told it.

    I started actively seeking my birth family ten years ago and as yet have come up empty handed.

    Thank you for your book and for your continued support and advocacy of adoptees of the world. I invite you to visit my little blog http://junemoon.wordpress.com/

    my best to you, junemoon

  7. Hi Jane. I’m a KAD who was adopted in Minnesota in 1981. I grew up in Minneapolis and now reside in Los Angeles. I read your beautiful articulation “Language of Blood” a few years ago and often reference it in thought to this day. I admire your perserverance in being truthful with yourself and finding your roots (and yes, also traveling further than North Dakota). That takes a lot of courage and nobility. Transcontinental adoption is a complicated issue and is something I’ve put a lot of thought into. Will continue to read your blog.

  8. Hi Jane,

    Happy in-between New Years! I hope you are doing well! I just discovered your blog and have been really enjoying reading it and becoming a more informed human and adoptee! I actually met you very briefly at the Mindullae demonstration during the Gathering– it felt so great to be out there on that rainy day. It felt like I was finally being able to take some action with all of the feelings I have been experiencing over the years.
    Anyway, I talked to Kim Park Nelson most recently this past summer about reviving the Koroot book project of transcribed adoptee oral histories. I am currently collecting and transcribing for it, although I have not heard from Kim for the past couple of months. I also have not yet told Reverend Kim since I haven’t wanted to go to him with empty hands. Anyway, I was hoping to talk to you a bit about it since you were the originator of the project!
    I am so excited to be contributing something!
    Take care Jane! I hope to hear from you!
    Sincerely,
    Nari

  9. Hello Jane! I just wanted to say that I read your book a year or so ago and I really appreciate you sharing your story with the world. I am also KAD born in Ulsan in 1987. I have returned to Korea to lean Korean and I have been living in Seoul for the past 9 months studying at Yonsei University. I’ve always sorta wanted to run into you or meet you somehow while I’ve been here but I really don’t know what I’d say, haha. I only have two more months left, and I hope to make the best of them.

  10. Wow, I missed a lot of typos in my previous post. Sorry about that.

  11. What is this Koroot project? I would like to participate.

  12. hello Jane,

    a question for you … you might have an answer ..? as no one so far has been able to give an answer or developped this question…

    is there something that I am missing out in all theses blogs or groups or activities ?

    why we ( adoptee ) always “alienate” ourselves ? like if we were “some kind of new races or species”
    It seems that after reading all theses messages and talk with others adoptee, my understanding is to be some how recognised by the korean society as part of korean society, but I never saw or hear any activities which gather adoptees and non adoptees sharing same things … always things for adoptee or only for adoptee or things which “force ouselves” to feel some how special and make indirectly the Korean society feel sorry for us ….

    I just don t get it … ? as in my opinion it slow the process of being recognised as such and the result obtain with such kind of “politic” is really poor and doesn t really help the adoptee communauty or even the Korean society which will keep on having the same thoughs every time they will encounter an adoptee…

    Maybe we adoptee are falling in the same kind of “trap” which is really difficult to get out … which is the feeling of “we deserve some kind of compensation or every thing is due to us ” which I totally disagree and reject, but can see that we most of us did at some point beneficiate ( …including my self in the past )

    Any ways nice to read from every one and thank s for your work or research … really interesting .

  13. Sebastien, we are working on formulating educational program for TRACK right now that will help to alleviate that specifically. Let’s be in touch. It would be great for you to be involved.

