• Family Preservation in Thailand

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Ten-year-old Holt adoptee Annabel Horvath reunites with her foster mom and visits her finding site on the 2015 Holt China Family Tour. This post originally appeared on the blog Bringing Home Annabel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
YUANLING

As our travel group prepared to depart for our respective provinces, the larger group of adopted girls all became a bit pensive and introspective. It was clear they were all preparing themselves for the days to come. We all parted ways and our family left for the town of Yuanling in the Hunan Province to see Annabel’s orphanage and meet her foster mother.

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Education-BannerSchool is out for the summer! But not for long.

Soon, American families will start thinking about sending their little ones back — pouring into retail stores to buy clothes, shoes, supplies and backpacks for a promising new year.

But for many children around the world, school is often out of reach.

Many obstacles, including the lack of basic school supplies, stand in their way of receiving an education and reaching their God-given potential. Without a proper uniform, many children aren’t even allowed inside the classroom.

That’s why today, I am asking you to give a gift of $17 to provide a uniform, textbooks and shoes so that a child in need can succeed in school.

And when you make your gift, please join me in making a promise to pray every day for the orphaned and vulnerable children we serve — pray for their safety, quick learning and a strong sense of purpose.

Your gift today will ensure a child is equipped to succeed in school. Because as we all know, success in school so often means success in life … And through your Prayer Promise, our prayers will unite to bless children around the world as they work to achieve their dreams!

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After reading about Laila, a waiting child in Southeast Asia, Holt adoptive mom Katie Gray felt inspired to advocate for her. Katie and her husband have adopted two boys through Holt — one from Thailand, one from South Korea. Much like Laila, both boys were premature at birth and came home with developmental delays.

Date of Birth: 2/22/12, Southeast Asia

Premature birth, global developmental delays and cerebral palsy — the list of special needs was intimidating when we first saw our son’s referral. We consulted an international adoption clinic, did some research and decided to step out in faith. Almost two years after bringing our son home, I am so glad we did. He is a bright little boy who loves making original creations with his Legos and pretending to be a superhero. He is developmentally on track and the therapy he received in country resulted in a full range of motion.

When I read the description of 3-year-old Laila in Southeast Asia, I was immediately reminded of my son’s referral. Laila was also born prematurely, and has developmental delays and cerebral palsy. She also needs a family to look past the intimidating diagnoses and see a beautiful child who would be a wonderful addition to their family. She enjoys being cuddled and praised and giggles when she is tickled. She smiles and responds when she is talked to.

She has spastic cerebral palsy in her lower extremities, which means it mainly affects the legs and is a less severe form of cerebral palsy. Generally it does not affect intelligence or language skills. The good news about cerebral palsy is that it is a static condition; it will not progressively get worse. With physical therapy and continued use of the muscles, progress can be made. Laila is receiving physical therapy and her development and muscle tone are improving. She can sit and hold her head steadily without support, lift herself to standing with support, walk with a walker or holding onto the playpen, and crawl slowly. She needs a family to encourage her and help her access the resources she needs to thrive.

Are you that family? She’s waiting for you. To view Laila’s photolisting profile, click here. To see photos of Laila and learn more about adopting her, please contact Jessica Palmer at jessicap@holtinternational.org.

Gray Family

Robert and Katie Gray with their two boys. Their oldest (left) is 4 and was adopted from Thailand. Their 3-year-old son was adopted from South Korea.

Katie Gray | El Paso, TX

Diagnosed with a learning disability at 9 years old, adoptee Kallie Tuxbury was told she may never make it to college. As she prepares to begin her first year of grad school, Kallie says kindness and perseverance are key to overcoming challenges.

Graduation 2015

Kallie Tuxbury was told she may never be able to excel academically, especially beyond high school. Here, she stands in her college graduation gown.

It seems like yesterday that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; a psychologist concluded this when I was 9 years old. This difficulty has been highly reflected in my academics all throughout elementary school, middle school, high school and to this day. While accommodations were made at school, it still felt there was something missing; it never felt exactly and fully diagnosed.

Due to this condition, the psychologist told my parents that the highest level of education I could attain would be a high school diploma. As I was adopted from South Korea, the cause of my anxiety is unknown. It could be hereditary or it could potentially have resulted from being born premature. Read More

Around the world, the extra cost to send children back to school is often an overwhelming amount for parents. Books, school supplies, shoes and uniforms all add up — and on top of already expensive school fees. However, for one special school in Ethiopia, you can help provide children with the supplies they need and ensure the first day of school is marked with joy and celebration.

Ethiopia Deaf School 2

In 2009, Holt came to Shinshicho — first renovating a local clinic, and then partnering with the community to build a full maternal-child hospital to serve the region’s nearly 250,000 people. In recent years, Holt also developed programs to strengthen families at risk of separation from their children. Through our work in the community, Holt heard about the need for a school for deaf children and decided to help. A Shinshicho resident donated the land and space, and we worked with the community to build a school for deaf children. Anticipating only 50 students on the first day, we were shocked when more than 200 children showed up to learn. This year, more than 500 students will attend Yesus Mena School for deaf children.

There’s a universal kind of magic in the first day of school.

The potion is simple: mix one new outfit with two cups of optimism for what a new school year may hold — one from the child, one from the parent. Add a fresh-faced teacher and 50 sets of new notebooks and school bags. Blend it all together with a dose of excitement and a pinch of nerves. Add a new best friend and a handful of lunch-time giggles. Drink it up, knowing this school year will be the best one yet. Read More