Treated With Love and Dignity

Jordan Love is a Holt adoptee and the senior network technician at Holt. In this video, and in text below, he shares his story of growing up as a child with special needs in Korea — and what it meant when he was adopted into a permanent, loving family. 

From 5 till 21, I’ve had 13 surgeries. People are shocked when they see me. You know, I’m kind of like a trophy, like something they can check off their list. It’s like, “I’ve seen a little person today, I haven’t seen one in 13 years.” It comes with the territory. People take pictures of me all the time.

I was found abandoned in the streets of Ilsan when I was just about 4 years old. And then I was taken into the Ilsan Orphanage. Molly Holt was my caregiver. I was in the orphanage for about six months before I was adopted in Eugene, OR by the Love family.

My childhood was really spent in the hospital, coming out of the hospital, in a cast, in a halo…

It was tough for sure, but my family never treated me like I was different. They did everything they could to care for me. They molded me into who I am today and made sure I could live an independent life.

It was tough for sure, but my family never treated me like I was different. They did everything they could to care for me. They molded me into who I am today and made sure I could live an independent life.

When I was 26, I had the opportunity to return to Korea. I went back with my younger sister, who is also a Holt adoptee. It was amazing to finally meet the people who cared for me before my family. There is still a strong stigma against disabilities in Korea, and all over the world. And it’s one of the main reasons that children are abandoned. But at Ilsan, like many of the Holt programs, people with special needs are treated with love and dignity. Even as a child, the staff and Molly saw potential in me.

When I was in the orphanage, I was a sponsored child. Just last year I met one of my sponsors who sponsored me while I was at the orphanage. That was amazing to be able to share with her, ‘hey, I got to come back, I’m working at Holt International, I’m doing all this stuff…” and see what their small gift was able to do.

You see, there’s a misconception out there about children with special needs. The difference between a child with special needs and a perfectly healthy child isn’t a disability. The difference is the access a healthy child has to certain things. Educational opportunities, medical care, friends, the love of a family. This is especially true in developing countries where many families, or even orphanages, can’t provide these children with everything they need. Their needs are special, and they require extra support to have the same opportunities as every other child.

The financial support I received while in care an Ilsan helped me get medical care. It helped me be adopted into a loving family. It gave me the same chances as children without a special need. But today, there are children who need your help. They need you to believe that they are just a child, who is worthy of love and who will be give the same opportunities to thrive as any other child.

Jordan Love | Holt Senior Network Technician, Holt Adoptee

Through Holt’s Families Not Finances campaign, special adoption grants in the amount of $10,000 are now available to help waiting children join the loving, permanent families they deserve. To learn more, visit holtinternational.org/familiesnotfinances.

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