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The Story of a Different yet Similar Family
Written by Jiewan Hong | Published. 2018.10.13 17:12 | Count : 2173
Nearly 200,000 South Koreans (mostly children) were adopted by international families since the Korean War ended in 1953. The story of Adam Crapser, who is also known by the Korean name Shin Song Hyuk, portrayed how although he was nearly American, he was forcefully deported back to Korea which he barely knew the language of. This story sparked the start of Korean reforms to the adoption policies as national debates opened up to issues surrounding overseas adoption. However, some outcomes do have some happy “endings”. Eun Jee Alfonso, 16 year old Korean-Australian girl, and her adoptive parents Angie and Sam Alfonso, share their stories:
[Eun Jee Alfonso(Left), Won Hee Alfonso(Middle), Jiewan Hong(Right)]
[Eun Jee Alfonso and her little sister present Jiewan Hong with a gift from Australia, 
photo taken by Mijung Lee (Jiewan Hong’s parent)]
[Eun Jee Alfonso (left), Won Hee Alfonso (middle), Angie Alfonso (right)]
[The joyful Australian family enjoyed their time in Korea as they visited peaceful parks
to spend some family time, photo taken by Mijung Lee (Jiewan Hong’s parent)]
[“Happy and Lovely Life”]


[Adoption & Love]

Eun Jee Alfonso, adopted only when she was four months old, decided to share the stories of her journey. She went through tremendous sadness and depression as she discovered the truths. However, she was able to steady herself and commit to look for her biological parents. She visited Korea recently to meet her biological parents. She had sent numerous letters. However, there was no response. Her efforts failed. Later, Eun Jee accepted that her adoptive parents, Angie and Sam, were her true and loving parents. They truly loved each other. Eun Jee stated, “My parents who I have grown up within Australia have a close relationship with me and we discuss any of these matters if required”. She expressed trust for her parents. It’s clear that she could rely on them if she was struggling. When most might’ve thought it would’ve been difficult for her to take in the truth about her adoption, Eun Jee accepted it coolly, stating that she was not ashamed of having a Korean nationality. We consider people who are adopted as “less privileged”. That’s not true. Eun Jee has a dream of becoming a veterinarian, and she is enjoying her school life with her friends just like anyone else. Eun Jee has never hated her biological parents for what they’ve done but simply thanks her adoptive parents for giving her an opportunity. She even has a few words for other Korean adoptees. “Embrace your identity, accept who you are, and expose others to it”. She gives hope to other adoptees who are stressed and heartbroken.
Angie Alfonso, the adoptive mother, gave her thoughts on the trip. Her love for her adopted children was evident. The first thing that stood out was she decided to pursue a degree in Korean studies so that she could help Eun Jee, her adopted child, understand more about her birthplace. Receiving a degree on a foreign culture is tough. However, Angie made sure her daughter fully understood her background. Angie responded, “I felt that it was my duty to be knowledgeable about the country of my children’s heritage… It was important to me that we paid respect to the children’s birth country”. She made sure that her children felt open about sharing anything that seemed to upset them by “always having them aware that they can say anything about how they feel about adoptions”. Angie has always had a strong belief that all adoptive parents needed to stay open towards discussions about their children’s past. Her persistence and care for her adopted children are truly inspiring as it sends a message to the world: Adoption does NOT mean inferiority at all. 



Jiewan Hong 
11th grade
Asia Pacific International School

Jiewan Hong  student_reporter@dherald.com

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기사 댓글 51
  • 이명희 2018-10-24 02:29:23

    입양에 대해 진지하게 다시 한번 생각할 수 있도록 기사 써 주셔서 감사합니다 찬바람 불어와서 가슴 시려지는 이 가을 온 몸에 온기가 퍼집니다 입양에 대해 사회가 아무런 편견없이 따뜻한 시선으로 바라보며 입양 가족의 행복이 정착하길 기도합니다   삭제