  14. Hello Jane,

    I have lot s of respect for what you are doing

    when you said ” The brutal practice of taking children away from their mothers and calling it “social service” continues especially in “intercountry” adoption ” … I think we don t have to forgot that it s the parent s themselves who abandon the kids … which of course is a brutal and painfull experience for any kids … but it sounds like we were kidnapped …??? also I think that race issue in USA is taken soo diffently than in Europe…
    I am quite surprise that in all the books or movies or documentaries about adoptee we never talk about the responsability of accepting ourselves as adoptee.
    Maybe it s time to stop “torturing ourselves ” with this endless question of which “group” I belong and start to make our own “group” as we will never be entirelly on one side or the other side… we will allways be in the middle … why can we juat accept that and make the middle our own side ?? we do have the luxury to take and reject what we think is the best for ourselves.
    Last question is don t any child haven t the right to have a familly where he or she can receive love, education, and all the things that children are entitle to have once he or she come in this world … no matter if his parents are pink, green, or else ??? why can we make any documents or movies or write book about adoptee and family who are happy and had no “problem’ ??? again in my opinion is passing the hot potatoes into someone else hand … more easy to do than accepting that we were once abandoned because various reasons from financial, cultural, or else which is not easy and for some probably still really hurt, but “simply” accept the fact and move on to make our own live the way we wanted insted of being stuck in this kind of feeling which stop us to grow … and make us start to grow and “cultivate ” the bitterness of adoption.
    Of course I am aware that there are sad and “bad” case but you don t need to be adopted to have bad parents or family …
    There are lots of parents who did and doing more than wonderfull and remarquable “parents job”

    for those who doesn t know .. I am an adoptee too and I am against international adoption IN KOREA NOWADAYS since it become an industrial developped country.

  15. Hi Jane,
    I happened to be here after googling the title of your book _The Language of Blood_. I appreciate what you have done so far and will support your determination to educate and legalize necessary steps to better adoptees. Recently, I became interested in the question regarding international adoptees. Have you evern read Prof. Min’s article on your book that appears in Social Text? Take care. Best, Mikyung

  16. Hello Jane. Thankyou for writing this blog. I can relate to a lot of it, as I’m also a Korean adoptee. (I just started my own blog, too…) I’m yet to read your book, but I really want to! But it’s nice knowing there are others out there who can relate to things I’ve felt through my life… I suppose it’s nice knowing I’m not alone.

    So… thanks.^^

    Alexis/윤선

  17. Hi, I’m also the product of a transracial adoption. Good to find your site here. About National Adoption Month:

    I thought you’d want to know about my feature in Adoptive Families Magazine http://bit.ly/Second_Chances I’d love to know comments from the community. Is it always possible to come out the other side? You can find me on my Mutts blog or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/deborahdash

  18. Sharon McNamara

    Thank you Jane for your courageous book The Language of Blood. I am an adoptee (white, domestic US adoption) and a psychologist. I was very moved by the section in which you were given such poor psychological help. I have found the same thing in my own life, and I want to help other suicidal adoptees. (I too was suicidal and depressed in college.) Very few psychologists understand the trauma piece. Adoption itself is a trauma, and to add the trauma of being stalked and frightened of disrupting your parent’s lives, it is enough to make anyone doubt their right to have existence. Your story is very inspiring, and I hope other adoptees will read it. (I’m from Minnesota too, and went to Augsburg in the 70’s) Best Wishes to you and your future.

  19. Yung Hee Kim

    So many transracial, international adoptions and the only people to realize and even register the (often isolating and painful) significance are the adoptees themselves. When will mainstream society accept that this mass, formal-on-the-surface (underlying messy) displacement of so many Asian children is a cultural phenomenon worthy of historical recognition?

    When I was a little girl I cried for blond hair and blue eyes. I avoided turning my profile to others for fear they would see my flat nose bridge. In a private nursery school, the white kids knew I wasn’t white so they treated me and the very few black kids there like garbage. I thought I must be black too. In grade school boys tormented me about causing Pearl Harbor. I didn’t even know what that meant yet. A fellow classmate told me to jump rope with my ‘own kind’. As an adolescent I could feel my face burn whenever someone asked if I was an exchange student when I was with my (adoptive) family. As a teen I became angry that I was adopted into another race where others were quick to point out I didn’t belong. As a young woman, total strangers have asked me (loudly) ‘how do you like it here in the states?’ or insisted my adoptive name wasn’t my REAL name. I’ve even had complete strangers pull the corners of their eyes back and yell ‘chink’ or jeer at me with that sing-songy chingchong chingchong chant.

