Umma and Appa

“My adoption story: I was adopted in 1988 by my biological aunt and uncle (he was American soldier who had been stationed in Korea). They were living in America, and we were in Korea, my mother pregnant with my brother. Due to a flaw in the government after the Korean war, my parents' marriage was not recognized, and I was legally born an orphan. My parents knew they wanted to come to America, but because they were not recognized as my parents, they could not travel with me.
My aunt - my father's sister - who married the American soldier (without speaking any English) had multiple miscarriages and was not able to have children. She offered to help by adopting me and helping my family come to America. My brother and I grew up with my adoptive parents, while my biological parents worked tirelessly to make our lives better and traveled over an hour each way every weekend to see us.
It was confusing for my brother and me, growing up in a small, all caucasian town. We looked different and had different names, and no one quite understood our story. So my brother and I called them mom and dad, and our biological parents "Umma" and "Appa" even though my brother was never adopted. Now, with children of my own, I can't imagine the struggle, difficulties, and heartache my parents (all 4 of them) endured to make life better for my brother and me.” (Pictured with both sets of my parents here)

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