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Laura's Story

Here's the story of AKAP board member, Laura Joseph.

Early Life

It is amazing how the people that I never meet or meet the least, deeply impact my life. My biological parents did not traumatize me, life traumatized me and from there I breath, I live, I grow, and I change.

I was born Jun, Seoyung to which...

I later found out the adoption agency gave me my Korean name and my Korea last name came from my biological parents.

My name now in which my parents gave me is Laura C. Joseph.

Busan, South Korea where the beaches are blue cobalt and the air so humid. This is where I was born. February 23, 1985 at 0200 I was born and weighed 3 kilograms. I spent three days with my biological mother and so departed on February 25, 1985. February 25, 1985 placed in Holt International Children's Services.

On February 25, 1985 at three days old I was in transition and went to live with a foster family organized through Holt International Children’s Services. I stayed with them until I began an adventure of a life time where I met my parents in Sacramento, California.

After the first flight on June 7, 1985, I was carried off the plane by a woman volunteer worker at the adoption agency. I went through the airport and came to arrivals and was affectionately held in my mother’s arms.

My mother wept with tears of joy and my father gleamed from head to toe.

My father told me when he first met me, he saw my jet-black hair sturdy on my head, dark charcoal brown eyes and a fierce fire within me. My father told me at that moment he knew I would test him relentlessly. No matter what they always have loved me unconditionally.

From being months old with my family and until I was about seven years old I had grand mal seizures that were treated with medication. Those seizures are now known as Tonic-Clonicseizures. There was no known reason and I am fortunate that since age seven I have not had any seizures. I believe it was childhood epilepsy or something of the sort.


Younger years, fun and then my thoughts...

When I was seven I moved to Newcastle, California, and I soon met my first best friend. Her and I are still in contact, but are not close. But when we do talk it is like not a beat has been missed. During those younger years I play sports and was a part of girl scouts and was active with my friends in fun including travel.

I have two older brothers who are both Caucasian and my parents are Caucasian also. My other brother was adopted as an adult from another country. His was an open adoption not a traditional one like mine. Traditional adoption is where someone cannot view their information even paper information.

My information of anything they had that was accessible was not able to be released to me until I turned eighteen years old.

When I was twelve years old I visited my “Mother Land” (South Korea) with some other Korean adoptees I also visited the adoption agency I was from. I experienced the food and the atmosphere it was enjoyable, but it was not my home. At fourteen years old believe I went and visited again and visited a previous exchange student my family and I had at our home.

When I was growing up my family encouraged me and I was very much a part of Korean adoptee events and knowing about the Korean culture. When I was growing up there was never a breath in between that we did not have an exchange student in the home or were assisting someone else in need in our home.

Early Adult

Into my college years and there after...

Not pseudo mothers, not mother-in-laws included, but five mothers. I realized by the time I was approximately twenty-one years old I had been blessed with five mothers through out my life. I had a foster mother as an infant, and biological mother, my mother. And my parents remarried and now I had two more mothers.

From eighteen years old, I started college and too many new things for a young adult and I had grown up in a small town. Parents were working on getting a divorce, new city, new friends, new experiments and all my senses were on spidey overdrive. It took me fourteen years to graduate college with two bachelors degrees. I am now a social worker at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.

When I avoided my feelings I did reckless behavior and reckless experimentation. I have since came through the storm and made peace. There is not enough space to fill out all the things or behaviors I have done. And then one day I suddenly became an adult.

Adult to Now

The search, the letters and the experience...

When I turned thirty, I cannot describe it but suddenly I had no fear about what could or would be about birth parents. I filled out the paper work for a birth parent search and sent it into the adoption agency I was adopted from. They were transparent from the start that it is unlikely that anything will be found and even if so the outcomes are numerous.

I did not care. I was not afraid any more to search for them.

They did a bio search and informed me that they found no information or anything on my bio parents. I did however have access to my papers of my adoption. The social worker there said they have one more search but it is not likely they will find anything either.

The second search, the social worker informed me they found my birth mother and that this is the first time a second search had ever been made that a birth parent had been found, at least since he’d worked there.

The social worker informed me that she expressed interest in speaking to me.

We corresponded through letters we exchanged kind words. I also know that a lot of experiences do not go like this so I was thankful. I asked the social worker if I could meet her and after he spoke with her and the agency they arranged it. I finally told my parents about this and they were thrilled for me.

In 2016, I went to Seoul, South Korea and met my birth mother I think I was in shock for all four days I met her and did not have any questions prepared. The visits were unforgettable. I am grateful for that experience. I never met my biological father as he had passed at the age of twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old and my birth mother had passed as of 2018.

Today, I live a life that is forever grateful to the family I have, and the past that made me. It got me to where I am today.


Sharing your story

We've opened up the opportunity to our community to share their Korean adoptee experience and personal story. As we share these stories, we hope that more people feel like they belong, they are not alone, and that they have a story worth sharing.

Want to share your story? Let us know!


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