Sh*t People Say to KADs: A Discussion on the KAD Identity Development

When: Saturday, February 25, 2012
What time: 3:30-5:30pm and dinner to follow
Where: Hwa Sun Ji Tea & Coffee 3960 Wilshire Blvd (private room)

“Why don’t you speak Korean?”

“Where are you from? No, where are you really from?”

“Do you remember Korea?”

“Are you from North Korea or South Korea?”

“Oh wow you were adopted from Korea?! My friend’s cousin’s sister’s niece is adopted from Korea! Do you know her?”

Do you quotes sound all too familiar to you as a Korean adoptee? Why can’t we KADs jump on the “Sh*t People Say” bandwagon too?! How have these types of statements informed the person you are today?

Join us for a discussion on the journey of Korean adoptee identity development where we will engage in dialogue around what it means to be a Korean adoptee. Come out to share, learn, listen, and eat afterwards at a TBD location in Koreatown.

**dinner in Koreatown to follow

**free parking in the back from Ingraham St and also metered parking in the front on Wilshire


Resilience at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival (Wed, May 4th @ 7 PM in K-Town)

We are so excited to continue our association with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.  This year we are co-sponsoring Tammy Chu’s remarkable documentary, Resilience.

Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 PM @ CGV Cinemas Theater 1

Resilience tells the story of Korean adoptee Brent Beesley’s reunification with his birth mother, Myungja, and the challenges they face forging a familial bond after so many years apart.  The oft-silent voice in the adoption triad (birth family, Korean adoptee, adoptive family) is the birth mother, whose silence is reinforced by social pressure and internalized shame.  Of course, everyone featured in Resilience is courageous beyond words.  But, what makes Resilience  particularly special is Myungja’s determination to step into the spotlight and give eloquent and passionate voice to the “other side” of adoption.  If knowledge is power, then indeed, shining the light into this dark and obscured place of adoption – while challenging to watch – is ultimately empowering.

Following the screening…

  • There will be a short 15-minute “Question and Answer” session with producer Jessica Windt.  Jessica will shed light on the process of making Resilience and provide context for its remarkable story.
  • Beginning at 9:00 PM, please come out for dinner and drinks at Beer Halle!  Located just beneath the theater (no need to move your car!). Again, producer Jessica Windt will be on hand to answer any follow-up questions about the film and to share more about its genesis and production.

Theater Information & Parking:

Complimentary parking is available in the CGV Parking structure which can be accessed through the Manhattan Street entrance. Please plan on arriving early if you want to park for free. Otherwise there are paid lots and meters in the surrounding area.

621 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Purchasing Tickets:

Tickets can be purchased through AKA-SoCal directly or online, through the film festival.  If you do plan on attending, we ask that you buy your tickets through AKA-SoCal.  This is better for both you and AKA-SoCal.  You get a reduced price ($10, instead of $12), in addition AKA is reimbursed for our initial outlay to the festival (we don’t want to have leftover tickets that we already paid for).  You can purchase tickets through AKA-SoCal in one of two ways:

1.      Pay directly by cash or by check made out to AKA-SoCal, with LA APFF in the “memo” line

2.      Pay  by credit card via Paypal

Whichever way you chose, we ask you contact Max Choi at   Please provide him with:

1.     Your name

2.     Your address

3.     Your phone number

4.     The number of tickets you want to purchase

5.     Your preferred method of payment

6.     Whether or not you plan on attending the dinner with Jessica Windt (producer) after the screening

The deadline for buying tickets through AKA-SoCal, at the reduced price, is: Monday, May 2nd.  If AKA-SoCal runs out of reduced-price tickets before the deadline, we will let you know via our website.  Please check it periodically for updates.  We will then release the code for purchasing discounted tickets through the Film Festival’s website.

Time and again, this film has proved its significance and power; you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity to watch it among a KAD community. We can’t wait to see you there!

