Our Story, His Writing – AubreyMae Adoption Story

AubreyMae has grown in our hearts for many, many years.

Anticipating becoming parents, we were aware how much we would be learning… What we didn’t expect was how much we would learn about ourselves and the beauty adoption holds. Sure, the paperwork and fundraising were time-consuming and waiting to hold her tested our patience tremendously. But we constantly reminded ourselves that as parents, you do everything possible for your child. We also constantly reminded ourselves about what she was going through.

We had to stay strong for our little one. We knew how brave and scared and lost and hopeful she would be when we would meet her for the first time. We held on to that and fought every day, prayed every day for our daughter. We met amazing people with true compassion for others and felt God’s grace through His work, using those around us. All our hearts were healed through adoption. Our little one’s heart has been through so much, and yet she lights up the room with her giggles and joy.

We are truly grateful for the staff at Holt. With the timeline and tedious paperwork, we had tremendous support that allowed us to focus on our daughter … Without them, we feel strongly the days would have felt longer, the travel would have been scarier, and our family would never be complete.

Not only are we parents to our beautiful daughter, but we are forever changed due to the beautiful journey adoption holds.

Every day, she chooses to trust and love us more and more. She is brave, she is chosen, and she is SO, SOOOO LOVED!

Jessica Burmeister | Adoptive Mom

Request more info about adoption!

 

Adoption is Changing, but Kids are Still Waiting for Families!

We know there have been a lot of changes in adoption recently. Country programs are changing their eligibility requirements, the profile of children coming home is changing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and give up.

One thing that isn’t changing, though, is the need. There are still so many kids who have been deprived of the love and protection that only a permanent family can provide. Each child is waiting for a family, and our mission is to find loving parents for those children.

Could you be the family that a child is waiting for?

If you are just in the beginning stages of adoption and aren’t sure what to do next — or if you are ready to move forward — email our adoption team at adopt@holtinternational.org! They can give you free information with no strings attached — helping you learn more about adoption or guiding you through the first steps of the process.

Contact our adoption team! Continue reading “Adoption is Changing, but Kids are Still Waiting for Families!”

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!

 

We Need Families for Children With Down Syndrome

Across China, many children with Down syndrome are waiting for loving adoptive families. Recently, our orphanage partners sent us files for 16 children with Down syndrome, ages 10 months to 3 years old — each precious, each in need of a family to bring them home.
Mindy and Alaina a few days after her Gotcha Day.

Across China, many children with Down syndrome are waiting for loving adoptive families. Recently, our orphanage partners asked for help to find families for 16 children with Down syndrome, ages 10 months to 3 years old — each precious, each in need of a family to bring them home. There are Special Blessings grants available for the adoption of these children!

Request info about adopting a child with Down syndrome!

What is it like to raise a child who has Down syndrome?

Jason and Ryan brought their 2-year-old son, Joe, home from China in March.

“As parents, we knew that no amount of reading and research would completely prepare us for parenting any child, one with Down syndrome included,” Ryan tells us. Continue reading “We Need Families for Children With Down Syndrome”

You Are Our Greatest Adventure – China Adoption Story

Adoption is something we always considered we would do… some day.

After several years of trying to have our own biological child, we realized adoption was going to be our next step. Adam and I went to several different adoption orientations. At first, we were planning to adopt a child domestically in the U.S., since the rumor was that it would take 2-5 years to bring home a child through international adoption.

Observing The Chinese Culture.Then one evening, at yet another adoption meeting, the social worker mentioned that the China adoption process is typically quicker than other country programs. I am half Chinese, and adoption from China was a no-brainer. Adam and I looked at each other and — surprise! — we both knew that this was the way we were going.

Not trusting all of the signs right away, we still vacillated for a while, between domestic infant and China adoption. We did know from day one that unlike the majority of families adopting internationally, we had no preference in gender. Just like a biological child, whose gender you don’t get to pick, we were open to either a girl or a boy.

One night, as I was cooking dinner, an Operation Smile program came on. I found myself engrossed in the stories of children who received cleft lip/palate repairs through the organization, and the amazing work that was being done…I was in tears.

This was the last sign I needed. Continue reading “You Are Our Greatest Adventure – China Adoption Story”

The Story Behind the Photo: 86 and Counting

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At the beginning of November, to kick off National Adoption Month, we shared a collage of all the children on our waiting child photolisting — just a small glimpse of the hundreds of children who we are seeking families for at any given time. We hoped it would kindle a passion in our supporters to help advocate for children who need loving families of their own. And it did!

You shared our waiting child stories. You reposted our advocacy blogs. You helped us tell the story behind each and every photo that we featured on social media during National Adoption Month.

The photo above represents the number of children from our photolisting that we have — thanks in part to your advocacy — matched with families so far in 2016. The black and white blocks represent the children who now are, or soon will be, part of a loving and secure family. The ones in color represent the children who we still need your help advocating for.

