My name is Amy. No that’s not the name I was born with. No that’s not my “American” name. But that’s the name I grew up with. The name I identify myself with. Joon Hee is the name my birth mother planned on giving me, before she put me up for adoption. It wasn’t until 17 years later that I found out she gave me that name. I always used Se Young as my Korean name, the name that my social worker had given me. It was one of the closest things I had to my heritage.
In Korean, the word ‘An’ can be translated to ‘not’. Coincidentally, An is my Korean last name. Being adopted, you don’t always feel like you fit in. I don’t look like my adoptive family, they’re all white. I don’t fit in in Korea, there are cultural and language barriers. I feel like I don’t belong here nor there. That’s why I’m Joon Hee, but I’m also not Joon Hee.