Urgent: Hope for Quinn

 Quinn Needs a Family! 

From China

Birthdate:  7/05/2011


“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1


This is what we know about Quinn:

She came into Holt’s care shortly after she was born.

She is a natural caregiver, doting on her younger foster brother and giving her friends gifts.

She has mild cerebral palsy that mostly affects her fine mother skills.

She is the class helper at school.

She understands adoption and says that she would like a family of her own someday.

Lastly, we know that Quinn is waiting for a family of her own.  And at 12 years of age, her time is running out.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us to have hope.  And for Quinn, we do.

We have hope that someday Quinn will have brothers and sisters.

We have hope that a family will one day give Quinn the encouragement and help she needs to overcome her physical challenges.

We have hope that one day Quinn’s forever family will watch her receive her college diploma.

And lastly, we have hope that Quinn’s day is coming soon.

We don’t know what Quinn’s future holds, but we have faith — and hope — that it includes a permanent family.

On this, the last day of National Adoption Month, help Quinn find that family today, before it’s too late!


*Quinn is in need of family who is comfortable with her medical needs and is knowledgeable in older child adoption.

To adopt Quinn, applicants must be 30-54 years old and meet an income requirement of $30,000 plus $10,000 per additional family member, with $80,000 net worth. More than 4 children in the home may be accepted.* See country criteria for complete requirements.

Contact Erin Anderson at erina@holtinternational.org for more information


We feel pretty fortunate at Holt. Every day, it seems we have a new reason to be thankful. After all, we are the first to hear stories about children and families around the world who are stronger, healthier and more secure because of Holt’s services and people like you. We are the ones who get to call hopeful mothers and fathers and tell them their child is coming home soon. And, we celebrate with our partners overseas when the little boys or girls who we care for find permanent, loving families.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take a few extra minutes to really stop and reflect — and express our gratitude to you. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that you — adoptees, child sponsors, adoptive parents, donors, ambassadors, supporters and advocates — make our work possible.

So without further adieu …

We are thankful that the children and families in our Philippines programs are safe and well. After Typhoon Haiyan hit on November 7, we nervously awaited information from KBF, our partner in the Philippines. When we finally got word that every child and family in our Philippines program was safe, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. We are thankful for our partners, who acted swiftly to ensure their safety. We are grateful for our Holt family and friends, people like you, who give so much for children every day, yet never fail to step up quickly in times of need. We know that because of you and your compassion, the staff at KBF can begin making repairs to family’s homes and care centers.

We are thankful for Molly Holt, daughter of Holt’s founders Harry and Bertha, and the woman who CEO and President Phillip Littleton calls a living angel. She has spent more than three-quarters of her life caring for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in Korea, particularly those children with special medical needs. When we heard that Molly was quite ill, afflicted by cancer, we prayed hard and asked you to pray hard too. By a miracle of God, Molly is about 80 percent cancer free. Watch the video below to hear Molly’s message to everyone who sent cards, support and prayers.

We are thankful for our Holt families and friends. We have such an incredible, inspirational and dedicated network of people who are willing to give of their time and resources. Winter Jam — and our partnership with Christian rock group NewSong — is an extraordinary way to share our message about caring for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. In a short time, Winter Jam and NewSong help Holt recruit hundreds of child sponsors — enabling more children to stay in the loving care of their birth families, and helping us care for children who are waiting to join adoptive families. However, our partnership with NewSong wouldn’t be possible without you, our families and friends, and your willingness to volunteer at the events. We are grateful for your compassion and love for children around the world, and for your efforts to help ensure every child may grow and thrive in the loving care of a family .

We are grateful for the little things — a hand-drawn picture from a child in our sponsorship program, photos from a happy, smiling family, and the little stories people share on our Facebook page.  We are grateful for family, in all of its different forms and definitions.

From all of us at Holt, we wish you a joyous Thanksgiving!

Gifts for Foster Families, Hope for Helpless Children

When you provide a gift to a Holt foster family through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, you can help frail and sick children have a fighting chance at life!

 “Mom, I don’t feel well this morning.”

