A podcast that explores the experiences of Korean-American adoptees who return to live or repatriate to Korea as adults. Adoptees talk candidly about their reasons for returning and reflect on the challenges they face and on what they discover about Korean society and themselves.


  • Season 2, Episode 24: Annie Malecek

    Season 2, Episode 24: Annie Malecek

    27/04/2019 Duration: 54min

    Korean adoptee Annie Malecek, 24, learned as an adult she was conceived from rape. Violence also played a role at a pivotal moment for the Chicago resident when she first realized that having white parents and being raised in a privileged environment would not shield her from racism, prejudice and of being a target for aggression. To find where she fit in America, Malecek had to travel back to Korea, to see and feel and think in the land where it had all begun. Along the way, she found answers, and a peace. 

  • Season 2, Episode 23: Jimmy Byrne

    Season 2, Episode 23: Jimmy Byrne

    14/04/2019 Duration: 55min

    The notion of family is a complicated one for Korean adoptee Jimmy Byrne. The 35-year old Chicagoan shares his story of profound loss and reunion -- and how each continues to shape his life and relationships. Byrne also talks about coming to terms with all aspects of his identity as a gay Asian male, a musician, a transracial adoptee, and as a Korean-American. Through it all, Byrne's humanity and quiet strength shines through. 

  • Season 2, Episode 22: Elliot Mark

    Season 2, Episode 22: Elliot Mark

    03/04/2019 Duration: 34min

    Elliot Mark, 23, is a Korean adoptee who is also Jewish. He grew up in Skokie, Illinois, the grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants and credits his close-knit family with helping him forge a strong identity. Mark also embraces his Korean origins and has recently joined a local group for Korean adoptees to help build his community. Mark shares how he has learned to embrace his whole identity with pride and support. 

  • Season 2, Episode 21: Milton Washington

    Season 2, Episode 21: Milton Washington

    17/03/2019 Duration: 55min

    Korean adoptee Milton Washington, 48, has learned how to live between two worlds ever since he was adopted at the age of eight by an African-American military family. Washington, or Pak Milton-ah, spent his early years under the shadow of rejection by Korean society because of his mixed-blood heritage and outcaste because of his mother's profession and association with black U.S. soldiers. After being adopted into a loving and somewhat unusual family, and raised in the American midwest, he realized he still had demons to overcome. As a black Korean, Washington also had to make sense of his identity in the U.S., and has come to understand and embrace both sides of his history. 

  • Season 2, Episode 20: Dan Sieling

    Season 2, Episode 20: Dan Sieling

    04/03/2019 Duration: 54min

    Korean adoptee Dan Sieling, 30, is on a journey. He shares his story drawing from both great insight and deep vulnerability -- but all necessary in order to reclaim his identity and relationship to his native country and to reconcile the pain from the loss of his biological family and feelings of abandonment. The New Jersey resident also speaks about confronting some uncomfortable truths about adoption and how it has helped him in his own healing.   

  • Season 2, Episode 19: Teri Thomas

    Season 2, Episode 19: Teri Thomas

    17/02/2019 Duration: 39min

    Korean adoptee Teri Thomas is a fighter. Adopted from Goyang to the U.S., Thomas survived sexual abuse by her adoptive father soon after arriving at the age of six. Her experiences in a dysfunctional and abusive adoptive home affected how she has felt about her adoption agency Holt Korea, and about the policy of intercountry and transracial adoption. Thomas has cerebral palsy, and while it does limit some of her physical mobility, it doesn't affect her spirit. The 48-year old returned to Korea in 2017 to work on an initiative to fight stigma and improve the opportunities for Korean children with disabilities.  Note: This story contains themes of child sexual abuse, incest, clergy abuse and physical violence. 

  • Season 2, Episode 18: Rachel Kim Tschida

    Season 2, Episode 18: Rachel Kim Tschida

    03/02/2019 Duration: 41min

    Rachel Kim Tschida, 39, is a Korean adoptee who grew up in Minnesota, ambivalent about her own Asian identity for most of that time. However, she talks about learning to authentically embrace herself after traveling to Asia on business trips for a major American company. Those trips - especially ones back to Korea - helped spark an interest in her own adoption history, and in turn, advocacy for other adoptees as president of the Korean American Coalition of Washington. 

  • Season 2, Episode 17: John Park*

    Season 2, Episode 17: John Park*

    18/01/2019 Duration: 51min

    John Park*, 34, is a kinship Korean adoptee. Park is an alias because he does not have legal status in the U.S., despite being brought to the U.S. from Korea as a young child and later adopted by Americans. Adoptee rights advocates estimate there are at least 35,000 foreign-born adopted people in the U.S. who, like Park, never received U.S. citizenship. Efforts to fix an immigration loophole in adoption in 2001 did not address individuals adopted outside the law's restrictions on age and approved arrival visas. Advocates are hoping to change that with a new bill this year, though passage has so far proved politically challenging. Ultimately, Park's adoption story is about survival and circumstance, pain and redemption. And hope.  Note: This episode contains themes of child sex abuse and violence. 

  • Season 2, Episode 16: Greg Norrish

    Season 2, Episode 16: Greg Norrish

    02/01/2019 Duration: 43min

    Greg Norrish, 32, is about to launch a new venture in South Korea with everything he's learned after more than a decade in kitchens in the U.S., and about fourteen months in his native country. The experience of planting himself amidst an exploding foreign food scene in Seoul has also given him a chance to learn more about himself, reflect on his adoption from Korea and understand more about his native country -- including confronting uncomfortable attitudes on gender and violence, which has exposed a darker side of Korean modern society. 

