• Family Preservation in Thailand

  • Feature-image-spons

  • Feature-image-ethiopia

A few years ago, Amber Kanallakan and her husband began to feel God prompting them to grow their family through adoption. They felt prepared to parent a child with a limb difference and because China has so many children with this particular special need, they applied to Holt’s China program in August of 2013 after holding a garage sale to cover the cost of Holt’s application fee. Fearing finances may hold them back from adopting, the Kanallakans started hosting fundraisers and ultimately ended up raising the money to cover 100 percent of the cost of their adoption. Amber and her husband travel in March 2015 to bring their son, Oliver, home from China. Here, they reflect on their journey and give advice to other families considering fundraising to cover adoption costs. 


When my husband and I began to seriously consider growing our family through international adoption, there were two giant mountains that quickly overshadowed our conversation.

The first mountain was called “perfect timing.”

When was the “right” time to start the process? Read More

On March 11, Holt’s China program social work manager, Marissa Leuallen, LMSW, will appear on Creating a Family’s radio show, discussing when and if families should consider adopting two children at a time.

A hot topic in adoption, multiple child adoption (also called concurrent adoption) is rare at Holt — usually only occurring with sibling groups or, even more rarely, with children who have bonded like siblings during their time in care.

During the radio show, Marissa, who has worked in Holt’s adoption programs for over ten years and is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention educator, will discuss the challenges families face when they bring two children home at once. She will engage with another adoption agency professional, discussing what parents and agencies should consider when deciding if adopting two children at the same time is the appropriate plan.

While there is no “right” answer across all agencies, we believe that what is best for each child’s development, health and future should be the leading factor in adoption.

Creating a Family is an online adoption resource center to which Holt frequently contributes. Their weekly national radio show also broadcasts through their website, and a permanent link to each show is available online after the initial broadcast. You can find the link to Marissa’s guest appearance here on March 12.

Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content

The children featured in this photo essay are thriving largely because of the compassionate people who sponsor them.

Join the movement. Change a life. Sponsor a child.

Urgent:  Hattie Needs a Family!

Born: January 1, 2001, SE Asia 

In our January e-newsletter, Qiulan Henderson, a 13-year-old Holt adoptee from China, shared some advice for adoptive parents about how they can build a strong and loving relationship with their newly adopted child. “When your child first comes to your family they will be afraid, even if they act like they are not scared,” Qiulan writes.  “Help them trust you by showing them love and know that it takes time.”

HattieSuch eloquent and poignant words — words that I found myself turning back to as I read about 14-year-old Hattie, a girl in Southeast Asia who urgently needs a family.

“Hattie knows a few words in English, but worries that her English skills will not be good enough to express her needs upon adoption,” Hattie’s bio reads.

I wonder if Qiulan had similar fears before she joined her family in the United States. And I wonder if all it took was love and patience from her adoptive family to help reassure Quilan that everything was going to be OK.

Hattie needs a family like the one Qiulan has today – a patient and supportive family who will help calm her fears and bring her into an environment of safety and love.

According to Hattie’s caregivers, she is a respectful and independent teenager who loves math and home economics, and hopes to be a teacher one day. She is currently in the 6th grade and is said to be one of the smartest students in her class.

Hattie desperately wants to know the love of a permanent family, and needs a family who can move forward quickly!

Would you join us in praying for Hattie, and sharing her story today? .

If you are interested in learning more about Hattie, contact Jessica Palmer at jessicap@holtinternational.org.


 After adopting two children from Ethiopia, physicians Andrea and Andrew Janssen decide to leave their small town in eastern Oregon and move their family across the world to teach at Addis Ababa University. Here, they will train some of the first doctors in Ethiopia to specialize in family medicine.

The Janssen Family.As a college freshman at Westmont I had never experienced rural medicine. Leaving Santa Barbara for rural Zambia to work with Dr. Rob Congdon opened my eyes to malaria, malnutrition and mongu. (Mongu —fried caterpillars — are crunchy and akin to bacon, a good protein source in rural Zambia.) Although I suffered from a bout of cerebral malaria during my four-month trip to Luampa Mission Hospital, it was the suffering of one malnourished girl that indelibly changed my future.

Mbambi was 18 months old, 11 pounds and came to the hospital with “kwashiorkor,” or protein calorie malnutrition. She had been brought by her uncle, her closest living relative. Her muscles were so wasted she still couldn’t muster sitting or smiling. Diligently, I fed her millet cereal with peanut butter, long before the creation of Plumpy’Nut — the peanut-based paste now commonly used to treat severe malnutrition. I learned to carry Mbambi on my back African-style. I taught the uncle how to bathe her and soon all the patients in the male hospital ward began to care for her. I was filled with joy when, after several months, Mbambi was able to sit up and play a few small games. God birthed the idea of adoption in my heart through that one small child in Zambia. I returned inspired, challenged and changed. Read More