What is She REALLY Thinking?

Although Marisha and Luanne started this blog project together and have always had an open dialogue about life, there were still some questions Luanne had for Marisha about adoption. So she asked her.

These are Marisha’s answers to Luanne’s questions. For the following dialogue we switched to the names “Mother” and “Daughter.”

MOTHER: Did people ask you questions or say things about being adopted or Korean when I wasn’t around?

DAUGHTER: The most common question I got was “Where are your real parents?” or “Is it weird not knowing who your real family is?” I believe that your real family is made up of those who raise you, love you, and support you. Yes, I have “birth parents,” but my “adopted parents” are my REAL parents. I liked to give comical responses.  Like they would ask “So when did you know you looked different from your parents?” I would respond, “Well, we didn’t keep mirrors in the house, so I thought I was white my whole life.” Haha, it was actually pretty fun to mess with people.

MOTHER: When do you think you really understood what being adopted meant?

DAUGHTER: I have had many people ask me, “So when did you know you were adopted?” To be honest, I don’t remember a specific time where I looked in the mirror and understood it. I feel as if I have always known, and that there have never been any questions about it. Still, I think I fully started to understand and think about my adoption in high school. I was such a passionate dancer and when singing and acting came into the picture, I had to delve into all aspects of my psyche. It was a very defining couple of years for me as a growing woman–and as a Korean adoptee.

MOTHER: When did you realize that you had a birth mother and what did you think about her?

DAUGHTER: I knew from the beginning because you would tell me the story a lot. I knew that she was young and came from a very poor family. My birth dad came from a somewhat wealthy family, and I understood that their families did not support them getting married. I knew she gave me the ultimate gift–the gift of life. I am extremely grateful for her, but sometimes I felt a little empty not knowing who she is, her name, what she looked like or what she was feeling during that time. There have been moments where I feel abandoned, and I think it manifested in different ways in my life which took a lot of time for me to understand. I have never hated her. It will always be a long, narrow tunnel of non-closure.

MOTHER: When did you realize you and Marc had different birth parents? How did you learn it?

DAUGHTER: Haha. Well, my brother and I used to have verbal arguments to prove that we were more American than the other. Marc learned that his skull had some American features or something like that . . . .

MOTHER: Ah, yes, the infamous skull story. The doctor who told us that needs to have his skull examined.

DAUGHTER: You best believe he wouldn’t let me hear the end of it!! People say that Marc and I look alike, but I feel we differ a lot in looks. We have both understood we are not “blood related,” but I never needed a blood connection to feel close to my brother.

MOTHER: Now that you are both adults, I do think you look more alike than you used to as children. Maybe it’s from growing up in the same house. Haha. Just like you and I both do the “haha” thing. Do you think you will ever go to Korea in hopes of finding someone or something?

DAUGHTER: I would love to go to Korea. Marc and Dad went with our Tae Kwon Do Master when I was really young. I want to travel there, but I have this idea that I want to be in the right place with myself first. I imagine it to be overwhelming to step foot in Seoul, Korea, where I was born. I think that finding my birth parents would be nearly impossible because of the story I know and the fact that they didn’t really leave anything to be found. But I plan to go in my late 20s or 30s and start exploring my birth culture.

MOTHER: Would you feel supported by Dad and me if you go to Korea for that purpose?

DAUGHTER: Absolutely. Without a doubt.

MOTHER: I’m just asking for conjecture here. A little imagination. If you had grown up in the same town in California with Asian parents, do you think you would have looked at your opportunities in life differently?

DAUGHTER: I don’t know actually! The Asian culture is so meticulous, so cultured, and based on respect. The work ethic and manners in the Asian cultures are remarkable from what I have seen from a couple of my Asian friends. BUT, I can’t speak for the “what if ” because I was given the best life a woman could ask for and you and Dad have instilled in me a strong sense of morals and amazing visions of the world that I respect and cherish.

MOTHER: If you had Asian parents do you think you would be a performer?

DAUGHTER: I believe I was born to do this, so I would have to say yes, haha. I believe my talents had to have come from my birth parents. I imagine my birth mom was a dancer and my dad was a singer and that they met on the stage. That might be fantasy . . . . But, hey, it’s a good one!

MOTHER: Do you ever have feelings that you and Marc and Dad and I were destined to be together as a family? Or do you think it was random?

DAUGHTER: Nothing is random. I believe in cosmic destinies. Sounds corny and weird, but none of this happened by accident. I mean look back to your first blog post about our family, Mum, about picking out the t-shirt on my birth day. It’s all incredible!

MOTHER: If you have questions for me, go ahead.

DAUGHTER: I’ll think of some!


  1. Lisa DeNike Ercolano says:

    I love this mother-daughter interview and think it gives readers great insight into the thoughts, questions and feelings that come along with adopting/being adopted. We need more dialogue like this. What is especially wonderful is that you two have such an open relationship that these issues can be talked about: that is so important.

    • Thanks Lisa! I have always been an open book with my mum…maybe too open! hahah but it’s a journey we are figuring out together so it’s never a dull moment 🙂

  2. Loved this post–upbeat and interesting all the way through. My thought is that your birth mom didn’t have many choices, Marisha, but she made the best one she could for your future. Also, you and Luanne have such a close relationship–> it really does feel fated, in the best sense of the word.

    • awe thanks Wilma…I try not to think negatively of my birth mom because she obviously loved me enough to give me life 🙂 I am fully grateful with my life now. And my mum is the greatest. Definite fate! 🙂

  3. This is so nice! Warms the heart => I feel a real talk like this can apply to a stepmother-stepdaughter relationship.

    • Absolutely! To form the bond when it is not genetic or biological…it takes work and understanding. I think the exact thing can apply to the step-relationships. 🙂 take care! x

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