Top 15 Holt Blog Stories of 2018

Every year, we receive the most powerful, inspiring stories from adoptees, sponsored children and families, sponsors, donors, adoptive families and birth parents to share on our blog. 2018 was no different. The stories — and the people behind the stories — show a tremendous sense of strength, love, hope, generosity and family. During 2018, adoptees reunited with family members, reflected on their stories and wrote letters to their ten-year-old selves. Adoptees and adoptive families reflected on the challenges, the joys and the special moments they shared with one another. Sponsored children and families expressed their gratitude to the sponsors and donors who support them, and opened the door to share their stories of perseverance and success.

Each story from 2018 is full of empowerment, inspiration and hope. Here are some of your most viewed, most shared and most favorite adoptee, adoption, family strengthening and orphan care stories of 2018!

Top 5 Adoptee Stories

Dream Come True – Holt Adoptee Reunites With Her Birth Parents in China

With the help of local police, media, volunteers and Holt staff in China, adoptee Kylee Bowers becomes the first Chinese adoptee placed through Holt to reunite with her birth family using DNA testing. Read Kylee’s story.


The Father You Didn’t Have To Be

Holt adoptee and child sponsor Sally Feldmann shares a piece she wrote for her dad this year for Father’s Day. Read Sally’s story.


Congratulations to Holt’s 2018 Adoptee Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to Suzy Allen, Sarah Carlson and Jill Cuzzolino — our three 2018 Adoptee Scholarship winners! This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work framed around the prompt, “To My 10-Year-Old Self Re: Adoption…” Read the full story.


Return to Hong Kong: One Adoptive Mom & Daughter Look Back

As Holt reestablishes an international adoption program in Hong Kong, adoptee Amy Banta and her mom, Julie, reflect on their lifelong journey together — and the orphanage in Hong Kong where they first met nearly 26 years ago. Read Amy and Julie’s story.


My Heart is Awake

For Holt development officer Courtney Hohenlohe Langenburg, working on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world is personal. And nowhere was she reminded of this more than in Mongolia. Read Courtney’s story.

Top 5 Adoption Stories

Waiting For So Long

As 16-year-old Van Dai prepares to meet his adoptive family, and his adoptive family prepares to meet him, they share what they’re nervous about, what they’re excited about, and why they are so eager to finally meet one another. Read the full story.


Something To Be Proud Of

For Martha and Bob Bonneau, their daughters’ special needs have been the least challenging part of their adoption experience. Read the Bonneau’s story.


She Gave Us a Family

Katelyn and Chad Fuson share about their daughter, Willa, and some straightforward advice to families who are considering adoption. Read the Fuson’s story.


The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do

While the environment and circumstances are different from country to country and individual to individual, Gina’s domestic U.S. adoption story is one that may resonate with any birth mother. Read Gina’s story.


The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China

Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. Read the full story.

Family Strengthening and Orphan Care Stories

This Is Linh’s Story

When Linh was 12, an older teenager in her village did a horrible thing. He stole Linh’s innocence, her childhood and her future. Read the full story.


The Sun Children of Mongolia

While traveling on the Holt Mongolia Vision Trip, adoptee Robyn MacKay visited an orphanage that she and other donors support in Mongolia. Read Robyn’s story.


At Her Point of Greatest Need

After her husband died, Shabnam and her five children were grief-stricken and without options. But then, sponsors brought hope.  Read Shabnam’s story.


The Story of My Life

Growing up without a stable family in the Philippines, Konny Dela Cruz struggled to stay on track — and eventually left school early to work in a garment factory. Then she learned about Holt’s independent living and educational assistance (ILEA) program… Read Konny’s story.


On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids. Read Erika’s story.

Special Mention

Thank You, David Kim

On January 25, 2018, we said a heartbroken goodbye to Dr. David Hyungbok Kim, who alongside Harry and Bertha Holt pioneered the modern practice of international adoption. Read about Dr. David’s legacy. 


Have a great story idea for Holt’s blog? Contact Holt’s managing editor, Robin Munro, at

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