Just two “older millennials”
who like to overshare on the internet
Hey! We're Hana and Ryan, two Korean adoptees from Melbourne, Australia (recurrently ranked the most liveable city in the world, just sayin’). *Update: Hana now lives in Seoul!
Why did you make a podcast?
Because we’re narcissists, duh!
Nah, just kidding. (Well, maybe just a little…)
Pre-pod days, we’d catch up over a glorious orgy of dumplings (vegetarian ones in Ryan’s case) and often end up talking about adoption-related stuff. And one day, Ryan suggested that we make these private convos public.
We discuss anything and everything adoption related, including race, search and reunion, psychology, advocacy, research, and more. Because, errrr, we’re basically making it up as we go.
Being a transracial, transnational adoptee is a unique marginalised experience. We strive to be honest about it and all the associated adopted feels, at the risk of offending members of our multiple adoptive and K-fams, exes, former therapists, and white people.
Why 'Adopted Feels'?
Believe it or not, after going through a drawn-out brainstorming and selection process…we still ended up with something with “Adopted” in the name. But now we’re kinda chuffed because it fits with our interest in mental health, and specifically adoptee mental health (as in feelings…get it, get it?)
We initially felt that “Hana & Ryan Talk Sh*t” was a more accurate title, but our marketing team advised against this.
Wait, can you tell me a bit about Korean adoption and why are you making a big deal out of it because I thought adoption was all rainbows and happily ever afters?
International adoption from Korea began in the aftermath of the Korean War in the 1950s, but peaked during the 80s. It still continues today, when almost all children sent for adoption are the children of heavily stigmatised and unsupported Korean single mothers. In total, there are an estimated 200,000 Korean adoptees around the world, making us the largest and oldest international adoptee community in the world.
Within our community, there are a myriad of different experiences and opinions - and ours are just two of them. Suffice to say, being adopted is a complex experience, with lifelong impacts. But we'll leave that juicy stuff for the podcast.
Damn, I love you guys - take my money!
Why, that can be arranged. You can support what we do by becoming an official patron of this podcast over at our Patreon.
What is the ultimate adoptee Disney song?
According to Hana, that would be “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (adoptee returning to their birth country). It also features some bangin’ syncopation. Closely followed by “Show Yourself” from Frozen 2 (adoptee reuniting with first mother). And for the record, Frozen 2 was better than Frozen 1. Ryan needs to do some more deep-dive Youtube playlist research to answer this question, but surely "Reflection" from Mulan is a strong contender?!
When are you two going to do the Zico #AnySongChallenge?
Whenever Ryan is ready, Hana is raring to go.
Wanna know even more about us? So glad you asked...
Hana was born in Jeonju, famous for bibimbap and generally good food all ‘round, in 1984, and adopted to Tasmania, Australia. She moved around a lot with her family, living in Brisbane and in the US before settling in Melbourne. At university, she studied classical singing and psychology, and then worked as a freelance musician throughout Australia.
In 2010 she returned to Korea for the first time on the G.O.A.’L. First Trip Home program and reunited with the maternal side of her Korean family. This opened all kinds of delightful pandora’s boxes (read: therapy was required).
Returning to Australia, she became involved with the adoption community and eventually founded the Korean Adoptees in Australia Network (KAiAN). She also introduced teenage adoptees from the Korean Adoptive Families of Victoria to the joys of noraebang, and worked for post-adoption support organisation VANISH in communications.
Hana’s currently living in Seoul where she works as an English copywriter. She’s also a Virgo sun, Virgo moon, and Virgo rising(!) – shudder.
Ryan was born in Masan, South Gyeongsang in 1985, the ‘peak’ year of Korean adoption. They spent a big chunk of their childhood in Taipei and most of their teen years in Seoul, which resulted in ‘moderate’ (by Korean standards) underage drinking (sorry, parentals!), many a night in DVD bangs & underground punk clubs, a pseudo-American accent and zero Korean language ability.
Ryan is a researcher and writer living and working on Wurundjeri land. They currently conduct research at the University of Melbourne, focusing on phenomenological approaches to Korean adoption studies, gender studies, and environmental philosophy. Ryan has written research papers on adoptees' racial embodiment, adoptee spectral genealogies, a brief overview of Korean adoption to Australia, and co-wrote a piece on Korean unwed mothers. Ryan's creative writing on their Korean mother and foster mother has been published in Island Magazine and Bent Street.
Ryan is also one half of The Call Me By My Name Project: A Trans Oral History Project and one third of the Korean Adoptee Adoption Research Network and the Philosophies of Difference Group.
Oh, and they have a deep love of scruffy dogs with beards.