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.”
Education is the single most effective weapon against poverty. When children are educated, they are empowered to transform not just their own lives — but to break the cycle of poverty in their families and communities.
But around the world, children face tremendous obstacles to their education and the sad truth is that millions of school-aged children are not in school.
School provides critical protections for children in developing countries, keeping them safe from traffickers, exploitation, forced child labor, child marriage, and empowers them to overcome staggering illiteracy rates in their communities.
Our job is to remove every hurdle until the path to a long, full education is so simple and so smooth, it’s the only choice for children.
That’s why today, we are asking you to donate $25 to provide school supplies, a uniform, books and other materials to one child in Holt’s education programs.
Myles* is an active 14-month-old boy who is waiting for a permanent, loving family. This sweet boy was born full term, weighing 3.02 kg (6.65 lbs.). He’s been diagnosed with — and currently being treated for — congenital adrenal hyperplasia and plagiocephaly. His congenital adrenal hyperplasia is well controlled with daily medication. Myles is also receiving helmet therapy for plagiocephaly, which is reportedly improving. Developmentally, he walks alone, crawls and sits without support.
He likes to play ball and peek-a-boo. He babbles some words like “momma”, “umma”, and “appa”, but he is learning how to speak. He understands simple words, and can wave hello and goodbye. At 14 months old, he is assessed at over 11 months developmentally and 14-16 months in gross motor skills. Myles enjoys taking baths, splashing water, going out with his foster mother and playing “clap-it and grab-it.” He has a good appetite and loves bananas, cookies, soft bread, cheese and yogurt. Read More
After her trip to Korea, adoptee Megan Green felt compelled to write a letter to her birth mother. This is what she said.
Dear Birth Mother,
The last two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life thus far. I have been blessed to be part of the 2016 Korea motherland family tour through Holt International.
The conclusion of the tour compelled me to write you a letter. I have written you many letters before, but now as I reflect back on them they all seem cold and distant — something I would write to a stranger. This letter is different than the others in that it is one of gratitude, empathy and understanding.
As you already know, I came into your life on February 21, 1984 at about 3:26 p.m. I was about 2 months and 21 days premature, I weighed a little over two pounds and I was born with cerebral palsy.
This could have been any adoptee. Any adoptive family.
That’s the messages adult adoptee and adoptee advocate Emily Kessel wants to convey in regards to the Adoptee Citizenship Act, a bill that was introduced into the House in June.
“My adoptive parents naturalized me,” Emily says, “but there are thousands of international adoptees who were adopted by U.S. parents who don’t currently have citizenship.”
Over a decade ago, the Adoption Bill of 2000 granted automatic citizenship to all international adoptees, but inadvertently omitted adoptees who were over the age of 18 at the time of the bill’s enactment. This oversight left thousands of adoptees, adopted by U.S. citizen parents, vulnerable to deportation, and prohibited them from many rights granted to U.S. citizens. “But they are really Americans to the core,” Emily says. “They should be treated as first-class Americans, not second-class citizens.” Read More
In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Holt strives to meet the changing needs of 15-year-old Batbayar, a boy with cerebral palsy who is growing too big — and too smart — for his environment.
When I meet Batbayar*, he sits over a lunch of mutton stew, flipping through the latest fall catalog of a local department store. Although Batbayar has cognitive delays as well as cerebral palsy — a neurological condition that affects his muscle coordination and physical movement — he is obviously very bright, and insatiably curious. As he eats his lunch, the caregivers keep an eye on him to ensure he is managing the fine motor tasks needed to use his utensils. He responds to their inquiries with a smile and a glint in his playful eyes. He pays close attention to the other children, the caregivers, and the strange visitors in the room — observing everyone with utmost curiosity between bites of stew.
Batbayar is unique. As one of the few children in the Rainbow Unit who is able to feed himself, he gets the luxury of eating at a leisurely pace.
Batbayar spends his days in this colorful, sun-filled room with the nine other children with special needs who live at the National Children’s Sanatorium (NCS) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This room has plenty of windows to let in the sun and a view of the outside world. It is directly attached to their sleeping quarters, dining room and bathroom. Also, just down the hall is an extensive therapy room, where the children receive regular physical therapy. Read More