2020 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to Grace Querido, Mei Vader and Grace Rafferty — our three 2020 Adoptee Scholarship winners!

This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work based on the theme, “A Portrait of Me: An Adoptee.” They each won a $500 scholarship.

Grace Querido

For my piece I decided to paint the different facades of my identity. Growing up in a predominantly white town, it was rare to see other Asian kids let alone Korean kids with white parents. Because of that, I attended a Korean adoptee camp where I met other families that looked like mine, which was a really influential experience. On top of race, my religion made me special because I was usually the only Jew in class. I took my individuality as an opportunity to educate my classmates on adoption, Korea, and Judaism. I included my three different names because they’re the foundation from which I built the rest of my identity. I am fortunate that my parents took us on vacations because I learned I loved to scuba surf, and travel which I hope to continue in the future. The paw prints represent my love for animals and the volunteer work I did at a shelter. My artistic side is shown through my love of Broadway and painting. I was also able to express my athleticism through my high school’s cheerleading team. This painting is the perfect visual representation of who I am. Continue reading “2020 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!”

Indian Adoptees Reunited After 30 Years

Thrity-one years ago today, Christina, Rekha and Deborah, along with two other Indian Adoptees, arrived in the United States.  They were escorted from India by the Poindexter family who took on an adventure of a lifetime. Since that day in December 1988, 30 years ago would go by before the women would be able to reunite in person with each other and then with the family that forever changed their lives. As we sat down with these young women we learned so much about their resiliency, heart and determination to find pieces of their past in each other. They were together from the beginning and the connections that formed as babies in India has blossomed into a friendship that is remarkable and deep.

Happy Adoption Day Christina, Rekha and Deborah! Your story is so important and we are proud to be able to share it with the world.

Post-Adoption Programs for Adoptees & Families

Holt International offers a variety of post-adoption programs for adoptees and families, including weeklong adoptee camps and a coaching and education program to help families navigate challenges. Below, adult adoptee Bre Linder shares her reflections on Holt Adoptee Camp while the Choate family shares about Holt’s Post-Adoption Coaching & Education program.  

Holt International offers a variety of post-adoption programs and services — providing lifetime support for adoptees and families. 

As a new adoptive family, you will likely experience both joys and challenges once your child comes home. And as your child grows up, he or she will probably have some questions — questions surrounding their adoption, race, identity as an adoptee or their birth family. You both may encounter issues that you’re not sure how to handle. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone.

Continue reading “Post-Adoption Programs for Adoptees & Families”

Circle Back: A Program by Adoptees, for Adoptees

Designed for Adoptees, by Adoptees, Holt’s Circle Back program strives to help youth Adoptees build a positive identity. Co-creator Caitlin Howe explains how.

Caitlin (center) with youth Adoptee campers at last year's Holt Adoptee Camp.
Caitlin (center) with youth Adoptee campers at last year’s Holt Adoptee Camp. Feedback from campers in many ways informed and guided the development of Circle Back.

“Hey, what are you doing right now?” I said, laughing.

“Oh, I’m just making a sandwich real quick — but don’t worry, I’m still listening!”

I watched with amusement as Aya set the phone down and went from fridge to kitchen counter gathering ingredients. My fascination grew as she threw a sandwich together in 10 seconds. We had started our video chat just as she had arrived home from school, and before I knew it, she was settling into her living room couch and eating as we talked. She shared about her current classes and also her hopes to be a camp counselor next summer. And we traded stories about being in high school and getting ready for whatever comes next. As we chatted, early evening light spilled into her apartment in Chicago as the sun broke through the clouds here in Oregon. Continue reading “Circle Back: A Program by Adoptees, for Adoptees”

With You For Life

 

When you step off the plane and go home together for the first time, your journey as an adoptive family has really just begun. You will have highs. You will have lows. But every step of the way, and no matter what life brings, Holt’s robust post-adoption team will be here to support you, your child and your entire family. Here are just 10 of the post-adoption services we offer for families and adoptees.

Continue reading “With You For Life”

Alcohol Exposure: What Does it Mean?

Exposure to alcohol. This may be the most vague and full-of-unknowns special need you’ll come across in the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. It includes a vast array of outcomes, sometimes including no effects at all. However, many parents jump to an extreme when they first read “alcohol exposure” — thinking, “This must mean they have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).” Or, families nearly skip over it — thinking, “It’s so common… it must not be a big deal.” An informed approach to adopting a child with alcohol exposure lies somewhere in the middle: informed by research, supported by other families’ experiences, and always with the best interests of the child as the deciding factor.

Continue reading “Alcohol Exposure: What Does it Mean?”

The Meaning of TeTe

When Tamara and Lex Price brought home their daughter, Maya, from China, they did not understand why in her grief she kept screaming “TeTe.” Finally, years later, they discovered the meaning of these two syllables — and why they meant so much to Maya. This story originally appeared on Tamara’s blog, thelittlestprice.com.

Reunited foster siblings Maya and Thomas stand smiling together.

“TeTe! TeTe!” From the minute we left the children’s welfare office in Wuhan, our sweet girl screamed for “TeTe” with panic and terror and total heartbreak in her eyes, often until she made herself sick or until she was exhausted and fell asleep. We will never forget her seeing the elevator doors close as her favorite social worker left before we did, and hearing her scream “TeTe” as she tried to pry the elevator doors apart with her delicate little fingers. The look in her eyes as she screamed for him and tried to leave the hotel to go find him, while I, the awful stranger she didn’t even understand blocked the door, will haunt me for the rest of my days.

TeTe. Continue reading “The Meaning of TeTe”