Older Child Adoption

Their Forever Place

Holt Int’l video asking older waiting kids about what it is like to be adopted

Hey TD!

Many of you made a promise before God at TD to be sincerely praying what God would have you do in terms of helping the fatherless (or parentless).  Have you done that?  Has He responded? Or have you listened?

The answer won’t likely strike you like a lightning bolt, but rather, will likely lead you to a longer term perspective.  Whatever the case may be for you, please honor your commitment to pray, then listen well, and then go the direction God wants you to go.

In my family’s case, when heading down the road to adoption, we originally planned to follow God’s lead and adopt two sisters from China, aged 11 and 7.  We didn’t ever really consider adopting a teenager; yet that’s exactly what God had in mind both for us and for Stella all along.  We just didn’t know it yet.  We had to start walking in the direction we believed God was leading us to and He directed who we should be with.

TD, just start walking in ways you know would generally honor God; He’ll direct you to the specific steps you should take, the situations you are to be a part of, and the people you are to engage with.  When He leads and we follow, it’s a perfect match every time!

During Adoption Awareness Month, we’ve been showing you videos to get more familiar with the adoption landscape.  This time, watch, listen, and pray as teenagers your age share their feelings about what it is like for them to be adopted into a family that loves them.

– Arthur

 

 

Want to Know What The Adoption Process and Journey Look Like?

“Welcoming Willa” video with the Veldkamp Family

Hey TD!

As we highlighted in TD on Friday, November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  Most of you raised your hands to commit to seriously praying about what God would have you do with respect to helping address the world’s orphan crisis.  I shared with you how God has used other teenagers within their own families to help change the lives of some orphans through adoption.

I don’t know what God has in mind for you with respect to the orphaned, but I do know that you are to be involved in helping the fatherless in some way, shape, or form.  As Mary Beth Chapman reminds, “Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something.”

So, we will be highlighting various aspects of adoption on our blog this month to help you get more familiar with the ideas, language, and culture of adoption.  From these posts and videos, and through your commitment to pray and then act as God leads, we look forward to seeing how God will work in you and through you.

“Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something.”

– Mary Beth Chapman

Today, we’ll be highlighting what the adoption process and journey look like … in 10 minutes … through the Veldkamp family!  Their journey was very similar to ours, as they used the same agency we did (Holt Int’l) and went through similar family prepping, paperwork, and logistics (both in the US and in China).  We even visited some of the same places and stayed in the same hotel!  And like us, they too adopted a treasure!

Enjoy and reach out to anyone in my family if you’d like to know more about the process!

– Arthur

 

 

In Memory of Molly Holt – A True Hero

Hey TD,

Especially in light of our focus on Downward Engagement, you need to read the moving biography of Molly Holt, a life so well lived.  Molly is the daughter of Harry and Bertha Holt, the pioneers of international adoption and founders of Holt International, through whom we were able to adopt Stella.

Her life is an inspiration to us all and needs to be emulated by more Christians, to the glory of God.  Please read and then pray for God’s will to be done in your lives. – Arthur

In Memory Of Molly Holt

It is with profound sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt, passed away early in the morning on May 17 in Korea. She was 83 years old. 

In South Korea, Molly was known by many names, from the Mother Teresa of Korea to the Mother of all Korea’s Orphans. Although she devoted her life to caring and advocating for children and adults with medical, developmental and physical needs in Korea, she leaves a legacy that is felt around the world.

Born on November 24, 1935 in Firesteel, South Dakota, Molly was the second eldest daughter of Harry and Bertha Holt, who pioneered international adoption in the mid-1950s and later founded Holt International. Molly attended high school in Creswell, Oregon, and later graduated from both the University of Oregon and Sacred Heart Hospital, where she earned a nursing degree in 1956.

