While traveling on this year’s Korea Gift Team trip with Holt, adoptive mom and donor Seri Boettcher kept a travelogue to tell her friends and family about the programs she visited and the children, families and individuals she met.
Amy Kalani, Holt’s director of adoption services for NE Asia, recently traveled and met two older children who are waiting to be adopted.
Before I even arrived in NE Asia, I knew that Hallie and Jaylenn were two of the kids I was most excited to meet.
They don’t fit the profile of child that you think about when you think about NE Asia adoption. They’re 10 and 8 years old instead of 1 or 2. They live in a group home instead of with a foster family. And both of them have been waiting a very long time for a family. Sadly, they both have had at least one placement fall through in the past.
But each of them so deserves a family of their own.
Adoption costs quite a lot, that is a well known fact and one of the main reasons people don’t pursue adoption even after they feel called to. But something I have learned through this process is that these costs have a purpose. There are hardworking people that are caring for these children and working on piles of paperwork and helping you jump through so many hoops to be able to bring your child home. I can only speak from our process, but even though our adoption costs seem like a lot of money, it provides jobs for those helping us along the way, a home for our baby girl and her foster family, and a way for our family to bring home our daughter.
With all of that said, the cost of this process was still one of Todd’s biggest fears, but standing on this side of the journey he said “can you believe I was scared about how we would be able to raise the money?” I strongly believe that God places you in a spot where you are not enough, so that He can show that He is.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Holt’s Korea program continues to be one of our most stable and predictable adoption programs. While they wait for adoptive families, most children in Korea live with foster families, which provide the attentive, nurturing care they need to reach developmental milestones. Families in process to adopt also receive excellent medical information and frequent updates about their child. Most of the children who need families in Korea are younger with minor special needs. There are more boys than girls, and a family will need to be open to either gender. Could a child be waiting for you in Korea?
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!
Social workers. They come into your home with a white glove and a watchful eye. They check under your bed for dust mites. They go through your medicine cabinet. They call your neighbors to inquire how long you wait to mow your lawn. They take note of every imperfection, just looking for a reason not to approve your family for adoption.
Is that about what you had in mind?
Well meet Kathie Stocker and Kris Bales, two of Holt’s most devoted — and beloved — social workers. Kathie has worked with Holt for 23 years and Kris for 14. Kathie is often the first person families hoping to adopt from Korea will speak to, while Kris advises families interested in the China program. Both and have guided hundreds of families through their adoption process. At Christmas time, their walls are covered in cards from families and photos of children they’ve helped place. Both will be the first to tell you that the job of a social worker is not to be taken lightly — entrusting a family with a child is no small decision. But they will also tell you that the homestudy process is not about judgment. No family is perfect. And neither are they.
Above all, their passion — and their role — is to find the right family for every child.
Today on the Holt blog, learn more about what Kris and Kathie ACTUALLY do as adoption social workers for Holt.
JackCruz’s smile is so big and bright, it’s contagious. But when Brooke Murphree and her husband brought him home from Korea two years ago, JackCruz struggled with the loss of his Korean foster family. For National Adoption Month, Brooke shares how she comforted her son through his grief — and watched his trust and joy bloom.
Our story begins many, many years ago with a dream of adopting from a far away land. Our hearts led us to Seoul, South Korea, where on October 14, 2014, we received one of the greatest gifts of our lives — our second son. We had longed for this day since we saw his sweet face on our computer screens a year and a half prior.
But the simple fact was that JackCruz had not. He had spent the first two years of his life with a very loving foster family who adored him beyond reason. He was perfectly happy living his life with them and had little idea about how his world would forever change at 10:30 a.m. that beautiful, cool autumn morning. Continue reading “The Story Behind My Son’s Contagious Smile”
When Holt first pioneered the modern practice of international adoption 60 years ago, we started in Korea. And today, the Korea program remains one of our most predictable and stable adoption programs. The reliable timeline and process, the quality of care that the children receive in country, and the detailed medical information available about the children make it an appealing program for many families. Continue reading “We Need Families for Korea!”