30 Years Ago I came to America


Thirty years ago a Korean boy stepped off a plane accompanied by a translating chaperone. He was two and a half years old, he was most likely scared, and he was about to step off the plane into a very foreign white and black world. I remember a few things from my early childhood, but the one thing I really wish I could remember was the look of joy on my mother’s face when I came through the tunnel at the airport. The emotion of the moment most likely went over my head, but when I consider now what I must have went through during that period of my life I can only wish I had a sense of “hope” when I saw my adopted mother for the first time.

Hope is a good thing and no good thing ever dies” is one of my favorite lines from Shawshank Redemption. Andy says this to Red to force Red to remember that there was still joy to be found in the world outside of prison… even a prison of our minds. This is not always an easy concept to focus on for those of us enslaved to the shackles of sporadic depression. We constantly battle these demons in the night and a victory for us is IF we get those demons to sleep during the day.

After thirty years in this country I have forgotten the culture shock I felt arriving, however, I can still recall the awe I felt returning to Korea for the first time in 2000. When I stepped off that plane into a sea of Asians I was overwhelmed. It was like being in a movie. The funny part was… I needed the subtitles and I still do to this day. My three earliest memories of my childhood are French Fries, Ants, and riding bikes on streets without sidewalks in Jackson, Mississippi. I suppose those are far better memories than the tears I had returning to Pusan, SK in my teenage years.

I love America and I am very fortunate to have been adopted. I count my blessings each day and they accumulate more and more each year. It has been a good thirty years, thank you America.

-Opinionated Man

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64 Responses to 30 Years Ago I came to America

  1. Glenn says:

    Your ability to put simply a powerful message and execution thereof continue to provide me a source of inspiration and a model of effective blogging.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. We’re fortunate to have you, OP. I’ve only been in America one year longer than you, but I’ve only been anywhere for that long. Your first memories sound pretty awesome, “French fries, ants, and riding bikes on streets without sidewalks in Jackson, Mississippi.” Sounds like lyrics to a great country song. Keep up the good work, Sir.

  3. Glad you’re here, I can’t read Korean and I do love your blogs.
    Keep your hope always. 🙂

  4. nacrelet says:

    I had already forgotten that you were from Pusan. I’m going there this April and will definitely need subtitles too. 🙂

  5. Patty B says:

    What a blessing you are to your parents – I am sure you have brought them as much joy as they have given you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.

  6. wingedprisms says:

    Excellent post and excellent read! 😀
    cate b

  7. As one man has so eloquently put it…Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World.

  8. I wish you could see the look on your Mothers face also. I’ll never forget the day we picked up our son at O’Hare and my wife running down the walk way and grabbing our 5 month old son out of his escorts hands. Some of my greatest memories are riding bikes in Jackson, MS also back in the 1980’s. Thank you for your post & the good memories that came with them.

  9. Nice to read that you are happy to stay, where you are OM. I think, you are lucky too. And very nice to read so possitive a post from you also.

  10. This made me happy to read Jason…..

  11. Wonderful story! Thanks fur sharing! (kats love stories)! Welcome (again) to America!


  12. 2l2phant says:

    I pray you do write a book. 🙂 autobiography along with it 😉

  13. LindaGHill says:

    A very poignant story, my dear. You were very fortunate indeed. I’m happy for you that you’re in a place you love. 🙂

    Awesome picture by the way. Did you draw it yourself?

  14. vwoods1212 says:

    Great post. i hope you are able to somehow make peace with your birth mom; it must not have been easy for her to place her child up for adoption. As long as there is life, we can bridge gaps in our lives. Blessings.

  15. panoe says:

    this is a very earnest post. thank you for sharing.

  16. Elaine says:

    And America is very fortunate that you stepped off that plane as a 2-1/2 year old. God bless you OM and your adoptive parents for choosing you to be their son and raising you to be a fine young man. A belated welcome to America OM!

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