Adoptive mom Debbie Dunham is currently traveling on Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip along with 19 other Holt families, adoptees and staff members. During the week, the gift team will bring gifts and joy to the children in Holt’s care in Korea. Debbie’s husband Brian and 15-year-old daughter Halley, adopted from Korea, are also traveling with the Gift Team. This post originally appeared on Debbie’s blog, http://debbiedoes50.blogspot.com .
December 3, 2013
A Visit to the Jeonju Babies Homes
I got my baby-fix today: a little more than an hour in the infant room at the children’s home our gift team visited. This visit is always a mixture of joy and sorrow. A building full of children from newborns to five-year-olds, laughing, playing, running around like children do — joy. A building full of children from newborns to five-year-olds, laughing, playing running around like children do, but as part of a group, not as part of a family — sorrow.
There were four babies in the room I was in and the two workers were, obviously, very attentive, but two adults have just two arms and four babies want eight arms. I was holding one baby when the worker asked if I would please feed one of the other babies who had become fussy (the babies are held while they’re fed, a big plus). I handed off the baby I had been holding and picked up the fussy baby. While he sucked down his bottle of formula, he played with my hand, looked in my eyes and the worker took his temperature.
When he had finished eating, I put him up on my shoulder to burp and realized how hot he was and then I also realized that he was wheezing. It was the same sound my middle daughter used to make when she had bronchitis, which was a regular part of her childhood. The baby eventually burped, then cuddled into my shoulder as I rubbed and patted his warm back. It was clear he didn’t feel well and just wanted to be held. How many hours have I sat holding and rocking sick babies? I knew well this type of cuddle. This was an I-don’t-feel-well-and-I-just-want-to-be-held cuddle. That was fine with me, I was enjoying my baby-fix, so there we sat — me relaxed against a pillow, wheezy baby falling asleep against my shoulder. But then our team leader stuck his head in the door and said it was almost time to leave. With reluctance, I motioned to the lead worker (I don’t speak Korean) to ask where to put the baby. By this time there were three workers in the room, all feeding babies. She indicated a crib and the baby was carefully laid inside. Of course, as soon as he was put down, he started to fuss. He was sick, he was tired, and he just wanted to be held. But even with six arms now in the room, that still left one baby looking for the two that would hold just him.
Interested in adopting from Korea? Click here.
Click here to learn more about our history and current work in Korea.
Adoptive mom Robin Bridgeman joins 21 other individuals on Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip for a week. The gift team participants will bring gifts and joy to the children and other residents in Holt’s care in Korea. Robin’s husband and two young children also traveled with the Gift Team. Her children are both adoptees from Korea.
Monday, December 2, 2013
The 45th Holt Foster Mother Recognition Ceremony and Foster Mother Christmas Celebration
Robin Bridgeman’s son Jake is in kindergarten. He loves Angry Birds, playing with Hot Wheels and NASCAR driver is Kyle Busch. Here, Jake waits for the foster mothers to arrive for their
honoring party during Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip.
One of the blessings of going on the Holt Gift Team trip is being able to attend the Holt Foster Mothers’ luncheon, recognition ceremony and Christmas celebration. The ceremony honors foster mothers who have been serving for five, ten, 15 — even 20 years and more. As part of the program, one of the foster mothers who had been caring for children for 15 years spoke lovingly about her experience, and shared about several of the children who had touched her life. It was moving to be able to hear her story, as she shared the love she had for the children in her care and also the sadness she felt in saying goodbye to children she loved so deeply. Continue reading Korea Gift Team 2013
Quinn Needs a Family!
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
This is what we know about Quinn:
She came into Holt’s care shortly after she was born.
She is a natural caregiver, doting on her younger foster brother and giving her friends gifts.
She has mild cerebral palsy that mostly affects her fine mother skills.
She is the class helper at school.
She understands adoption and says that she would like a family of her own someday.
Lastly, we know that Quinn is waiting for a family of her own. And at 12 years of age, her time is running out.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us to have hope. And for Quinn, we do.
We have hope that someday Quinn will have brothers and sisters.
We have hope that a family will one day give Quinn the encouragement and help she needs to overcome her physical challenges.
We have hope that one day Quinn’s forever family will watch her receive her college diploma.
