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More Amazon Reviews

Thanks JS Lee!

 …I’m honored to have been given a glimpse into her hardships and how she worked—and sometimes stumbled, as all of us do—to find what she needed in order to be at peace with her past. Her husband’s consistent, active support is a thing of beauty and awe. Although I consider Kelly to be one of the fortunate ones to learn so much about her Korean family (treading carefully so not to include spoilers), I feel nothing but happiness and empathy towards Kelly and her families. Thank you, Kelly and Brad, for sharing so much of your life with us.
The Kids and Me

The Kids and Me

Thanks “Junksmel”

I just finished reading this book. Thank you for writing this and allowing others to know. As a Korean adoptee I have struggled with my Korean identity all my life. I keep thinking every year it will be different. As I approach my 35th birthday I want nothing more than to visit my birth country and reconnect with my birth mother. Your book brings a better insight than anything I’ve ever read.

Kelly and Brad

Brad and Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Jin Noh

I first watched Kelly’s KBS documentary on the internet. I was searching for some Human Theatre (the title of the show where her documentary was aired) series then I found a list of recommended episodes on some blog where Kelly’s stories were included. I watched the whole thing in one sitting then I found this book from some web surfing. It was such an amazing story which taught me what ‘understanding’ and ‘forgiving’ really meant. Kelly understands her mother truly and her first daughter truly. She emotionally ‘released’ the boy who brought her terrible experiences, and I could really tell she was completely being honest about how she was able to do that. Her husband Brad is just beyond amazing. You are so lucky Kelly! Thank you so much for sharing your story and I wish you just all the best with your life.

Cici and Me

Cici and Me

 

 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to review Songs of My Families!

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Kelly Fern Speaks at Oak Ridge Country Club

 

 

 

I was so pleased to speak about Songs of My Families at the Oak Ridge Country Club.  There were 165 people in the crowd, and they were all so wonderful.  BOND (Branching Out in New Directions) is the name of their organization, a group of women who raise money to provide scholarships for Twin Cities post-secondary students. Channel 5 Eyewitness News sportscaster and director Joe Schmit (pictured) spoke before I did.  And fiction writer Scott Dominic Carpenter spoke after me. Scott is a Carleton College professor of French literature and literary theory, and he published two books last year.
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Joe spoke about his very inspirational book Silent Impact. (Which I will have to wait to read because Brad is hogging it!)  Joe spoke so passionately about purpose, persistence, and passion. He’s such a fantastic speaker.  Great job Joe.

Scott spoke about his collection of short stories This Jealous Earth. It is obvious that Scott is a great writer.  When he read from his book, you could hear a pin drop.

Our contact was Sharon Levine.  Thanks Sharon for inviting Brad and me. Now it’s back to the books for me.  I should be graduating from Adler by February, at the latest!  :)

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Speaking at the Marsh

Brad and I spoke at the Marsh for the H2O and Marshwinds Toastmasters clubs.  It was a beautiful evening.  They set up a lectern outside, so we were able to enjoy the wonderful scenery while we spoke.

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Brad spoke about genetic resiliency and the possibility for positive outcomes for children who’ve experienced trauma or chronic stressors.

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I spoke about how I’ve seen resiliency in the faces of the people whose lives have inspired me.  Our hosts were our good friends JoAnn and Jennifer.  They did a great job of taking care of all the details.

 

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Thanks for a great time!

My next speech is with Bond’s Annual Fundraiser at Oak Ridge Country Club in August with sportscaster Joe Schmit, Scott Dominic Carpenter, and Shawn Lawrence Otto!

 

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Missing You

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Wearing my new coat (gift) to protect me from the cold!

It’s been about three weeks since my family left for Korea. They stayed in my  home for a month during the coldest winter since 1938. They celebrated their first American Christmas and New Years holiday with us. We ate raclette on a Swiss tabletop grill for Christmas and spent 3 nights in Chicago for New Years. My daughter Suzie and my bio-family finally got to meet and spend time together.

