On Monday, July 28, Holt adoptee Christina Lilya returned to the United States after the trip of a lifetime — a trip that took her back to the country where she was born, and where she sponsors a sweet and beautiful 4-year-old little girl, Min-Ji.
Born in Korea, Christina was adopted to a family in the United States when she was 10 months old. Now 28 years old, Christina wanted to learn more about her culture and history. She reached out to Molly Holt — the daughter of Holt’s founders, Harry and Bertha Holt — who has served children at Ilsan Town in Korea for more than 50 years. Christina made plans to travel with a friend, hopeful she could meet her sponsored child in Korea, who she has helpedto support with a monthly $34 gift for a year.
Christina says her trip was a blessing — learning about where she is from, and some of the rich traditions she would like to teach her own children some day.
Christina was lucky enough to meet Min-Ji, who lives at the Jeonju Baby Home, about a six-hour drive from Ilsan. Molly took Christina to meet Min-Ji, and they arrived with clothes, toys and books to donate.
“Seeing the children’s faces as I was unpacking the bag was enough to bring me to my knees crying,” Christina says. Christina says that meeting Min-Ji was life-changing. Though Min-Ji was a bit shy at first, Christina says she quickly climbed into her lap and they spent the afternoon communicating through giggles, hugs and snuggles.
“Seeing my donations at work was hugely impactful for me,” Christina says. Min-Ji isn’t on track to be adopted like many of the children at Jeonju, but lives at the care center because both her parents have special needs and need help caring for their daughter.
Check out the adorable photos from their first meeting! If you would like to sponsor a child through Holt, click here to view the profiles of children who need sponsors.