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  • This story was produced in a workshop facilitated by The Center for Digital Storytelling. It is the first story in the new Adoption Stories Project on Cowbird. If you have an adoption story to tell, please add yours to our project.

    You can also come to us and join one of our workshops and tell a story.


    I'm sitting here staring at these two empty seats in front of me.

    There's a box of tissues on the coffee table, separating my chair from the other two.
    The land-line telephone resting on the desk in the corner looks dated and out of place.
    Next to the desk I can see a framed map of the United States on the linoleum floor, propped up against the wall.

    I'm staring at these oddly spaced objects who are staring back at me, and I begin to feel like I'm one of them.

    I check my cellphone for the time. It's been forever. It's actually it's been two minutes.

    At any moment these seats in front of me will be filled by two people, two faces that I've never seen before,
    and no matter how hard I have tried, I have not been able to picture in my mind what they might look like.

    I wonder if I will see me in them: My hair, my eyes, my freckles, my nose...that will finally be matched.
    But my ears won't be able to understand their voices and my broken Korean won't be able to communicate to them
    all I want to say. It's hard enough to summarize 24 years of life in English.

    It's been almost a year since I left New York to move to Korea, and each day since I've wondered if any of these people
    I see on the street, in the market, on the bus, are my relatives.

    I hope they recognize me as their daughter when they walk through the door.

    The first voice I hear as they enter the room is my mother's.

    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she tells me.

    And although I've only learned a small amount of Korean, I know enough to understand what she's saying.

    Later on that day we left the adoption agency together to go to a restaurant nearby.
    My mother and I sit next to each other in the back seat of their car.
    We smile at each other nervously and I breathe in the silence.

    She takes my hands in hers and turns them over to trace the lines
    in my palms with her finger.

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