When you were a child, you most likely uttered this phrase on more than one occasion. You would wake up feeling hot and clammy. Your stomach would hurt, and your nose would be running. With loving care, your mother would give you a big hug and set you on the sofa. While she made you chicken soup, she would let you watch your favorite movie and get the rest you needed.

We need loving family members in our life to care for us when we are sick. At Holt, we feel blessed to have so many wonderful foster families to provide love and support to the children in our care.

Hong was sick with a skin infection when she first entered her foster mother’s care.

Little *Hong from China was weak and sick with a skin infection when she first entered her foster mother, *Jing’s, care. Hong had lost her appetite and rapidly began losing weight. She desperately needed medical attention. Jing made sure Hong saw the best doctors and was given the medicine she needed. Soon, Hong’s infection began to clear up. Jing also made Hong a variety of nutritious foods, and after a while Hong began to gain weight.

Continue reading “Gifts for Foster Families, Hope for Helpless Children”

The Gift of Family

When you give a gift of a cow, goat, pig or sheep through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog — online or in your fall Holt magazine — you can help a struggling family stay together.

Kim Ly with her four children.

When Kim Ly looks at a pig, she doesn’t just see a little barnyard animal. She sees a brighter future. She sees the opportunity to send her four children to school, with clean uniforms and new supplies. She sees the roots of a small business — raising and selling sows — to feed her family, keep their home warm in the winter, and provide her children with medical care. When Kim Ly sees a pig, she sees hope.

In Vietnam, and the other 10 countries where Holt works, many families make their living on subsistence farming. The gift of an animal can generate enough income to help a single mother like Kim Ly take care of her entire family.

You see, when pigs have piglets, the payoff is huge. In Uganda and Ethiopia, donkeys help carry crops to market, which relieves a massive burden on farmers. Goats and cows provide daily, nutrient-rich milk and cheese.

When Holt met Kim Ly, her husband had recently died of cancer, which cut the family income by more than half. Living on less than $50 per month, Kim Ly had to decide between feeding her family, buying her children warm clothes, or sending them to school. Holt felt the best way to help the family was to provide them with a pig — which you can also give to a family as a Gift of Hope. Now, Kim Ly is self-sufficient. Her three daughters are in school, and her young son is healthy and happy.

For Kim Ly and her family, an animal is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

When you give a Gift of Hope this holiday season, you help share the joy and abundance of the holidays with families and children in need.

For this, we are truly grateful.

Honoring Children and Families Who Give

Three stories of families who worked together with their children to raise funds for vulnerable children and families in Holt’s programs overseas.

From a Little Idea…

by Abby Gouldsbarry, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

A.K.Dive has grown to be something I never expected it to be back in 2007, when I first came up with the idea.  The whole game plan wasn’t the same back then, though.  It was something totally different.

But before I tell you how it came to be, first I need to tell you what it is. A.K.Dive is a fundraising event with food, face painting, games, music and fellowship, and all the proceeds go towards adoptions or adoption organizations.  It’s a really fun evening, and every year, friends, family and church members ask about it and look forward to it.

I was 7 when I thought of A.K.Dive — and at that age, when I had an idea, I took it to the top.  So when I saw the idea to open up a lemonade stand, it eventually turned into opening a restaurant…in our home.  Remember, I was 7 at the time. 🙂

The Gouldsbarry family.

My mom and dad thought we were playing, but we weren’t.  My little kid brain was fixed on selling breakfast, lunch and dinner at a little diner that we (my friends and I, along with my lil’ sis) had named “A.K.Dive.”  A for my name, Abby, K for my good friend’s name, Katie, and the capital D in Dive for my lil’ sis, Danelle.  My dad came up with the whole Dive thing.

Anyway, one day my mom understood that we actually weren’t playing, and explained that we could not open a real restaurant in our house.  My friends, sister and I were heartbroken, but then my mom had an ingenious idea.  Instead of opening a restaurant, we would have a little diner at our house (more of a picnic), with friends and family, and us kids would head up the whole thing (with a lot of help, believe me!).  It was a dream come true for us, and the night was a blast!  We decided to raise money for an organization that helps to fund adoptions and orphans. People would come for food and fellowship and donate whatever they wanted.