LA Marathon Fundraiser Update

The Course

A quick update to let everyone know we just passed the $500 mark!  Yea!  Isn’t that amazing?  I can remember – in the not so distant past – when Betsy and I were discussing the possibility of fundraising for the marathon.  It seemed like a long shot; too much else going on, not enough time, limited publicity, etc.   But, slowly it gained steam.  And now, we are definitely rolling.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated thus far.  Your support has been awesome, especially in these rough economic times.  And a big “thank you” to those who supported me in other ways; your encouraging emails and FB posts kept my legs churning through those extra training miles.

With Gratitude,


PS – Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not mention you can still contribute!  Here is the link: Crowdrise

Story of Self – Community Building & Self Reflection (4/30/11)

Please join us at our next general meeting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, in Los Angeles.  We will tend to business as usual, then socialize after the meeting adjourns.  However, in between the two, we would like to try something new.

The fundraising committee feels our responsibility encompasses more than just raising money.  Since fundraising is built upon human relationships, without the strength of those relationships, there would be nothing for which to raise funds.  In light of that, we will host a series of group exercises that emphasize self-reflection and community building.  The first one takes place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, in Los Angeles.  Its theme is: “Story of Self.”  Together, we will explore the forces which have shaped each of our unique identities.  The exercise will begin after official business is finished.  Please join us for this special opportunity to come together and learn more about yourself in the safe context of others.        -The Fundraising Committee (Max, Robyn, Andrea & Jo)

Save the dates!

Dear all,

The Lunar New Year is almost here and we are excited to connect with you and create a unique space for us to come together. As we continue to strengthen and build community, please come out and join us for the upcoming events that will be taking place here in the Los Angeles area. Make sure to mark your calendars!

Save the dates!

February 19
Dual Citizenship Information Session
Join us as we skype with former G.O.A.’L. Secretary General Dae-won Wenger who helped lead and pave the pathway for the Dual Citizenship Campaign. Learn more about Dual Citizenship and engage in Q&A. Betsy Schaffer will also be joining us via Skype from Santa Barbara, and will introduce and discuss the new GOA’L USA.

Time: 3:30pm
Location: Andrea’s place

February 19
Korean BBQ Dinner
Following the Dual Citizenship Information Session join us for an evening filled with meat, veggies, beer & soju.

Time: 6:00pm
Location: Moodaepo II
3014 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005

*Street parking or valet available
Please contact Patrick Lindsay with any q’s at:

March 12 – THIS DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED to 4/30!
AKA SoCal Book Club
Join us as we come together to discuss Elena Kim’s Adopted Territory. It examines the history of Korean adoption, the emergence of a distinctive adoptee collective identity, as well as the return of adoptees to South Korea and their unique effect on South Korea’s modernization and globalization.

Time & Location: TBD (more information will follow)

Past Book Club reads:
Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee’s Return to Korea
Trail Of Crumbs: Love, Hunger and the Search for Home

April 30
AKA SoCal General Meeting in Los Angeles

Time & Location: TBD (more information will follow)

Korean Drama & Discussion Night featuring “I’m Sorry I Love You”
“I’m Sorry I Love You” (미안하다, 사랑한다) is a Korean drama that aired in November 2004 and quickly became one of the most highly viewed dramas of all time. The story line is about a Korean overseas adoptee who was raised in Australia and returns to Korea in search of his birth mother. Through a twist of tragic events, he finds out he only has three months to live and must decide whether he wants to confront his birth mother before he dies. This drama was a huge hit in South Korea and has sparked a lot of discussion in the netizen (internet citizens) community regarding overseas adoption. However, this drama can be seen as being problematic in that the Korean overseas adoptee is being represented in a very melodramatic way, which evokes both pity and sympathy from the viewers. Another concern among overseas adoptees who have watched this drama is that the main actor playing the Korean-Australian adoptee is in fact Korean; therefore, depicting no real language barrier during his initial return to his birth land.

