84 [S4 E16] Nicole - Before You Gain Anything You Lose Everything

Nicole Chung shares with us about the complexities of growing up distinctly different from your adoptive family. In her new memoir, All You Can Ever Know, she explores her experience of pregnancy, search, and reunion which happen simultaneously. We discuss grief in adoption as Nicole recounts how she lost her adoptive father just as she was finishing up her final manuscript of All You Can Ever Know.

Show Notes

Topics We Discussed

  • Nicole was born prematurely in Seattle to Korean immigrants. Her health was one of the factors in the decision her married parents made to place her for adoption.
  • Nicole grew up in souther Oregon, as an only child
  • Her pregnancy with her first child in her mid-twenties pushed her to search for her family of origin
  • Nicole used a confidential intermediary to search
  • Learning some uncomfortable truths about her birth family after reunion and discovering the comforting similarities between her and her sister
  • Some of the differences between Nicole and her adoptive parents: her intensity, drive, and love of writing
  • The reasons for her adoption, what could have been done differently
  • Korean Adoptees that have been on the show that share about the Korean adoption system: Mike, (S2 E6), Deb (S3, E10), Hea (S4, E12), Peggy (S4, E15), Katie (HS: When You Don’t Find Answers)
  • How to Write a Memoir While Grieving by Nicole Chung
  • Grief means something different to each adoptee in our unique experiences

  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • Nicole’s introduction to the Adopted Essay Series on Catapult and the list of pieces tagged “adopted” here
  • To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption by Arissa H. Oh

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