  • Season 2, Episode 15: HyoSung Bidol-Lee

    Season 2, Episode 15: HyoSung Bidol-Lee

    23/12/2018 Duration: 28min

    HyoSung Bidol-Lee, 50, is on a quest for healing. Bidol-Lee survived unspeakable tragedy before being adopted to the United States with his twin sister at the age of six years. Raised in the Midwest, he thrived academically and athletically, meeting many conventional benchmarks of academic and career success. But true happiness and peace eluded him. He went back to Korea this year to reflect about his life and to seek answers.  Warning: This episode includes topics of suicide and homicide. 

  • Season 2, Episode 14: Hojung Audenaerde

    Season 2, Episode 14: Hojung Audenaerde

    09/12/2018 Duration: 01h17min

    Hojung Audenaerde, 45, has navigated identity and displacement her whole life, starting from her intercountry adoption from Korea to Flemish Belgian parents in Italy at the age of two. The family then relocated to the U.S. where she grew up around Americans, but never became one. Later, she went to India to study a specific practice of yoga which she later taught in Europe. But someone happened in 2012; she met her Korean father, which started her down a path of discovery about her own feelings about separation, Korea and of learning to walk alone. 

  • Season 2, Episode 13: Sanne Mogensen

    Season 2, Episode 13: Sanne Mogensen

    21/11/2018 Duration: 30min

    Sanne Mogensen, 32, is a Korean adoptee in Denmark. She is a leader in her country's Korean adoptee community, and talks about what that has meant to her, what it was like growing up in Denmark, racism, and about her own search for identity. And, being Danish, she sets the record straight about hygge. 

  • Season 2, Episode 12: Eric Sharp

    Season 2, Episode 12: Eric Sharp

    06/11/2018 Duration: 59min

    Eric Sharp, 38, is a Korean-American actor and playwright. He was adopted from South Korea at age two. Raised in Des Moines, Sharp talks about finding his professional footing in the Twin Cities within a strong Asian-American acting community, on how being a transracial adoptee influences his politics on casting and auditions; he also shares an evocative account of reuniting with his Korean biological family and what he's learned about himself and them over time. 

  • Season 2, Episode 11: Michael Thielmann

    Season 2, Episode 11: Michael Thielmann

    23/10/2018 Duration: 41min

    Michael Thielmann, 41, is a Korean adoptee who lives in Toronto, Canada. He grew up in Minnesota in a family where his mother, grandparent and siblings were all adopted. It wasn't until meeting his Korean-Canadian wife that he really understand what being part of a Korean family was like. And as he and his wife made the decision to try to adopt themselves, it also opened a door to his own grief. 

  • Season 2, Episode 10: Kate Powers

    Season 2, Episode 10: Kate Powers

    10/10/2018 Duration: 34min

    Kate Powers, 35, is a Korean adoptee who now has been reunited with her Korean biological family for 12 years. Adopted as an infant by a couple in Missouri, Kate talks about navigating her relationship with her Korean family after decades of being apart, and about coming to the decision to make peace with her adoption and of the past.     

  • Season 2, Episode 9: Brian McCormick

    Season 2, Episode 9: Brian McCormick

    27/09/2018 Duration: 37min

    Korean adoptee and New York City-based actor Brian McCormick talks about playing the lead in "A Korean Drama Addict's Guide to Losing Your Virginity," a play by Hmong-American playwright May Lee-Yang, that recently had a sold-out run in the Twin Cities. Now in his 30s, McCormick's story includes a circuitous route to acting despite a path in front him all along, how being a transracial adoptee influences how he approaches roles and casting calls, and his take on the current movement towards more Asian-American representation in Hollywood. There's late-night run-ins with Prince and he reveals how he and his high school friends first learned about dating and women. 

  • Season 2, Episode 8: Joy Alessi

    Season 2, Episode 8: Joy Alessi

    14/09/2018 Duration: 48min

    Joy Alessi, 52, is a Korean adoptee who never received her U.S. citizenship via her adoption. A resident of Houston, Texas, Alessi is now working with the Adoptee Rights Campaign to advocate for citizenship for intercountry adoptees amidst a tough political climate. She also details her adoption story, which exposes an old loophole in U.S. immigration law, and the resiliency she's developed to keep moving forward. 

  • Season 2, Episode 7: Kim Thompson

    Season 2, Episode 7: Kim Thompson

    31/08/2018 Duration: 40min

    Kim Thompson, 42, is an adopted Korean who spent eight years living in Korea in her 30s. She talks about that experience including covering topics like white privilege, Western privilege, navigating her queer identity in Korea, tattoos, and on her post-reunion relationship with her biological mother. Raised in South Florida, Thompson also reflects returning to the United States and making sense of the transition to life in Minneapolis, and what lasting effect Korea has had on her. 

  • Season 2, Episode 6: Matt Fetzer

    Season 2, Episode 6: Matt Fetzer

    19/08/2018 Duration: 38min

    Matt Fetzer, 43, a Korean-American adoptee, ate Korean food for the first time less than one year ago. To understand why four decades went by before he tasted the cuisine from his native country is to understand the impact of transracial, transnational adoption and how disassociated adoptees can come to feel towards their biological origins. Listen as Fetzer takes you along his journey on his first trip back to Korea since his adoption and on what he's discovering about himself and what ultimately may be his future.  

  • Season 2, Episode 5: Robin Anderson

    Season 2, Episode 5: Robin Anderson

    04/08/2018 Duration: 32min

    Robin Anderson, 45, is a Korean-American adoptee who has been living in Korea for the past three years. He talks about his decision to return and of his path to landing a teaching position at arguably one of the most prestigious universities there, Seoul National University. Anderson is also frank about discussions he's had with his parents about his decision to make Seoul home, for more or less the rest of his life. He also talks about what he'd like his students and Koreans, in general, to know about adoptees. 

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