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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode 16 · 1 year ago

Interview: Rachel Forbes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this interview episode, Alia speaks with Korean Adoptee, Rachel Forbes. Together they discuss helpful resources and go in depth about Rachel's journey with connecting to her adoption and the adoptee community. They explore the emotions related to adoption and accepting the different feelings and parts of yourself. Rachel also talks about how her experience with motherhood has been as well as her experience reaching out to her birth mother.

RESOURCES:
Jessenia Palmer "I Am Adopted"
KAAN Korean American Adoptee Network
I Am Adoptee
Gide Foundation - Moses Farrow
Internal Family Systems (IFS) by Richard Schwartz (website: https://ifs-institute.com/)

Facebook Groups:
KAD Wellness Professionals
For the Love of South Korea
Surviving Adoption Group
Subtle Asian Adoptee Traits
CT Korean Adoptees
Books:
The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier

We've added music!

Intro: Lights by Sappheiros (https://soundcloud.com/sappheirosmusic) Outro: herbal tea by Artificial.Music (https://soundcloud.com/artificial-music)

Ohi guys welcome back to anotherinterview, episode of somewhere between a pacast made by Asian adates for AsianAdoptis, I'm Alia, and today we're joined by a special guest Rachel Forbes.Thank you. So Much Alia it's such an honor to be here and so excited to behere. So my name is Rachel Forbes again and I was adopted from Pusan SouthKorea. I was adopted at about three months old. I do believe that my birthmother she had already connected with sws in Sol South Korea. The SOF US isthit stands for I Social Welfare Society, which is just an organization,an adoption agency that helps lowingcom families, specifically birth mothers,place their children for adoption, and I currently live in Connecticut,actually where I was fased. Predominantly anhave live for the mostof my life and I'm currently working as a therapist in private practice, alsoin Connecticut really excite to have you on Rachel and to hear more of yourstory cause just talking to you a little bit beforehand and as well. Iwas also reading a Bio that you posted on Sutle Asian adoptdetraits. I waslike, I really want to find out your story. Thank you so much and I've actually I'mso happy and excited to be a part of that subtle, adapty trads group. I justonly recently discovered it and it's such an amazing community. I feel sograteful to be able to hear everyone's story a little bit at least get thesekind of Insros and tidbits into you know who they are where they're fromwhat their stories have been. So I really appreciate your reaching out.I'm excited to share my story. Yeah. Definitely it's really interesting.'cause, that's actually what I was going, Ta kind of start off with you ofhow was growing up like for you, because I remember in your description,you kind of mentioned that you had some struggles connecting with the adoptioncommunity just were based on like where you're growing up and m family, whichis also kind of interesting to reflect on because my family, my adopted familyever since I was little they've been so communit, communicative and so clearabout my adaption has never been any mystery or question about o. The factthat I was adopted and my parents have always been open to responding to andanswering any questions I may have had. They have always welcomed all likecuriosities, which has always felt really safe, although what I will sayis that it did grow up in a predominantly white Jewish communityand I went to a Jewish day school. That was thank both my brother, myself andmaybe one other family were the only children of color and so lom yeah, butalso, quite frankly- and you know what maybe perhaps it's just exclusively tothe community that I have been exposed to and that I was raised in it'spredominantly white. I know very very few other owish people who are also ofcolor, and so it actually like. I guess culturatly came to no surprise to methat I was you know my brother and I, and perhaps one other family were theonly children of color in the school I mean my appearance was always madeapparent to me right so that you know the difference in how I looked. Youknow whie your eyes like that whis your nose like that that that different, Igrery clear to me. I remember, even as like in kindergarten right in earlyelementary school yeah. It's definitely hard because at that time, you're justa kid and you kids just want to fit in and make friends and it's hard whenthey make. You feel different and you kind of have to look and you're like.Oh, I am different. Why Yah? Absolutely? I think my parents made an effort toconnect me with their adoptes, although Ir really wo't very many families M,who had also adopted borden of Color Um and one thing that I'm finding I'mreflecting a little bit more on now is my parents. I also didn't feel likethey had very many friends of color, specifically inds who were Asian, and so I really that I had any exposure.I won't say any, but very minimal exposure to some other Asian childrenwhich I wish I did have. I think that that would help ormalize abit. How I looked because I I kind of always have felt othered yeah, definitely understandable and,like you said it's hard, when there is no one else around 'cause, then youjust feel like kind of the peacock out of a bunch of doves you'relikemsomething's different here, so I awo. I do feel grateful, though,that I had my brother, who was also Korean and adopted fromson, and so I did have him, although it...

