MYTH: Adoption — Particularly International Adoption — Is Coming To An End.

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Without a doubt, this is one of the most pervasive and dire of adoption myths. There are many theories behind the adoption doomsday scenarios — the most lovely and hopeful of which is the notion that children no longer need adoption to have a permanent, loving family.

If this were true, our work would be done.

In every country where Holt works — and long before pursuing adoption — we strive to keep children in the loving care of their birth families, whenever possible. But sadly, we are far from living in an ideal world where every child can remain with their families.

Fall LeavesFor children who are orphaned, abandoned or unable to remain or reunite with their birth families, adoption is still the best route to a permanent, loving family.

And we assure you that adoption is not ending — not anytime soon.

“I mostly hear this myth about Korea.” So says our long-time adoption counselor Emily Lund, who is often the first person you will speak to when you contact Holt. “There have been rampant rumors for decades now about Korea wanting to eventually cease international adoption,” Emily explains. “Social media doesn’t always help.”

As with many rumors, this one is actually grounded in some truth. But in the game of telephone that invariably follows — now conducted over Facebook and Twitter — truths often become warped and distorted. Continue reading “MYTH: Adoption — Particularly International Adoption — Is Coming To An End.”

On December 1, Raise Your Voice!

Facebook-ArtMark your calendar — Giving Tuesday is only five weeks away!

Intended to celebrate the season of giving by putting charities in the spotlight, Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to tell your friends and family about Holt International.

On December 1, we are raising money to support women and girls around the world — the population hit the hardest by poverty, discrimination and violence, but also the most likely to create sweeping social and economic change in their communities.

On Giving Tuesday, we hope to raise $100,000 to provide educational scholarships for girls and vocational training for women, empower struggling single mothers with the resources they need to care for their children, and fight injustice and abuse by providing services to women and children who’ve endured violence or exploitation. Donations will also support pre- and post-natal healthcare for women, free daycare projects — so working moms can have safe childcare — and other community-based education programs that teach boys and girls how to prevent sexual violence.

Wow. Talk about one day with a lasting impact.

We are counting down to December 1, and we hope you are, too.

Keep an eye on your email inbox and prepare to raise your voice on social media!

Today, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! We will share more about Giving Tuesday in the days ahead.

First Generation Adoptees Travel to Korea for Holt Korea’s 60th Anniversary

Last week, on October 15 and 16, Holt Children’s Services of Korea celebrated their 60th anniversary with an international conference and a gala dinner in Seoul.

To acknowledge this important milestone, first generation Holt adoptees traveled to Korea to be a part of the historic event. The first wave of adoptees were also pioneers in the process of international adoption and in addition to connecting, or reconnecting with the country of their birth, they also connected with one another.

For some, it was the first trip back. For others, it was a familiar journey. But for all, it was a memorable experience that was highlighted with the 80th birthday celebration of Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt who has devoted her life to caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in Korea. While the sights and sounds of the city are always appealing, the group also traveled to Jeonju Babies’ Home — a care center for children supported by Holt International. Spending time with the toddlers and babies brought back memories and thoughts of “what ifs” to many.

The trip to Ilsan is always the centerpiece of a visit to Korea. Sitting at the grave site of Harry and Bertha Holt and visiting Molly and the residents of the Ilsan Center for children and adults with special needs is a profound reminder of where this all began. These adoptees — along with thousands of others worldwide — are the legacy of the unwavering commitment of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt 60 years ago. Continue reading “First Generation Adoptees Travel to Korea for Holt Korea’s 60th Anniversary”

She Could Be Any Girl

In Cambodia, as more and more families migrate from rural villages in search of work, their children are placed at greater risk of exploitation and trafficking. Here, in one rural province, Holt is working to keep children safe in the care of their families and communities.

A young girl — 13 years old — just had her last day of school. Not because the school year ended and let out for the summer. And not because she graduated one grade to move on to the next. For this girl, her last day of school came abruptly — disrupting her education when it all but started. Next week she will move to the city, all alone, where she’ll start work. She was promised a good job, but she knows better than that. She’ll probably work in a garment factory or maybe as a maid in someone else’s house, with long hours and meager pay. Her mother worries and tells her to be careful of strange men who may seem nice at first, but may want to hurt her. She is scared and doesn’t want to leave her friends and village, but she knows she must go to make money and help her family.