For those of you who are interested in watching this drama, you can go to to watch it with English subtitles. We hope to watch one episode or clips of this drama during our meeting and possibly discuss the following themes:
• Representations of Korean overseas adoptees in the Korean media
• Common Korean perceptions of adult Korean overseas adoptees who return to Korea
• Other dramas, music and/or movies in Korean pop culture with focus on and/or reference Korean overseas adoptees
• Experience vs. Representation
Time & Location: TBD (more information will follow)

More information will continue to flow into your inbox as we continue to solidify details. Until then, if you have any questions about the upcoming events, please feel free to reply or contact us at:

Warm regards,
Andrea & Robyn

Association of Korean Adoptees of Southern California, Los Angeles Chapter |

January 22, 2011 General Meeting & Book Club

Wow, what a terrific turnout for the first General Meeting of the year.  Kudos to all who were able to attend! There is much positive energy and good stuff in store for AKA-SoCal for 2011. Make sure to check back often for more information regarding upcoming activities in your area.

It was truly a beautiful afternoon to get together and discuss  “Trail of Crumbs” by Kim Sunee.  This Book Club is a terrific opportunity to participate in healthy, spirited dialogue, share and listen to personal experiences of your fellow AKA-SoCal KAD’s  and, of course, to partake in the the fabulous snacks and treats our AKA-SoCal group is known for. The next book the Club is reading is ” Adopted Territory” by Eleana J. Kim. More details are forthcoming.

LA Chapter Update!

Happy New Year!
Cheers to the year of the white rabbit.  Hoping 2011 is off to a beautiful start and now that the holidays have simmered down we wanted to send out more information about some upcoming events and community goodies taking place within the KAD community here in SoCal.

Save the date!

January 22nd
AKA SoCal Book Club
This month’s book: Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunhee
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Lee Anne Maki’s house

January 22nd
AKA SoCal General Meeting in the O.C.

Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Lee Anne Maki’s house

Community Goodies!

  • ‘Tis the season for membership dues!  Now you are able to pay your dues directly online with PayPal. AKA SoCal membership fees are now $24 for the whole year.  Not too shabby!
  • Help support LA adoptee Mia Beinhorn’s new Adop(teens) support group.  Please help spread the word to any teen adoptees you may be connected to in the SoCal area.  More information can be found on Adop(teens) facebook page.
  • Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’L) recently launched their U.S. site in Santa Barbara.  G.O.A.’L. USA hopes to provide support and advice about Korean culture, trips to Korea, language scholarships, adoptee programs, birth-family search, and other topics sooner and more easily to US adoptees than they can with G.O.A.‘L Korea.  For more information please contact Betsy Schaffer at:
  • On January 1st, 2011 Dual Citizenship passed in South Korea.  In the Fall of 2007 G.O.A.’L. Korea began the Dual Citizenship Campaign and worked fast & furiously to pass this unique piece of legislation for Korean Adoptees.  Former G.O.A.’L. Secretary General Dae-won Wenger is available to help answer any questions you may have regarding this.  Please contact him at:
  • For those who are curious about Dual Citizeship we would like to coordinate a Skype video conference with Dae-won for a Q&A.  If you are interested in participating in this please contact Robyn or Andrea.  Make sure to continue to check the G.O.A.’L. website for more information and in the near future they will be uploading online the Guidebook To Dual Citizenship For Korean Adoptees.

That’s it for now but we will continue to keep you posted on other goodies.  Due to there being a quarterly general meeting this month we will plan on setting our next LA Chapter get together for February.  Stay tuned for more information & we hope to see you soon!

Andrea & Robyn

2011 Membership Dues are Due

…and you can now pay them online using the Donate button on the left sidebar. The 2011 dues are $24 for the year. Your paid membership helps support AKASoCal to continue existing as an organization in our endeavors to outreach, support, and meet on an ongoing basis. In 2010, dues paid for:

1) business expenses, and required filings to keep us a 501(c)(3);
2) 10 sponsorships to the Asian American Film Festival in San Diego that featured 4 films by Korean Adoptees;
3) a small reception for our co-sponsorship of Deann Borshay’s LA premiere of “In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee”;
4) food for our first AKA all-chapters 2010 kick-off meeting.

Even with our small expenditures this year, we are still ending the year with a net loss (our dues revenue was not enough to cover the amounts listed here).
Also, $12 of the $24 goes to your chapter for purposes designated by your chapter.