From the President: How Far They’ve Come

Celebrating the 2013 Holt graduates.*

A group of adoptees pose in front of the Temple of Heaven on Holt’s 2012 tour of China. Almost half of the adoptees featured in this year’s graduate issue are from China.

A group of adoptees pose in front of the Temple of Heaven on Holt’s 2012 tour of China. Almost half of the adoptees featured in this year’s graduate issue are from China.

What a joy it is to share with you the 2013 graduate issue of Holt International magazine! It always warms our hearts to see what extraordinary young men and women Holt adoptees have grown up to become. It also validates our mission in a way that nothing else truly can.

For every child we place in a loving family, our prayer is simply that they lead a happy, peaceful life and that they have every opportunity to reach their full potential. While we are certain they will go on to accomplish many great feats, this year’s graduates have taken one giant step toward their goals; they are now on their way to achieving all they are capable of in life! Of the small part we played in helping them get there, we feel tremendously proud.

In this issue of Holt International magazine, we also reflect on 20 years of international adoption and child welfare work in China. While we often focus on the future and the continuing need in the countries where we work, it’s good to look back every once in a while and remember how far we’ve come. Over the past two decades, we have helped to effect lasting change for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in China. Many have benefitted from the foster care programs we helped the government develop for children living in institutional care. Because of Holt-supported family strengthening programs, many have been able to remain in the loving care of their families. And through the extraordinary efforts of our China team, many have joined loving adoptive families overseas — including a significant number of this year’s graduates.

As we watch the Holt graduates go on to bright futures and brilliant careers, we also recognize the vital importance of continuing to provide services for adoptees and their families. It is our ethical obligation to serve the tens of thousands of adoptive families we have helped create, and we continue to invest greater resources into our post adoption services department. At any time, adoptees and families can reach out to our post adoption services staff for assistance or guidance with anything from birth search and documentation services to heritage tours and opportunities to connect with fellow adoptees.

The graduates are an extraordinary testament to the power of a loving, permanent family, and they continue every year to inspire us in our work. We wish them the greatest success as they embark on the next phase of their lives. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
 
Phillip Littleton | President & CEO

* Please view the page-turner version of the magazine to see the yearbook spreads

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