I met Kara a few months ago at a NaSHEville foster care event in downtown Nashville. From the moment I met her, I immediately felt safe sharing my own fears about not being able to answer Brielle's questions surrounding her adoption. That night, Kara poured wisdom into my adoptive momma heart. I have told Kara repeatedly that I want her to be in Brielle's life. The wisdom and life experience she has as an adoptee and the gracious way she shares her story and struggles is such a gift. I'm beyond excited to introduce her to you on the blog today!
My name is Kara King, and I am adopted from South Korea. Being a transracial adoptee, I feel like I always have a question.
When I was younger and started to realize there was something different about me, I asked my parents—
Why do I look different from you?
Why are my eyes a different shape than yours?
Why did the kids in my class say they couldn’t play with me because I looked different? (Uh, yeah, first graders can be brutal.)
These were incredibly hard questions, but my parents were always so good to answer them in love, thoughtfulness, and honesty. They explained to me what adoption was and how God used it to build our family. That He specifically chose my birth mom in Korea to be mine and thousands of miles away chose my parents and big brother in Tennessee to be my family too. Yes, we may not look like each other, but I grew up knowing that families don’t have to match to be a family, and I always thought that was really beautiful. And for the first graders, let’s just say some kids got a stern talking to that day. The answers that I got as a kid felt concrete to me, and they were enough. However, as I got older, my questions started to become more complex, more open-ended, and the answers were not so concrete.
In 2017, I traveled to South Korea with my parents to learn more about my life before being adopted and to connect more to my motherland. While I was there, I got to see the hospital I was born in, visit my adoption agency, explore the city my birth mom grew up in, and meet my foster mom. It was such a surreal moment to sit and hold the hand of the woman who cared for me my first 4 months of life. She is such a beautiful and strong woman, and I will never forget when she told me she could tell I was raised well and was proud of my accomplishments. Talk about some waterworks!
My trip to Korea is a journey I will always remember, and I may sound like a Hallmark card, but I know I am forever changed by the experiences and moments I shared there. I realized on this trip how much I closed myself off to my adoption because I was too scared to open my heart to it. I was healed in ways I didn’t even know I needed to be healed, but it came with many hard moments too.
I came back home to Tennessee feeling overwhelmed with excitement from all the experiences I just had in Korea, but that sense of joy was quickly replaced with feelings of hurt, loss, and rejection. I started to ask questions like—
Why did my birth mom choose adoption?
Does my birth mom think about me? Is she upset with me?
Does my birth mom love me?
Will I ever get to meet her?
I cannot tell you how many times I wished that God would just send me a nice card in the mail that would give me all these answers. That the card would read—
Dear Kare (My close friends and family call me that, so I think God would too, right?),
Thanks for your questions and here are the concrete answers. Your birth mom chose adoption because she wasn’t in a place where she felt like she could provide for you and give you the best life she wanted for you. She thinks about you all the time and loves you very much. You are not ready now for a birth search, but in 3 years, both she and you will be ready, and it will be a sweet reunion.
Wow, what I would do if I could get that letter and have that certainty, and the crazy/beautiful/overwhelming/amazing part is that God is so powerful and all-knowing that He could reveal all those answers to me. However, I have learned the hard reality that just because He can doesn’t mean He will because my desired YES may not be His BEST.
Our unanswered questions in life can be some of the most hurtful places in our hearts, but I also have to ask, what would life be like if we did know all the answers? Honestly, my head would probably explode if I knew how everything was supposed to work out, and I trust that it is God’s grace that He doesn’t reveal it all to us.
My counselor once told me that God is so good He will go with you wherever you go, but by you taking that lead, you miss out on all the opportunities He has in store for you if you give Him the control. We must trust that He is able. Trust that restoration is a process. Trust that He is bigger than any unanswered questions.
Kara King currently lives in Murfreesboro, TN and is pursuing her M.S. in Management at Middle Tennessee State University. She has her own Etsy shop, Kara Leigh Creates, where she creates custom Watercolor Adoption and Love Story Timelines. Check out the beautiful adoption timeline she created for Brielle:
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