Urgent: Jane Needs a Loving Family

Jane urgently needs to find a loving, supportive adoptive family. Please share Jane’s story to help her find the family she deserves.

DOB: May 11, 1997

Jane* is a cheerful, confident and athletic almost 16-year-old girl from Southeast Asia. She has lived in the U.S. for almost two months.

Jane comes from what developmental psychologist Dr. Karyn Purvis calls a “hard place.” In early life, she experienced neglect and abuse from some members of her birth family. For a time, she stayed with caring relatives who showed her love and support. But these relatives lacked the means to support her for long, and at age 5 Jane landed in orphanage care. Here, caregivers described her as a sociable, sweet and talkative little girl who gave everyone hugs.

In this safe place, Jane continued to develop into an active and playful girl. She developed good relationships with other children and was especially helpful and kind to her roommates. She grew to love outdoor activities, especially running and playing hide and seek. She diligently completed her household chores, earned average grades and excelled at sports. Jane could also be quarrelsome, stubborn and defensive – especially when scolded or corrected.

As Jane entered high school, her childhood trauma began to trouble her and distract her from her studies. She started to attend counseling sessions, which helped her cope with her past. Today, Jane is excited to graduate high school and go to college.

Although Jane has lived with a family in the U.S. for about two months, she has struggled to adjust to her new life. She arrived without the skills typically developed in the context of a loving family, and has built up barriers to limit closeness – as is common among children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Jane needs a new family that has the time, skills and energy to help break through the behavioral walls she has developed to protect herself. Jane’s family should be willing and able to help her develop the effective coping strategies and relationship skills she needs to thrive in life.

Jane is fluent in English and adjusting to the U.S. school system. Her behavioral issues have only occurred in a family environment. She would like to stay in the U.S., in a family that loves and supports her unconditionally.

To adopt Jane, families must be experienced adoptive parents. Both parents also need to be under the age of 60, earn a family income of $40,000/year or more, and have a current domestic or international home study. Due to adoption requirements in Jane’s birth country, families also need to be of Christian faith.

For more information about adopting Jane, contact Abbie Smith at abbies@holtinternational.org.

*name changed

* To protect Jane’s identity and privacy, we have not shared any photos. Contact Abbie Smith to view photos and learn more information about Jane.

Adoption Tax Credit: It’s Permanent. Now Let’s Make it Refundable!

Take Action: Lend Your Voice to the Tax Day Advocacy Campaign!

Happy Tax Day!

Today (April 15th) and throughout the week, join Holt and Voice for Adoption in sending messages to legislators — thanking them for making the adoption tax credit permanent, and also urging them to reinstate the refundable provision of the adoption tax credit.

Here’s the message we need to communicate: Nationally, nearly half  (46%) of families adopting from foster care are at or below 200% of the poverty level, meaning many do not have a tax liability and cannot use a non-refundable tax credit.

Whether families adopt domestically or internationally, the refundable provision of the adoption tax credit is not a minor issue. It makes an enormous difference in the number of families who are able to claim it! When more families can claim this vital credit, more families can afford to adopt — enabling more children to join loving homes. It’s as simple as that! We need your help to let Congress know they can help more children join loving families of their own. We ask that you join us in urging Congress to reinstate the refundable provision — as it was in both 2010 and 2011 — so that all adoptive families can benefit from the adoption tax credit.

For legislator contact information and a sample letter template, click here.

Together, we made it permanent. Now let’s make it refundable!

China Vision Trip 2013 — A Photo Album

Last week, seven individuals flew to China for a week on Holt International’s second vision trip! While in China, the vision trip participants spent time with children at the Holt Peace House, and at a child care center in Shangrao.  They also met families in Holt’s family strengthening program in China and took part in some sightseeing activities. 

The following are beautiful photos from their trip courtesy of vision trip member John Keating.  



The China vision trip members at the Holt office in China.


The Peace House (April 9th, 2013)

In 2011, Holt assumed management of the Peace House project,  a nurturing foster home where children requiring medical treatment come to stay before and after surgery. Many of the children currently in care are in need of cleft lip and palate repair.


Vision trip member Pat Roth holding a child at the Peace House in China.
Vision trip participant Brian Brown holds a child at the Peace House.

Continue reading “China Vision Trip 2013 — A Photo Album”

Taking Stock in the Lives of Families in Vietnam

Mother’s Day is just a month away! In honor of your mother, help a struggling family in one of Holt’s programs. Give a sow (or a cow!) and help a family get back on their feet!



 In January, Thoa Bui, Holt’s senior executive for southeast Asia, traveled to Vietnam to visit multiple Holt-supported programs. She met with children and families in Holt’s family strengthening program, all who had different stories to tell. Here, she shares the story of a child named *Vi. Through much heartache and many trials, Vi’s family, with assistance from Holt-Vietnam, has stuck together.

 By Thoa Bui

Vi’s story is a heartbreaking one. Last year, Vi’s mother was killed tragically and her father was admitted to a psychiatric ward. Vi and her three older siblings were left without parents. Fortunately for the children, Vi’s extended family was determined to care for them. Vi and her older sister went to live with their grandmother, *Hang. Her two other siblings went to live with their aunt and uncle.

Both teachers, Vi’s aunt and uncle have stable incomes and could comfortably provide for the two children entrusted to them. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Hang, who, with a very limited income and additional family members to care for, struggled to provide for Vi and her sister.  Still, she took her grandchildren in and did the best she could.  “Our dream was to be able to provide for them so that they can grow to be healthy, learn, and play with the other children in kindergarten one day,” said Hang.

