The GOA'L Office is moving to a new address!

Our lease at WeWork is up and we weren't able to renew it.

So now the office is moving to a new location, not too far away.

As always you're more than welcome to drop by and say hi if you're in the neighborhood.

Our new address is:

서울 중구 삼봉로 81, 두산위브파빌리온 806호
#806, 81 Sambong-ro Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

http://naver.me/xeHlAd3g

During the moving process we're also moving our servers, hence we're sorry about any downtime you might experience in the meantime.

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Adoptees of Korea

Adoptees of Korea

It took me 24 years to meet another Korean adoptee (who wasn’t my brother) and for me, it was somewhat of a turning point for my adoptee identity. While I was able to talk about feelings and experiences I had never really been able to share with others, I also began to question my own identity as an adoptee. Once I started to hear and listen to what others' experiences and feelings were like, I saw the similarities and the differences that made each person unique. While we could all share the commonality that we were all adopted from Korea, the way we internalize and understand our own adoption is different from person to person. I began to feel closer to a community that was once foreign to me. I was also challenged to think about my own adoption and identity as a Korean adoptee. 

 

So I wanted to start this blog series that would allow adoptees from around the world to share their experiences, their thoughts, and their stories. From growing up/childhood to experiences in Korea as an adoptee to birth family search/reunion and finally to what it means to be a Korean adoptee. My hope for this series is to provide adoptees the opportunity to share their own perspectives that connect our adoptee community, but also allow for those outside the community to understand and get a glimpse of our unique experiences.

 

We want to hear stories from the perspectives of all Korean adoptees from all different backgrounds. Stories can be as detailed or as personal as you want to share. The questions provided can help you get ideas, but also feel free to write and share whatever you like. Multiple stories can be submitted! 

 

Send your stories and photos to [email protected]
Please include your given name and Korean name (if you have one), where you were adopted to, your current city of residence, and a photo of yourself.

 

Name:
Adopted to:
Current residence:
 
Ideas to Write About:

 

1. What was it like growing up as an adoptee?

  • ​Do you have adopted siblings?

  • Were you exposed to Korean culture?

  • Did you know other adoptees?

  • Did you feel different growing up?
     

2. What is your experience living in Korea as an adoptee?

  • Why did you decide to move to Korea?

  • What is your biggest struggle?

  • What have you learned?

  • What do you like about living in Korea? What do you not like?
     

3. What was your first trip to Korea like?

  • How did it feel?

  • What did you do when you visited?

  • Was it what you expected? How was it different?

  • What did you struggle with?

  • What did you learn?
     

4. What does being a Korean adoptee mean to you?

 

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Status of G.O.A.'L IT

Status of G.O.A.'L IT

A brief introduction

I first visited Korea in the winter of 2005. Through a random Google search I ended up at KoRoot, because it was cheap and because it was for adoptees.
Through the adoptees I met there, I got introduced to G.O.A.'L and became a member. I stayed in Korea for about a month, enjoying a freezing cold December.
Both in 2007 and 2008 I'd return for several months to experience more of the atmosphere.
 
I finally moved to Korea in 2010. It was an easy choice, really, in my mind it was only a matter of when and for how long I'd go, since that first visit had set me on a course that I knew I had to go down. I didn't know how long it would take to get to my destination, but I knew it was the right path. I lived at KoRoot for a long time and started volunteering at the G.O.A.'L Office on a regular basis.
 
I ended up staying in Korea for 5 years, working at the office for most of that time, primarily taking care of IT, taking community pictures and of course assisting during First Trip Home, guiding newly arrived adoptees through Korea in general and the birth family search process in particular, along with all the different amazing colleagues I've had over the years, adoptees and Koreans alike.
 
When I finally had to go back to Denmark, I left a lot of dear friends, family and unforgetable memories.
I was flat broke and moved right into my parents' basement, but was lucky to find a job after a few months.
During the following 4 years, I'd work diligently to save up all that I could to first get out of the basement and finally get a mortgage - and then take a long vacation every year to go back to Korea and help out with First Trip Home. Whenever I'd come back it felt like I would go right back to my old life - and it always felt like I was too short on time when leaving.
 
Now in 2019, after saving up for more than 3 years, I've now been able to enjoy the privilege to return to Korea for a little while, most likely for a year, to tie up some loose ends at the office that have been somewhat neglected since I had my daily routine here back in 2013.
 