...was really just my brother and me, of course, some ways aps wasn't enoughmade a feel deeply connected to my asianness to my Corean Hood. Do thatpart of my identity? HMITS, very lonely, yeah. I don't think that mean I. I wasfortunate to have a lot of amazing friends. I am naturally pretty social and I lovepeople and Oli've gotten into the work that I'm in so I've always had friends. I've alwayshad connection that, specifically with Asian roots or with Um Korean culture.I think my parents made efforts to connect me to Korean culture. I wouldgo to these sort of these. I don't really know what they'recalled o they were called like picnics. I suppose Korean pinic hosted by Wan tosay the program was CSY. U DREUYALL! I remember going to Yo campus when I waslittle and being surrounded by all of these other adopted families and all ofthese Um Korean. I imagine college students who you would sort of connectwith one of the college students that we e were kind of like your big brotheror sister for the day and fry yeah. You would try like Koreanfood and there would be beautiful Korean dance and sort of incorporatinga lot of introducing a lot of the Korean culture to us as adoptes, butthat felt like the only thing that was connecting for me, which wasalso when I was very young, and I didn't fully understand- and there wasn't so there w. There werelike these small communities, but then I would leave that picnic and there wasno other continued connection after that. What other kind of like resources didyou use to learn more about your identity or kind of connect? More aboutit? Since you didn't really have as many people- and you know when you're young, you don'treally use like there's no social media, I very sadly, and regretfully didn'treally I didn't seek- I didn't seek it out. I really it didn't occur to me. 'causeit just simply wasn't part of my life. I like I had all white friends, allJewish. I think the huge community that I was a part of was the Jewishcommunity, and so for me, I kind of immersed fully into the identity ofbeing Jewish and Um. You know essentially a part of white culture,White American culture that felt like just who I was- and I didn't even thinktwice about you know the other part of who I, who Ireally am right, and so it gets kind of it's felt, tricky and confusing,because my parents made these kind of attemptsto connect me. There was no immediate connection within my the rest of mylife for me to sustain that or pursue that or get curious about that. So Ididn't actually independ independently UM search for connection with Koreanculture. Thi's really understandable, 'cause, asyou mentioned, it's it's almost like it's like language, where, if you justlearn it one time or you practice at once, you don't really learn or gainanything, but when you have it consistently in you r life, that's whenyou pick it up. That's a great analogy! Absolutely, andI kind of that's one thing that I is had been a little bit different andthat I you know my parents by the way, are incredible human beings and they, Ithink that they did absolutely the best they could to incorporate my Korean identity, and youknow, welcome it and support it, but I do wish that they had had more Asian friends or sought outmore Asian friends to connect me with more Asian children MM yeah. It's I think it's tough too,because parents, sometimes you just they just don't know what we're lookingfor and at that age we don't know what we're looking for either, but it'sgreat that they were supportive in other ways. Absolutely I feel so fortunate,especially now being part of the subtle, adopty trades group. I can see and I'mhearing how many adoptive families have been so hurtful and that's reallydevastating, to sort of add that additional burden on top of all of thealready existing challenges of being an adopte yeah. So when did you kind ofstart getting more active in any adopte or Korean groups? Honestly,...

...probably just a few months ago- I mean-I just remember Moses Pharaoh. So I'm actually part of this wellnessprofessionals, group of Connecticut for all therapists, psychiatrist, prns, Um,counselors, any sort of health practitioner, an Moses Pharoh, who isalso a Korean adopty and also a therabist, had created this post Umsharing a bit of his own experiences as being an Adoptian and acknowledgingthat he feels like he or not feels, but he is the only Um Korean adoptetherapist transracial adocto therapist that he is aware of, and so I woolyreached out to him- and I said here too, this is so cool. I had no idea, and so we kind of connected and that hereally introduced me to all of these groups. He welcomed me so much into allinto this whole community. Specifically, he is part of the Guide Foundation, which is also an organization. That'sessentially a huge advocate for adoptes, an mental health in just adoption, OOris, so he's I owe it to Moses. He has completely reeled me into thiscommunity in this world, for which I am so grateful. That's great, too, that you kind havehad someone to help you through this, like the introduction and like almostshow you the ropes and kind of ease you into it absolutely, but I will say, like itdidn't feel hard, because I finally found people who I didn't really haveto explain it to you know what I mean like it was justlike, and I've never had that feeling aside from perhaps like other adoptis,that I've met briefly and who I maintained some kind of stillconnection with, but I don't really have any adopte friends,transracial adapty friends who are close to me in my life and so to havethis community just feels like a breath of fresh air, a sigh of relief offeeling like wow there's, a space in which I don't have to explain myselfthat there's sort of this natural understanding that just feels reallycool, really really cool Hn. Definitely it's a lot easier than when people havethe questions and it's nice when they are curious and they want to learn, butit can be very tiring, absolutely absolutely n, I thinkthere's some level of it can be a little bit, at least for me. Thereare moments and time in which I think it's been triggering for me, becauseI'm still figuring it out, Rightr, like I still figuring out, is kind of in between space and reallynow that I'm now more connected to the adoption community, specificallytransracial adaption community, specifically Asian transracial adoptioncommunity it' just its it's helpful for me tostill to make sense of it. For me when I say it, I'm really regrat it beingwhat it feels like to be a Korean American adopte, and so when people pro and askquestions and get curious, sometimes I feel like you are, I'm not seeing meand or I sometimes will feel like you know I don't. Why are you asking methese questions? I would never. I don't know I feel, like a just, wouldn't gothe other way, so I kind of feel othered in that Wan what happens, but Ialso recognize that there's also definitely a part of me. That's stillfiguring that out so it can be, it can be exhausting and also a little bitsriggering, sometimes no noningly, understandable Um, especially as youmention like it makes you feel otherd and kind of defined by your adoption.When that's not exactly who you are exactly exactly so, do you find that Um kind of yourreationship with adoption, or maybe some effect that it had on you- is thatwhy you decided to pursue Um therapy? And I re mention- I remember youmentioning in your post- that you have a focus on attachment trauma. Oh absolutely, I think that one of the general answers that I oftentimes gave I it for one thing I have always been drawn to people m, myparents would kind of, or my parents recently have shared with me that whenI was younger, I would prefer people over toys like I would rather social,lite pack and chat and just be with people rather than play with toys,which makes a lot of sense to me, because I am just drawn to people I'mtotally in love with connecting with...

