“When I was young, my mom took me to go see a fortune teller. The fortune teller stared quite forcefully into my eyes, then said that she couldn’t see me—that my future was a mystery because she couldn’t see me in this world. My mother started crying, asking if I was going to die. The fortune teller told her not to worry, that although I would leave this world, I was going to find success in a world away. That was the moment I understood. I knew I had to leave.”
To not know a day’s rest, to never feel a moment’s peace—these were common themes in Holly’s life. Since graduating high school, she worked tooth and nail just to stay afloat. Growing into adulthood in the midst of a changing North Korea, she knew that money would be the only thing that could keep her and her family safe. Her family was able to find security by doing business in the Jangmadang (North Korean Market), but it was not enough. Holly left her home to travel to the southern part of North Korea to try to run her own business. Instead of steady business, she found love.
Holly’s newfound romantic bliss did not last long. Due to a series of unfortunate business transactions, her husband lost everything. Feeling helpless, she decided to give up everything she had and make for the border. After two attempts and two jail sentences for attempted escape, she finally made it out. But even in China, she could feel a target on her back. Shortly after crossing the border, with no options, Holly was sold into a marriage.
Holly had a daughter with this man, and stayed in a loveless “marriage” because she did not want to deprive her daughter a father. She wanted to be able to give the new light in her life everything—every chance and opportunity any other child is offered by birth in the free world. Seeing that her husband could not care or provide for her, let alone her child, she knew she was not yet free. With the dream of an opportunity-rich future for her baby, Holly was able to make the arduous journey to freedom through our rescue networks. Traveling thousands of miles with her baby, not yet two years old, she could feel her dream come true the further she got from her old life.
Now, Holly and her daughter Mia are safely resettled in the United States. Holly is excited to be able to learn anything and everything. “I want to learn a skill, any skill, that allows me to gain a good career and provide for my baby.” On a recent visit with Holly and Mia, we learned something new about her. Mia had beautiful hats, scarves, mittens and sweaters that were all knit by her mother. Holly learned to knit from her own mother and was using her skills to dress her daughter. With limited resources, she was even knitting with two chopsticks! Holly is working diligently to learn English and is excited and motivated by all of the new information she has access to. When she is not studying English or playing with Mia, she is knitting.
To support Holly and Mia in their resettlement, we worked together to provide a place for Holly to sell her beautiful, handmade hats. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Holly and Mia. Thank you for your support!
100% of the proceeds will go directly to Holly and Mia.
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