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A Euro-American on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant in China Hardcover – July 29, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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As the title implies, this book is about perspective, and the author shares her personal perspective as a Caucasian mother of three children, two of whom were adopted from Korea. Chris Winston s life changed when she traveled to Korea to meet her daughter for the first time. Her perspective on family, life, love and so many other things changed the minute she brought a child of a different ethnicity into her life. In her book, she shares her adoptive parent journey with others, so they can better understand her perspective. Winston speaks as a parent and leader in the Korean adoption community. Her voice is strong and clear as she provides wisdom to those who follow in her footsteps as adoptive parents. She offers powerful insight to help others in raising their transracially adopted children to adulthood. "A Euro American on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant in China" is a strong piece of work that will serve as a wonderful guide to other adoptive families. As president of the Korean Adoptee/Adoptive Network, Winston has the unique perspective of helping establish a national organization designed to fit the needs of the entire Korean American community, especially adoptive families. I believe this wisdom gives her much credibility, and it would be wise for parents of transracial adoptees to pay close attention to Winston s successes and failures with this organization. One day the Chinese adoptees will seek a similar organization to address their needs, and they will be lucky that the groundwork has already been established. For those looking for the step beyond the basics of parenting transracially adopted children, this would be a great book to read. While reading, remember to open your heart and mind to new thoughts and ideas and this book will unfold some wonderful suggestions. --Kim Phagan-Hansel Adoption Today Magazine

Adoptees, experts say, will likely undergo an identity crisis on a more serious level than others. It is not difficult to assume the challenge will increase if the adoptees do not share the race or more bluntly, skin color with their adoptive parents. And when those adoptees turn to their own ethnic community, realizing their different upbringings cannot make them fit into that community either another frustration. Such are the layers of challenge involving interethnic adoption. Hence comes the complexity of Chris Winston s book title A Euro-America on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant in China . The book was published last month. Winston is an American with two adopted Korean children. It is a big deal to lose your original parents. Most don t, Winston, 50, president of the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN), told The Korea Times during her visit to Seoul for the 8th annual KAAN conference held June 30 through July 2. And inter-country adoptees lost their heritage at that. When they later struggle to reclaim it, it s also a challenge, she said. Winston, who due to fertility problems could not give birth to another child after her first son, Alexis, felt three was a very small family. When she and her husband, Mark, decided to adopt, they did not necessarily consider inter-country adoption. But the timing and the agencies situation led them to a meeting with their first adoptive daughter Diana, then 1-year-old, from South Korea in April 1988, shortly before the Seoul Olympics. Having fallen in love with Korea during their first visit to pick up Diana and, hoping to balance the ethnicity in their family, they began another adoption process in 1989. This was despite Korea s slow international adoption process arising from the Korean government s upset over negative publicity about the nation being a child-exporting country. --Seo Dong-shin, Staff Reporter The Korea Times Newspaper

In responding to her own adopted children's needs, Chris Winston and fellow pioneers gradually birthed a new kind of Korean American community. She describes with honesty the pain and joy of her family's transformation into a Korean American family, and how, in extending this effort to others, adopted Koreans were empowered to claim their place as an emerging group of Korean Americans. This book chronicles the long journey to community, and all the persistence, patience, and diplomacy that journey demands of us. --Martha Vickery, editor Korean Quarterly

About the Author

In April 1988, Chris Winston and her husband, Mark, began to experience life as the adoptive parents of a one year old Koreanborn daughter, Diana, and a nine year old son, Alexis, who was born to them. Their son David, then five and a half, joined the family from Korea in December 1989. The founder of two adoption community organizations, Friends of Korea in Northern California and The Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN), a national networking organization, Chris life s work has been in creating opportunities for dialogue. She hopes that this book will be one more such opportunity. Proceeds from this book will be used on projects that promote better insight and understanding within the adoption community.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Hollym International Corporation (July 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977604616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977604616
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,586,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By C. Stanek on December 27, 2006
My shelf for adoption-related books has four partitions--one for texts that explore the sociological implications of Chinese adoptions (Dorow, Johnson, Evans); one for books by social workers and psychologists advising how to raise the adopted child (Brodzinsky, Register among them); one for selections about living in China during the Cultural Revolution (Azaleas and Swans); and one for accounts by Asian Americans who tell of varying degrees of melding into our society (Trenka, Nam, Zia).

Winston's book fits best in the second section, though she writes as neither social worker nor psychologist. She is an advocate and a grass roots organizer, the founder of KAAN (Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network) and one other organization designed to benefit adoptees and their parents, birth parents and others in the adoption circle. Her book recounts her organizing efforts and her main motivation--to raise her children with a truly dual heritage.

The book is more about linking one's adopted children to their birth country than it is about validating one's decision to adopt internationally, which is my major complaint about so many parents' adoption stories. As someone who adopted from Korea in the `80s, Winston provides an inside look at the breaking out of the one-time recommended mode of raising internationally-adopted kids: assimilate, assimilate, assimilate--for love is all they need. No, there's a lot more to it than love and acceptance. Winston, whose children are now young adults, traces some of the issues that can arise with identity development.

Winston tells, with unabashed honesty, of her experiences, successful and not so, connecting not only with the Korean American community but also with Koreans in her multiple trips overseas.
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Many books explain why cultural connections are critical for the families with children adopted from other countries but this is the first book I have read that actually explains how to make, and more importantly, maintain those critical connections. Chris Winston takes the reader on a journey with her as she builds genuine and strong connections with Koreans and Korean Americans. I wish I had this book when my children were young.

This is a story of a mother's determination to get her children what they needed. It is full of frustration, misunderstandings miscommunications and all the many things that can go wrong when we try to establish cross cultural relations. It's also filled with how a strong woman's determination leads to compromise and listening and finally some very strong bonds that surpass even her own expectations.

It really can be a how to manual for families wanting to go beyond language school, culture camps or Sunday church services. Ms Winston articulates the complexities of perspective and the dangers of thinking we can actually ever really experience other's perspectives - try as we might.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for anyone considering adopting a child from another culture.
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... for every person considering transracial adoption, or has already done so. Ms. Winston shares so much for herself in this book, her faults, her successes, but most of all, her determination. She stresses the importance of adoptive parents getting out of their comfort zone, and expanding their perspective of raising a child of color in the States. "Frog in the well" and "to catch a tiger, you have to go into the tigers den", are some of the examples she uses to make her point about building bridges to your child's ethnic community. Her longest chapter is about racism which she gives personal situations that her children have faced. She discusses how she handled it when her children were young, then eventually how they handled it as they got older. She reveals her own struggles with race. Unlike some other books about adoption, her tone is *not* self-rightous (I know best) or condesending. Rather, it reads like a good friend discussing her often complicated trajectory of being an adoptive parent to two transracial children.

This is a great book for parents who want to go beyond dressing their child up in their ethnic costume at Chinese New Year with other white parents and calling that culture. This is a book for parents who want their children of color an opportunity to have decent chance at forming an authentic racial/cultural identity. Her point is Asian culture can't be given by white parents. It is not ours (I am white) to give. This is why Ms. Winston places great stress on forming relationships with your child's ethnic community, or at the very least, the Asian American community.
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