Older Child Adoption: An Expert Adopts

The Snodgrass family.

Holt’s director of clinical services, Celeste Snodgrass, shares about her experience with older child adoption — adopting her son Max from Thailand at 9 years old. While an adoption expert by profession, Celeste affirms that no older child adoption goes perfectly smoothly. But it’s the perfect option for many families, and for children who have been waiting so long.

“Are you hungry?” Celeste asked her son, Max.

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At Heart, Their Greatest Need

Six-year-old Claire Peddicord has a heart condition and received heart surgeries both in China and once home with her family in Tennessee. But her parents, Kristin and Casey, have learned that one special need is even greater than her heart condition. It’s one that all waiting children have, and any loving adoptive family can meet. 

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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.

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How We Fundraised $45,000 For Our Adoption

Adoption Fundraising

This story is re-posted with permission from Alex’s blog.

 

Adoption costs quite a lot, that is a well-known fact and one of the main reasons people don’t pursue adoption even after they feel called to. But something I have learned through this process is that these costs have a purpose. There are hardworking people that are caring for these children and working on piles of paperwork and helping you jump through so many hoops to be able to bring your child home. I can only speak from our process, but even though our adoption costs seem like a lot of money, it provides jobs for those helping us along the way, a home for our baby girl and her foster family, and a way for our family to bring home our daughter.

With all of that said, the cost of this process was still one of Todd’s biggest fears, but standing on this side of the journey he said “can you believe I was scared about how we would be able to raise the money?” I strongly believe that God places you in a spot where you are not enough, so that He can show that He is.

Through God’s grace, our family and friends raised $45,000 in 8 months.  Praise Jesus! Continue reading “How We Fundraised $45,000 For Our Adoption”

Waiting For So Long

As 16-year-old Van Dai prepares to meet his adoptive family, and his adoptive family prepares to meet him, they share what they’re nervous about, what they’re excited about, and why they are so eager to finally meet one another.

­­­­Van Dai is 16 years old. He likes math, soccer and computer games, and is naturally good at things that require problem solving and forethought. He’s a bit shy and introspective, and doesn’t show a broad range of emotion. But when you catch his eye and smile, he will return your smile a thousand-fold. His smile is absolutely radiant.

It’s a hot and humid January afternoon in the south of Vietnam, but cooler where we sit inside on wooden furniture, beneath a blowing fan. In the background, we can hear the sounds of children playing, the occasional squeak of metal swings.

“How are you feeling right now?”

Van Dai’s eyes gleam and glance around the room. He smiles.

“’I’m so happy to meet my parents,” he says. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long.” Continue reading “Waiting For So Long”

You Are Wanted, You Are Loved

Adult adoptee Ying Lamb, now 22, shares her advice for children who come home at older ages, and for the families who adopt them. 

Living in China, as a 13-year-old orphan about to be adopted, was a difficult feeling. My whole life — the hard times, and the good times — were about to be left behind. In China, children in orphanages are often looked down on, and not treated with full human respect, so I did want a family, and a chance to have a different life. My life had not been all bad, though, and it is terrifying looking into a future with everything unknown.

And my life so far had been full of many disappointments, so what if this was no different? Continue reading “You Are Wanted, You Are Loved”

Get Up and Keep Dancing

Since coming home to her family last year, Devki Horine — who has cerebral palsy — has  amazed them with all she can do.  

Don’t tell me why you can’t. Let’s find a way you can.

Terry and Drew Horine say this is a mantra of sorts for their family. Since they brought their daughter, Devki — who has cerebral palsy — home from India last year, they have been amazed by all that she can do.

“When she first came home, getting up and down the stairs took her ten minutes, now it’s ten seconds,” Drew says — adding with, a chuckle, “She flies up and down them now – which scares me to death!”

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A Family’s “Thank You” to SNAF Donors

CourtFam

The Court family expresses their gratitude to those who donated to Holt’s Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF), which helped them to bring their son, Eric, home in 2015. 

THANK YOU to everyone whose generous donations to the Special Needs Adoption Fund made it possible for us to meet the costs necessary for us to bring our son, Eric, home. We are so grateful that he is here with us now and we are together as a family!

One year ago, we learned about Eric for the first time through Holt International Children’s Services. My wife discovered Eric on their waiting child list. She felt immediately drawn to him and told me with tears in her eyes that he needed to be in our family. We talked with a representative from Holt and we both wanted to apply for adoption, but I really didn’t see how we could meet the costs. In fact, just a few weeks after discovering Eric, I was in the midst of writing an email to Holt explaining that we couldn’t proceed with the adoption because of finances when I was suddenly struck with a very forceful thought. The thought was, “If you walk away from this child, then you’re abandoning him.” I couldn’t press “Send.” I deleted the message. The next day we agreed to do everything we could to become Eric’s parents.

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