IT at G.O.A.'L

I arrived here in July and the main priorities in terms of IT was getting a few basic things to work at the office, before we got super busy during the 2019 IKAA Gathering and especially during First Trip Home 2019.
Basic networking had to be checked so all computers could access our server as well as our printers - let alone the WeWork printers.
All the computers needed a uniform setup through upgrades to Windows 10, GPO, common admin accounts, remote support options and of course properly licensed programs.
We virtualized our server infrastructure in 2016 and 2017 and needed to finish some of the procedures, as well as consolidating storage space. We also needed to do a basic security overhaul, since the threat landscape has changed drastically since 2010 when I started working at the office, especially after the rise of ransomware.
We needed to determine to what level we could leverage cloud technology and to what degree it was economically feasible. Since 2011 we've used Google Apps (now Google Suite). For starters we've also moved our DNS to CloudFlare.
We're currently looking at how to realistically scale our backups given the amount of data we have and the general cost of storage.
 

So what do I hope to get done before the summer of 2020?

All of the above steps were necessary in order to get to the goal of overhauling our website. On the frontend we've used Drupal for a long time, principally because of the flexibility and very smooth interaction with our CRM, CiviCRM. Of course, this has the added challenge that whatever changes we make, have to go hand in hand with CiviCRM in order to not further complicate the day to day work for our staff who actually carry out our core services. Thus, we want to preserve data integrity and link as much data as we can to your existing profile, to avoid duplicate data in different systems.
 
We obviously are very interested in getting help from you in the community at large and over time we've thankfully had people who graciously offered to lend a hand. But we also need to make sure that the help we get is from people who understand the constraints and the challenges of the current situation, and most of all, who can either deliver solutions that over time don't add to the overall maintenance workload or TCO. This includes either delivering things that fit seamlessly with existing systems or a commitment to help sustain the system through deployment and well into the overall lifecycle.
 
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me at [email protected].
 
-Jes

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Subtle Asian Traits

Subtle Asian Traits

“Subtle Asian Traits” is a Facebook group made up of over 1.4 million members. The group was originally created by a group of Asian high school and university students living in Australia who started sharing memes (funny images) about their experiences growing up in Asian-immigrant households. The topics range from the culture-clashes associated with being Asian in a foreign country, disputes with parents, and a shared love of K-BBQ and bubble tea.
 

The group allows any of its members to post relatable and amusing memes, and despite its humorous beginnings, it has also become a type of virtual safe space for Asians, created entirely by Asians. People have started to move away from only funny pictures and have started to share personal stories, ranging from dating experiences to heartfelt, honest stories about abuse and illnesses. Because of the highly relatable content, the group has become international, reaching Asians all over the globe.
 

This group has also played a small, but still significant, role in connecting Korean adoptees, some of whom had joined and decided to post and speak up. One adoptee posted:

I’m adopted from South Korea. Lived in the United States my whole life. I have never gone back to Korea or met my biological parents. I want to plan a trip to Korea and try to find them this summer. Is this a good or bad idea? Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!”

The post got over 700 likes and nearly 300 comments, with people reaching out by offering advice or giving words of encouragement. Several other adoptees shared their own experiences with racism, growing up with a non-Asian family, and the search for their identity. International Asian adoptees have even created their own Facebook group called “Subtle Asian Adoptee Traits” to share their own memes and stories. The group is private and adoptees only, to make sure the space is kept secure and safe for adoptees.
 

As the original “Subtle Asian Traits” group has gotten larger, spin-offs have popped up all over social media including “Subtle Asian Dating”; a group where people post pictures and descriptions about themselves or their friends who are looking for some romance. This group, commonly referred to, almost ironically, as SAD, is bursting with dating and relationship related memes.  Other groups include “Subtle Asian Fitness”, “Subtle Asian Makeup/Beauty Squad”, “Subtle Asian Mental Health”, and many more.
 

One reason for the groups’ popularity stems from the fact that people don’t have to explain the joke punchlines, since everyone else in the group shares a similar background. This sense of shared understanding is especially appealing since it is often difficult to explain every single detail of Asian culture to non-Asian friends. Sometimes, all a person wants is for someone to just get it.

Recently, the group has been encouraging people to share more about their Asian culture with non-Asian friends. Having a supportive Asian community at their backs, virtual or otherwise, people have started to become proud of their culture and are opening up more to the idea and practice of discussing and embracing their culture.

The practice of creating a community, regardless of whether the community is for sharing jokes or serious topics, is very powerful, and there is no reason to believe these groups will diminish over time either. Rather, these groups will likely continue to evolve and grow by welcoming even more into the community.

Here are the links to the Facebook groups if you want to check them out!

“Subtle asian traits”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1343933772408499/ 

“Subtle asian dating” : https://www.facebook.com/groups/725870897781323/ 

“Subtle asian adoptee traits”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/196489827883110/?hc_location=ufi 

Author: Eva Kim

Editor: Leanna French

 
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