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Adoptees, board members and partner agencies visit the Ilsan Center, founded by Harry and Bertha Holt in 1964 to care for children unlikely to find families through adoption.

First Generation Adoptees Travel to Korea for Holt Korea’s 60th Anniversary

Last week, on October 15 and 16, Holt Children’s Services of Korea celebrated their 60th anniversary with an international conference and a gala dinner in Seoul.

To acknowledge this important milestone, first generation Holt adoptees traveled to Korea to be a part of the historic event. The first wave of adoptees were also pioneers in the process of international adoption and in addition to connecting, or reconnecting with the country of their birth, they also connected with one another.

For some, it was the first trip back. For others, it was a familiar journey. But for all, it was a memorable experience that was highlighted with the 80th birthday celebration of Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt who has devoted her life to caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in Korea. While the sights and sounds of the city are always appealing, the group also traveled to Jeonju Babies’ Home — a care center for children supported by Holt International. Spending time with the toddlers and babies brought back memories and thoughts of “what ifs” to many.

The trip to Ilsan is always the centerpiece of a visit to Korea. Sitting at the grave site of Harry and Bertha Holt and visiting Molly and the residents of the Ilsan Center for children and adults with special needs is a profound reminder of where this all began. These adoptees — along with thousands of others worldwide — are the legacy of the unwavering commitment of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt 60 years ago.

2. Media Day
At the Holt Korea office in Seoul, tour members participated in staff chapel, took a tour of the building and programs and adoptees participated in media interviews with Korea’s top newspaper, Choson Ilbo.
4. Front Page News
The Holt Alumni Tour group makes front page news of the Choson Ilbo newpaper!
The Holt Alumni group with Dr. Cho at the Baby Box.
6. Baby Box
The tour group listens to Pastor Lee and his team about the history of the Baby Box, where women facing the stigma of unwed motherhood can anonymously relinquish their babies.
7. Mary, David, Pastor Lee
First generation adoptee Mary Salvadore and her son, David Mawhiney, with Pastor Lee.
8. Small group photo before Conference
Adoptees Steve Morrison, Pia Brandsnes, Margaret Fitch-Hauser, Marian Newell, Jonathan Myer, Meghan Nelson and Susan Cox before the 60th Anniversary Conference.
Wishing Molly Holt a Happy 80th Birthday with a special floral arrangement with adoptees “before” and “after” photos.
Wishing Molly Holt a happy 80th birthday with a special floral arrangement featuring adoptee “before” and “after” photos.
10. Jodie Andrew Kim
Jodie Mendoza, Andrew Lee and Kim Lee at the 60th Anniversary Conference.
11. John Stephen and Wife
Stephen Thatcher, John Kennedy and Miri Thatcher at the 60th Anniversary Conference.
Katy Linn, Chris Linn, Julie Duvall and Kim Hanson on the bus to the Grand Hilton for Holt Korea’s 60th Anniversary Gala.
2. Jonathan Jeonju Baby Home
Jonathan Myer shares a special moment with a young boy at the Jeonju Babies’ Home, bonding over their glasses.
3. Margaret
First generation adoptee Margaret Fitch-Hauser with her “before” and “after” photos.

Learn more about Holt’s history and legacy in Korea!

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