Sizie and Sungmi

Suzie and her cousin Sungmi

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My husband Brad, niece Sungmi, and my sister Whasoon

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My grand niece Yugin with her mother Sungmi

We walked to Lake Harriet through the Bird Sanctuary and checked out sculptures on the ice. They asked to see the iconic Cherry Spoon Bridge at the Walker Art Center. We spent a day at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and tried out different restaurants. They ate Mexican food for the first time and liked it.  (Although they did not like beans.)

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My Korean family at the Como Arboretum

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Max (right), Yunyong, and a new friend at the MOA

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Yujin, Cici, Yunyong, and Max

I finally got the chance to cook with my sister. We made several Korean and European dishes together. We bonded while watching Korean movies and dramas. She amazed me with her curiosity, humor, and sweetness. She played with her grandchildren making them laugh and chasing them in the snow. It was fun to see her so full of life. Yet, there were still many things I wanted to do with them before they left.

In the month while they were here I feel we had the chance to get to know each other more intimately. For me, there was a lot of bonding going on by just being together. My sister doted over me at times and teased me about not being strong enough to open a jar or lifting heavy objects. In a way, she still thinks of me as the little girl that she took care of for 5 years when she was a teen. I found out just how wonderful my Korean family is and what a great sense of humor, playfulness and sweetness they have.

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Dream Visit!

Just as I wondered about my Korean family, I assumed that they wondered about me.  They probably dreamed about where I lived and what my life was like.  In 1971, my sister Whasoon and I were ripped apart.  She finally came to visit my world last month.  So wonderful! ! !

Enjoy the Youtube video by clicking the picture:

Sungmi & Yujin

Click Image for Video

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Finally, They’re Here

Whasoon, Sungmi, Yunyong, and Yugin!  I am finally spending time with my family members here in my home city of Minneapolis.  I love it.  We’ve eaten Korean food at Mirror of Korea in St. Paul, shopped at Southdale mall in Edina, watched movies together, cooked together; and we’re just getting started.  They’ll be with us for a month, and I’m thrilled.

Sungmi, Whasoon, Yugin, and Younyong in front

Sungmi, Whasoon, Yugin, and Yunyong in front

Brad and Whasoon cooked a wonderful meal tonight.  Spaghetti, bruschetta, greens salad, and tasty-salty olives from Whole Foods.  Everyone loved it.  Brad was drinking pinot grigio while he was doing the cooking, so it wouldn’t have mattered how it tasted for him.  :)

                    Italian Bruschetta

Italian Bruschetta

Me, Loving Brad's Cooking (Brad and Whasoon's!)

Me, Loving Brad’s Cooking (Brad and Whasoon’s!)

Whasoon and Yugin Loving Italian Food

Whasoon and Yugin Loving Italian Food

We plan to visit the Mall of America (of course), Chicago for four days, the Guthrie and Stone Arch bridge.  We’ll go skating, sliding, and possibly check out the last of the Hollydazzle parade.  Luckily, Heon – our new Korean American friend – was able to come and translate the first night.  Our good friend Paul was there for us at the airport!

It was the fulfillment of a dream, to sit with my eldest sister at my dining room table, drinking tea and just talking.  She is one of the people I remember most from my Korean past (she and my father).  I remember loving her cooking when I lived with her in Geumsan.

I used to think that “coming full circle” was an event.  Now, I realize that it is sometimes a process.  A long and lovely movement toward things coming back together.

Pray for nice weather.  We want them to be impressed!  :)

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Edina Magazine

Edina Magazine’s Maureen Millea Smith wrote an article about what inspires local authors.  (Minnesota is a hotbed of literary talent!) The November issue has an article about me and four other authors.

Edina Magazine Photo

Edina Magazine Photo

Spoiler Alert: Brad is and was my muse.  Please follow the link to Edina Magazine and read the article.

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