Eight family members currently live in Hang’s house.  The entire family is dependent on 5 quintals of rice produced every six months on their small piece of land.

Working in partnership with the Government of Vietnam, Holt provides emergency assistance, counseling and the basic financial, nutritional and educational support needed to stabilize struggling households like this. Our goal:  To keep families together, and make them stronger.

When Hang’s story was brought to Holt’s attention, steps were taken to help the struggling grandmother.


Continue reading “Taking Stock in the Lives of Families in Vietnam”

My Boys Never Forget Mother’s Day







By Carol Miller

My very first Mother’s Day was so over-the-top wonderful, I told my family there was no way they could ever top it! Then, it happened again. My boys know how to do it right!

I had waited a very long time to become a mother when we decided to adopt in the fall of 1989. My husband, Jim, and I started the adoption process, accepted Eric’s referral and began the wait for his arrival. We were told he would most likely arrive sometime in the summer of 1990. Surprise! We got a call at the end of April telling us that Eric would arrive on May 8th…just in time for Mother’s Day! That was the best give I could have ever received.

But the story gets even better. We decided Eric needed a sibling. So in the summer of 1991, we started the adoption process once again. On New Years Eve, 1991, we got a phone call about a little boy who needed a family. And once again, we started the wait. Surprise! We got a call at the end of April, saying that Alex would arrive on May 7th… just in time for Mother’s Day 1992! I was lucky enough to get the best gift ever on Mother’s Day, not once, but twice!


Alex arrives home!

Continue reading “My Boys Never Forget Mother’s Day”

Mama is Here

Military wife and new mom Beth Anne Schwamberger is currently in India with her friend, Laura, uniting with her new son, Holden. Beth Anne first encountered Holden, who has paralysis of the lower limbs, in a waiting child story on Holt’s blog. “Even though my heart was sad that he might never walk,” says Beth Anne, “I never felt that he wasn’t meant to be our child.” In honor of Mother’s Day, we would like to share Beth Anne’s travel blog posts with you, detailing her adventure to India, and her journey to Holden and to motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day!…

by Beth Anne Schwamberger

My first day with Holden, as in the day I became a mom and get to take care of him and love him forever, went unbelievably well. Better than I thought possible. I am expecting my sweet boy to have a breakdown any second, because up to this point, he has been amazingly resilient.

Can you believe I spent a whole day with a 2-year-old and no tears were shed? There was not even a hint of whining. How is this child so perfect? No seriously, I am convinced at his perfection. I think he is the best at everything and every little thing he does is adorable. Even when he burps, it is perfect and adorable!

 I feel like I have been given the most incredible, beautiful, perfect gift, and my biggest fear is that I will mess it all up. I am continually on my knees asking God to show me how to do this.

 The day started off with a long cab ride. I kept myself busy trying to scribble out a thank you note to the staff at Vathsalya Charitable Trust (VCT). I think sometimes I intentionally procrastinate so I can keep myself busy in the moments leading up to a big event. It prevents me from becoming a sobbing mess. I was all excitement and joy as we got out of the car. Continue reading “Mama is Here”

Paul Needs a Family!

Paul from NE Asia

 Born 11.30.2011



Baby boy Paul was born at 34 weeks and remained in the hospital for a month to be treated for prematurity, cyanosis and sepsis. His birth mother reportedly smoked and drank throughout the pregnancy. During his most recent check-up, Paul was assessed to be at an 8-9 month gross motor developmental level, and 5 to 6-month level in all other areas. He is able to crawl, sit up and pull to a standing position. In February, a neurosongram noted that he has a germinal matrix hemorrhage and a paraventricular cyst. He has continued to have brain abnormalities in follow up tests. In September 2012, his neurology follow up noted that he has a deep tendon reflex and that he is slightly spastic. Well baby checks also note that he has crossed eyes, for which he has begun occlusion therapy. Paul is in need of a family who is comfortable with the unknowns regarding his brain abnormality and who can provide him with any medical care that he may need.


For more information about Paul, contact Lori Gustin at lorig@holtinternational.org

Jamison Must Find a Family Before His 16th Birthday!

Jamison turns 16 next year. Please share his story to help him find the family he so needs and deserves!

Jamison* is a charming young man who lives at a care center in the Philippines. He loves playing soccer and badminton, and watching cartoons with his friends. His caregivers say he plays “joyfully” with the other children, and at nearly 15, he also acts as an older brother to the younger boys in his dorm.

In October of last year, Jamison was one of 15 children on the 2012 Philippines Ambassador trip. For the past two years, Holt has sent a special team of ambassadors to meet older children like Jamison – children hoping to find loving adoptive families of their own. During a week full of fun activities, the ambassadors get to know the children and then advocate for their adoption once home in the U.S. This year’s ambassadors included two Holt adoptive parents, two adult adoptees and three Holt staff members.

The group of children on the 2012 Philippines Ambassador trip.

For the first few days of the trip, Jamison was fairly quiet and shy with the ambassadors. But by day 5, Jamison started to open up. His personality came bursting through during a late-night UNO tournament… And what a personality he has!

“That night, I saw a whole new side of Jamison come out.  It was awesome!” writes Kari Bargstadt-Wilson, one of the ambassadors on the trip. “He was sitting by me during our UNO game and was cracking jokes the entire time.  Kissing his cards with enthusiasm when a good one came his way.  Smiling and making others laugh.  He was hamming it up!”

Continue reading “Jamison Must Find a Family Before His 16th Birthday!”