Yesterday was National Sibling Day, a day which has no bearing on me. I don’t have siblings. I grew up as an only child, and I admit I was a very spoilt only child. Being an only child meant I had all my parents’ love and attention, so I never had to fight a brother or a sister for all of that. Instead of siblings, I had cousins on my mum’s side. I had three older cousins, and then I was the oldest in our “generation” amongst the six of us. I was the 언니 (Unni) or 누나 (nuna), which is what Koreans call their older siblings or cousins, and being the oldest wasn’t a task I enjoyed. Nonetheless, my cousins were the closest I had to a sibling. Realistically speaking though, I have siblings who share my blood 100%, but I’ll never meet them.
Last May, I wrote about being a Korean Adoptee. That means my mum and dad aren’t related to me my blood. That means I have a biological mother and a father in Korea, and that most likely means I’ll have a half-brother or a half-sister if they’ve re-married and have kids with their new spouses. Years ago, I decided to search for my biological parents because I was curious to see who they were, curious about my biological family history, curious to see if I do have any half-siblings. I debated on searching for them for a while because I presumed that I was given up for adoption because I was an unwanted premature baby. However, when I was given my adoption files, and I read that my biological parents gave me up because they couldn’t marry due to them having the same last name, which means they may come from the same clan, I decided to search for them.
Long story short, I found both of my parents. My biological mother was found first, but she didn’t tell me right away that she and my biological father were married with two kids. They had their daughter, my sister, exactly a year after I was born. Their son, my brother, followed two or three years later. I don’t know anything about them. I don’t know even know their names. My biological parents apologised to me, saying they were “bad” people. Turns out, they were actually having marital difficulties, and they ended up separating a couple of years ago.
My biological father seems to have completely dropped me out of his life after our first meeting. My biological mother and I kept contact through KakaoTalk every once in a while, but when I expressed my interest in meeting my siblings, she declined that idea. She told my social worker that she knows her daughter well and that if her daughter was told the truth, all hell would break loose. I’m assuming that concept also applies to her son. Bottom line, without her or my biological father’s permission, I am not allowed to make contact or meet my siblings. Never mind that my siblings are adults themselves, Korean law or whatever prevents me from contacting them without parental permission. Even if I were to defy that and reach out to them on my own, I can’t because I don’t know their names.
How do I feel about all of this? Honestly, I’m pretty pissed off that I can’t even connect with my own siblings. They’re my full blooded siblings, and I cannot meet or talk to them. I’m fairly sure that after we meet once, we’ll probably never meet again, but that’s all I want — is to meet them at least once in my life. But without the cooperation of my biological parents, I am quite stuck. I wish I could meet my siblings, but at this point in time, I don’t think it’ll ever happen, unless maybe at my deathbed. Blood-related or not, I know who my real families are, and I am thankful to them in many ways. They’re my real family, and they will always be the family in my heart.