Vietnam Delegation Visits Holt International

Four government officials from Vietnam visit Holt families and staff in Eugene as part of a final selection process to begin adoptions from Vietnam to the U.S. The two selected agencies will participate in a pilot adoption program for children with special needs.

Sixteen years ago, Hai and Valerie Nguyen traveled to Vietnam to bring home their twin 2-year-old daughters, Mai and Ly. This month, Mai and Ly will turn 18. Both girls love math and science, can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 46 seconds — blindfolded — and have big ambitions to be the first twins in space! They also speak fluent Vietnamese, an amazing feat considering they grew up in Eugene, Oregon and have only traveled to Vietnam twice.

The Nguyen family pose for a picture with the delegates from Vietnam.

Continue reading Vietnam Delegation Visits Holt International

Have you considered adopting from the Philippines?

You know you’ve been called to be an adoptive parent. You know a child is out there waiting for you. Now, you just have to find that child. There are so many choices — which country, which child profile, even which agency.

Maybe you’ve looked at waiting child photolistings and scrolled past the beautiful faces of boys and girls who long for a family to call their own. Maybe a few photos have stood out to you, or maybe you are still waiting for the photo that does.

Roann Kieft, 3, with her brother Zechariah, 8. Roann was born in the Philippines, then placed with a loving, adoptive family. She lives in Illinois.

Continue reading Philippines adoption

Tax Day — A Great Time to Advocate for the Adoption Tax Credit!

From the North American Council on Adoptable Children:

Members of Congress who are working on tax reform indicated that for a provision of the tax code to remain in place it should do one or all of the following three things: (1) grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, and (3) effectively promote an important policy objective. A refundable adoption tax credit does all three things. Today, we’re asking you to contact the tax staff of your members of Congress.

Highlighted FAQ
How does the adoption tax credit benefit meet the stated goals of tax reform?

Continue reading Adoption Tax Credit 2014

What to Expect at Holt Adoptee Camp

Katie Breeden is a Holt adoptee and freshman pre-business and digital arts student at the University of Oregon. This spring, she interned at Holt, helping to organize and promote one of her favorite Holt programs — summer camp!

Katie Breeden has loved Holt camp for more than six years. Here, we see her as a counselor, hanging out with campers at the 2013 camp in Corbett, Oregon.

Holt Adoptee Camp has been a part of my life for six years — I’ve enjoyed roles as both a camper and a counselor.

I started out as a camper, and I wasn’t sure what to think about the whole thing. At first, I had my doubts about this summer camp for adoptees. I was 13, going into 8th grade, and had no idea what to expect. I knew Holt camp wasn’t a heritage or culture camp, so what was it?

On the car ride to Corbett, Oregon that first year, I had about an hour-and-a-half to ponder what Holt Adoptee Camp might be like. My biggest fear was that we would be forced to sit around talking only about adoption for the entire week. The drive was a quiet one. I didn’t know if I would make friends and fit in.

Thankfully, my worries were for nothing.

Continue reading Camp 2014

An Urgent Plea for Julia and Zack

Time is running out for these older children from China.  Please help Holt find families for them!

Last year, we posted Willow’s story on Facebook, expressing the urgent need to find her a family. In a matter of hours, Willow’s story was shared more than 1,000 times.

“My husband, Joe, noticed Willow’s picture and the urgent plea for her to find a family,” says Christine Darago. “He immediately sent the story to me with a note that said, ‘What do you think?’ When I opened the e-mail I was drawn to Willow right away. We weren’t sure if we even met her country’s criteria, but felt like we needed to pursue her. We couldn’t get her face or story out of our minds.”

Thanks to adoption advocates like you, the Darago family is working towards bringing Willow home!

 Today, we share with you a similar urgent plea – for *Julia and *Zack, both older children waiting for families in China. If we don’t find these two beautiful children families before their 14th birthdays, they will no longer be eligible for international adoption. We can’t let this happen!

 Just as you did for Willow, we ask that you please share Julia and Zack’s stories and photos with your family and friends, on your blog and Facebook page, and at your church! We know that a family or families are out there for both of them, but we are running out of time, and they are running out of time, so please do all you can!

Continue reading An Urgent Plea for Julia and Zack

A Letter From a Thankful SNAF Family

“We’re so grateful to those who give for the significant role they’ve played in our lives and many others in making adoptions possible,” writes the Kratzer family, who brought their daughter Madelyn home from China in 2010 with help from a Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF) grant.

Dear SNAF donors,

We are the Kratzer family, and we were called by God to adopt our daughter, Madelyn, from China in October of 2010. Born with special needs, Madelyn was found at just two weeks old under a bridge in Xiamen. She is now 4 years old.

Our adoption journey has been one of great faith, and the sure presence of God. Adoption presents a lot of unknowns and uncertainties.  From the challenges of paying the financial costs, and the enormous amount of paperwork, to the disappointment of experiencing a lack of support from a few, to the joy of experiencing support from many we did not expect, this has been an amazing journey.

Madelyn, photographed here while still in care, found her family with the help of a Special Needs Adoption Fund grant.

