Rini’s Gift

Last December, Holt adoptive mom Andrea shared her family’s moving story about bringing home Rini — a little girl born in China with severe congenital heart disease — and the months-long struggle to save her life. One year later, Andrea shares an update about her daughter Rini and the incredible gift that she has given their family in their short time together as a family.

Rini and BunnyOn November 13, 2015, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of our youngest child’s heart transplant. And just a couple of weeks later, the day arrived when she had officially been living longer with her donor’s heart than with her birth heart.

It’s sacred and surreal to listen to your child’s heart beating and know that another mother heard that same heartbeat emanating from her body during her obstetrical appointments. We are the beneficiaries of another family’s selfless gift given during their time of deepest grief, and the parallels to adoption are not lost on us. Loss, gain, pain and joy coexist in a complex dance in this life. We appreciate that now more than ever.

Rini is doing beautifully and we are doing our utmost to drink in every moment! Sometimes, the darkness creeps in when we read statistics and ponder the reality of transplant and its long-term outlook. But then we take a deep breath and refocus on the here and now, and remember the days not too long ago when we would have been overjoyed to have just one more hour with Rini. Continue reading “Rini’s Gift”

National Adoption Month 2015

National Adoption Month 2015 has come to a close, but the myths we’ve dispelled and the truths we’ve uncovered about adoption will stay relevant all year.

Here’s a recap of all the stories we featured, and all the children who we asked you to advocate for. Hopefully by next November, with your help, all the waiting children you advocated for this year will have the family they long for and deserve.


Continue reading “National Adoption Month 2015”

MYTH: Building a Bond With Older Adopted Children is Always a Struggle.

Myth-Older-ChildrenFor today’s National Adoption Month of Myth-Busting post, Holt Adoption Counselor Emily Lund dispels the myth that older children who are adopted internationally always have difficulty bonding with their adoptive family and adapting to their new home. We also share an update from the Wells family, who wrote one of our all-time most popular blogs, “The Unexpected Ease of Older Child Adoption.

Every child, family and community is unique. Children who are adopted internationally face some especially unique challenges such as language barriers, grief, adapting to a new country and culture, and loss. Some post-placement transitions are relatively smooth and other adoption journeys are not quite what the family expected. We work to ensure that each family is as prepared as possible and has the tools they need to help their older child adjust to their new life in the U.S. During the homestudy process, you will complete parent education trainings that will empower you with knowledge and insight about attachment and bonding. And after you come home, Holt has a clinical services department available to support families with any challenges that may arise. And, as Abbie wrote earlier this month, love between you and your older child may not be at first sight — but in time, it will grow. — Emily Lund, Adoption Counselor Continue reading “MYTH: Building a Bond With Older Adopted Children is Always a Struggle.”

Conventionalism Is What’s Deterring Adoption

As our National Adoption Month of Myth-Busting continues, Holt adoptive father Jason McBride shares what he believes to be the greatest adoption myth of all — that parents could never feel the same about an adopted child as they do about a biological child. Below, he explores the theory that the pressures of conventional ways of thinking about family planning are what deter the most people away from adoption. And that ultimately, love is what makes a family.

America’s fascination with kings and queens may have dissolved in the late 1700s, but our monarchist heritage shines through in the present with our continued desire to preserve bloodlines.

The greatest hurdle to adopting isn’t found in common misconceptions about the health of orphans or in the burden of travel. These are insider concerns; pressures of people who’ve already made the choice to adopt.

Rather, it’s the greatest adoption myth of all that repels most families away from children in need: The consideration of whether a child outside our own blood relation could ever feel the same as a biological child.

ArticlePic1In a general sense, people are inundated with ideas about gender norms and the “proper” way to raise a family from a young age. These stereotypes are influenced by our families and others around us as well as by images we see in media. Continue reading “Conventionalism Is What’s Deterring Adoption”

Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts

We’re always amazed by how truly talented and entrepreneurial so many of our supporters are in how they raise money and give to Holt. The people below are no exception. Read about what their creative and inspired ideas to provide for vulnerable children and families around the world. Thank you for your creativity, hard work and generosity!



For her senior project, Holt adoptee Paige Worthington hosted a game night and sent out letters to raise money for children who need cleft lip and palate surgeries.

