Torn Pages Made Beautiful

Adoptee Lily Daniels shares how the sad stories of her family’s lives became one big beautiful story of restoration, tinged yet strengthened by loss.

Lily’s senior portrait.

I want to tell you a story that is really about how a lot of different little, sad stories became one big, beautiful story.

The setting is June 17, 2001. Two stories collide and become one. In my mind, it was always about two groups of characters whose lives mirrored each other. There were the parents who lost their unborn children. They tried many years, traveled many miles, and faced the unknown. Then, there was the newly born baby girl who lost her parents. She, too, waited long, traveled far, and faced the unknown. They both needed something — family. And so, it became a beautiful story of restoration, tinged yet strengthened by loss. Continue reading “Torn Pages Made Beautiful”

Dream Come True – Holt Adoptee Reunites With Her Birth Parents in China

With the help of local police, media, volunteers and Holt staff in China, adoptee Kylee Bowers becomes the first Chinese adoptee placed through Holt to reunite with her birth family using DNA testing. This story has been translated from the original Chinese version written by Holt’s staff in China and published in Chinese media. 

Kylee with her biological father, Liang Hua.

On the morning of July 1, 2018, accompanied by her adoptive mother, 18-year-old adoptee Kylee (Liang Jing Lang/Zhong Feng Min) reunited with her birth family at Guangzhou Baiyun airport. There to witness this exciting and emotional moment were Holt’s vice president for our China Program, Ms. Jian Chen, local police officers, members of the media and volunteers from the Chinese NGO Bao Bei Hui Jia. Continue reading “Dream Come True – Holt Adoptee Reunites With Her Birth Parents in China”

The Story Behind the Photo: Dancing On Pointe

Growing up in China, Qiulan Henderson wondered if she maybe wasn’t beautiful or smart enough to be adopted. She wondered if she would ever feel trust or love, or ever believe in herself. But when a family in Oregon saw the beautiful soul inside 10-year-old Qiulan, and welcomed her into their home, she began to learn the truth about family, about love, and about herself. Below, Quilan shares her experience of joining a family through international adoption — what she feared, what she lost, and what she became as she opened her heart to healing and love.  

yue_qiu_lan_photoWhen I look at the picture of me in China, I remember myself and I feel hopeless; I have no hope for my future. I don’t know how I will get trust and love, and ever believe in myself. That photo was a fake happy, but I did have some light to see me through.

When I look at the photo of me in America, I see how much my life has changed in a good way. Holt helped me to turn my life around to find the love and trust, and there is always healing in your heart where ever you go. Life isn’t perfect, but I feel like an inspirational girl — happy, fresh and free. Before I was like a pair of flat, old ballet shoes.  Holt turned my life around, and now I am on pointe. Continue reading “The Story Behind the Photo: Dancing On Pointe”

An Identity Built By Adoption

Over the summer, Holt held our first adoptee essay contest. We asked adoptees to respond to the question, “How has adoption shaped or how does adoption currently shape your identity?” Below, adoptee Abby Lindner — a finalist in our contest — shares how adoption has shaped her identity, and empowered her to become “a daughter of faith and hope who most definitely belongs.”

Abby with her family. Abby (second from left) stands alongside her mom Cheryl, sister Emma, dad Rick and little brother Matthew.

In 1948, the first recorded transracial adoption in the U.S. instigated a debate among social workers, parents and others on whether adoption across racial borders helped or harmed. Again and again, opponents cited the identity crisis that transracially adopted children would experience as a result of their mixed circumstances. Continue reading “An Identity Built By Adoption”