And lastly, we have hope that Quinn’s day is coming soon.
We don’t know what Quinn’s future holds, but we have faith — and hope — that it includes a permanent family.
On this, the last day of National Adoption Month, help Quinn find that family today, before it’s too late!
*Quinn is in need of family who is comfortable with her medical needs and is knowledgeable in older child adoption.
To adopt Quinn, applicants must be 30-54 years old and meet an income requirement of $30,000 plus $10,000 per additional family member, with $80,000 net worth. More than 4 children in the home may be accepted.* See country criteria for complete requirements.
Contact Erin Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We feel pretty fortunate at Holt. Every day, it seems we have a new reason to be thankful. After all, we are the first to hear stories about children and families around the world who are stronger, healthier and more secure because of Holt’s services and people like you. We are the ones who get to call hopeful mothers and fathers and tell them their child is coming home soon. And, we celebrate with our partners overseas when the little boys or girls who we care for find permanent, loving families.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take a few extra minutes to really stop and reflect — and express our gratitude to you. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that you — adoptees, child sponsors, adoptive parents, donors, ambassadors, supporters and advocates — make our work possible.
So without further adieu …
We are thankful that the children and families in our Philippines programs are safe and well. After Typhoon Haiyan hit on November 7, we nervously awaited information from KBF, our partner in the Philippines. When we finally got word that every child and family in our Philippines program was safe, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. We are thankful for our partners, who acted swiftly to ensure their safety. We are grateful for our Holt family and friends, people like you, who give so much for children every day, yet never fail to step up quickly in times of need. We know that because of you and your compassion, the staff at KBF can begin making repairs to family’s homes and care centers.
We are thankful for Molly Holt, daughter of Holt’s founders Harry and Bertha, and the woman who CEO and President Phillip Littleton calls a living angel. She has spent more than three-quarters of her life caring for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in Korea, particularly those children with special medical needs. When we heard that Molly was quite ill, afflicted by cancer, we prayed hard and asked you to pray hard too. By a miracle of God, Molly is about 80 percent cancer free. Watch the video below to hear Molly’s message to everyone who sent cards, support and prayers.
We are thankful for our Holt families and friends. We have such an incredible, inspirational and dedicated network of people who are willing to give of their time and resources. Winter Jam — and our partnership with Christian rock group NewSong — is an extraordinary way to share our message about caring for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. In a short time, Winter Jam and NewSong help Holt recruit hundreds of child sponsors — enabling more children to stay in the loving care of their birth families, and helping us care for children who are waiting to join adoptive families. However, our partnership with NewSong wouldn’t be possible without you, our families and friends, and your willingness to volunteer at the events. We are grateful for your compassion and love for children around the world, and for your efforts to help ensure every child may grow and thrive in the loving care of a family .
We are grateful for the little things — a hand-drawn picture from a child in our sponsorship program, photos from a happy, smiling family, and the little stories people share on our Facebook page. We are grateful for family, in all of its different forms and definitions.
From all of us at Holt, we wish you a joyous Thanksgiving!
Brecken* needs a family to help him succeed in life. Please share his story!
Date of Birth: April 29, 2005, Africa
Brecken’s intake report is full of details about his health — good, except for an eye allergy; his family’s religion — Christian (Protestant); and the reason for his relinquishment — a little “x” marked in the box next to the statement, “father disappeared and his mother is unable to raise the child.” The form is clinical and detached – a necessary legal step before he can be placed in an adoptive family.
Brecken in August 2013.
But near the end of the form, translated and neatly printed, is a message from his mother. It’s brief, but speaks volumes. “I wish him to be well educated and to be successful in life,” it says.
Pieced together, the check-marked information in Brecken’s intake report creates a heartbreaking image. Brecken is now 8, but only came into care last February 2013. He spent the first seven years of his life in the loving care of his mother and father. When his father disappeared, his mother could no longer care for him – could no longer give him what he needs to be successful in life. So she made a decision for herself, for her family and for Brecken.
Although Brecken’s mother decided to relinquish her son so he could succeed in life, in so many ways, she has already set him up for success. She cared for him when he needed it most. During the critical early years of his life, she gave him the loving, attentive care he needed to grow and develop at a healthy rate — to emotionally attach to others, to learn language and solve problems. Because of Brecken’s mother, he is now a smart, sociable boy who can do just about everything an 8-year-old boy should know how to do.
