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”

2020 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to Grace Querido, Mei Vader and Grace Rafferty — our three 2020 Adoptee Scholarship winners!

This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work based on the theme, “A Portrait of Me: An Adoptee.” They each won a $500 scholarship.

Grace Querido

For my piece I decided to paint the different facades of my identity. Growing up in a predominantly white town, it was rare to see other Asian kids let alone Korean kids with white parents. Because of that, I attended a Korean adoptee camp where I met other families that looked like mine, which was a really influential experience. On top of race, my religion made me special because I was usually the only Jew in class. I took my individuality as an opportunity to educate my classmates on adoption, Korea, and Judaism. I included my three different names because they’re the foundation from which I built the rest of my identity. I am fortunate that my parents took us on vacations because I learned I loved to scuba surf, and travel which I hope to continue in the future. The paw prints represent my love for animals and the volunteer work I did at a shelter. My artistic side is shown through my love of Broadway and painting. I was also able to express my athleticism through my high school’s cheerleading team. This painting is the perfect visual representation of who I am. Continue reading “2020 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Winners!”

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”

Adoption: More Than One Moment in Time

Susie Doig, senior executive of U.S. programming, explains why understanding that adoption is more than a single moment in time requires us to take a broader, more comprehensive approach.

Susie Doig with her husband and two children, both adopted from Thailand.
Susie Doig with her husband and two children, both adopted from Thailand.

When most of us think about international adoption, we take a process with lifetime and generational implications and narrow it down to one brief moment in time — the moment an adoptive parent meets their child for the first time. We watch videos of an adoptive parent’s first embrace of their new child; see the child cry and pull away or perhaps fiercely hug the adoptive parent back, and we are overcome by this moment.

Continue reading “Adoption: More Than One Moment in Time”

Free TBRI ® On-Demand Trainings Through May!

Hi Holt Families!

We hope you are settling into your new responsibilities … like educating children from home, changes at work, keeping tabs on best ways to stay safe and healthy. Let’s be real here – this is A LOT to handle! Stress is high and children are on high alert. For those of you who have adopted recently, you’re still working through the process of attachment, grief, integration and healing. A global health crisis is not making any of it easier. Continue reading “Free TBRI ® On-Demand Trainings Through May!”

Indian Adoptees Reunited After 30 Years

Thrity-one years ago today, Christina, Rekha and Deborah, along with two other Indian Adoptees, arrived in the United States.  They were escorted from India by the Poindexter family who took on an adventure of a lifetime. Since that day in December 1988, 30 years ago would go by before the women would be able to reunite in person with each other and then with the family that forever changed their lives. As we sat down with these young women we learned so much about their resiliency, heart and determination to find pieces of their past in each other. They were together from the beginning and the connections that formed as babies in India has blossomed into a friendship that is remarkable and deep.

Happy Adoption Day Christina, Rekha and Deborah! Your story is so important and we are proud to be able to share it with the world.

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.

Continue reading “Post-Adoption Programs for Adoptees & Families”

7 Pieces of Advice from Adoptees

When you share your plans to adopt, there’s a good chance that you will hear lots of opinions and advice. And once in the process, you will go through 10 or more hours of training to help prepare you for the unique experience of parenting an adopted child. But when it comes to connecting with your child, some of the best advice you will hear will come from adoptees themselves.

Below, we share 7 pieces of advice from Holt adoptees Hannah, Taylor* and Alex*. Whether you are about to adopt — or are now home with your child — thoughts and insights from adult adoptees can help you build a stronger relationship with your child, and empower you to help your child build a healthy adoptee identity.

Continue reading “7 Pieces of Advice from Adoptees”