you? child Does a

a child
wait for
Children around the world
wait for adoptive families.
Holt International has
• with minor or correctible
medical conditions • who are older
• who are siblings
Consider a waiting child;
finding families
for children
Help connect a waiting child with a family. Download and print
our waiting child poster using the above link and display it at
your church or place of work.
Dear Readers
Billy Goodwin, a member of the NewSong band, recently met his sponsored child
for the first time at an orphanage in Shang Gao, China. Holding her up and drawing the little infant close, he spoke to her with animated facial expressions. She
stared back with eyes-wide-open, eyebrows-raised wonder and surprise as if to say,
“Who is this bearded foreigner who comes to pick me up?”
I recorded the scene with a video camera, and that footage never fails to evoke a
chuckle from those who see it. You can tell a lot about people by the way they interact with children. And you could tell by this brief scene that here was a person
who valued this little life enough to come to her level, make a connection and try to
bring a smile to her face.
Winter 2007 vol. 49 no. 1
Holt International Children’s Services
P.O. Box 2880 (1195 City View) Eugene, OR 97402
Ph: 541/687.2202 Fax: 541/683.6175
Our Mission
Holt International is dedicated to carrying out God’s plan for every child to have a permanent,
loving family.
It was gratifying observing the members of NewSong and their wives as they visited
with children and got to know the people who care for them. There was a true connection of passion to help the children, a mutual devotion to the children’s health,
development and ultimate union with permanent families.
In 1955 Harry and Bertha Holt responded to the conviction that God had called them to help
children left homeless by the Korean War. Though it took an act of the U.S. Congress, the
Holts adopted eight of those children. But they were moved by the desperate plight of other
orphaned children in Korea and other countries as well, so they founded Holt International
Children’s Services in order to unite homeless children with families who would love them as
their own. Today Holt International serves children and families in Bulgaria, Cambodia, China,
Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Romania, Thailand, the
United States, Uganda, Ukraine and Vietnam.
In recent years several Christian music groups have been telling their audiences
about the mission of Holt International. As a result, many people have become
child sponsors joining Holt in efforts to help orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable
children. NewSong in particular has brought Holt’s message to thousands of people.
President & Ceo Gary N. Gamer
Vice-President of Programs & Services Carole Stiles
Vice-President of Marketing & Development Phillip A. Littleton
Vice-President of Public Policy & Advocacy Susan Soon-keum Cox
Vice-President of Finance & Administration Kevin Sweeney
For most of Holt’s history, the majority of Holt supporters have been connected to
Holt through adoption—as parents, adoptees, relatives or friends of adoptive families. NewSong and other Christian artists are a growing new branch of the Holt
family. It’s marvelous to see that the growing Holt family continues to be united by
a belief in the priceless value of each and every child, a love and compassion for
children around the world.
Board of Directors
Chair Kim S. Brown Vice-Chair Will C. Dantzler President Emeritus Dr. David H. Kim
Secretary Claire A. Noland Members Andrew R. Bailey, Julia K. Banta, James D. Barfoot,
Rebecca C. Brandt, Dean Bruns, Wilma R. Cheney, Clinton C. Cottrell, Cynthia G. Davis, A. Paul
Disdier, Rosser B. Edwards, Kim A. Hanson, Joseph P. Matturro, Jeffrey B. Saddington, Richard J.
Salko, Shirley M. Stewart, Steven G. Stirling
—John Aeby, Editor
Editor John Aeby
Managing Editor Alice Evans
Graphics Brian Campbell, Alice Evans, Emily Lewellen
NewSong in China
Subscription Orders/Inquiries and Address Changes
Send all editorial correspondence and changes of address to Holt International magazine,
Holt International, P.O. Box 2880, Eugene, OR 97402. We ask for an annual donation of $20 to
cover the cost of publication and mailing inside the United States and $40 outside the United
States. Holt welcomes the contribution of letters and articles for publication, but assumes no
responsibility for return of letters, manuscripts, or photos.
Holt’s Christian artists visit orphanages
and family centers in China.
Celebrating the Past,
Charting the Future
Images from Holt’s conference Reprint Information
Permission from Holt International is required prior to reprinting any portion of Holt
International magazine. Please direct reprint requests to editor John Aeby at 541/687.2202 or
[email protected]
Building Memories
Journeys to Korea
Around the Globe
Waiting Child Family Tree From the Family
Neighborhood Calendar
Cover: At Shang Rao, a baby rests
in a wooden box.
Midwest Office Serving Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota
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[email protected]
Oregon Office
Capitol Plaza 9320 SW Barbur Blvd., Suite 220, Portland, OR 97219
Ph: 503/244.2440 Fax: 503/245.2498
A new board member rediscovers the land
of her birth.
California Office
3807 Pasadena Ave., Suite 115, Sacramento, CA 95821
Ph: 916/487.4658 Fax: 916/487.7068
How to keep a lifebook or journal.
adoptees today
Arkansas Office
25 Whispering Drive, Edgemont, AR 72044
Ph/Fax: 501/723.4444
After 50 years of finding families for children,
Holt celebrates by looking for better ways to
help the world’s most vulnerable.
Holt International Magazine is published bimonthly by Holt International Children’s Services,
Inc., a nonprofit Christian child welfare organization. While Holt International is responsible
for the content of Holt International magazine, the viewpoints expressed in this publication are
not necessarily those of the organization.
New Jersey Office
340 Scotch Rd. (2nd Floor), Trenton, NJ 08628
Ph: 609/882.4972 Fax: 609/883.2398
Copyright ©2007 By Holt International Children’s Services, Inc.
ISSN 1047-7640
Graduate Photos
Deadline for photos of Holt adoptees who
are graduating from high school and college is June 1. Short stories from families
about their graduate are also welcome. Go
to for
the Graduate Submission Form.
Calendar Photos
Deadline for calendar photos is July 15.
2006 Korea Gift Team members Lynlee Young, left, and
Nikki Dunham visit Jin-kyoo at the Holt Ilsan Center.
Gift Teams
Teams of volunteers recently took gifts to
children at orphanages in Korea and the
Philippines. While visiting a home for
unwed mothers in the Philippines, a young
single mother said to members of the gift
team: “We are told that God loves us and
we have worth, but I didn’t believe it until
you came.”
Nikki Dunham, a 14-year-old adoptee who
traveled on the gift team to Korea, reported
she had trouble sleeping after her return
because she missed team members so
much. “Handing out gifts and dancing with
the kids at Ilsan, you feel so good about
yourself,” she said.
Eugene Declaration Visit the Holt website to read and sign this
declaration—“Every child has the need and
a right to grow up in a family.” (Presented
at the International Conference: Looking
Forward, A Global Response for Homeless
Children sponsored by Holt International
Children’s Services).
Wanted: Your
Photos & Stories
For E-News, Holt International magazine,
Bridge of Love and China Moon newsletter, we welcome stories from adoptees
and their families about their experiences
with adoption. We also welcome stories
from sponsors about the significance and
commitment of sponsorship. Please query
[email protected]
4 Winter 2007
Please upload your digital images (set
your camera at 3 megapixels or higher) to or mail
glossy prints 4 x 6 to 11 x 14 to Calendar
Photos, Holt International, P.O. Box 2880,
Eugene, OR 97402. We cannot use studio
photographs (except for graduate photos)
or inkjet or digital prints.
companies. Never does a day go by that
I don’t stop to think about my purpose in
life and why I was so miraculously saved
by complete strangers,” he says. “I want to
share my story and how God has given my
life meaning and vision. They say that a
person’s story is their strongest testimony,
so here is my story. A story of hope!”
The video is available for viewing on Deardorff’s personal website at under the Movie tab.
PIP Curriculum
The updated Parents in Process™ (PIP) curriculum became available in January. Holt
created the curriculum in 2001 to provide
prospective adoptive parents with information about key issues related to international adoption. For more information about
purchasing the PIP curriculum, contact Lisa
Vertulfo at [email protected]
HBV Guidelines
Revised treatment guidelines for the management of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in the United States are available at the
HBF website at The guidelines
were developed by a panel of U.S. liver
Adoptee’s Story
“Found in the garbage as a baby over 40
years ago in Seoul, South Korea, I have
been living a miraculous life ever since,”
says adoptee Kim Deardorff on his website.
Holt took Deardorff into care and later
placed him with a U.S. couple that came
to Korea while the documentary Korean
Legacy was being filmed. He used Korean
Legacy footage in My Story, a video about
his experience.
Now a sound engineer, pianist and awardwinning composer, Kim operates a recording studio and has worked with Disney,
the Discovery Channel, Universal Studios,
the Kennedy Space Center, and other
Bertha Holt, left, with Myrtle Croy at the Creswell
office in the early years of Holt International.
In Memory
Myrtle Croy, the second person hired in the
United States by Harry and Bertha Holt,
passed away October 4 at the age of 100.
Mrs. Croy worked for Holt International
from the late 1950s until 1976, helping to
develop Holt’s adoption work. She was the
mother of an adopted daughter from Korea,
Alice McCune of Tacoma, Wash.
Granddaughter Maria Copelan remembers
that Mrs. Croy traveled the nation in her
baby blue VW bug checking on the children and their families, and that she prayed
for them regularly.
Korean adoptee Stephen Nelson recalls
Mrs. Croy as the “angel” who helped him
find a family in 1959, cooked for him when
he visited, and joined him in intercessory
prayer for his son when she was 99. “I
could not imagine not having her to call
and talk to, or living without her prayers
for me and my family,” he wrote for her
memorial. ■
The Seeds of Hope,
50 Years Later
by Gary N. Gamer, President and CEO
At the conclusion of Holt’s 50th Anniversary
Global Conference in October, attendees
became transfixed while listening to the
stories being told by panels of adoptees and
their families. As one listener, I felt privileged
to be able to join in the laughter, tears and
incredible life journeys that were a most fitting testament to the work Harry and Bertha
Holt started some five decades past.
As I reflect on this experience, I think of
the parable of the mustard seed. Jesus said,
as found in the gospel of Matthew (13:31),
“though it is the smallest of all your seeds,
when it grows, it is the largest of the garden plants
and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come
and perch in its branches.”
Children who have crises in their lives—due to
separation from parents and falling outside of family
care—face incredible challenges. Often forgotten and
all but invisible, they are without advocates to give
them the chance to live satisfying lives. If given the
opportunity, children are amazingly resilient. Like
the mustard seed, they can flourish under the right
This nurturing of children begins on the front lines
of Holt’s mission in what are often very trying circumstances. We bring vulnerable children into care,
ensuring stable health and developing plans for their
future. As soon as possible, families take over, providing unconditional love and parenting support that
all children require and deserve.
