Holt’s China tour kicks off on June 24th! Follow along as two of this year’s travelers — both adoptees from China — blog about their experiences. On this trip, they will see famous sites such as the Great Wall and the terracotta warriors, participate in cultural activities and a special overnight camp, and visit their home provinces. Without further ado, meet Grace, Marie and Claire…
Hello, I am Marie Zander. I am 16 years old, turning 17 at the end of July. Next year, I will be a junior in high school.
I am an only child with a single parent, my mother. I was adopted from China almost 16 years ago when I was only 13 months old. I was found when I was nine days old in the southeastern part of China. On this trip, I will discover exactly where.
I do not have any hard feelings toward my birth parents, nor do I really want to know much about them. For me, this trip is a way to learn more about my past, and to discover Chinese culture up close and personal. I am very excited to try new things and hopefully, to understand where I came from. This trip will very much be a journey of self-discovery. I hope to learn about what has made me, me, and all the history that comes along with that.
What I am looking forward to seeing the most would have to be the terracotta soldiers. I have read so much about them and seen them on TV shows and movies. I think it will be surreal to see them with my own eyes! The whole experience itself is something to look forward to, but I am worried I’ll be overwhelmed with everything that I get to experience. I only have a short amount of time in China, and so much to do!
My Chinese name is Chang Yan Fen, but my English name is Grace Fogland. I was adopted from the Changde orphanage in Hunan in 1999. I now live in Omaha, Nebraska. I am 15 years old and will be a junior in high school this coming fall. Holt has given us penpals in China, and I’m very excited to meet my penpal. She lives in Beijing, and also goes by the same English name as me! I am also excited to make this trip to China because I haven’t been there since I was 5 years old, when my family and I adopted my younger sister, Lili. I am also looking forward to going back to Changde and seeing where I was born.
Hello, my name is Claire Kendig. I am 18 years old and was adopted from Nannning, Guangxi when I was six months old. I recently graduated from high school and am planning on attending Ohio Northern to become a pharmacist.
I have always grown up knowing about Holt, but I still know very little about my Chinese culture. This trip is more than a journey to my homeland; it is a journey of self-discovery. While I love my family and friends with all of my heart, I am curious to learn about what life could have been like. But while there are so many questions I can ask myself, I am looking forward to unraveling my unknown culture with my own hands.
Ever since we decided to go on a tour of my heritage with Holt, I have been looking forward to meeting my foster mother and her daughter. I was their first foster child, and these people will be the closest thing I have to true biological relatives. I have been teeming with anticipation, and I know this will be the highlight of my trip.
I believe this trip to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I can only feel overwhelming gratitude for those who have helped me get this far. This is a trip I will never forget!