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”

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”

Thankful for Silver Linings

Last year, while grieving the loss of her mom, adoptee Lee Henggeler discovered a box of adoption paperwork that helped her reconnect with her mom through the journey she took to become a mother. It also sparked an idea for a journey she herself would take to honor her late mom. This story originally appeared on Lee’s blog, thecampsarehere.com.

Lee and her mom when Lee was a baby.

Deep loss can bring you face to face with what was missing when you thought you had everything …

A DARK PLACE
(written February 4, 2020)

On April 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm, a woman I had never met called to tell me my mom was dead. My husband, 4-year-old and I were driving on I-95, all our belongings in a moving truck, less than an hour from Charleston, SC — uprooting and relocating after eight years in Washington, D.C. to spend more time with Grama CeeCee. But just like that *snap* she was gone, and with her all of the time we had every intention of spending — and there was nothing we could do. Continue reading “Thankful for Silver Linings”

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”

A Dispatch From The 2019 Korea Gift Team

While traveling on this year’s Korea Gift Team trip with Holt, adoptive mom and donor Seri Boettcher kept a travelogue to tell her friends and family about the programs she visited and the children, families and individuals she met. 

Holt staff member Amanda Baca holds a child in care during the 2019 Korea Gift Team trip.
Holt staff member Amanda Baca holds a child in care during the 2019 Korea Gift Team trip.

Holt Morning Garden Shelter

We travelled back to Seoul yesterday afternoon after a VERY moving morning in Daejeon (where we spent the night) at the Holt-sponsored Achimddeul Mother and Child Shelter. It seems with every Holt trip I’ve taken, there is one day that just hits me emotionally and I truly did not anticipate it would be this day on this trip. Continue reading “A Dispatch From The 2019 Korea Gift Team”

Children Who Deserve a Chance

Amid an orphan care crisis in South Korea, Holt sponsors and donors help care for children in greatest need­ — and support a long-term solution.

In South Korea, a 1-year-old sits in a crib. Surrounded by other children, in identical cribs, she lifts up her arms as her caregiver walks past. Her caregiver lovingly picks her up, then places her on the floor to play with the toys that she shares with everyone else. She cries, desperate for one more moment of attention. 

She’s healthy, developing well, “a lovely child,” as her caregivers describe her. But she will most likely never have a loving, permanent family of her own. 

Because she was abandoned. 

Continue reading “Children Who Deserve a Chance”

Share Memories of Molly Holt

 

Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt, passed away early in the morning on May 17, 2019 in Ilsan, Korea. She was 83 years old. 

In South Korea, Molly was known by many names, from the Mother Teresa of Korea to the Mother of all Korea’s Orphans. Although she devoted her life to caring and advocating for children and adults with developmental and physical needs in Korea, she leaves a legacy that is felt around the world.

If you would like to share memories or photos of Molly Holt, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org. Photos and memories will be shared on this blog as they come in.

Donate In Loving Memory of Molly Holt

Read more about Molly’s incredible legacy. 

44 Years Later, Korean Adoptee Explores His Roots on Holt Heritage Tour

A blog entry from Joah Mershon, a Holt adoptee currently traveling on a Holt heritage tour of Korea.  
Today, we went to Holt and conducted my roots search. Prior to the search, I was already aware that it may not produce any new results. The usual feelings of indifference, disconnection, confusion, fear, sadness and anger arose.
Joah with Sister Theresa at the White Lily Orphanage, the orphanage in Korea where Joah lived in the late 1970s before going home to his family in the U.S.
Joah with Sister Theresa at the White Lily Orphanage, the orphanage in Korea where Joah lived in the late 1970s before going home to his family in the U.S.

Continue reading “44 Years Later, Korean Adoptee Explores His Roots on Holt Heritage Tour”

In Memory Of Molly Holt

It is with profound sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt, passed away early in the morning on May 17 in Korea. She was 83 years old. 

A memorial picture of Molly Holt.

In South Korea, Molly was known by many names, from the Mother Teresa of Korea to the Mother of all Korea’s Orphans. Although she devoted her life to caring and advocating for children and adults with medical, developmental and physical needs in Korea, she leaves a legacy that is felt around the world. Continue reading “In Memory Of Molly Holt”

Love Beyond The Orphanage

Every year, over 6,000 young adults age out of orphanages in Korea. As “orphans,” they face stigma and discrimination, and have no support or guidance. But one organization is now working to change that — providing love, and hope, beyond the orphanage.

Myung Hoon plays viola.

Myung Hoon plays the viola beautifully.

Beautifully enough to win second place in a solo competition with musicians who learned to play the instrument years before he did. Beautifully enough to earn a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music. But no matter how beautifully he played, for a long time, Myung Hoon never felt like he was enough. Like he deserved what he achieved.

“I did not have a dream when I was young because I did not grow up in a family. I thought orphans do not deserve to have a dream.” Continue reading “Love Beyond The Orphanage”