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”

Facing Down Child Hunger For Giving Tuesday

Hunger threatens children’s lives around the world. Children like Sarnai and Shenaz live day to day, wondering if they will eat. But you can help. This winter,  give a  gift to fill their bellies, and save their lives. 

Sarnai is Hungry

Seven-year-old Sarnai is hungry. Her family lives in a one-room, tent-like home on a bare, blustery hillside overlooking Ulaanbaatar. On the other side of the hill, the city dump sprawls for miles and miles.

Continue reading “Facing Down Child Hunger For Giving Tuesday”

The Truth About Adopting Toddlers From Foster Care

If you’re thinking about adopting a toddler in the care of a foster family overseas, adoptive mom Jill Spitz has some advice for you.

Jill and Tom Spitz with their daughter, Yi Yi, and son, Quinn. The Spitz family adopted both their children through Holt’s China program — Quinn in 2008, and Yi Yi in 2017.

One morning last December, my husband, son and I woke up in our fancy hotel room in Wuhan, China, fully aware that our lives were about to change. We ate our last breakfast as a family of three and marveled that the next time we slept there would be four of us.

That same day, a 29-month-old girl woke up in the bed where she’d slept since she was one month old, next to the only mother she’d ever known, with no idea she was about to be ripped away from life as she knew it. She hardly had time for breakfast before an orphanage director showed up and whisked her to a children’s welfare institute, and then to a chaotic civil affairs office where she was pushed toward strangers while she searched desperately for a familiar face. Continue reading “The Truth About Adopting Toddlers From Foster Care”

Adoption From Colombia: Older Children Like Santi Wait

Adoption from Colombia might lead you to a child like Santi — an older child with a larger-than-life love for everyone he meets. Santi, like so many older children living in orphanages, has waited a lifetime for a for a stable, loving family.

Santi is waiting for an adoptive family. Adoption from Colombia is focused on finding families for older kids and kids with special needs.

On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older kids.

When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.

Paperwork can be dehumanizing.

At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children who we met in Colombia.

When I read Santi’s file, it didn’t say that he loves board games and the color blue. It didn’t talk about his breathtaking smile or his love of building things. It didn’t mention his impeccable sense of style — he wore salmon-red slacks, a teal button-down with shell snaps, and a pair of fake Ray-Ban shades the day we met him — and the way he draws people in like a magnet. Continue reading “Adoption From Colombia: Older Children Like Santi Wait”

Charleson Needs a Family!

I’ve been in this place before.

In March 2017, I visited this same orphanage to help prepare older children for adoption. Those children, both age 13, flipped through photo albums and letters to learn more about their adoptive families. One boy wasn’t yet matched with an adoptive family but looked over the shoulders of his friends as this happened. My heart broke for him and I returned from that trip determined to find a family for him. Continue reading “Charleson Needs a Family!”

Ask The Adoption Expert

why choose Holt?

adoption expertAs an adoption advisor, I spend a lot of my time speaking to families about allof the ins and outs of international adoption. After we have sifted through the rules, legalities and details of the process, we inevitably land on the question, “Why should I choose Holt?” There are plenty of agencies to choose from, and whether families have never heard of Holt or they are well acquainted with the work that we do, this is a question worth asking. Here are a few things that really set Holt apart.

— Caitlin Howe, Adoption Advisor
Continue reading “Ask The Adoption Expert”

Urgent: Cole Needs a Family!

Urgent! We need to find a family for Cole before we lose his release in early December 2018! Cole has malformations of his hands and feet and needs walking aids and therapy that are not available in his orphanage. He is a smart boy who has made improvements in his cognitive, social and language skills.  Check out the video to see Cole in action!

Cole needs a family!

This is not an overstatement: whether or not Cole will ever be able to walk may likely depend on whether a family chooses to adopt him.

Cole came into care shortly after birth and he has malformations of his hands and feet, which keep him from walking. His caregivers say it is unlikely that he will be able to walk unless he can receive walking aids and therapy that are not available at his orphanage. Cole needs a family that can provide for his medical needs. Continue reading “Urgent: Cole Needs a Family!”

What Makes The “Perfect” Family?

Taeyang and his sisters.

Special needs. Older children. Single parent adoption. Kids with unknown medical needs. Just the good ol’ “let the agency choose” path. There are lots of adoption paths — and no “perfect” families — but whatever path you choose, your family will ultimately be the right family for a child who is waiting.

Once upon a time, there was the perfect adoptive family. The mom and dad — both pediatricians — decided to adopt a child with a few medical needs. Their neighbors, high school teachers with a trust fund and awards for their work with underprivileged youth, decided to adopt an older child. Then, their other neighbors, who have never once been afraid in their whole lives, adopted a child with some “unknowns” in his history.

If you already questioned whether this was a “true” story, congratulations! You caught us. Continue reading “What Makes The “Perfect” Family?”

Waiting Children

These and other children need adoptive families.

adopt a boyVincent • 01/16/2006 • SE Asia

This older boy is described as sweet, smiley, easygoing and a bit shy with strangers. He can often be found playing soccer, riding a bicycle, playing hide-and-seek with friends or watching cartoons. He is in good physical health but has some mild cognitive delays. He is good with his hands and says that he wishes to be a builder or driver when he grows up. An adoptive family for this older boy should be knowledgeable about the challenges of older child adoption. Continue reading “Waiting Children”