Adoptees of Korea: Erin Churney

Name: Erin Churney (김자영)
Adopted To: USA
Current Residence: Georgia, USA

I’ve always known I looked different from my adopted parents. From my eye shape to my black hair, I looked different from everyone else until I met my best friend in 1st grade at a local private school. We met in a small rural town of 2800 people. When our adopted mothers met, they discovered we were born on the same day in South Korea, at the same hospital, by the same doctor. My best friend and I lived ten minutes from each other and instantly became inseparable. As we have grown up, we have celebrated our annual Homecoming to the US and slowly learned more about Korean culture. In 2007, we both went to Korea together. I had been the year before for study abroad. This time, with my best friend, we took an immersive Korean language course and volunteered at the orphanage where we would have been years before. It was a bittersweet experience taking care of babies who were going to their new homes just like we had. During our trip, we both learned we would not be able to meet our biological mothers, but we had one another for support. Being adopted isn’t the easiest at times, but I was lucky to have someone who understood me through the good and bad times.

Being an adoptee from South Korea has become more special to me since I’ve been back to Seoul three times. I have learned more about the culture, the people, and the food. I’m always trying to find out new things about Korea. Luckily, I have a wide variety of Korean culture around me in Atlanta that I can experience without the long plane ride. I’m truly thankful to my Korean mother for her sacrifice. Someday I hope to meet her and tell her in Korean.


Written by: Erin Churney
Edited by: Kara Rickmers


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