Last year, while grieving the loss of her mom, adoptee Lee Henggeler discovered a box of adoption paperwork that helped her reconnect with her mom through the journey she took to become a mother. It also sparked an idea for a journey she herself would take to honor her late mom. This story originally appeared on Lee’s blog, thecampsarehere.com.
Deep loss can bring you face to face with what was missing when you thought you had everything …
A DARK PLACE
(written February 4, 2020)
On April 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm, a woman I had never met called to tell me my mom was dead. My husband, 4-year-old and I were driving on I-95, all our belongings in a moving truck, less than an hour from Charleston, SC — uprooting and relocating after eight years in Washington, D.C. to spend more time with Grama CeeCee. But just like that *snap* she was gone, and with her all of the time we had every intention of spending — and there was nothing we could do. Continue reading “Thankful for Silver Linings”
Holt adoptee and child sponsor Sally Feldmann shares a piece she wrote for her dad this year for Father’s Day.
Father’s Day is the one day of the year that is solely dedicated to recognizing the love and devotion that fathers around the country show their children. A father’s love is unending and one of the strongest forms that exists. But today, on this national holiday honoring fathers, I want to talk about one type of father in particular. The type of father who made the ultimate selfless and caring choice to step up and be a father for a child who did not have one. Continue reading “The Father You Didn’t Have To Be”
As a baby, sick from the effects of polio, Derek Parker was found at the gates of Holt’s Ilsan Center in Korea. The whole trajectory of his life changed when Molly Holt knelt down, picked him up and brought him inside…
“There’s a child at the gate — come look.”
This is the beginning to all that Derek Parker knows about his life.
In searching for her birth mom, Holt adoptee Krista Gause meets her first biological family member — though not the one she expected. This post originally appeared on Krista’s blog, Adopted and Korean.
A few weeks ago it was January 17, the first time in my life that I recognized and memorialized my birth mother’s death. It was quiet and it was sad, but it went on like any other day of my life. And then a couple weeks later I went to a doctor’s appointment.
“No husband today?”
“Nope just me, his sister is getting married tomorrow so he’s super busy at the office preparing for the day off.”
“That’s so exciting, how is he doing? Only a few weeks away!”
“He’s doing good! Taking care of me really well…he’s a little nervous.”
“That’s normal, how about you?”
“Me? I’m doing really good. A little nervous too, but mostly just excited.”
Adoptee Megan Green just returned from the 2016 Holt Family Tour to Korea, a trip she had dreamed of for many years. The experience and the personal connections she made while in Korea will always remain close to her heart.
I recently had the pleasure of being part of the 2016 Holt Family Tour of my motherland, South Korea. It was a life-changing experience that I will never forget.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of seeing my motherland of South Korea, but I never thought I would see this dream come to fruition. It was always a lofty ambition far off in the distance and nothing more. But as I progressed further into adulthood, that once-quiet yearning deep inside of me became such that it could no longer be ignored. So this year I set a goal to finally see my motherland, no matter what the obstacles may be.
You see, my viewpoint of the tour was unique because I was born with cerebral palsy. I have to use crutches for mobility purposes, which made me a bit apprehensive of this trip. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Before this tour I had never traveled outside of my home state of Nebraska, let alone outside of the United States.
After Holt adoptee Emily Thornton’s search for her birth mother came to an inconclusive end in 2014, she thought that was it. Then she learned about a search tool that has brought some success to other adoptees — restoring her hope, and inspiring her to launch a second search.
Over a year has passed since my initial, inconclusive search for my birth mother. Although my life is plenty full — a new home, full time work and a near part-time hobby (photography) — not a day goes by that I don’t think about who she is. Whether it is a fleeting drop of disappointment or an entire night wrapped in my husband’s arms grieving, I press on — trying not to let it eat away at my heart. I miss her without even knowing her name. Deeply and inexplicably, I miss her.
When Larry Gray, one of the first Holt adoptees, attended a Holt photo exhibit in Washington D.C. in November 2013, he was amazed to find a photo of himself as a child in Korea — the only photo he had ever seen of himself before he was adopted at age 5. Little did he know something even bigger was in store.
Two years ago, two Holt adoptees walked into a photo exhibit on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to see a very special collection of photos.
Adoptees Larry Gray and Kim Lindenbaum were hoping to see a photo, or read a caption, or make a connection with someone — anything that would help them know more about their past. Larry and Kim are among the first generation of adoptees from Korea who joined families in the U.S. through Holt International. In November 2013, 57 years later, they came together at this photo exhibit documenting life for children left orphaned or abandoned in the wake of the Korean War, as well as the humble beginnings of Holt International. Continue reading “First-Generation Holt Adoptee Reconnects With His Past”
If you read my blog, follow me on Twitter, or have met me before, it is fairly obvious that I shy away from discussing politically charged topics. Given my experience as a teenager and young professional, I now refuse to have any political discussions unless I’m 100% sure everyone talking / listening won’t take it personal. I’ve seen too many friendships tarnished to ever state my opinion outside good company. And that is exactly why this post is different from the rest, because it’s driven by my emotions and opinions.
It is hard for the majority of people in this country to understand or relate to the life of an adoptee. Even for those who are adoptees, there is difficultly relating to each other. Domestic adoptees have different life experiences than foreign adoptees. And if you dive down even deeper within those subgroups, experiences vary highly based on geography, income, etc. It would be like someone saying, “All Native Americans have the same life experiences.” Other than having a single thread that links a single high-level demographic group together, everyone’s individual life experiences are different. And in my eyes, that is what makes this world amazing. Continue reading “What Being an Adoptee Means to Me”