Spring cleaning has surprised me once again. Today, I found an original baby picture. This is the first picture of me on record. As you can see, I had a Korean name and an identification number.
The picture itself is about the size of a passport photo. I didn't even know I had it. It was tucked away in an envelope and then buried under a bunch of papers in a rarely-used drawer.
I remember picking up this picture in 2009, when my husband and I traveled to Korea to see my biological sister get married.
Nonetheless, one of the highlights of the trip was stopping by the Holt office in Seoul.
Jim and I sat down with a social worker, and she went through my file with us. The cool thing is that she found a pre-flight report dated May 1, 1980. Basically, it was a report that said I was ready to fly to the United States. It doesn't say a lot, but if you think of it, it's the only record I have describing me as a newborn.
Most people get to share that with their moms. But, I have a gap of a few months where little is known about me. Was I a good baby? Did I do anything funny? Did I sleep through the night? A lot of moms get to share those memories with their children. My mother-in-law often recounts how my husband was an excellent baby. His younger brother, however, came out screaming and crying... and the joke is that he didn't seem to stop for a few years!
Whether it's true or not, we often rely on those stories as adults to give us some insight into our personalities.
I know my birth mother relinquished me fairly quickly after my birth and also opted not to give me a name. I don't know who named me, but I recall being disappointed when I found out it wasn't my birth mother. As an adult, I understand why she probably chose not to do that.
I wouldn't change anything in my life, but I do cherish this mundane report. It gives me a little insight into the care I was given in Korea and also reminds me there is always hope in the world. A little nameless baby flew all the way to the US, thanks to some kind folks... and has turned out to be a happy, healthy, married woman! That's something.