In this episode we talk to Caley, a Vietnamese Adoptee and college student at the University of Oregon. Caley shares with us about being a transracial Adoptee growing up in Oregon, existing in the “grey” space, and attitudes towards racial stereotypes through an Adoptee lens. We are so excited to be able to share more from Caley through this video.
We’re talking about birth search! In part 1 of our series, we break down some of the basics of birth search. We’ll cover the big things that we want Adoptees to know about this overwhelming and confusing topic.
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.
We’re always amazed by how truly talented and entrepreneurial so many of our supporters are in how they raise money and give to Holt. The people below are no exception. Read about what their creative and inspired ideas to provide for vulnerable children and families around the world. Thank you for your creativity, hard work and generosity!
For her senior project, Holt adoptee Paige Worthington hosted a game night and sent out letters to raise money for children who need cleft lip and palate surgeries.
Holt adoptee Paige Worthington is a rock star when it comes to making a difference for kids in China. Back in 2008, when she was a third-grader, we featured Paige’s photo on our blog because she gave a presentation to her classmates about raising money for earthquake victims in China.
Now she’s a senior in high school and still doing big things to help abandoned and vulnerable children in China!
As she began to think about her high school senior project, Paige knew she wanted to use it as a fundraiser to support children in China through Holt.
Holt and the Holt China program have a special place in Paige’s heart. Not only is she herself a Holt adoptee from China, but so is her younger sister. She also has two cousins who are Korean adoptees through Holt. Continue reading “Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts”
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.
In his latest contribution to the online adoptee magazine Gazillion Voices, Steve Kalb, Holt’s director of adoptee services, reflects on the “otherness” encountered as an Asian-American growing up with a name like “Steve.”
I recently joined my wife, Shannon, at her company Christmas party. It was a small party at a local brewery with about 40 people attending. We had a room reserved off the main building where employees and their partners were able to eat, drink, and be merry. Early on in the evening, I struck up a conversation with a fellow partier. We discussed careers, motorcycles, and industrial paint (Shannon’s company sells paint.) It was a nice conversation, but not nice enough to ignore the food that was being set up. I graciously thanked him for his time and expressed how much I enjoyed the company, but that I could hear the buffet calling my name. We shook hands and I headed for the table of goodness. As I walked off, I overheard him talking with another coworker. “That’s Shannon’s husband. He works in adoption. His name’s Steve. He doesn’t look like a Steve…”
We have all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This story provides proof of that old adage.
by Lisa Haydel-Vicidomina, Metairie, Louisiana
In 1994, Holt called ten families to let them know amazing news: they each had a daughter waiting for them in China. In January 1995, my family met with nine other families in Hong Kong, and we cried during the introductions, knowing we would all be parents soon. We were strangers from California, Wisconsin, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Montana, Massachusetts and Ohio. We each came from a very different world, but soon we would be tied together for life, bonded like one giant family.
Thirteen years after they adopted their daughter Amanda from India, the Roullier family travel back to her birth country.
by Penny and Bill Roullier
Our international adoption journey started 15 years ago when we learned about a tragedy in an orphanage in the Philippines. Several children had died in a devastating fire. Our hearts were stirred, and we decided to look into adoption. Holt International, at the time, was the only agency providing international adoption services in our state. We filled out the preliminary paperwork, and Holt recommended we adopt a girl from India. We had two biological sons, Zachary, 4, and Quincy, 2.
After another round of paperwork and a home study, we waited to hear from Holt with a referral for a little girl. Shortly thereafter, the Holt magazine arrived. We eagerly flipped to the section featuring children waiting for families. Our eyes stopped on a beautiful little girl in India named Mukta who was a year old. Immediately, we called Holt. And we qualified for her! In addition to her medical and developmental records, Holt sent us pictures of the beautiful little girl who would become our daughter.
After reviewing the records with our social worker, she recommended we proceed with the adoption. She was impressed with the detailed evaluations and reports kept by Mukta’s caregivers and felt they had provided us with more information about Mukta than most families adopting in the USA have about prospective children.