Through 50 years of work Holt staff, partners, adoptive
families, sponsors and other supporters have ensured
that more than 100,000 vulnerable children are now
in permanent, loving families. These successes have
occurred through adoption, and by strengthening
families in crisis so that they are better able to care for
children at risk of falling out of their care.
The adoptee panels vividly portrayed the seeds of
hope that the Holts planted a half century ago. We
heard middle school youngsters Spencer Latarski and
Jade Chow speak with maturity well beyond their
years. They spoke as global citizens with pride in
their birth, U.S. and adoptee cultures. And they spoke
about the importance of helping other children in
As the adult adoptees described their experiences,
the rich garden of their lives became evident: artists,
child welfare advocates, researchers, homemakers,
entrepreneurs and federal prosecutors….
One such speaker was Mr. Kim Brown. Recently
selected as the Chair of Holt’s Board of Directors, he
is the first adoptee to assume this position.
Kim was adopted from Korea in 1956, the founding
year of Holt as an organization. Raised in a loving
family in Omaha, he was a soccer star in college and
has had a successful career in mortgage banking. As
Kim spoke, we heard of his faithful passion in life,
that of helping to provide similar opportunities as
those he enjoyed through the love and support of
family. Kim and his wife, Lori, are adoptive parents
of children Kyle and Maci, also from Korea. I know
that Kim will be an encouragement for many adoptees and others to support Holt’s global role in finding
families for children.
Three members of Holt
International’s Board
of Directors enjoy the
opening of an exhibit by
Korean artist Jung, Dojun at the University of
Oregon Museum of Art.
From left: Kim Brown,
the first adoptee to serve
as Chair of Holt’s Board;
Will Dantzler, adoptee
and Vice-Chair; and Steve
Stirling, also an adoptee.
The reception for the artist
was timed to honor the
50th anniversary of Holt
In a wonderful way, Kim completes our 50th anniversary parable of the mustard seed. As Holt’s Board
Chair, he will provide leadership so that tens of
thousands of additional children can be assisted by
Holt International into the future… that the smallest
of seeds are nurtured in the garden and become a
tree… “so that the birds of the air come and perch in
its branches.” 5
The Christian music group,
NewSong, has been telling their
audiences about the needs
of children in Holt’s care,
and last November
band members
traveled to see
the work for
Adapted from
portions of
Drew Cline’s
trip journal
Tears That
I’ve got to be honest about a couple of things here:
first, I was pretty tired from our work schedule, and I
wasn’t looking forward to being gone another week.
We had been extra busy preparing for our Christmas
tour, doing concerts, and so taking a trip to China
with Holt International didn’t seem as appealing as
taking a week off with my wife, Lori—then seven
months pregnant. Lori and I didn’t want to chance
anything even remotely happening, and so I traveled
without her, but the rest of the NewSong guys brought
their wives on this amazing trip.
After days of flights and time adjustment, we were
ready to see Holt at work. In Jiangxi Province, our
visit began with a two-hour bus ride to Shang Gao,
to a nice child caring facility where Holt has been
helping and where we would meet our sponsored
A caregiver in the nursery placed in my arms a
baby girl named Shishi. It was probably 65 degrees
outside, but Shishi was wrapped up for the coldest
6 Winter 2007
of winters—looking like the Michelin tire guy or the
little kid in “The Christmas Story,” arms sticking out
to the side because of the massive amount of padding.
Her sweet little face was the only skin showing.
She was literally a bundle of joy… until I felt something warm on my belly. Yep, she was wrapped well,
all but her bottom, which was nearly exposed. Shishi
and I were now bonded in more ways than sponsorship. I didn’t care; the thought of this precious life
outweighed that one little detail. She was cleaned up
and handed back to me where—now relieved—she
slept in my arms for another 20 or 30 minutes. We
took photo after photo, and she slept right through
the whole thing.
Finally, moments before giving her back, Shishi
opened her sweet dark eyes and looked me over quite
intently. I prayed for her silently—for the days ahead,
her health through the cold weather on the way, and
the providential family that would soon give Shishi
another name and thankfully another life.
Can’t Be Cried
The weight of this trip was just beginning to set in
as we entered the nurseries for newly arrived babies.
The rooms were large and clean, and, with one caretaker for four babies, the children were pretty well
cared for, but it still wasn’t a home. Suddenly I began
to get a sick feeling that the conditions here weren’t
ideal, but it was better than being abandoned and left
for a hopeful rescue.
loving family environment, and that’s what we would
witness for ourselves. We went to several locations,
and it took a while for me to get over my culture
shock and stop wondering how people could live in
those conditions. Then I began to notice what Holt’s
China program director Jian Chen was trying to show
us: the fact that these foster children were loved as if
they were their own children for life.
Left: Drew Cline, lead
singer of the Dove Award
winning music group
NewSong, holds a baby
at the Nanchang Social
Welfare Institute during
a visit to Holt-supported
programs in China.
We moved to the rooms with older children. Many
had special needs, and some were mentally challenged, but they were loved and cared for. Before
coming to China, I had preconceived ideas about
orphanages and China for that matter. In some ways
I was wrong. These kids were loved, and the caretakers had a genuine loyalty to their babies. I say “their”
babies because they were… in heart. Many times
the caretaker named the child and cared for her over
several years.
As we left Shang Gao, I thought of my older
brother, David, and his wife, Shelly, who have five
beautiful daughters: three by birth and two adopted
from China. Everything I had just seen and experienced, David’s girls had gone through: abandonment,
rescue, orphanage, possibly foster home, caretakers,
attachment and detachment. Now everything I could
think about was what my precious nieces had faced
and gone through.
Above: NewSong band
members meet their sponsored children for the first
time at the Shang Gao
Orphanage. From left: Billy
Goodwin, Eddie Carswell,
Drew Cline and Matt
We left the orphanage to visit some nearby foster
homes. Holt believes that children develop better in a
On the next day we took a short drive to the
Nanchang Orphanage complex. When we arrived,
a police car was driving off, having just dropped off 7
an abandoned child. Over 30 children a month are brought to this orphanage by the
Our first stop was a group foster home built by Holt International. The building
has apartments for six families where a foster mother and father parent six or so
children who once lived in the orphanage. Every apartment was clean and tidy and
the children were all happy and bonded. Some were playing well with each other
and some, like all brothers and sisters, were bumping and pushing like only family
Jian told us that NewSong helped find the sponsors who support the children and
enable Holt to do this program. After she said this, there was a moment (not a long one)
where I think we all felt a proud attachment to this place and these people. What we
were seeing was tangible. The smiles on the faces of these gorgeous children, the family
experience and dynamic we were witnessing, and the growth from what Jian described
was almost too much to take in. It was unbelievable!
We went upstairs to the baby care unit where 20 or more babies were being
cared for. We couldn’t help ourselves, we just started picking up children
and holding them close. I managed to get one little sweetheart to smile
at me for a while and then noticed a whole row of bundled babies
all sitting in chairs near the window. I couldn’t help but think they
were like healthy plants getting their sunshine needed for growth.
While we were visiting one of the foster homes, a crowd
of people gathered outside, and a 13-year-old girl, very
pretty, came up and started talking to Jian [director of
Holt’s China programs]. Come to find out, this girl,
Autumn Cloud is the translation of her Chinese name,
was asking Jian if she could find her a family.
– Eddie Carswell
The sun was shining perfectly on them, keeping them just
warm enough to help them sleep. Two tiny babies were
on IV’s, one of which was really struggling to breathe. At
least two of the babies in this room had cleft palates and
though their mouths were deformed their eyes were full of
innocence and beauty. The babies were so amazing; it was
hard to pull away, and there was so much more to see.
Another room looked like a daycare center: bright, colorful,
with music playing, but the majority of the kids had special
needs. My attention was drawn to a boy without the full use of
his arms and hands from some birth defect. He too was so playful and not shy. We rolled a ball back and forth and enjoyed the
children’s playful, unhindered spirits.
After that we went to see some children with even more severe
special needs. Ranging from preemies to around 5 years old, these
children were in great need. My attention was drawn first to a gorgeous little girl just sitting in a crib. She had no smile, and her piercing
eyes seemed to look right into you. She was brought to the orphanage just a few weeks earlier. She seemed to respond a little when Jian
stroked her head, but she couldn’t talk.
Eddie Carswell hugs two girls at the group foster home at Nanchang Social Welfare
Institute. • Update on Autumn Cloud (mentioned in Eddie Carswell’s quote): On the day
Autumn asked Jian Chen for a family, Holt staff began advocating for her adoption.
The China Center for Adoption Affairs, also wanting Autumn to have a family as soon
as possible, referred her case to Holt. Holt is currently working with several families
interested in adopting Autumn.
As we were getting off the bus at the
Nanchang Orphanage, we saw a police car
pulling away and instantly I changed from
joking around to finding out… they just
dropped off a baby that was left at the
front of the orphanage. I went from real
high to real low real quick. But in another
way… in a strange way, it was kind of comforting that at least they left the baby at
an orphanage… at least this baby was put
in a place where they’ll be taken care of.
– Matt Butler
A little baby in another crib had a massive
growth on her neck. And another baby had hydrocephalus. As I walked around the small room, my
heart broke, and I became increasingly angry with
God. Why did these innocent lives have to endure
this hell? I was shortly reminded that I was not God
and that I was here to see these children, to take it all
in like a long deep breath and allow it to affect me
Jian had told us about visiting an orphanage several years ago to see if Holt could help the children
there. But inside it was completely silent. Jian asked
why the babies weren’t crying, and the caretaker said
they’re sleeping. But they weren’t necessarily sleeping. The reality was that they had cried and cried
until they realized nobody was coming. So they
stopped crying.
As I heard Jian tell this story, I could just feel my
heart drop. That was very powerful for me. And I
think I’ll leave here thinking about the tears that can’t
be cried by these children. It just broke my heart.
The Lord whispered to
me that He had created
me to sing, to speak, to
write, to bring awareness
to as many people as possible that something can
be done for these children. That God loves
them so very much and
that we are His hands and
His feet to care for the
children’s needs. At that
moment it’s as if the Lord
knew I needed to simplify
my thoughts. I just felt
led to ask my heart: “What
can I do?” And as I did,
God reminded me that
that would be my challenge to our audience. What
can you do? Give, pray, visit… whatever, go do it!
We can change our world. We can see lives being
saved physically and spiritually with just a little effort.
I saw the faces and the broken bodies of helpless
babies, and now it’s my prayer that more than just
my words, but my life, will help bring awareness and
life to more people—children far away to be fed and
loved, and adults near to be challenged and moved
to act.
