June 24, 2009
It was 15 years ago today on June 24, 1994, when I first landed in SeaTac airport and began my adventure of pursing the American dream. I certainly did not know that I would help more than 14,000 families to fulfill their family dream since then...
On October 13, 1995, Lotus Travel was founded in a 200 square foot cottage in Tacoma, Washington. My network within the adoption community started from one visa application case. A travel agent in Seattle asked for my help on two China visa applications. After obtaining the visas successfully, the travel agent waited until the last minute to pick them up. I felt anxious for the travelers, especially after I knew the couple was going to travel to China to adopt a Chinese orphan.
I had worked and traveled extensively in China for over 10 years prior to immigrating to America. Being confident that I could provide smooth and reliable service for adoptive parents, I began contacting directors of adoption agencies throughout the U.S. I was very fortunate to get to know a great lady who was a director of a Seattle adoption agency and devoted to help families adopt children from China.
In working with her agency, I received great compliments from families. Because of my personalized service, families called me "Uncle Louie" and many adoption agencies started to recommend clients to me. And Lotus became a specialized adoption travel agency.
Some of the highlights looking back include the Ladybug Adoption Package which was launched in 1998, featuring premium economy class travel and three nights at the White Swan Hotel. With great support from adoptive families and agencies, we became the number one adoption travel agency for China. Since 1998 we have served more than 50% of American families traveling to China for adoption every year. In 2000, Lotus Travel started its first China Homeland Heritage Tour for families traveling back to their children's birth country to learn its culture and seek their roots. I am leading a large China homeland tour group this month. Some families worked with us ten years ago for their adoption trip; some have worked with us more than one time. It feels to me like a family reunion of sorts-- meeting here in China, on the soil of their children's motherland.
As I spoke for my farewell toast with this reunion tour I shared, " I have been serving adoption community for 15 years since I first arrived in US on June 24, 1994. I love my job which is rewarding and am very passionate about it because of you - you are my heroes." Families prepared a special celebration lunch for me when we arrived in Wuzhen near Hangzhou for my 15th anniversary. I made a wish at the time- Wish every orphan can find a loving home.
I feel blessed that my life has offered a rewarding experience to work with adoptive families. Thanks for listening.
Lotus Travel Inc.