    Too many well meaning, but completely ignorant and selfish people adopt children of another race for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, they are hardly prepared with the unique set of skills necessary to nurture and support a transracial child. Parenting alone can be daunting enough, therefore even more understanding and competence is necessary to adequately assist such a child with emotional, psychological and cultural issues of identity. Think of the difficulties with domestic adoption of children within the same race. Think of how so many of children ‘fall through the cracks’ of the system or just end up in dysfunctional and/or abusive homes or worse. When will people realize that children are worthy of so much more than a ‘quick fix’? I believe displaced Haitian children will make up the next wave of transracial adoptees with no identity. I only hope that enough has been learned from our experiences that history won’t be doomed to repeat itself. I, for one, am not fully convinced that I am necessarily ‘better off’ with no sense of belonging to anyone or anywhere.

  20. Shelly Blomberg

    Hi, I read your heart renching letter. I really wished that I could help you. I will pray for your family. I am an Adoptee mother. We have 2 girls from S. Korea. One is 16 and the other 13. We did a search through the Adoption agency and found our 13 year olds mother. She at one point wanted to keep in touch, but then decided not to. We got no info. or pics. either. Our 16 yr. old daughter has severe depression and we found nothing on her birth parents. Grandma and mom were sent certified letters from Korean agency . I really need to find our 16 year old daughters birth mom. She tried to commit suicide in June. I just don’t know how to go about it on my own. She sits in her room in the dark. Likes to be alone, no friends since she was 11 yrs. quit school so now I TRY to homeschool her. They say she has aspergers and Bipolar. No meds. have ever worked. We feel its an adoption depression issue. I also know the pain you are going through.
    Thank-you
    Shelly Blomberg

  21. Dear Shelly, I’m sorry to hear about this. I think you need to go straight to the Korean agency and be very aggressive and and persistent. As it goes for adoptees as well, sometimes they do not take you seriously until you get to Korea. If that doesn’t work then you need to do a media search on TV or access other adoptee service organizations such as GOAL, InKAS, or KCARE. Kids these days who were born in the hospital ought to have some kind of record somewhere in Korea left of who their Korean families are. Also please read Adoption Healing by Joe Soll. Best wishes to you.

  22. I was adopted… but found my biological family when I was 18… my Korean family is intact, and it’s been very interesting to find three “whole” sisters (especially since I have NONE here.)

    And, just last year, my Korean sister married an American. So, this relationship has become complexly simple.

    Am really enjoying your blog. I grew up in Missouri and I know MN has so many adoptees… at least you had that going for you!

    Take care, Michelle

  23. Jeanette Yamamoto

    Hello, I am a korean adoptee who would
    like to help Korean birth mothers be able to have the option of keeping their own child. I was a single mom for 20 years to my son and 11 years to my daughter. I was able to raise my kids despite all odds….being disowned by my adopted mother, being on the welfare system etc.I feel like I’m successful, I have a great career and own a couple properties all WITHOUT the help of a man or my adoptive parents. Now I would like to educate and empower adoptees and birth mothers and raise money so birth mothers have the option of raising their own children without shame and guilt. I have my twin sister also (she is the secret to my success..emotionally supporting me and always cheering me on) and we are planning on raising money to support the cause! My sister is a writer also (I think you know her) but I just wanted you to know that help is on the way! Sincerely Jeanette

  24. Pingback: Renegades in Adoption – Jane Jeong Trenka | Land of Gazillion Adoptees

  25. SefirinoExile

    Your focus on “The Prison industrial complex” sounds a lot like the kind of rhetoric which I heard in Venezuela (my home country) prior to Hugo Chavez becoming president. Since then the number of prisoners dropped, while violent crime has soared and it’s unsafe to even go out on the street at night. Venezuela is more dangerous than Iraq. Sorry, but there are simply a large number of people who should be locked up for the good of society.

    By bringing in this issue to the issue of trans racial adoption, you muddle your arguments and attempt to address far too large an area.

    Finally, by pointing out the discrimination you suffered, and how comfortable you now feel living among fellow Koreans, aren’t you really arguing for ethnic homogeneity and against multiculturalism? It’s not like Koreans themselves are less racist than white Americans, you just feel comfortable because you look like the people around you. How do you think a black kid adopted by Koreans would feel? This clashes with your endorsement of various multicultural initiatives and further serves to undermine your argument.

