Christian Long

Rick Smolan: Tells the Story of a Girl

In TED Talks on April 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

Reflection by BETH A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Rick Smolan:  Tells the Story of a Girl

Amerasian isn’t exactly a word that we may commonly hear nowadays. An Amerasian is a child that was fathered by American G.I.s, and they could be found all around southeast Asia. Hyun Sook Lee was the fifth child that Smolan followed. She was raised by her grandmother, and you can see, below, how much they look alike, and yet, she looks so Western.

This story is absolutely heart-warming.

When Hyun Sook’s grandmother dies, she leaves Hyun Sook to Smolan in her will. I found that quite interesting, since the grandmother had only known Smolan for a week. In the end, everything works out, but I still wonder, why Smolan? Why not her uncle? However, when Smolan does return to South Korea later on, he does see how unhappy Hyun Sook was with her uncle. So then, Smolan convinced her uncle to let her be adopted by Smolan’s friends.

I find it so wonderful that Smolan’s friends, Gene and Gail, were so willing to adopt an Amerasian, Korean girl. I think that it shows that, despite what we hear about some adoptions-gone-wrong in the media, there are some wonderful adoption stories, and this is definitely one of them.

Hyun Sook chose the American name of Natasha, but before her adoption could go through, there was a little bit of a twist. When spending the night in a hotel for a third night in Korea, there was a hotel fire, in the same hotel that Natasha, Gene, Smolan, and Gene’s son Tim were staying that. Luckily, they all survived without any injuries, which just adds to the unlikelihood of this story. Her adoption went through in 4 months, and then she was off to Atlanta with her new family. She adjusted very well, and her personality was still as bubbly and vibrant as it was when Smolan first met her. She did very well in high school, graduated from college, got married, and had children- a typical American life.

This story just gave me hope for all of the children that want to be adopted, and I think that this is a magnificent example.

I think that it should give those who are different, or orphans, hope that things can change for the better if you just be yourself and let others in. I highly recommend this video to anyone who is looking for a great story to listen to, I have recommended it to a lot of my friends and they have all told me how fantastic that it is, and how much it inspired them.

This definitely isn’t one of those average stories of a girl; this one is by far the most different and greatest that I have ever heard.


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