Family | Adopted

One Mother, Two Mothers, No Mother

Adoption didn’t give me a forever mother. Being in reunion with my birth mother did not make me wholly mothered, either.

Okay, Mom, I will wait to hear from youIf I just didn’t say it, if I didn’t make it known, would I still have a mother?

I can speak Korean to anyone except Umma.

She has sent me postcards over the years, and they remain untranslated and unanswered. We haven’t allowed ourselves to care for each other—she will not burden me with her daily worries and curiosities, and I will not burden her with my needs and wants. It feels too late to ask her to be my mom. And she is halfway around the world; her morning is my night. We are always playing catch-up, living in retrograde.

Better to have parents who require silence than to have no parents at all.