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100% real talk with your two new Korean adoptee besties! Hana and Ryan, Korean adoptees from Melbourne, Australia, talk about anything and everything adoption related, including race, gender, birth family search and reunion, and more. Original podcast music by Domus.
 
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show series
 
Today we're in for a treat! An outcome of some gentle encouragement from me (Ryan), in this episode Hana shares a beautifully written account of her Korean language learning journey thus far. In the loose form of a listicle - because we can't resist a good list on this podcast - here's 10 'lessons' Hana has learned about, well, learning one's origi…
 
In this episode we have the pleasure of speaking to Korean adoptee and award-winning writer James Han Mattson. We start with James' path to becoming a writer and the moment when his Iowa acceptance letter arrived in the mail. He treats us to two readings of his work: an extended excerpt from his recent novel Reprieve, and his essay “Letter to a Str…
 
In this episode we talk to the inimitable Jenny Heijun Wills and touch on some of the themes that - we feel - go to the very core of our stories and our storytellings as adoptees. Consent and access. Fact and fantasy. The challenges of charting our way through the stories people expect - often even demand of us since we were children - to aim for s…
 
Born in Daejeon, Korea, and adopted to the United States at the age of ten months, Lee Herrick is the author of three books of poems: Scar and Flower, a finalist for the 2020 Northern California Book Award, Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. He is also the co-editor of the anthology The World I Leave You: Asian American …
 
This is a special compilation episode featuring six powerful short pieces about first encounters with food from our birth cultures, read by their transracial adoptee authors, from our recent autobiographical writing workshop led by Korean adoptee Mee Joo Kim. Hana also has a little chat with Mee Joo about the value of adoptee-only spaces. We hope y…
 
In this episode, we chat with Jeremy Holt, a non-binary author whose most recent works include Made in Korea, Virtually Yours, Before Houdini, and Skip to the End.Their latest comic series, Made in Korea, is about a Korean nine-year-old named Jesse, who is adopted and sent to live with a lovely couple in America. Equipped with an encyclopedic brain…
 
Happy 50th Episode + Listener Q&A!“How did you two meet? What is going on in your logo image? If Adopted Feels was a food, what would it be?” In this special 50th episode, we answer these very important questions and more, and reflect on the pod journey thus far. Warning: Hana gets bossy/rant-y, and Ryan is predictably sentimental. Plus, we share s…
 
This episode is all about leaving Korea and transitioning back to one’s adoptive country, and we found the perfect guests to talk about it. Kim Stoker first returned to live in Korea in 1995. She spent almost 20 years of her adult life there and has been based in the US since 2017. She was a leading activist in ASK (Adoptee Solidarity Korea) and co…
 
We’ve had the privilege of speaking to so many people on the podcast and today’s guests are two of the warmest and most generous yet. Angela Gee and Robyn Joy Park are both Asian adoptees and licensed therapists based in the LA area, who serve the adoption community. Hana first crossed paths with Robyn almost 10 years ago in Seoul, when she co-faci…
 
For transracial adoptees and people of colour, the past 18 months have felt like an emotional gauntlet. At least, they have for us. From the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which saw a surge of the Black Lives Matter movement, to rising anti-Asian racism and the Atlanta shootings, to the disparate impacts of COVID-19 due to systemic raci…
 
What do birth family reunion, drag, and skating have in common? For Australian Korean adoptee Ellie Kim, all of these things have helped her get to where she is today. In this casual, wide ranging convo, Ellie tells us about how meeting her birth family was a turning point in her life, and how she learned to embrace her numerous identities with the…
 
[CW: suicide]Pastor Do-Hyun Kim (김도현) talks about his early work in Switzerland and how he first became aware of Korean adoption, the activities he has run at KoRoot over the years to support adoptees, and his tireless commitment to raising awareness of adoption in Korea - including the separation and loss felt by adoptees and original mothers - wh…
 
WE’RE BAAAAAACK! Ryan’s in Melbourne lockdown 5.0, or what feels like 50.0, and Hana can only meet up with one other person after 6pm in Seoul. Plus, she can’t listen to music faster than 120BPM at the gym (but songs like Robyn’s Dancing On My Own at 117BPM are A-OK.) Covid restrictions, eh. In this convo, Ryan shares some exciting life news and Ha…
 
On Adopted Feels, we’ve mainly interviewed friends and friends of friends (sliding into Joel Kim Booster’s DMs didn’t work, unfortunately - if anyone out there can hook us up, please do!).Until now. Korean adoptee Ben Kaplan contacted us out-of-the-blue to offer his story, becoming the first “completely random person” guest on the pod. It would be …
 