Above: Matt Butler and
his wife, Ashlee, pray over
their sponsored child.
Inset: Matt and Ashlee
pose with with the child
they sponsor and her
foster mother.
Below: Billy Goodwin gets
acquainted with his sponsored child.
May God grant us grace and fervor to meet the
needs of neighbors near and far. I’ll not see this
world the same again or look lightly upon the face of
any child without seeing the faces I’ve seen in need or
remembering the tears that can’t be cried. ■
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless….
Rescue the weak and needy….
Psalm 82: 3-4
There was a sign over the Nanchang
Orphanage Group Home with the words
of Harry Holt: “Every child
deserves a home of his own.” That’s
huge for an abandoned child to go
from an abandoned child to becoming
an accepted member of a family.
And Holt is allowing that to happen to
so many kids. Their work is a bridge
from when people drop them off
and they have no hope, to get them
into the arms of people who give up
everything to love those kids, to accept
them into their family, let them be part
of their family, their community.
– Billy Goodwin 9
Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future
Every child has the need and a right to grow up in a family.
from the “Eugene Declaration” a proclamation endorsed by attendees of
Looking Forward—A Global Response to Homeless Children,
a conference hosted by Holt International
The Looking Forward conference, held last October in Eugene,
Oregon, brought together child welfare leaders from 43 countries.
Over three days world-renowned children’s advocates shared experiences, ideas and challenges for each other to find more effective
ways to address the crisis of homeless children around the world.
The final sessions included a panel of international adoptees who
represented a wide range of Holt’s history. The adoptees described
an improved understanding of adoptees’ needs and urged confer-
ence attendees to preserve international adoption for the sake of
children who still need families.
The conference also capped Holt’s 50th anniversary, bringing
together adoptive families, adoptees and dignitaries at a festive
gala. With First Lady Laura Bush as honorary chair, the conference
also included videotaped messages from the first ladies of South
Korea and the Ukraine. ■
If the best interest of a child is ignored
in even one intercountry adoption, we
have failed in a nearly sacred obligation.... In late 2000, Congress passed
the Intercountry Adoption Act to implement the [Hague] Convention. Since
then, we have worked every day to
make the regulatory and organizational
changes we need to implement the Convention. Many have asked, wondered
and yes, complained that the implementation process has taken a long time.
This is true. It has. We have moved
carefully but unceasingly, because we
recognize how critical it is that we get
all of the pieces right: regulations, an
accreditation system, and oversight
mechanisms, all of which are critical to
our success. We have preferred, as my
husband the former shop teacher used
to say, to ‘measure twice, cut once,’
because the stakes are so high. And we
are close now.
—Ambassador Maura Harty, U.S, Assistant
Secretary of State for Consular Affairs
Top row from left: Ambassador Maura Harty (right), U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs,
and Hans van Loon, Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, met with
Marta Altolaguirre, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, and other members of the Guatemalan
delegation. • Winners of the Harry Holt Award—Conference Chair Susan Cox, Holt International Vice
President of Public Policy and Advocacy, with Dr. Dana Johnson, Co-Director, International Adoption
Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota. • Center row: Adult adoptees visited the
one-time Holt family home in Creswell, Oregon. From right, Charlotte Otsu traveled from Japan; Board
member Kim Hanson came from Omaha. • Spencer Latarski spoke on the adoptee panel and played
guitar with his father at the conference gala. Peter Saddington (in the background) also spoke on the
panel. • Bottom row: Nancy Kim, wife of Holt President Emeritus David Kim, is flanked by members of
the Holt Children’s Services of Korea Ladies Auxiliary, who sang at the gala. • Background: Signatures of
conference delegates on a copy of the Eugene Declaration—”Every child has the need and a right to grow
up in a family.”
10 Winter 2007
For keynotes and other presentations,
“We all know that provision for
others is a fundamental responsibility
of human life. By working together
we can provide a better future for our
— Kateryna Yushchenko
First Lady, Ukraine
from a video message
When Korean children were suffering
from war and poverty and had no one
to turn to, the Holts gave them a loving
home. Even now, Holt is carrying out
spectacular activities in many parts of
the world. Going beyond protection
of children’s rights, your services have
expanded to the welfare of single
mothers and people with physical
challenges. I have the most profound
respect for your devotion....
Undoubtedly, the global village is a
brighter and warmer place
because of you....
— Kwon, Yang-suk
First Lady of the Republic of Korea
from a video message
“We are in a crisis for the world’s most vulnerable children—each year some 15 million
no longer in care of a family—a crisis where
we must all work together to provide hope...
Only through a coordinated response can we
make a significant difference.”
— Sam Worthington,
President and CEO, Interaction
“We learn from our founders Harry and Bertha Holt… that this work starts from a heart
that is filled with faith, that it can be done
and that it will be done.”
—Gary Gamer
President and CEO
Holt International
At this conference we are “Looking
Forward” but we are also celebrating
the 50th anniversary of an historic
initiative taken by an inspired couple,
Harry and Bertha Holt…. One’s
admiration for the Holts, for David Kim
and the other pioneers, only grows
when one imagines the uphill struggle,
within the political and cultural climate
of the time….
—Hans van Loon, Secretary General of the Hague
Conference on Private International Law
Harry and Bertha [Holt]’s gift was not
just the tidal wave of international
adoptees that have come into this
country and other countries of the
world, but the focus on the fact that
a family is absolutely critical for each
—Dr. Dana Johnson, Co-Director, International
Adoption Clinic, Department of Pediatrics,
University of Minnesota
Clockwise from top left: Three members of the Holt family—Beulah Stronczek, sister of Bertha Holt, with Suzanne
Peterson and Molly Holt, daughters of Bertha and Harry Holt. Molly Holt, Chair of the Board of Holt Children’s
Services of Korea, received a Founders Award. • Dr. David H. Kim, after receiving a Founders Award, shares a
moment with leaders of Holt Children’s Services of Korea—from right, Min Kyung-tae, President, and Lee, Myungwoo, Head of the Overseas Program. • Bertha Holt Elementary School choir performed for conference visitors.
• Lydia Nyesigomwe, Director of Action for Children, Holt’s partner agency in Uganda, visits with Minalee Saks,
Executive Director of Birth to Three in Eugene, Oregon. • Mary Paul, Director of Vathsalya Charitable Trust, one
of Holt’s partner agencies in India, is reunited with several adoptees. • Above: Holt International President and
CEO Gary Gamer (right) chats with Sam Worthington, President and CEO of Interaction.
visit 11
Father Angelo D’Agostino spoke at Holt International’s
50th anniversary conference in October.
Father Angelo D’Agostino, a leading advocate for AIDS orphans in Africa, passed
away November 20 following cardiac arrest.
The 81-year-old Jesuit priest and medical
doctor founded the Nyumbani Children’s
Home in Nairobi, Kenya. In October, he
spoke at Holt’s 50th anniversary conference
while on a fundraising tour in the United
States. His speech is available on the Holt
In partnership with China’s Ministry of
Civil Affairs, Holt is now helping 374 children whose lives have been affected by
HIV/AIDS. Holt is also developing another
program site in southwestern China in
response to a request made by the government of China. By early 2007, Holt will be
offering assistance to about 200 children at
this new site.
Holt Romania Foundation received a $50,000
donation toward the construction of the
Parent Education Center in Constanta.
Close to You, Holt’s other partner agency
in Romania, recently conducted HIV testing for more than 200 students and people
from the community of Constanta. They
reached out to thousands more in an informational campaign to high schools, the
university and discos in observance of the
International Day of Combating HIV/AIDS.
Progress is being made on the new office
and childcare center for Vathsalya Charitable
Trust in Bangalore. Building funds were
raised last year.
Children in Holt sponsorship in Uganda
will soon receive a shipment from a 4thgrade class at the Bertha Holt Elementary
School in Eugene, Oregon. The shipment
contains Bertha Holt T-shirts and a signed
soccer ball. The students hope to build
relationships with one another while learning more about the world.
Holt is now registered as a non-governmental organization in the first of two steps in
being able to establish intercountry adoption services there.
Living with HIV in Thailand
With her clear skin, eyes the
color of dark chocolate and
hair to match, 10-year-old
Sunee* is the picture of
health. Smiling and happy,
she goes to school every day.
A good student popular with
her teacher as well as other
children, the 4th-grader
loves field trips and picnics
and attending yearly campouts with her mom.
Sunee was 4 years old
when her mother took her
to Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF) for relinquishment. Her social worker
says that Sunee and her
mother looked happy
together and very attached. But Sunee’s father had
just died of AIDS, and her widowed mother was also infected,
as was Sunee. On an unstable income, Sunee’s mother found
it too difficult to continue caring for her daughter.
12 Winter 2007
HSF, Holt International’s sister agency in Thailand, enrolled
Sunee and her mother in its Antiretroviral (ARV) Therapy
Program, and Sunee’s health improved. Sunee and more than
200 other children affected by HIV receive educational support from HSF.
HSF provided Sunee’s mother with a loan to start her small
business, and she was able to pay it back within a year. After
saving money for two years, she was able to improve her
housing condition. Sunee’s mother continues to do well
physically and emotionally and finds support in “Life Lighted
Up,” a group for parents living with HIV organized by HSF.
She says she has never regretted keeping her daughter.
Aware that she is living with HIV, Sunee told her friends during group conversation at HSF that the virus is “just a tiny
lazy monster that lives inside us. He won’t be able to attack
you as far as we keep ourselves strong and healthy.”
With support from Holt International’s donors and sponsors, the social workers at HSF continue to work hard to keep
children and families together despite HIV/AIDS. Sunee and
her mother are living witnesses that HSF is moving forward in
the right direction. ■
* name changed to protect identity
Olga Dudina, the HIV/AIDS manager for Holt-Ukraine’s Families for Children Project, embraces four HIV-positive children enrolled in the foster care program.
A Ukraine Success Story
Ten-year-old Tania dreams of becoming a dancer. But after
losing her birth mother to AIDS while still a small baby,
Tania has lived in institutions ever since. She spent her first
four years in a hospital before being transferred to one of
Ukraine’s orphanages for HIV-positive children. And there
she stayed. Then Tania got lucky. Thanks to the Families for
Children Program—funded by USAID and implemented by Holt
International—Tania and seven other HIV-positive children
were recently taken in by loving foster families. Tania had
been waiting for a family for a long time. And now that she
has one, this sensitive, lovely girl with curly hair is confident
that her dream of becoming a dancer—along with so many
other hopes and dreams—will come true.
