FHN Student Travels to South Korea, Reunites with Family


By Priscilla Joel

A few years ago, Kim Windsor, senior Emily Windsor’s mother, opened her mailbox to check her mail as usual. But what she found within, was not very usual at all.  A Korean Adoption Agency had addressed a letter to Kim. Kim waited several months before responding to the letter, and a phone call to the agency quickly led her to answers, her birth family was looking for her.

“The initial thought was that they were strangers,” Kim said. “Probably all the thoughts [going through my head] were thoughts you have when meeting strangers.”

This was the first time that Kim had heard about or from her birth family since their separation. The Korean Adoption Agency gave Kim three choices. Option one, ignore the letter. Option two, get in contact with her birth family through the agency. Option three, get in contact with her birth family on her own.

“I was never really curious about them and so I just waited,” Kim said.

About a year later, Kim decided that she wanted to contact her family. First, Kim had to send DNA samples of her hair to Korea so they could match her DNA with those of her siblings. After months  of waiting, the results finally arrived.

Kim had found her four siblings. Kim was the youngest of five children. She has two older sisters and two older brothers. But getting in contact with her siblings is one thing, talking to them was another.

While Kim had never voluntarily gone searching for information about her birth family, there was still much that she didn’t know. Kim contacted one of her two brothers through email and has stayed in contact with him. Kim found out that her father had passed away when she was still an infant and that her mother was very ill and unable to take care of her children.

Kim’s siblings had been searching for her for many years, but were unable to because of strict privacy policies in place at the Korean Adoption Agency. Finally, Kim’s sister decided that she was done waiting.

“She [Kim’s older sister] had written a letter to the president of Korea to petition to find me,” Kim said.

After a long exchange of emails, Kim proposed to her daug.hter, Emily, that they should go to visit their new-found family in Korea over the summer of 2016. Kim’s siblings don’t all live together, but they will all come to see Kim and Emily when they visit Korea.

“I was really open to it [going to Korea],” Emily said. “I’d like to go out of the country.”