...people and hearing worries andunderstanding. You know where they're coming from HAT's. Definitely, you knowbeen a large part of why I've been drawn to therapy. I also definitelythink that my own suffering, my own experiences, have definitely influencedmy desire to help other people explore their own inner worlds and,specifically, with you know, specializing in attachment trauma.Absolutely that has everything to do with this M. I think that my capacity to empathizewith what that really feels like- and I think that having done my own innerwork and that realm has been really beautiful to also know, essentiallythat there is another side to that right that that pain, OES, not you,don't have to sit with that, so heavily horever that there is essentiallyanother way, which is amazing, and I would hope for any person who carriesthat to be able to seek out some help because it is possible for healing, buthealing is possible, definitely and it's hard when you'reyoung, because something that happens when you're so young and you don'treally realize how much it affects you and in psychology. It's always thistrope of Oh, it's all based in childhood, and it sounds silly.Sometimes the lat people say it, but it truly is, and you kind of carry thatwith you for the rest of your life in your other relationships. Absolutely itis so true. It's like our families, our introduction to this world. It's it'sour foundation of understanding who we are our relationship with other people. What we need, what we didn't get orwhat we, what we want right Y, it's amazing andit's also Uit- does require attention. Yeah, yeah. Definitely that's kind ofone of the nice things about the groups is that I've seen people post about? Oh,hey. You know I've kind of been experiencing this mental health issueand I feel like it's really to my adoption. How many you guys like feelthe same thing, and then you have a whole like army of comments of peoplerelating or sharing similar stories, and you feel less alone. You're like Oh,okay, I'm not crazy or weird like this is natural and it's Oky. Yes, and that's kind of what I wassaying with how I don't have to explain myself like really beautiful Um, also at timesreally painful, shared experience of essentially there's. This primal woundright. There's this timal loss of her birth mother, your birth family,essentially your roots to this earth, and that is a loss that we all carryand it how we carry that and how we cope withthat. I'm sure differs among Adoptis, but I think that a universal truth isthat we all carry that right and that mmo excruciating and actually I kindo go into just the kindof therapeutic approach that I use. That has actually been superhealing forme, okay, yeah M. Sorry, what were we saying before so I make sure I can pickup where we were in talking about the primal root woundand how you're kind of you know just ripped away from your birth mother andthe person who, as you said, ties you to this world and brought you in thisworld, and it's just something that kind of linksit's it's trauma. It stays with. You mentioned Um. I have like what therapy stuff you'vedone in practice. That has also helped you yeah. I guess specifically about that. Initial loss is so there's thisbeautiful approach that I actually was the first therapeutic approach. Thatreally essentially worked for me that I felt like really got it and it'scalled internal family systems. Have you heard of it? It's also not as ifsit was founded by Richard Schwartz. Have you heard of it? I have not, Iactually didn't, study too much into Um family cych when I was in college, butI'm really interested to hear about this ioths. It's really incredible. So essentiallyI offest. The belief is that we all have something called capital s cell,so that's sort of like our highest self. Sometimes people can identify it aslike be divine within you o our higher power. However, you want to define thatitself has theseeight beautiful qualities. Self is calm, compassionatecreative, with clarity, curious connected, confident and compassionate.I don't know if I er, if I repeated any...

