Going For More Than Gold


A skating coach for Olympic hockey players, Kim Muir knew there was no way she’d miss this year’s Winter Olympics in Seoul. But as a Korean adoptee, the trip was about even more than gold medals…  

When I found out that that the Olympics were being held in South Korea and that I had five hockey students competing, I contacted Holt. As my athletes’ technical skating coach, I knew I wanted to travel to Korea to see my students compete. But I’m also an adoptee, so I knew that traveling back to Korea for the first time would be a meaningful and significant experience. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I’d be able to meet with the agency in Korea and potentially see my orphanage or an orphanage. Through reflection, it became a priority that I come and share my life story with my children. My life has been amazing, and I was eager to learn more about my beginning.

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A Letter of Gratitude

20160405_171743After her trip to Korea, adoptee Megan Green felt compelled to write a letter to her birth mother. This is what she said.

Dear Birth Mother,

The last two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life thus far. I have been blessed to be part of the 2016 Korea motherland family tour through Holt International.

The conclusion of the tour compelled me to write you a letter. I have written you many letters before, but now as I reflect back on them they all seem cold and distant — something I would write to a stranger. This letter is different than the others in that it is one of gratitude, empathy and understanding.

As you already know, I came into your life on February 21, 1984 at about 3:26 p.m. I was about 2 months and 21 days premature, I weighed a little over two pounds and I was born with cerebral palsy.

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Krista in Korea: Looking for My Mother

From the Holt Korea tour, adoptee Krista Gause shares about visiting the town where her birth mother lived — and the reasons why she fell in love with it. 

I only know a few things about my birth mother.

She was 23 when she had me.
She gave birth to me in Dongdaemun, Seoul.
She died on January 17, 1996.
And she was registered in Miryang.

In Korea, where one is registered could mean various things but more than likely it’s where her family is from (at least that’s what Koreans have been telling me).

So today while the rest of our group toured around Busan, John and I went to Miryang. And it was absolutely beautiful.

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Krista in Korea: What’s in a Name?

Adoptee Krista Gause continues to share about her experience on the Holt Heritage Tour in Korea. In this entry, she tells about a meaningful gift she received from Holt staff in Korea. 

Today we went to Holt Children’s Services office in Seoul, and a lot happened! But for right now I’d like to share just one of the dozen experiences we went through today.

Within a small auditorium we were greeted by some of the post adoption services members. Each of them incredibly kind. We are formally greeted by Esther who I’m excited to finally meet because I’ve heard her name thrown around so many times during my search. After watching a quick video we are assigned a case worker and we divide up into groups (I’m assigned to Esther). But before that, Holt informs us that they have a gift for all the adoptees. It’s a bag with various items within it, but the most sentimental piece is a necklace with our Korean names engraved on it.

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Krista in Korea: A Letter to My Birth Mother

Korean and adoptedThis summer, Holt adoptee Krista Gause will travel on the Holt Heritage Tour to Korea. Before her departure, she writes an honest and heartfelt letter to her birth mother, sharing about her life and grieving the fact that it is too late for them to meet. 

Dear Mother,

My name is Krista, and I’m your daughter.

The adoption agency, Holt International, suggested that I write you a letter. I told them that I didn’t know what to say and they advised me to tell you about my life, explain my intentions, let you know that I’m okay and that I’m looking for you.

You last saw me on February 19, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. You spent one day with me before you said goodbye. What you don’t know is that I was in foster care once you left and my foster mother, Mrs. Na, took good care of me. I was underweight and my crying was “vigorous.” But Mrs. Na and her family took such good care of me that after a few months I left their home and boarded a Korean Air flight to the United States. On June 8, 1988, four months after you said goodbye, I met my family. We met and fell in love at JFK Airport and every year we celebrate this day, my Airplane Day. Continue reading “Krista in Korea: A Letter to My Birth Mother”

The Gift of a Family

After 37 years of celebrating her adoption day with her family, Holt adoptee Leh Beal-Cook decided she didn’t want any presents. Instead, she sent a gift to Holt International in hopes that another child will be able to have a loving family of his or her own.

LehWhen I was twenty-one months old, I flew to Chicago to meet my adopted parents. My “adoption day” is a celebration my parents have for me every year, filled with a present, card, stories, cake and a meal of my choice. Thirty-eight years later and after 37 years of celebrating my adoption day, I decided I didn’t want a gift. I have the gift I may never have if it weren’t for my adopted parents, a family. As a South Korean girl whose history was not known, I was just a baby Jane Doe. My name and birthdate were probably randomly created. Before I was adopted, I went through three orphanages and two foster homes, but my mom says I was obviously very loved. My grandmother had read about adoptions from Korea and shared it with my parents who were looking to adopt. Even though my parents wanted a baby, they chose me after they saw my picture — thus, my new life began as a Holt adoptee. Continue reading “The Gift of a Family”