  26. SefrinoNarrative

    By pointing out the discrimination you suffered, and how comfortable you now feel living among fellow Koreans, aren’t you really arguing for ethnic homogeneity and against multiculturalism? It’s not like Koreans themselves are less racist than white Americans, you just feel comfortable because you look like the people around you. How do you think a black kid adopted by Koreans would feel? This clashes with your endorsement of various multicultural initiatives, you couch your criticisms of racism in an Anti-American tone, but all the problems you actually experienced in day to day life apply to any other country on earth.

  27. SefrinoNarrative

    That said, I’m glad you are happy in Korea. I just feel you are being completely unfair to America by criticizing it for failings which your new home country has just as much if not more.

    Also, I fail to see how the US military has any relation to encouraging or discouraging adoptions of minority children in modern day. The only example I can think of would be Bosnia, where the US military stopped large scale efforts by white Serbs to raise Bosnian children in Serbian orphanages and wipe out their cultural identity.

  28. By pointing out the discrimination you suffered, and how comfortable you now feel living among fellow Koreans, aren’t you really arguing for ethnic homogeneity and against multiculturalism? For example, how do you think a black kid adopted by Koreans would feel? This clashes with your endorsement of various multicultural initiatives, you couch your criticisms of racism in a way that suggests blame lies with white America, but all the problems you actually experienced in day to day life apply to any other country on earth.

  29. Mary Cullinane

    I just saw the programme where you tell the story of your stalking. What a strong lady you are of great moral strength. I lived for many years in countries that are not my own, and though the populations in these countries are mostly white, as am I, I always felt an outsider, because like you speaking Korean, I spoke Spanish with a foreign accent and when in USA spoke with an Irish accent, which was constantly commented on. I could never compare any of my experiences to yours, but totally understand what you are campaigning for.
    I wish you all the best in your life and thank you so much for sharing your story.

  30. Kagiso Molahloe

    I saw your story on “I was stalked”. I cannot imagine what pain you went through. To be overlooked as a victim of circumstances you didn’t choose. My heart was wrenched when you told how no one really stopped to ask if “you” were ok. I commend you for finding your roots. I also want to apologize for the pain us “christians” sometimes inflict in our self righteousness. I want to apologize for misrepresenting God in our conduct, giving a false sense of Who He is. I am glad a seed of compassion was planted in your life , and I believe The Creator Himself, is nurturing the seed, and the fruits of that tree will blossom through generation to generation. God is Love, regardless your race, your religion,or any other distinctive feature . Your suffering has turned you into a remarkable person, and you are such a blessing by being there for children who could have gone through the same thing. You were a diamond in the rough, and now let your light shine! God values human life above any religion,or ritual. God is Love. You lady I take my hat of. In time I hope you can forgive your us parents,and remember that : Forgiveness is a fragrance the violet shed unto the heal that has crushed it. I wish you Love,love and more love. A peaceful,purposeful life.

  31. Hello Jane,
    If your orphanage was the KSS/LSS one that was/is by Ui Park then I was probably there with you as I left in May of 1972 after a stay of about 18 months. I was almost five when I left and I returned there in 1998. I was very lucky in that I had my adoption paperwork and simply gave it to the cab driver who took me to a place that became…..kind of déjà vu like….when I saw it again. I couldn’t be sure if the memories I had were a faded mixture of experience and wishes and was hoping for the best. However, when I got there it was like a sledge hammer to my brain of senses as it was almost exactly like I remembered it….swing sets and everything.
    Your blog took me back to that day when a lot of reconciliation of past, present, and future began….so kudos to you and please continue. Even though our opinions on some things very greatly, it is the discourse that matters and that people out there…a lot of them….don’t feel isolated in their situation.
    With regards,
    Brian M.

