I’m from Seoul, South Korea. I grew up in Louisiana. I plan on going back to visit South Korea in the next two years. As a kid it wasn’t realistic for me, and in college I didn’t really have the money or the time. My adopted family is from Cut Off, Louisiana. That’s where I was raised. On my dad’s side of my family, my great grandparents were actually Acadian French from Canada, referred to as Cajuns. So my heritage on my dad’s side doesn’t go much further than two or three generations back. Everything used to be very Cajun-French, we spoke a lot of French, but my grandfather died about ten years ago.
My father was a shrimp boat fisherman by trade, they refer to it as trawling down here. That’s what my dad did before he worked in the oil fields for thirty years. My grandfather carved wood duck decoys used for hunting, that’s a trade that just does not exist anymore. Now they make them out of fiberglass and plastic; it’s an art that is gone. He was a world champion at it.
My situation is a little different since I am adopted. I was six months old when I arrived here. My parents were really good about letting me find things out myself and then, once I had questions, answering them the best that they could. The first time somebody let me know I was different, I was in first grade. A classmate’s mother was a substitute teacher and she made it clear. She said, “The real reason you’re here is because your parents don’t want you.”
I was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. My pops is from Louisiana. He joined the Air Force which led to my upbringing being in a lot of different cities. So I got a good taste of different parts of the United States. But I always felt like this is the place I would come back to. I’ve been in New Orleans for the past fifteen years.
I can’t trace my lineage further than two generations back, and that is here in New Orleans. I would be interested in knowing more about my heritage and where I come from. I see how heritage impacts people in this city and friends I have, but it’s just something I was never aware of growing up.