Families for Children Program (FCP)
Early this year, personnel of the orphanage where Tania was
staying raised serious concern over the pending transfer of
Tania and 22 other kids to boarding schools and institutions
for children with disabilities. They approached FCP seeking
help and advice, prompting FCP to initiate a pilot project.
FCP brought together representatives from regional branches
of All Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV/AIDS and
service providers from public centers for social services to
develop strategy. They agreed to conduct foster parent recruitment campaigns among targeted audiences—faith-based
organizations, religious communities, people affected by HIV/
AIDS, and medical professionals. The goal of the campaign
was to find foster families for 23 HIV-positive children. FCP
conducted intensive training on planning and implementing
a foster parent recruitment campaign, developed information materials and distributed them among implementing
agencies. Through the FCP grant program several organiza-
tions were given small grants to conduct a public awareness
campaign and recruit foster parents. Two foster families were
established and eight children placed in care, a remarkable
success and an unprecedented event in Ukraine, a country
that has struggled to bring orphaned children out of institutions and into family care.
Sponsors Provide Care
Holt International enrolled these children into its sponsorship program, which will allow the families extra resources to
provide child development and educational services for the
children. To help assure adequate care for the children, Holt
is also purchasing furniture and other supplies lacked by these
families. Meanwhile, the recruitment campaign continues.
FCP has managed to get more organizations and agencies involved, which means the chances are good that more children
from this and other orphanages will be placed in a familytype environment.
The History
In the Ukraine, 20 percent of children born by HIV-infected
mothers are abandoned in maternity hospitals. They are admitted to baby homes where they are supposed to stay until
they reach the age of 3, at which time they are to be transferred to orphanages for children from 3 to 6 years old. Later
they are to be transferred once again to boarding schools. In
reality, the institutions for children over 3 years old are not
willing to accept HIV-positive children, so they remain in baby
homes regardless of their age, where they can receive medical
treatment but have no access to education. ■ 13
families from adopting them. They may be
older than 2 years, part of a sibling group,
or have a medical condition that may be
easily correctable or need multiple
interventions. We call these our
waiting children, and they deserve to
have families of their own.
Waiting Children
Special needs, special
Every day around the world children
come into Holt-supported programs. Their
stories are different but have a thread
of commonality—the children all need a
home of their own.
These children have suffered abandonment, the death of loving parents, or a
natural disaster. Sometimes they have
additional challenges that prevent many
The children shown here represent just
a few of those who need parents. Because
Holt’s website provides a more complete
listing and can be updated daily, we
ask you to view additional children at
Program. She would be happy
to share more information with you. You
can request a Waiting Child Packet either
by calling the Waiting Child Program at
(541)687-2202 or through our website.
These descriptions of waiting children
are based on information available to Holt
from caregivers and medical personnel
in the children’s country of origin. Holt
cannot guarantee the accuracy of these
descriptions or that the medical and psychological diagnoses of the children are
correct or complete. ■
If you would like more information
about a particular child, please contact
Jessica Zembower in our Waiting Child
A charming, gentle boy, Blaine always has a
smile on his face and is a favorite of his caretakers. He has cerebral palsy and delays, but
can crawl fast and stand with support. Blaine
knows several words, has good eye contact and
follows instructions. He has a $6,000 grant
from Brittany’s Hope.*
Dae-hyeon has shown an ability to attach to
others. He has a history of seizures and is taking medication. Assessed at a 7-month level
at 9 months, Dae-hyeon gets physical therapy,
imitates speech sounds, responds to his name
and smiles responsively.
Cheerful and excited when she plays with caretakers and peers, Gloria is becoming more confident and comfortable at the care center. She
suffered abuse and neglect and is delayed in her
motor and language skills but is making great
improvements with early intervention services.
Anvita has profound bilateral hearing loss and
wears a hearing aid. She is reported to have
excellent vision and good eye contact but some
developmental delays. Anvita is attached to her
foster family and often has a smile on her face.
A talkative and energetic boy who gets along
well with others, Benjamin appears to be developmentally on target for his age. At 18 months
he could walk alone, throw a ball and say several words. Benjamin has tested positive for
hepatitis B.
Born in NE Asia, Sept. 10, 2002
Born in China, July 15, 2003
A shy little boy who enjoys receiving hugs and
praises, Brandon gets along well with his peers.
He has a deformed left leg and extra toes but
can walk and run. He says several words and
can understand and repeat what others say. He
also has a 4-centimeter solid swelling on his
lower spine. Brandon has a $3,000 grant from
an anonymous donor.
Born in Vietnam, December 20, 2005
Khanh loves to be talked with and hugged. He
has Down Syndrome and is said to be in good
health. Khanh can hold his head up, roll from
front to back and reach for objects. He is
reported to be gentle and responsive.
14 Winter 2007
Born in Korea, Feb. 8, 2006
Born in India, October 7, 2004
Born in Vietnam, May 22, 2000
Dong loves his foster family and has been
with them for about two years. Reported to
be developmentally on target for his age, he
attends kindergarten and enjoys playing computer games. An active boy who is expressive
and curious, Dong has a $5,000 grant from
Brittany’s Hope.*
Born in Latin America, Dec. 28, 2003
Born in China, December 8, 2004
Born in SE Asia, September 2, 2001
Payton enjoys being around people and shows
his affection through hugs and kisses. His
foster family speaks English, and he is learning
some words. Payton had surgery to correct an
imperforate anus and is otherwise reported to
be in good health. An older boy who is energetic and fun-loving, Payton has a $5,000 grant
from Brittany’s Hope.*
See more children at
Born in Latin America, January 13, 2001
Delayed when he came into care at 3 years old,
Jonathan has now made remarkable improvements. He likes to play with his peers, participate in activities and has become more confident in himself. Active and in good health,
Jonathan has a $5,000 grant from Brittany’s
Born in India, September 3, 2004
A sweet little girl who has cerebral palsy,
Tamara can take a few steps on her own and
is making great improvements with physical
therapy. She also has retinopathy of prematurity in her right eye. She is described as quite
social and loves to play with her peers. Tamara
has a $4,000 Brittany’s Hope grant.*
Born in India, September 27, 2005
An active, happy boy who laughs, says several
words and walks without support, friendly
Namith loves to be carried by his foster mother
and is reported to be developmentally on
target for his age. His birth mother was HIV
positive, and he tested positive at birth. Two
subsequent tests were negative.
*Brittany’s Hope grants are available
for six months from their granting
date, which varies by child.
Oregon Waiting Child
Agencies reduce fees for the adoption of a child in state
care, and financial assistance may be available. To learn
more, call the Special Needs Adoption Coalition at The
Boys and Girls Aid Society at (877) 932-2734 x 2392, or
DHS at (800) 331-0503. Also visit www.boysandgirlsaid.
org and for information and photos of
waiting children.
Joe, age 12
Regardless of the neglect and
abuse he experienced, Joe
is growing into an impressively intelligent, social and
athletic child. Joe struggles
with some learning challenges
and restlessness in school
but is able to succeed with
support and encouragement.
Continued scholastic advocacy
will be crucial for him. Joe is
a dynamic and delightful child
waiting to be discovered! 15
family tree
Molly Kanevsky, 3, China—Flourtown, Penn.
Siblings Kim, 11; Lancer, 10; and Isaac Barnes, 13, Philippines—
St. Joseph, Mo.
John Gifford, 7 mos, Korea–Fort Meade, S.D.
Send your photos to
Family Tree!
Mail original color prints to:
Holt International magazine
Family Tree
P.O. Box 2880 Eugene, OR 97402
Ainsley Starmer, 2, Thailand—Chico, Calif.
16 Winter 2007
Throughout the year we need photos for Holt
International magazine, our calendar and other productions… and we’d love to consider yours. Send us your
best child & family photos.
Please send glossy photographic prints or e-mail high
resolution digital images. We cannot use studio photos
or prints from digital files. Because of the many photographs we receive each month, we are able to publish
only a small percentage. We keep all photos on hold
for possible future publication and will contact you if
one of yours is selected.
Jasmine Chang, 2, China—
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Sisters Dana, 7; Deanna, 4, China; Delanie, 1½,
China; and Danielle Rowe, 9, Korea—Rosenhayn, N.J.
Lia Knispel, 4½, China—Mt. Holly,
Emeili Fowler, 3, China—Atlanta, Ga.
Lena, 6, and Joseph Seeger,
2½, China—Portland, Ore.
Olivia Horton, 2, China—
Lanoka Harbor, N.J.
From right: Sisters Helene and Hannah, China, and Heidi Regier at a candlelight service—Dallas, Texas
Jack Baggaley, 3, Korea—McKinney, Texas
Katie Dunn (left), 2, Korea—Hamilton, N.J. and Catie Lillja, 2,
Korea—Lawrenceville, N.J.
Abhishek Peter Hausmann, 4,
India—Durham N.C.
Jena Rotheim, 34, Korea, with husband
Paul Cabral—Quincy, Mass.
Elizabeth Ahrens, 1,
Korea—Los Altos, Calif.
Annika Hui, 4, China­—Sacramento, Calif. 17
from the family
Simple Homes, Caring Hearts
Foster families make a huge difference in the lives of children
awaiting their permanent families.
by Jody McIntyre­
Madison, Wisconsin
Above left: Jocelyn with
her foster father. Above
right: Jody, Jocelyn and
Karl at home in Wisconsin.
Since our trip to China over a year ago to bring back
our daughter, Jocelyn Xu Yun Kletzien, people ask
us how things are going with our new lives together.
Jocelyn has come far since then, but I cannot begin
without acknowledging her birth parents and also her
foster parents.
From those frantic first moments together in our
Nanchang hotel room, we have always been aware we
weren’t the first people in her world.
Some months ago, we received Jocelyn’s finding
notice and photo from a contact person. A finding
notice and photo runs in the local newspaper whenever an abandoned child is found in China. It tells
where the baby was found and identifying characteristics. The photo, taken shortly after she was found
outside a social welfare agency, shows a sad, defeated
looking baby, only days old. The note says, “Small
eyes.” My husband and I were amazed that this little
baby turned out to be a smiling, large-eyed, joyful
child. How did this happen?
A Changed Girl
After Jocelyn was abandoned, she was examined by
medical staff, as is the standard practice in China.
Once the time for family to come forward to claim her
had expired, Jocelyn was placed with a foster family.
Photos we received of Jocelyn with her foster family
showed a happy, dimply baby being held closely by
a grinning foster daddy. What a change from her
finding photo!
We noticed things about Jocelyn that we imagine
she learned from her foster family’s extended family.
