In May, I eagerly booked my flights and accommodation, meticulously planning the itinerary for my upcoming trip. This was at the special request of my birth mother, who preferred my visit to be in December, during what she considered a quieter season for her business. Soon after finalising my arrangements, I promptly reached out to the Eastern Social Welfare Society to inform them of my plans 2 days later. However, despite my best efforts, I found myself trying to contact them on five separate occasions, only to be met with silence for three long months. The lack of response left me quite concerned. It wasn’t until August that I finally received a reply, assuring me that our first meeting would likely take place on either the 11th or 12th of December – a perfect alignment with my travel plans.
Then, on the 11th of September, my inbox chimed with an email from my case worker. It contained words that hit me like a ton of bricks: “Birth mother confirmed she cannot meet with you on the 11th due to her work. She wants to meet you on Dec 15.”
Yes, you read that correctly – she couldn’t meet me because of her work.
A wave of anger and disappointment washed over me, and I found myself unable to hold back tears. I didn’t know the precise nature of her work commitment, but it didn’t matter in that moment. What I felt was a profound sense of brokenness. My birth mother had chosen her work over our first meeting, and I felt utterly insignificant, like the tiniest crumb carried by ants. I was overwhelmed with hurt and confusion. Were my expectations too high? Was this trip, with all its emotional weight, a mistake from the start? All these questions had suddenly surfaced.
My travel plans at that point in time had me located on the other side of South Korea, far from the city where the meeting was now scheduled for the 15th. This sudden change in plans added an extra layer of frustration, especially since I had meticulously booked and organised everything according to my original itinerary.
But as they say, after the storm comes the calm.
Amidst the whirlwind of emotions, my friends and family provided a gentle reminder of the profound purpose behind my journey, emphasising that not going would be a decision filled with regret. So, after 2 days of regaining composure, I diligently reorganised my entire travel itinerary.
Once everything was sorted out, my caseworker added another twist. The case worker requested that I didn’t record the first meeting. However, I insisted, and she agreed to ask my birth mother directly. Thankfully, my birth mother kindly agreed and I have now organised for someone to record the reunion for me.
I’m currently undecided about whether I’ll ultimately decide to share the video publicly. The reasons behind this hesitation are complex, yet I assure you that I’ll do my utmost to offer you glimpses of this pivotal moment.
Despite the wait, the date for our long-anticipated meeting is set – December 15th, 2023, exactly three months away.