  32. Just wondering why you no longer have contact with your adoptive parents.

  33. Namaste’ Jane!
    I just watched the I.D. show about you and your stalker. I wanted to let you know that how much I admire you. To me, you are one of the strongest, intelligent, beautiful, women in the Universe! How wonderful it must be to be fluent in both English and Korean! You persevered through all of your pain and sufferings. I am glad that you are back in Korea with your beloved family. I was born and raised in the USA, but for the past two yrs I have been studying Buddhism and really have a love for India. I feel almost like a misfit over here, because of my beliefs in Buddhism. But, I am me and this is who I am. You mentioned your family must be Buddhist and you were raised Christian, and with me it quite the contrary, hehe. I was born into Christianity, raised a Christian, but now that I am older, I realize I was meant to be a Bodhisattva. Thanks for telling your story, and I am going to buy your book as soon as I can. The Language of Blood. I am so glad that you and your mother, birth mama, got to know each other, I am sure she longed for you her whole life, I am a Mama, too, and although my children are now grown, I loved every second of raising them and I don’t like the empty nest that I now have. You are amazing!! Again, thanks or in my studying of Hindi language……….Dhanyavad! I am teaching myself little by little the Hindi Language, and I love it! Hope to talk with you sometime, by the way, if you read this and we do not connect via your blog, maybe we can connect via facebook, I have a page called Me Myself and Buddha, if you want to check it out.
    Blessings to you and your family, always, may the Triple Gem Bless you!

    Julie (Cherry JoJo)

  34. I saw you on the show Obsessed dark desires. I was so surprised at the end when it revealed you ” no longer had contact with” your adoptive parents. Of course , I did not know them. But they sure did try and protect you from the stalker Jim, enduring years of terror along with you ( did you think you were the Only one affected?); even getting burglarized and SHOT AT because of it. You seem to carry a chip on your shoulder about your adoption, yet, In your first sentence on this blog, that is exactly how you identify yourself.
    I am a mother of both natural- born and adopted children. My eldest ( from my first marriage) is adopted from Korea. I never did anything EXCEPT be entirely OPEN with him about: his adoption, what little I knew about his birth parents( bout two sentences on a paper the agency provides), even his foster mother with whom he lived for 5 months while awaiting his paperwork to clear . I had one picture of him and bongHee ( foster mom) and we looked at it often and talked about it. He’s grown now, has me this birth parents ( they went on to have two more children, his full sibs), and he’s been over there twice , I believe. I was not upset to find this out, I was happy for him AND FOR THEM. We live in different states and while not estranged, we are not close, and it is NOT adoption- related.
    Your demeanor on the show ( narration) was depressive. I thought this even before the end when I learned more about you. Yes, bad things happen to people, you are not the only one! I wasn’t adopted and I’ve had things happen in my life, ” to me”, that would make you cringe! But it just seems from reading a couple of your books reviews online and coming across your blog, that you believe you ( and some other ” displaced” Korean adoptees) have cornered the market on misery. I don’t know whether even Korean living will cure the seeming unhappiness you seem to carry with you. I’ll sum it up by saying: did your adoptive/American parents do you SO wrong, SUCH a disservice by adopting and raising you with love and care snd all the protection they could muster, that they now deserve to be shunned? Maybe thinking on that some more is a good idea.
    As always , ” YMMV”.
    Signed: a mother

  35. Zondra Daum

    Hello Jane, my name is Zondra and I live in Columbus, Ohio. I just watched your story on ID. I watched it 3 times. It was the most compelling, riveting story I have ever seen on ID. I was not stalked but I was molested before I got of of grade school and later by husbands of people I babysat for, I had to fight off advances by teachers in Junior High and High School. It altered my life to this day, I felt completely alone. I felt like you. Like life was going on all around me. I was terrified to tell anyone. To this day I have only told 2 people my story and I am 54 years old. Well, 3 now. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I am going to look for your books tomorrow. I am certain I will be further empowered by your story.

  36. I just watched The Obsession: Dark Desires program. Your recanting of your history was so well narrated, I was truly moved. You have a gift of communication and expression. I haven’t gone through anything in my life similar to yours. Should, I meet someone that needs support as you needed, I will summon courage to help. I will never forget your life’s story.

  37. Jane – after watching your pathetic acts of self indulgence on a crime program it is obvious that you are a neurotic narcissist. (Have you no shame?) Your attempts to gain attention in your teen years is not unnatural but clinging to this past is pathetic and sad. No you are neither strong nor brave, simply maladjusted and lost.

