A letter from a father

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This is a beautiful letter from a birth father.  I think more than dreaming that one’s birth parents might be wealthy nobility, perhaps adoptees dream most about getting a letter like this – that simply states that while we were given up for adoption, we were not forgotten, and gives reassurance that we still occupy a space, hopefully a big one, in our parents’ hearts.

Though i hold no hope to ever know any birth family, i never really think about my birth father, only about my mother.  But, i have such respect for a father that could write this letter, even at 86 years old, that it makes me think of my own.  Words have the power to change, and this one mixes up everything inside me.  I hope this father knows the powerful healing and beauty he must surely have brought to his daughter with this act.  In some ways, it is only a beginning, but still this letter is an absolute good. (Reprinted with generous permission from the daughter.)

To my cute daughter Heekyung Park,

It was 37 years ago when I sent you to the States. My health was not good and my friend introduced Germany’s ambassador’s wife to me. Through her, you were able to be put up for adoption.

I should express my sincere gratitude to your adoptive parents but because the US is such a far country, it won’t be easy. Please give my thanks to them on behalf of me.

It seems you have had many difficulties. Life is a challenge itself. Marriage is also something that should be done carefully and not in a hurry. It is good for you to have a daughter with a husband “David …”. It is nice to have another woman who was adopted from Korea. If you know Korean, let’s have a long conversation over phone.

I taught Japanese at a college for more than 15 years, and now I stay home after retirement. Your mom was sick and I don’t know how to reach her. I am healthy like you and enjoy fishing at sea. If you are like me, you will have good health. I was devastated without knowing how to contact you. So when I heard from you and received your letter and pictures, I was very happy.

However, I am worried that you forgot Korean. You – Hee kyung Park – are everything to me. I am so relieved to find my daughter. I look forward to meeting you. When we meet together, let’s look back at our life history. I can’t visit my hometown, Kaesong since it is located in North Korea. I am 86 years old and you are 44 years old. You are the only family to me. So please do not forget me. I wish your success there. If you send the letter to the agency like you did last time, they will translate it. Please take care of yourself. I wish you and your family good health. Keep in touch.

2016. 12

Jung Hwa Park, your father from Seoul

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