...of them, and then we also have these other partsof us, these other parts of us who are connected toself but they're, actuallynot all of who we are so you can have like part of you that arise anxiety ora part of you that is feeling really depressed, a part of you that can bepretty reactive and rageful, and in this work we actually get to know theseparts of us, rather than trying to get rid of any of them eaten, get to knowthem, and we start to build a little bit of a relationship with them and westart to understand you know how long have you been here? What is it that youwant me to know? What is it that you need from me and what we find is,rather than you know, bringing them closer? Bringing these parts of UScloser rather than pushing them away, actually helps them to relax. So inthat, so, for example, for me I had. I definitely had this infante part of mewho really carried that loss of being taken away from my birth mother, and Ipart of this work too. Just so you know is y. The belief is that we carry theseparts of US inside of our Bodie, so there's kind of this like mind bodymeditative experience and which we tune into our bodies. We notice where wecarry some of these parts of us o if you may feel any tention, when youfeel a particular feeling. That's it's really where that part usually lives inyour body, and so I actually in doing this work, I got to build thisrelationship with essentially baby Rachel. I really got to bear witness to whathappened, how she felt and this sort of like panicking feeling of feeling liketorn or lost or and alone and really needing birthmal, and so I I did a lot.I feel like this approach is so beautiful because it really honors whatwe carry in our life experience and it doesn't try to change it and it doesn'ttry to any kind of positive spin. It welcomes,what's happened with such compassion and and love and on judgment that Ithink is ly healing and so for me, I think asPrima wound right. This is part of me that carries this great loss. I've beenable to develop a really beautiful relationship with her, and I know this may sound a little bitcrazy right, 'cause, I'm talking about bultiple parts that I think we havethis tendency, stoo pythologize, multiplicity right, but I aual we'renaturally multiqlicitous in this way I mean like, if you think aboutcasually one part any time. Somebody might say. Part of me wants to go out to dinnerand go have some drinks, but another part of me just wants to stay home,wash Naplix the're, complex, skings, yeah. So anyhow, that's kind of I fshas really changed my life and it's actually the approach that I drawmostly from within my own work, but I find it to be really really yeling,especially within all of these parts of me that I carry specifically related tomy adoption. I really like that too I'm. I might lookin more into that and kindof approach. My own self, with it, because, like you mentioned often timeswhen you have these struggles, you're either told like. Oh, you know lookntat the positive way and it's kind of pushing away the struggle and eitherjust you push it down. You hide it. You don't want to think about it. You justdon't look at it, but this accepts it and it makes it. You know it's a part ofyour life and it is t part of your story. It kind of reminds me of thisuote that I remember really loving where it starts off with like on thenights when your sadness comes. I hope you invite it in like an old friend andit's a longer got, but it really goes into just you know, sitting at thetable with what you struggle with understanding it being compassionate toit and Yoursell and just accepting its so beautiful, and I think it'sactually, if you think about it too, this is kindof an analogy that I like to think of is, if you think, of a toddler, Rihe aTodler is screaming angry or you know, having I'm gin to put thisin quothes onhaving a Tantrum right Mo find. It is right if you push the toddler away bysaying now, stop that and inthe the child in time out. Child just will scream louder right andthe child kind of feels worse. There's sort of this added layer of shame thatgets piled on, but when we bring the child closer, put the child in the eyes-and you say tell me: What's going on child actually relaxes, I think it is also true for us asadults, an time we're going through something really hard and you go to afriend and you say: soupsed, xquire, E...

...and friend will the friend but say uwell intentioned and a meaning friend will say and say all just don't thinkabout it. Don't worry about it T. maybe you should just think about itdifferently, essentially that it doesn't feel reallygood right. It doesn't feel right and you Kinda h. You find yourselfdefending why you're feeling the way you're feeling and you know, continuingto feel upset. It doesn't actually help the upset. It's almost a little inmalidating. Itcan be invalidating and essentially we kindo just want to be heard right sothe same with parts, it's the same with any big feeling that can sometimes feeloverwhelming kind. Just wants to be heard, and so Ithink that I love that quote. That is so beautiful and so sweet because whenwe actually bring these feelings closer, they actually do tend to relax and wantto like a todler. When you bring a toddler, whois, no C II's having thesebig feelings, when you hold the toilor, bring the topler closer oir relaxesright, yeah, it Kindof just makes you melt into something: That's you knowwarm and comforting, and you get to let go of those feelings, almost Um andyou're not holding on to that tension and pain and whatever cause the initialfeeling. You know recognize it and you just let it be a peace. Yes,exactly exactly, and sometimes right the other pieces. We can give these feelings what they really need.So en I af ast. For example, when you start to Ge to know apart Um, you dosome of the unburdening work, meaning you bear witness to what's happened,thiswhatever information, this part of you wants you to know, and then youkind of get to know. What is it that you really needed? Ind this type borator? What is it thatyou really need to me right now? You'll, actually, fine hatswill answer.They will tell you, I just need you to hold me or I just need you to be withme. We actually have this ability to dothat internally, which is really beautifulto support yourself, eah yeah. So have you found this process?Um Helpful 'cause. I know you mentionedthat you did reach out to your birth mother and it was a really difficultexperience. Did you find it was good to kind of pause and look at okay? Whatpart of myself is being hurt by this? Why and kind of go through it that way?Yeah that's a great question, so I actually wouldn't identify that processas being difficult. I think I went into searching for her wiunawareness and a kind of a sense ofcalm and especially compassion towards her and knowing that she may not answer.She may not be ready to answer. She may not want to Um, essentially kind of knowing that this is complicated foreveryone gt everyone involved, and so I knew where I was going into itthat I wanted to connect with her, but I also was open to accepting that she might be in acompletely different place. She may not want to do that. She may not be able tomeet me there right, and so I kind of went into it without much expectationand actually, interestingly enough, Ididn't hear I mean I didn't hear from her for a long time. I can't rememberhow long it was, but it was like a good chunk of time 'cause. I remembergetting the call and kind of being like. Oh, I kind of forgot that I did this and, what's actually really fascinating,is during this time in my own therapeutic work. I had gotten to knowa part of me that I felt like I was carrying in fact my births, mother, Iwas carrying her sorrow. I felt- and I was carrying you know this- This guilt that she wascarrying a little bit and, and s even a little bit of regret that,in the ifs work I Hav. I was during that time going in and essentiallytalking to her and getting to know her a bit and holding space for how painedand kind of it almost it almost seemed like she was kind self tortured in thisparticular way that I was kind of able to hold space forthat and forgive her internally and let her know that I completely understoodwhy she made the choice she did and that she's welcome, essentially to stayinside of me too, that I can still carry her, and so it's actually very interestingthat when I was doing that work, I heard back from her. I got that call, and the call was justsaying you know she. She like essentially Um, appreciates that I wasreaching out, although she's just not in a place and does not feel reatorespond,...