This girl could be any girl in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia. Continue reading “She Could Be Any Girl”

The Flat Side

With the love of her family and community — and a little Chinese chicken soup — adoptee Maya Price gains a confidence that shows in “her bounce, her risk-taking, and most especially, VERY especially, her laughter.” This post originally appeared on the Price family’s blog, “the littlest price.

IMG_9057I made chicken soup for my daughter tonight. Mindlessly, chopping and peeling and crushing, which is how we all make chicken soup. But these days are different: gone are the days of celery, carrots, turnips, fresh parsley from the garden. These are the days of thick slices of ginger, crushed to let the juice out, many many garlic cloves, also crushed and juicy. Fragrant star anise, spring onion, very finely ground white pepper. When the chicken is cooked in this fragrant broth, I pull it out and shred, shred, shred. Then it all goes back into the pot. Without even thinking about it, I grab the big beautiful Chinese soup bowl, the white Chinese soup spoon with pink flowers on it, and ladle it out for my girl. Sometimes I stop and smile, and tonight was one of those nights, at how excited she gets when we’re in an Asian store and she gets to pick out bowls and spoons that look like the ones she had in her home in Wuhan. I have to smile at the pink floral rice spatula, the one that she practically begged for, and IMG_6473how she quietly gets it out of the drawer and places it beside the rice cooker when I make rice. Continue reading “The Flat Side”

Can you guess what gift made children shriek with joy?

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It’s only October. So why are we blogging about Christmas?
Because in order to create an incredible Christmas for every orphaned and vulnerable child we serve, we need you now.

This year, let’s create something truly magical for children. Miraculous, even.

So many of the children in Holt’s programs have experienced so much pain and poverty — hardships that no one should ever have to endure, but especially children. The children in our programs have an adult-like maturity. You can see the worry in their eyes.
Continue reading “Can you guess what gift made children shriek with joy?”

Deeper Than A Family Tree

After a chance encounter in a California coffee shop, Holt adoptee Nina Davis meets two girls who were adopted from the same care center in India where she lived before she joined her family. Here, she shares what this serendipitous meeting has taught her about adoption and family. NinaDavis

When I was 2 and a half years old, I was adopted from Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), one of Holt’s legacy partner organizations in India. I am now 26 years old and I’ve wanted to share my story for a long time. As time has progressed, I have felt more and more inclined to do so as I experience events that always bring me back to the absolute beauty of adoption. The following is one of many significant experiences that have redirected my confused mind and given me a full heart and passion to work with orphans. Being saved from someone who brought me to BSSK as an abandoned baby to being adopted into a loving family — who cared for me even when I was sick with Malaria when I came home — to now having a relationship with God, I can say that I’ve learned I am not my own. I am just an instrument that is being played and used to advocate for others who need to be loved and nurtured as I have been. Continue reading “Deeper Than A Family Tree”

Get Ready for a Month of Myth-Busting!

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Fact or Fiction: All adopted children are orphans.

Fact or Fiction: Only girls need families.

Fact or Fiction: Everything you read online is true.

The myths surrounding adoption — particularly international adoption — abound. They lurk in forums and blogs, on Facebook and Wikipedia. They show up in movies, which though fictional, have tremendous power to misinform. They sometimes even pop up in traditional media — sharing information that was likely at one time, but is no longer, true.

With so many unchecked facts spread across so many different mediums, it’s difficult to tell the truth from the fiction. And perhaps the greatest threat of an adoption myth is its potential to deter a family from adopting — because they think they don’t earn enough, that it will take too long, that singles can’t adopt, even that the need for families to adopt internationally no longer exists!

In short, adoption myths can mean the difference of a permanent, loving family for a child who truly needs one. That’s why, this National Adoption Month, we are launching a campaign to dispel the most pervasive adoption myths. Continue reading “Get Ready for a Month of Myth-Busting!”