Adam Crasper, a 41-year-old Korean adoptee with a wife and three children, is being deported from the U.S. to South Korea after discovering that his abusive foster parents never bothered to file paperwork for his citizenship. Awaiting him there in Yeongju is his birth mother, Kwon Pil-ju, who only found out about her son’s plight after a relative called her to say that she saw him in a documentary, desperately asking his mother for help.
“Remember, Eomma, I am always your son, your flesh and blood,” said Crasper in the film.
Kwon, 61, has a shriveled left leg — the result of a horrific incident that occurred during acupuncture therapy as a child. After having three children with a carpenter, whom she said beat and kicked her before eventually abandoning her, Kwon found herself unable to pay rent or even feed her children. So she gave her youngest son to a childless family, and left her daughter and a then-3-year-old Song-Hyuk at a local orphanage that arranged adoptions.
“I know it sounds like an excuse, but I had no one to turn to for help,” said Kwon. “I missed them, especially when it rained or snowed or when the sky was overcast. But the belief that they were having a better life somewhere than I could ever provide has sustained me.”
After learning of the treatment her son underwent, Kwon says feelings of guilt have threatened to overwhelm her. Kwon is attempting to teach herself English, since Casper can’t speak Korean, and she says that she is planning to decorate a small room in her house for him.
“I have never imagined that he was having this hard life of his,” said Kwon, teary-eyed. “I should have kept him even if we starved together. What I did was an unforgivable sin … I am poor, but I owe him a lot of love.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.