In the photo above, Mi Chin is the baby. The other girl is the woman I met today, and the boy is the brother. The woman holding Mi Chin is the mother, and the other woman is the maternal aunt. Here they are taking a vacation at the East Sea (facing Japan).
Today at KoRoot, with Pastor Kim, I met the sister of Kim Mi Chin. She asked that I spread the word about her lost sister amongst adoptees so she and her brother might be able to find her. They have been looking for literally decades.
Mi Chin’s birthdate is April 16, 1965. After the parents divorced and the father remarried, his new wife put the three children in the Jinae orphanage in Paju. All the siblings were in the orphanage from November 1967. They experienced Christmas with American soldiers (They had donuts! chicken! amazing toilets!) etc. while there. Then one day in May 1968, the stepmother suddenly showed up at school, not the orphanage, and picked up the two older kids. But Mi Chin was not there because she was too young to go to school. For some reason the stepmother left her at the orphanage even though she picked up the other two kids, and when the family came back to get Mi Chin later, she was already adopted and gone.
It appears that Mi Chin was adopted not through an agency, but directly by the adoptive father, who seems to have been a U.S. serviceman.
Kim Mi Chin and the adoptive father left Korea from the Kimpo Airport on a Cathay Pacific flight Sept. 6, 1969 Sept. 15, 1969. The father’s signature on this travel document looks like “Frank M. xxx” The last part is illegible to me. Can you read the name at the bottom? Do you know who this is?
The U.S. passport number is 27887. A friend from the military tried to check this at the State Dept. It is a real passport number connected to a real person, but they wouldn’t give any information on how to reach her.
Mi Sun, the elder sister, has a lot of memories of the orphanage because she was nine years old at the time. Her stories are funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Her feeling of helplessness and sadness as she watched her little sister suffer in the orphanage, and then disappear, has followed her, it seems, throughout her life. She says she just wants to know how Mi Chin is doing and wants to see her just once before she dies. She is a really wonderful person and I hope that we can find Mi Chin.
If you know anyone who might be Kim Mi Chin, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will meet the sister again on Monday, and we’ll try to look through some more records here in Korea to find out who “Frank” might be. Mi Chin, they are so eager to hear from you, and they hope that you will welcome contact.
Update: Mi Chin’s sister sent the picture below with this explanation, which was translated by Emily Cashell. Thanks Emily!
최근에 미진이가 입양갔던 당시의 고아원에 가서 수십년전 귀한 사진을 한장 구했습니다.
I recently went to the orphanage from which MiJin was adopted and found this precious photo from years ago.
저희가 알고있던 미진이 보다는 한 일년 반정도 시간이 흐른때의 모습인것 같고 출국하기 불과 두세달 전이라 추정 되는 사진입니다.-69년 여름으로 추정-한국나이 로 6살이고 서류에 있는 나이로는 다섯살입니다.
The girl in the picture looks about a year and a half older than the MiJin that I knew. I assume it was taken only 2-3 months before she left the country so it would have been around the summer of 1969- Korean age 6, documented age 5.
이 사진에서 왠지 나와 같은 유전자가 느껴집니다.
Looking at this picture, I feel that we have the same genes.
가운데 흑인미군이 두아이를 안고 있는데 그중 아래를 보고 있는 아이가 미진이 인것으로 거의 확신 합니다.
In the middle of the photo is a black soldier embracing two children. I believe that the child who is looking downwards is MiJin.
손목에 시계인지 팔찌인지 를 차고 있는것 같고 그것을 보고 있는듯한 모습니다.
It appears that she is looking at the watch or bracelet that is on her wrist.
당시를 생각하면 미군이 어느 아이를 점찍었다 하면 그 미군은 방문 할때마다 옷, 구두, 장난감 등 그 아이만을 위한 특별한 선물을 가져다 주곤 하였는데 그곳에서는 미군이 보는 앞에서는 그아이에게 입히고 신기고 가지고 놀게 하고미군이 가고나면 다 거두어서 보관 했다가 그 미군이 방문한다 하면 다시 꺼내서 치장을 시키곤 하였지요.
As I recall, the American soldiers would each have a certain child that they would bring clothes, shoes, toys, etc. to when they came to visit. When the soldiers came, the children would be dressed in those clothes and shoes, and they would play with those toys. After the soldiers left, the things would be collected for safekeeping until they came again.
사진에서도 다른 아이들은 단발머리에 고무신인데 반하여 미진이로 추정 되는 아이는 머리에 물발라 가르마 타서 빗어주고 예쁜옷에 카바양말에 구두를 신고 있으며 게다가 손목에도 무엇인가를 차고 있는등 특별하게 치장을 해 놓은것으로 보아 아마도 양부가 신경쓰고 있었던걸로 생각 합니다.
The other children in the picture have cropped hair and rubber shoes, but the girl who I presume is MiJin has had her hair parted and combed. She is wearing pretty clothes, dress shoes, and also has something on her wrist. It looks like she was especially dressed up. (I think her adoptive father must have payed special attention to her. )
아이의 생긴모습이나 또래의 정도나 추정연도나 당시의 상황으로 보았을때 미진이라는 심증이 강하게 느껴집니다.
(I strongly believe that this child’s appearance and age match that of MiJin at the time.)
이사진을 첨부 한다면 미진이가 아마도 이사진은 알마볼수 있을걸로 생각 합니다.
If this picture is posted, maybe MiJin will recognize it.
지금 올려져 있는 사진은 미진이가 기억하지 못하는 아기때의 모습이므로 그것만으로는 자신이라고 확신을 갖기는 어려울것 같습니다.
The picture that is uploaded now is from when MiJin was a baby, so if she sees only that picture, it may be hard for her to confirm that it is her.
지금도 남동생과 저는 미진이 일로 옛 사람들의 연락처를 구하고 연락해보고 만남을 약속하고 진행중에 있습니다.
혹시라도 사진 한장이라도 더 확보할수 있다면 또 첨부 부탁 할께요.
My younger brother and I are in the midst of finding contact information for people from MiJin’s past, contacting them, and setting up meetings. If we come across any other pictures I will send them to you.
미국인이 우리의 사연을 접할수 있게 되었으니 단 1프로의 희망이라도 더 있지 않겠습니까.
If Americans come across our story, I can gain even more hope.
웬지 너무 지치기 전에 미진이를 만날수 있을것 같은 조심스러운 희망이 생깁니다.
I am prudently hoping that I can meet MiJin before I get too worn out.