A journal entry from a member of this summer’s Holt heritage tour to China
By Maggi YiJu Liebetrau
Traveling to China was an eye-opening experience. I had the opportunity to see my birth country, learn about the Chinese culture and experience the friendliness and openness of the Chinese people. Most were curious about why 23 Chinese girls were in a large group with Caucasians. But when it was explained that we were adopted and the Caucasians were our parents, most of the people were excited for us. Experiencing the Chinese traditions was exiting. I went to a market in my home city and saw how ordinary people make a living by selling cooked food, fresh fruits and vegetables, livestock, and clothing. In America, we don’t see something that big and productive every day.
The country itself is big and beautiful. We went to the countryside and saw the mountains. I liked seeing some of the famous tourist sites, like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. But I really enjoyed seeing the sites that weren’t so well known. We attended a foreign language school and took a couple classes with the students there. I was surprised to see that the schools are so different than they are in the United States. I enjoyed seeing the students’ reactions to Americans coming to their school. They spoke very good English and Chinese.
Going back to Mother’s Love, my orphanage, in Nanning was very touching. I saw the old building where I was taken care of for a couple months before moving to a foster home. We were the last group to go the orphanage before it was to be torn down. It is sad to know that my orphanage will no longer be there, but brand new buildings for all the homeless children and disabled orphans are there for the children to grow up in.
I was fortunate enough to get to meet my foster parents. That made me really happy. They were happy to have me come back and meet them. They told lots of stories and gave me a picture of my foster mother and me on the day I was adopted – a special memory that I will never forget. I now feel more complete about where I came from and know who touched my life before I was adopted and brought to the United States.
If you are considering joining next year’s tour, I would recommend it. It’s a great experience. I feel more at peace with myself, and I can say I’ve seen China at it’s very best. Holt was really good to us and we were treated with only the best.
I not only made lifelong friends – friends who truly understand what I’ve been through as an adoptee — but I made lifelong memories too.
Interested in traveling on one of next year’s Heritage tours to China? Contact Lisle Veach at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to be put on an interest list. Hope to see you next summer!