A Return Home; A Known and Unknown Journey

Holt adoptee Ling O’Donoghue shares about her experience on the 2015 Holt China Tour.

China Trip 2015 1015[1]
Ling with her mom, Sharon, at the site where she was left as an infant — the gates of the orphanage where she spent the first several months of her life, Nanping Children’s Welfare Institute.
Looking back on the Holt China tour, I feel that it went beyond all my expectations. I’ve been looking forward to this trip ever since I was little. It was a dream come true, allowing me to experience my culture, visit my orphanage, and absorb and share my feelings about adoption.

The excitement of preparing for the trip was half the fun. I spent the fall researching the reasons and policies behind adoption, and shared personal stories with other international adoptees. I also created a mosaic artwork for a school project, which represented my feeling about being “Rooted in Two Worlds.” I wanted to be prepared for any new emotions that would arise on this trip. So I met with a therapist who helped me process my feelings about adoption. It was fun getting ready for the trip, especially thinking about and deciding on the gifts for the people we would meet and for the children at the orphanage where I lived until my mom adopted me in 1999. I prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually as best I could. In China, I learned the preparation was worthwhile. I felt engaged, I was eager to learn the history of the places we visited, I asked questions of the Holt staff, and I was open to sharing my feelings. It’s not about how many presents you brought or the great experiences you can brag about to your friends. It was an incredible feeling to discover my birth country. Continue reading “A Return Home; A Known and Unknown Journey”