"I have so much to tell him, especially how sorry I am," 61-year-old Kwon Pil-ju tells the New York Times. "But I am at a loss because I don't know English." In a matter of weeks, Kwon's son, 41-year-old Adam Crapser, will return to South Korea, a country he doesn't know, and a mother he doesn't remember. Crapser is being deported by the US, where he was adopted as a child, because his adoptive parents—who abused and abandoned him—never filed for citizenship on his behalf, a fact the married father of three only became aware of when he ran afoul of the law. Kwon learned of Crapser's situation—she didn't even know he was in the US—from a South Korean documentary. She reached out to him through the documentary's producer and is preparing to be reunited with her son.
"I have never imagined that he was having this hard life of his," Kwon tells the Times. "I should have kept him even if we starved together." Kwon, born poor and with a paralyzed leg since childhood, was abused and abandoned by the father of her three children, forcing her to give them to an orphanage; Crapser was sent to the US for adoption at age 3. The same concerns still linger for Kwon four decades later: "I am still poor, but I owe him a lot of love," she says of Crapser. She is preparing a room for her son in her tiny home and spending hours every day practicing the English alphabet. She hopes to be able to communicate with Crapser, who shared a message for her in the documentary: "I am always your son, your flesh and blood." Read the full story here. (Read more deportation stories.)