Silly blub-blub noises she makes by rubbing the back
18 Winter 2007
of her hand up and down across her mouth. She
eagerly extended her tiny hands forward for us to take
whenever she saw the fingernail clippers. We realized
nail cutting time was probably one of those moments
where she was held closely while detailed attention
was paid to her. When we received her, Jocelyn’s
nails were immaculate.
Our China contact also met Jocelyn’s foster family. When all the foster parents of the village found
out who was asking about them and why, they surrounded him quickly. Then they began peppering
him with questions.
They wanted to know that their babies were okay.
Some were worried that bad things had befallen these
children they had grown to love. They hoped this
man could provide proof that everything was fine.
They were assured, by being shown photographs of
our healthy babies, that the little girls were flourishing
and very much loved. Satisfied, they let him tour the
area, proudly showing him their humble but warm
Now paging through the small scrapbook our contact person gave us from the trip, we are able to see
Jocelyn’s foster family had a simple apartment, a number of new foster children, and lots of people hanging
out to interact with the babies.
Reflecting on this past year, as well as the footage
and photos of where she spent most of her young life
before meeting us, I believe her foster family taught
her how to laugh and love. She does both with gusto.
Their love built a strong bridge for the foundation of
Jocelyn’s forever family. For this, I thank them. ■
Window Seat
with a Different View
An adoptive mother muses about what her toddler son will look like
when he becomes a man.
“Well, this is just great,” I muttered as my husband,
Houston, and I boarded the plane for our first crosscountry flight with our 14-month-old son, Johnny
Mac. The empty window seat in our row meant we
would share our cramped quarters on this “pioneer”
flight with a total stranger.
I jammed our
under the seat
in front of me
and attempted
to settle in for
the five and
a half hour
flight, all the
while wondering how
our seatmate
would react if
Johnny Mac
turned into
a screaming,
uncontrollable toddler
en route.
of people
shuff led
down the aisle bumping into my
husband and peering over to smile at our son as he
stared intently at all the faces passing by. I glanced
up in time to see a young Korean man approaching.
The gentleman paused at our row and pointed at the
empty window seat next to me. When we stood to let
him in, my annoyance at having our privacy invaded
turned into excitement because we adopted our son
from South Korea a few months earlier. Now I was
eager to chat with this stranger.
He immediately asked about our son, which started
a conversation that lasted many miles. He told us he
had a 2-year-old son waiting for him to arrive at his
in-laws, so I felt hopeful relief that he might understand if Johnny Mac acted up. As the plane took off,
I fed Johnny Mac a bottle while listening to more of
our seatmate’s background. Born in Korea, he came
to the United States when he was 13 years old to live
with family here. Although he did not share many
details from his own life, he seemed interested in
our adoption story, as he knew many adult Korean
issues with this friendly man. Finally, he announced
it was time for him to go to sleep. With Houston
snoozing on my left, our son gently snoring in my
lap, and my new pal resting on my right, my thoughts
kept me awake. I figured anyone looking at our row
might assume our son belonged to me and the Korean
stranger rather than to my redheaded, freckled husband, otherwise known as “dada.” Because Johnny
Mac is not our biological son, I often think about
what he will look like when he is older. I blame this
insatiable curiosity of mine for totally checking out
the Korean passenger once he fell asleep.
I gazed at his face, noticing the similarities between
the shapes of his eyelids and the thickness of his eyebrows to my son’s and how different they appeared
from mine. I wished I could see more of his hairstyle
hidden beneath the dark gray hat, as Johnny Mac’s
signature Mohawk always causes comments wherever
we go. I continued observing him, taking in his
muscular arms, neatly trimmed fingernails, and lean
figure while speculating that perhaps Johnny Mac
might resemble him 30 years from now. Although it
is difficult to think about my snuggly, thumb-sucking
boy as a grown man, not knowing what Johnny Mac’s
birth parents look like forces me to use my imagination in rather bizarre ways.
Even though Johnny Mac does not have many of
our physical traits, he is starting to show more of
our personality—imitating me fussing at our barking
miniature Schnauzer, or dropping
his head into the palm of his hand
just like my husband when he gets
frustrated. Sometimes watching our
son is like looking into a mirror that
reflects both our good and bad days.
Hearing him mimic “I love you” in
toddler speech while blowing loud
kisses assures us we are more deeply
related than any biological features
ever could. Our bond is strong and
the three of us are a family in the
truest sense of the word.
by Elizabeth Irby
Left: Johnny Mac Irby,
adopted from Korea.
Below: The Irby family at
a 2006 Holt Family Picnic—
Johnny Mac nestles in
the embrace of his father,
Houston, while sister
Amelia Grace, also adopted
from Korea, snuggles with
their mother, Elizabeth.
Once the plane landed and we
parted ways with our Korean companion, I realized that Johnny Mac
will continue to grow into the man
that both nature and nurture creates. And I will discover for myself
what that looks like with each passing day. ■
Our son fell asleep shortly after take-off and the hours
passed quickly as I discussed cultural and parenting 19
from the family
with Love
Adopting an older sibling pair may have brought extra challenges,
but it’s been a match made in heaven for this family.
by Mike Gates
West Linn, Oregon
I had the good fortune of seeing Roopali and Rahul
at Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), Holt’s partner
agency in Pune, India, when my son Ryan and I were
there on a work team. Our adoption process started
on the flight home when Ryan said, “Dad, you guys
are always threatening to adopt some kids. Do you
remember the older sister and brother at BSSK? They
might fit in with us real well.”
Above left: Rahul and
Roopali as they appeared
on the back cover of Hi
Families magazine in
the Nov/Dec 1999 issue.
Center: The two at Disney
World in March 2006.
The day after we decided to put in our adoption
papers for them the Hi Families magazine arrived.
Geri and I took it as an affirmation of our decision
when we saw their photograph on the back cover,
and we shed a few tears when we saw them. Then,
just before Christmas, someone from our travel group
sent us a video from the trip. That was when the tears
really began to flow.
20 Winter 2007
five years, and she has settled most of her issues and
matured immensely. By using the term meltdown I
mean she literally became briefly disassociated from
all care about herself or the people and things around
her. She began to pick things up and throw them, to
try to hit and bite other people in the family, and to
harm herself. She was a lost little girl.
What makes us so proud of Polly, as we now call
her, is her constant willingness to challenge herself
at school. When she arrived she had a rudimentary
grasp of math and English. Though 11 years old she
tested at only first grade level. It was the wisdom of
some great teachers that she was immediately placed
in a fifth grade class so she had a chance to make
peer age friends. Yet, she still managed to become a
classroom leader right away.
They are both pranksters at heart.
They love slapstick comedy and have
learned the family habit of making a
pun out of just about anything.
Roopali was 11 when they came to join us. She
faced a quintuple stress load. Not only was she having to learn a new language, but her first impression
of her new culture was the impact of 9/11 just three
weeks after arriving in the United States. She was
being put into a U.S. school for the first time at the
age of 11. She had been a very independent leader
because she was the oldest in the orphanage by several years but was now being asked to take a more
subservient role. Also, because she was older, her
maturity had been suppressed so that she acted much
like a 7-year-old in temperament and reaction. On
top of all that, she had to deal with the hormones of
on-setting puberty. Now just stay sane girl!
Besides increasingly living up to her name (as we
understand it, rupali means “beautiful” in Marathi or
Hindi), Polly has grown in academic understanding
from year to year. She is now a B-average student as
a freshman and has plans to go to college. While in
middle school she earned an award as the “Hardest
Working Student” in the entire school. She is still the
first to turn in assignments and then works diligently
to improve them with her teachers’ guidance.
Didn’t happen. About two months after she arrived
she had her first meltdown. A couple weeks later she
had another. Then it was three weeks before the next
one, then four weeks, and so on. It’s been nearly
Roopali’s special tenderness draws children to her.
It likely comes from the fact she was four years older
than all the children at BSSK. Whatever she wanted to
do, the children wanted also. Whatever she said, the
children followed her lead. But she has learned how to balance things
out now that she is the younger sister to four older siblings.
Rahul was 7 when he came from BSSK. He took to being in the
United States like a fish takes to water. He loved the new sights and
sounds and readily accepted his role in the family as youngest child.
His struggles didn’t come until the middle school years, a particularly introspective time for all children. He is “different” (a curse in
middle school) because of his skin color and bushy hair, his lightening
speed in sports and his beautiful art work. When stressed he gets a
good case of the “harrumphs.” All we see is a shrug of the shoulders.
The answer to every question asking him for a choice is “I don’t know.”
We don’t worry too much about these symptoms because they are so
typical for the age. So far, what curiosity he has about being adopted
he has kept to himself. When asked if he ever wanted to go back to
India, his answer was an emphatic “No!”
Rahul leads his class and is naturally athletic. He just completed
his first track season at middle school and set school records in most
categories he entered. Rahul is also a defensive soccer star. Because
he is faster than anyone else on the field, his teammates rely on him
to snuff out breakaway goals.
What really sets Rahul apart is his laugh. When we go to the movies
as a family we can’t wait for the comedy on screen. Rahul’s laugh is
so infectious he takes people with him all over the theater. And if he
gets the giggles we are all in stitches.
Match made in heaven
The biggest difference between the two is that Roopali will be the
first to speak on any issue while Rahul watches and sorts things out
before adding his two cents worth, if he speaks at all. Pretty typical
stuff between an older and younger sibling. They are both pranksters
at heart. They love slapstick comedy and have learned the family habit
of making a pun out of just about anything. It’s not all laughs, but we
try to keep things loose and Roopali and Rahul are like-minded souls.
It’s been a match made in heaven.
Our preparations were pretty much down the list of advice given
by Holt, with one small exception. We gathered our extended family
from near and far at Christmas time and asked them if they would have
any trouble with dark-skinned children from India being adopted into
the family. It wasn’t just ethnicity we were concerned about, although
there were family members who had previously expressed some racial
misunderstanding. There were issues of inheritance, educational funding, church duties and just plain added members to an already large
family. Two more Christmas gifts, two more birthday gifts, two more
school plays and soccer games, and so on. We were asking the entire
family to take on quite a load. And it is good that we asked. We have
subsequently added four granddaughters.
Roopali misses her birth family from time to time. We have learned
bits and pieces about her mother, father and an older sister. After their
mother passed away, Roopali and Rahul were at BSSK for four years
and many of their memories were already fuzzy. After another five
years it is hard to separate fact from fiction. Roopali mostly worries
about the sister who was too old at age 12 to go to an orphanage.
