My webmaster, Paul, passed along a link to a poignant story of a dad about his adopted Korean daughter. She was a victim of bullying and has some scars to show for it.
Here is the beginning…
Bullying defies stereotypes. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, from good homes and broken homes, and can be rich or poor. Bullying is not just a metropolitan phenomenon. Bullying can occur in even the smallest rural town. And those who have been bullied struggle with a sense of identity. I Left My Heart focuses on the struggles my family dealt with as a result of bullying in a small Nebraska community.
I hope you will share this article with someone. I doubt I will ever do a more important story. For change to take place it has to occur where our children are. Our schools need to become more sensitive to how much damage bullies can really do and that even someone they might consider as an unlikely candidate to bully may well be among the worst at emotionally or physically bullying someone.
Bullying leaves terrible scars and the healing process can be slow. Though my family found a way to help my daughter heal, she still suffers from what a therapist calls post-traumatic stress. And I still suffer from being unable to protect my daughter.
Labor Day, 1981. “She’s a good baby. She’s a smart baby,” the Korean adoption escort told us as she brought Hyun Soo In, now Amanda Soo Ann Meyer, off the Northwest Airlines plane. Wife Jane’s “labor pains” were over. Amanda cooed and fit perfectly in Jane’s arms. Kindergarten son Matt walked through the terminal carrying a teddy bear bigger than the tiny girl he just met, smiled a perfect smile, and announced to everyone “that’s my baby sister.”
Weeks after Amanda arrived, a bout with Salmonella brought a stay in Omaha’s Children’s Hospital. A much healthier Amanda came home, and she grew and flourished. Snap shots from those years show her crawling and walking, and opening presents at family gatherings. She loved story books and Sesame Street. Amanda was a healthy and happy little girl. The pre-school years were an idyll compared to what awaited us.
Precocious Amanda started school in 1986. She displayed a God-given talent with words, hated math, loved music, and did not care for sports. Amanda was a typical American girl who just happened to be born in Korea. Her grade school days were carefree, but then she entered North Bend Central Junior High School.
Our soldiers receive months of training preparing for war in Iraq. Amanda received no training for her tour of duty. What training could have prepared her for slurs, even physical threats, merely because she looked different than 99% of the students in that school? Nobody escapes adolescence heartache-free, but Amanda’s life was heartbreak after heartbreak. How could children be so cruel? Junior high was open season on Amanda, and scores of students had a license to taunt. Where were the teachers? Can’t they see a girl sobbing in the hallways?