Fact or Fiction: All adopted children are orphans.
Fact or Fiction: Only girls need families.
Fact or Fiction: Everything you read online is true.
The myths surrounding adoption — particularly international adoption — abound. They lurk in forums and blogs, on Facebook and Wikipedia. They show up in movies, which though fictional, have tremendous power to misinform. They sometimes even pop up in traditional media — sharing information that was likely at one time, but is no longer, true.
With so many unchecked facts spread across so many different mediums, it’s difficult to tell the truth from the fiction. And perhaps the greatest threat of an adoption myth is its potential to deter a family from adopting — because they think they don’t earn enough, that it will take too long, that singles can’t adopt, even that the need for families to adopt internationally no longer exists!
In short, adoption myths can mean the difference of a permanent, loving family for a child who truly needs one. That’s why, this National Adoption Month, we are launching a campaign to dispel the most pervasive adoption myths.
On (almost) every day of National Adoption Month — from November 1-30 — we will post a different myth on our blog and social media pages. A member of Holt’s adoption staff will tackle myths exploring everything from the age, gender and needs of children who need families to eligibility requirements and the process and timeframes families go through to adopt.
National Adoption Month is all about advocacy — not just for children who need families, but for the rights and lives of all involved in adoption, including adoptees and birth families. This November, you will also see a post from Holt’s director of post adoption services on the role of birth family in a child’s life, as well as posts from several adult adoptees dispelling the myths they have encountered from their experience of growing up adopted. Some myths will also offer insight into how the adoption experience may differ from many families’ expectations — part of a greater effort to better prepare families before their child comes home.
And as always, we can’t do this without YOU!
We rely on YOU — Holt’s friends, families and supporters — to take our message out into your communities, whether at church, school, work or by sharing our posts online. Just as the Internet has tremendous power to misinform, it can also be used for good! This National Adoption Month, join us as we saturate social media with adoption TRUTHS, as well as inspiring family stories and features about children waiting for families. And if you are an adoptee or a member of an adoptive family, please share your experience surrounding each myth. Your voice is powerful, and we want to hear it!
Can’t wait to get started? We already have one myth-busting infographic ready to share!
Although more and more children with special needs, older children and boys are coming home, the need for families to adopt these children persists. And some of the most common adoption myths have to do with adopting a child with special needs. In our 2015 edition of the Holt International “Celebrating Adoption” Magazine — in print and online — we featured the infographic Top 5 Myths About Special Needs Adoption. We also explored What ‘Special Needs’ Means Today and shared a story about Unstoppable Samuel Tyler, a boy born without hands or feet who has adapted to his unique challenges with the love and support of his family. To read and share these stories and more, click here to view the 2015 Holt magazine!
And lastly, if your heart compels you to do more for children waiting for families this National Adoption Month, consider giving a gift to the Special Needs Adoption Fund. Today, the simple truth is that just about every child joining an adoptive family internationally has some form of special needs — needs that require extra care, often at extra expense. But with support from the Special Needs Adoption Fund — a fund sustained by the generosity of compassionate people like you — more and more families are able to welcome these wonderful children into their stable, loving homes.
The Court and Terhune families received SNAF grants to help bring home a waiting child — both older boys, one from the Philippines, one from China. Each family wrote a thank you letter to the generous SNAF donors who supported their adoption, which we share below. And guess what? Both families will soon travel home with the new member of their family! The Court family will travel in mid-November, and the Terhune family is in the Philippines right now! Be sure to check Holt’s blog and Facebook page for an update and photos on each family during National Adoption Month.
Remember, we need YOU to make National Adoption Month a success. So get ready for a month of myth-busting, kicking off November 1 with myth #1!
The following families both received SNAF grants to help them adopt a child. Both are traveling in the next month to bring home their new sons!
Dear Contributing Donors,
We are very grateful to all of you who have helped us in a very big way to meet the costs of our own adoption this year. Thanks to your generous donations, we are able to bring our son home into our family this year to be loved and cherished forever.
Our son was found abandoned in a grocery gate near a bus station in northeastern China 11 years ago and was referred to the local orphanage by police officers. At the age of 4, he was transferred to a newly built children’s welfare institute where he has lived ever since. Although he has cerebral palsy of the lower limbs and currently relies on a wheelchair, his capacity to achieve great things is unfathomable! He attends public school and he enjoys reading and does very well in his subjects, particularly math.
Many Holt sponsors and adoptive parents have met him personally during the past 5 years and everyone comments what a “bright soul” and “special spirit” he has. Everyone agrees that he will really thrive in a family and some have expressed their surprise and astonishment that he wasn’t adopted years ago. To hear these glowing reports from people who have personally met our son and advocated for his adoption has been a confirmation of what we’ve always known since we first learned about him; he is a very special child. He was meant to be our son and we were meant to be his parents.
We’re grateful beyond words that he is coming to our family now, and coming to stay forever. We will do everything in our power and earnestly seek the blessings of heaven everyday that our son may be happy, develop his considerable skills and talents, and find joy in sharing his talents and knowledge with others.
Love & Gratitude,
Tom & Anna Court
Dear Contributing Donors of the Holt Special Needs Fund,
We are simply overwhelmed with gratitude! Thank you so much for providing the funds for families to adopt children with special needs through Holt International. My husband and two (almost three!) boys were very blessed to receive a grant towards the adoption of our 4-year-old son in the Philippines. We are a young family who have big hearts towards special needs adoption, but we never imagined that we would be able to afford it at this point in our lives. Over the last several years, God has been opening our eyes and our hearts to the great need for families to provide homes for these children, and almost two years ago, we decided to answer this call.
Currently we are waiting for “the call,” which will allow us to make our travel arrangements. The paperwork is complete, the funds are raised, our home is ready and our hearts are bursting. The last two years have been such a blur of adoption activity. We have prayed harder than ever, and we have rejoiced and celebrated over and over again as God answered those prayers and carried us through each trial. As we finally have time to reflect on these times, our hearts are so full with thanksgiving to God and to the many people who helped us get to this point!
Every time doubt or fear crept in, we received a grant, a check, an encouraging word, or a gentle reaffirmation of what God had called us to. The SNAF grant we received was no different. We want to thank you for believing in us to raise our son. We are so grateful for the way you relieved our financial burdens, and even more thankful for the encouragement, support and prayers you provide us with.
If you’d like, you can read more about our adoption story and process on our blog: https://terhunefamily.wordpress.com/
Thank you for answering the call to serve the fatherless and serve adoptive families! You are such a blessing!
His for Life,
Bob, Alicia, Anderson, Joshua, and Bart Terhune