They have dear memories of BSSK in Pune and regularly search the
Holt magazine for faces they remember. ■
On Adopting Older Siblings
Adopting children who are older or are part of a sibling group can be wonderfully rewarding but also extremely challenging. In an effort to prepare adoptive
parents for the unique issues presented by children
who are older or have significant special needs, Holt
developed a parent-training course titled “The Special
Needs of Adopted Children.” Families living in Holt
Branch office states who are adopting children over
the age of 24 months or who have special needs are
required to attend.
The curriculum provides adoptive parents with information about how a child’s background and history
may impact the child’s behavior and adjustment to
the family. The class also helps adoptive families
assess their strengths, resources and limitations and
make an informed decision about whether this is the
right choice for them. The Gates family’s story illustrates the importance of several of the issues covered
in the curriculum:
Older children often require more time to settle in to
their adoptive family. It’s not uncommon for children
and families to experience a “honeymoon” period
at the time of placement, followed by a long period
of challenging behaviors, such as the meltdowns
described by Mike Gates. Having a long-term view
and making room for regressions in behavior can help
put these challenges into perspective. Also, understanding your child’s background and what may be
motivating the behavior, such as loss of language, loss
of authority and loss of culture, can go a long way in
helping parents figure out how to address the behavior while still building trust with their child.
Preparing children already in the home
Adding another child or children to the home means
that everyone will have to make adjustments, not
just the adoptive parents. By acknowledging ways in
which children already in the home may be affected
by the new addition, both positively and negatively,
parents can be vigilant about balancing the needs of
all the children in the family.
Support System
The Gates family made sure all of their extended
family was informed about their decision to adopt
and were willing to take on the extra commitments to
help support and care for two more children. Parents
who identify resources and support prior to their
child or children coming home don’t have to face
challenges and frustrations alone. It is essential for
families to identify others in their extended family
and community who are willing to help out in times
of crisis, as well as share in times of joyful celebration.
—by Susie Doig, MSW 21
from the family
Pushing Up the Sky: A Mother‘s Story
An excerpt from a newly released memoir about adoption
by Terra Trevor
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Above: Terra Trevor and
her daughter, Kyeong Sook,
in 2006.
Bottom right: The Trevor
family in 1987 shortly after
Kyeong Sook arrived—Terra
and Gary in the back, with
Kyeong Sook, Vanessa and
Jay in the wagon.
It was the end of a perfect weekend. Before my
daughter began the four-hour drive home to her own
apartment, she said, “Mom, I’ve got a big favor to
ask—can you take my clothes out of the washer and
put them in the dryer? I’ve got a last minute errand
I need to run, do you mind?”
Sorting through the tangle of jeans and underwear
reminds me of the day I met my daughter for the first
time. We adopted her from Korea in 1987, when
she was 10 years old, a live-wire pixie with flashing
almond eyes and a deep belly laugh. There was an
unsettling side to her too— a flash fire sense of mistrust that kept her heart sealed in plastic and didn’t
allow her to get close to anyone. The only clothes
she had were the ones she came wearing.
The first night home she pulled off her
jeans and threw them into the dirty clothes
hamper. I’d planned to take her shopping the
next day to begin to assemble a wardrobe.
Yet because she would need something clean
to wear in the morning I decided to wash her
clothes. Before I put her jeans and T-shirt
into the washing machine, I held the little
knit shirt she had said good-bye to Korea in,
had traveled across the world wearing. It was
steamy and smelled sweetly of sesame, ginger
and garlic. The fragrance of the country, and
the people she left behind were melded into
the fabric.
extra large, so that no matter how many times they
circled the dryer, everything fits loose on her rounded
hips. I stroke her sweater, the same pale green as
good jade. I brush its silky knit with my fingertips. I
breathe in the textures and colors of her clothes as if I
am reading the words in a diary, trying to get to know
my daughter who is filled with secrets and privacy.
When my other kids come home to visit, they spill
the contents of their pockets onto the floor, leave a
trail of gas receipts and sales slips on the counter, a
residue, an update, journalizing their lives. But she
keeps everything inside her suitcase, locked tight
beside her vulnerability. I don’t know anything about
her except the things she chose to tell me.
Fifteen years later, folding my daughter’s
laundry reminds me that she is still out of
reach to me, like the brass ring on the merrygo-round that I was always trying to catch.
By the time she was 12, she began doing all of
her own laundry. While her sister and brother
complained about having to wash their own
clothes and mopped the floor with paper
towels after overfilling the machine, this
child welcomed laundry. She sailed through
washing, drying and folding without my assistance. There are drawbacks to adopting a
half-grown, independent, competent child; it
meant she allowed me few opportunities to
mother her.
Then at age 18, after only eight years
together, my daughter moved out on her own.
Though I see her often, and we talk on the phone
every week, I never lived with her again.
I sit cross-legged on the floor, with the pile of my
daughter’s clean clothes in my lap, sorting through its
treasures as if stories could be released from inside
and tossed out. Her knit skirts and pants are a size
22 Winter 2007
All of a sudden I wish that something of hers
remained unwashed. And then I see the pillow, and
rumpled blankets on the bed. I bury my face in the
sheets, inhale the scent of her perfume, deodorant
and perspiration. She is my daughter, and I am her
mother, yet in some ways we are still just starting
out. ■
Pushing up
the Sky
A story of transracial
adoption, life-threatening illness, love and
renewal. by Terra Trevor;
230 pages, $25.95
Korean American
Adoptee Adoptive
Family Network, 2006
As a 19-year-old unmarried college student,
Terra Trevor found herself pregnant. A social
worker counseled her it would be easier to find
parents for her baby were she not Native American. She miscarried before deciding whether or
not to put the baby up for adoption.
Twelve years later and after giving birth to a
daughter, Terra and her husband adopted a 1year-old Korean boy through Holt International.
When Jay was 3 and their daughter 6, the family
adopted a 7-year-old girl from Korea through a
different agency. After she’d been with them a
few hours, Kyeong Sook informed them that she
was actually 10.
“Make sure she understands that we want her,
and that her age doesn’t matter,” Terra told
her new daughter through a friend who served
as interpreter. But unconditional love did not
establish a perfect union. Birth order had been
overturned, and the family’s newest member
brought with her a variety of psychological
Written with abundant love, the book is an honest account of the challenges of integrating an
older adopted child into an established family.
It is also about being an adoptive family trying
to build community with Korean-American
culture and with other adoptive families. And
finally, the book becomes a journey into the
battle to save a son from brain cancer.
The author’s sensibilities toward the natural
world and all that really matters in the lives
of her children put her on the level of a great
teacher of the capacities of the human heart.
Sad but triumphant, this book deserves a wide
readership for its great story-telling and lyrical
use of language. My only criticism comes on
the technical side—the book would have benefited from the eye of a good copy editor.
Pushing Up the Sky can be purchased through
the Holt website using at ■
­—Reviewed by Alice Evans
Who Will Answer
A memoir by Dr. David Hyungbok Kim; 497 pages, $25,
updated and reissued by Holt International, 2006. The
book can be purchased through the Holt International
website at
An Excerpt: The Second Charter Flight (1957— En route to
the mainland United States from Korea)
“A little girl asked me what she should say when she met her
new parents. So I taught her a few English phrases: How are
you, my name is, I am happy, I love you, etc. She repeatedly
practiced these words until we arrived in Los Angeles.
“Another girl asked me, ‘What will I do if they don’t like me?’ I assured her
that she did not need to worry about such a thing, that she would be loved
dearly. I explained her new parents were so eager to see her that they could
hardly wait for her arrival. She seemed somewhat relieved but not entirely
“I pondered her question. What if an adoptive parent disliked one of our
children at their first meeting? Imagining how devastated the child would be
sent a streak of icy coldness down my back. A seemingly simple question from
a little girl planted a seed of doubt in my heart. …Would everyone actually be
loved as I had been told?
“I wrestled with this question, finally seeking solace with God Almighty. I
settled into my seat, closed my eyes, and began to pray. ‘Please God; don’t
let any of our waiting parents reject your precious little children. They have
experienced much more than anyone could imagine. They have lost loving
parents, siblings, and their other family members. May they never again experience another war, hunger, illness, or separation from their loved ones.’
“I regretted I had not spent more time preparing the older children for their
new homes in the United States. In the beginning, when I had been directly
receiving children from their mothers and relatives by myself, it had been possible for me to speak with the children about their new lives. Later, as more
children came into our care and our workload increased, I was no longer able
to do so.
“Although the legal processing work was necessary, I realized it was more
important to talk with the older children about the new parents, home and
country where they would be living. I should have explained what was expected of them during every step of the adoption process.” ■
Dr. David H. Kim signs copies of his book during the
Holt International 50th
Anniversary Conference in
Eugene, Oregon, in October
President Emeritus of Holt
International, Dr. Kim was
the first person hired by
Harry Holt to help save
the lives of Korean war
orphans. 23
from the family
Lightening Up
How one family dealt
with adjustment issues
by Anne Block
Dallas, Texas
She arrived in Dallas on a hot May afternoon, swaddled in Korean fashion, multiple
layers. In a moment, we were endeared to
our docile, wide-eyed wonder, just over 5
months old. We named her Hannah after her
We had enthusiastically planned for
Hannah to sleep in Hunter’s room, the nursery. But our plans changed the first night
when her “singing”—as the Korean escort called
it—bellowed louder than the Rolling Stones. We
jockeyed around Hunter’s toddler bed and hurriedly
dismantled Hannah’s crib. Tripping over one another,
we reassembled in the guest room.
For a few months, she sang with clenched fists,
arched back and writhing legs. Our days of yoga and
Yanni were transformed.
Above: Hannah Block
shows off her newly
pierced ears. Below:
Hannah plays peekaboo
in a field of pumpkins.
Opposite page: Hannah
and her brother, Hunter, go
for a walk.
What’s One To Do?
She was medically fine. We asked a bit fearfully:
Is it us? What was her foster care like? Is Hannah
Hannah’s initial child report stated, “She stops crying immediately if held or given attention.” I soothed
her in a snuggle carrier, a homemade Mayan wrap
sling, a Korean Podegi—universal
comfort. She quieted outdoors—we
drove her around the block, watched
the clouds. At 3 a.m., her papa took
her out for a stroll, still in his plaid
boxer shorts and Breathe Right nose
strip. Papa played the conga drums.
Hunter, at just 20 months old, ignored
her fits, brought her a bottle, fed her,
gave her his toys, then rested his head
on her belly and said, “No cry baby.”
We watched with adoration as he got
her to laugh.
Hannah’s smiles were few at first,
so we weeded through photos for
those with a hint of a smile to send
to family and friends. One family
member specifically asked for a smiling photo.