...which actually, when I first heard thatthere was definitely a part of me that kind of like froze. That was kind oflike that immediately put up this wall, that kind of said. If it could speak,it was saying which parts can speak, but it was tha. No know you right, itwas say, you're a stranger. I don't actually know you aointeresting like detachment thatimmediately ensued and Um. I thought that that was also really interesting.Yeah. It's KINDOF like a response, coping mechanism Um because otherwiseit ki it feels so personal. If you flip inm mm yeah, I actually it'sinteresting. You asked that you know. Did you kind of explore your reaction?I don't think I ever spoke to that part of me. That said! Well, I don't knowyou. I don't know you because I think I also then was able to access this likecompassion, also this sadness that she wasn't ready, and I think I also there's a part of me-that's held onto her holding onto a bit of hope that she might change her mind. One of the things I find really amazing,just listening to your story, is kind of de maturity and peace aspect ofit that you know so many of us strugglewith 'cause a lot of m adoptis kind of sometimes never even never come toterms with that, because we may not get an answer and even if you don't it'sjust really nice to like think that it is possible to be Ok with your storyand accept whatever situation your birth parents might have been in andunderstand their feelings and kind of let go of whatever anger and pain and just that hole that you feel andkind of fill it with your own comfort and hug yeah, and I think what I love as well.I can attribute all of this calm too therapy to Wantero work and specifically toiaffest into my amazing therapist, Lisa Greenleaf. She was amazing and she one thing I particularly loveabout Iffese- is that in fact you can be both. You can still have a part ofyou. That's angry! You can still have a part of you. That's really sad t stillcarries this loss right, while MOFOR acknowledging that those parts of oralsare not all of you, so I can still hold this self energy. Essentially, I canstill hold compassion towards my birth mother. My birth, Father E, then rigt.I I know that I have like half siblings that are out there M that I'm able to kind of it's Ok tohave all of these conflicting feelings and multiple feelings, right that itdoesn't none of them Havf to necessarily actually be resolved inInhi, meaning don't have to feel calm. Twenty fourseven right, yeah, that's IMMOSSIBLE, Hetien right! The expectation is sortof this like internal harmony in which, if there 's a part of me, that's reallyangry. I know that this is a part of me and I can talk to it and be with it. Ican write with it. I can do whatever I want if, for this part, to feel reallyheard by me, and so I think what I essentially is, the multiplicity and the acceptance andinvitation for that to exist is what has felt deeply healing and and again Ican antribute. I can think therapy for that. I think that paying attention toour emotional wellness is really important. Yeah. We could definitelyall benefit from therapy. Absolut. Imagine the world we would live in. Ifeveryone went to theraby ituld be a much more understandingworld much more patient. I hope so a'md kind of what you're describingalmost reminds me of I don't know if you've seen it the movie inside out E it. It makes me think so much of that,where you have your like coarse celf and then on the flipside, you have this.The self that you know happens in moments and it's not you're not definedby those moments and those moments can have a mixture of feelings yahexactly Iactually like to sort of sometimes in sessions or when I'm introducing IFS tosomebody else, I'll mention that that movie, which I loved, because you couldsee what I also love to, is essentially it's like these parts right. So theanger or t the sadness right. It's true that we have these life experiences.That'll Um, you know trigger a reaction, and so when we carry that, I think whatI love about IFAS is that sure you're still going to have parts that aregoing to react, but the heaviness and and kind of theweight of how much they react. The...

