On October 19th, four adoptees will travel to Korea on the Happy Together Tour, a trip designed to give Korean adoptees with special needs the opportunity to return to their country of birth. While there, the adoptees will tour Holt-supported programs, take part in popular sightseeing activities, and some may be able to reconnect with caregivers. “The trip was amazing! A true blessing to experience going with a group of other adoptees,” Holt adoptee Misty Rasmussen says of her trip in 2014. “To share what each of us adoptees have in common was amazing. It was also a little emotional for me. I didn’t get to meet my birth family like I was hoping, but I still loved it and think it’s very beneficial for other adoptees!”
In 2011, adult adoptee and Holt employee Jordan Love also went on the Happy Together Tour, and will be traveling on the tour again next week.
Below is a testimonial from Jordan’s experience on the Happy Together Tour in 2011:
The week-long experience was incredible. It was the first time that I had returned to South Korea since my adoption when I was 4 years old. At times it was overwhelming because there were so many new experiences happening all at once. I was able to take my sister — who was also adopted, and it was also her first time back — and I will treasure getting to experience it with her. Looking back, getting to visit and experience the culture of South Korea was amazing, but the time I got to spend with the people who helped me at the Ilsan Center was the real highlight of my trip. Being able to talk to them, hear their stories about me, and listen as they tell me they have thought and prayed for me over the last 24 years… words can’t explain how much this meant to me and it really motivated me to continue to be an advocate for adoption and do whatever I could to continue the legacy that the Holts started.
I am going back on the tour again this year, and I don’t want to take it for granted. I want to be able to experience the trip without being so overwhelmed and I can’t wait to continue to learn about Korea’s culture and everything else the Happy Together tour offers. Since this trip is for special needs adoptees, I look forward to opportunities to share my life story and be a voice for special needs adoption. I am hopeful that I will be able to see some of my caretakers again and get to spend some quality time with them. I am very excited to go back to Korea and grow and learn from this experience!
The adoptees return from their trip on the 26th. Susan Cox, Holt’s vice president of policy and external affairs, will be accompanying the adoptees on their trip.