This photo of Kim Yung-hee was taken before she was adopted by a U.S. couple. Kim Yung-hee is not her birth name as orphanage administrators gave her a new identity including name and birthday. Twenty-seven years later, Kim is desperate to learn about Korea and her birthparents.
/ Courtesy of Kim Yung-hee
By Bae Ji-sook
A Korean adoptee to the U.S. is desperately seeking to find her birthparents through Twitter, bringing attention to whether the social networking service (SNS) could indeed help find her biological father and mother.
Kim Yung-hee, who was possibly born on Aug. 1, 1971, now lives in Binghamton, N.Y. She said on her Facebook account that she was found “abandoned,” wearing red pants and barefoot, by the Yeongdeungpo Police Station in Seoul on Oct. 26, 1973.
At the time, she had few teeth and could not speak clearly, but could walk and comprehend when spoken to, and express herself well, she said.
She was taken to numerous childcare facilities, and given an estimated date of birth and the name Kim Yung-hee. She was adopted by a U.S. couple in August 1975.
Kim has prepared a lot for the search for her family as she has obtained copies of all medical and administrative documents from Korea. She also described her physical characteristics as, “Nearsighted; right handed; hair, not jet black.”
She also said, “My second toe is slightly longer than my big toe. I have attached ear lobes and somewhat large ears. I have a pointy chin, high cheek bones and defined jaw line. I have a small widow’s peak at the top center of my forehead on my hairline.”
Kim first started a blog, http://redpantsnoshoes.blogspot.com/; then a facebook account, http://www.facebook.com/YHK1973; and finally a twitter account, @redpantsnoshoes, which is followed by thousands of tweeters who sympathize with her and her story.
Because she is “short in Korean,” she is repeatedly posting, “I am an adoptee looking for birth parents. Please help,” on her account.
Her story has moved more than 1,000 followers to instantly deliver her stories to other online spaces.
“Perhaps if enough people spread the word, it will be possible to be reunited with them,” her Twitter profile reads.
She said her friends who know both English and Korean help her sort out important sources and information.
“At first I was hesitant because I am not familiar with Twitter, but I have since signed on. The response has been overwhelming! I am not sure what about my story that specifically appeals to people as there are many, many adoptees who are searching for both a connection to their Korean identity as well as for their birth families,” she said on her blog.
“I do not feel that my situation is unique, but I am extremely thankful for the outpouring of support from the Twitter community especially from fellow Koreans.”
She hopes the Internet and Twitter will help make her dream of a reunion with her family come true.
“I was always told that it would be impossible to find my family. We were told I was abandoned. Many years later, the Internet has changed life.”