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Judgment of Adoption

This cause coming on to be heard on this 24th day of June, 1985, on the Petition for Adoption filed by Harold Wayne Kester and Pamela Kester, the Answer of the Guardian Ad Litem of the minor child sought to be adopted, the Entry of Appearance and Consent of Bethany Christian Services, Inc., a child welfare agency licensed in the State of Illinois, and the investigation heretofore made by Bethany Christian Services, Inc.; and the Court having heard all the evidence and now being fully advised in the premises, FINDS:

1. That it has jurisdiction of the parties to this cause and the subject matter hereof.

2. That the Petitioners reside at Hennessey Street, Box 25, New Berlin, Illinois, and have been residents of the State of Illinois for several years; they are of legal age and under no legal disability.

3. That the Petitioners desire to adopt Nah, Jong IL, an unrelated male child, born on February 22, 1981, in Korea. That the said child is in the custody of the Petitioners and has resided in the home of the Petitioners since December 1984.

4. That the biological parents of said children are unknown in that the child was an abandoned child; Holt Children’s Services, Inc. of Seoul, Korea was appointed Guardian for the minor orphan; Holt transferred its guardianship rights to Bethany Christian Services, Inc., a duly licensed Illinois Child Welfare Agency.

5. Bethany Christian Services, Inc. has consented in writing to the adoption of said child by Petitioners through its duly authorized representative.

6. That the Petitioners are reputable persons of good moral character with sufficient ability and financial means to rear, nurture, and educate the child in a suitable and proper manner.

7. That the allegations of the Petition are true and proven as therein alleged and it is fit and proper and for the best interests of the said child that the adoption be allowed herein.

It is therefore ordered and adjudged that from this date, Nah, Jong IL, a minor, shall be to all legal intents and purposes, the child of the Petitioners, Harold Wayne Kester and Pamela Kester, for the purpose of inheritances and all other legal incidents and consequences.

It is further ordered that the name of the said child be and it is hereby changed to Nathan Wayne Kester.

Identity

Thought I’d take some time to share some of my thoughts as I’ve been here in Korea for a little more than a month. Initially, I was excited to be here, to have some new experiences and to get know Korea in a first-hand manner. By now, I’d say the novelty has settled in and I’ve been thinking about myself and the world at large.

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Ethnic Minority Development and Asian American Identity Development Models

Phinney (1989) created a three-stage model of ethnic identity development that uses the idea of an Eriksonian ego identity as the foundation for development. Phinney (1989) pays close attention to the evolution of childhood ethnic identity, and how these beginning experiences and conceptions affect later confirmations of ethnic identity in adolescence. Phinney’s model resembles Erikson’s model such that ethnic minorities must undergo crises that later lead to a period of discovery of what it means to be an ethnic person in his/her society. A resolution is then formed as the identity is internalized. It is important to note that Phinney’s model is nonspecific in that it generalizes all ethnic minorities under one identity development process. This sort of ethnic generalization can become problematic not only for the diversity between ethnic groups, e.g. African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans, but within groups as well.

Phinney’s first stage of unexamined ethnic identity is where the ethnic person’s worldview is dominated by their idealization of Whiteness, European American culture, and White institutions. Ethnic minorities can see themselves through the lens of White society, and furthermore see Caucasian people as their reference group (Phinney, 1989). She divides identification with White people into active and passive categories. Active identification with Caucasians is an underlying factor of the notion of colorblindness. In this stage, ethnic minorities do not perceive differences between Caucasians and themselves and, consequently, minimize their ethnic selves (Phinney, 1989). In comparison, passive identification is when a person realizes that they are not White, but they wish to look like Caucasians and receive the privileges that they do not have as ethnic minorities (Phinney, 1989). While Phinney briefly mentions contextual factors that could impact the reality of this phase, such as parents and ethnic community, she does not truly integrate the idea of “place” into her model. How does the racial make-up of a community, peers and relationships, parents, and schools relate to how much one idealizes White standards? This question will be explored throughout this paper as an important critique of ethnic identity development.

Phinney’s next stage of ethnic identity search/moratorium is encompassed by a situation that changes an ethnic individual’s worldview such that the person realizes he/she cannot completely assimilate into White, European American society (Phinney, 1989). As a direct result of this, the individual feels anger and frustration towards White society, and, consequently, retreats into his/her respective racial group (Phinney, 1989).

The last stage of ethnic identity achievement is when uncertainties and insecurities surrounding ethnic identity are surmounted, and ethnic identity is accepted and integrated with the rest of one’s personal identity (Phinney, 1989). In addition, the individual has made a commitment that will guide him/her in future endeavors (Phinney, 1989).

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