Social Worker Wisdom
Enter Charlotte Thomason, our homestudy agency
social worker. She had practically become family
during Hunter’s post placement visits the year prior.
Hunter, also born in Korea, was happy from day one.
He adjusted practically overnight. He fell asleep with
a smile and woke up laughing.
At Hannah’s first post-placement visit, Charlotte
said with raised brow, “You seem a bit on edge. A
child picks up on stress.” Acknowledging Hannah’s
willfulness, she advised, “Be consistent and love her.”
Charlotte listened and gave us permission to feel. We
learned more about parenting and gradually understood Hannah’s real needs.
Through Charlotte’s insight, we relaxed knowing
Hannah had only mild adjustment issues; to us it had
seemed major. What could we do?
In typical fashion, I tapped “structure for baby” in
Google Search, and then posted a daily schedule on
the kitchen calendar. Small changes like this helped
Lighten Up
Papa wore bright red ear muffs padded with cotton … we all made fish lips, sang homespun tunes.
When we lightened up, Hannah came around. Her
personality and smiles emerged around the 6-month
mark, to our delight.
Now, she “steals” Hunter’s baseball cap and turns
with a smirk to be chased. She stands on chairs and
laughs when scolded. She flops onto her papa when
he lies on the floor. She beats on the drums as part
of the band. She bends over to touch her toes as we
stretch our limbs. Our little Hannah, she mimics our
ways and offers a wink.
Lest we forget, a videotape of Hannah’s early “singing” may amuse us in years to come. ■
24 Winter 2007
grief reactions to the loss of their caretakers in the foster
home (or institution) as well as to the loss of everything familiar to them. Days and nights can be mixed up due to time
changes and long flights.
“Focus on what you can do—parents are not perfect,” Ms.
Thomason continued. “Families who adopt and have no biological children may not have a concept of what’s normal or
what to expect during the adjustment period.” If the adjustment is not especially easy, “it’s not any one thing—not the
parents, not the foster setting, and not the child. It should
never be a blame game.” This is a key point. Families should
certainly steer clear of the temptation to blame the child.
Adjustment Issues
Charlotte Thomason offered the following helpful observations to the Block family to help with the adjustment process.
“Think of the day you get your child like it’s the first day
you’ve come home from the hospital.” She emphasized that
because every child and family is different, every family’s
adjustment will be unique. Remember, at the same time the
child is adjusting to your family, so too is your family adjusting to the presence of the child. Children often have strong
Don’t Give Up Hope to Adopt
Rules Change: Prayer Opens the Way
I prayed long and hard about my desire to adopt a baby girl
from China. After we applied to Holt we learned that China
was making adjustments in its adoption process and our application could not be processed.
But I knew in my heart a daughter was waiting for us there.
So we waited also, and we continued to pray. Eventually, we
got that wonderful call saying our daughter was ready for
us. She had just turned 2 years old. After doing the math we
figured she was born around the time God placed the desire
on my heart to adopt from China.
But we weren’t yet done building our family.
To facilitate the adjustment process, parents should provide
comfort, be consistent, set structure and accept the fact that
some family adjustment periods may be longer than others.
Ms. Thomason also wanted to remind everyone that the social
worker is not an inspector. “You’re not going to lose your
child, unless there are serious indications of abuse or neglect.”
Our role is to reassure the family, show support and provide
guidance.” The goal of the social worker is to help ease the
adjustment period for both the child and family. ■
—Pat McConnell, MSW
Holt Director of Social Services, Korea
we learned he was to be our son. We named him Ian. He was
almost 3 when my daughter Leslie and I traveled to Korea to
bring him home.
Four months later, Ian had surgery to stretch his heel cord
and now walks normally. He receives speech therapy and
occupational therapy at school and is progressing well. No
one would know that Ian had cerebral palsy or once suffered
seizures and walked with a limping gait.
Ian and Katie have blessed our family, and we are thankful to
God and to Holt International for bringing us these precious
children. ■
—Cherie Jones,
Each time Holt’s magazine came, my daughter Leslie and
I searched the stories and faces of the waiting children. I
believed there was a little boy for us in Korea, and one day
I found him. Sung-joon was listed as having left spastic
hemiplegia and walking with a limping gait.
I called Holt’s Waiting Child Program but was told we would
need an age waiver to adopt from Korea. But we got over
this hurdle, too, when the waiver was approved.
Holt sent me a complete medical folder to review with a doctor. My husband and I felt sure we could handle any medical
problems Sung-joon might have and were overjoyed when
Cherie and Warren Jones
at home in Wyoming
with their four children—Ian (Korea), Gregg,
Katie (China) and Leslie. 25
Building Memories
You can build colorful memories for your
adopted child by putting together a lifebook
or other journal record.
compiled by
Holt staff
Above: Olivia Bennett, 3,
was born in China and now
lives in Idaho.
Getting started
• While you’re in your child’s birth country, gather
items that will help your child know their birthplace
when they’re older. After you get home, many things
will be impossible to collect, so begin compiling a list
before you travel.
• Keep a journal of your trip, including information not only about the places you went, but about
your earliest interactions with your child.
• Many families get pictures of their child’s caregivers, maps of the cities they stay in, postcards, a
newspaper from the day they receive their child and
receipts from tourist sites.
• If you are allowed to visit your child’s foster
family, ask permission to take photographs. Write
descriptions of your child’s foster parents, the home
and neighborhood they lived in, and their kindnesses
to you and your child.
• If your child was abandoned and you are
allowed to visit the abandonment site, ask for permission to take photos. Describe the site in your own
words. Who is at the site the day you visit? What
colors and textures do you see? What do you hear?
What is the date of your visit?
• Photos of Holt’s in-country staff, other members of your travel group, and scenes of the country
will also be precious mementos for your family and
• If you are the lucky recipient of a letter from
the orphanage or foster parents, have it translated.
26 Winter 2007
Be sure to archive it as carefully as your child’s photo,
reports, and legal documents.
• Whether or not you receive a letter, send a
photo of your child back to the orphanage or foster
parent at least once. Describe your child’s development and your joy that she is part of your family. If
you or she returns to the birth country in the future,
you may have the opportunity to meet your child’s
caretaker or foster parent again.
• If your child is under 6 when he or she comes
home, your child is unlikely to remember the orphanage or the foster family. Your photos and descriptions
will be all that your child has of their life in the birth
• Show your photos, your journal, and your child’s
documents to your child as he or she grows up and
answer questions about them. Give your child the
first photos, your journal, and the documents when
your child is responsible enough to care for them as
carefully as you have.
Include in the lifebook or journal record
• A discussion of conditions in the country, and
the rules for adoption.
• Interests, gifts and talents your adopted child
has in common with members of her adoptive family.
• Drawings made by your child, as well as poems,
stories and songs. Highlight favorite quotes. Let your
child be the star of her story. ■
Jariya’s Book of Loss and Love
One mother wrote a lifebook from the point-of-view of her adopted daughter.
An Excerpt
My name is Jariya. I live in the United
States. I was born on the other side of
the world in Bangkok, Thailand.
My life officially started at 8 o’clock on
a Friday evening at Rajavithee Hospital.
It was August 19, 2543, the year of the
dragon (a.k.a. 2000). I had dark black
eyes and lots of shiny black hair. The
doctors took all my measurements:
Weight 2450 gms (5 lbs 6 oz)
Length 48 cm (19 in)
Chest circumference 30 cm (11.8 in)
Head circumference 32 cm (12.6 in)
I stayed at the hospital with my Thai
mother for four days until we both were
discharged to the Maternity Home. We
stayed there for another 10 days and
my Thai mother took care of me. When
I was born she was a young teenager.
My birth father is older. I do not know
much about him, but I do know that he
can make mistakes. Though my Thai
mother cared for me, she was unmarried and could not raise me. When I
was just 13 days old, she asked the good
people at the Holt Sahathai Foundation to find a new family for me. Then
she said goodbye and returned home
to go to school. Over the next year she
contacted Holt twice to see how I was
While Holt looked for the right parents
for me they put me in the care of a
loving foster mother. She was 57 years
old and lived with her married son on
the fourth floor of an army apartment
building. Though most Americans
would think that their apartment was
small, they found room for me.
Life with Yai
At night I slept in the same bed as my
“yai” (she taught me to call her this Thai
word for maternal grandmother). We
spent our days together, often going for
a walk in the stroller. Yai and I really
loved each other.
When I was a baby...
With my Yai’s love and good care I
thrived. I was a healthy, content,
outgoing, active and cheerful baby. I
drank lots of formula, grew bigger and
stronger. and was crawling at 7 months
and walking at 10 months. By the time
I was a year old I was saying my first
Thai words: maa (dog), dta (grandfather), mum mum (baby Thai for food),
and of course, yai. ■
—by Annie Davis (a pen-name), who
dedicated this book to Jariya Joy Davis
so she will always know how much she
is loved.
Bringing My Brother Home
A journal sample from a 9-year-old girl who traveled with
her family to Thailand to receive her brother.
Lexi holds Kruz at their hotel room after
meeting him for the first time.
Today was the first day that we got to
meet Kruz. We rode in our hotel van
with a couple that’s adopting a little
girl. When we arrived, we watched a
movie about adoption, and we waited
eagerly for Kruz to arrive. When he
did, we sat down in the back room and
played with him. It was obvious that
it was confusing and scary for him
because he began to cry as soon as we
began to play with him. By the end of
the day, he started to laugh and play
more. So we hated to take him back
to his foster family. The foster family
all hugged us, and we knew right away
that they were loving people.
Since we made an appointment to get
Kruz’s visa and passport, we went to
these appointments. For lunch we had
pizza. Then we went street shopping.
Later, we saw a show with girls that had
very long fingernails, and they were
wearing pink dresses. Of course, before
they arrived to dance, Kruz got up on
the deck and started to dance. He was
the opening act for the Thai dances.
We had been having a lot of fun, but
we were ready to go home. So we
went to the American Airline office and
changed our flights to an earlier day.
Now we must pack! ■
This is the second time I got to see Kruz.
He seemed more glad to see us. When
we were on our way to the hotel, Kruz
fell asleep, and we had to carry him into
our hotel room without waking him
up. We waited a long two hours before
he finally woke up, and we got to play
with him for two more hours. Then at
4 o’clock he had to go back to his foster
parents, which was very sad.
I am so excited! Today we get to keep
Kruz for good. Kruz fell asleep right
after we got to our hotel room…
This was Kruz’s first morning with us,
and he was really happy. I think this
was my favorite day on this trip…
—by Lexi Cunningham 27
adoptees today
Journeys to Korea
Thoughts about returning to the land of her birth
from one of the newest members of the
Holt International Board of Directors.
by Kim Hanson
Omaha, Neb.