In total this year, Holt has matched 86 children from the photolisting — and another 200+ directly with a family! This is something to celebrate!

But we seek a world where every child has a loving and secure home. And until that day comes, we intend to keep working hard to advocate for the children left behind — and we ask you to join us.

One of the best ways that you can support our advocacy efforts is through sharing the stories we post about waiting children. That can be anything from pressing “like” or “share” on Facebook to leading an informational meeting in your community. Creativity is encouraged and we look forward to hearing what you come up with!

Thank you again for your heart and compassion for children who need families. Allied with you, we can achieve anything!
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Running From The Heart: A Chicago Marathon Team Advocates for Holt

Adoption advocate Suzi Gurry shares about the training, dedication and heart behind Holt’s runners in the 2015 Chicago Marathon.

Marathon

You could say I am somewhat of an inspiration junkie. As an artist, I’m forced to pay closer attention than most to the highs and lows of life to continue a reason to put the paintbrush into the paint and onto the canvas. Like most people, success stories inspire me. I am on a constant search to uncover where inspiration lies and often find myself at the tail end of a success story. With age, I find that I am drawn more and more to the part of a story that comes before the trophy is engraved and before the medal is handed over. For me, the most memorable part of a success story is the beginning and the middle. The influence lies in the struggle and the training, the part where we sweat and cry and push through pain with grit and raw determination. I am highly motivated by the stick-to-it-iveness of ordinary folks reaching for something extraordinary for a profoundly personal reason. Success itself is not an inherently beautiful thing, but the reasons we reach for it and go for it can prove to be utterly captivating. Continue reading “Running From The Heart: A Chicago Marathon Team Advocates for Holt”

The Heart Warriors

As Holt’s China team works to find families for a growing number of children with complex heart disease, a partnership develops with Little Hearts Medical — a groundbreaking, U.S.-based organization of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and adoptive families who are working to ensure children receive the medical interventions they need early on, and while still in China.

Max
Max Preston came home to his family in June 2015 and is now receiving the cardiac care he needs to thrive!

In June 2014, when hopeful adoptive parents Heather and Vince Preston received a referral from Holt’s China program, they were prepared for a child with a heart condition. They had expressed their openness to this special need when applying, and they knew the need was great.

But neither of them were medical doctors. And they knew that “heart condition” could mean a broad spectrum of things — from a minor hole that would close on its own to a chronic, life-threatening disease that would require round-the-clock care. Before accepting the referral, they needed more information. And they needed advice from someone experienced — someone who knew what she was talking about. Someone like Andrea.

But as Heather soon discovered, there’s no one quite “like” Andrea.

“At the time, I was excited to speak with her,” Heather says of Andrea, who often mentors Holt families who are considering an adoption of a child with complex heart disease (CHD). “But I did not realize how valuable this conversation would be.”

A mother of six with five children adopted through Holt — four of whom have CHD — Andrea also serves as executive director of Little Hearts Medical, an organization that brings life-saving cardiac care to orphaned children and children from poor families in China. Needless to say, she’s a busy woman. But not too busy to take Heather’s call.

Prestons
Heather and Vince Preston with their two boys, both adopted from China.

While the Prestons barreled down the highway en route to a family camping trip, Andrea sat on the phone with Heather for two straight hours — answering their questions, from a parent’s perspective, about the referral they received from Holt. Although the child’s medical file had already been assessed by a pediatric cardiologist, the information contained a lot of medical jargon and confusing information. “Throughout the two-hour drive, Andrea talked with us about [our soon-to-be son] Max’s particular flavor of CHD based upon the file review,” Heather says. Continue reading “The Heart Warriors”

Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts

We’re always amazed by how truly talented and entrepreneurial so many of our supporters are in how they raise money and give to Holt. The people below are no exception. Read about what their creative and inspired ideas to provide for vulnerable children and families around the world. Thank you for your creativity, hard work and generosity!



 

Paige2

For her senior project, Holt adoptee Paige Worthington hosted a game night and sent out letters to raise money for children who need cleft lip and palate surgeries.

Holt adoptee Paige Worthington is a rock star when it comes to making a difference for kids in China. Back in 2008, when she was a third-grader, we featured Paige’s photo on our blog because she gave a presentation to her classmates about raising money for earthquake victims in China.

Now she’s a senior in high school and still doing big things to help abandoned and vulnerable children in China!

As she began to think about her high school senior project, Paige knew she wanted to use it as a fundraiser to support children in China through Holt.

Holt and the Holt China program have a special place in Paige’s heart. Not only is she herself a Holt adoptee from China, but so is her younger sister. She also has two cousins who are Korean adoptees through Holt. Continue reading “Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts”