Finding Seoul: Eternal Gratitude

The original blog title I had in mind for this post was “Finding Seoul: It Is What It Is.” However, it recently dawned on me that there is so much more to this story beyond merely accepting my fate. And while “it is what it is” is an appropriate title for my case, there’s a sense of eternal gratitude that I found more fitting and more powerful as a means to end this “Finding Seoul” series.

I’m going to keep this somewhat brief.

Last week I discovered news that ultimately ends my “Finding Seoul” quest. News I haven’t even shared with family and most friends yet. I haven’t been able to muster up the courage to get through the conversations without crying excessively. Hell, I couldn’t even make it through a Facebook message to a friend today loosely explaining my current state of mind without tears welling up in my eyes. The best way I’ve been able to handle it all is by dealing with it on my own, with the exception of talking with the pizza shop owner in town I’ve grown extremely fond of since moving here, my Korean friend from college I saw last weekend, and a dear friend of mine who is also a KAD.

I spoke with Eastern last week and discovered the reasons behind the lack of communication from my parents. I really had a feeling and my intuition proved to be true. But in any event, here it is. They’ve made the decision to abstain from sharing the news of my existence with my brother and sister. And as a result, they’re not sure if they have it within themselves to see me again. While I can understand all of this on surface level, I honestly don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever be able to fully comprehend. Nevertheless, I can find it within myself to accept and respect their decisions.

I just finished writing the letter to my parents that Eastern will translate for me and then send their way. There was nothing I could do to prevent tears from streaming down my face the entire time I typed. [And lucky for me, I just had corrective eye surgery, so if anyone walked in, I had planned to use that as my rationalization for tears in the middle of the day.]

I went deep; as deep down to the core as I could, pouring and channeling every emotion I had into that letter, as I had been advised to do by my KAD friend. And naturally, the words that could possibly be my last to them, flowed effortlessly from my soul as I typed and typed my heart out, one last time.

I think what is most disappointing, is the fact that I’m part of the same family blood line – we all share the same DNA (dad, mom, sister, and brother). And so my chances over other cases were significantly higher. In retrospect, I guess I ran with that sliver of hope and all of the utmost optimism that I could conjure up.

There have been a couple of weak moments where I’ve felt a sense of discontent and questioned why I came here in the first place. I’m not going to lie, in these moments, I’ve experienced slight ripples of regret. And when I’ve gone to this dark, helpless place of dwelling on my situation, I’ve been reminded, almost instantly, of why I came. And it’s the love and kindness I continuously receive from friends, locals, and students that reassure and ground me.

Though I may never meet by biological siblings or see my parents again, their absence has been replaced with an overwhelming sense of eternal gratitude.

I made it further than many people ever do in their pursuit of “Finding Seoul.” And that is something I am eternally grateful for.

I got to be in my parents presence, not once, but twice. Besides the obvious aspect of visually being able to see the resemblance and biologically where I come from, I learned so much about their lives and their character. Such strong, brave, and resilient souls. The short, but incredibly sweet time I got with them is something I will forever be eternally grateful for.

I got answers to questions I’ve had since I was a young child. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

I’ve been able to spend a year living in the country where I was born and rediscover my roots in all capacities, which I am eternally grateful for.

I was able to share my story with family and friends whom I love and adore, and I truly felt everyone’s love and support in return. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Most of all, I was adopted into a beautiful, supportive, and loving family, individuals I will always be able to call my familymy true home. And for that I am eternally grateful.

There is hope for the future and I will never lose sight of that. I suppose only time will tell.

And here we go, today marks the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next. I am grateful for this journey, this quest I’ve been on, as it has allowed me to spread my wings completely and embrace all of my surroundings. There is so much greatness to come as I continue to soar with this mentality and I look forward to the many adventures and glorious road that lie ahead.


Until next time {xo},



  One thought on “Finding Seoul: Eternal Gratitude

  1. laurie farber
    June 5, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Dear Danielle,
    This was a bittersweet entry, very well-written and touching. I can imagine how hard that chapter must have been.
    Your photo shows you are ready to move on to the next adventure….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    You are one Kick-Ass woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. June 7, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Your optimism, as you mentioned in this post, is one of your best qualities! It’s been wonderful to read your experiences throughout your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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