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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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 Meaning of TeTe

When Tamara and Lex Price brought home their daughter, Maya, from China, they did not understand why in her grief she kept screaming “TeTe.” Finally, years later, they discovered the meaning of these two syllables — and why they meant so much to Maya. This story originally appeared on Tamara’s blog, thelittlestprice.com.

Reunited foster siblings Maya and Thomas stand smiling together.

“TeTe! TeTe!” From the minute we left the children’s welfare office in Wuhan, our sweet girl screamed for “TeTe” with panic and terror and total heartbreak in her eyes, often until she made herself sick or until she was exhausted and fell asleep. We will never forget her seeing the elevator doors close as her favorite social worker left before we did, and hearing her scream “TeTe” as she tried to pry the elevator doors apart with her delicate little fingers. The look in her eyes as she screamed for him and tried to leave the hotel to go find him, while I, the awful stranger she didn’t even understand blocked the door, will haunt me for the rest of my days.

TeTe. Continue reading “The Meaning of TeTe”

Dream Come True – Holt Adoptee Reunites With Her Birth Parents in China

With the help of local police, media, volunteers and Holt staff in China, adoptee Kylee Bowers becomes the first Chinese adoptee placed through Holt to reunite with her birth family using DNA testing. This story has been translated from the original Chinese version written by Holt’s staff in China and published in Chinese media. 

Kylee with her biological father, Liang Hua.

On the morning of July 1, 2018, accompanied by her adoptive mother, 18-year-old adoptee Kylee (Liang Jing Lang/Zhong Feng Min) reunited with her birth family at Guangzhou Baiyun airport. There to witness this exciting and emotional moment were Holt’s vice president for our China Program, Ms. Jian Chen, local police officers, members of the media and volunteers from the Chinese NGO Bao Bei Hui Jia. Continue reading “Dream Come True – Holt Adoptee Reunites With Her Birth Parents in China”

Cleft Lip and Palate: Before and After

If you’re considering adopting a child with cleft lip and/or palate, you probably have questions: What is a cleft? Can clefts be repaired? What are the medical procedures? And what does a repaired cleft look like?

Many of the parents of the children below had the very same questions at the beginning of their adoption process. Now that their children have been home for a while, they are delighted to share what they’ve learned about the treatment process. While each child with a cleft lip and/or palate is different, and will require different procedures, the families of these five —  Naomi, Joey, Willa, Micah and Hannah — want to share about their experiences!

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A Meeting that Changed My Life

In a post originally on their blog, We the Lees, Lee Fritz shares about he and his wife’s trip to Korea, and the unforgettable afternoon he spent with Molly Holt. 

Exactly one year ago, I had the distinct opportunity of meeting a woman whose life work was dedicated to helping orphans and abandoned children – a work that has had a direct impact on my life. She has always put the needs of others ahead of her own and is such an inspiration. There were probably times when she struggled to keep going and was under so much pressure that it would have been easier to quit and do something else. She, of course, did not quit, but continued building an organization that has helped thousands of children around the world. Her name is Molly Holt.

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Why All Adoptees Need a Certificate of Citizenship

Holt adoptee Susan Cox highlights the importance of securing a certificate of citizenship, and urges all adoptees and adoptive parents to take this critical step. Susan also serves as Holt’s vice president of policy and external affairs. 

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A childhood photo of Susan Cox holding her certificate of citizenship after joining her family through adoption from Korea.

When I was adopted in 1956, I came to the U.S. with a Korean passport and a U.S. visa. I did not have a birth certificate then, and still don’t. The day I became a naturalized citizen was a big day and my parents impressed upon me how important it was.

To get a work permit as a teenager, I had only my certificate of citizenship (naturalization papers) and Korean passport. Because those two documents could not be replaced, we made the trip to the nearest immigration office and presented the documents in person so that they would never be out of sight.

I’m grateful that my parents took this responsibility seriously and took the necessary steps to provide me with the protections granted by U.S. citizenship. I’m keenly aware that many adoptees did not have the same experience and that some of them are vulnerable without a certificate of citizenship as adults. Continue reading “Why All Adoptees Need a Certificate of Citizenship”

The Story Behind The Photo: Adoptees Grow Up Too

When most people think of adoption, they picture children. But adoption is a lifelong experience. And just like everybody else, adoptees grow up too.

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In our focus to serve children and families, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that being adopted doesn’t stop at age 18. Adoptees grow up. They become husbands and wives, doctors, teachers, businessmen and women, parents and grandparents. They work, travel and play. And, sometimes, they have questions they can’t answer without assistance.

Part of my job at Holt is to help adult adoptees discover their background. I speak with and email hundreds and hundreds of adoptees from many different countries now living in the U.S. I provide them with file copies, citizenship assistance, historical and cultural information, and for some, I help determine if a birth search is possible. It’s a part of my job that I enjoy tremendously. Continue reading “The Story Behind The Photo: Adoptees Grow Up Too”

IKAA Korean Adoptee Conference in Seoul

This past August, Holt’s director of adoptee services, Steve Kalb, attended a gathering in Seoul, Korea with over 700 other Korean adoptees. Together, they made meaningful connections and looked toward the future.

They came from Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France and the United States to celebrate and learn about the one thing they all had in common — that they were all Korean adoptees.

The International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) is an organization that connects Korean adoptees with each other to form community, learn about their roots and make a stand together on adoption-related issues. Each of these countries has their own IKAA group, but every three years, Korean adoptees from all IKAA groups gather together in Seoul, South Korea. Last month was the three-year mark for this gathering, bringing over 700 Korean adoptees to the country of their birth.
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