On this blog, we share stories and updates about our work around the world. With reporting from Holt staff in the U.S. and overseas as well as contributions from adoptive parents, adoptees, sponsors and supporters, we strive to represent the heart, life and experiences of our extended “Holt Family.”
In China, 13-year-old Zack was running out of time. If he reached his 14th birthday, his chances of having a permanent family in the United States would be lost forever.
In the U.S., the Gremillion family was waiting to be matched with a child through Holt’s Korea program. That was until they saw Zack’s photo in a Holt e-mail update. “His ‘age out’ date was drawing near,” Whitney Gremillion says. “So we had to work hard and fast to get this amazing child home.”
Because of the short timeframe, the Gremillions needed to come up with adoption funds much quicker than they originally planned. Fortunately, the Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF) was there to help. Provided by generous Holt donors, SNAF grants help children with special needs come home as soon as possible by helping their families overcome the financial obstacles of adopting them.
Thanks to SNAF donors, the Gremillions completed their adoption and Zack made it home just in time! “Our adoption was made possible by the SNAF,” Whitney says.
Just one donation from you today could make all the difference for a family who needs extra help completing their adoption. And for older children — children who might soon lose their adoption eligibility and the chance at having a family — a donation from you could mean everything!
Brady is well known throughout China after he was featured in a news story that spread throughout the country. His story was shocking and heartbreaking as it told his plight as an orphaned boy with HIV, forced to fend for himself. Now he is cared for in a Holt-sponsored group home for children with HIV where he is waiting to be matched with an adoptive family. Amanda Bray lives in China and got to meet Brady when she joined a group of Holt Ambassadors who were visiting the care home. Help her advocate for him to find a family that is deserving of such a caring and talented young man.
Life for children with HIV in China is hard. Through no fault of their own, they have to live with a stigmatizing disease that shows no outward signs but results in a broken childhood and a bleak future. As an expat living in China, the stories from the HIV+ community broke my heart. The more I learned about these people, the more I wanted to help however I could.
A Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF) grant helped Max come home quickly so that he could receive the medical care that he so desperately needed.
Six-year-old Max has no spleen. HIs body lacks the ability to fight infection, and every time he has a fever, his family has to rush him to the ER.
Thankfully, Max has a wonderful, devoted family — a family that obsessively watches him for any sign of sickness. A family that would drop everything to make sure he receives the vital healthcare he needs.
Holt Ambassador Andrea Olson advocates again for Lile, an 8 year old who has complex congenital heart disease. Her heart breaks that he has, as of now, had no families inquire about him.
The room was brightly lit and full of activity. Excited children clamored about and I strained to catch a glimpse of the two boys whom I had been partnered with for the week as part of Holt’s Beijing Ambassador trip. Suddenly, I saw “Lile”! I watched as he walked into the room and looked about, surveying the activities keenly. I felt giddy with excitement, so thrilled to have a chance to get to know him and hopefully assist in finding his forever family.
I jotted down notes as I watched him. He seemed well liked by the other children, he minded the ayis [caregivers], he was able to sit still during presentations, and he was very aware of his surroundings. I detected a bit of anxiousness emanating from him — seemingly from his need to make sure that the other children were participating and having fun. He was constantly looking around to be certain that nobody was left out. My heart melted when he noticed a toddler girl who was standing alone while the other little ones were being guided through an activity. He marched up to her and very gently, with a hand on each of her shoulders, guided her over to the activity and made sure she was engaged.
Many wait in care facilities where they are just one among dozens or even hundreds of other children. With caregivers unable to give each child the love and attention they deserve, children often rock themselves to sleep at night — waiting for a mom and a dad to come and get them.
But children with special needs often wait far longer for a family. They watch as other children leave one by one with their adoptive parents. And they wonder, month after month, year after year, when it will be their turn. When they get to go home.