On Monday after class and our very tough Korean vocabulary test, Mark and I decided to go to the G.O.A.'L office , which is an acronym for Global Overseas Adoptees Link, so we could become members. G.O.A.'L is basically an organization that advocates for adoptees. (They were the group that made the F4 visa for adoptees possible.) In addition, they organize get-togethers for adoptees living in Korea.
It's located in a cool neighborhood and before we went to talk to the people at G.O.A.'L, we stopped at a cute little Italian restaurant for lunch. After all the Korean food, we were dying for some comfort food.
Here's Mark in front of the place - I think it was called Agio.
Here's what we had, I had spaghetti with tomato sauce and Mark had a cream sauce with clams. Both were delicious! We were very impressed and stored this restaurant in our memory banks for our overseas visitors.
The neighborhood was actually really cool - lots of restaurants, clothing shops, and this cool little sculpture.
This was another cool sight in along the way to G.O.A.'L. And funnily enough this stairwell and the sculptures were found in a random little alley - not even on a busy street. As we wander around, we're always running across quirky little sights, both on and off the beaten path, another thing I love about Seoul.
Here's the outside of G.O.A.'L. It's located in a cramped office on the 3rd floor, but we're told at the end of the month, they're expanding up to the 5th floor. The 5th floor will have offices and the 3rd floor will be used for Korean language lessons -- something we plan to take advantage of!
We met with an extremely nice man named Dae-won Wenger. He was very interested to hear about our story, he answered a few questions I had about the Korean culture, and explained what services G.O.A.'L offers adoptees. They send out mass text messages to the 200+ adoptees living in the Seoul area nearly every weekend with various social events. In addition, they offer translation services, help with birth family searches, and are trying to lobby the Korean government to allow adoptees to have dual citizenships. Finally, G.O.A.'L offers discussion groups and roundtable discussions for adoptees to discuss what life is like in Korea for them, to discuss their experiences meeting their birth families and more. I think this will be a therapeutic way for me to share my feelings with a group that can truly understand my perspectives.
This seems like an organization I am going to want to become very active in. I'm really looking forward to the first event I can attend.