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”

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!”

Kit Needs a Family!

Kit needs a family!
Are you or someone you know the right family for Kit?

Holt International recently announced a $3,000 Special Blessings Grant to help with Kit’s adoption!

Two years ago, my daughter Joy and I joined a Holt Ambassador trip to China. Our group of mostly adults met over 40 children with special needs who were waiting for a family. Since then, many of them have been adopted. But a good number are still waiting — and Kit is among them. Continue reading “Kit Needs a Family!”

Coco Needs a Family!

Coco is a sweet 3-year-old who was born with Down syndrome.

When she was just six months old, she came into care at an orphanage in China. Her time in care has helped her grow strong and healthy, and she has a very good appetite!

She is a very active child and loves being outside; in fact, when she can’t be outside, she likes to climb up on a chair to look out the window out of curiosity. Coco also likes to make art and her favorite method is with lots of colorful paint.

Coco is learning lots of new things and can follow instructions. She also learns through imitating those around her. That also comes out in her playful side and if you make funny faces at her, she will imitate those, too!

Coco is a fun-loving child who needs a family of her own to go exploring with, to be silly with, and to belong with.

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Coco?

There is a $3000 Special Blessings Grant* available toward the cost of Coco’s adoption through Holt.

Request info about Coco today!

DOB: 01/20/2014 | China

 

Shane Still Waits for a Family

Like many children waiting for families in China, Shane was born with a cleft lip and palate. But it wasn’t long before his clefts were surgically repaired, and now, all he has to show for it are two small scars above his lip.

When it comes to living life like any other kid, Shane is not affected by his repaired cleft lip and palate. His speech and pronunciation are clear and he isn’t expected to need any further treatments or surgeries!

But Shane is not living the life that he deserves. He is 11 years old. And he still doesn’t have a family of his own. Continue reading “Shane Still Waits for a Family”

National Adoption Month 2017: Spotlight on Special Needs

This year for National Adoption Month, we are shining a spotlight on special needs. All month long, we will share videos and stories that demystify some of the most common — or most misunderstood — special needs, from cleft lip & palate to HIV to children who are older in age when they come home.  Follow us on social media this November for myth-busting information and first-hand experiences of adoptees and families! Who knows, you may be surprised by what you learn, and how you could be the perfect family for a child with special needs.

As we prepare for National Adoption Month, we think of children like Elizabeth, Tanner, Aubrey and Braxton.

Eight-year old Elizabeth is smiley, easy-going and kind. Tanner is also 8 and is extremely social, helpful and caring. Six-year-old Aubrey is outgoing and loves riding her tricycle. Thirteen-year-old Braxton is shy and patient and enjoys practicing calligraphy.

But despite their differences, these children all have two notable things in common. One, they are all waiting to join a permanent, loving family of their own. And two, they all have a special need. Continue reading “National Adoption Month 2017: Spotlight on Special Needs”

The Story Behind the Photo: 86 and Counting

collage-86-3

At the beginning of November, to kick off National Adoption Month, we shared a collage of all the children on our waiting child photolisting — just a small glimpse of the hundreds of children who we are seeking families for at any given time. We hoped it would kindle a passion in our supporters to help advocate for children who need loving families of their own. And it did!

You shared our waiting child stories. You reposted our advocacy blogs. You helped us tell the story behind each and every photo that we featured on social media during National Adoption Month.

The photo above represents the number of children from our photolisting that we have — thanks in part to your advocacy — matched with families so far in 2016. The black and white blocks represent the children who now are, or soon will be, part of a loving and secure family. The ones in color represent the children who we still need your help advocating for.

In total this year, Holt has matched 86 children from the photolisting — and another 200+ directly with a family! This is something to celebrate!

But we seek a world where every child has a loving and secure home. And until that day comes, we intend to keep working hard to advocate for the children left behind — and we ask you to join us.

One of the best ways that you can support our advocacy efforts is through sharing the stories we post about waiting children. That can be anything from pressing “like” or “share” on Facebook to leading an informational meeting in your community. Creativity is encouraged and we look forward to hearing what you come up with!

Thank you again for your heart and compassion for children who need families. Allied with you, we can achieve anything!
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Changing the Face of Thalassemia

Even 10 years ago, children living in orphanage care in China with treatable conditions like thalassemia were considered so difficult to place with adoptive families, many caregivers wouldn’t try to find families for these children — nor secure the medical care they needed. Through advocacy and education efforts, international adoption is changing the face of special needs. But the fight to ensure that every child receives the love, care and family they deserve is far from over. Continue reading “Changing the Face of Thalassemia”

The story behind my son’s waiting child photo

Like many families, Kelly Mayfield Meineke first saw her son August on Holt’s waiting child photolisting. But it would take months and some divine intervention from Holt’s China team for them to come together as a family.

Kelly is the author of Mine In China, a guide to adopting a child from China, and also blogs at www.mineinchina.com.

cen-zhe-yuan
This image of August was used on Holt’s waiting child photolisting to help find his family.

My husband and I adopted from China for the first time in 2013. An adorable little boy, Leo, came home to my husband, our four children and myself, in time to celebrate his 2nd birthday.

We knew before we left China with our son that we would be going back — though not immediately. After some adjustment time and a move to another state, we planned to start the adoption process again in May 2015.

In the months leading up to the start of our second adoption, I spent time advocating for children from Holt’s waiting child photolisting — which is the advocacy platform where we found our first son. In January 2015, I noticed a little guy had been added: “Soren.” He was completely adorable. He had a complex leg malformation, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before he found a family. Within two weeks “Soren” had “I have a family!” on his photolisting picture and I thought no more about him. Continue reading “The story behind my son’s waiting child photo”