Blessed To Belong

Recent high school graduate Liana DiCredico shares about her experience growing up adopted, and as one of the first Holt adoptees from China.

Up until 1996, most of the Holt adoptees were from Korea.  My year was one of the first that most of the children, including myself, were from China.  Now that same group who was adopted seventeen years ago has reached a monumental point in their lives – high school graduation.  I was very fortunate to belong to the first large group with so many other individuals who share my Chinese heritage.  Throughout the years, my family participated in many Holt events during which I learned about my Chinese culture. It was a great experience to be able to celebrate events like Chinese New Year with families very similar to mine.

Liana with her parents on her graduation day.

Liana with her parents on her graduation day.

The small group in which my parents traveled to China has always kept in contact. Despite living in various parts of the country, we stay in touch through reunions and particularly at Christmas time when we exchange cards, letters, and photos.  Through social media, I have stayed in touch with my fellow adoptees.  It is wonderful to be able to keep in touch with these friends who came from the same beginnings.  Although we were born into the same circumstances, we now have very different lives.

Unfortunately, not everyone understands the complexity and love that is part of the adoption process.  I am lucky to have a supportive network of friends who are in the same position as I am, and with whom I can talk about such topics.  I am also extremely fortunate to have a loving and close-knit family.  My parents have always supported me unconditionally. My family is Italian, as my mother’s parents emigrated from a small town near Rome.  My father’s grandparents came from a more southern part of Italy.  We continue to celebrate our Italian culture and now incorporate them with Chinese traditions. I have grown up in an environment enriched with many cultures, in addition to the American way of life.

Liana with her boyfriend.

Liana with her boyfriend.

On June 4th, I graduated from Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, a school I was initially reluctant to attend.  My parents encouraged me to attend Eustace and have always shared my success with me as well as comforted me when things did not go as planned.  Bishop Eustace turned out to be the perfect match for me and allowed me to grow personally and academically.

I was overjoyed to be accepted to my first choice school, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland, where I will study neuroscience on the pre-medicine track.  I know that I can depend on my family now more than ever, as I prepare to leave for college this fall.  I will be faced with many new and exciting challenges and will meet many new people from different backgrounds and nationalities.  I am confident that my experiences will be a great help in meeting challenges successfully. Perhaps I may become friends with other Holt adoptees who have chosen to attend the same college as me.  Several times, I have unexpectedly encountered families who have also adopted from China.  For instance, my mother and I recently ordered my boyfriend’s boutonniere at a flower shop for the prom.  The woman who was employed there had adopted her two daughters from China.  It is amazing to have such a personal part of my life — my adoption from China — in common with complete strangers.

I have greatly enjoyed being part of the Holt family.  I consider myself blessed to be a part of such an incredible group.  I plan on staying in touch with my friends I met through the adoption process so that we can continue to share our lives.

Liana DiCredico | Deptford, New Jersey

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