After traveling to meet their former foster mothers in Korea, adoptee siblings Emma and Isaiah Perron finally understand what their parents always told them — “You were greatly loved in Korea.” This post written by Lisa Perron — Emma and Isaiah’s mom — originally appeared on catholicfam.org.
The first night our Korean-born son arrived home, he cried for his foster mother. Less than thirty-six hours before, he had woken up in the only home he had ever known, been brought to the Holt International Adoption Services offices, handed to a stranger, and traveled around the world to be placed in our arms. He had never seen us before and had no idea what was happening. After a very stressful first introduction to our dear son, we arrived home late from the airport. Soon the family was all sleeping peacefully in their beds — all except Isaiah and me. Continue reading “That Felt Like a Mother’s Love”
The love a parent feels for their child is a fierce kind of love. It is selfless and unconditional. It is powerful. It is permanent. A foster parent’s love is no different. When a foster parent commits to care for a child, they also commit to love that child as their own. And inevitably, they do. The only difference is that while their love is permanent, they know their time with that child will be temporary. They let their hearts break over and over again — a sacrifice they make so that an orphaned or abandoned child will know what it feels like to be loved in that vulnerable time when they are without their family. For the children in their care, they are true guardian angels.
This month, during National Foster Care Month, we wish to honor the extraordinary foster families who love and care for the children in our programs around the world while they wait to rejoin their birth families or join an adoptive family. From China, Korea and India to the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, foster mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters provide the nurturing, attentive care that children need at every stage of their development — but especially in the critical first few years of life. In foster care, children bond naturally and deeply with their foster mother, which can be difficult to do with multiple caregivers. And because of this bond, the children more easily bond with their adoptive families. Just like any parents, foster mothers also see what others don’t. They notice potential health issues that busy orphanage caregivers may not notice right away. Foster families engage and stimulate the developing minds of children. Most of all, they love them.
Below, we share photos of foster parents and children in a few of our programs overseas. Some have cared for just a few children. Others have cared for 100 or more. But they never forget them. Not a single one.
The story of two once-orphaned and abandoned girls, and the special medical foster home that changed their lives. Read and share their story in honor of National Foster Care Month!
Today, Maya and Payton are home with their loving families in the United States. Their journey was a long and difficult one. Maya’s mother Ashley says that Maya’s condition before entering Holt’s care was extremely poor. “She was so tiny, frail and developmentally delayed,” Ashley says. Found on the steps of an orphanage in Guangdong province, Maya suffered from cleft lip and palate, and was severely malnourished.
Four months later, little Payton was also found and brought to the same orphanage. She too suffered from cleft lip and palate. In 2013, Holt determinedly worked to match these precious girls with families in the United States. In September of that year, we matched Payton with Kris and Kelly Furman. And two months later, we matched Maya with Max and Ashley Simpson. “We found Maya on the waiting child photolisting. The day they posted her picture, we contacted Holt wanting to be matched with her,” Ashley says. While Maya and Payton had both found their families, our staff in China quickly realized that they would need extra help and attention before they could begin their journey home.
They found that care at Holt’s Peace House.
A special foster home that Holt oversees in Beijing, The Peace House offers orphaned and abandoned children waiting for corrective or life-saving surgeries a place to prepare and recuperate. Holt took over operation of the Peace House in 2011, and currently cares for an average of 35 children every year.
When Holt staff learned about Maya and Payton, they desperately tried to bring them from their orphanage to the Peace House. Their first few attempts to transfer the girls were unsuccessful. “Their orphanage was quite a distance,” Holt China staff says. “The orphanage didn’t bring them. But we knew we couldn’t give up on these girls.” Desperate, Holt staff sent “before and after” photos of children who had previously been rehabilitated at the Peace House to the girls’ orphanage. Finally, after several months, the orphanage agreed to send the girls to receive the care and surgeries they desperately needed. “We knew we needed to bring these two children to our Peace House for better care,” they said, “otherwise we couldn’t imagine what could happen to them.” Continue reading “The Peace House Angels”