March 06, 2009
Celebrating Kim Young
Remember in High School when you were young enough to do dumb things and not question it once? Well when I was in 10th grade I met this girl, I'll call her Kim Young, who had moved to my neighborhood with her military family from Texas. She was adopted by this same family and by my own observations I thought she was severely mistreated, especially by the mother. Sorry to air dirty laundry, but it was because of this family's behaviour that I found myself serving as an advocate to this girl many times in the next few years. She knew very little English having been brought to America at the age of ten and now at 16 she knew English, but it was still quite broken and mispoken often. The kids at school made fun of her and I took up for her. Her "brothers and sister" told her what to do like she was their hired help. The father seemed indifferent to her. I did not like the way they treated her nor me because I had befriended her.
When I say I did something stupid, my then High School boyfriend and I knew where she was hiding when she ran away on one Thanksgiving morning , but we would not tell anyone. We were determined that we would and could help her find her way to any place other than with these people who were treating her so cruely. We took food from my family dinner table and wrapped it up in napkins to take to her. We tried to devise a plan, but this was a small town and if we rode down the street everyone knew where we were and with it only being 3 miles wide that traveled at the speed of sound it seemed. She did eventually go back inside her house and truth be known was not missed even when she was "missing". The police were called just because she was "missing" and I miss her today. We had a special friendship, but she moved all the way across the states and we only saw each other one time in these 25 years since she left.
I salute you Kim Young for being so strong and keeping your chin up with a pretty good attitude. You dealt with wandering streets of Korea at 3 years old not knowing how to find your mommy. You endured quite a bit living in a group home there. You endured enough from your adopted family and school kids. You have earned your place here to be celebrated.
I hope "One Fine Day" we can reconnect and spend the day laughing and giggling about all the silly girl things we did then. I celebrate you today because you deserve it over and over and over.
Disclaimer: I do not support runaway teens nor their friends helping secretively, but would instead encourage all teens suffering with any problems to contact an adult that they can trust as well as depend on for times of need. If you can assist or need someone to talk to, contact:http://www.nationalsafeplace.org/