Holly's Family Reunification & Homeland Trip Fund

Last year, I started a process I had always thought I would do “someday.” This July, my partner Luci and I are heading to Seoul for my first trip back to South Korea since I was 4 months old and to meet my birth family.

In April 2018, I attended the first Korean Queer and Trans Conference  (KQTcon) in NYC. I met several adoptees who shared their stories, their birth families’ stories, and straight up facts and stats on international adoption (I have the power point if you’re interested). Hearing from other adoptees about their experiences with birth family searches at the conference led me to start my own search. 

Last July, I submitted the paperwork and fees to the US agency my adoptive parents (who have been very supportive throughout this process) used. After getting off of a 2 month wait list, the search moved very quickly. I started working with a social worker in October and they found the address of my birth parents in less than a month. By the end of November, I had received letters and emails from my birth mother (eomma) and father (appa).

My birth parents are still married and have 3 other children. They live in Seoul, where I was born. Two of my siblings speak a little english, but the rest of them do not. My older sister and I have started taking language classes since we found each other. In December, we all started texting through an app that automatically translates for us. The translations aren’t always clear or accurate however, and it’s hard to have an in-depth or nuanced conversation.

We are flying out July 7th (Luci’s birthday) and coming back on July 19th (3 days before my birthday). My birth family seems very excited to meet me and we will most likely spend most of our time there with them. We are also open to roaming and getting lost in the streets of Seoul on our own. I’m trying to keep our itinerary open and not over-plan (very difficult for me!).

Traveling to Korea is not cheap (flights were $1,500 each). Luci has been working her booty off as a student for the past year and a half and our budget has been tight. It was important to me to have her with me as part of my support system for this trip, although that means covering her expenses too. One of the reasons I had put off my birth family search this long was that I didn’t have the means to actually go to Korea if I found my birth family. But this past year felt like the right time and I didn't want to wait any longer as my birth parents aged. If you can contribute to our fundraiser and want to buy this Cancer duo some birthday drinks in Korea, we would deeply appreciate whatever you can chip in.

I’ll also be doing some written updates before/during/after the trip to save on repeating our experiences too much and to help process everything. Please let me know if you’d like to get occasional email updates and thank you in advance for helping to make this trip possible! 

Much love,

Holly & Luci
  • Meghan Dixon
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Max Freedman
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Samantha Cameron
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Kirsten Williams
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Patricio Battani
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
See all


Holly Sansom
New York, NY

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