Holt adoptee Paige Worthington is a rock star when it comes to making a difference for kids in China. Back in 2008, when she was a third-grader, we featured Paige’s photo on our blog because she gave a presentation to her classmates about raising money for earthquake victims in China.

Now she’s a senior in high school and still doing big things to help abandoned and vulnerable children in China!

As she began to think about her high school senior project, Paige knew she wanted to use it as a fundraiser to support children in China through Holt.

Holt and the Holt China program have a special place in Paige’s heart. Not only is she herself a Holt adoptee from China, but so is her younger sister. She also has two cousins who are Korean adoptees through Holt. Continue reading “Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts”

Just look at the striking differences in these children and families…

Holt’s supporters are amazing. Because of gifts to our President’s Top Priority Fund last year, we have seen striking changes in the lives of children and families we serve. Hopeful adoptive families have been able to offer a loving home to children with special needs, while children with special needs living with their families around the world were able to receive the vital medical care and therapies they need to thrive. Through family strengthening initiatives, many struggling families now have the tools and resources to independently support their children. Holt’s supporters created pathways for children to go to school, provided lifesaving food to orphaned children in North Korea and created hope and opportunity in the lives of children and families as near as Haiti and as far as Mongolia and Vietnam.

Below, we share some of our favorite stories from the year — stories that show the lasting and meaningful difference you made in the lives of children and families in 2015. Thank you, and enjoy! Continue reading “Just look at the striking differences in these children and families…”

MYTH: I will be expected to go outside my comfort zone and accept the first child referred by my agency.

Week-2-NAM-Myth-Art-4This is a common misperception among families considering adoption. To the contrary, families determine from the beginning their level of comfort when considering age, gender and special needs.

What drives the matching process, however, is finding the right family for every child — and what’s best for each child is to be placed with a family who can wholeheartedly embrace their emotional and medical care needs. Continue reading “MYTH: I will be expected to go outside my comfort zone and accept the first child referred by my agency.”

Be The Match

Phoebe Jeong-Hui Ward is a vibrant and active 8-year-old adoptee living in Maryland. She loves Tae Kwon Do, basketball, lacrosse and cheerleading.
In September, Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening auto-immune disorder. She is currently receiving chemotherapy, but she may need a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Typically, close family members usually serve as the best bone marrow donors. But for Phoebe, like all adopted children, her bone marrow donor will be a stranger — likely, someone who shares her Korean heritage. Continue reading “Be The Match”

MYTH: I Can’t Afford Adoption

Week-2-NAM-Myth-Art-3At Holt, we never want finances to come between families and children who need loving homes. Yet, we recognize that the cost of adoption can feel like an obstacle for many families. Luckily, countless resources exist to help families offset the cost of adoption, and range from grants to creative, community-based projects.

Of course, some financial resources don’t involve fundraising at all. Many families apply for low-interest loans to cover adoption fees. There are also federal and state adoption tax credits, reimbursements for military service members, private grants awarded through an application process, like those offered by Brittany’s Hope, and Holt grants available to help families adopt older children and children with special needs.

“Don’t let the cost of adoption stop you from pursuing your dream of adopting. So many families that initially thought they couldn’t afford to adopt have received grants and loans and come up with amazing, creative ways to fund their adoptions,” Susie Doig, Holt’s senior director of adoption services says. “Not all fees and costs are due at once, so for most families there is a 1-3 year time period during which the adoption process is occurring that they can be actively working to come up with the total funds. It may take time, creativity and some elbow grease, but families that are financially stable and have the ongoing resources to care for a child can make their adoption dream a reality.” Continue reading “MYTH: I Can’t Afford Adoption”

Checking All The Boxes


In 2013, we featured travel reflections from Beth Anne Schwamberger as she embarked on a mission to India to meet her son, Holden — a child she learned of in a waiting child story, also featured on our blog in 2012. Then, last month, Beth Anne provided a beautiful update on Holden and some great reflection and encouragement about the process to adopt a child with special needs.

Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about parenting children with special needs, and Beth Anne is featured on back-to-back episodes. In the first episode, Beth Anne discusses how she and her husband came to be Holden’s parents, how they decided which special needs they were open to when adopting a child, and how Holden is thriving today. Continue reading “Checking All The Boxes”