The summer of that same year, Molly traveled for the first time to South Korea — fresh out of nursing school, and ready to help her father care for children left orphaned and abandoned in the wake of the Korean War. A devout Christian like her parents, Molly had a vision for her future while in Korea. “I felt that this was where the Lord would have me be for the rest of my life,” she later said.

Molly would go on to spend most of her adult life at the Ilsan Center in Korea, a nurturing, long-term care home that her parents built in the early 1960s for children and adults with special medical, developmental and physical needs. As a nurse and foster mother to the residents of Ilsan, Molly worked to ensure they received the specialized care they needed to reach their potential and live as independently as possible. Through her tireless advocacy, Molly also made it possible for many children in care at Ilsan to join loving, permanent families through adoption. Today, hundreds of families adopt children with special needs every year from countries around the world. But long before it was common, Molly actively sought families for the children who others considered “unadoptable.” Like her parents before her, Molly helped change the culture of adoption by showing that every child is equally worthy of love and acceptance, and that every child deserves to be part of a family.

Only a few times in her life did Molly leave the Ilsan Center for extended periods, and only to pursue additional training so that she could better meet the needs of the children and adult residents of Ilsan. She studied at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, attended Korean language school and Multnomah School of the Bible, did post-graduate work in special education at the University of Oregon, and in December 1991 she earned a master’s degree in special education and rehabilitation from Northern Colorado University. Throughout her life, she received many honors, including a presidential award, the National Order of Civil Merit from Korea in 1981, World Vision’s Bob Pierce award in 1984 and in 2009, for her lifetime of dedication to orphans and people with disabilities, she received the Royal Order of Merit from the king of Norway.

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, Molly nevertheless remained steadfast in her commitment to the children and adult residents of the Ilsan Center. Despite her declining health, she said that she would devote her remaining life “to the things that she loves with her whole heart.” Molly never married or had children, but to the residents of Ilsan — many of whom are now in their 50s and 60s — Molly was their only family. They called her “Unee,” or big sister, a name that Molly cherished.

“Molly Holt moved so many with her tireless and admirable efforts, especially for those children with mental and physical disabilities,” says Stephen Noerper, senior director of the Korea Society and senior advisor to the United Nations. “As a brother of adopted, special needs siblings, I salute and admire her legacy of service. She offered six decades of tireless devotion, stood as a credit to her brave parents, and touched, formed and grew many through her compassion. The Korea Society and the entire community of those bent on international friendship and support extend deepest condolences to her family and friends and the entire Holt organization. To Molly Holt’s nobility, spirit and service, all tribute and our love and heartfelt prayers.”

Of Molly’s passing, Lee HongKoo, former prime minister of the Republic of Korea, wrote, “The contribution of Molly Holt to humanity and humanism … is a historic achievement. The modern history of Korea will record her achievement with gratitude and admiration. Many of us in Korea join the Holt adoptee community in recording our love and farewell.”

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Molly Holt,” says Oregon senator Ron Wyden. “Although she lived most of her life in Korea, all of us in Oregon consider her an exceptional Oregonian.  Molly leaves a legacy of caring and compassion that will endure for generations to come.  Her devotion to orphaned children in Korea and around the world touched the lives of thousands of children and families and changed the hearts and minds of many more for the better.”

Steve Stirling, president and CEO of MAP International, lived at the Ilsan Center in Korea before he was adopted in 1966, at the age of 11. “I thank God for Molly for faithfully serving those in need through Holt and living in Ilsan to care for disabled residents,” he says. “While we will miss you now, I will rejoice when we unite for eternity in Heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus. So long for now until we meet again in our forever home.”

Please pray for Molly’s family and for the many people who have loved her that they might find peace and comfort in their memories.

Services for Molly will be held in Korea at 10:00 a.m. on May 21 at Holt Ilsan Center of Korea. Molly’s family requests that gifts be made in her honor to the Molly Holt Fund for Children With Special Needs. If you would like to share memories or photos of Molly Holt, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org.

By Robin Munro