7 Pieces of Advice from Adoptees

When you share your plans to adopt, there’s a good chance that you will hear lots of opinions and advice. And once in the process, you will go through 10 or more hours of training to help prepare you for the unique experience of parenting an adopted child. But when it comes to connecting with your child, some of the best advice you will hear will come from adoptees themselves.

Adoptees share 7 pieces of advice.

Below, we share 7 pieces of advice from Holt adoptees Hannah, Taylor* and Alex*. Whether you are about to adopt — or are now home with your child — thoughts and insights from adult adoptees can help you build a stronger relationship with your child, and empower you to help your child build a healthy adoptee identity.

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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”

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.

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44 Years Later, Korean Adoptee Explores His Roots on Holt Heritage Tour

A blog entry from Joah Mershon, a Holt adoptee currently traveling on a Holt heritage tour of Korea.  
Today, we went to Holt and conducted my roots search. Prior to the search, I was already aware that it may not produce any new results. The usual feelings of indifference, disconnection, confusion, fear, sadness and anger arose.
Joah with Sister Theresa at the White Lily Orphanage, the orphanage in Korea where Joah lived in the late 1970s before going home to his family in the U.S.
Joah with Sister Theresa at the White Lily Orphanage, the orphanage in Korea where Joah lived in the late 1970s before going home to his family in the U.S.

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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.

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Racial Identity – Caley and The GREY Space

In this episode we talk to Caley, a Vietnamese Adoptee and college student at the University of Oregon. Caley shares with us about being a transracial Adoptee growing up in Oregon, existing in the “grey” space, and attitudes towards racial stereotypes through an Adoptee lens. We are so excited to be able to share more from Caley through this video.

Check out part 1 of our series on racial identity: https://youtu.be/YACmnFgw6c0

Check out part 2: https://youtu.be/fTqqDH6oytk

Contact us! pas@holtinternational.org

Love Beyond The Orphanage

Every year, over 6,000 young adults age out of orphanages in Korea. As “orphans,” they face stigma and discrimination, and have no support or guidance. But one organization is now working to change that — providing love, and hope, beyond the orphanage.

Myung Hoon plays viola.

Myung Hoon plays the viola beautifully.

Beautifully enough to win second place in a solo competition with musicians who learned to play the instrument years before he did. Beautifully enough to earn a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music. But no matter how beautifully he played, for a long time, Myung Hoon never felt like he was enough. Like he deserved what he achieved.

“I did not have a dream when I was young because I did not grow up in a family. I thought orphans do not deserve to have a dream.” Continue reading “Love Beyond The Orphanage”

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!

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