Voices of Adoption: Korean Adoptee Perspectives

Karen Eckert


At approximately 10 days old, I was found at Chungbu Police Station in Seoul. The date was February 21, 1971. There was no written information left with me, so I was given the name “Park Hae Soon”. The officials said I looked about 10 days old, so they estimated my birthdate as February 12, 1971. I was placed into City Baby Hospital for the first four months of my life & then I was put into Holt International’s foster care program.

I was adopted at age 9 months old and was raised in Danville, California. Growing up with the Eckert family was very natural for me; I never felt “unaccepted” or too different from them. Even though I was Korean and my brothers and parents were white, I didn’t feel I stuck out too much. They never made a big issue out of it and to me, they have always been my REAL family.

We would celebrate my “Arrival Day” every year, my second birthday. Mom would make a scrumptious Korean dinner, followed by an American dessert and Korean gifts. I was always very fulfilled with my family and never had a major desire to seek out my roots until I was 23 years old.

I moved to Sacramento when I was 18 to go to college, and five years later, I joined an adult adoptee group. I really enjoyed meeting other adoptees and sharing experiences and being able to empathize with similar feelings and emotions. That has always been very special to me; how I can easily bond with other adoptees just by sharing that common background.

Copyright © 2000 Deann Borshay Liem & NAATA. This content was originally created in 2000. Visit the original site.