I wasn't really sure what to expect from this dinner -- her younger brother (who came to the original meeting) called me and invited me to his home for dinner. He actually lives off the Seoul National University of Education subway stop, which isn't too far from where we used to live and work. I was actually kind of nervous because SangKwun wasn't coming with me this time around... but there was really nothing to worry about.
When we arrived at the apartment, my Birth Mother came running over and gave me a huge hug. We then sat down to an amazing dinner. And my birth mother watched over me the entire time... making sure my bowl was full and that I was eating enough. Very sweet, but kind of awkward at the same time.
Here we are again. This pic is one of my favorites.
I was able to get a few more details out of my birth mother. She said she lives in Gwanak-gu, which is EXACTLY where Mark and my first apartment was. How weird is that? She also said I was born in that area. Finally, I don't know for sure, but I really don't think she's married. She has never mentioned a husband or any other children... but who knows. Kind of a weird thing to ask about.
She HAS mentioned that she'd like to meet my Birth Father and kind of motioned that she still cares about him. Maybe I'm going way too fairy tale with this one, but I have dreams of the two of them reuniting and rekindling a long lost love... all because of their overseas adopted daughter re-entering their lives. :) A long, long, long shot, but a girl can dream, right?
Oh, and did I mention that I have more cousins??? My uncle has two little boys -- aged 10 and 12. It was SO much fun meeting them because they can speak English! They studied at two hagwons (private academies like what Mark and I taught at): SLP and now they're at CDI. They seemed to understand almost everything we said, but were a bit hesitant to speak. They have English names, but for the life of me, I can't remember them.
Here's a pic of the 3 cousins (and Mark) together. See any resemblance?
It was just hilarious to see them in action though because they played the Wii for hours -- and the older one was constantly on his cell phone with his friends. Not too different from American kids, huh?
Here's Mark playing with the boys. He claims he beat the younger one... but with Mark you never know...
Anyway, this was the perfect way to end our year in Korea. When I embarked on this journey, I would've never imagined I'd be spending my last evening with my Birth Mother, uncle, aunt, and cousins. But this night reaffirmed that I'm making a good decision to go back and learn some Korean. And my family was so excited for the summer -- talking about going to Jeju, baseball games, and more -- I can't wait!