Our Story of Adopting From South Africa and Becoming a Transracial Family

Adam and Erin Turner share about their experience becoming a transracial adoptive family as they welcomed into their lives two children from South Africa, the country where Holt recently launched our newest adoption program.

The Turner family, including their three biological children and two children they adopted transracially from South Africa.

It’s difficult to say when the word “adoption” first popped into our heads. We talked about adoption in the earliest moments of forming our family. Maybe it was an image or a story that stuck with us during our childhood years. We had no examples in our family, per se. It simply felt like a whisper and a heart opening. It felt like extending love, security and family to a child who desperately needed it.

The desire and whispering voice stuck with us as our young children grew. And in the most unlikely moment, that whisper turned into a curiosity about what was possible. Many hurdles had to be overcome and many unlikely “yeses” had to be given. When the doors flung open, we were nervous yet hopeful. We knew we had a lot to learn but that the gift of time would allow us to set out on a journey of growth and maturation that would be important for our family and all our children. Continue reading “Our Story of Adopting From South Africa and Becoming a Transracial Family”

An Update on Adoptee Melia, Her Family and Her Heart

Nine years ago, we shared a story about Melia, a little girl with major congenital heart disease who joined her family after they saw her on Holt’s waiting child photolisting. Read an update on Melia today from her parents, Ryan and Katie!

Melia modeled for her local children’s hospital when they were awarded a US News and World Report Beat Hospital in Cardiology and Heart Surgery Award!
Melia modeled for her local children’s hospital when they were awarded a US News and World Report Beat Hospital in Cardiology and Heart Surgery Award!

Melia is now 10 years old. She had three surgeries to strengthen her heart when she first arrived home, but has not seen the operating room since! She gets annual check-ups with her cardiologist, but has not needed any further interventions or medications. Continue reading “An Update on Adoptee Melia, Her Family and Her Heart”

International Adoption in the Time of COVID

Hannah and Paulo Lee were nearing the end of their international adoption process from Korea when COVID-19 became a global pandemic —  shutting down travel and causing obstacles they never could have expected. 

Hannah and Paolo with their daughter, Maddie, and son Elliott adopted from Korea during the pandemic.
Hannah and Paolo with their daughter, Maddie, and son Elliott adopted from Korea during the pandemic.

Three years ago, we were a family of three and we desired to have one more child. However, this time God led us on a journey of adoption to grow our family. After many months of praying, we decided to adopt from South Korea. We quickly finished our homestudy and were matched the following summer.

It was in June of 2019 when we finally got to see what our son looked like. We now had a face in our minds of the child we had been praying for. Using Holt’s timeframes provided, we expected to meet him in person in about a year.

But never could we have prepared for a global pandemic and the unexpected obstacles we would have to face. Continue reading “International Adoption in the Time of COVID”

Thoughts on Older Child Adoption From Experienced Parents

If you’re considering older child adoption, one of the best things you can do is seek advice from other families. Families who have worked through many of the same fears or concerns you’re now grappling with, and who have gone through the experience of helping an older child adapt to a new country, culture, language — and, in many cases, to life in a family instead of an institution. Families who have learned how to help their child heal from trauma and long-term institutionalization, and how to build a loving, trusting bond with a child who may have never experienced that kind of bond with a caregiver or family member before.

View the slideshow above to hear from a handful of Holt families who have adopted children at older ages. You can also read more in-depth stories about these families below and, if you would like more advice, you can contact an adoption service specialist to get in touch with an advocate family directly!

Continue reading “Thoughts on Older Child Adoption From Experienced Parents”

To the Birth Mother of My Son

On her son’s 23rd birthday, adoptive mom Lu Adair writes a letter to her son’s birth mom — sharing about the kind, sensitive and talented young man he has become. This post originally appeared in April 2016. 

To the birth mother of my son,

Twenty-three years ago you brought a beautiful baby boy into the world. For reasons only you understand, you were unable to care for him. That’s okay; I’m the last person who would judge you. Over the years, others have asked why you could not care for him. It’s really none of their business. I think it shows how much they do not understand about life. Continue reading “To the Birth Mother of My Son”

No Holding Back; How One Family Funded Their Adoption

Ready to adopt, but short on funds, Kevin and Sarah Brown reach out to their community — and learn a beautiful lesson in return. 

For Kevin and Sarah Brown, adoption felt like a natural choice. High school sweethearts from Nashville, Tennessee, they – like many young couples — knew they wanted a family someday. But also like many young couples, they weren’t in any hurry. “Then we turned 35,” Sarah says. After watching a documentary about children growing up in orphanages in China, they made up their minds. Continue reading “No Holding Back; How One Family Funded Their Adoption”

How a Holt Adoption Grant Helped Save Shelby’s Life

Every day 2-year-old Shelby Jane spent in an orphanage in China, she grew weaker. She needed to join her adoptive family — and fast — but finances stood in the way. That’s when a Holt donor stepped in to help.

Two-year-old Shelby Jane had a hole in her tiny heart, a blood condition called thalassemia and chronic cases of pneumonia and bronchitis that caused her to be hospitalized just about every month of her 24-month life. She could not speak, could not crawl and could not chew food. Every day she spent in an orphanage in China, she grew weaker.

Her adoptive parents, Michelle and Adam Campbell, needed to bring her home — and fast.

“We knew we needed to go get her because she wasn’t getting the care she needed. Waiting,” Michelle says, “wasn’t an option.”

Shelby at her orphanage in China before coming home to her family.
Shelby at her orphanage in China before joining her family. While living in the orphanage, Shelby spent part of every month in the hospital due to pneumonia or bronchitis.

Continue reading “How a Holt Adoption Grant Helped Save Shelby’s Life”

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!

Top Adoption, Adoptee and Child Sponsorship Stories of 2020

Revisit our most read, most shared, most liked adoption, adoptee and international program stories from the past year!

Top 5 Adoption Stories 

Why International Adoption is Still Needed

Until we live in a world where every child can grow up safe and loved  in a permanent, loving family, Holt will continue to provide and advocate for ethical, child-centered international adoption. Continue reading “Top Adoption, Adoptee and Child Sponsorship Stories of 2020”