You’re Korean? I Thought You were Asian.

[Marc, Luanne’s son and Marisha’s brother, was adopted through Holt and Bethany from Suwan City, Korea.  He spent the first 3 1/2 months of his life in a Korean orphanage.  Because he was right on target for all his infant milestones, the Castles’ case worker explained that he must have been chosen by a caregiver at the orphanage to be carried on her back throughout the day. When he arrived in the United States, at the Detroit airport, he weighed ten pounds.  Marc has been a college student, food server, retail salesperson, call center employee, and personal fitness trainer.  Today Marc is treatment coordinator for a large dental office.]

by Marc Castle

“You’re Korean? I thought you were Asian.”  I have remembered this comment since I was a child. Comments like this are not necessarily rudeness, just something that many need to understand and perhaps be educated about. At the time, comments like this bothered me, but now I realize the ignorance of most people about geography and world cultures.  In a 2002 study, almost 30% of college-aged Americans couldn’t locate the Pacific Ocean on a map.

High school graduation

It’s possible that I am one of the most diverse and unique persons that you have ever met. I am a Korean adoptee, adopted by Jewish parents, and privileged enough that I am able to write this short surface piece pertaining to my experience. It wasn’t easy growing up and developing into my adulthood among people who are different than I am.

I like to think that all of the obstacles and hurdles I have overcome have made me stronger and more capable of being the functional adult, son, brother, and boyfriend that I aspire to be.

I love who I have become, but I would lie if I said that becoming who I am today was easy. I have been through more than most of my peers have even imagined. Adversity  is not only difficult for a child to endure, but also for those moving into adulthood.

I suppose that the message of my first “blog” is to embrace who you are and build upon the situation that you have been given. No one said it would be easy; they just promised it would be worth it.

Cheers to all adoptees and the ones who have given us life, opportunity and support.

Marc with his family


  1. Lisa DeNike Ercolano says:

    Marc, thank you for sharing your strong and positive message with readers. My daughter, who was born in China, gets that comment all the time, and sometimes gets tired of explaining that Chinese people ARE Asian, as are Korean people, Thai people, etc. As her adoptive parent, I remind her that whether she takes the time to educate others is up to her: it’s certainly not her obligation (nor is it yours) to educate every person who comes along, though it can be a generous thing to do. I look forward to hearing more about you, your life, your challenges and triumphs when you write again.

  2. Lisa, Thank you for reading and for your positive feedback.

  3. I love this brother! So does Izzie…so excited to finally get a male perspective on here! 🙂 love you x

  4. corinne trow says:

    Awesome Marc! Looking forward to hearing more. 🙂

  5. Hi, Marc,
    I appreciated your essay. Life is not easy, but adversity can strengthen us and make us feel empathy for others who are having a hard time. Your last remark made me feel that you have arrived at a great philosophy: “Cheers to all adoptees and the ones who have given us life, opportunity and support.” All the best to you, Marc —

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