Holt Adoptee Camp Director: What I Do When Camp is Not in Session

Holt Adoptee Camp Director Joli Hanlon shares how she spends the eight-month off-season to continue serving adoptees — and make the camp experience the best it can be. 

Holt adoptee campers met over Zoom during the socially distant 2020 "Holt Camp at Home" version of Holt Adoptee Camp.
Holt adoptee campers met over Zoom during the socially distant 2020 “Holt Camp at Home” version of Holt Adoptee Camp.

One of the most common questions I get asked as Holt Adoptee Camp director is, “What do you do when camp is not happening?” Surprisingly, being camp director is a year-round job and there are a variety of tasks that I work on during the off-season. Here are five things that I do before and after camp that you may or may not know about: Continue reading “Holt Adoptee Camp Director: What I Do When Camp is Not in Session”

Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State

Contact:
Susan Soonkeum Cox
susanc@holtinternational.org
(541) 687-2202

Eugene, Oregon, November 10, 2020 — After an 18-month approval process, Holt International is now authorized to provide homestudy and post-placement services to adoptive families in the state of New York. While Holt facilitates adoptions for families in all 50 states, until now, Holt had to rely on coordinating provider agencies to complete the homestudy and post-placement portion of the adoption process for New York-resident families who were adopting a child through Holt. Continue reading “Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State”

Holt-Sunny Ridge Becomes Holt International, Illinois and Wisconsin Branch

Contact:
Susan Soonkeum Cox
susanc@holtinternational.org
541-687-2202

Effective November 2, 2020, Holt-Sunny Ridge in Bolingbrook, Illinois will be renamed as Holt International, Illinois and Wisconsin branch.

Sunny Ridge Family Center, a long-standing child services organization in Illinois, merged with Holt International and became Holt-Sunny Ridge in April 2014. In June 2019, Holt-Sunny Ridge became licensed in Wisconsin and took over Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS)’s private domestic adoption services in Wisconsin. Continue reading “Holt-Sunny Ridge Becomes Holt International, Illinois and Wisconsin Branch”

Holt Camp at Home

As COVID-19 canceled in-person gatherings this summer, Holt Adoptee Camp moved online — offering a virtual camp experience for over 400 youth adoptees, including many adoptees who had never attended Holt camp before.

During Holt Camp at Home, camp staff had two hours a day with each group of about 50 campers.

Holt Camp at Home just completed our first ever camp season online and the experience has been wild! As the effects of COVID-19 spread across the country, closing down schools and many youth summer programs, Holt Adoptee Camp was no exception to the growing risk of meeting together and the decision had to be made to cancel our in-person camp season. Continue reading “Holt Camp at Home”

International Adoption Not Affected By President’s Immigration Ban

Since April 22, we have heard from a number of families concerned about President Trump’s executive order suspending immigration to the U.S. during the economic recovery period following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holt has now received confirmation that this suspension does not apply to immigration via international adoption. Children can still travel home to the U.S. with their adoptive families, and international adoptions can move forward without delay. Continue reading “International Adoption Not Affected By President’s Immigration Ban”

Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Over the past several weeks, Holt International, like all organizations, has experienced the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and the critical impact on our programs, our staff and partners, and the children and families we serve together with you around the world. As the world watched what was happening in China, this felt very personal to Holt. With the health and safety of both children and families our utmost concern, we made the heart-wrenching decision to suspend travel for more than 20 adoptive families who were ready to bring their children home. In both the U.S. and China, Holt staff responded quickly to support and assist families and took immediate measures to ensure our partner orphanages had the medical and other supplies needed to protect the children in their care.

When the virus began to spread to Korea and other countries where we work in Asia, we took immediate action — sending masks and other supplies to our partners in those countries. Thankfully, as of today, we have received no reports of any children in our programs contracting the virus, and we continue to pray for the health and safety of all children, families, staff, partners and supporters around the world. Continue reading “Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic”

The Least We Could Do

When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.

The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”

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”