The Story Behind the Photo: The Perfect Family for Troy


When families first start looking into adoption, often the question comes up,

“Do we have what it takes?”

This is an important question, no doubt, and whether a family is up to the task of caring for an adopted child is always a question that must be carefully considered — by both our staff, and by families themselves. But sometimes, we’ve found that parents who likely do have what it takes still feel like they are insufficient and pass up on the opportunity to be a family for a child who truly needs one. If you have love and commitment to offer a child, and have any question about whether your family might be a good fit, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Continue reading “The Story Behind the Photo: The Perfect Family for Troy”

Jodie Needs a Family!

jodie-sittingLast week, we wrote a blog post about how important pictures are for children on our waiting child photolisting. Often, families fall in love with a picture first, and a child’s story second. However, for the safety of some of the children, we aren’t able to show their beautiful faces, which puts them at a significant disadvantage. But if we can get the right family to notice — and to see that there’s more than meets the eye — we can find a family for children like Jodie.

This National Adoption Month we are sharing the story behind the picture, and one such story is Jodie’s.

jodie-feedingNo, her face isn’t pixelated in real life. She is a young lady with a contagious smile and a caring heart. Her caregivers told a story about when a new child came to the orphanage and was very sad and homesick, Jodie sat with the child, comforted them and helped them adjust. She cares deeply about others and even helps feed some of the younger ones.

She has dreams to travel around the world and wants to be a flight attendant in order to do so. She knows that flight attendants sometimes have to resolve conflict with passengers so she has been practicing how to mediate when some of her roommates are arguing with each other. Some of her favorite activities are riding a skateboard, singing and dancing.

If you could see her face, you would be able to get a better sense of who she is. But for her own privacy, you can’t — at least not in a public forum like the Holt blog. That is because Jodie is HIV positive. With medication, the virus is under control and meeting her, you wouldn’t know that she’s a carrier. But because of the huge social stigma in China against those with HIV, showing her face could seriously impact her future in a negative way.

jodie-editedJodie is 13, and next May, she will turn 14 and age out. Which means that her opportunity for a loving and secure family will disappear, and she will have to head out into a world that doesn’t accept her.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though! Somewhere, there is a family that is a good fit for Jodie that can provide the love that she needs, and the opportunities that she deserves. She needs a family that is willing to parent a child with HIV, and has the resources to help her reach her potential and achieve whatever she wants to achieve.

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Jodie? For more information about Jodie and access to the great pictures that we have on file of her beautiful smile please contact Jessica Zeeb at

Date of Birth: 5/16/2003 | China

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Lilianna Needs a Family!


Date of Birth: 06/05/09 | China

Thanks to generous donors, Lilianna has a $3,000 Special Blessings grant!

Lilianna* came into care when she was about 3 weeks old. She is a very imaginative 7-year-old who loves listening to stories, painting and making crafts. She loves to run around the playground and is known to be quite talkative. As you can see in her pictures, she is also quite the fashionista who likes wearing pretty clothes, especially with pink polka dots.lilianna2

Despite her positive outlook on life — and strong attachment to her caregivers — Lilianna has expressed a desire for a loving family of her own. Lilianna has recovered well from surgery for congenital hydrocephalus, but she will need a family that can provide her with any continuing medical care that she needs. Her family will also need to have enough space in their house to throw the occasional fashion show.

Could you, or someone you know, be the family for Lilianna? Contact Jessica Zeeb at for more information about Lilianna and the eligibility requirements for adopting her.

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These children need families!

These are just a couple of the children currently on our waiting child photolisting who need a little extra help in our efforts to find them a family. Could you, or someone you know, be the family they are looking for?

*All names have been changed to protect their identities.

4-20-2016-7Taran | 12/31/13 | China

Taran is a cute little boy that can tell you how old he is by holding up his fingers to show you. He is close to his foster mom and claps when his foster father comes home. He was born premature and had some issues at birth. He has mild CP, causing difficulty with moving his right leg. He is just learning to talk and is able to say a few words. Taran needs a family that has access to resources for his medical needs.


min-yue-huan-06022016-1Melody | 02/18/15 | China

Melody came into care when she was about two days old.  She likes hugging her foster mom and imitating people. Her favorite thing to eat is a banana. Melody has spina bifida, for which she had surgery in 2015. Her development is at approximately a 15-month-old level. She loves exploring and going outside. Melody should have a loving family with access to the medical care she needs.


