This episode is all about leaving Korea and transitioning back to one’s adoptive country, and we found the perfect guests to talk about it.
Kim Stoker first returned to live in Korea in 1995. She spent almost 20 years of her adult life there and has been based in the US since 2017. She was a leading activist in ASK (Adoptee Solidarity Korea) and continues to be an advocate for adoptee rights in South Korea.
Eunha Lovell returned to Korea in 2007 after meeting birth family. While living in Korea, she has spent time learning Korean, working with single mothers and adoptees through GOA'L and Koroot, and attended Hongik University for graduate school. She has a YouTube channel called "The Returnees" that focuses on video portraits of Korean adoptees living in their motherland and she also practices Korean Traditional Painting. To learn more about Eunha, visit: www.eunhalovell.com
We threw all kinds of big, unruly questions at Stoker and Eunha, and they were both so candid and generous in their replies. This is a free-flowing, meandering, deeply reflective conversation that touches on reverse culture shock, missing Korea during the pandemic, maintaining connections with Korean family, shifting identities, micro-aggressions experienced by adoptees within the Asian American community, and advice for adoptees planning to leave Korea. So many pearls of wisdom here! We also end with a random question segment in which we guess Stoker’s astrological sign.