The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do

Fifteen years after placing her son for adoption, Gina Ledsma got in contact with Holt earlier this year.  When we asked her if she was open to sharing her story, her response was an enthusiastic “yes.” While the environment and circumstances are different from country to country and individual to individual, Gina’s domestic U.S. adoption story is one that may resonate with any birth mother. And understanding stories like hers is important for everyone who is touched by adoption.

Gina will never forget the three hard, precious days she had with her son.

“I just counted all the toes and fingers,” she says, remembering those days in a hospital bed in Eugene, Oregon. “I looked at every little piece and part — and said my goodbyes.”

Twenty-nine years ago, Gina chose adoption for her son. Continue reading “The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do”

Sylvia Needs a Family!

Sylvia needs a family!
Sylvia lives in the U.S. and needs a family to adopt her domestically!

One look at these pictures, and you can see that Sylvia is an adorable, happy child with a big, wide smile and sparkling eyes. She loves engaging and interacting with others, and has a sweet temperament and rarely cries, much preferring to laugh and giggle instead. One of her favorite things to do is play with her foster sibling, with whom she has a very close relationship. Continue reading “Sylvia Needs a Family!”

Who are Holt’s sponsored children?

In Holt’s nearly 60-year history, we’ve had the opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of thousand of children and families. Historically, most of these children were adopted into loving families — and from that history came Holt’s legacy as an adoption agency. While this is totally true, many people are surprised to learn that very few of the children in Holt’s growing sponsorship program are on a track to join an adoptive family overseas. For every child who is adopted in the U.S. in order to join a loving family, Holt helps thousands more children stay or reunite with their birth families, or join an adoptive family in their country of birth — helping to achieve Holt’s mission of finding families for children.

So, who are Holt’s sponsored children?

Let’s break it down: Continue reading “Who are Holt’s sponsored children?”

Two Organizations Join Forces for the World’s Most Vulnerable Children

Holt International assumes management of Sunny Ridge Family Center’s operations in Illinois.

We have some exciting news to share with you regarding our work in Illinois.

Effective May 1, 2014,  Sunny Ridge Family Center in Bolingbrook will merge with Holt International, joining forces in our efforts to find loving adoptive families for children in the United States and overseas. Holt will assume management of Sunny Ridge’s operations, and will operate as Holt-Sunny Ridge Children’s Services in Illinois — a branch office to Holt’s headquarters in Eugene, Oregon. Holt has branch offices that provide direct services to families living in several states from California to New Jersey, and looks forward to expanding these services to families in Illinois. “We are excited to have a direct connection with families at all levels of their adoption process in this state,” says Susie Doig, Holt’s senior director of adoption services.

Sunny Ridge started providing domestic adoption services in 1979, and international adoption services in 1981. With this merger, Holt plans to continue domestic placements in Illinois, beginning a new and exciting chapter — finding loving homes for children both internationally and in the U.S.  We also plan to continue the long tradition of programs and services provided by Sunny Ridge, including exceptional post adoption services and adoption-competent therapy.  “We are excited to continue these already successful programs,” says Susie.

Amy Trotter, a Holt adoptee from Vietnam, will serve as Holt-Sunny Ridge Children’s Services director.

Declining adoptions have put a strain on agencies in the United States. The merge with Sunny Ridge comes in direct response to this, and follows several months of collaboration between the two organizations. “We believe this is an opportunity to bring the best of two organizations together,” says Phillip Littleton, Holt president and CEO. “This merger will allow us to better serve families and supporters in Illinois, and further develop Holt’s reach in child welfare and social service activities.”

Amy Trotter, who was adopted from Vietnam through Holt, will serve as Holt-Sunny Ridge’s new director. With a personal connection to Holt, Amy has extensive knowledge of our adoption and child welfare services, and looks forward to joining the Holt team. “This is a natural transition for me,” Trotter says. “I know of the good work that Holt has provided for nearly 60 years and I am excited about being the bridge between these two outstanding organizations.”

We hope that you will pray for us as we embark on this new endeavor, merging with Sunny Ridge in Illinois for the benefit of the world’s most vulnerable children and continuing our vision: A world where every child has a loving and secure home.

Click here to read a press release about the merger.