140 Children, Forever Loved From Korea

Together, Mrs. Yang and Mrs. Kim have fostered over 140 children in Korea. In August 2017, they visited Holt families in Oregon — an experience they, and the adoptees and adoptive families they met, will never forget.

This story originally appeared on the Holt blog in September 2017. 

Mrs. Yang sat in a room at Holt’s international headquarters in Oregon — sobbing.

She clutched the glossy photobook to her chest then set it down to cover her face with her hands. The photobook was sent to her by a Holt family, and full of pictures and descriptions about how their son was doing. Her shoulders rose and fell with emotion and a Holt Korea social worker and translator, who was helping me with the interview, put an arm around her.

“Separation is not easy,” she said to me. Continue reading “140 Children, Forever Loved From Korea”

Mom, I Forgive You

Adoptee Krista Gause shares a letter she wrote to her birth mom before she traveled on the summer 2016 Holt Heritage Tour of Korea. 

The adoption agency suggested that I write you a letter. And while I know I’m supposed to keep this brief, I just can’t. I have so many things to share with you. Did you ever have a friend who you only saw every now and then but you loved each other so much that time and distance didn’t matter? And that when you finally did see that friend you had a laundry list of things to share with her? That’s exactly how I feel right now. Continue reading “Mom, I Forgive You”

9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child

The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?”

We think this is a fantastic question! It shows that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child is one that warms our hearts — and your sponsored child’s, too!

Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.

Here, we’ve created a “9 dos and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child. Continue reading “9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child”

A Sponsor Story That Began in Korea, 1954

A command radio and radar repairman for the U.S. Air Force, Clare Graham was just 20 years old when he found himself stationed near Seoul during the last year of the Korean War. On his rare days off, Clare and his buddies would sometimes drive the 30 miles into Seoul to find ice cream — a nearly unheard-of treat in Korea in 1954. But one day in April, he decided to stay close to base. He headed out for a walk, and it became a walk he’d never forget. Continue reading “A Sponsor Story That Began in Korea, 1954”

We Can Help This Child…

One adoptive mom shares how the loss of their son moved her and her husband to sponsor a child in his honor. 

Celebrating Greg's first birthday!
“We are so thankful for the wonderful gift we had in Greg for 28 years,” his mom, Gail, says.

We adopted our daughter, Amanda, from Korea in 1987, through Holt. We adopted our son, Gregory, from Korea, through Holt in 1991. Both of our children have brought joy and love to everyone they’ve met. Continue reading “We Can Help This Child…”

COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs

Lee, Yoon-Joo, director of overseas adoption programs at Holt Korea, and Paul Kim, director of Holt’s programs in Korea and Mongolia, share how the pandemic is affecting the children, families and individuals in Holt’s sponsorship program in Korea — and how Holt sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs.

While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.
While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.

How has COVID-19 affected Korea and what is life like there right now?

PK: Korea has gone from one of the first countries in the world outside of China to be impacted by COVID-19 to a leader in fighting the spread of the virus. The nation is currently experiencing the third wave of infections, and the authorities have tightened existing regulations. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs”

Last Christmas Was a Good One!

Last Christmas, children around the world experienced a huge holiday celebration! They attended parties and received presents and ate special meals. None of these experiences would have been possible without the generosity of Holt sponsors and donors.

Children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world often miss out on Christmas and holiday celebrations. For children and families who barely have enough to survive each day, treats, parties and gifts wrapped in colorful paper are impossible luxuries.

But every child deserves to experience the joy and celebration of Christmas. That’s why every year, Holt sponsors and donors go above and beyond to bring Christmas to children all around the world.

When sponsors and donors give $25, a child receives a hand-picked gift, festive meal, treats and a special party with their family and friends! It’s a fun-filled day — giving them wonderful memories that they will cherish all year. This year’s celebrations may look a bit different due to COVID-19 precautions, but Holt staff and partners will work hard to make it just as special!

Take a look at last year’s joyous holiday celebrations around the world!

Continue reading “Last Christmas Was a Good One!”

For My Korean Sisters

Holt adoptee Kate Pyle shares what inspired her to launch a campaign raising over $16,000 for the Holt Morning Garden shelter for single mothers and their children in Korea.

A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.
A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.

My name is Kate Pyle and I’m a Holt Korean adoptee. At the beginning of September, following a six week campaign, my wife, Laurel, and I raised $16,450 for three women at the Achimddeul “Morning Garden” shelter in Daejeon, South Korea. It was the first time Laurel and I had ever fundraised. Soliciting donations is never easy, but even in this bizarre time in history, we were successful! We both believed in the cause, in Holt and in ourselves.

So why did we do this? Let me tell you a little story. Continue reading “For My Korean Sisters”

Back to School, Around the World

All around the world this year, school will look different due to COVID-19. But whether children are physically in a classroom, or learning from home, your gifts will help children continue to learn and stay safe from early marriage and forced labor during this time of global crisis. Here are the current back-to-school plans in each of the countries where Holt kids live!

Whether a child is the daughter of migrant workers in India, lives near the Red Stone garbage dump in Mongolia, or has Down syndrome in Vietnam, education is vital to helping every child overcome poverty and reach their potential in life. It is also a cornerstone to the help that you provide through Holt.

But what about this year? What does back-to-school look like during a global pandemic?

 

Continue reading “Back to School, Around the World”

Project Gifts of Hope

Through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, English professor and adoptee Tara Robbins Fee helps her students think critically about — and find solutions to — the problems affecting our world.  

Tara with her family.
Tara with her husband and children.

I am a professor of English, wife and mom, and Holt adoptee. I spent my childhood in rural South Jersey, reading Nancy Drew mysteries and Little House books and happily running around in the woods behind the house my parents built. Growing up, I rarely thought about the five months I spent in Korea before the day I arrived at JFK airport in New York City, the day depicted in our family photos, where my mother reaches out to hold me for the first time. That was the moment that I understood as my family origin story. Continue reading “Project Gifts of Hope”