Adoptee Mai Anh Boaz had never heard of National Adoption Month before she started interning at Holt. Now, the month of November holds new meaning for her, and has inspired her to reflect on her own adoption story.
During my first few weeks interning at Holt International, I remember sitting in the office and planning Instagram posts when I saw an article about National Adoption Month. Then, I remember asking, “There’s a month just for adoption awareness?” As an adoptee, I never knew people associated November with adoption. I loved the idea, but I was surprised I had never heard of National Adoption Month until this year.
Once I looked into previous posts and articles, I was intrigued by the multitude of stories from adoptees and adoptive families about what adoption meant to them. They were moving, inspiring and fun. Yet, reading other people’s stories made me realize that I never took time to reflect on my story. What does my adoption mean to me? How has this aspect of my life shaped me into who I am today? What would my life look like if adoption was not a part of the story? Continue reading “Adoptee Perspective: A New Meaning to November”
This beautiful sibling group of six will steal your heart.
Tati, age 13, and the oldest of her siblings, is described as a calm and respectful child. Currently in the sixth grade, Tati shows organizational skills when it comes to her school schedule and completing her homework. Tati is somewhat shy, but is looked upon as a role model in her peer group. During her free time, Tati loves to read, and can create stories of her own. She also enjoys writing, drawing and coloring. Continue reading “This Sibling Set of Six Needs a Family!”
Exposure to alcohol. This may be the most vague and full-of-unknowns special need you’ll come across in the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. It includes a vast array of outcomes, sometimes including no effects at all. However, many parents jump to an extreme when they first read “alcohol exposure” — thinking, “This must mean they have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).” Or, families nearly skip over it — thinking, “It’s so common… it must not be a big deal.” An informed approach to adopting a child with alcohol exposure lies somewhere in the middle: informed by research, supported by other families’ experiences, and always with the best interests of the child as the deciding factor.
At the 2014 Holt Gala and Auction in Portland, Oregon, Holt adoptive mom Andrea stood to speak. She told her story of bringing home her daughter Rini from China — a little girl with severe congenital heart disease — and the struggle to save her life. Here, Andrea again shares the story that captivated an audience of families, adoptees and Holt supporters at the Portland event, as well as her appeal to help save the lives of other children with serious heart disease… children just like Rini. Continue reading “Favorite Five Adoption Stories”
What seven years of sponsorship looks like for one young family in Thailand.
Twenty-eight-year-old Malee sits with ankles crossed behind her on the teal tiled floor of her home in southern Thailand. Tears stream down her face as she speaks, while her youngest daughter sits in her lap, reaching up with a tissue to wipe away each of her mom’s tears as they fall.
Adoption from Colombia might lead you to a child like Santi — an older child with a larger-than-life love for everyone he meets. Santi, like so many older children living in orphanages, has waited a lifetime for a for a stable, loving family.
On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older kids.
When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.
Paperwork can be dehumanizing.
At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children who we met in Colombia.
When I read Santi’s file, it didn’t say that he loves board games and the color blue. It didn’t talk about his breathtaking smile or his love of building things. It didn’t mention his impeccable sense of style — he wore salmon-red slacks, a teal button-down with shell snaps, and a pair of fake Ray-Ban shades the day we met him — and the way he draws people in like a magnet. Continue reading “Adoption From Colombia: Older Children Like Santi Wait”
In March 2017, I visited this same orphanage to help prepare older children for adoption. Those children, both age 13, flipped through photo albums and letters to learn more about their adoptive families. One boy wasn’t yet matched with an adoptive family but looked over the shoulders of his friends as this happened. My heart broke for him and I returned from that trip determined to find a family for him. Continue reading “Charleson Needs a Family!”
As an adoption advisor, I spend a lot of my time speaking to families about allof the ins and outs of international adoption. After we have sifted through the rules, legalities and details of the process, we inevitably land on the question, “Why should I choose Holt?” There are plenty of agencies to choose from, and whether families have never heard of Holt or they are well acquainted with the work that we do, this is a question worth asking. Here are a few things that really set Holt apart.
Urgent! We need to find a family for Cole before we lose his release in early December 2018! Cole has malformations of his hands and feet and needs walking aids and therapy that are not available in his orphanage. He is a smart boy who has made improvements in his cognitive, social and language skills. Check out the video to see Cole in action!
This is not an overstatement: whether or not Cole will ever be able to walk may likely depend on whether a family chooses to adopt him.
Cole came into care shortly after birth and he has malformations of his hands and feet, which keep him from walking. His caregivers say it is unlikely that he will be able to walk unless he can receive walking aids and therapy that are not available at his orphanage. Cole needs a family that can provide for his medical needs. Continue reading “Urgent: Cole Needs a Family!”
Special needs. Older children. Single parent adoption. Kids with unknown medical needs. Just the good ol’ “let the agency choose” path. There are lots of adoption paths — and no “perfect” families — but whatever path you choose, your family will ultimately be the right family for a child who is waiting.
Once upon a time, there was the perfect adoptive family. The mom and dad — both pediatricians — decided to adopt a child with a few medical needs. Their neighbors, high school teachers with a trust fund and awards for their work with underprivileged youth, decided to adopt an older child. Then, their other neighbors, who have never once been afraid in their whole lives, adopted a child with some “unknowns” in his history.