Holt Launches New TBRI Parenting Podcast

Holt clinical social worker Marissa Robello introduces Holt’s new TBRI podcast series!

Listen to Holt’s new TBRI podcast!

 

If you’re connected with adoption in any way, you’ve likely heard about Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)If you aren’t familiar with TBRI, it’s a caregiving/parenting approach centered on understanding how our early life experiences and relationships impact who we become and how we interact with others — along with a holistic set of tools that help us understand and address tough behaviors in children from a place of empowerment and connection. Continue reading “Holt Launches New TBRI Parenting Podcast”

Without Any Prompting From Me…

“If I was still in China, I wouldn’t have glasses, I wouldn’t have a new wheelchair, I wouldn’t have such good food, I wouldn’t have surfing or swimming or basketball, I wouldn’t have my church friends, I wouldn’t have camping…”

Eric said these things to me a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. I was working in the kitchen and he was seated at the dining room table and just talking to me with his usual happy chatter. Without any prompting from me, he started listing a very long list of things he was thankful for.

This excerpt is from a story by adoptive dad Tom Court, who adopted his son, Eric, when he was 12 years old. Read the full story!

Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms

The best place for children is NOT a hotel room.

Can we all agree that children belong in families who are safe and able to meet their needs? This is why we have foster care. What happens, though, when the system intended to protect children has weaknesses of its own? What if the state removes a child from their parents, turns to find a fostering family, and finds none? Continue reading “Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms”

How I Messed Everything Up: One Dad (and Granddad’s) Advice for Adoptive & Foster Parents

Holt’s senior vice president for U.S. foster care and adoption shares some advice to help temper your expectations as a parent and happier and healthier — during the holidays and all year round.

A few years ago, we were enjoying an extended visit by my daughter and 2-year-old granddaughter. It was great, and messy, and fun, and exhausting. Parenthood isn’t wasted on the young.

I remember decorating the house for Christmas that year. With an inquisitive 2-year-old visiting, we learned new methods for child-proofing. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. Continue reading “How I Messed Everything Up: One Dad (and Granddad’s) Advice for Adoptive & Foster Parents”

You’ll Learn to Let Go

Adoptive mom Andrea at her daughter Scarlett's bedside after her heart operation.
Andrea at her daughter Scarlett’s bedside after her heart operation.

“You’ll learn to let go of everything you thought you knew about parenting, of your preconceived idea of family, of ‘healthy.’ You will be forced from selfishness to selflessness. You will stop thinking of adoption as finding the right child for you and learn to become the right parent for a child. It will be difficult. It will be ugly at times. It will leave you a sobbing heap in the closet. It will stretch you and twist you until you don’t recognize yourself anymore.

But it will be glorious, and you will look at yourself in the mirror a decade from now and be so proud of the parent and family you have become.”

This is excerpt from a letter that one woman wrote to her younger self, before she became an adoptive mom to five children, including four children with complex heart disease. 

The Question I’ve Learned to Ask Myself

Shila Henderson’s ten kids include five who joined her family through adoption, three at older ages. 

Adoptive mom Shila with her daughter Anna, who had a harder time attaching to her mom. “This was a wonderful moment where she let me put her on my back and dance around with her,” Shila says.
Shila with her daughter Anna, who had a harder time attaching to her mom. “This was a wonderful moment where she let me put her on my back and dance around with her,” Shila says.

“I now know that even children with the most tragic history miss what they’ve lost and the people they’ve left — even if that person hurt them the most. Every child was loved by someone — even if it was only their cribmate. They’ve lost their culture, language, friends, nannies and foster families. They’ve lost their birth families.

I learned to constantly ask myself if I was a person my child would WANT to bond with. Was I making myself easy to love and showing them through my words and actions they could trust me?”

A longer version of this story, “Family Foundations,” appeared in the spring 2014 Holt magazine. Read it here.

So many older children are waiting for permanent, loving families. Learn more about them and view their profiles on Holt’s waiting child photolisting!

How Our Family Became the Subject of a Documentary

The Currys are raising 12 children, five of whom are adopted.

When a documentary filmmaker approached Elizabeth and Jud Curry about filming their lives as a multiracial, international adoptive family of 12, they hesitated. But then their 9-year-old daughter, recently adopted from China, asked a question that so surprised them, they decided to say yes — welcoming viewers inside their lives and home.

This story is part one in a series. Click here to read part two, “Four Things to Consider When Sharing Your Family’s Adoption Story.”

Continue reading “How Our Family Became the Subject of a Documentary”

Holt Adoptee Camp Director: What I Do When Camp is Not in Session

Holt Adoptee Camp Director Joli Hanlon shares how she spends the eight-month off-season to continue serving adoptees — and make the camp experience the best it can be. 

Holt adoptee campers met over Zoom during the socially distant 2020 "Holt Camp at Home" version of Holt Adoptee Camp.
Holt adoptee campers met over Zoom during the socially distant 2020 “Holt Camp at Home” version of Holt Adoptee Camp.

One of the most common questions I get asked as Holt Adoptee Camp director is, “What do you do when camp is not happening?” Surprisingly, being camp director is a year-round job and there are a variety of tasks that I work on during the off-season. Here are five things that I do before and after camp that you may or may not know about: Continue reading “Holt Adoptee Camp Director: What I Do When Camp is Not in Session”

I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story

Chinese adoptee Grace White shares about her life as an adoptee, and how she found a community — and a stronger identity — at Holt Adoptee Camp. 

Chinese adoptee Grace White

Every adoptee has a story. Although they likely share some similarities, each story is also unique to the adoptee. I hope sharing my story helps other adoptees or anyone from the adoption community speak out and share their own story. Even though it’s truly hard to write my story, I hope it sheds light on the challenges as well as shares the beauty of adoption, the highs and lows, the pros and cons, and not everything that is just black and white.

Hi, my name is Grace White. I am 16, almost 17 years old and this is my story. Continue reading “I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story”