...intensity of their reaction can shift.When you get to unburden a lot of the life experiences that they're stillcarrying right, ecause, we can get triggered by something in the externalworld when it actually runs a lot deeper right. I'm not fully justreacting to what you're saying to me. I'm also reacting because I've din thisbefore ive felt this before, and that was a really scary awful time. Doesthat make sense yeah. I definitely understand that it just it goes back to like whatyou're saying is just really the understanding of it and not justshoving it away. Actually, as he said talking to it, yeah welcoming it absolutely so. This is kind of off topic, but a little bit close to the topic. What was kind of having like what wasentering motherhood like for you, the kind of emotions you experience orjust like thoughts you had prior to planning a baby Ahu, and I actuallychecked in with my husband to make sure that it was okay, that I disclosed alittle bit here, but actually my daughter was unplannedexpected and when I found out that I was pregnant, it was conflicting withinmy relationship because my husband was not ready at the time. He in fact,really did not want to have a kid during thattime. He he definitely didn't again didn't feel ready, and so for me, I think adoption hasplayed a huge role in my decision making. What that is, wanted to have ababy m hugely because there was a part of me that feared thatI would deeply regret it, because it felt like an opportunity to have to have someone who is related to meRit. Who is, I say that meaning blood bloodwise, right yeah and it felt kind of especially becauseanother interesting thing here too is I discover that I was pregnant right whenI heard back from my birth mother and so for me, there was something herethat felt like it transcended it's like the universe. Talking to you that kind of felt like a full circlemoment. I really really just. I could not bring myself to aboarding a baby. I I it didn't feelright. It didn't sit right with me personally and I think my adoption onehundred percent played a huge role in that decision. Making yeah definitely 'cause it. It's likethat could have been you almost, and I think too that in this I think,there's also something pretty incredible in that like pretty early on and as soon as you find out likethere's this immediate kind of connection that feels like there isthis sacred being in my body right now that I am, I want to care for right, and soI think I hell I actually really really compassionate towards mybirth mother and not especially like, as my pregnancy progressed right. Icould not magine having to make a decision where you hadto leave your child right, like the kindof bond that created during pregnancy is indescribable right. You can't it'sincomparable and indescribable, and I cannot imagine if my mother, birth,mother, at the time, had any kind of already known awareness that she would have toplace her child for adoption. I can't imagine how painful that must have beenyeah it. It definitely seems like Um it kind of connected you to her because,as you mentione, you get to feel her feelings and really see where she wascoming from, and I connect me back to like nore story, Yeah Yeahi like to think so. I, ofcourse, don't know what my birth mother was feeling fully right. I can Maasense from my own, perhaps fantasizing right, but just experiencing that washugely Um defin. Like you said connecting with my birth mother, I feltso much compassion and appreciation, and gratitude and kind of awe towardsher courage to make that kind of decision yeah an a thought of like forthe better of the child. Yes, yes, the other piece too for in thinkingabout that for the better the child is. When I found out, I was pregnant andhaving to make. I kind of there was a period of time where it was going backand forth because, of course, I didn't want...

...to make a decision that was likecompletely selfish or that would really hurt my relationship or that Um, justyou know, could be disastrous, potentially disastrous right. One thingthat I heaw back on no is that my have such a community of people who arethere for me and would be there for me for anything. So there was kind of thisawareness too that even if I had to raise my daughter by myself, I wouldn't actually be by myself that Iwould be in a village of people who loved me and could support me and livedthere. thikfully. Oh, what ended up happeningis my husband met my daughter and found then and andeven though we had a lot ofundifficulties during my pregnancy. He stayed right and he you know He. Ourrelationship has been through a lot, but we have always found a way to findeach other and stay with each other, which is Um really beautiful in a lotof ways and pretty romantic in a lot of ways: Yeah H, but he he stayed and he was therewhen I was in labor and in the hospital and the minute he met her. You know, I think there was a definingmoment when I asked do you want her to have your last name,because I was still kind of unsure as to where he stood and he said Yeah andfor me that was like okay. It almost felt like all right we're inthis and you're here, and you want to be here. It was like a claiming offatherhood. I felt parenthood and I and it it says a lot because really wanted my daughter to have mylast name. His last name is like super long andhypenated Um, but that that sacrifice of her not having my name felt sodeeply important that I was like all right. Of course, this this wisimportant. This is an important moment. That's like your husband's fullacceptance of I'm here with you we're going Ta r.This is our child yeah yeah. I think also too, like she's mine. I that thisis. This is also mine, my child, which I think the majority of my pregnancywas okay, my child right for Meer, I mean you're the one carrying her fornine months. So that's true and pregnancy is also by the May ten months.Nobody tells you that, but it's actually ten months. Oh my Wy yeah the time of conception,yeah difficult process, but it definitelyseems very worth it, especially when you have that beautiful experience ofthe connections it creates between you and your husband connecting back to youand your you know: Baby Self, you and your birth mother, and this newconnection that you have with your daughter, H, exactly youve hit it pot on. It wasdeeply connecting a deeply connecting experience, and I think I have a lot ofgratitude for having done my own therapeutic inner work prior togetting tracted, because I would imagine that all of those feelingswould be very different, and so, thankfully, I feel like I wasable to kind of hold a lot of compassion in spaceboktowards myself towards baby self towards birth, mother, even towards myhusband. At the time, though, there were de definitely parts of me thatwere angry Um, ine standup wit, so yeah, yeah andscared yeah, of course, he's you know, he's also his own person and he as every wrigty how he feels too right.So have you thought about it or have you iave even had like some smallquestions that lead up to this of your daughter asking? Oh, you know: why dowe look a a little different or why does no one in the family? Look like us. That's such a good question and youknow what's so funny is Um, so she watched the movie Kangfu Pandaand who ove that and yeah wel. I think it was like the second one Um, where the story of concupandas adoption is made apparent right, so his burparents essentially 'cause they're in the midst there's warfare. His parentshave to place him in this safe space and hope for the best, because otherwise,if they, if they kept him around,...

