Blanket Bear

Blanket Bear - blanket with a bear head and arms attached
Blanket Bear - blanket with a bear head and arms attached

This simple blanket-bear-thing is the major symbol I associate with my own immigration as a baby to the states. At a ripe old age of 4 months old, I was plucked from an foster family in Seoul, South Korea and brought to Dulles International Airport in DC to meet my mew family. I actually have two of them. My mom, non-biological, wanted me to have a familiar comfort object for when I came to the states, so she sent one copy of this blanket bear to little baby me in South Korea to be attached to, and she kept the other one for my arrival to thr States, just in case I lost the original one/have a point of attachment or familiarity in this new world. 

Through my adoption at such a young age, I was able to (most likely) have a better chance at a successful life. I was  born to a teenaged mother who couldn’t take care of an infant, and so was put in the care of a foster family where I might have had to stay with if I were never to be adopted. But by leaving to the States for a family, I was also leaving a part of my culture. I was raised in an American-Italian, where my parents were from Italy and Pennsylvania, with no traces back to the Korean culture I was meant to be brought up with so I grew up not really in touch with that aspect of me. By, in other words, “trading” one culture for another, I was also given the opportunity to learn and live other cultures like Italian, where my mother immigrated from Italy to the States at the age of 20. Either way, immigration is part of my story, in one way or another, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Place(s): South Korea, washington DC
Year: 2001

– SR.

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child