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Beautiful first pitch ball

Posted April. 05, 2001 21:35,   


Adam King, 9, who pitched the first ball of the opening games of the baseball season, is our little hero giving us dreams. When the boy, King, greeted the spectators in Korean ahead of the opening games, "Hello, everyone, my hero is Babe Ruth, the legendary American home run king," some 30,000 spectators who jam-packed Chamsil Ballpark in Seoul shouted and clapped their hands in praise of the Korean adoptee to America. King`s pitch was the most beautiful and emotional scene that has happened in two decades of Korea`s baseball history.The boy, who had been abandoned even by his parents because he was stricken with a queer disease that made his fingers swollen and his two legs rotten, was adopted by a benevolent American family and underwent operations on three occasions. As a result, his legs were amputated but he is now walking proudly on metal legs without help of crutches. As he walked on the mound at the stadium effortlessly with the two bright red-green metal legs, he looked to be a boy coming from Mars who starred in a science fiction film. Babe Ruth may be a hero, but King was the real hero of the day.

We are inclined to pay high respect or even feel shame to his adopted father Charles King`s family who took the boy to America, the ill-fated child who was deserted even by his parents and his fatherland, and nurtured him to grow brightly and innocently. The King family is said to have adopted eight children including five disabled, besides his three own children. Thinking that it is not easy to foster one physically disabled child, it is hardly imaginable how much hardship the King family would have to undergo to take care of as many as five handicapped ones. The Kings reportedly plan to come to Korea in July and adopt a spastic child, in addition to the existing four Korean adoptees.

The Koreans cannot escape blame for their narrow-mindedness, being unable to transcend the boundary of blood family relations. About 99.5 percent of the abandoned babies born to unmarried women and taken care of by orphanages have been adopted by foreign countries. A small number of the Korean families adopt orphans here but with the exception of the disabled.

In advanced countries, there is a growing tendency that the accommodation of the children at the orphanages is regarded to be maltreatment of the little ones and therefore their accommodation facilities are on the decline. Korea, whose nickname was the exporter of the orphans since the Korean War, has yet to shed the disgraceful name until now, despite the fact that the nation is ranked 11th in terms of economic growth. If any facilities for the handicapped children are planned to be installed, the neighboring residents are prone to resort to collective action against the plan. This makes us ponder whether Korea is really qualified to have a say as far as human rights and welfare are concerned.

In order to create a society in which love and hope prevail, the people ought to relinquish the obsolete family-oriented way of thinking and turn their eyes to their estranged neighbors. Before the Kings` great love and Adam`s innocent smile, we are inclined to reconsider what is the value of the life.