Finding Seoul

Finding Seoul: Stronger than DNA

November 22, 2016
Korean Adoptee Story – Finding Seoul

Considering this is Thanksgiving week and also the week leading up to the reunion, it seemed appropriate to dedicate a post to all those I’m grateful for.


Since moving here in August 2016, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to explore my roots. Furthermore, I’ve been able to do some pretty neat things in pursuit of my Finding Seoul quest, including being able to see the hospital I was born in.


When I discovered the news about my younger biological sister and learned that, as of now, I will not be meeting my biological siblings, I used meditation to help me find peace with the situation. Through intense introspection, I was able to pull the focus from the pain I felt regarding the birth search and focus on the individuals I’m grateful for, which, as a result, has enabled me to regain strength and hope.

Here they are in no particular order:

1 | Sister

I’m immeasurably blessed to have Diana in my life. We may not share the same DNA, however our bond has proven that DNA doesn’t always matter. I’m so grateful each and every day for our beautiful bond. It’s a gift and I’m confident she would say the same. She used to constantly joke about never getting married or having kids and my response would always be, “Diana, yes you are and yes you will.” What I don’t think she realizes is that I’ve always seen her maternal, nurturing side. For all of my life, she has unfailingly protected and watched over me. She will make an amazing wife and mother someday.


2 | My Parents

I’m thankful for my mom and dad. Even though they’re divorced, I’m thankful that fate brought them together in Jamaica. Had they never met, I wouldn’t have ended up being a part of this family. My mom wouldn’t be my mom, my dad wouldn’t be my dad, and my sister wouldn’t be my sister.

3 | Mom

I’m thankful for my mom. Her unwavering strength and selflessness inspires me and all those around her. Her lively, loving spirit has taught me how to live and love. My mom has the most kind, giving, and pure heart. She has always been a stellar example of how to treat others with kindness. She has taught me the importance of living life with integrity and humility. The way in which she seeks adventure encourages me to do the same.


4 | Dad

I’m thankful for my dad. He’s always looking for teachable moments and I appreciate all he has taught me about life and beyond. His contemplative nature shows me how to think from all perspectives and angles. He has taught me that life is not always fair and that we must understand the power of moving on.

5 | Stepmom

I’m thankful for my stepmom. Her cheerful personality never fails to brighten a room. She reminds me how to smile. Her openness teaches me how to be vulnerable. I’m thankful for all she has sacrificed to be a part of our family and for loving Diana and me like we’re her own.


6 | Loved Ones

To my extended family, family friends, friends, mentors, and acquaintances: Thank you for your never-ending love and support. Thank you for accepting me into your lives. I am honored to know you all. And I love each and every one of you.


Final Thoughts

Throughout the birth search, I’ve learned that I am stronger than DNA. DNA can only take you so far; it’s the bonds you choose to strengthen and reinforce that truly matter.


In 5 short days I will be meeting my biological parents. It may very well be the first and last time I ever see them. However, I must remain grateful for this opportunity. Only a very small fraction of searches are successful to begin with. The fact that I’ve made it this far is tremendous. I will accept whichever way the journey goes from here on out. The door may close, permanently ending my Finding Seoul journey. But it could also remain open and lead to greater things. I am hopeful that whichever way it goes, it will be in the best interest for all parties involved. Either way, I am stronger than DNA and I will be okay.

Happy Thanksgiving


Love to all.

Until next time {xo},


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  • Reply laurie farber November 22, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Dear Danielle,
    Another lovely post . I so enjoy these. Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us.
    Laurie, Paul and family

    • Reply hippieseoul November 22, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Laurie, thank you so much for your kind words. Wishing you and the family a Happy Thanksgiving as well!

  • Reply Phyllis November 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving note and tribute to your family. Since I knew you as a baby, it’s great to see photos and hear your memories through the years. Wishing you a great day of thanksgiving and a satisfying week ahead. Phyllis

    • Reply hippieseoul November 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Phyllis! Thank you so much. I hope you and Art are doing well, I miss you both! Happy Thanksgiving to you both as well

  • Reply Jess B November 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    So happy and excited for you. I’m sure that whichever direction life takes you will make you even stronger. I admire that about you. Another great post!

  • Reply Jennifer Gibbons November 23, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Danielle! Love, Jenn, Alex, Jill, and Jared

    • Reply hippieseoul November 23, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Thank you, Jennifer and the kids! Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season as well. Love to you all!

  • Reply Finding Seoul: The Reunion – Hippie Seoul December 26, 2016 at 6:39 am

    […] I discovered more of the context around why I was put up for adoption.  There was more going on behind the scenes than I was aware of and although there were these external factors, it ultimately came down to my birth defects.  And for once in my life, I was able to come to peace with the immeasurable discomfort and stress I went through all my childhood and adolescent years.  I was able to appreciate the imperfections I was born with since it resulted in me being placed with a tremendously loving home. […]

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