Hear From Families!

Some of your best adoption advice will likely come from Holt families like these who have been through it before!

This is a photo from her first few weeks home. I would do anything in those early days just to make her smile. Looking at this photo now, I remember feeling like I was still “auditioning” to be her mama. I so longed for her to simply “like” me. Love could come later. Now, there’s no doubt. She is all mine, and I am all hers. There was so much “hard” in those first days. Love can be hard, but it is always worth it. That face. So sweet it hurts.” — KATELYN FUSON | Sharing about 2-year-old Willa.

Read more about how the Fuson family prepared for Willa’s arrival below in “Room Remodels.”

Before & After

Once a child comes home to a permanent, loving family, their transformation can be amazing!

Travel Tips!

When you travel across the world to meet your child for the very first time, there’s a lot to think about. Here are some tips to consider as you prepare for the big trip!

“A kid-size backpack full of ‘new-to-her’ toys, treats, a travel pillow and a few fun activities kept us all sane through our long, LONG travel day. Our daughter loved coloring, crafting and brushing her baby doll’s hair the most.”

NICOLE DEESE | Sharing about 6-year-old Lucy

“Bring a front/back carrier for bonding and getting around easily, movies downloaded on a device for sleepless nights from jet lag, snacks and an adventurous spirit — there’s so much to do and see!”

MINDY HOSTETTER | Sharing about 3-year-old Alaina

“Bringing an older sibling (age 14) with us when we traveled to bring home our 9-year-old son gave him a connection with an almost-peer. His immediate comfort in this relationship not only delighted his new big brother, but allowed us to ease into bonding and attachment as parents.”

RIANN SCHELL | Sharing about 10-year-old Milo

Room Remodels

Waiting is one of the hardest parts of the adoption process. But check out how these two families took advantage of the wait by preparing their homes for their new addition!


Tennessee, Adopted Willa from China

“While preparing her room, I’ve been moved to tears several times at the adoption-gospel parallels. I can’t help but think about the love the Father has for us, as I long for my little girl. The theme [of Willa’s room] is adventure, it’s China, it’s travel, it’s Willa James, and mostly, it’s Jesus.”


California, Adopted Reynold from the Philippines

“[Reynold’s paperwork] says that he enjoys playing with superhero action figures. So we decided to go for a Marvel theme, and we hope he isn’t terrified by the giant Spider-Man we put on his wall! We hope he’ll think it is cool. So now we’re ready. We have a room that’s just waiting for a little boy to come live in and breathe life into.”


Adoption Advice

From other Holt families!

“Consider older child adoption. Be as informed as you can, talk with those who have done it, and pray about it. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it may be for you.”

TOM COURT | Sharing about 10-year-old Huayi from China

“I have one simple tip that will save you a lot of time: BUY A NOTEBOOK — one location to keep all of your paperwork, ALL the copies, all the updates, everything. Trust me, there will be LOTS of paperwork.”

KRISTIN PEDDICORD | Sharing about 5-year-old Claire from China


Favorite Firsts

No matter what age your child is when he or she comes home, there are so many “firsts” to experience together!

“There are so many other wonderful ‘firsts’ that will unfold once your child joins your family — whether it is something small like celebrating the first Christmas together or the first time you take a walk as a family, or something more monumental and beautiful like the first time you hear your son’s little voice say ‘Mama’ or ‘I love you.’ There are too many favorite firsts to count!” — QUINN HOFMANN | Sharing about 6-year-old Ben and 3-year-old Sam, both from Korea
It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one favorite, but I’d say introducing him to the Texas bluebonnets was pretty incredible. Our family has been doing bluebonnet pictures ever since our oldest was a baby, and it was such a joy to get all three kiddos in them. He loved running through the fields and smelling them all.” — ALLISON EZELL | Sharing about 2-year-old Brooks from China
“When we brought our daughter home and she played with her older brothers for the first time. They hit it off right from the start.” — KATIE DORSCHNER Sharing about 6-year-old Semira from Ethiopia


Do you have a travel tip, before and after, room remodel, favorite first or piece of adoption advice to share? Email your submission to robinmunro@holtinternational.org

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