  38. I was just curious as to why you no longer speak to your adoptive parents and are you legally separated from them as well?

  39. I believe “Sebastien” is one very smart and level headed adopted cookie. I just saw Jane’s show on T.V. about how she was stalked. I thought it was terrible what happened from the time she was singled out as a little asian girl in grade school all alone ( I am the natural mother of a 1/4 Japanese daughter who looks all Japanese), if my daughter were being treated that way you would have seen a mother bear ripping the the seams of the principals hind end to shreds). It was sad what you had to go through the cruelty of children and I believe you had the type of parents unfortunately who did not like to make a big deal out of anything which effected you terribly Jane, and I understand that. Other children in the U.S have had to endure the same without being adopted as well. However, knowing you are different and not having the extra support you needed must have been very frightening. I too did not know the social services was taking people’s children from other countries without their permission and adopting them out to white’s from other countries. I too thought it was that children for what ever reason were homeless and in need of adoption due to lack of safety, health (mental, physical or emotionally) or any other reason’s that would be a danger to a child. Or that indeed a family had abandoned a child. I agree that taking a child without a parents legal consent normally would be due to considerable abuse or neglect, but I am not aware of your situation and can only go by what little was said. If something illegal was done, then that should be stopped. I don’t think social service are the smartest in their endeavors. Apparently you were not matched up well enough with your American parents. And maybe we in America should adopt our own as a first option only. I don’t have all the answers. I am sorry for your life. And am happy that you are making a difference now. I am also very happy for Sebastien who seems to have turned out very happy and healthy and stable in his life and was able to bring another important side of the story. Good luck to you all!

  40. I wondered what ever happened to Steve? I saw the show and what happened and so glad your doing well! What a scary time that had to be.

  41. Hi Jane

    Im laying in bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching a show that I dvr on ID channel, Obsession dark Desires. I watch this because I have friend who is being stalked and in an attempt to try and understand these warpped individuals who fixate on others. Your story brought me to tears, im so sorry for how alone you were. Im so sorry this happened to you.

  42. Sonja neilson

    I just finished watching an episode of “Obsession” featuring your stalking experience which left me heart wrenched over your psychological “aloneness” throughout the ordeal. Having German parents and being raised in much the same way you described on the show, albeit not adopted, I do understand (I was stalked as well, though not to the degree of your experience). I have never responded with comments to anyone involved on a show like this, but you touched me.

  43. I too wondered about Steve; didn’t he check on Jane, or try to find out what happened and how flipping creepy was that stalker guy :(

  44. I wanted to respond to Jae and Katrina on this post, how dare you judge Jane, it was obvious her “adopted parents” were emotionally unavailable to her and rarely protected her the way she needed protecting, this is what parents do, one time my son was being bullied in school and being a single mom with no dad in the picture i drove down to the school during the school day found the kid on the playground picked him up by the shirt collar and said “if you ever bother my son again you will be sorry” the next time my son was bullied he stood up to the bully himself. But my heart ached for Jane being in that situation in elementary school and being bullied for being different and having no one to go to or help you. and then again when just 18 not believing or taking serious the stalking to where it came to the psycho having shot at the car. It should have never gotten to that point. I can’t stand with other stand back and judge like you two are doing. Jane you have all my respect and admiration and feel sorry for Jae and Katrinas kids.

  45. You stupid ungrateful bitch. You are just like my mother. Wa Wa Poor little old me. Make everyone else p-ay for my circumstance. Your adoptive parents loved you dumb ass. Stop whining

  46. I’m glad you found happiness. I just saw your special about your stalking incident. I’m terribly sorry about that. I’m glad you are alright. I felt really sorry for the way you portrayed your adoptive parents. I was sad to hear that you abandoned them. That must be really hard on them to have someone they loved and took care of to turn against them and make them look bad for doing the best they knew how for you. It is not like they stole you from your birth mother. So let’s see- Adoptive mother abandons you- you abandon your parents- you adopt birth mother. Weird.

