Who Are We?
We are a husband/wife team who happen to both be Korean adoptees. This commonality brings a lot of unique dynamics to our marriage, our understanding of each other, & our interactions with others. We are also just normal people who enjoy good music, delicious food, sleeping in, traveling together, watching football, & being in community with friends. We currently reside in Nashville, TN.
About the Blog Name
We the Lees comes from another commonality we share – the name Lee! It is quite ironic, though, as Lee was not a part of either of our Korean birth names – we were each given Lee by our adoptive families. Husband Lee received it as his first name from his paternal, German side (a family name for several generations), while wife Whitney received it as one of her two middle names when her parents desired to keep her Asian heritage as a part of her English name. We’ve found that Lee can, at times, complicate our lives, as it reinforces the preconceived notions some people have when they meet our two Asian faces for the first time.
Lee was born in Busan, South Korea and was adopted at 4 months of age. He went to school and lived in Harrisburg, PA all of his life. He graduated college with a Business Administration/Finance degree and started working shortly after for the U.S. Government. He was married in 2013 and relocated to Nashville, TN. Life in the South has been an adjustment, but one that Lee has thoroughly enjoyed. He is now surrounded by numerous varieties of live music and entertainment, which keep him very occupied.
Lee’s adoption story is not a unique one, in that so many other Korean adoptee stories fall along the same lines. He has never met his birth family, but there has always been a desire to someday learn more about them. He’s had the opportunity to see the interaction between Whitney and her Korean family, which most adoptees never get the chance to witness first-hand. Having a better understanding of this family dynamic is key for Lee in making his future decision to either start a birth family search or leave things in the unknown. Only time will tell as to what he chooses to do.
Lee has a passion and love for music, particularly the violin. He started playing when he was 11 years old and had the distinct opportunity to play professionally with the Hershey Symphony Orchestra for approximately 10 years prior to moving to Nashville. When he’s not playing the violin, Lee’s other interests include Pittsburgh Steelers football, Penn State football, traveling, collecting sports cards and memorabilia, fantasy football, eating plenty of Southern foods, trout fishing, going to concerts, independent financial consulting, hanging out with friends and family, anything Christmas related, and finding unique ways to annoy his wife.
About Whitney (Hyang Lee)
Whitney is a twenty-something, self-proclaimed food enthusiast who identifies as a post-reunion KAD. Upon moving to Korea for work after finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she was given the unexpected opportunity to reunite with her birth family and begin to develop relationships with that nuclear core, as well as a large extended family. Five years later, she maintains regular contact with them and has experienced all of the ups and downs of navigating the complexities and dynamics of these relationships. Whitney has made every attempt to remain an open book throughout the experience in an effort to offer a perspective to adoptees and their families about what a birth family reunion can look like. She is quick to emphasize that she is not adoption expert and that her experience is just that – her experience. Adoption is such a uniquely personal thing that varies according to any number of factors (individual, family, cultural, etc.) and everyone has their own unique story. Whitney’s individual blog detailing her birth family reunion can be found here.
Whitney loves animals, gadgets/tech, baking, organizing, eating, playing piano, studying Korean, Excel spreadsheets, penny-pinching, coupon-cutting, jigsaw-puzzling, listening to music, playing games, photography, reading, knitting, napping, and basically being an 80-year old in a twenty-something’s body. She is allergic to physical activity/being outdoors and has been known to fall asleep while laying on the floor to do stomach crunches.