    • 김소영 2018-10-20 22:09:20

      홍지완기자의 감동적인 글을 읽으며 예전에 입양부모의 고백이 생각났습니다. 가족이란 핏줄로 맺어지는 관계가 아닌 희로애락의 시간을 함께 하면서 완성되는 사랑의 관계라고...입양을 통해 많은 아이들이 행복해지는 아름답고 행복한 가정 문화로 정착되길 바랍니다!   삭제

      • 정태영 2018-10-20 20:03:36

        Adoptive parents needed to stay open towards discussions about there children's past. 시를 읽는 사람이 시를 통해 詩人을 읽을 수 있다면
        시가 더욱 시 다워지지 않을까요.
        홍지완 기자는 시를 통해 시심을 건드릴 수 있을 겁니다.
        adopted children은 한편의 詩입니다.
        시가 시인을 찾아 진정한 시로 거듭날 수 있을 것입니다.   삭제

        • 임은하 2018-10-18 21:05:36

          오래간만에 마음 따뜻해지는 좋은 글을 읽었습니다. 매스콤에서 친부모를 찾지 못한 사람들의 이야기를 들을 때면 너무 안타깝고 무척 가슴이 아팠습니다. 은지도 그랬을 텐데 그런 상황에서도 친부모를 이해할 수 있었던 것은 아마도 양부모님의 깊은 사랑 덕분이 아니었나 싶습니다. 그분들께 진심으로 감사를 드리고 싶네요.   삭제

          • 정태영 2018-10-17 22:25:22

            Adopted parents are true
            and loving parents.
            Adopted child could rely on them
            if she wad struggling.

            이제 한국도 다문화가정이 점증하고 있습니다.
            "어디 출신" 인지도 중요하겠지만
            지금 "나의 모습" 이 더 소중한 시대입니다.

            은지는 서양농부가 땀흘려 일군
            귀한 한국품종의 열매입니다.

            이제 우리가 세계에 손내밀 카드 아닐가요?
            홍지완 기자의 시의적절한 문제제기에 귀기울일 사람
            여기 붙어라~~   삭제

            • 최윤선 2018-10-17 21:43:26

              좋은글에 감사를 드립니다
              입양이라는 어렵고,예민한 부분을 다른시각으로 볼수있었던
              좋은기회를 가진것같습니다.
              은지의 미래가 입양이라는 사실이 어려움이 되지않길 바라며~~
              은지 엄마의 글을 읽으며..
              다시한번 부모란 무엇인지 생각해 봅니다.   삭제

              • 주혜성 2018-10-17 20:50:59

                입양가족의 생각과 목소리를 생생하게 전달하는 훌륭한 기사입니다. 정체성 혼란의 문제를 겪고 진정으로 부모의 사랑을 확신하게 된 은지와 딸을 위해 새로운 도전을 결심한 엄마의 이야기가 가슴 뭉클하게 다가옵니다. 입양에 관해 다시 한번 생각해 보는 좋은 계기가 되었습니다. 모든 입양 가족들 응원합니다!!!   삭제

                • 이미숙 2018-10-17 19:07:43

                  은지양의 씩씩한 모습이 많은 사람들에게 용기와 따뜻한 메시지를 줍니다. 이렇게 아름다운 이야기를 취재해주신 기자님께 감사드립니다. 이 기사를 통해 많은 입양가족들에게 힘과 격려를 얻게되기를 바랍니다!:)   삭제

                  • 최종경 2018-10-17 18:09:02

                    기자의 글쓰는 시선이 따뜻해서 입양에 대해서 다시 생각해 볼수 있는 좋은 기사였습니다 저뿐만아니라 많은 분들이 기사 읽고 입양에 대해 긍정적인 영향 받았으리라고 믿습니다   삭제

                    • 조나원 2018-10-17 16:39:03

                      감동적인 기사에 감사합니다! 은지양의 이야기를
                      듣고 나니, 입양이란 피보다 진한 사랑으로 맺어진 진정한 가족이라는 생각이 듭니다. 은지양과 가족들 그리고 모든 입양 가족분들의 앞날에 아픔이나 어려움 없이 행복만 가득하기를 바랍니다..!   삭제

                      51개의 댓글이 있습니다.


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