Care You Can See, Every Day

Before Emerson could go home to her adoptive family, she needed to have heart surgery in China. While recovering, she stayed at Holt’s donor-funded medical foster home in Beijing, where the love and care she received made such a difference — her mom can still see it, every day.

When asked, adoptive mother Rachel Pace admits she doesn’t know a lot about the Peace House in China. Her 2-year-old daughter, Emerson, stayed at Holt’s medical foster home for only a short time. But circumstances surrounding Emerson’s adoption made the journey a bit of a “whirlwind.” Rachel had to learn a lot, in not a lot of time.

“Our adoption happened so quickly,” she says.  “And I didn’t feel like I was really able to learn a lot about the Peace House and the care they provide.” Continue reading “Care You Can See, Every Day”

To Pray For Him Always

When a heartbreaking event led the Lee family back to Korea, Joshua Lee had the chance to meet a very special woman in his life — the woman who cared for him before he came home to his adoptive family.

Joshua with his foster mother and her new foster baby.
Joshua with his foster mother and her new foster baby. “Was I just like that baby?” Joshua asked his mom as they spent the day reconnecting with his foster mother.

She spent only five months with Joshua, but remembered him when they came face-to-face 11 years later.

“She was so thrilled to see him,” Joshua’s mother, Barbara Lee, says.

She even wore the necklace — a gleaming dark blue and aqua globe hanging from her neck by a beautiful gold chain.  The distance between Korea and Mexico, where the Lee family currently serves as missionaries, was great, but the necklace around her neck made her feel closer to Joshua — and reminded her to pray for him always. Continue reading “To Pray For Him Always”

Redbox Steps Up to Help Children in Foster Care Come Home

Watch Instant Family on DVD and help Redbox & WACAP

Last fall, the movie Instant Family was released in theaters. Inspired by the writer/director’s own experience as a parent who adopted a sibling group from foster care, the story was a surprisingly honest and unflinching look at the foster care system, both hilarious and heartbreaking.

As we move closer to the April 1st merger of WACAP (World Association of Children and Parents) into the Holt family, we grow increasingly excited about our expanding role in offering solutions for children in foster care, both in Oregon and Washington. We are joining forces to continue our shared mission and quickly finding new ways to share our mission with broader audiences.

Continue reading “Redbox Steps Up to Help Children in Foster Care Come Home”

That Felt Like a Mother’s Love

After traveling to meet their former foster mothers in Korea, adoptee siblings Emma and Isaiah Perron finally understand what their parents always told them — “You were greatly loved in Korea.” This post written by Lisa Perron — Emma and Isaiah’s mom — originally appeared on catholicfam.org

Emma meets her foster mom for the first time since she left Korea to join her family.

The first night our Korean-born son arrived home, he cried for his foster mother. Less than thirty-six hours before, he had woken up in the only home he had ever known, been brought to the Holt International Adoption Services offices, handed to a stranger, and traveled around the world to be placed in our arms. He had never seen us before and had no idea what was happening. After a very stressful first introduction to our dear son, we arrived home late from the airport. Soon the family was all sleeping peacefully in their beds — all except Isaiah and me.  Continue reading “That Felt Like a Mother’s Love”

A Place That Will Always Belong To Her

The Doig family visits their daughter’s foster family in Thailand — a reunion that shows just how meaningful and enduring the foster experience can be.

Elizabeth Doig with her foster mom and sister.

Being back in Thailand — once again riding in a van with two HSF social workers to our daughter’s foster home — was surreal. Six and a half years ago, we took this same trip in a similar van, after just having met our daughter for the first time. I still have vivid memories of that day, working our way through Bangkok traffic with our grieving daughter sitting on my husband’s lap.  I was nervous, uncertain what to expect, and yet eager to glean any information I could from our daughter’s foster family about her personality and the place she had lived the first year and a half of her life.  That first visit, when we met Elizabeth’s foster family for the first time, we watched as our daughter relaxed and became at ease as she navigated her familiar environment. She blossomed and came to life that first visit, and it was our first glimpse into her true personality and an introduction to what her life had been like before we met her. Continue reading “A Place That Will Always Belong To Her”

140 Children, Forever Loved From Korea

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

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”

2 Things We Try Before International Adoption

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!
Holt does more than adoption?!

