2 Things We Try Before International Adoption

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!
Holt does more than adoption?!

A misconception we often hear is that Holt International is only an adoption agency. This probably stems from our long history in international adoption, but in truth, Holt serves far more children through programs that help them stay with their families.

At Holt, we in fact consider international adoption to be the last, best option for children. Holt’s model of adoption is child-centric, meaning that we uphold the needs of the child as our number one priority. Through this model, international adoption is the final effort we make to ensure that every child has a loving and secure home.

We believe, first and foremost, that every child deserves to grow and thrive in the loving care of their family, whenever possible.

To that end, we strengthen families who are on the edge and need just a little assistance to stay together. We do this through nutritional, financial, health, education and counseling services, which provide the tools and resources families need to independently care for their children. These programs would not be possible without our generous child sponsors!

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!Read about how Holt’s family strengthening program helped single moms in Haiti like Julia be able to provide for her family!

Unfortunately, and far too often, children are unable to stay with their birth family for a variety of reasons. While we strive to reunite children with their families when this happens, many children remain growing up in orphanages. When that is the case, our goal is to find a family through domestic adoption — which gives a child the opportunity to grow up in the country and culture of his or her birth.

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!

Finally, if the child is still waiting, then we begin to look at international adoption as a way to find a permanent and loving family. We understand the challenges that come with a child being adopted into a new country and culture, and so when international adoption becomes our only choice, we work very hard to make sure that the parents are as prepared as possible to care for the child. We have systems in place to prepare and support both the family and the adoptee — from the moment they apply to the moment they come home, and again when they need support, at any time throughout their lives.

Do you know that Holt does more than adoption? Learn more about how our child-centric model drives our work, which includes programs to strengthen families!Read about how international adoption gave Rini a chance at life.

Each child’s journey to a loving and secure home is different. But when you are matched, rest assured that every option was explored, and that international adoption was the best option for your child.

 

Learn more about what we do!

 

India adoption opens for U.S. and NRI families

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We are now seeking families for children in India! We are accepting applications for:

  • Children 4 and older, especially boys, with many children older than 8 with and without special needs waiting for families
  • Children with moderate to major special needs
  • We are seeking Non-Resident Indian (NRI) families open to adopting children of all profiles, including infants and older children (4-8+) with and without special needs (NRIs must have current Indian citizenship)

The process to adopt from India generally takes 24-36 months from application to home. We work with families in all 50 states! You can learn more about our adoption programs in India, parent eligibility, fees and financial aid and more by visiting holtinternational.org/adoption. Continue reading “India adoption opens for U.S. and NRI families”

The Story Behind the Photo: What Social Workers Actually Do…

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With stern faces and plastic inspection gloves, adoption social workers Kris Bales and Kathie Stocker illustrate what prospective families THINK they do — not what they ACTUALLY do.

Social workers. They come into your home with a white glove and a watchful eye. They check under your bed for dust mites. They go through your medicine cabinet. They call your neighbors to inquire how long you wait to mow your lawn. They take note of every imperfection, just looking for a reason not to approve your family for adoption.

Is that about what you had in mind?­­

Well meet Kathie Stocker and Kris Bales, two of Holt’s most devoted — and beloved — social workers. Kathie has worked with Holt for 23 years and Kris for 14. K­athie is often the first person families hoping to adopt from Korea will speak to, while Kris advises families interested in the China program. Both and have guided hundreds of families through their adoption process. At Christmas time, their walls are covered in cards from families and photos of children they’ve helped place. Both will be the first to tell you that the job of a social worker is not to be taken lightly — entrusting a family with a child is no small decision. But they will also tell you that the homestudy process is not about judgment. No family is perfect. And neither are they.

Above all, their passion — and their role — is to find the right family for every child.

Today on the Holt blog, learn more about what Kris and Kathie ACTUALLY do as adoption social workers for Holt.

Continue reading “The Story Behind the Photo: What Social Workers Actually Do…”

President and CEO Phil Littleton Travels to Mongolia and China — A Photo Essay

In September, Holt President and CEO Phil Littleton spent two weeks visiting Holt projects in China and Mongolia. “The work we are doing exceeded my expectations,” Phil said. “It was extraordinary.”  

MONGOLIA:

Below Phil visits the Rainbow Special Baby Care Unit within a state-run infant and toddler orphanage in Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Holt established ties with the orphanage in 1999. At this special baby care unit, Holt provides at-risk infants and toddlers with the proper nutrition, medical care and nurture they need to thrive.

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“When Holt arrived in Mongolia almost two decades ago, the orphanage was rather bleak,” Phil says. “Today, the center in Ulaanbaatar is a well-run, warm place for babies to come and be nursed back to health and receive proper nutrition and care.”
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“Ninety percent of the children at the care centers don’t have families,” Phil says. “Some, however, come here on a temporary basis while their families get the support they need. It’s wonderful to be able to provide a safe place for these children to come while their families become more stable.”

Continue reading “President and CEO Phil Littleton Travels to Mongolia and China — A Photo Essay”

With Textbooks in Hand

AashaAs a 15-year-old girl living in a slum community in India, Aasha felt unsure about herself and her future. But now, with educational support from sponsorship, her life is being transformed from the inside out. 