  47. Does your sister, adopted by the same American family, share in your feelings about your adoptive parents?

  48. Since asking that question, I have read on another site that her sister has different feelings about her life experiences, and continues to have a relationship with her adoptive parents. As in non-adoptive families, different children have different relationships, experiences, with their parents and siblings. I do not know the “source” of the particular problems in this young woman’s relationships, but I do not believe that we need to singlehandedly blame adoptive parents, or transracial adoptions, per se. She is divorced from an American husband, was stalked by a man while in college, and has many issues, that I do not feel can easily be explained away by “adoptive parent’s” inadequacies. Her birth mother gave her a different explanation for her being placed for adoption, which doesn’t exactly jive with an older sibling being up for adoption as well. I believe this is an unfortunate case, with unfortunate circumstances, but I do not believe that it is the adoptive parent’s “fault” and do not feel her abandoning them is the answer. May she find peace within herself.

  49. Hi Jane!, I am from Mexico, i’m 18 years old. Please excuse my bad English. I just saw an episode of “Obsession” and i’m so sorry for how alone you were, you don’t deserve it. I want to tell you that I admire you SO MUCH!!! You are a warrior woman!! Ignore the bad comments. I really admire you. <3 Hugs and kisses for you!!!

  50. @Katarina, @Jae, @fredwhitenblue and @christiine The four of you have no business shaming her for no longer speaking to her adoptive parents. That is solely her choice. Her adoptive parents weren’t emotionally available for her AS SEEN IN THE SHOW you all watched. Pay a little more attention before you start firing your mouths from behind a computer screen. Its clear none of you heard how the cop dismissed the stalker as ‘just a boyfriend’ and did nothing afterwards.

    @Alafair and @vew1972 Its never stated what happened to him, but I believe Steve set her up. Thats just completely my take of that scene though. I could be wrong.

  51. Bryn Nichols

    Hi Jane
    Like many of the above posts, I just watched your story on Discovery ID. I do not normally follow the entire story when it is on. I just have it on for noise. My maternal Grandparents are from Frazee MN. They are also Missouri Synod. To any of you questioning Jane’s characterization of the people in that area, Sadly Jane is completely on target. She is not manipulating facts to make it seem she suffered more than what she truly suffered. Frazee has a very, very small population. The people, at that time, were and may still be very narrow minded. If you are not a white skinned person with ancestry originating from Europe, you will not be fully accepted in the small town culture. There were Korean adoptee’s in my elementary school around the same time. We were in a larger city than Frazee and with 3 local universities a greater variety of backgrounds. I surely hope the adopted children felt more at ease than Jane’s experience in that regard. In regards to the stalker situation, people in that region did not talk about anything that is now common to see in newspaper headlines and national news programming. Sex crimes. Especially those against young people were not spoken of. Perhaps not understood. I do feel for you Jane as to how alone you had to have felt (and possibly still do to some extent) living in that nightmare of a situation. I hope by sharing your stories on both subjects that you have found some level of peace. You did nothing wrong Jane. Not that you need a random stranger to tell you. You are a survivor.

  52. Jane, I am so sorry this happened to you. Those idiots who were supposed to be your parents are such cruel individuals. I am glad you broke away from them. They don’t deserve you or your sister. I hope your life is awesome now! Take care of yourself!

  53. Hi Jane! Are you still in Korea? It’s great to find your site. I did international adoptions when I was a social worker in Canada and now I live in Busan Korea as an English teacher. It’s so interesting to read your story!

  54. Hi Jane,

    I watched your story in csi and I feel for you in that you were young and you had to bear all that discrimination and you had no one to discuss it with, not one who can protect you … You had to pretend all this years that all are ok :( that must be very heavy.

    I hope you are surrounded now by people who sees you, who acknowledges you and will care about how you feel. I hope you can grow back your hair because really it is ok not to look androgynous …

    I wish you well in this journey, may you be healed and forgive your adoptive parents, they must have done their best …

    Jo

Thank you for visiting my blog. I no longer have time to update this blog regularly, but I appreciate your comments, even though I cannot respond to all of them. All comments (except spam) have been allowed to go through unmoderated since June 16, 2014. Any comments you see prior to that date have been read and approved by me. Thanks again, and wishing you peace and blessings.

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