Because of A.K.Dive, my family was turned toward the realization of the plight of orphans.  Our hearts stirred and our eyes were opened as the Lord called us to adopt a child.  We decided to go through this process with Holt, and it was an amazing journey.  Mom and Dad traveled to China to bring home our new brother in January of 2011.  When A.K.Dive came around that summer, it was without question that we wanted to raise money for Holt, and we chose the special needs fund, since my brother Hudson most likely was supported through that fund.   We had a wonderful time that night, and raised over $3,500!  Faces were painted, and many laughs were heard.  Nothing beats a good night with lots of fellowship!

Over the course of the past six years, we have raised around $10,000 for adoption-related organizations/families (including Holt families).  A.K.Dive has blessed my life in many ways.  Besides giving me the brother I had for years been praying for, it has given me a love for orphans, a love for helping others in need, and has shown me what a little idea can turn into.


Abby (age 13)

Continue reading “Honoring Children and Families Who Give”

A Center to Learn and Grow in Thailand

At a learning center Holt supports in rural, southern Thailand, children build skills using the natural environment while parents learn how to grow low-cost, nutritious food for their families.

by Jessica Palmer, Director of Adoption Services, Southeast Asia

Stepping into an organic garden, seeing fresh vegetables ripe for the picking in a lush green atmosphere, I forget for a second that I’m not in the Holt headquarters city of Eugene, Oregon. Instead, I am in a rural part of Thailand, Tha Sala, just outside the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat that serves as the southern office location for Holt’s local partner organization, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF). Among the many programs HSF provides for vulnerable children and families in Thailand is a learning center in Tha Sala, which is full of sensory stimulation and learning opportunities for children in the area — including many in Holt’s sponsorship program.

Children and an instructor at the Tha Sala Learning Center for Children and Family Development.

Continue reading “A Center to Learn and Grow in Thailand”

What It Means To Be in the Holt Family

Adoptee and family testimonials about Holt’s post adoption services.

A Q&A with Holt adoptee Kim Lindebaum

Why did you contact Holt’s post adoption services department (PAS)?

Over the last couple years, I’ve had more of a desire to learn of my early years and was especially interested after reading Dr. David Kim’s book, “Who Will Answer…”  I then had the opportunity to travel to Korea with my daughter and family this past spring and decided I needed to know as much about my early years as I could find. So that was when I searched out Holt’s post adoption services.

 Who did you speak with, and how did they help you?

Debby Hanson was my contact and we corresponded several times as I wanted to visit a couple of Holt’s facilities while in Korea.  Debby was able to make the arrangements for me to visit Ilsan Center, where I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and hug Molly Holt.

What made your experience meaningful?

For me it is the “coming full circle” of who I am as a first generation Korean adoptee, with the opportunity of making my first return trip to my homeland and reading the autobiography of Dr. Kim, who uncovered so many of my hidden feelings by pointing out the facts of Holt’s early years.

Would you return to Holt’s post adoption services department or recommend to other adoptees for services?

Yes, if anyone isn’t sure where to begin and may have unanswered questions of their early years, or want to see what is in their adoption file, then I would encourage them to make contact with PAS either by email or telephone. They are most helpful and very compassionate to my feelings.

Continue reading “What It Means To Be in the Holt Family”

Post Adoption Services: Who We Are, What We Do

Holt’s post adoption team shares about what they do, and what inspires their commitment to the families and adoptees they serve.

Sunday Silver, Director of Post Adoption Services:

I have served as the director of Post Adoption Services since 2006. Over the past 7 years, I have helped create a post adoption quarterly e-newsletter, presented post adoption webinars and have networked with other agencies to find ways to collaborate in providing services to adoptees and families.

While I have been the director for seven years, I started working at Holt 21 years ago. Even though the bulk of my responsibilities are administrative, nothing has touched me more than working directly with this population of people we serve.  Through the years, I have provided counseling and referrals to adoptive parents, adoptees and birth parents who need a listening ear and resources to help them navigate through the different issues adoption brings. It has been my privilege and honor to be a small, albeit temporary, part of their lives as they share their deepest thoughts and pains.

