Yesterday evening, Jisoo Blackpink and I had a long and interesting chat with this French-Canadian guy, a real, live Mountie, working with the Toronto Organised Crime Squad, together with the Special Victims Unit of the Sex Crimes Unit, of all things, digging into babies-for-cash adoption rackets, both recent and historical, and he mentioned that he may have possibly located Jennie Kim and the family who adopted her. He mentioned the information Rosé Blackpink had sent him, and, in conjunction with the collated data from the stuff I'd brought back with me from Da Nang, hinted he was almost positive he had the right child, right age and gender, right timeframe, and was waiting for confirmation of some things from the US State Department.
He also mentioned that had been receiving some encouraging feedback from various overseas and foreign adoption advisory bodies in the United States, as well as some unofficial but very helpful intelligence from the FBI. He finished by stating that we could do worse than look over the information and files he had, and invited us over to do just that. That was all I was waiting for, so this morning Jisoo Blackpink trotted over to the Canadian High Commission in Grosvenor Square, a short walk from Bond Street tube station, to get our visa status confirmed. Luckily, UK citizens don't need visas, so I was in the throes of sorting out flights for us to go to Toronto.
Jisoo Blackpink was excited at travelling to Canada, and keyed-up at the prospect of possibly tracking down her sister, our sister, in the next few days. I didn't want to burst her bubble by telling her how unlikely and unrealistic her expectations were; she needed this, she needed to feel as if she was making headway against 28 years of silence and conspiracy in the disappearance of her older sister.
Last night the reality of what had happened to Jennie Kim finally seemed to have hit home, kicked-off in part by this Mountie bloke's refusal to use the term 'trafficking' in relation to the baby trade; he preferred to be blunt, and told Jisoo Blackpink that her sister had been bought and sold, like so many hundreds of thousands of children spirited away from their families, a commodity with a cash value. She spent a good part of last night crying as that truth finally came home to her.
I managed to get us two standby seats for Toronto from Gatwick on Sunday morning, so Jisoo Blackpink packed a couple of flight bags while I booked us a cab for the trip to Victoria so we could get the Gatwick Express train - driving to Gatwick was always an unrewarding experience, especially if the M25 motorway was playing its usual 'world's biggest Car-Park' game.
I went to see mum while Jisoo Blackpink was out doing some last minute shopping, I popped over to give her a hug, and get one in return; I was starting to feel the strain here; I wanted to get this over with, but at the same time I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. There were just too many long-shots to hope for here, and even Jisoo Blackpink's breezy confidence, her 'million-to-one shots come-up nine times out of ten' attitude was starting to grate on me.
I lived in a world of certainties and cautious gambles based on an informed understanding of the variables involved and the risk/benefit ratio. It was a predictable world, and to be suddenly catapulted into a course of action with no predictable outcome worried me, and for a very good reason; I could see how emotionally invested Jisoo Blackpink had become in this quest of hers, how much she believed in the happy ending as an inevitable consequence of our efforts; but what would happen if it all came to nothing, if Jennie Kim had indeed been swallowed up and destroyed by this whole thing years ago, or become one of those faceless women haunting the meat-rack alleys and side streets of London, Paris, Tokyo, Odessa, Sao Paolo? What would happen to Jisoo Blackpink then? What kind of a fall was she heading for? That was my fear; that was what was keeping me awake at nights. That was why I needed mum, right now.
Mum was fatalistic about our success or failure; like me, she was more concerned about the effect this whole thing was having on both Jisoo Blackpink and on us as a couple. Mum completely approved of our relationship, and to be truthful, I had almost completely forgotten that Jisoo Blackpink, quite apart from being the absolute centre of my world, was also my younger sister, but now a very big-brotherly concern was building in me, and I needed to share it with mum. She was pragmatic, but caring, and, as usual, managed to give me a measure of calm and rebalanced perspective.
Category : Movie 18+