The Story Behind the Photo: Before Your Child Comes Home…

Each day of National Adoption Month, join Holt as we go behind the scenes — using images and photos to raise awareness about the continuing need for adoption, sharing the diverse voices of adoptees and families and advocating for children who are waiting for families!

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These days, it’s awfully easy to get caught up in the social media sharing frenzy. For adoptive families counting down the moments to when their child comes home, posting updates on Facebook or Instagram or even a personal blog can be a great way to manage the wait, celebrate milestones and keep friends and family informed.

But adoptive families need to be especially careful not to “over-share.”

While the temptation to share photos of your beautiful child with anyone and everyone is hard to resist, overseas officials, governments and child protection workers may be researching your family online, and sharing personal or identifying information about a child in their care or ours violates international safeguards for children waiting for adoption.

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But that doesn’t mean you have to be totally silent about this exciting time in your life! There are lots of creative ways to appropriately share about the child who is about to join your family. One family who got particularly creative are Yesenia and Nick Lenga, who counted down the days on Instagram – posting a cleverly crafted, non-identifying photo each day leading up to their daughter, Mya, coming home from China. And here’s why…

“We chose to not share Mya’s face on social media until we held her in our arms for many reasons. But the most important reason was simple… she “technically” wasn’t our daughter yet. And she has a story and memories that belonged to her. And to her only.”

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“We wanted to be respectful of that. When she’s ready, she will share those memories with whomever she wants and however she sees fit…

We were, however, super excited about the arrival of our bundle of joy. She was our daughter to be and we wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. We shared stories and adoption milestones with whomever would lend us an ear.”

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“The moment finally arrived when we held our daughter for the first time and it was a very sweet photo to share with loved ones. And now, I share her photo to help spread the word of adoption, redemption and healing.” — Yesenia and Nick Lenga

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Yesenia holds her daughter for the first time.

Before joining her family, Mya also stayed at Peace House, Holt’s medical foster home in China. Occasionally, we share stories of children who recovered at Peace House to help raise funds for programs that support children with special needs. Once Mya was home — and officially their daughter — the Lengas chose to share how the care Mya received at Peace House helped her to heal and thrive. They also shared some adorable photos — photos they felt honored and respected their daughter, and helped spread the word of redemption and healing. You can read their story, Love Has Healed, on the Holt blog.

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