That Felt Like a Mother’s Love

After traveling to meet their former foster mothers in Korea, adoptee siblings Emma and Isaiah Perron finally understand what their parents always told them — “You were greatly loved in Korea.” This post written by Lisa Perron — Emma and Isaiah’s mom — originally appeared on catholicfam.org

Emma meets her foster mom for the first time since she left Korea to join her family.

The first night our Korean-born son arrived home, he cried for his foster mother. Less than thirty-six hours before, he had woken up in the only home he had ever known, been brought to the Holt International Adoption Services offices, handed to a stranger, and traveled around the world to be placed in our arms. He had never seen us before and had no idea what was happening. After a very stressful first introduction to our dear son, we arrived home late from the airport. Soon the family was all sleeping peacefully in their beds — all except Isaiah and me.  Continue reading “That Felt Like a Mother’s Love”

A VERY Big Thank You

When 4-year-old Journi’s health started to deteriorate, donors made it possible for her to move from her orphanage to Holt’s medical foster home in China. Now that Journi is home — and thriving — her mom has a very special message for our Peace House supporters.

“We knew her heart was a mess, but ultimately, it didn’t matter to us. We just knew this little one needed a home, love and a family. We had all of that and more.”

My husband, Brian, and I had been in our third adoption process for several months when we received a spotlight email with several precious little faces — all in desperate need of a family.

One little girl grabbed our hearts immediately. Continue reading “A VERY Big Thank You”

The Road that Led to My Son – Haiti Adoption Story

Haiti Adoption Story

When we lived in our old house, there was a road I took daily that I would jokingly say should have been named after me. I said this because of the frequency of my vehicle on this particular road. I used it to take my kids to school, there and back in the morning. Then again, there and back midmorning for the preschool pickup and there and back again at the afternoon pickup for my oldest. Six times a day, my dirty black suburban could be seen on this winding road!! It was exhausting and I started to hate that road with a passion. The road itself was beautiful with its trees and its curves, but it was annoyingly predictable. Continue reading “The Road that Led to My Son – Haiti Adoption Story”

Waiting For So Long

As 16-year-old Van Dai prepares to meet his adoptive family, and his adoptive family prepares to meet him, they share what they’re nervous about, what they’re excited about, and why they are so eager to finally meet one another.

­­­­Van Dai is 16 years old. He likes math, soccer and computer games, and is naturally good at things that require problem solving and forethought. He’s a bit shy and introspective, and doesn’t show a broad range of emotion. But when you catch his eye and smile, he will return your smile a thousand-fold. His smile is absolutely radiant.

It’s a hot and humid January afternoon in the south of Vietnam, but cooler where we sit inside on wooden furniture, beneath a blowing fan. In the background, we can hear the sounds of children playing, the occasional squeak of metal swings.

“How are you feeling right now?”

Van Dai’s eyes gleam and glance around the room. He smiles.

“’I’m so happy to meet my parents,” he says. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long.” Continue reading “Waiting For So Long”

The Least We Can Do

Jing with her family. She appears center, in her dad’s arms

When Koni and Ken Maat decide to adopt a 3-year-old girl from China with significant medical needs, they are moved by the generosity of others who help them bring her home.

Everything in life was great! Our four biological children were all healthy, successful adults and the youngest was halfway through college. We could go where we wanted, when we wanted, without a thought to childcare or bedtimes. And I was finally able to have a dedicated guest room that I had always wanted in our modest home.

I was excited as I planned, painted and decorated the guest room, imagining the family and out-of-town friends who would stay there. When it was completed, I would periodically open the door and look in. It was the one room in the house that was always perfect and glancing in gave me a sense of peace. The satisfaction was short-lived. It seemed so pointless to have this empty room when there were children without a home. I began to research foster care, domestic adoption and international adoption. I would read waiting children’s bios knowing I could help them. I began frequently mentioning my desire and my findings to my husband, Ken, but was met with silence. On the occasion he did respond, he made it clear that he thought I was crazy for wanting to mess up our clearly perfect lifestyle. Continue reading “The Least We Can Do”

Top Stories of 2017

2017 was full of stories of inspiration, strength, compassion, generosity, love and family. Over the past year on the Holt blog, adoptees shared their hearts and life experiences — some even traveled to their birth country and processed their adoption in a whole new way. Holt sponsors and donors empowered children and families around the world to help them stay together. Some of our biggest stories of the year came from Mongolia, when generous Holt donors traveled across the world to meet children living in “a place no child should ever be.” Children from around the world united with their permanent, loving adoptive families — and adoptive families went on a journey, both literally and metaphorically, to bring their beloved children home.

While it’s impossible to sum up the entire year, here are your most viewed, most favorite adoptee, sponsorship and adoptive family stories of 2017! If you didn’t read or watch them the first time — or you want to be inspired all over again — be sure to take a look! 

Continue reading “Top Stories of 2017”

Two Minute View

Sarah DeGarmo has 12 brothers and sisters, 11 of whom joined her family through adoption. Here, Sarah shares about her journey to find God’s 30-before-30 bucket list for her life, and how she and her husband, Leighton, began their own adoption journey to their third child.

Sarah and her husband, Leighton, with their 4-year-old son, Wyatt, and 6-year-old, Levi.

My husband and I are currently in the process of adopting from the Philippines. While we may have just started our adoption journey, the seed of adoption was planted for me over 20 years ago when my parents returned home from the Philippines with my brother Isaac. After him followed Kim, Lancer, Josh, Gerard, Arturo, Ericko, Melvin, Cathy, Chris and Jena. I have one biological brother, Austin, making our family 13 children strong.

Back when there were only four of us kids, our family took a road trip to the Grand Canyon. I was 12 or 13 at the time and somehow Dad had convinced Austin and I that we should hike from the rim of the Grand Canyon down to the river and then back up to the rim in a day.

We were so excited!

Continue reading “Two Minute View”

National Adoption Month 2017

Wow, what a fantastic National Adoption Month it has been! Thanks for following along and advocating for children with special needs!

In the month of November, 172 families requested adoption information, 55 families submitted their adoption application, and 10 children from our waiting child photolisting were matched with permanent, loving families! We’ve also had a much higher than normal number of inquiries, specifically about children with Down syndrome! (And three of the children we matched this month have Down syndrome!) This is a direct result of your advocacy!

National Adoption Month may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop advocating for children with special needs! In case you missed anything, below are links and a summary of all of our National Adoption Month posts — de-mystifying some of the most common or misunderstood special needs, and raising awareness about children who need families.

Read up, share them with your friends, and be an advocate all year long!

Continue reading “National Adoption Month 2017”