Kim Hanson holds a child
at the Jeonju Baby Center
in Korea while traveling
with the Holt 2006 Korea
Gift Team.
I was adopted by a family in the
United States at the age of 4½ years.
Even then, I knew I was Korean.
Growing up, I accepted that I was
adopted and was “content” not
knowing my past. I continued
with my life, married and had two
children by birth. In 1998 my
husband and I adopted a little girl
from Korea, something I had always
wanted to do when I became a
mother. From then on, I got a little
more involved with Holt International as a volunteer
greeter in Omaha. When escorts fly into the Omaha
airport bringing children from their birth countries to
their new families in the United States, I am there to
make sure they get the help they need.
In September 2005, I returned to Korea for the
first time at the age of 38 as Holt Children’s Services
of Korea (HCS) was celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The whole week of celebrations and tours was amazing. I met people from all over the world and staff
members from both Holt International and HCS. To
top off my first trip to Korea, I had the best honor as
an adoptee to escort a baby home to the United States
to his family.
Skip Hanson comforts a
child in Korea.
Flying home, I came across an article in Holt’s magazine about the Christmas Gift Team trip to Korea. I
wanted to go and told my husband the next day. He
was shocked, as I had just returned from Korea.
Over the next year, I not only returned to Korea
with the 2005 Gift Team, I also went on the 2006
Motherland Tour, to Holt International’s 50th anniversary celebration in Oregon, and back again to Korea
with my husband, Skip, on the 2006 Gift Team.
With the 2006 Gift Team, I experienced the purest
sense of the word ”joy” when I saw the faces of the
children at the orphanage we visited and on the faces
of the residents at Ilsan.
The Motherland Tour allowed me to concentrate
on myself as an adoptee and to visit my orphanage.
Being able to share in the journeys of other adoptees
on the trip was simply unbelievable. We were all different ages and at different stages in our lives, but the
bond was still there.
In Korea the journey was surreal, but when we got
home it all came flooding in. When I visited my old
orphanage [not a Holt orphanage], even the entrance
was sad for me to look at, although it was painted to
look happy. It was an entrance to a life of unknowns.
During the three years I lived there, I had to share
everything even though I did not want to. I had no
choice, nothing would ever be mine for keeps. I don’t
remember being there, but remember the concrete
and dirt floor for some reason.
After the Motherland Tour, I wrote in my journal
and continued life story, “Does this trip make me feel
complete? No, I was complete prior to this trip. This
trip allowed me to say, I’m done; done with all the
questions I’ve had in my head all these years.” ■
2006 Korea Gift Team
The Gift Team was a great blend of understanding Holt’s many programs, personal contact with each of
these programs, and exposure to Korea’s culture, people and history. Through a well-timed and planned
schedule, we were able to see the full range of the Holt programs embodied in Harry Holt’s vision of “Every
child deserves a family.” The trip allowed me to see that this vision is much, much more than just international adoptions. It encompasses unwed mothers and their needs, foster mothers, newborns and infants,
young boys and girls, and children and adults with disabilities. Holt creates opportunities to build families for all who are in need. God bless you all there at Holt. You gave us our child and she has blessed us
beyond measure.
—by Skip Hanson
28 Winter 2007
That Old Holt Camp Feeling
A former Holt Camp camper and counselor
finds a new place to share her heart with adopted children.
As a Holt Camp regular for nearly a decade, I was
privileged to meet people who influenced my life and
became my heroes, my mentors and my best friends.
For years since my last camp, I failed to find the magic
of those days and those remarkable people.
take on the world. In my own shaking voice I could
hear the tones of my heroes and mentors, the loves of
my life, whose stories poured through me and stayed
in my soul. That same old feeling overwhelmed me.
by Elizabeth Lilley
Westwood, N.J.
The most amazing part of the day was, as it always
Then I met a student who told me about a pro- is, the people who volunteered, giving not only their
gram organized by The Korean American Student time, but also their hearts to complete strangers. I
Association (KASA) of Princeton. He invited me was surprised to get that “old feeling” and have so
to tag along. A day spent
many happy memories floodIn my own shaking voice I
playing with young adoptees,
ing back.
eating yummy Korean food,
It’s a blessing to be a part
could hear the tones of my
and talking about adoption
of something with such treheroes and mentors, the loves
seemed like a collision of
mendous emotional magnitude
all my favorite things—how of my life, whose stories poured
and to give back
could I resist?
to new families
through me and stayed in my
The much anticipated day
some of the love
soul. That same old feeling
arrived and when I reached
that helped to
my destination, a few famibuild our own.
overwhelmed me.
lies were already registering.
nonShrieking and giggling, young
adoptees from
Korean adoptees and their siblings played with each Princeton not only understood, but
other and the members of KASA while the parents they embraced the opportunity. I
watched and smiled.
looked at this collection of people
The fun-filled day included Korean games, a drum and saw the same spark that I have
performance, a Tae Kwon Do demonstration, a deli- searched for and missed for so many
cious Korean lunch, a Korean folktale skit, and an arts years. A perfect mix of warmth and
and crafts activity. In a forum, another adoptee and I energy radiated from their charismatic
spoke to the parents about our personal experiences excitement as they welcomed these
with adoption and explored with them the joys and families as their own.
anxiousness of the adoption process, the celebration
of the arrival day, the completion of their families and
the indescribable strength of their emotional bond
with their children.
As we talked about the emotions and different
obstacles faced by Korean adoptees and their families, I saw tears forming in the eyes of some parents.
I could see in them my own parents with all their
hopes, dreams and love for their children—the desire
to protect, shelter and nurture as well as to help them
p Director for
ext. 245
contact Stev
[email protected]
That was the quality that always drew
me back to camp.
After the event, the Princeton students
went back to their lives, but on that day,
they made a difference in the lives of
those families. Such a beautiful display
of humanity can only be described by a
single word. Love. Love in its simplest and
truest form. ■
ne: w
Go onli
r the
ister fo
e Cam
neighborhood calendar
March 3—TBA Quarterly Family Recruitment and
Family Support Meeting. Contact the Branch
Office for more information at (501) 723-4444
or e-mail Branch Director Lynn Sims at [email protected]
Aug. 5–9—Dobbins Holt Adoptee Camp for adoptees 9
to 16 years old. Contact: Steve Kalb at (541) 6872202 or [email protected]
Holt International. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner
at 6:15. Adults $8; Children 9–12 $4. For
registration or to volunteer call Cathy Torrey at
(908) 996-4541 or the NJ Branch Office at (609)
882-4972. To donate items for gift baskets call
Barbara Hurte at (908) 213-0184 or Holly Maschio
at (201) 263-1873.
July—Stirling Camp Friendship, a Korean culture
day camp for Korean adoptees and their siblings
entering grades K–7. For more information see
June to August—Fraser Colorado Heritage Camps,
Birth culture camps for children adopted from
various countries. For more information see www.
August 3—Steel Pier, Atlantic City Holt Day, a family
fun day for Holt families, noon to midnight.
Contact: New Jersey Branch Office at [email protected]
Sept. 15—LeGrand Holt Family Picnic for adoptive
families, adult adoptees, parents in process and
prospective adoptive parents.
May 11—Valley River Inn, Eugene Colors of Hope
dinner auction to benefit the children of Vietnam.
Contact: Caroline Toy, Holt Events Manager, at
(800) 451-0732 or [email protected]
Mailing List Update Southwest Iowa Adoption Support
Group, for all current, new or returning members,
contact Terri Dreismeier at [email protected] to
forward your family name, address, phone number,
name of adults and children, and e-mail address if
you are interested in events and gatherings.
Feb. 24—Embassy Suites Hotel, Omaha Colors of Hope
dinner auction to benefit the children of Korea.
Contact: Event co-chairs Tracy Frerichs at (402)
614-6002 or [email protected] or Susan
Bailey at (402) 614-8859 or [email protected]
July 29–Aug. 2, 2007—Ashland Holt Adoptee Camp for
adoptees 9 to 16 years old. Contact: Steve Kalb at
(541) 687-2202 or [email protected]
New Jersey
April 14—North Brunswick North Brunswick
High School, Annual Holt Dinner & Auction,
sponsored by Holt families as a fundraiser for
Sign up today
for the new Holt e-newsletter
*For up-to-date news on adoption, inspirational
stories of children and families.
*When you sign up, your Holt International
e-newsletter will be delivered to your e-mail address.
go to
July 22–26—Corbett Holt Adoptee Camp for adoptees
9 to 16 years old. Contact: Steve Kalb at (541)
687-2202 or [email protected]
August 4—Eugene Holt Family Picnic for adoptive
families, adult adoptees, parents in process and
prospective adoptive parents.
Aug. 12–16—Starlight Holt Adoptee Camp, for
adoptees 9 to 16 years old. Contact: Steve Kalb at
(541) 687-2202 or [email protected]
March 25—Austin Ranch, Grapevine Texas Tea &
Fashion Show to benefit the children of Southeast
Asia. Contact: Julia Banta at (817) 329-5257 or
[email protected]
It’s Winter Jam time again,
and we need your help!
We need volunteers to help
concert attendees as they sign up
to sponsor children in Holt care.
Holt is partnering with NewSong,
a Dove Award-winning Christian
music group, to promote Holt
Child Sponsorship, and NewSong
is coming to your area! The Winter
Jam concert, features NewSong,
Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy
Camp and others.
If you can give an evening for
the children, please contact
Clarice Aeby at Holt for
specific instructions.
[email protected]
or call 1-888-355-HOLT ext. 178.
This is an exciting event, and you
will be blessed to see children
receive Sponsors. As a thank you,
NewSong will provide you
a free concert ticket and CD.
Orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable
children around the world need food, shelter,
clothing and medical treatment...
essentials your sponsorship of $30 per month
will help provide. Choose a child to sponsor
from Holt’s website:
ur Sponsorship can...
or call 800.451.0732
finding families
for children 31
2007 Holt
Heritage Tours
in the heart
finding families
for children
connection :: culture :: experience :: engage
Heritage Tours for adoptees
and their families
China Family Tours
Contact Angela Burke, China Program | (541) 687-2202 | [email protected]
Korea Motherland Tour
| Korea Family Tour
Contact Paul Kim, Korea Program | (541) 687-2202 | [email protected]
finding families
for children
finding families
for children
Post Of fice Box 2880
E u g e n e OR 9 7 4 0 2
finding families
for children
Change Ser vice Requested
finding families
for children
Nonprofit Org
US Postage
Eugene OR
Permit No. 291