Jessica Kern was sixteen the day she found the missing puzzle piece that finally made her life make sense.
Growing up, Kern, now 30, had always suspected something wasn’t right about her household. It was more than just the emotional and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her parents. It was a deep and unsettling feeling that somehow, she didn’t really belong.
Kern grew up in an interracial home – her father was white; her mother, South Korean. Kern was raised as a half-Korean girl, attending Korean school on the weekends and her mother’s Korean church. But the mirror told a different story. Her appearance lacked even a trace of Asian ancestry. At times, she wondered if she’d been adopted.
The truth turned out to be much more complicated than that. At sixteen, a therapist she was seeing to help her deal with her parents’ abuse shared something hidden deep within her medical records: Kern was the product of a surrogacy arrangement. The woman who had raised her from birth was not, in fact, her biological mother.
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