It’s not every day that I weep out of gratitude, but today I did. I picked up the 한겨레21, (Hankyoreh 21) a glossy progressive weekly magazine, and they devoted TWELVE I tell you TWELVE awesome pages to the adoption and unwed mothers issue. It was just GREAT. If you live in Korea you can pick one up for 3,000 won at any of those newspaper kiosks. Or read here by clicking on this link. I was really surprised to find that this magazine is easier to read than my Ewha Level 3 textbook. The sentences are rather short and manageable. So when you feel like burning your language textbook, you can still get your studying in by reading this! The cover girl is Suki and you can take a look at her great blog here.
You can see more of the media coverage of 입양의 날 (Korea’s Adoption Day) on the TRACK blog. I think we got about 15 articles out of that event, which was helped very much by the joint press release with KoRoot and ASK. A big and hearty thanks to all the wonderful journalists who came out and reported.
I gotta say it is so much easier to be doing this work in Korea than it is in the U.S., despite not even being able to speak the local language!! I think a lot of that is because there are not internationally adoptive parents here running the media and gatekeeping, censoring, and softening. Also I think it is much easier here to get away from the arguments about how best to raise a racially different adopted child (which I am completely not interested in anymore, although I used to get seduced into those arguments — RED HERRING) and just focus on the main event, which is how to keep children with their mothers in the first place.
And here’s a photo of Song Dae-han (L) and me at the TRACK puppet show/public awareness campaign about adoption and unwed mothers taken by the fabulous and super-chic Lee Chulsoo, who has become one of the Seoul adoptee community’s (un)official photographers. You can visit Chulsoo’s Web site here.
Dae-Han (who is not an adoptee) has hauled heavy boxes around, run numerous errands, amended hundreds of flyers, emergency interpreted for me because of my language incompetence, missed meals, dressed in a hot, heavy, female pig suit with bosoms, kept my head on straight, and pretty much missed his own 30th birthday — all for TRACK and Adoption Day! It’s because he understands the adoption issue as part of the larger social justice in Korea. What an amazing guy. If I ever make it to L.A., I will be his Bus Riders Union slave. Lately I am so BLESSED to have SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE surrounding me, like Dae-Han, Greg, 희연, all the TRACK stars including 신순봉 and of course my family here in Korea. I feel RICH.
The KoRoot art exhibition at Gyeongbokgung Station runs until next Monday, so there’s still time to see that. It is really amazing to just go there and watch Korean people taking it all in. I got teary there, too. So you can go for two things: the exhibit itself, and people-watching.
The ASK symposium was also very worthwhile and informative.
I think I have ADD.
OK, so the other thing I wanted to say is that I feel intuitively that we are almost at some kind of tipping point here now in Korea, and we just have to keep pushing and talking with the Korean people. So it is going to be a lot of work for TRACK, but it is really purposeful work, which I am thankful for, and now we know that it can be REALLY FUN, too.