Brecken’s social worker describes him as independent, but socially adept. He is active and playful, and gets along well with his peers and his caregivers. He is supportive, respectful and shows concern for smaller children. Brecken’s special talents include dancing and reading poems, and his favorite activities are assisting his nannies and caring for the young kids at the center.
At 8 years old, Brecken is already a success. Now he needs a loving family to take over where his mother left off — to help him receive an education, and to give him all the love and support he needs to continue succeeding in life. That is his mother’s wish for him. Please help us make it come true.
Brecken needs a family experienced in older child adoption, with an understanding of the impact grief and loss can have on development, emotional regulation, transition and academic learning. An ideal family will help him stay in contact with friends and relatives, have access to any medical care he may need, and should also have a plan for how to communicate effectively with Brecken during the transition.
To learn more about Brecken, please contact Erin Anderson at email@example.com
* name changed
When you provide a gift to a Holt foster family through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, you can help frail and sick children have a fighting chance at life!
“Mom, I don’t feel well this morning.”
When you were a child, you most likely uttered this phrase on more than one occasion. You would wake up feeling hot and clammy. Your stomach would hurt, and your nose would be running. With loving care, your mother would give you a big hug and set you on the sofa. While she made you chicken soup, she would let you watch your favorite movie and get the rest you needed.
We need loving family members in our life to care for us when we are sick. At Holt, we feel blessed to have so many wonderful foster families to provide love and support to the children in our care.
Hong was sick with a skin infection when she first entered her foster mother’s care.
Little *Hong from China was weak and sick with a skin infection when she first entered her foster mother, *Jing’s, care. Hong had lost her appetite and rapidly began losing weight. She desperately needed medical attention. Jing made sure Hong saw the best doctors and was given the medicine she needed. Soon, Hong’s infection began to clear up. Jing also made Hong a variety of nutritious foods, and after a while Hong began to gain weight.
Continue reading Gifts for Foster Families, Hope for Helpless Children
When you give a gift of a cow, goat, pig or sheep through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog — online or in your fall Holt magazine — you can help a struggling family stay together.
Kim Ly with her four children.
When Kim Ly looks at a pig, she doesn’t just see a little barnyard animal. She sees a brighter future. She sees the opportunity to send her four children to school, with clean uniforms and new supplies. She sees the roots of a small business — raising and selling sows — to feed her family, keep their home warm in the winter, and provide her children with medical care. When Kim Ly sees a pig, she sees hope.
In Vietnam, and the other 10 countries where Holt works, many families make their living on subsistence farming. The gift of an animal can generate enough income to help a single mother like Kim Ly take care of her entire family.
You see, when pigs have piglets, the payoff is huge. In Uganda and Ethiopia, donkeys help carry crops to market, which relieves a massive burden on farmers. Goats and cows provide daily, nutrient-rich milk and cheese.
When Holt met Kim Ly, her husband had recently died of cancer, which cut the family income by more than half. Living on less than $50 per month, Kim Ly had to decide between feeding her family, buying her children warm clothes, or sending them to school. Holt felt the best way to help the family was to provide them with a pig — which you can also give to a family as a Gift of Hope. Now, Kim Ly is self-sufficient. Her three daughters are in school, and her young son is healthy and happy.
For Kim Ly and her family, an animal is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
When you give a Gift of Hope this holiday season, you help share the joy and abundance of the holidays with families and children in need.
For this, we are truly grateful.
Three stories of families who worked together with their children to raise funds for vulnerable children and families in Holt’s programs overseas.
From a Little Idea…
by Abby Gouldsbarry, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
A.K.Dive has grown to be something I never expected it to be back in 2007, when I first came up with the idea. The whole game plan wasn’t the same back then, though. It was something totally different.
But before I tell you how it came to be, first I need to tell you what it is. A.K.Dive is a fundraising event with food, face painting, games, music and fellowship, and all the proceeds go towards adoptions or adoption organizations. It’s a really fun evening, and every year, friends, family and church members ask about it and look forward to it.
