It happened in the evening.
I am left on a sidewalk in Korea
Swaddled in the shame of my beginnings.
The smell of rotten eggs lingers heavy in the air like a lifetime of regrets.
A woman looks down at me and says, annyeong, you beautiful baby.
I make no sound.
She lifts me into her arms
And carries me towards grace.
It happened in the daytime.
Exported like a shiny new cell phone
I arrive a daughter in a new country
The model adoptee-grateful and lucky
The other shadowed among your whiteness.
A woman cradles me in her arms and whispers, welcome home.
It happened slowly over time
The grief unearthing from somewhere deep like worms crawling out from the dirt.
I wonder what my birth mother said to me as she held me for the last time.
Did she say I love you, I'm sorry…
Maybe she doesn't remember
But the body never forgets.
I am here.
Born into this world
Under the August moonlight
Reclaiming my voice
Broken and whole
Heather Hauck was found in Daegu, South Korea, and was adopted when she was six months old. As a transracial adoptee, she’s mostly interested in exploring the intersectionality of adoption, motherhood, identity, and race. She lives with her son and husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota.