You, Holt friends, families and supporters, are awesome. Thanks to you, the waiting children we featured during National Adoption Month had their stories shared over 700 times!! All we can say is “WOW,” and thank you! We have already received many inquiries, and will keep you posted as we continue seeking the right loving family for Wade, Beckett, Trevor, Mason, Natasha, Phoebe, Paxton and Harley. Many blessings to you and your family this holiday season!
Trevor Needs a family.
date of birth: January 5, 2012, Northeast Asia
by Corrie Prickett, adoptive mother
At the top of my list of favorite things are cards from my two boys. A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated a birthday. This year, my birthday card featured Alvin and the Chipmunks, complete with the trio singing a well-known tune! One might wonder why on earth I would look forward to such a thing. However, that card was hand selected by two sweet boys. On top of that, when that card opened and the music started playing, their eyes lit up with excitement. Without hesitation, the three of us had a dance off right there in the kitchen! I don’t think it gets much better than dancing and laughing hysterically with my children!
With that in mind, meet Trevor. He is a precious boy from Northeast Asia waiting for a family through Holt’s Waiting Child Program. One look at Trevor and you can’t help but fall in love! Let’s face it, those cheeks are just begging for kisses and loving pinches. As a mother to boys, I imagine toy cars, dinosaurs, and skyscrapers built from Legos in Trevor’s future. I’m also betting Trevor would love to be daddy’s little helper and mommy’s little sweetheart!
Trevor, like many waiting children, has some special needs. Born with some abnormal eyeball movement, he is currently undergoing tests to rule out cortical blindness. Although he is currently delayed by about 4 months, he can roll over, bear moderate weight on his legs, bring his hands together, and respond smiling to a voice. He has a few other special needs that will likely require treatment. He now receives physical therapy for decreased muscle tone. On paper, these special needs can seem overwhelming. But, as many parents to special needs kiddos will tell you, these children are the most resilient children around. For us, this has been the case with everything our son has faced. He has never let anything slow him down!
Trevor’s foster mother reports that he babbles well and laughs loudly. I can hear Trevor laughing now, as he dances along to the silly music card he picked out for his mommy or daddy!
For more information about Trevor, contact Erin Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
When the Prickett family learned of the great need for families to adopt boys, their adoption journey became that much easier. “When it came time for Jimmy and I to fill out our Medical Conditions Checklist, the gender section was the easiest part!” says Corrie Prickett, mother to Finnley, adopted from China six months ago. “Without hesitation, we marked ‘either’ and continued on to the next section. We knew that there was a shortage of families open to adopting boys and that this would likely mean we would be referred a boy. However, we felt strongly that adoption should be no different than biology.”
by Corrie Prickett
My husband Jimmy and I began to discuss adoption about nine years ago, as we struggled with starting our family. Once our son Jackson (age 7) was born, the adoption discussion ceased for several years. We were filled with the joys of parenting Jackson through the many milestones of childhood, including first steps, birthdays, and the first day of school, the first lost tooth, and the first home run. Many times we said how wonderful it would be to adopt. However, like many families, we didn’t actually consider adoption a realistic possibility due to misinformation, rumored long referral waits, and the idea that adoption was financially out of our reach.
In the fall of 2010, God placed the topic of adoption on our hearts again. Finally, in the late summer of 2011, we applied to Holt’s China Child of Promise Program, a program for children with special needs. When we began looking at the Child of Promise Program, we were surprised that many families were traveling to meet their children approximately one year after application to the program. We were also surprised to learn that there was a great need for families open to adopting boys.
When it came time to fill out our Medical Conditions Checklist, the gender section was the easiest part! Without hesitation, we marked “either” and continued on to the next section. We knew that there was a shortage of families open to boys and that this would likely mean we would be referred a boy. However, we felt strongly that adoption should be no different than biology. When I was pregnant, we chose to do things the old-fashioned way and wait until delivery day to hear “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.” Referral day would be just the same.
On December 2, 2011, my cell phone rang. “Holt International” appeared on the screen. My heart sank as I wondered what they could be calling about. We were not expecting a referral call at all. It was a Friday, and those families who had received a referral had been contacted earlier that week. We didn’t even expect to have our dossier in China until sometime in January. When I answered, Beth Smith, program director for China, was on the line. She said “Hello Corrie, are you ready for a referral?” I was so thrilled I don’t even remember saying yes. I do remember her next words, “He is a beautiful thirty month old boy!” In the moments that followed, Jimmy and I waited to see the precious face of the boy we now call Finnley. On Christmas morning 2011, our son Jackson opened his last gift. Inside was a picture of his new little brother! Continue reading “Whatever Gender God Blesses us With”
This is Lan Lan on her adoption day! She came home to the Henderson family two years ago. When the judge asked her if she understood how long she would be with her family, Lan Lan said, “until I get old…” The judge replied, “and even longer than that – forever and always.” Read the Henderson family’s story here http://bit.ly/SfKhX9
Phoebe Needs a Family
Date of Birth: July 27, 2006, Southeast Asia
As an international adoption and child welfare agency, we do all we can to ensure that children are brought into or stay with loving, stable families. This is our mission. It brings us great joy to see family photos of thriving and happy families mailed to us from our countries overseas and from families here in the United States. It also brings us great sorrow to read about the challenging histories faced by many of the children still waiting for families. When they enter our care, many of them experience love for the first time. We have great hope for these children because we’ve seen what the power of love and a permanent family can do for a child, regardless of their challenging beginnings in life.
Phoebe came into our care at 2 years old after suffering a traumatic brain injury in her home. After an assessment of the family, it was determined that Phoebe’s living situation was unsafe. Following her injury, Phoebe remained in the hospital for two months before being placed with a loving foster family. For the first in her young life, Phoebe knew what it was to feel loved, to feel safe. “This is a fighter,” said her social worker.
Due to Phoebe’s difficult beginning, she struggles with attachment and making new friends. She also has ongoing side affects due to her brain injury. Once suffering from seizures, Phoebe has been seizure free since September 2011. She receives physical, occupational and speech therapy and has made tremendous improvements in these areas. “She tries very hard to overcome her physical weaknesses,” says her social worker. Phoebe is described as a delightful young girl who loves spending time with her friends.
Noted to be scared of people who speak loudly, Phoebe will need a family who is knowledgeable and understanding of triggers that can impact children with a history of trauma. She will do best in a family who is open to the unknowns of the possible long-term impact of her brain injury, who has language resources available for her, and who is able to provide her with any ongoing physical and emotional therapy she may need.
For more information about Phoebe, click here
For more information about Phoebe, contact Erin Anderson at Erina@holtinternational.org.
Natasha needs a family
Birthdate: July 21, 2007, Southeast Asia
Shila Ann Henderson is the mother of 10 children, five adopted through Holt, three of whom came home after the age of five. She shares a little about her family’s experience adopting older children, here. “Some people think it’s too late for older children to be adopted, especially kids who have always been waiting,” says Shila. “Some think children who have experienced a harsh life will never overcome the effects. Those people have never met our Lan Lan, adopted at the age of 11, our Ningjie, adopted at the age of 10, and our son, Vu, adopted from Vietnam at the age of five — the sweetest, most loving children in the whole world!”
Today, Shila draws on her older child adoption experience and shares about 5-year-old Natasha, a sweet girl from Southeast Asia who is still waiting for a family of her own.
By Shila Henderson
Have you ever had a tea party with a 5-year-old girl? It’s a blast! It usually includes lowering oneself onto teeny tiny chairs, facing an audience of stuffed bears, and breaking out the special Pepperidge Farms cookies you were saving for company. (Just FYI, the tea is often cold water, but make sure that when you are served you grasp the tiny cup and stick out your pinky finger, then exclaim with great satisfaction that the steaming hot tea is simply delightful!)
Now that you have had your tutorial on tea parties, let me introduce you to little Natasha. Natasha needs a mommy and a daddy! When you read her bio, you might find yourself focusing on her diagnosis and rough start in life. As a parent who has adopted older kids with special needs, I remember those feelings. I urge you to look beyond.
Several of our children had developmental delays when they were adopted—they were older and, like Natasha, experienced neglect. What I’ve learned is that these kids are survivors! Once they come home and have the security of a family, anything and everything is possible. While we accept the fact they might always have challenges, their development in the first year alone always blows our socks off! It’s like discovering buried treasure!
When I look at Natasha, I see a little girl just waiting for her chance to blossom! I see a little girl who will love to play dress-up, and use mommy’s lipstick, and make playdough cookies for daddy. Yum! She’ll be a ballerina in the morning and a ninja by noon. Like most children who have faced challenges, she will need structure, and parents who will be patient as she learns to navigate relationships and emotions. But look at Natasha’s potential! Look at the gains she has already made! Look at that precious face! She has a long attention span, and a huge plus is her attachment to her current foster family. She can attach. She just needs a mommy and daddy to attach to–forever parents who will teach her about love, commitment, and of course, tea parties!
Have you ever had a tea party with a five-year-old girl? It’s a blast!
For more information about Natasha, contact Erin Anderson at email@example.com
Faces of older children, not babies. Faces of boys, fewer of girls. Faces with tiny scars from cleft lip surgery. These are the new faces of international adoption.
Across the globe, the profiles of children needing homes – and coming home to families – has changed.
For various reasons, more and more children are able to remain with their birth families or join adoptive families in their birth countries.
Finally, children with special needs, older children and boys are first in line for adoption! At Holt, we see this as a reason to celebrate! This National Adoption Month, will you help raise awareness about the children awaiting adoption today? You don’t have to be an adoption expert. You just need to be passionate about helping children with special needs.
Here’s the plan:
Each week in November, Holt will focus on a particular need or trait among waiting children – traits that often make it more challenging to find adoptive families for children who have them:
Week 1 – Cleft lip/palate
Week 2 – Older children
Week 3 – Boys
Week 4 – Heart conditions
At the beginning of the week, we will post to Holt’s blog and Facebook page an educational story on the featured topic.
To help raise awareness, check in each week to read the stories and share them with friends and family.
Each week we will also feature 2 waiting children for whom Holt is actively seeking families. Share their stories, and download Holt prayer cards for each of the featured waiting children. Then share the prayer cards with others to help guide prayers until the child is placed with an adoptive family!