Where do I begin? Well, let’s see….I was born on February 16, 1985 in a small village located in Kyongi-Do, South Korea. My biological mother at the time was very young and had me out of wedlock, which in South Korea is considered extremely shameful from what I’ve heard.
Despite the strong social stigma, as well as I’m guessing many of her friends and family who told her to get an abortion, she gave birth to me
She gave birth to me right in the adoption agency (Eastern Child Welfare) and basically left. No records, no documents, only a name, which may or may not be her actual real name. There I was, abandoned at birth, which I still feel today despite it happening 27 years ago. After my biological mom gave birth to me, I was sent to an orphanage with a temporary foster mother and two sisters.
A few months later I was adopted by my adoptive parents who lived in wisconsin. I then made the 12 hour journey from Korea to the United States, crying the entire time lol.
My adoptive parents were caucasian, as well as my sister who was adopted as well. This made life pretty difficult growing up because how often do you see a caucasian mom and a little korean son as a family?
Fitting in at school was really hard as well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked or been told, “How can you see out of those eyes?” ”Your weird looking” “Chink” “China man” “Slanted eyes” “Go back to your own country” The list goes on and on and on….
As you can expect, my self-esteem was pretty low and I really started to believe all of the things that people said about me. I started to resent the fact that I was different as opposed to embracing my korean heritage. I still struggle to this day with it.
At the age of 5 or 6, not sure exactly, my adoptive parents divorced. My father cheated on my mother and thats all I really know about it. My mom remarried again when I was 7 or 8 where we lived in Michigan with my step-dad.
Like many divorced families, our christmases were split between my mother and father. My sister and I thought it was pretty cool because we got double the presents but as I grew older and understood what was really happening, I became more sad and frustrated.
It was so hard only seeing my dad for a week or two. At the airport I would try and hold my feelings in but I was crying inside. Around the age of 13 my mom and step-dad divorced because of the same result, cheating.
Needless to say, my childhood and teenage years were pretty dysfunctional. My parents are amazing and I’m so blessed to have them, but the instability and example they set really hurt my sister and I.
I forgot to mention, which I know is most important, is that early on my family did go to church regularly. I knew all of the church songs and loved singing, ‘My little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shinnnnee.’
Despite this, church and ‘God’ never really came up after my mom’s first divorce. Fast forward a few years, I had just finished my freshman year of college, failed 7 courses, was depressed, thought of suicide but never attempted it, was lonely, and suffered with major self-esteem issues. All of these were a direct or indirect result of my unstable childhood.
I wound up taking a few years off of college and eventually moved to california. 3,500 miles away from my home state of Wisconsin was when I first noticed God working in my life.
A family who I truly believe was sent by God for me, allowed me to stay at their place while I looked for an apartment to live at. They happened to be strong christians, which made me uncomfortable but geez, I can’t complain since they are offering a place to stay temporarily.
When I first met them I was actually an agnostic and had a lot of negative views about God, christians, and church that had been put in my mind from the news, other people, and my own experiences.
Well, as I lived with them longer and longer I noticed that things were much different than my family, the ‘typical’ family that I thought of. They prayed together before they ate, they read the bible regularly together, and seemed to really have fun together as a family.
They went to church and asked me if I wanted to go, of course, I went because I felt like it would be rude not to go. I spent a few times at church and eventually their pastor asked if I wanted to meet with him, just to get to know me better.
I said, “Sure, what’s the harm in that? The day we met I remember sitting with him and I expressed my disbelief in the bible and God and everything christian. However, even though my words professed that my heart was changing.
Watching how genuinely loving the family was towards me and how different they were compared to my own, I felt as if something or someone was pulling me there.
I remember telling him all of the doubts I had and for some reason all of his answers seemed to make sense to me. They were like, the answers I never knew but deep down I felt as if they were right.
In one moment we were on the topic of angels and he was explaining to me how God uses angels to help people. I don’t know what happened at that moment, I can’t explain it, other than it was like the most overwhelming, comforting, awe-inspiring feeling of joy coming over every inch of your body.
I felt as if someone much, much larger and greater than I was there with me, touching my heart. It’s kind of like the movie, ‘contact,’ where the brilliant scientist played by Jodie Foster goes on a trip across the universe in a ship.
The footage that everyone else saw of her and her ship was that nothing had even happened. However, when she went before the panel, the biggest skeptic of religion in general, she said,
“Because I can’t. I… had an experience… I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if only for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and hope. But… That continues to be my wish.”
That is the closest thing that comes to my own personal experience. I accepted Jesus Christ that day and I now have over 68 pages worth of experiences proving that God loves me, is working in my life and others, and wants others to experience what I did.
I’ve been blessed with an incredible christian woman and have been able to overcome many of the addictions that had ruined me before God saved me. God’s grace has no limits no matter what you’ve done in the past. God is real, God loves you and I pray that whoever reads this who is in doubt, unsure, or even is a christian needing something to strengthen your faith, that you’ll be touched by what I said.
The world is not the answer, the world is messed up and is in need of a savior just like you and I are. Thankfully, God’s ultimate love was demonstrated for us when he died for us, our sins.
Two of my favorite quotes are,
”Before an individual can be saved, he must first learn that he cannot
save himself.” -M.R. Deehan
“God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.” – Dwight Moody