For My Korean Sisters

Holt adoptee Kate Pyle shares what inspired her to launch a campaign raising over $16,000 for the Holt Morning Garden shelter for single mothers and their children in Korea.

A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.
A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.

My name is Kate Pyle and I’m a Holt Korean adoptee. At the beginning of September, following a six week campaign, my wife, Laurel, and I raised $16,450 for three women at the Achimddeul “Morning Garden” shelter in Daejeon, South Korea. It was the first time Laurel and I had ever fundraised. Soliciting donations is never easy, but even in this bizarre time in history, we were successful! We both believed in the cause, in Holt and in ourselves.

So why did we do this? Let me tell you a little story. Continue reading “For My Korean Sisters”

Holt Camp at Home

As COVID-19 canceled in-person gatherings this summer, Holt Adoptee Camp moved online — offering a virtual camp experience for over 400 youth adoptees, including many adoptees who had never attended Holt camp before.

During Holt Camp at Home, camp staff had two hours a day with each group of about 50 campers.

Holt Camp at Home just completed our first ever camp season online and the experience has been wild! As the effects of COVID-19 spread across the country, closing down schools and many youth summer programs, Holt Adoptee Camp was no exception to the growing risk of meeting together and the decision had to be made to cancel our in-person camp season. Continue reading “Holt Camp at Home”

Adoption: More Than One Moment in Time

Susie Doig, senior executive of U.S. programming, explains why understanding that adoption is more than a single moment in time requires us to take a broader, more comprehensive approach.

Susie Doig with her husband and two children, both adopted from Thailand.
Susie Doig with her husband and two children, both adopted from Thailand.

When most of us think about international adoption, we take a process with lifetime and generational implications and narrow it down to one brief moment in time — the moment an adoptive parent meets their child for the first time. We watch videos of an adoptive parent’s first embrace of their new child; see the child cry and pull away or perhaps fiercely hug the adoptive parent back, and we are overcome by this moment.

Continue reading “Adoption: More Than One Moment in Time”

Project Gifts of Hope

Through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, English professor and adoptee Tara Robbins Fee helps her students think critically about — and find solutions to — the problems affecting our world.  

Tara with her family.
Tara with her husband and children.

I am a professor of English, wife and mom, and Holt adoptee. I spent my childhood in rural South Jersey, reading Nancy Drew mysteries and Little House books and happily running around in the woods behind the house my parents built. Growing up, I rarely thought about the five months I spent in Korea before the day I arrived at JFK airport in New York City, the day depicted in our family photos, where my mother reaches out to hold me for the first time. That was the moment that I understood as my family origin story. Continue reading “Project Gifts of Hope”

My Son’s Second Mother

Adoptive mom Angela Crisanto shares a tribute to her son’s “second mother” — his foster mother — in gratitude for all the love she gave him while in her care in Korea.

Kai with his foster mother in Korea.
Kai with his foster mother in Korea.

For so many months, we had wondered about the family who was taking care of our son.

Before we adopted our older son, he had lived in an orphanage in Vietnam. We were so relieved that in Korea, there were more foster homes to take care of the children — including for our soon-to-be younger son, Kai. Continue reading “My Son’s Second Mother”

Fostering Resilience During COVID-19

Greg Eubanks, Holt’s VP for U.S. foster care and adoption, shares how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting foster families and children this National Foster Care Awareness Month — and why we urgently need new families to say ‘yes’ to fostering. 

None of us imagined it would feel ‘normal’ to carry out our work in isolation, particularly when that work is so focused on human interaction and relationships. In Holt’s foster care program, we work every day with vulnerable children as our focus. These particular children live in our state, our county, and our neighborhood. Continue reading “Fostering Resilience During COVID-19”

Unprecedented Times: Why Holt Must Still Fundraise Through This Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, and in ways that may make giving more difficult. But we are simply amazed by the incredible commitment and generosity of our donors — even in a time of global crisis. You have not forgotten the children, and neither will we.

A message from Phillip Littleton, Holt’s president & CEO: 

Along with you and the rest of the world, Holt is figuring out how to press on with our lives and our work during this time of global crisis.

Everything has changed. Our headquarters, branches and offices overseas are empty as employees work from home. Social workers here at home and around the world are continuing to serve children and families, and this often means finding new ways to do so from afar.

Unprecedented is the word that we keep using to describe this new normal. Few, if any of us, alive today have ever experienced anything like this. And even as global leaders in the field of international adoption and child welfare, we are humbled by the challenges we now face as an organization. Continue reading “Unprecedented Times: Why Holt Must Still Fundraise Through This Pandemic”

Holt Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda

In partnership with the nonprofit Vitamin Angels, Holt’s nutrition team helps bring vital supplements and medication to vulnerable women and children in rural Uganda. 

A health worker administers vitamin supplements to a child in rural Uganda.
A healthcare worker administers vitamin supplements to a child at a child health camp in rural Uganda.

In October 2018, Holt’s nutrition team launched a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides vitamins and deworming medication to mothers and children under age 5 who are at risk of malnutrition. Continue reading “Holt Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda”

The Least We Could Do

When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.

The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”

An Act of Kindness

As a baby in China, Callie Ware had a sponsor who helped care for her while she waited to come home to her adoptive family. Now 17, she’s continuing her sponsor’s act of kindness by sponsoring another child in need.

Being adopted is definitely the biggest part of my identity. Yes, I am Chinese, but I do not feel as connected to my heritage as I feel to my backstory. I was adopted at 9 months old to a single, hard-working woman, brave enough to take on the challenge of motherhood alone. My mother wanted me to know from the beginning that I was adopted and that my story is unique. When I was little, she would tell me stories told to her by the orphanage staff to remind me where I came from, and how I had arrived into her arms. Before coming home, I also stayed with a foster family for a time, and my foster mother also shared stories about me.

Continue reading “An Act of Kindness”