For more information on waiting children and adoption, follow these links:

wc-buttonwebinars wc-buttonwaiting wc-buttonfinancial wc-buttoneligibility

Not ready to adopt but still want to help? Another way that you can help us advocate for these children is by spreading the word on social media. Visit our Facebook page and share our waiting child stories!



Keenan Needs a Family!


Date of Birth: 11/01/2014 | China

Keenan* is a cute almost 2-year-old that loves playing ball with his caregivers. Like many other 2-year-olds, he is just starting to gain some independence and likes to do things like put his own shoes on— though he is still working to master that skill (see video below). He is learning to walk and doesn’t want to sit still, so instead he spends his time exploring the playground and climbing on all the fun structures.

Keenan was born with Thalassemia, and needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. He also has congenital heart disease. Despite the challenges that he faces, Keenan is known for being cheerful and happy. One of his favorite things to do is listen to music and shake his head and hips to the beat.

Keenan needs a family that can provide the medical care he needs and is willing to have a dance party every so often.

Could you or someone you know be Keenan’s permanent family? To learn more about Keenan, please contact Jessica Zeeb at

*name changed

We Need Families for Korea!


Have you thought about adopting from Korea?

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!”

Rowan Needs a Family!

Rowan Needs a Family
Rowan is resilient!

A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home!

Eleven-year-old Rowan has had to overcome many challenges, but he is perseverant and quick to recover from and adapt to the changes in his life.

He came into Holt’s care when he was 3 months old, and was severely malnourished. He has several special needs, including congenital heart disease and abnormal curvature of the spine. In 2010, after doctors preformed surgery on his heart, they predicted he would only live 5 years. He didn’t let that discourage him, though, and now — 7 years later — he is thriving and beating all the odds!

Rowan has also had spinal surgery, but to fully repair the curvature in his spine, he will need additional medical care that’s not currently available in Vietnam. He doesn’t let that slow him down, though, and he is able to do any physical activities that the other kids can do! (Watch him dance in the video!)

Through all of the hardships that he has had to endure, Rowan adapts and goes on with his life. He does well in school, is eager to learn and his caregivers say he has a particularly good memory. His favorite things to do are playing soccer and badminton with his friends, and he appreciates praise for his accomplishments. He is an easygoing kid who also enjoys reading and trying new foods. Someday, when he grows up, Rowan wants to be a police officer.

Rowan understands adoption and would love a family of his own, especially one with a brother or sister. He needs a family that can provide for his medical needs and help him overcome the challenges that he faces.

Could you or someone you know be Rowan’s permanent family? To learn more about Rowan, please visit his photolisting profile and contact Holt’s adoption advisor, Caitlin Howe.

DOB: 6/15/06 | SE Asia




Bella Needs a Family!

Bella’s face is hidden to protect her privacy, but we have many beautiful photos of her on file.

UPDATE: For Bella’s birthday, a generous donor has offered to double her Special Blessings Grant to $6,000 to help her find a home!

In the words of the donor,

“Bella said it best, “I want to be adopted, and I would like to live in the U.S.’ My birthday wish to Bella is for her wish and dreams to come true — so that she may know the love and happiness of the family she deserves while blessing the world with her beautiful smile.”

Read more about this special girl below!



Date of Birth: 9/28/2003 | China

Last October, Holt sent a team of doctors, social workers and other hand-chosen advocates on an ambassador trip to China in order to help advocate for specific children. Their goal was to meet some of the children and gain a better understanding of the child’s needs and evaluate the qualifications that a family would need to be the best fit for the child. After spending four days with 11 children from one of the HIV group homes we support, they came home to help advocate for them. Since then, eight of the children they met have been matched, and five are already home with their families.

