“A child lives in every adult,” thought a 17-year-old girl who lives in a government-run orphanage during a “parent’s interview” in the novel “Paint” written by Lee Hui-yeong. To understand what it means, you need to first understand what a parent’s interview is.
Whether a child is adopted or not is generally decided by potential parents, not children. However, the book turns it upside down and gives the right to decide to children. Potential parents are given an interview opportunity only if a child decides they want to have an interview with them after watching a pre-filmed video of them. Even if they do get the chance, what awaits them is a series of interviews they have to pass before adopting a child. The title, “Paint,” is a slang for “parent’s interviews” as they reveal how well the different colors of parents and a child mix. Adoptive parents are given benefits by the government, which explains a large number of people who apply for interviews.
The girl had many parent’s interviews for the past four years but turned down all of them because she was disappointed by shellfish people who wanted to adopt only for the benefits. However, she feels differently this time. The couple who applied for an interview did not have good relationships with their own parents, which is why they have decided not to have children. This is when the girl thought “a child lives in every adult,” and this is exactly why she thinks this couple who are wounded children at heart deserve to be parents. Being honest about their painful childhood in such a setting requires you to really care about the child, understand what it feels like to be hurt and therefore is determined not to hurt.
How well would our parents do in a parent’s interview? And what score would we get from our children?