Adoptees of Korea: Kato Boldon

Kato Boldon (박선호)
Adopted to: USA
Current residence: Phoenix, AZ 

 

I am a Korean Adoptee who was adopted from Holt International in Seoul. I was adopted alongside my twin brother at the age of nine months old. My Korean name is Park Son Ho. My name now is Timothy John Boldon, but I go by Kato. I started going by Kato when I moved away to college from Oregon to Ohio. I currently reside in Phoenix, AZ where I am a missionary by teaching Native Americans. That there is another story in it's self.

 

My parents knew a couple in Eugene, OR who had adopted three different girls from Korea. So that was the why, as to our adoption. My adoptive parents were 52 and 45 at the time they adopted us. We flew from Korea to the San Francisco airport, and then traveled to Oregon, where we were raised. They had already raised a family of 5 biological kids who were all mostly married and had kids. So I have nieces and nephews who are about my age. Most of them were raised in Ohio and Tennessee. So we didn't see them very often.

 

When my brother and I were half way through our first grade year at school, my parents decided to adopt another set of Korean twins. A special bill had to be passed in Oregon for that to happen. Our adopted sisters were 8 years old at the time and we were seven. There were 8 sets of twins in our elementary school in Dallas, OR. They came straight into the first grade with us without knowing any English. Amazing I say. When we moved onto the second grade, my sisters stayed and repeated first. So they were a year older, but a year behind in school. This led to some challenges later on for the girls.

 

As a kid, growing up as an adoptee, you don't really know any difference about your family. I guess I didn't really think too much about the differences since my adoptive parents were Caucasian. I felt the same some of the time, and I felt different at other times. A lot of the positives were due to my family and faith. The negatives were due to racial insensitivity. I did run into some forms of racial descrimination when I grew up. Mostly name calling and certain racial gestures. There were times I hated being Korean because of these racial taunts. But, while I know that some adoptees have had issues with the mental aspect of being given up, I look at it as all a part of God's wonderful plan for my life. I was chosen by wonderful parents, and it could be love as a motivating factor for wanting us to have a better life, by my bio mother. I was raised in a Christian household, so a relationship with God helped me out a lot.  

 

We did go to the annual Korean Adoptees Picnic every Summer in Creswell, OR. This annual picnic was our main exposure to other Koreans and Korean culture, as well as other family/friend adoptees. As a kid, I probably wouldn't have wanted a whole lot of exposure. But as an adult, I wish I had learned the language and knew more about Korean culture. It would be my hope to travel back to Korea to visit someday. I'd love to take my wife and two kids to see my homeland. My wife is Caucasian, thus making my kids biracial, but they look more white than Korean.

 

I am blessed to be an Asian American, but more blessed to be a child of God.

Written by: Kato Bolden

Edited by: Kara Rickmers
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