 

Madelyn is a beautiful, smart, fearless, and loving daughter. Our transition has gone so very smooth. She has seen us as her family from the moment we met her. By God’s design, this is in fact how God had always seen it. A perfect fit. Within 5 minutes of meeting us, she was signing, “Sha Mamma, Sha Babba, Sha Buggu, Sha Jiejie,” which means, “My mother, my father, my sister, my brother.”

In fact, even the workers from the orphanage who oversaw her foster care, who have known her since a baby, were not able to coax her out of her mother’s arms just twelve hours after we met. A powerful moment for sure!

We are so grateful to the SNAF donors for the significant role they have played in our lives and many others in making our adoption possible. Madelyn sings, “Jesus loves me” in mandarin with her own lyric, “it is good to worship Jesus” mixed in. I pray you feel the joy in your heart and the significance of your generosity in the Gospel of adoption. Madelyn thanks you, we thank you, and the Kingdom of God is built from the deep commitment and generosity of faithful individuals and organizations such as yours.

May God richly bless you as you have blessed us.

Blessings,

The Kratzer Family

 Help families like Madelyn’s bring home the child who is waiting for them.  Provide a SNAF grant today.

Seeing My Daughter Again for the First Time

When Greg Rausch attended a Winter Jam 2014 concert in Cincinnati, he was surprised to see photos of his daughter with members of the Christian band NewSong on wall-length banners plastered around the arena. The photos were taken when NewSong visited his daughter’s care center in India, before she came home to the Rausch family. Below, Greg shares what it was like to see photos of his daughter from before they were a family.

Greg stands in front of the Holt banner with his son at a Winter Jam concert in Ohio. Greg’s daughter, a Holt adoptee from India, is featured on the banner with NewSong band member Matt Butler, which came as a surprise to Greg.

 

“That kind of looks like your daughter, Mr. Rausch.”

“What?” I asked, perplexed by this random and seemingly nonsensical statement from Daniel, a boy in our youth group. “Where?”

“Up there,” Daniel said while pointing back over my shoulder at something up in the air. Continue reading Seeing My Daughter Again for the First Time

A Changing Tide

Through services provided by Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner agency in Thailand, a fisherman is able to provide for his family.

Nadej casts his fishing net out into the murky, green water of the Pak Phanang River in the Nakhon si Thammarat district of southern Thailand. On this day, like many others before it, his catch will not yield the income needed to provide for his wife and four young daughters. The family’s home is in disrepair. They don’t have enough to eat, or enough funds to send their daughters to school.

Desperate, Nadej casts his net out once more, hoping for assistance. Praying for an answer.

And then, a helping hand…

The Pakphanang Municipality referred Nadej’s family to Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s partner agency in Thailand. Through an initial assessment, an HSF social worker discovered the family’s critical state. Caring for the family’s youngest daughter as well as her ill parents, Nadej’s wife, Lawan, was unable to help with the family’s income. Eight individuals lived in a small, dilapidated house with no windows. The four daughters were never taught proper health and hygiene practices. The eldest daughter, 14-year-old Tang, suffered from tooth decay, severely dry skin and lice. Nadej and his wife encouraged the children’s education, but also needed help with household duties. The children rarely attended school. The family lacked in many areas, the HSF social worker observed. What they weren’t lacking in, noted the social worker, was love.

Lawan with her four daughters.

“The family members love and care for each other deeply,” read the HSF family report. “The children try to help the parents reduce their burden. The parents love and accept their daughter who has special needs, always encouraging her.”

Continue reading A Changing Tide

Why Holt's Adoption Staff Loves Child Sponsorship

Susie Doig, Holt’s senior director of adoption services, recently wrote a short testimonial to our branch offices, encouraging the adoption staff to embrace and promote Holt’s child sponsorship program — and maybe even sponsor a child themselves. With a continual decline in international adoption across the globe, child sponsorship is one of the strongest and fastest-growing ways Holt can ensure that children in our programs remain with their birth families and receive the vital, life-saving support they need.

Child sponsorship. It’s nice. I’m glad we do it. But it doesn’t really affect me, because I work in adoptions. My focus is to spread the word about the need for adoptive families, and help families get the support and assistance they need to successfully complete their adoption process.

Back when adoption fees made up the majority of Holt’s revenue, focusing on fundraising efforts like child sponsorship felt like an elective to me. It was something that, if I had extra time, I would learn a little about it, or maybe mention it to a friend, but for the most part I kept my blinders on and my head down — focused on serving adoptive families.

The Doig family. Susie and her husband adopted two children from Thailand.

Continue reading Embracing Sponsorship

Beyond Blessed

Adoptive parents Chad and Becky Hinze share their experience adopting 12-year-old Paolo Miguel just days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philipinnes, and bringing him home to join their family. Paulo joined his family through the Philippines Ambassador Program.

How many people can say that flying into the Philippines just five hours before the most horrific storm in history hit — and living in an orphanage for the five days after — was the absolute best experience of their lives?

We can!

Continue reading Beyond Blessed