Q&A with Adult Adoptee Kim Lee On New Director of Adult Adoptee Community Outreach Role

At Holt International, we continue to learn from the diverse experiences and perspectives of adoptees of all ages. Recently, we began a nationwide search for Holt’s first director of adult adoptee community outreach. The new director’s role will be to inform how Holt can best support, magnify and celebrate a healthy and diverse adult adoptee community. Holt board member and Holt adoptee, Kim Lee, offers her perspective on why bringing aboard a new director of adoptee community outreach is important to her, and for the broader adult adoptee community.

Kim plays with a baby in one of Holt's programs in Beijing.
Kim plays with a baby in one of Holt’s programs.

Tell us about yourself!

I am a Korean adoptee. In 1955, after the Korean War, Harry Holt traveled to Seoul to adopt eight mixed-race babies as he knew they would be shunned by Korea’s society and soon thereafter began to unite orphaned children with families in the United States, which pioneered international adoption and the founding of the Holt adoption agency. Mr. Holt, as I knew him, escorted me to the United States as part of the first wave of international adoptions from Korea in 1956. My parents had very full hearts – they adopted five children from Korea and while none of us are biologically related, we are siblings in every sense of the word and lived in Columbus, Ohio. When my youngest sister was adopted in 1959, I traveled with my mother from Columbus, Ohio to Portland, Oregon to welcome her and Mr. Holt, who escorted her from Korea. That was a memorable experience for me. Continue reading “Q&A with Adult Adoptee Kim Lee On New Director of Adult Adoptee Community Outreach Role”

A Family That Will Love Me

At a care center in Bogotá, several older children who have chosen to be adopted share what it means to them to have a family — and what they would like to tell people who are considering adopting an older child. 

Lina is 14. She lives in Colombia, in a care center for older children who have lost or become permanently separated from their families. For a long time, she dreamed of having a family. But as time went by, her dreams began to fade.

“I thought I was going to be adopted. But the time went by, and then, my hopes just went away,” she says, her eyes watery and her voice soft. She is pretty, with gentle, dark eyes, a sweet, warm smile and long straight brown hair. She wears a T-shirt that says, in large block letters, “Brave Gals Also Cry.” Continue reading “A Family That Will Love Me”

5 Ways School Supplies Change Kids’ Lives

In developing countries around the world, going to school means much more than learning.

At the Yesus Mena Deaf School in Shinshicho, Ethiopia, Holt donors provide the books and supplies that children need to learn.  Many of these kids had no way to communicate before this sign language-based school opened in their community!

But before children can go to school, they need — and are often required to have — specific school supplies. The cost of supplies and uniforms are often too high for families living in poverty — causing children to drop out early. Below, we list five ways that your gift of school supplies can change kids’ lives.

Continue reading “5 Ways School Supplies Change Kids’ Lives”

2019 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to Kyla DeWittie, Lila Durig and Alexa Thompson — our three 2019 Adoptee Scholarship winners! This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work framed around the question, “If you were to register for an “Adoptee 101″ class next fall, what would it teach you? Who would teach it? Why? ” Kyla, Lila and Alexa each won a $500 scholarship.

Kyla DeWittie

Adoption 101 Course Website and Curriculum

Artist Statement: Adoption 101 is a course for adoptees from adoptees. The class not only helps prepare adoptees for the problems they will face, but it also connects adoptees from all around the world. In addition to teaching valuable lessons they will benefit from for the rest of their lives, the course is also a safe and accepting environment for sharing and hearing each other’s stories. Through the lessons and coursework, adoptees will gain newfound confidence in themselves, and in their ability to face adversity.  Adoption 101 will educate as well as create new friendships and bonds that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Continue reading “2019 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!”

Rowan Still Needs a Family!

UPDATE: We shared Rowan’s story in 2018, but he is still waiting for a family! Since that time, Rowan has continued to work hard in school — especially in math, history and geography. Rowan’s teachers say that he’s the best student in class, and he’s always eager to learn. His love for learning and speaking English also continues to grow — grasping any opportunity to practice his vocabulary.