One of the children the team met, who has not yet been matched with a family, is *Bella. One of Holt’s ambassadors wrote this about her:

img_2952Bella was voted “Best Smile” among all the kids by the ambassadors, and if you get the chance to see a picture of her beautiful face, you will see that she definitely deserved that title! At our first meeting, she hung close to an adult from her group home until she determined that her surroundings were safe and that she was free to be herself. She soon warmed up to the ambassadors and Holt staff when she started working on a bracelet craft with her friends. She enjoyed coloring, playing games and showing off her awesome ability to do a split. She stated that “animals and snow make me happy” and that “when I grow up I might like to work with animals.” We asked what is one thing she wanted to learn or do and she said, “I want to learn to ride a bike.” Overall, she is fairly quiet and reserved in group settings. She seemed to prefer to be on her own, with an adult or with another little girl, rather than participate with the group as a whole.


Her group home caregivers said that Bella is often insecure and lacks self-confidence. They attributed her insecurity to being at the group home for only two years (as of October 2015) and that she was just starting to find her place among the other children. She also started her HIV medications late, and she was sick when she first arrived at the group home. Due to her illnesses, she had to take time off from school, but teachers reported that she had improved in her classes and with her homework. She had also been taking tuberculosis medications for about a year and was still taking them as of October 2015. But now her tuberculosis has cleared up and she no longer needs the medications.

bella-and-boscoWe heard that she was very tearful and seemed afraid of the Holt staff that visited the group home in April 2015. Although we saw no tears and no fear of strangers during the visit in October, she did seclude herself at times and appeared sad — a sign that she still deals with trauma from her past. When we asked her directly about adoption, her beautiful smile spread across her face. Then she said, “I want to be adopted, and I would like to live in the U.S.” The ambassadors and Holt staff all think she will thrive via adoption and be a blessing to her family, but she will need lots of encouragement and one-on-one attention from her family members.

Please help us share Bella’s story, and contact Jessica Zeeb at if you would like to learn more about Bella.


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Blake Needs a Family!

Xia Wan Min Blake PL photo

10/31/2005 | China

Blake* is known by his caretakers for finding enjoyment in everything he does.

He could let the fact that he is currently in an orphanage get him down. But instead, he plans to become a scientist and invent awesome robots.

He could let the fact that his legs are paralyzed dampen his spirits. But instead, he competes in his local Special Olympics and receives second place in swimming.

He could let his wheelchair steal his joy. But instead, he does wheelies and performs “wheelchair disco” for his peers.

He could let the fact that his best friend was adopted last year discourage him. But instead, he patiently waits for a family of his own. xia wan min20160816

Blake inspires those around him with his optimistic outlook on life. He is an outgoing and talkative 10-year-old who easily makes friends and carries on a conversation. He loves to create things and does so by playing the piano, drawing pictures and writing “beautiful sentences.”

Blake was born with both legs paralyzed, possibly due to spina bifida, but he is still very independent. He makes his bed and washes his own clothes. He is good at math and reading and especially enjoys books that are funny.xia wan min20160720

Blake needs a family that is prepared for his unquenchable optimism and who has access to the medical support that he may need. This family should be able to keep up with Blake and be prepared for the complexities of older child adoption.


Please help us share Blake’s story, and contact Jessica Zeeb at if you would like to learn more about Blake.

Thanks to our generous donors, there is a $3,000 Special Blessings Grant available toward the fees for Blake’s adoption!

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Trenton Needs a Family!

K2015 0137 taken 4 19 2016 (3)

Special Blessings Grant Available!

05/05/2015 | NE Asia

Trenton* is an explorer. He is barely into the walking stage, but that doesn’t stop him from moving all around the house trying to find new and fun things to experience. He loves swimming around and splashing in the bathtub and keeps his foster family on their toes as they try to keep up with him. He gets along really well with his foster sister who spends lots of time playing toy cars with him.K2015 0137 taken 4 19 2016 (2)

Trenton came into Holt’s care shortly after birth. When he was about three months old, we placed Trenton with a foster family in whose nurturing care he still remains. Trenton has a few special needs. He was diagnosed with Congenital Infarction, which is accompanied by right side hemiparesis. Although he prefers his left hand to his right, through physical therapy he has been gaining strength and coordination in his right side. At 10 months, he was assessed at 8-11 months developmentally.

Although he is shy at first, Trenton quickly warms up and begins to laugh and smile. He is well loved by his foster family, but what he really needs is a permanent family that understands his medical needs and is ready to embrace him and help him explore all the new things that come with being part of a family.

Can you or someone you know be Trenton’s permanent family? To learn more about Trenton, please contact Kristen Henry at

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