Name: Kim Fenneman
Age you were adopted: I arrived in the States when I was 7 months old.
Tell me about your book: “Corn-fed with Rice on the Side” is a memoir.
It’s a collection of stories about growing up as a Korean adoptee.
It chronicles my daily life from a light-hearted and humorous perspective.
The target audience for my book is primarily any internationally/domestically adopted child or adult and adoptive parents of internationally/domestically adopted children. But, it’s also a great book for non-adoptees because it will provide an insight into what it’s like to be adopted so they have a greater understanding and acceptance in the future.
You can get more information about the book and also purchase the book (coming soon!) on my website: www.kimfenneman.com.
The book costs $13.95 (plus shipping).
What was your goal in writing the book?
I never set out to be an author.
It just happened.
There have been so many funny stories and ironies in my life that I just wanted to see how many stories I could write down.
When I realized I had enough stories to actually become a book, I continued to write with the intention of bringing hope and inspiration to other adoptees and adoptive parents.
I wanted to bring a light-hearted and humorous perspective on everyday life of an adoptee.
Most books on adoption are about how to adopt, the history of, or the journeys of adoptees in trying to find their birth parents.
They are more dramatic stories and even heartbreaking ones.
That’s not my story!
I want other adoptees (domestic or international) to see the humor in everyday situations that we all face and find comfort in knowing they are not alone.
I want adoptive parents to learn from my journey and take away whatever little nuggets of information that will help them become the best parents they can be to their adoptive child.
And, I want non-adoptees to gain a greater understanding and awareness of what it’s like to grow up as an adoptive child.
What advice do you have for people considering adoption?
My advice to those considering adoption is first read my book!
It will give you a truthful look at one adoptee’s journey and how “normal” my life was and has become.
As most people would tell you, do your research…not only on the process, the agency, domestic or international, but what most parents should consider before having kids and that’s how do you want to raise your kids.
What’s your philosophy as parents?
Are you on the same page?
And most importantly, are you prepared to answer “those questions”…where am I from? Why don’t I look like you? Why did my real mommy not want me? Why was I given up?
There are numerous questions that an adoptive child could ask depending on their age, their circumstances, whether they’re being adopted into a family who already has children of their own.
I don’t think anyone can give you the answers to those questions, because as parents that’s your decision and your right to answer those questions how you see fit for your child.
But, those who have been there can lend insight into their experiences and shine some light on their situations.
That’s how I preface my book…the stories in the book are my experiences that I’m sharing with you to learn from, appreciate, and grow a greater understanding from.
It’s not to tell you what to do, what’s right or wrong for your situation because we’re all different.
Every adoption and adoptee is different, and there’s not one cookie cutter response.
So, just be prepared to answer “the questions.”
What do you wish people understood about being adopted? I wish people understood how incredible it is and how open someone’s heart is to adopt a child!
It’s like giving life to a child…not literally, but figuratively.
You are giving that child an opportunity to be loved, be protected, and be blessed by your support.
It’s an amazing gift that I don’t think most people really realize.
They might understand what adoption is or know people that have been adopted, but they don’t fully grasp the impact, the confusion, the questions that adoptees face.
It can be overwhelming for many adoptees.
Most of my friends don’t see my ethnicity.
They see the real me.
And, that’s what every parent hopes for their child…that people will connect with them for who they truly are inside and not how they look on the outside.
Honestly, I think more (non-adopted) Asians have more issues with adoptees due to the culture than others.
I’ve never received an even good reaction from a non-adopted Asian after I’ve told them I’m adopted.
It’s a little hurtful, but I know it’s rooted in their culture.
It’s a shame thing, and I can appreciate where they are coming from.
That’s all we can do in life…learn, grow and try to accept others and their circumstances even if we don’t agree with them.
Why are you hosting your first book signing in Clarksville, Iowa?
The reason it was SO important to me to come back to my hometown…small town USA…was because I wanted to give back to them a small fraction of what they gave to me all those years ago…complete acceptance!
International adoption was not a common thing back in the mid-70’s, so this was a new revelation to many…moreless small town dairy farmers in Northeastern Iowa!
I’m still amazed at my parent’s insight, motivation and determination to adopt an international child in those times.
What would their families think?
What would their friends think?
What would the community think?
Because in a small town everyone knows everyone and their business!
So, for this town to completely and unconditionally accept me for who I was and not treat me any differently than any other child growing up there at that time…it’s simply a grand blessing!
I felt completely normal growing up…never an inkling that I looked different or was different than any other child in town.
None of my friends ever teased me for being Asian or looking different and I’m sure you couldn’t say that in this day and age.
Yes, it was a different time, but my parents, that town, those friends and family were pioneers in changing the life of adoptees forever.
Since my adoption there have been many family and friends that have adopted children from all over the world!
My parents not only opened their hearts and eyes to the needs of a child, but they also opened the eyes and hearts for a community.
That’s why my 1st book signing is so meaningful to me…not only because it’s my first book signing, but because it’s for the friends and family and community that supported me all those years ago.
It’s a homecoming and a HUGE Thank You to them from me!
Special thanks to author Kim Fenneman for sharing her insights as an adoptee.
Kim is hosting her first book signing TODAY and TOMORROW at the Clarksville Public Library in Clarksville, Iowa.
Books can be purchased with cash or check on Friday, Sept. 13th from 2-4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 14th from 10 a.m. – Noon.