His health has also improved with yearly checkups and maintenance medication. Still full of energy, Rowan loves to interact with others, play games and dance to music. But he also enjoys being in a quiet space, where his caregivers say that he often reflects about his day.

Rowan looks forward to having a loving, permanent family of his own. One of his favorite memories was when he saw his friend go home with her adoptive parents — hoping that, one day, it will be his turn.

A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home!

Continue reading “Rowan Still Needs a Family!”

A Dream To Save

Before a sponsor starting supporting her, Mekdes wasn’t sure if she could even stay in school in her rural community of Ethiopia  — much less follow her dream of becoming a doctor.

Eighteen-year-old Mekdes dreams of becoming a doctor one day.  Today, she is close to realizing her dream. Ten years ago, however, Mekdes’ future seemed uncertain.

Though bright and driven, Mekdes faced overwhelming challenges, and her family’s economic status seemed to dictate another path entirely — a path not nearly as bright, and certainty not one that would lead to a medical profession, or even an education.

Before sponsors and donors began supporting them, Mekdes and her family struggled to overcome their dire circumstances. But, today, they have hope.
Before sponsors and donors began supporting them, Mekdes and her family struggled to overcome their dire circumstances. But, today, they have hope.

Continue reading “A Dream To Save”

A Whole New World

As five decades of brutal war come to an end in Colombia, families have begun to heal from the violence and crime that ravaged their communities. And now, with the support of sponsors, many have begun to create a happier, more hopeful future for their children.

Yalena peeks out the side of her princess castle — a sheer, pink-and-white cylindrical-shaped tent with a miniature kitchen set and a family of stuffed animals to keep her company. Monica, her mom, grabs her foot, making her giggle and scoot back to safety. Continue reading “A Whole New World”

Share Memories of Molly Holt

 

Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt, passed away early in the morning on May 17, 2019 in Ilsan, Korea. She was 83 years old. 

In South Korea, Molly was known by many names, from the Mother Teresa of Korea to the Mother of all Korea’s Orphans. Although she devoted her life to caring and advocating for children and adults with developmental and physical needs in Korea, she leaves a legacy that is felt around the world.

If you would like to share memories or photos of Molly Holt, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org. Photos and memories will be shared on this blog as they come in.

Donate In Loving Memory of Molly Holt

Read more about Molly’s incredible legacy. 

Sisters, Reunited

Meet Rekha, Deborah and Christina — three Indian adoptees from different families with one very strong and powerful connection: their shared beginning.

Rekha, Deborah and Christina

If you see us in person or in a picture, we are three little Indians: petite, of Indian nationality, and a group of three. Our names are Deborah, Rekha and Christina. We are three different people with one very strong and powerful connection: our shared beginning. Together on December 11, 1988, we traveled on Pan Am Flight 067 as infants 20+ hours from Pune, Maharashtra, India, to New York City, New York, USA. There were five of us total, accompanied and cared for by our American travel chaperones, Barbara, her husband, Lee, and their 20-year-old son, Kip. What we share is not only a past, but since finding each other and then meeting again 30+ years later, a new beginning of friendship and sisterhood.

Continue reading “Sisters, Reunited”

Keeping His Promise

Two years ago, Holt donors gave Lhagvajav a brand new “ger” — a traditional Mongolian home — in which to raise his six children. He promised that he would work hard, and help his children succeed. He has lived up to his promise.  

Two years ago, we visited Lhagvajav and his family at their home on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. It was the last day of a week-long trip with a group of Holt donors who had traveled to see the work — and meet the children and families — they support through their generous giving. Before traveling, the donors also provided the funds to build new gers, or traditional Mongolian homes, for four families in greatest need.

Lhagvajav’s family was one of the four families that received a new ger. Continue reading “Keeping His Promise”