G.O.A.’L (Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link) is an organization that helps Korean adoptees with the birth family search, applying for the F-4 visa and dual citizenship, and various other things that adoptees may need help with.Throughout the month they have various activities available for adoptees to participate in. They hold cooking classes, workshops, and they even have a soccer team that meets weekly.
Last week when I applied for my F-4 visa at the immigration office, I was told that I could not apply for dual citizenship. So I decided to make an appointment with G.O.A.’L to discuss my options regarding dual citizenship and to see what was going on. On Monday I visited the G.O.A.’L office and found out that it was a miscommunication, which is understandable considering the language barrier. I am eligible to apply for my dual citizenship. They walked me through what the process would be, and they went over the pros and cons of having dual citizenship. It would take roughly 10 months to a year for me to recover my citizenship. One of the disadvantages that were pointed out to me was that I could no longer be eligible for scholarships that are specifically for foreign nationals in Korea.
Once I left the office and started back toward the subway, it hit me. I could apply for dual citizenship and become a Korean citizen. This was something I had thought about for many years, and now it might become a reality. I started to think about the time I applied for U.S. Citizenship when I was younger. I waited in line at a government office in California. I remember a part of me was sad that I had to renounce my Korean citizenship. I felt like a part of me was disappearing and that I was no longer Korean. Now, I am many years older and a part of me feels that I can be made whole again. I know that if I apply to recover my Korean citizenship, I won’t be completely whole again, but it’s a start.