With an Open Heart and an Open Mind

special needs adoptionAs you begin your adoption journey, one small step beyond your comfort zone may be all that stands between you and your future child. But openness in adoption looks different for every family. 

So, you want to adopt! After months, or maybe years, of deliberation and prayers, you’re ready to move forward. Maybe you’re still at the very beginning of your journey, researching agencies and reading every adoption blog post you can find on the internet. Or maybe you already have an agency and are eagerly awaiting the next step. Either way, your life is about to change forever.

Continue reading “With an Open Heart and an Open Mind”

Post-Adoption Programs for Adoptees & Families

Holt International offers a variety of post-adoption programs for adoptees and families, including weeklong adoptee camps and a coaching and education program to help families navigate challenges. Below, adult adoptee Bre Linder shares her reflections on Holt Adoptee Camp while the Choate family shares about Holt’s Post-Adoption Coaching & Education program.  

Holt International offers a variety of post-adoption programs and services — providing lifetime support for adoptees and families. 

As a new adoptive family, you will likely experience both joys and challenges once your child comes home. And as your child grows up, he or she will probably have some questions — questions surrounding their adoption, race, identity as an adoptee or their birth family. You both may encounter issues that you’re not sure how to handle. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone.

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Why U.S. Kids Need You To Say “Yes”

Children in our U.S. foster care and adoption system are in crisis — sleeping in hotel rooms and repurposed jails for a lack of somewhere to go. They need individuals and families to stand up, and say “yes.”  

In our Seattle area office each day, we receive multiple emails from the State of Washington that briefly describe children who need a place to go. For multiple reasons, some need a placement for only a few days, other need a long-term foster family, and others need an adoptive family. These emails overwhelm me with the sheer volume of need.

One recent Friday, I opened one email to find 57 children listed. We received eight more emails that same day, just like this one. They come every day. Every. Day.

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He Makes Everyone’s Life Better

In honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month — and children with Down syndrome around the world who are waiting for their permanent, loving families — we want to share about Jaxon. This sweet 4-year-old joined his adoptive family eight months ago, and he has enriched their lives more than they ever imagined.  

When Amy Kalani first met Jaxon in China, she thought she’d have no trouble finding him a family.

Although now the director of Holt’s Korea adoption program, at the time, Amy worked with Holt’s China program. When she met Jaxon, she was in China visiting orphanages and meeting children so that she could get to know them — and better advocate for them individually upon returning home.

Out of the dozens of children she met, Jaxon stood out to her the most.

Amy meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017
Amy Kalani meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017.

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Because They Are Brave

For generations, women and girls in Cambodia were taught not to speak their minds or stand up for their rights. But step by step, and with the support of sponsors and donors, they are learning to stand up, speak up and go after their dreams.

Sela sits in the Holt Cambodia office in Phnom Penh.
Sela sits in the Holt Cambodia office in Phnom Penh.

Sela’s voice quivers a bit as she speaks. She is slight and girlish, in jeans and a V-neck shirt, her dark hair pulled back in a ponytail and long bangs swept across her forehead. A large, black, practical watch overwhelms her slender wrist. Continue reading “Because They Are Brave”

You Gave Them Christmas: Photos & Updates From 2018 Parties

Every year, children around the world receive a special Christmas and holiday celebration — all thanks to generous sponsors and donors!

Christmas and holiday celebrations look a little different for children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world. For most children, holidays aren’t celebrated with treats, a party or gifts wrapped in colorful paper. These luxuries are often too expensive for families and children who have just enough to survive each day.

But every year, our generous sponsors and donors share the love of Jesus, and the spirit of Christmas, with children in Holt’s programs. They go above and beyond, and they bring so much joy to their sponsored child!

When sponsors and donors give $25, each 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.

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

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More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD

It’s always heartbreaking when children have been exposed to drugs or alcohol. But Holt’s child nutrition program can help improve the health and nutrition of these children. And for one little girl with FASD in Mongolia, the program has had a huge impact on her life.   

Altansarnai entered into care at of one of Holt’s partnering care centers in Mongolia shortly after being born. Nothing was known about her family or prenatal circumstances. She was small and very sick. Although the staff provided care for her sickness and appropriate formula for her age, they still noted that over time her development seemed to be slow and delayed. She seemed behind her peers in physical growth, was often fussy, and had difficulty calming herself down. Continue reading “More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD”

How Holt’s Feeding and Positioning Manual Changes Children’s Lives

Holt International's Feeding and Positioning Manual.

In spring 2019, Holt’s nutrition program released Holt International’s Feeding and Positioning Manual: Guidelines for Working with Babies and Children. The first of its kind, this publication will have a lasting and life-changing impact on the lives of children in orphanages and impoverished communities around the world. 

As *Lanh lay on his back, his wide, fearful eyes filled with tears as he choked on each bite of food spooned into his mouth.

“It was hard to watch,” says Emily DeLacey, Holt’s nutrition program manager. Continue reading “How Holt’s Feeding and Positioning Manual Changes Children’s Lives”

A New Hope, A New Cow

After Dat’s father caught malaria and died three years ago, his mom was forced to sell their only cow to pay off their debts. In this story, the family’s local caseworker in Vietnam shares what happened when a generous donor replaced the family’s cow — and the family’s hope. 

Dat builds a sand bridge with bricks and sand in front of his home in southern Vietnam.
Dat builds a sand bridge with bricks and sand in front of his home in southern Vietnam.

“What are you building?” I ask Dat, the little boy playing on a small sand dune by the entrance to the house. He answers me as he continues to collect sand and pile it onto broken bricks.

“I’m building a sand bridge,” Dat answers in a soft voice without looking at me — his family’s caseworker.

“Is your mom home?” I ask.

Dat continues working on his sand bridge. ‘She’s in the field now,’ he says. Continue reading “A New Hope, A New Cow”