In this episode we chatted with Edward Yoo Pokropski, the Executive Producer of the upcoming Asian Comedy Fest! Ed is also Writer/Producer for the Brand Creative Team at USA Network and Universal Kids for NBCUniversal. He has been nominated for a daytime Emmy twice and won zero times. He also performs stand-up and hosts events, sometimes for money,…
 
This episode is an audio recording of a recent online event called “The Intersectional Lives of Transgender Adoptees” (2021.04.26), organized by the adult adoptee organisation Also-Known-As, Inc., under the most excellent leadership of Korean adoptee Mike Mullen.In the first panel of its kind, Ryan, along with three amazing transgender intercountry…
 
Not an adoptee and not quite a gyopo, Bastiaan Flikweert, also known as 신서빈, best describes himself as a second generation adoptee. Born in 1999 to two Dutch Korean adoptees, he spent his childhood living in both the Netherlands and Korea. He credits his intercultural upbringing with opening up many opportunities, but also with struggles and questi…
 
Welcome to the second quarter of 2021! (Scary.) This episode finds us in contrasting situations: Ryan has too much work to do and Hana has too little at times, and life in Melbourne is almost back to normal while covid restrictions continue in Seoul. We talk about work, work-life balance, asserting your own needs, and academic/teaching burnout - as…
 
In this episode, Hana catches up with the “Aussie Dining Club”, a group of Korean Australians in Seoul. Adoptees Blossom Perriard and Meg O’Shea, and Korean Australian chef Peter Jo meet at Hana’s apartment to say farewell to Meg before she returns to Australia. This is a loose, intimate conversation among friends: one who just arrived in Korea, on…
 
In this episode we speak with a very special guest: YoungChang Min (민영창), activist and co-director of the Domestic Korean Adoptee Association. It’s a perspective that a lot of overseas adoptees don’t often hear about - that’s been our experience, at least. YoungChang explains what it was like finding out, at the age of 13, that he was adopted - and…
 
Maree Kinder, a literal beauty boss, third culture kid-grown-woman and Korean adoptee, talks to us about the unique origins of her business Beauty & Seoul, connection to Korea, mental health, and more. Maree Kinder is a multi-award winning entrepreneur and Founder of K-Beauty online store Beauty & Seoul. She is widely credited with making K-Beauty …
 
“I tried so hard to fit into Korea, and I only realised - honestly like six months ago - that I shouldn’t have to try so hard [here] either. I spent so long trying to fit into America...here, I can just be myself...And if people don’t understand me, then so be it. I’m just gonna be who I want to be. I don’t think I could have had that [realisation]…
 
What is han (한)? What is jeong (정)? How can we apply them in our lives in a practical way? In today’s episode we unpack these Korean concepts and discuss how they may offer different insights from conventional Western psychology. Our guide for this conversation is Kristine Chong, a Korean American spiritual care practitioner and activist. Warm, gen…
 
Hey everyone, we’ve missed you! In this episode, the two of us sit down for a long overdue transcontinental catch up—but first, Hana shares another extended Seoul life update (she likes to do that)—in which she realises, “Oh s#*^! I live here now”. She also delves into the process of cultural adaptation and the anxiety of not knowing what’s next, f…
 
Hana wanted to get this guest on the pod for ages but was too afraid to ask, but now - hooray! - here he is. Kee Byung-keun is a food writer, photographer, and editor based in Tokyo. Born in Seoul sometime in 1984 and sent away to the United States soon thereafter, Kee was raised in rural Louisiana—where, as he says, the food was good but life was …
 
In this episode, we share the 2nd part of our conversation with Boon Young, Jenny, and kimura, three heavyweights of the global Korean adoptee community, who have committed decades of their lives to advocating for adoptee rights and social change in Korea. We talk about coming 'out of the fog,' why they first became involved in adoptee activism, wh…
 
As international adoptees, everyone knows someone whose adoption records were falsified, manipulated, switched, or never existed in the first place. In fact, accurate, complete records are practically the exception to the rule. We also know the impact of inaccurate, patchy information on an adoptee’s identity. Most people take their birthdate, age,…
 
Nikki Lee Bix Webster is the creator of nikkioften, a visual arts project “dedicated to punching you in the heart with comics”—and she's very good at it. In this episode, Nikki talks to us about living in and leaving Korea, moving back to the U.S., creating home, drawing, and nurturing one's inner child. She shares what she's learned about relation…
 
