This story is re-posted with permission from Alex’s blog.
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 email@example.com! 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.
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.
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!”
At the end of the 2016 Holt Heritage Tour to Korea, adoptee Kora Hanson spoke with the tour group about her personal perspective on adoption. Here is what she said:
After hearing some of the adoption stories from the older adoptees, I felt compelled to share my experience with adoption, since I am one of the youngest adoptees here.
My mom is an adoptee herself; both my mom and dad are actively involved with Holt on the Board of Directors and have traveled around the world on Holt missions; I have attended Holt picnics, auctions, and Holt Korea trips since grade school; and more recently I’ve witnessed my mom’s nonprofit organization, Love Beyond the Orphanage. I have grown up with adoption being a daily topic around the house.
With that being said, I have pretty much always viewed my adoption as empowering. As a child, I always had a fun fact to share about myself during show and tell. As an athlete, I stood out not only for my talent but for my distinctive features. And now as a young adult, I feel it is empowering to experience moments like these with other adoptees and their families, watching everyone see Korea and embrace our beautiful culture.
Lisa Atkins reflects on her life as an adoptee and how God has taken her from Korea to the U.S. and now to Bolivia to work as a missionary.
Lisa Atkins has an old first-grade writing project where she tells about eating rice and barley water in a Holt orphanage in Seoul, Korea. Apart from seeing this description, written with careful pencil strokes on wide-ruled paper, she has no memory of these meals. But it is the closest recollection she has of life before she was adopted 54 years ago.
Lisa doesn’t know much about her life in Korea, beyond what she has been told. Left on the doorstep of a church in Seoul as an infant, she was raised by the church pastor’s family for several years before the pastor and his family could no longer support her. They then brought her to Holt’s care center in the city. She was only there for a year before she was adopted and brought home to her family in March of 1961.
Lisa has always been very thankful for the sacrifice her birth mother made for her. “I see God’s hand in everything from the very beginning,” she says.
While she says being adopted isn’t something she often thinks about, it’s given her a unique perspective because she sees adoption as a beautiful representation of what God offers to all of us.
Captioning a picture on her Facebook page with her two sisters — who are also both adopted from Korea — Lisa writes, “I’ve been doubly blessed to be adopted twice.” Once by her adoptive parents, and once again by the Lord.
A mom learns of the extraordinary kindness and generosity of Holt sponsors.
by Amy Lafler
My husband Barry and I started the adoption process for our first son, Evan, in July of 2007. We were matched with him in August of 2008 and brought him home in December of that year. Best Christmas present ever! Evan is a smart, handsome and thoughtful little boy who loves to build. We are positive that he will be building or designing something when he grows up. He started kindergarten this year, and is doing very well academically.
Shortly after we came home with Evan, we knew we wanted him to have a brother or sister and almost immediately began the adoption process again. We were matched with our twin daughters in March 2012 and traveled to Korea to bring them home that November. Kassandra and Addison complement each other very well, but are still developing their own interests. Kassi is very interested in anything her big brother is doing, and Addie loves to sing and dance. They have only been home for a year, so we are still seeing their personalities emerge.
During the wait for our girls, the rules changed in Korea. This gave adoptive parents a chance to connect to each other and support one another during the wait. Several Facebook groups were set up to encourage one another when the waiting days seemed endless. Additionally, it gave waiting families the opportunity to cheer for each other when one of us was finally united with our child. Today, we are all learning from each other, helping to raise our kiddos together and supporting each other through the journey of parenthood. We have such an amazing connection in our group. We just “get each other.”
It was in this group that I learned of Holt child sponsorship, and its connection to our family.
This December, Holt’s director of program and foundation relations, Rose McBride, traveled on Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip along with 19 other Holt families, adoptees and staff members. During the week, the gift team brought gifts and joy to the children in Holt’s care in Korea. Here, she writes about their visit to an unwed mothers shelter in Daejeon.
Holt’s South Korea Christmas team traveled to Acchimdeul Center located in Daejeon, South Korea’s fifth largest city, to visit one of Holt Korea’s six single mothers shelters.
As our visit began, we were treated to a most beautiful rendition of Arirang, performed by a very talented musician who serves as the volunteer music teacher for the women in shelter.
The date for our visit here this year was specially set for our team to participate in celebrating “Dol” — a child’s first birthday! It was doubly special as this was the first Dol ever celebrated at Acchimdeul.
A Holt adoptee comes across a photo taken of her while in Korea, providing insight into her early care and also reminding her that the world is ultimately a hopeful place. This post originally appeared in May 2013 on Michelle Li’s personal blog, michellelitv.com.
by Michelle Li, Madison, Wisconsin
Spring cleaning has surprised me once again. Today, I found an original baby picture. This is the first picture of me on record. As you can see, I had a Korean name and an identification number.
The picture itself is about the size of a passport photo. I didn’t even know I had it. It was tucked away in an envelope and then buried under a bunch of papers in a rarely-used drawer.