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I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children Hardcover – January 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0963847232 ISBN-10: 0963847236 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Yeong & Yeong; 1st edition (January 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963847236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963847232
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I found this book very helpful in answering these questions for me.
Sandy
Readers are extremely priviledged to have the rare opportunity to read such personal letters of Korean birthmothers.
E. Corrado
That is why I feel this book can be so helpful for abandoned children.
Sharon K. Martinez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Melanie@dillonadopt.com on December 14, 1999
After reading this book from cover to cover I realized I was shaking. Written in their own words-the book conveys the heartwrenching decisions these birthmothers must face. As a Korean adoptee who is just beginning to search for my birthfamily this book not only opened my heart, but also my eyes to the social stigma in Korean and the reasons so many of these women relinquish their children. It does not offer all the answers to the many questions surrounding adoption, but it does offer a captivating look at adoption from the birthmother's perspective. I recommend this book to anyone touched by adoption whether international or domestic, especially couples contemplating adoption, adoptive parents and older adoptees. It is a powerful and compelling glimpse into a side of adoption often overlooked. This is definitely not a book to pass up.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Corrado on February 27, 1999
Readers are extremely priviledged to have the rare opportunity to read such personal letters of Korean birthmothers. The anguish, pain, and emotional suffering of the women is in stark contrast to their joy of just giving birth. Yet, their faith and hope for a bright future for their children is so vivid. Every adoptive parent should make a point of reading and learning from this captivating book. It clearly puts into perspective how very real and selfless the birthmother's are. A humbling experience to read, with much to be learned, from the words of Korean birthmothers, whose children are not physically with them but to whom they always will be connected spiritually.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A fan on June 22, 2005
I purchased the book out of curiosity, since I am a Korean adoptee. I have mixed feelings about the book, and don't feel as though I am part of the book's targeted audience.

This book didn't really answer any of my questions about my adoption.

Still, the letters are touching, moving, beautiful... I cried while reading them. It gave me emotional release in the sense that it moved me to tears.

I think that the letters in this book bring more closure for the birth mothers and the adoptive mothers than they do for the Korean adoptees. Birth mothers are given a chance to justify their decision, to explain themselves, to put into words how and why they reached this agonizing choice. Adoptive mothers are commended, thanked, and applauded, told "You did the right thing, thank you so much!"

But what about the Korean adoptees? Each Korean woman writes an anonymous letter to her child. Are we to pretend that one of these letters is meant for us? These are details about other adoptions, not our own adoption. And they are about adoptions that took place in the 1990s, a lot later than in the 1970s and 1980s when most American Korean adoptees came to the U.S.

Because I was born in '81 and these letters were written in the 90's, I felt really disconnected from these women. If I could have ready even 1 letter written to 1 woman's daughter in the year I was born, I could have more easily imagined or felt like I was reading a letter written from my birth mother to me.

For mothers who have adopted Korean children, this book is wonderful. But for Korean adoptees, it leaves our many questions unanswered.

Still, Korean adoptees might enjoy it. It is an emotional read that will make you cry.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sharon K. Martinez on June 19, 2001
Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Korean-born son who is now age 19. The letters in "I Wish for You a Beautiful Life" were written by birth mothers who had their babies in Ae Ran Won, a home for unwed mothers in Seoul and then gave them up for adoption. The letters written by these birth mothers and the records kept by Ae Ran Won will provide a link for Korean Adoptees to find their birth mothers later in life. This is not the case for my son as he was abandoned near a Police Box in Seoul in December 1982 at the age of 15 months. There is very little hope for abandoned children to find their birth mothers/families. That is why I feel this book can be so helpful for abandoned children. Since they can never know for certain, this book can provide some knowledge of background circumstances (cultural and personal) for unwed Korean birth mothers in general. Then, perhaps, these children can feel some measure of comfort in knowing that they were not "rejected" but will indeed be loved forever by their birth mothers. I read the book from cover to cover before presenting it to my son. I had to make three attempts to read it as I was overcome with tears each time. My son was touched to receive it and promised that he would read it during a quiet time when he can reflect on his emotions.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Heather Lowe on June 9, 1999
Verified Purchase
As a birthmom whose infant son is in an open adoption, my heart cried out when I read this book. These Korean birthmothers are half a world away, in a very different society, and yet they share all the emotions I did when it came time to relinquish my child.
The pain of entrusting a child to adoption is like no other. This book helps explain the immensity of that pain.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
This book is wonderful, but be aware that it isn't for children, the emotions and complexity of issues require a more mature frame of reference. For adoptees, irregardless of being Korean, it is one of the saddest things to be reminded of the day your parents decided to put you up for adoption. This book gives you the state of mind of the mothers as they make the most difficult decision in their lives.
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