On this blog, we share stories and updates about our work around the world. With reporting from Holt staff in the U.S. and overseas as well as contributions from adoptive parents, adoptees, sponsors and supporters, we strive to represent the heart, life and experiences of our extended “Holt Family.”
This summer, Holt adoptee Krista Gause will travel on the Holt Heritage Tour to Korea. Before her departure, she writes an honest and heartfelt letter to her birth mother, sharing about her life and grieving the fact that it is too late for them to meet.
My name is Krista, and I’m your daughter.
The adoption agency, Holt International, suggested that I write you a letter. I told them that I didn’t know what to say and they advised me to tell you about my life, explain my intentions, let you know that I’m okay and that I’m looking for you.
You last saw me on February 19, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. You spent one day with me before you said goodbye. What you don’t know is that I was in foster care once you left and my foster mother, Mrs. Na, took good care of me. I was underweight and my crying was “vigorous.” But Mrs. Na and her family took such good care of me that after a few months I left their home and boarded a Korean Air flight to the United States. On June 8, 1988, four months after you said goodbye, I met my family. We met and fell in love at JFK Airport and every year we celebrate this day, my Airplane Day. Read More
Have you viewed China’s online photolisting recently? Were you interested in learning more about a child, but the application fee stopped you from moving forward?
Well, we have good news!
Holt is now offering free applications for families who are seriously interested in a particular child on Holt’s China photolisting, but haven’t yet committed to a placing agency. The online photolisting helps Holt find families for children who have very specific needs — whether medical, emotional or resource-based.
Families who fill out a free application will not be referred to a homestudy agency, but will be able to review the child’s file free of charge.
Only after a family is pre-matched with a child — selected for a child pending homestudy approval — will the $300 application fee be charged. If you are not pre-matched with the child, you have the option of paying the $300 application fee and proceeding with an adoption through Holt — or you can close your file.
A free application cannot be left open long-term, nor can it be used to review multiple child files over time. As always, we encourage families who plan to complete an adoption through Holt to submit a paid application so that we can move the process forward and the child can arrive home as quickly as possible.
This special fee waiver is meant to provide families who have serious interest in a particular child on our photolisting — but haven’t yet committed to Holt — the opportunity to learn more about that child and avoid upfront fees.
If you have more questions, please contact Jessica Zeeb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An adoptive father shares about deciding to pursue older child adoption, his son Eric, and how adopting an older child may be right for you and your family.
Our 6-month old baby seems to be growing at a healthy rate. In the past 6 months, he’s grown about 5 centimeters. He has a healthy appetite and has gained 10 pounds. Last week his voice cracked and he’s showing the typical signs of pre-adolescence. All normal healthy development signs for a baby…right? Perhaps I should mention that our 6-month old baby is actually a 12-year-old boy whom we adopted from China last November. He is our son, Eric, and we can’t imagine life without him.
On April 15, 2017, Suzanna will turn 14 years old. This day will be a significant fork in the road of her life. While most children expect a celebration on their birthday, Suzanna’s 14th birthday marks something much more substantial. On that day, the door to adoption and a loving, permanent family will close forever — unless a qualified family steps forward now and completes the paperwork to bring her home before then.
In these first thirteen years of life, Suzanna has experienced many dips and twists, yet in every instance she has shown astounding grace and resilience. It is not known when Suzanna’s birth family made the difficult decision not to parent her, but since that time she was raised by a Chinese family who informally adopted her. When she was 8 years old, she was found in the hospital with her adoptive father, who was comatose and approaching death. Since she had no other family able to parent her long-term, she was admitted to the orphanage and became part of a group home. She has been living there ever since.
Nam Holtz is a Korean adoptee who began a formalized search for her birth family and culture more than five years ago. With the help of a friend and director, Nam documented her return to Korea and today is working to produce her film, Found in Korea, based on her experience. During her 21-day visit to Korea, Nam traveled to three separate cities, retracing the steps of her infanthood, looking for foster family, birth family and other caregivers. What she found was more complicated and compelling than anything she could have initially anticipated. Nam says she hopes that Found in Korea can be a tool for adoptive families and adoptees to discuss birth family and adoption in more organic, natural ways. She also wants to expand the conversation and often limited narratives about the complexities of adoption.
We spoke with Nam on Tuesday, May 14, 2016 to ask some questions about her film, what she’s learned about adoption and the intricate web of strangers who have encouraged her to continue pursuing Found in Korea.
Holt International: You’ve been working on your film Found In Korea for more than 5 years. It’s both a film about adoption and also a very personal project, since it chronicles your search for birth family and birth culture. What has driven you to keep fighting to make this film for so long?
Nam Holtz: As I’ve been working on this film, I’ve become more involved in adoption communities and with other Korean adoptees and other adoption sources. I’m realizing there are some films out there that talk about adoption and are made to help people learn and heal, but there aren’t many.
I’ve received lots of emails and encouragement from people who have asked me to keep making this film as a resource for adoptees or adoptive families or just the greater public. I’ve also learned that just talking about adoption in an honest and open way can be difficult. Read More