Adoptive mom Karen Barnes shares what she has learned over the years as she and her husband, Mike, have welcomed 11 older children into their family. 

I have to smile when asked what I have learned as a parent after adopting 11 older children.  When Mike and I began our adoption journey 20 years ago, we definitely did not know where it would lead us. Here we are in our 50s, a time when most people are slowing down a bit, yet our lives are a blur of perfecting school lunches, meal planning for at least 10 every day and realizing that having seven kids in high school at the same time is a unique situation. Our house is crazy busy, full of life and heartfelt stories. Through older child adoptions, God has taught us so many valuable life lessons. Read More

Adoptive dad Keith Guess shares about his family’s experience with older child adoption, how it differs from adopting babies, and how Spencer and Leo — two teen brothers from Vietnam — have adjusted to their new home, and their new life, in the U.S.

Susan and I were not thinking about adoption when she saw Leo and Spencer’s photograph on the Holt Facebook page. Something about the picture caught her interest and she forwarded it on to me. Over the coming days, we started discussing if adopting again would be something that would be reasonable for our family.  We asked our boys how they would feel about us adopting again. They were all supportive. Our 13-year-old indicated that he would be interested primarily if we would be adopting someone his age.

A bit later, Susan showed me a video of Spencer and Leo racing each other. They are about 11 and 12 years old in the video. As Spencer passes Leo, he turns and grins. Leo responds with a smile. There was something winsome about that moment that made me begin thinking about them as “my sons.” Read More

Tamika Needs a family!

Could you be the right family for Tamika?

Tamika is in 4th grade and loves to learn. Her teachers praise her for her work ethic and high marks on her assignments. Some day, she hopes to be a teacher so that she can help others learn! Read More

  1. A child is considered “older” if they arrive home older than 5. After age 5, a child’s chance of joining a family through adoption decreases significantly.
  2. All parents of older adopted children say that despite missing out on the earliest days of life, there are still many joyful “firsts” to experience together!
  3. Older children in orphanages often develop self-protective behaviors. With Holt’s education and training, you will learn how to help your child heal from a traumatic past.
  4. Some kids will have few problems in school, while others will need some specialized support or pacing — particularly if they are also learning English!
  5. Adopting an older child is less about helping a child fit into your family, and more about the entire family adjusting to their newest member and his or her culture, history, language and more
…Plus 5 more!!

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  1. Children with thalassemia have an abnormal formation of hemoglobin in their blood, which leads to anemia. There are two types: thalassemia minor and beta thalassemia.
  2. Thalassemia is more common in specific regions of the world, including southeast China and India.
  3. Some children’s thalassemia is well controlled with medication. Other children need blood transfusions every 3-4 weeks. Most communities have blood banks and hospitals that treat thalassemia.
  4. Thalassemia is inherited, not contagious. Without treatment, beta thalassemia can lead to enlarged organs, jaundice, extreme fatigue, poor appetite, frequent infection, paleness and general body pains.
  5. In most cases, children with thalassemia have normal life expectancies and live happy, normal lives! Adults with beta thalassemia may have an increased risk of heart conditions.

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