...he could potentially die, and so Bailey got curious about that. Mydaughter's name is Bailey and she got curious about that Um. She was askingme questions about that, and that was a moment in which I explained adoption,and I also explained that I was adopted, so she kind of understands it a littlebit like sheware that I essentially havetwo mommies. I have one mommy in which was belly in which I grew right and she was not able to take care of meeven though she loved me very much, and so my other mommy right th. She knows right was able to take careof me. So she is my second mommy who takes who has loved me and cared for meand she's the person who wight call mommy right h. It kindo gets that there are two andsometimes when one arrent cannot take care of the baby that another parentcould take care of the baby. I I really love that you know there arethese children's movies and people may think it's simple, because it'schildren's movies, but it's so useful for kind of telling a story N. So thisway your daughter understands something, that's very complex and she can relateand see what your suck Asigd ing. Your story is. It's like it's like withinside ally. Anyone can relate to that. Ah, yes, children's movies can be soprovent, and I I also I did seize it also as anopportunity to sort of call out or identify that. Ah I look different fromMimian, Zava and and Daddy, and that, like she is ablend of both me and daddy right and so starting to have also thoseconversations about even about race too right uh t was conpopenda. Thank you. It wasan Opportu, a wonderful learning opportunity. I O. I remember that, for when I have mpossibly have a child yeah I mean this movie. I mean it's a little intensiveand there's definitely a part of me that, like W did I introduce spells toUm movies that were a little bit intensefor kind of a young age um, but you know something I'm also still figuringout yeah. Definitely it's kind of m hard atany age, honestly to decide when's the right time to have these kind ofconversations. What I think we are finding out andeven in conversations about race, is that starting early on is reallyimportant, because I think kids, kids pick up on differences super early, even in two three. They can identifyand start to favor things and certain people, and sopicking up on biaseis right, but also exposure is really important right. Sowhat kids are exposed to what becomes their norm? What they see um highly influences, how they viewthemselves and also other people. So I actually th NK that I would say it was definitely an opportune time andalso inappropriate time for balls to have that conversation. Um 'cause, I'myou know Sh. I think you're right and I don't know what's going to happen, butshe probably will have questions Um, for which I'm happy to start tointroduce this story to her. So she can understand yeah. It's really great that you'resuper open at the start, 'cause it's kind of like what your parents did foryou, that you had any questions and they answered your questions and armedyou with the information for you to tackle your story, tackle the world andunderstand people in general, and I definitely agree with you on startingstarting teaching early because, as you mention, peop kids do pick up thesehabits and these thoughts and that's your way of the world. That's what'snormal to you and that's what's acceptable to you at that time totallytotally, and I think too, when we do that right when we start early on andwe are honest and truthful and open what you're also doing is you're,creating a safe space like a safe homespace home based ofor the child asthey grow up nd, as they have more questions to come back to right. Soit's it's safe. To ask these questions. It's safe! To be curious. I know thatmy parents will be open and communicative should I, you know ovquestions right, and so I think that that foundation is important in thebeginning. Because, again, it's just clear that it's OK,...

