What a Difference a Year Makes

adoption change in a yearThe first year home for a child and his or her adoptive family holds a lot of change, joy, difficulty, patience and love. But one year can make all the difference.

For a child living in an orphanage or foster home overseas, joining an adoptive family often means finally receiving the medical care they need to grow healthy and strong. It means going to occupational or physical therapy to begin to catch up developmentally. It means receiving the love, attention and nurturing care that they went without for so long.

All children have the potential to grow by leaps and bounds with each passing year. But for a child who was just adopted, this growth can be even more profound.

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A Miracle for Gracie

Four-year-old Gracie was weeks away from traveling to her adoptive family in the U.S. when COVID-19 hit Haiti. With a heart condition and suppressed immune system, she urgently needed to be on the last known flight leaving Haiti. But no one expected it would take an army of compassion, and a miracle, to get her here.

It was 11:30. The exit letter office closed at noon.

Gracie’s flight — the last known flight leaving Haiti before the country shut down all air travel due to the pandemic — was scheduled to depart at 6 p.m.

Holt’s staff in Haiti had less than four hours to complete her documents so she could be on that flight to Miami, where her dad, Brian, would be waiting for her. Continue reading “A Miracle for Gracie”

My Son’s Second Mother

Adoptive mom Angela Crisanto shares a tribute to her son’s “second mother” — his foster mother — in gratitude for all the love she gave him while in her care in Korea.

Kai with his foster mother in Korea.
Kai with his foster mother in Korea.

For so many months, we had wondered about the family who was taking care of our son.

Before we adopted our older son, he had lived in an orphanage in Vietnam. We were so relieved that in Korea, there were more foster homes to take care of the children — including for our soon-to-be younger son, Kai. Continue reading “My Son’s Second Mother”

One Mom’s Bulgaria Adoption Story

One adoptive mom shares what it was like adopting her son through Holt’s Bulgaria program nine years ago. Holt recently reopened an adoption program from Bulgaria.

November 2008 began a journey in our hearts and lives that would forever change us. God put an unmistakable burden on our heart to adopt. We didn’t know more than that we were to take a step of faith and start the adoption process.  We always thought we would have two sons. At the time, we had three children — one boy and two girls.

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Healing the Hurt Child

When Brett and Noelle Hersom adopt a 9-year-old with a history of abuse and neglect, they soon realize that given the right combination of love, commitment, patience and flexibility, every child has the potential to heal.

At one point in her first year home, 9-year-old Vienna threw a tantrum so severe, so next level, that her mom, Noelle, made a decision that few parents would make. She didn’t walk away, like she wanted to. She didn’t leave the room and let Vienna work through it. She knew this would be a long one, and she wasn’t about to leave her daughter’s side. So she got a book, and settled in.

“The point was to be there with her and not walk away,” Noelle says. Continue reading “Healing the Hurt Child”

Favorite 15 Stories of 2019

In 2019, we shared some amazing and inspiring stories from and about adoptees, adoptive families, sponsors, donors, and children and families in our programs around the world. It has been an incredible year at Holt — a year that you shared with us as you read, commented on and reposted our updates, stories and videos throughout the year.

Early last year, we merged with the adoption and child welfare agency WACAP — combining our resources and knowledge to help even more orphaned and vulnerable children both in the U.S. and in countries around the world. Throughout the year, Holt’s extraordinary donors made it possible to reach more than 280,000 children and families in 14 countries with everything from school supplies and bicycles to lifesaving food and critically needed surgery. Continue reading “Favorite 15 Stories of 2019”

National Adoption Month 2019: A Recap

This year’s National Adoption Awareness Month campaign made quite the impact!

Throughout the month, Holt families and adoptees helped show the real, raw, emotional moments that capture what it means to adopt, or be adopted. Through stories, photos and videos, they helped take people behind the scenes — showing the true joys and complexities of adoption, and inspiring others to start their own adoption journey, advocate for kids waiting for families or reach out to Holt’s post-adoption team for information about adoptee and family camps, adoptee mentoring through Circle Back, birth search assistance and more! Continue reading “National Adoption Month 2019: A Recap”

Finding Our Amazing

As they got deeper into the Haiti adoption process, the Wilson family realized just how much they would need to “find their amazing” — and how huge an honor this unique path to parenthood would be.

Our son Brody started asking for a brother when he was in preschool. When we realized that another child wouldn’t be possible, we tried to explain that God had made us a family of three. We got him a dog and then a cat, hoping he’d feel like our family was complete. Continue reading “Finding Our Amazing”