A misconception we often hear is that Holt International is only an adoption agency. This probably stems from our long history in international adoption, but in truth, Holt serves far more children through programs that help them stay with their families.

At Holt, we in fact consider international adoption to be the last, best option for children. Holt’s model of adoption is child-centric, meaning that we uphold the needs of the child as our number one priority. Through this model, international adoption is the final effort we make to ensure that every child has a loving and secure home.

We believe, first and foremost, that every child deserves to grow and thrive in the loving care of their family, whenever possible.

To that end, we strengthen families who are on the edge and need just a little assistance to stay together. We do this through nutritional, financial, health, education and counseling services, which provide the tools and resources families need to independently care for their children. These programs would not be possible without our generous child sponsors!

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!Read about how Holt’s family strengthening program helped single moms in Haiti like Julia be able to provide for her family!

Unfortunately, and far too often, children are unable to stay with their birth family for a variety of reasons. While we strive to reunite children with their families when this happens, many children remain growing up in orphanages. When that is the case, our goal is to find a family through domestic adoption — which gives a child the opportunity to grow up in the country and culture of his or her birth.

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!

Finally, if the child is still waiting, then we begin to look at international adoption as a way to find a permanent and loving family. We understand the challenges that come with a child being adopted into a new country and culture, and so when international adoption becomes our only choice, we work very hard to make sure that the parents are as prepared as possible to care for the child. We have systems in place to prepare and support both the family and the adoptee — from the moment they apply to the moment they come home, and again when they need support, at any time throughout their lives.

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!Read about how international adoption gave Rini a chance at life.

Each child’s journey to a loving and secure home is different. But when you are matched, rest assured that every option was explored, and that international adoption was the best option for your child.

 

Learn more about what we do!

 

Saying Thank You in Korean

While traveling on Holt’s 2012 Adult Adoptee Heritage Tour of Korea, Kim Buckley met the foster family that cared for her before joining her family in the U.S. This piece originally appeared in The Daily Nebraskan, the daily newspaper of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kim with her foster mom and her foster sister, who also helped care for Kim while she was waiting to join her adoptive family in the U.S.

I found out why there is a stereotype of Asians being bad drivers during a trip to South Korea this summer. As it turns out, narrow streets and speeders make for impatient drivers who narrowly avoid accidents.

But that wasn’t the only thing I discovered in Korea. Continue reading “Saying Thank You in Korean”

The Secret of Their Lives

A little girl at the HIV group home looks out the front door to a sunny courtyard.

Most of the children here don’t know they are HIV+. It’s too risky.

Their teachers don’t know. Their neighbors definitely don’t know because if they did, they would have to move again. They’ve moved eight times in ten years, all 28 children. If their teachers knew, they would be isolated and discriminated against or even kicked out of their pricey private school — a school they attend because they don’t have to inform the principal of their disease.

Most of these children don’t even know about the disease in their blood, the disease that killed many of their parents, robbed them of their life in their villages and that was likely passed to them at birth.

They just know that they have strict rules to follow.

Absolutely no fighting. No rough housing. If they get a cut or a scratch, they have their own first aid kit. And they have Mr. Huang.

“The kids are happy now,” Mr. Huang says, his face worn and tired, his spiky, graying hair hinting at his age.

When children pass through the living room of the apartment, they stop to grab his hands or talk to him and his eyes soften as he greets them lovingly.

“They are too young,” Mr. Huang says. “They don’t understand their fate. But as they get older, they will learn. The discrimination will start. They will always have to keep their secret.”

Continue reading “The Secret of Their Lives”

Facing the Foster Care Crisis

The Crisis

A crisis is happening in Oregon. It’s a crisis that you probably won’t hear on the news. A crisis you may not even know about. A crisis that’s affecting children in your local community — children who attend your kids’ schools and live around your block.

Children in Oregon’s foster care system — and in foster care systems around the U.S. — are in desperate need of permanent, loving families.

Holt’s headquarters are in Eugene, Oregon, and when we learned about the foster care crisis happening right here in our home state, we knew we had to step up our efforts to advocate for these children — just as we have advocated for children around the world for over 60 years. Whether in Ethiopia, India, China or Oregon, there is no greater tragedy than a child losing their family. Our mission is to find permanent, loving families for children who truly need them.

Continue reading “Facing the Foster Care Crisis”