The Search for Family w/Chris McLaughlin feat Roasted Chestnuts?!

by KJ Roelke | Published October 19, 2021
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In this week’s episode of your favorite Korean Adoptee podcast, the Janchi Boys sit down with Chris McLaughlin to talk about searching for family and the power of reunion. Chris shares what it was like to grow up in Arizona and the culture shock he received after moving to Los Angeles. He also tells us about the search for his first family, reunion, and what it was like to start engaging with other adoptees as well as starting to feel Asian/Korean American.

Later, we try the worst thing we ever tried hands down. Like, all the way down (- Patrick).

// Meet Chris McLaughlin
Show Resources
In this episode we talk about:
  • The Hot-tro: 0:00
  • Welcome back for the first time, Chris McLaughlin!: 7:15
  • Chris’ story: 9:10
  • Arizona, California, and Culture Shock: 12:13
  • Engaging with Asian culture vs. feeling Asian: 15:35
  • The start of Chris’ birth search: 19:57
  • Chris talks about his birth mother + not being able to meet her: 23:38
  • Making contact w/his birth family: 27:01
  • Meeting his birth father and his brothers for the first time: 31:12
  • Feeling Asian/Korean American + Finding Community: 36:27
  • What’s next?: 55:08
  • Chestnut Roasting on an open…..Wait, what are these?: 57:48
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The Janchi Show Quick Bio
We’re three Korean Adoptees spread out around America and each of us are at different stages in life. We’ll talk about the Korean adoptee experience from our perspectives and learn more about our shared culture, usually with food. And it won’t just be the three of us; each week we’ll have other adoptees from all over the world joining us to talk about what makes us similar and what makes us unique. So join the party!
// Meet the Janchi Boys!
Nathan Nowack
Nathan was adopted from Seoul and raised in a small town in Oklahoma by a loving family and adopted sister.  After college in Colorado he later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a digital media career and eventually started 2 photography companies.  He has a wife and 3 kids and has reconnected with his biological family in 2014.
Connect with Nathan!Website:
Patrick Armstrong
Patrick was adopted from Seoul and raised in a small(er than Nathan’s) town in Indiana. After dropping out of college, he travelled around, working a variety of jobs before co-founding the All Times Are Local Foundation with his adopted sister in Chicago. He currently lives in Indianapolis with his fiancé and is 7 seconds into his journey of exploring his Korean-American adoptee identity.
Connect with Patrick!
  • Website:
  • LinkedIn: http://linkedin/in/patrickarmstrong219
  • Instagram:
K.J. Roelke
KJ was adopted from Daegu and raised in Dallas, Texas with his two biological, older siblings and his younger sister, adopted from Russia. After spending a decade in the Midwest for college and career, he and his wife are back in Dallas and living large! He has been on his journey of discovery since 2015 and you can find him online to see what he’s up to now!
Connect with K.J.!
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Executive Producer: Jerry Won
Creative Director: Michelle Nam
Audio & Video Engineer: K.J. Roelke