In recent months, the Black Lives Matter Movement and anti-Asian covid-19 pandemic racism have prompted renewed urgent conversations regarding race among Korean and other Asian adoptees. In this conversation with Adam Goodman of Plan A Magazine and the Escape from Plan A podcast, we talk about racial and adoptee identity, and finding your voice as …
 
We’ve mentioned star signs a few times before on the podcast, but today we take it one step further by talking to professional astrologer and shamanic healer Mallory Gill. In this episode Mallory gives us a primer on astrology, what perspectives it can offer - particularly for adoptees - and we learn that Hana is a very-virgo-virgo, and Ryan is a s…
 
[CW: suicide]This is the final episode of our 3-part series on adoptee suicide awareness and prevention, dedicated to a special member of our community who died last year. We speak with Louise, a Korean adoptee in Australia whose sister, also a Korean adoptee, died by suicide. Louise tells us her very personal story and shares her unique perspectiv…
 
In the second episode of our Adoptee Suicide Awareness series, we talk to Nicole Sheppard, a Korean adoptee, long-time community advocate and leader, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. This is a long episode, but a super important one: we not only talk about suicide but about adoptee mental health i…
 
[CW: this episode contains discussions of suicide, eating disorders, and self harm. Note: At around the 40min mark, our guest speaks in more detail about her suicide attempts. She treats this topic very carefully and we have edited this section - but listeners may wish to skip ahead at this point.]May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this is th…
 
In today's episode we're talking about what its been like living in Korea during covid-19 times, and some of our coping strategies which have seen mixed success. And in the interests of distraction and frivolity, we end the episode with a random questions segment! Which is something we've wanted to do regularly on the podcast, but Ryan is just real…
 
Hana sat down with Hilbrand Westra in Seoul, after participating in one of his workshops for adoptees, for an extended convo that goes deep into feelings. They talk about the systemic approach, core issues that adoptees face, the path to healing, the limitations of conventional talking therapy for some adoptees, working specifically with men, and m…
 
Although Hana and Ryan have discussed various topics so far on the podcast, they’ve shied away from talking about their adoptive families. In this episode they talk about the reasons why, about trying to protect their parents’ feelings, and what they do and don’t discuss with their parents. They also reflect on what it’s like talking on community e…
 
A friend and podcast listener recently pointed out that many of our episodes talk about search and reunion, especially now that both of us have reunited. But of course not all adoptees who start a birth family search reunite, and not all adoptees want to search in the first place. In light of National Adoption Awareness Month, we wanted to expand t…
 
Hana sits down for a casual conversation with the very talented Meg O'Shea - aka @even.little.meg - a comic maker and illustrator, and fellow Australian Korean adoptee living in Seoul. They talk about Meg's comics and illustrations, why she was drawn to comics as a medium, moving to Korea, racism in Australia, belonging, and her creative process (s…
 
In this episode Ryan spills the beans on what it was like meeting their birthmother for the first time! We talk about the additional complexities involved in being a trans and queer adoptee searching for birth family - incl. explaining one's gender identity and relationship, DNA testing, and fear of rejection. We also touch on themes relevant to ci…
 
In this episode, Hana and Ryan sit down with JaeRan Kim, who we were very lucky to catch right after the IKAA Gathering. JaeRan is a social worker, writer, teacher and scholar. Her involvement in the adoptee activist community began with her well-known blog “Harlow’s Monkey”, an unapologetic look at transracial and transnational adoption, which has…
 
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to move back to your birth country? In this episode, Hana gives an honest account of her relocation in the form of a quick guide to moving to Korea - slightly tongue-in-cheek but also peppered with practical advice. Hana and Ryan also discuss the joys of Daiso, that song from Moana again, and one special…
 
In this provocatively titled episode, Hana and Ryan chat with Mark and Matt, two cis-gendered adoptee men living in Seoul. Mark and Matt generously and candidly share their adoptee experiences in a conversation that touches on toxic masculinity in Korea, the relative lack of men involved in adoptee activism, Asian male representation, and more. We’…
 
Hana & Ryan debrief about the intense experience that was the 2019 IKAA Gathering and other recent adoptee events in Seoul. In this episode, they do a run-down of everything they attended, before getting deep into their feelings - touching on FOMO, how it feels to leave Korea, and post-Korea blues. (Plus, thank you so much to our two new podcast pa…
 
In this episode, Ryan has the pleasure of interviewing Eleana Kim and Kim Stoker during their visit to Melbourne! We chat about adoptee-run creative hubs in Seoul during the early 2000s including Spy Lounge, Kimura Byul, formally known as Mihee-Nathalie Lemoine, a co-founder of GOA'L and by all accounts a social 'force of nature,' critical adoption…
 
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