I was 7 when I thought of A.K.Dive — and at that age, when I had an idea, I took it to the top. So when I saw the idea to open up a lemonade stand, it eventually turned into opening a restaurant…in our home. Remember, I was 7 at the time.
The Gouldsbarry family.
My mom and dad thought we were playing, but we weren’t. My little kid brain was fixed on selling breakfast, lunch and dinner at a little diner that we (my friends and I, along with my lil’ sis) had named “A.K.Dive.” A for my name, Abby, K for my good friend’s name, Katie, and the capital D in Dive for my lil’ sis, Danelle. My dad came up with the whole Dive thing.
- Anyway, one day my mom understood that we actually weren’t playing, and explained that we could not open a real restaurant in our house. My friends, sister and I were heartbroken, but then my mom had an ingenious idea. Instead of opening a restaurant, we would have a little diner at our house (more of a picnic), with friends and family, and us kids would head up the whole thing (with a lot of help, believe me!). It was a dream come true for us, and the night was a blast! We decided to raise money for an organization that helps to fund adoptions and orphans. People would come for food and fellowship and donate whatever they wanted.
Because of A.K.Dive, my family was turned toward the realization of the plight of orphans. Our hearts stirred and our eyes were opened as the Lord called us to adopt a child. We decided to go through this process with Holt, and it was an amazing journey. Mom and Dad traveled to China to bring home our new brother in January of 2011. When A.K.Dive came around that summer, it was without question that we wanted to raise money for Holt, and we chose the special needs fund, since my brother Hudson most likely was supported through that fund. We had a wonderful time that night, and raised over $3,500! Faces were painted, and many laughs were heard. Nothing beats a good night with lots of fellowship!
Over the course of the past six years, we have raised around $10,000 for adoption-related organizations/families (including Holt families). A.K.Dive has blessed my life in many ways. Besides giving me the brother I had for years been praying for, it has given me a love for orphans, a love for helping others in need, and has shown me what a little idea can turn into.
Abby (age 13)
Continue reading Honoring Children and Families Who Give
At a learning center Holt supports in rural, southern Thailand, children build skills using the natural environment while parents learn how to grow low-cost, nutritious food for their families.
by Jessica Palmer, Director of Adoption Services, Southeast Asia
Stepping into an organic garden, seeing fresh vegetables ripe for the picking in a lush green atmosphere, I forget for a second that I’m not in the Holt headquarters city of Eugene, Oregon. Instead, I am in a rural part of Thailand, Tha Sala, just outside the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat that serves as the southern office location for Holt’s local partner organization, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF). Among the many programs HSF provides for vulnerable children and families in Thailand is a learning center in Tha Sala, which is full of sensory stimulation and learning opportunities for children in the area — including many in Holt’s sponsorship program.
Children and an instructor at the Tha Sala Learning Center for Children and Family Development.
Continue reading A Center to Learn and Grow in Thailand
Adoptee and family testimonials about Holt’s post adoption services.
A Q&A with Holt adoptee Kim Lindebaum
Why did you contact Holt’s post adoption services department (PAS)?
Over the last couple years, I’ve had more of a desire to learn of my early years and was especially interested after reading Dr. David Kim’s book, “Who Will Answer…” I then had the opportunity to travel to Korea with my daughter and family this past spring and decided I needed to know as much about my early years as I could find. So that was when I searched out Holt’s post adoption services.
Who did you speak with, and how did they help you?
Debby Hanson was my contact and we corresponded several times as I wanted to visit a couple of Holt’s facilities while in Korea. Debby was able to make the arrangements for me to visit Ilsan Center, where I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and hug Molly Holt.
What made your experience meaningful?
For me it is the “coming full circle” of who I am as a first generation Korean adoptee, with the opportunity of making my first return trip to my homeland and reading the autobiography of Dr. Kim, who uncovered so many of my hidden feelings by pointing out the facts of Holt’s early years.
Would you return to Holt’s post adoption services department or recommend to other adoptees for services?
Yes, if anyone isn’t sure where to begin and may have unanswered questions of their early years, or want to see what is in their adoption file, then I would encourage them to make contact with PAS either by email or telephone. They are most helpful and very compassionate to my feelings.
Continue reading What It Means To Be in the Holt Family