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.

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A Part of Him Forever: A Philippines Adoption Story

Philippines adoption storyWhen Lynda and Joe Tama adopt 3-year-old Finn from the Philippines, they’re grateful to be introduced to a country and culture they’ll now know for the rest of their lives.

Lynda and Joe Tama sat eating Italian food at a restaurant near their hotel. There were little candles on the tables, and they ate bread and olive oil — but apart from that, Lynda doesn’t remember much.

They were staying at the type of place where most adoptive families stay when they travel to bring home their child — at a resort that is safe and quiet and the perfect place for new families to bunker down and navigate their first days together. But just outside the gates, everyday life in the Philippines rushed on. Children ran and played. Chickens and goats meandered down the street. Motorbikes weaved and whizzed through traffic. Continue reading “A Part of Him Forever: A Philippines Adoption Story”

Why Give a Sewing Machine to a Family in Need

give a sewing machineFor Jayanthi in India, the gift of a sewing machine means she can feed her children, send them to school, and dream of a better future.

Jayanthi stays as quiet as she can, stealing a glance at the bed just feet away to check on 8-year-old Harshith and 3-year-old Princy. She threads another needle. It’s nearly 1:00 a.m., but she keeps working. The steady whirr whirr whirr of her sewing machine keeps the children lulled to sleep.

Jayanthi is tired. She was up at 5 a.m. to prepare breakfast for Harshith and Princy before taking them to school. She spent the rest of the day working as a maid at a wealthy family’s home. It’s steady work, but it doesn’t pay much. Jayanthi’s husband works as a daily laborer, but his work and income — as well as his involvement in the family and with his children — is inconsistent at best.

Although it’s late, Jayanthi is thankful for her sewing machine — because without it, life was even more difficult.

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With an Open Heart and an Open Mind

special needs adoptionAs you begin your adoption journey, one small step beyond your comfort zone may be all that stands between you and your future child. But openness in adoption looks different for every family. 

So, you want to adopt! After months, or maybe years, of deliberation and prayers, you’re ready to move forward. Maybe you’re still at the very beginning of your journey, researching agencies and reading every adoption blog post you can find on the internet. Or maybe you already have an agency and are eagerly awaiting the next step. Either way, your life is about to change forever.

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Why U.S. Kids Need You To Say “Yes”

Children in our U.S. foster care and adoption system are in crisis — sleeping in hotel rooms and repurposed jails for a lack of somewhere to go. They need individuals and families to stand up, and say “yes.”  

In our Seattle area office each day, we receive multiple emails from the State of Washington that briefly describe children who need a place to go. For multiple reasons, some need a placement for only a few days, other need a long-term foster family, and others need an adoptive family. These emails overwhelm me with the sheer volume of need.

One recent Friday, I opened one email to find 57 children listed. We received eight more emails that same day, just like this one. They come every day. Every. Day.

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A Family For Me

Denise Russell, Holt’s child advocacy coordinator in the Seattle area, works with youth in foster care every day. And each child is so special to her. But one child, Kyle, especially touched her heart and reminded her of the urgency to find families for children in the U.S.

I love meeting and interviewing the fostered children we feature on “A Family For Me.” They are never who I expect them to be. Reading their profiles helps me envision their personalities and seeing their beautiful photos gives me a glimmer of their essence. But no amount of research has completely prepared me for meeting these young people and hearing what they have to say.

Over the past eight years, our partnership with KING5 News in Seattle has allowed us to feature over 170 foster care youth who are waiting for permanent, loving families through adoption. And yet, I’m confident I can still tell you something unique about every single child I’ve ever interviewed. One way or another, they either did something unexpected, said something incredibly profound, made me laugh, wore me out, left me speechless, generated a tear, and/or taught me something new.

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Finding Families for Children in Thailand With Special Needs

This month, three Holt staff members will travel throughout Thailand to assess 130 children who are eligible for adoption through the Thailand Special Needs Program. 

Thailand trip packing

Right now, I’m packing my suitcase, preparing for a 24-hour flight and an exhausting two weeks in Thailand. But I can’t wait!

Over the next three weeks, I will travel around the country to visit 12 orphanages and over 130 children who are waiting for families. Holt’s clinical social worker for our south and southeast Asia programs, Zoila Lopez, as well as Jennifer Nelson, Holt’s adoption services coordinator for Asia programs, will travel with me. And together, we will get to know these children so that we can better advocate for them once home.

Each of these children is eligible for adoption through Holt’s new Thailand Special Needs Program! 

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He Makes Everyone’s Life Better

In honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month — and children with Down syndrome around the world who are waiting for their permanent, loving families — we want to share about Jaxon. This sweet 4-year-old joined his adoptive family eight months ago, and he has enriched their lives more than they ever imagined.  

When Amy Kalani first met Jaxon in China, she thought she’d have no trouble finding him a family.

Although now the director of Holt’s Korea adoption program, at the time, Amy worked with Holt’s China program. When she met Jaxon, she was in China visiting orphanages and meeting children so that she could get to know them — and better advocate for them individually upon returning home.

Out of the dozens of children she met, Jaxon stood out to her the most.

Amy meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017
Amy Kalani meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017.

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