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Supporting Adopted Youth with Meggin (Nam) Holtz - Ep 124

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 12/18/2023

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Take the initiative to learn from all the resources that are out there. Recognize the importance of doing so for the benefit of adopted youth. - Meggin (Nam) Holtz

If you're interested in supporting adopted youth in your family or community, then we have inspiration for you in today's episode! You may be trying to provide a loving and understanding environment, but still seeing your child struggle with feelings of not belonging. If you're feeling like your efforts to connect with an adopted youth in your life are falling short, then you are not alone! It's common to feel frustrated and discouraged when you see your child grappling with identity issues despite your best efforts to support them.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover how adoption shapes identity exploration in youth.

  • Explore the transformative power of artistic expression for adoptees.

  • Uncover the complexities of searching for biological relatives as an adoptee, especially as a teen or young adult.

  • Learn the importance of support and community for adopted youth.

My special guest is Meggin (Nam) Holtz

Joining us today is the remarkable Meggin (Nam) Holtz, an intercountry, interracial adoptee and adoption therapist. As a Korean adoptee who was raised in the US, Nam has been at the forefront of adoption advocacy, awareness, and support for over a decade. With a Master's in Social Work, she brings a wealth of expertise, working in a private practice with adopted individuals and their families, while also engaging in macro work towards adoption reform and education. Nam's award-winning documentary, Found in Korea, serves as a powerful catalyst for discussions about adoption among youth and young adults, showcasing her commitment to empowering adoptees and fostering understanding.


πŸ“† Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

✨Healing the Adoption Constellation database: UnravelingAdoption.com/Healing

πŸ’ŒSign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: http://eepurl.com/hVIAVX


The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Watch Nam's documentary film Found in Korea on Vimeo to gain insight into the experiences of intercountry, interracial adoptees who are searching for their birth parents: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/foundinkorea 

  • Connect with Meggin (Nam) Holtz on Instagram at @foundinkoreafilm and on Facebook at Found in Korea

  • Visit the website adoptioninformed.com to learn more about Nam's therapy practice and find her contact information for potential therapy sessions.

  • Check out the Adoptee Mentoring Society that Nam mentioned, run by Angela Tucker: https://www.adopteementorship.org/

  • Here are Pact's youth groups: https://pactadopt.org/youth-clubs/

  • Find support groups and more events for all ages and all types of people touched by adoption at Beth's Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

  • Explore the unravelingadoption.com website for resources, coaching groups, and individual coaching services for adoptive parents.

  • Consider supporting the Unraveling Adoption podcast by visiting patreon.com/unravelingadoption to contribute to the show's maintenance and development.

Artistic Expression for Adoptees
Artistic expression can serve as a vital cathartic outlet for adoptees' feelings of confusion or alienation. Activities like dance or music not only provide a form of non-verbal communication but also can help adoptees feel connected and accepted.

Identity and Adoption
The concept of identity is complex for adoptees, being shaped by both their biological heritage and the family that raises them. Adopted youths often grapple with issues regarding self-identity, as they navigate the intersection of different cultures, races, and environments. Providing a supportive environment that appreciates these unique experiences can foster a stronger sense of self and understanding for adoptees.

Challenges of Biological Search
It's common for adoptees to seek their biological roots to answer questions about identity and heritage. However, this journey can often be fraught with emotional turmoil and disappointment. Support and guidance during this process can prevent feelings of isolation and help the adoptees deal with complex emotions constructively.


Other Resources: 


Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Support Unraveling Adoption on Patreon: Patreon.com/UnravelingAdoption


Create your own podcast through Libsyn: https://signup.libsyn.com/?promo_code=ADOPTION


Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 - Introducing the Guests
Beth welcomes Joey as co-host, and introduces the guest, Meggin (Nam) Holtz, an intercountry, interracial adoptee, and adoption therapist. They discuss their personal experiences with adoption.

00:03:19 - The Power of Dance and Music
Nam shares her experience as a professional dancer and the importance of dance and music in her life as a form of nonverbal communication and emotional regulation. Joey also shares his experience as a musician and how music has been a lifeline for him.

00:11:13 - The Journey to Making a Documentary
Nam discusses her decision to make a documentary about her birth search and reunion in Korea. She shares the emotional process of deciding to search for her birth family and the challenges of documenting her journey on film.

00:13:46 - Navigating Korea Alone
Beth inquires about Nam's experience of traveling to Korea by herself, not knowing the language, and managing the camera while documenting her emotional journey. They touch upon the challenges and emotional turmoil Nam faced during her trip.

00:09:29 - Identity and Alienation
Joey shares his experience of feeling alienated and struggling with his identity as a minority in a predominantly white school and how it impacted his self-perception. Nam also reflects on her own challenges with identity and feeling alienated growing up in a white household.

00:14:02 - Emotional Challenges and Directing
Nam shares the emotional challenges and behind-the-scenes work of directing her documentary. She discusses the struggle of maintaining composure on camera and the non-stop work during filming, highlighting the intense experience of creating the film.

00:16:11 - Visiting Country of Origin
Nam encourages people to visit their country of origin, emphasizing the value of experiencing the space and its resonance without the pressure of fulfilling certain expectations. She reflects on her own powerful moment in the water on the island where she was born.

00:17:48 - Purpose of the Film
Beth and Nam discuss the impact and purpose of the film, Found in Korea, for young adoptees and families. Nam shares her intention to create a positive and hopeful representation of searching for one's origins, emphasizing the importance of representation and early intervention in addressing adoption-related questions and losses.

00:23:36 - Learning and Growth
Nam reflects on her family's openness to learning and acknowledges the changes and growth in her understanding of adoption over time. She discusses the evolving perspectives and terminology in the adoption community, highlighting the shifting nature of knowledge and awareness in this area.

00:27:40 - Teen Mentorship and Group Outings
Nam and Joe discuss their experiences in teen mentorship and the impact of group outings for adoptee teens. They highlight the challenges of online adoption groups and the need for in-person connections.

00:28:55 - Barriers to Online Adoption Groups
Joe expresses his preference for in-person meetings and the difficulty of building relationships online. Nam highlights the need for responsible leadership in in-person support groups for youth and mentions various online adoptee groups and meetups.

00:33:31 - Adoptees Not a Monolith
The conversation delves into the diversity within the adoptee community, emphasizing the importance of recognizing different experiences, such as transracial adoption and age at adoption. They stress the need for understanding and acknowledging these differences.

00:36:53 - Challenges Faced by Youth
Joe shares his perspective on societal expectations and the challenges faced by the younger generation. Nam acknowledges the need for adults to listen more and acknowledges the unique experiences and perspectives of today's youth.

00:39:12 - Taking Initiative to Learn and Speak Up
Nam urges adoptive parents and community members to take the initiative to educate themselves about adoption experiences. They emphasize the importance of speaking up against the dominant narrative of adoption as purely positive and recognizing the complexities and losses involved.

00:42:23 - Reconnecting with Joe
Beth expresses her excitement about having Joe back on the podcast and looks forward to more appearances in the future.

00:42:36 - Unraveling Adoption
Beth shares information about the website, coaching groups, and resources available for adoptive parents.

00:42:50 - Support for Adoptive Parents
Nam emphasizes the availability of free resources and coaching for adoptive parents, encouraging them to seek support.

00:43:06 - Conclusion and Call to Action
Beth, Nam, and Joe express their gratitude for the conversation and encourage listeners to stay safe. Beth also mentions the Patreon account for those interested in supporting the podcast.