Working at Holt as long as I have, I have had the opportunity to see children I placed as a social worker grow to adulthood.  One particular case comes to mind.  When I first came to Holt, I coordinated Holt’s pregnancy counseling program and provided counseling to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.  One particular birth mother I worked with early in my career was about 16 years old when I first met her.  Her parents were extremely angry when they found out she was pregnant.  They brought her to Holt for help.  I met with her throughout her pregnancy, helping her decide whether to parent or make an adoption plan.  After several sessions with her — and hearing from her parents that they would not help her raise her child — she came to the difficult decision to place her child for adoption.  The birth father was not in the picture.  She chose her child’s adoptive parents after viewing several family portfolios, and we scheduled a meeting with them.  The meeting was difficult at first, but after some time, they began getting acquainted with each other.  After the meeting, the birth mother stated that she felt she found the right parents for her unborn child.

After the child was born, I went to the hospital to visit with her and discuss whether she wanted to continue her plan.  With tears in her eyes, she nodded her head.  We went through the task of signing the paperwork.  I asked her if she wanted to see the adoptive parents and she shook her head, saying it would be too hard.  So she asked her parents to hand her baby girl over to the adoptive parents, which they did, not realizing how difficult it would also be for them.

Continue reading “Post Adoption Services: Who We Are, What We Do”

Phoenix needs a family

URGENT: Phoenix needs a family before he ages out, in May 2014! Please share his story to help give him the happy ending he deserves.

Date of Birth: May 2, 2000, China

Phoe´nix (n): 1. A bird that is periodically reborn, rising from its own ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle. 2. A person or thing regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect.

If Hollywood turned Phoenix’s life story into a feature film, it would be a poignant underdog tale.

As a baby, Chinese police found Phoenix abandoned on the side of a rural road. Authorities searched for the little boy’s family, but didn’t find any relatives, and eventually placed him in an orphanage. Upon entering care, doctors gave Phoenix an estimated birthday of May 2, 2000, and when Phoenix was 2 years old doctors successfully operated on his cleft lip and palate. Because of the scars from his surgery, Phoenix’s speech is still a little slurred. He is otherwise completely healthy.

Now, Phoenix is 13 years old. He struggles in school, but he is responsible and hard working. In his sixth grade class, he answers questions quickly, and helps his classmates. His teachers say he is respectful and kind to his peers, and really wants to improve his grades. He is independent and shy, but bonds deeply with loyal friends. He likes computer games, playing outdoors, reading and watching T.V.

For several years Phoenix lived with a foster family, and he says he still misses them — and feeling the love of a family — every day. For 13 years, he’s longed and prayed for the attentive, nurturing love of a mother and father, brothers and sisters. He dreams of a family, and understands the concept of international adoption. He says he would like to be adopted abroad.

Unfortunately, Phoenix is almost out of time. In May 2014, he will age out of the system, and he will no longer be eligible to be placed in a permanent family. This is his last chance. Continue reading “Phoenix needs a family”

Growing Family, Growing Faith — Fundraising for Adoption

When the three families featured in this story felt called to adopt, they feared that the expense of adoption would be a major obstacle. Rather than focusing on their bank accounts, the families turned toward God and fundraising to bring their child home.

Laura Sykora with her husband and 4-year-old son. Laura and her husband adopted their son from Ethiopia at 10 months old in 2010. Laura and her husband are ready to travel to Ethiopia to bring their second adopted child, a 5-year-old girl, home.


When families interested in adopting a child express their financial concerns to Laura Sykora, she nods her head with genuine understanding. As the Branch Assistant for Holt’s Midwest branch, Laura knows — really knows — how scary it can be to adopt without upfront financial backing. But then, she looks at the picture of her son on her desk, a beautiful 4-year-old she and her husband brought home from Ethiopia at 10 months old in 2010. She thinks about Maci her 5-year-old daughter, who is still in care in Ethiopia while the Sykoras wait for their second adoption to finalize. They are just a few weeks away from boarding a plane to pick her up, and take her home to join their permanent, loving family.

At the same time that Laura helps other couples through the process of adoption through Holt, she fund raises to pay for two of her own, back-to-back.

“Most people don’t have an extra $25 or $30,000 lying around,” Laura says. “Families come in and one thing they want to discuss are the costs. They are fearful because they may have already tried other expensive options, like fertility treatments.”

Continue reading “Growing Family, Growing Faith — Fundraising for Adoption”