So Loved Already

china adoption single momAs a Holt sponsor and volunteer, soon-to-be adoptive mom Sherri Jo Gallagher knew her son was already loved in China. Now that he’s home, she can’t wait to show him how loved he’ll be with her in the U.S. Sherri Jo wrote the following story just weeks before she traveled to bring him home!

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With You For Life

 

When you step off the plane and go home together for the first time, your journey as an adoptive family has really just begun. You will have highs. You will have lows. But every step of the way, and no matter what life brings, Holt’s robust post-adoption team will be here to support you, your child and your entire family. Here are just 10 of the post-adoption services we offer for families and adoptees.

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Archer Needs a Family!

Archer is an easygoing and active 11-year-old who is well liked by everyone. He came into care when he was a little over a year old.

Archer is currently in the fifth grade and attends public school, where he studies math, Chinese, English, art and PE. He particularly enjoys Chinese class and PE. He also has a very good memory and can recite poetry. Archer likes to help others, and gets along with his teachers and classmates. He is doing very well in school and can do addition and subtraction problems in his head. Check out the video!

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Adoptee Perspective: A New Meaning to November

Adoptee Mai Anh Boaz had never heard of National Adoption Month before she started interning at Holt. Now, the month of November holds new meaning for her, and has inspired her to reflect on her own adoption story.  

Mai Anh Boaz.

During my first few weeks interning at Holt International, I remember sitting in the office and planning Instagram posts when I saw an article about National Adoption Month. Then, I remember asking, “There’s a month just for adoption awareness?” As an adoptee, I never knew people associated November with adoption. I loved the idea, but I was surprised I had never heard of National Adoption Month until this year.

Once I looked into previous posts and articles, I was intrigued by the multitude of stories from adoptees and adoptive families about what adoption meant to them. They were moving, inspiring and fun. Yet, reading other people’s stories made me realize that I never took time to reflect on my story. What does my adoption mean to me? How has this aspect of my life shaped me into who I am today? What would my life look like if adoption was not a part of the story? Continue reading “Adoptee Perspective: A New Meaning to November”

This Sibling Set of Six Needs a Family!

This beautiful sibling group of six will steal your heart.

Tati, age 13, and the oldest of her siblings, is described as a calm and respectful child. Currently in the sixth grade, Tati shows organizational skills when it comes to her school schedule and completing her homework. Tati is somewhat shy, but is looked upon as a role model in her peer group. During her free time, Tati loves to read, and can create stories of her own. She also enjoys writing, drawing and coloring. Continue reading “This Sibling Set of Six Needs a Family!”

Alcohol Exposure: What Does it Mean?

Exposure to alcohol. This may be the most vague and full-of-unknowns special need you’ll come across in the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. It includes a vast array of outcomes, sometimes including no effects at all. However, many parents jump to an extreme when they first read “alcohol exposure” — thinking, “This must mean they have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).” Or, families nearly skip over it — thinking, “It’s so common… it must not be a big deal.” An informed approach to adopting a child with alcohol exposure lies somewhere in the middle: informed by research, supported by other families’ experiences, and always with the best interests of the child as the deciding factor.

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The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China

Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. They are not just orphans. They are AIDS orphans. 

The picture that Jenna's son drew that illustrates which family members have passed away. The characters read "I love my mom and dad."
Becca snapped this photo of a hand-drawn picture taped to the wall of her son’s former home in China. The characters read “I love my mom and dad” and above each picture, from left to right, he wrote “Me, Dad, Mom, Grandma.” All of his immediate family has now passed away.

It was as if time stood still.

Everything sat undisturbed — preserved in the moment their son left his childhood home for a new life in the city.

A couple of bikes stood leaning in the doorway, covered in dust. A calendar remained open to November 2016, the month their son moved to his group home. Becca noticed a hat with a flower hanging on the wall.

“I wondered if this was his grandmother’s hat,” says Becca, now mom to the boy who once lived in this cold concrete block home. Becca wondered if his grandmother wore this hat while working in the fields that surrounded their family compound.

Here and there, Becca also caught glimpses of the child her now teenage son once was. The child who left Spiderman stickers and hand-drawn pictures taped to the walls, rollerblades and tiny shoes by the door. The child who created an elaborate chalk drawing of a guitar on the window, and lines on the wall to prove he was growing taller.

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Favorite Five Adoption Stories

For National Adoption Month, read, view and share the five most popular adoption stories and videos to ever appear on the Holt blog!

A Heart for Rini

At the 2014 Holt Gala and Auction in Portland, Oregon, Holt adoptive mom Andrea stood to speak. She told her story of bringing home her daughter Rini from China — a little girl with severe congenital heart disease — and the struggle to save her life. Here, Andrea again shares the story that captivated an audience of families, adoptees and Holt supporters at the Portland event, as well as her appeal to help save the lives of other children with serious heart disease… children just like Rini. Continue reading “Favorite Five Adoption Stories”