Every day, 15-year-old Aasha* dreaded one part of her school day. As many girls her age in India had already dropped out — either because of early marriage or to help support their family — Aasha felt fortunate to even attend school in the first place. But there was still something that made her stomach drop and her cheeks redden… When her teacher asked her to read from her textbook in class.

Not because she forgot her textbook. And not because she couldn’t read from it. But because, you see, Aasha could not afford textbooks.

Continue reading “With Textbooks in Hand”

Blessed With a Boy

The Jackson family was excited to add another little girl to their family. But about halfway through the adoption process, they decided to be open to a boy. Now, they are absolutely in love with their son, Luke, and the wonderful new adventure he is to their family. 

One-and-a-half-year-old Luke had been home for just a few weeks when he fell while playing outside. His legs couldn’t keep up with his toddling gait and before long he was on the ground with a bloody knee.

“I was ready for the drama!” says his mother, Lisa Jackson, recounting the moment.

So she brought him inside and began cleaning him up. Lisa and her husband, Tim, have three older biological daughters, so they knew the drill. While it was just a scraped knee, nothing serious, Lisa doted on him with the loving care and attention that she knew would make him feel better and stop the tears.

“But he kept crying and crying,” she says. Maybe the fall had scared him more than she realized.

But the next word out of Luke’s mouth cleared up any confusion: “Outside!” he sobbed.

He was “over” his bloody knee and falling down — this boy wanted to get back outside to play!

Continue reading “Blessed With a Boy”

First-Generation Holt Adoptee Reconnects With His Past

When Larry Gray, one of the first Holt adoptees, attended a Holt photo exhibit in Washington D.C. in November 2013, he was amazed to find a photo of himself as a child in Korea — the only photo he had ever seen of himself before he was adopted at age 5. Little did he know something even bigger was in store. 

Two years ago, two Holt adoptees walked into a photo exhibit on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to see a very special collection of photos.

Adoptees Larry Gray and Kim Lindenbaum were hoping to see a photo, or read a caption, or make a connection with someone — anything that would help them know more about their past. Larry and Kim are among the first generation of adoptees from Korea who joined families in the U.S. through Holt International. In November 2013, 57 years later, they came together at this photo exhibit documenting life for children left orphaned or abandoned in the wake of the Korean War, as well as the humble beginnings of Holt International. Continue reading “First-Generation Holt Adoptee Reconnects With His Past”

One Mom’s Story of Parenting Kids With HIV

Feb Feature PhotoHolt adoptive mom Anne Silas* has adopted two children from China who, because of the stigma surrounding HIV, waited for a family for seven years. Here, Anne shares the realities of raising children born with HIV — and how the biggest parenting challenge she faces has nothing to do with the undetectable virus in their blood.

* The author has chosen to write under a pseudonym to protect the identities of her children.

They come running to me after a long school day, the two of them, bright and beautiful in their rubber rain boots and their colorful jackets. They’re almost twins, at 10 and 11 years old, and their faces light up as they catch sight of me. When the weight of their dual hug hits me it knocks me backwards and I laugh as I grab them tight. “Wo ai ni!”  I greet them in their native Chinese.  I love you.  It’s our constant refrain since we met them, not that long ago.

These, my precious third and fourth children, came to us through adoption from China.  Their special need, as I tell those who ask, is that they have been left waiting far too long.  And now they are the older children nobody chooses to adopt.

But there’s actually more to their story. Continue reading “One Mom’s Story of Parenting Kids With HIV”

Stigma and the Unwed Mom

Why does the distinction between children who have lost their parents through relinquishment or through family death or abandonment matter? It matters because if we hope to create a world where every child has a loving, secure home, then we need to understand how and why women choose to relinquish their children — and work to remedy those reasons.

Relinquished.

Take that word and roll it around.

Can you feel the pain it carries? The questions it leaves unanswered?

It’s sharp and clinical.

What it hides is the pain — the pain of the woman losing her child; the pain of the child losing his or her family.

It also masks the complex and surprising reasons why a woman may choose to relinquish her child.

Saanvi* was 24 years old when she became pregnant with her son. At the time, she had already earned a master’s degree in computer science. She liked reading, dancing and cooking. She’d known the father of her child since she was a child herself, and they loved each other very much.

However, Saanvi and her boyfriend weren’t married, and the weight of their pregnancy hung heavy on her heart. She knew her options were limited in India. Continue reading “Stigma and the Unwed Mom”

Holt Philippines Partner KBF Celebrates 40 Years of Serving Children

 

In December 2015, Holt’s long-time partner in the Philippines, KBF, celebrated 40 years of service to orphaned and vulnerable children!

Holt actually helped to establish KBF – the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, or Working Together Foundation, in Manila — in 1975.  With Holt providing funding and technical assistance, a local team of professionals developed and staffed KBF. Though not a child care center, KBF became a resource for the many orphanages around the country. The staff worked to improve care conditions while also encouraging institutions to move children into permanent families.

In the 1980s, KBF broadened its outreach, establishing a medical sponsorship program, a day care center and a program to house street children. Through a family rehabilitation and outreach program, KBF also helped numerous other agencies increase their services to children.  In 1984, KBF introduced a model foster care program to provide attentive, loving care for children awaiting adoption. After a temporary stay in foster care, many children reunited with their birth families or joined  local or international adoptive families. Continue reading “Holt Philippines Partner KBF Celebrates 40 Years of Serving Children”