...yeah and I think it also kind of goesinto whatever she ends up having to deal with any emotions or troubles orwhatever happens in her life. She knows you can come to. You can go to yourparents and just talk it through with them and kindof have someone who will listen and understand and be compassionate. That is the hope that is my highesthope. Of course, I don't. You know well seehow that pans out right and we know, of course at least I know in myadolescence. That was not the case yeah. You can't always preduce that. Ohdefinitely not, but that's the hope and she said something really cute, whichis funny to me. She, the other day she said Ma'am, I'm feeling uncomfortable.Can we talk about it? Oh my God, so adorable watch myself,okay, daughter of a therapist yeah, but I think he's more motioalyaware than like my thirty year old sibling. She she may be that. I think that thatcould be true for I mead. So many of us, when we are Nota, taught that ourfeelings are safe or Beto, how w ind of express our needs and talk about ourfeelings. So I definitely was mindful and have been mindful of you know,making sure that that is. You know a truth that she can live in, that herfeelings are totally valid. It's Oka to to feel how you feel it tat, it's okayto express them sometimes, and I'm here to listen. I'm here to talk to you, youknow and to help identify some of thosefeelings too 'cause. Sometimes it's just so confusing and you have no cluewhat's going on. But then, when you talk to someone it starts to make sense. Absolutely absolutely I've learned thatBaily Sto, like if she's feeling hurt like emotionally hurt recently startedto say something that I think is interesting. She says to and Dad arenot helping me, which, which means essentially, like myfeelings, are hurt. What you just said was hurtful- and I don't feel seen andI need to feel loved right now, but now welded into that I was like Icould see. Then she had kindo like a tear in her eye, and I could understandwit, that wit, that four year old, virsion really med straight that thatsentence meant yeah yeah, seeing between the lines and really seeingyour child seeing a person- oh yeah yeah, so a lot of the stuff you'veshared has been so helpful and t just really amazing, to kind of hear yourstory and the things you've learned and picked up on the way before we closeout. I kind of want to see if you have any recommended sources for adoptis tocheck out. You know, books, blogs, artists, really anything that you foundsuper hillful in the way like is, I would definitely recommend internalfamily systems. I affess to anyone. I think it's a really beautifulapproach that Um has the capacity to troop to really heal, but also if thatapproach doesn't make sense or feel right to you. I would stronglyencourage therapy in general. It's just really. If you find the right fit, itcan be really really transforming Um. So I would recommend that to anybody. Ialso so now Alia. I am new to the adoption community, but here are someof the resources that Moses has passed on to me and groups that I'm now a partof that I feel like have been really helpful Um. So I know you: We've talkedabout the subtle Asian adopte traits group, which I would higdly recommendanyone to any adopte to join Um. There's also. I I learned that therewas a specific subtle Asian ofdocty trait for also people who are overthirty, which is me I don't think I've been accepted intothat one yet, but I know that that exists, so there's groups, so for me in Connecticut the Connecticut Koreanadoptes group Surviving Adoption Group also for the love of South Korea is agroup that I'm part of, and also for any Korean Americanadoptoyou wellness professional there's, actually a cadwalness professionalsgroup M, so that would be k a D wellness professionals. I know thatsome of these are exclusive to Korean adopties, but definitely the suttleAgan adopty trades group has been really really Um special to be a part of. I also had mentioned earlier that MosesPharaoh has been a huge advocate for adoptees and he and a couple ofother UM colleagues or friends or adoptes. Isuppose, I'm not quite sure how they identify themselves, but they startedthe Guide Foundation and that's Gi d e, the guidefoundation, which is starting to like M thr, they're kind of like an umbrellafor everything related to transracial...

...adoption, I'm so mental hell, im,sharing stories, um just community in general, education, Psycho, education,there's another platform called I am Adopti, which is another organizationalso advocating for adoptes m the Korean American adopting network andalso I've really loved aunt social media, Justania, Palmers or Palmers. Iam adopted, so she has an instagram and also a face book and she posted themreally Um, really great information and essentially Como like the meams orthese M, that that just really call out the challenges of being adopted,especially trainsracially adopted so um yeah, those re, that's owl. I've gotfor Ritin ar they're very helpful um references that you h brought in andeven though like, as you mentioned, they are Korea. A lot of them are creanfocused, that's still amazing, for listeners, because it's still acommunity for them and I hope that's like Kund of the goal. His podcast isthat you know we're all from different countries, but we can all relate to ageneral story and we can all find the community that fits for us. Ahum would say that the most helpfulyou know a thing for me as an adopty has definitely been this new foundcommunity. The community has it's. It almost feels like this is what I'vebeen searching for my whole life, but gratful to a B invited here to bewith you, Alya and also too fore you to have found me in the subtle adoptytraits group. It's really cool yeah. First, when I saw your post I waslike. Oh, I really want to o like hear her story. This sounds so interestingto me and then I pause and I was like, I hope, she's not going to think I'mweird for just reaching out all of a sudden. It's like hey. I read yourstory. Oh my gosh, not at all I felt soexcited and I like told all the people what I love I was like. Oh my gosh, shewants me to be on her podcast, that's so cool hit's, so cute your you're,really such a sweet and warm person I can imagine than any clients or anyanyone who talks to you just feel so happy afterwards. UNACCEPTED! Thank you. That is so so so kind of youand I really feel that in my heart. Thank you so much. Thank you. It wassuch a pleasure talking with you today and audictly truly back at you, you,you are so sweet and I felt so I feel so comfortable talking to you, eventhough I was really nervous in the beginning, but you've made it reallyeasy, and so thank you thank you for being you too. Oh, thank you. I'm glad,I'm glad it kind of Um became more comfortable in just a c. You K W Acasual conversation thank Yo Rachel for joining us on thisepisode. Today. It was amazing having you on and we'd love to have you on foranother episode and hear more of your story, thanks for joining us today tunein next week for another episode, if you're interested in participating inone of these episodes, please email us act somewhere, dot between do podcastat GML, dtcom and don't forget to join our instrogram family somewhere betweenDafan to stay connected with updates, casting calls and more Seeu guys nextweek.

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