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.”
At Holt International, we believe that finances should never stand between a loving family and a child who truly needs one. But far too often, children with special needs — or much older children — wait longer to join a family. For many families, the cost of ongoing medical care, on top of adoption-related expenses, feels overwhelming. That’s why for children who need our extra help finding the right family, we offer several resources to help with the financial part of their adoption. One of those resources is the Special Blessings grant. These grants reduce a child’s adoption fees, so when the right family comes along, they face fewer financial obstacles.
We recently awarded Special Blessings grants to these 5 kids from China! Every one of them is waiting for the perfect family to bring them into their home.
Neil is a handsome boy who came into care when he was a little over two months old. He has some physical challenges including a melanotic nevus on his neck and shoulder, a urogenital issue, and a kidney issue for which he is on a special diet (low sodium, limited sweets). However, Neil is still very independent and can take care of his own personal needs. He lives at a privately run foster care facility and is educated by a tutor there. He learns well and is being taught some English. His best friend was recently adopted, and he is now the oldest child left in the home. Neil has a champion smile and laughs and plays well. Neil loves the Hulk and is very active! He can ride a bicycle, paint and enjoys drawing. He is a bit of a jokester who likes to tease in a good-spirited way. His dream is to be a firefighter when he grows up. There is a $3,000 Special Blessings grant* available to help cover some of the cost of Neil’s adoption through Holt. Could your family be a perfect fit for Neil?
Sophia is a beautiful little girl with bright eyes and a big smile. She came into care when she was about 3 years old. She had surgery for hip adduction and Clubfoot in 2014, and her caregivers report that she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2016. Sophia can walk using a walker, and we have videos of her on file doing so! Sophia speaks some words, including “hello” in English and “xie xie”(thank you) in Mandarin. A social worker who met her recently notes that she clearly understands what is said to her and is good at communicating her needs. For example, she will bring a cup to her caregivers if she is thirsty. A $3,000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover some of the cost of Sophia’s adoption through Holt. Could your family be the perfect fit for Sophia?
Frankie wants to be a superhero when he grows up! He has cerebral palsy and HIV, which is well controlled with daily medication. He can walk with a walker (see his video!) and express himself in short sentences. He can learn new things well and he goes to school every day, where he also receives physical therapy. He can count from 1-30 and recognize the alphabet. His caregivers say he picks up on things quickly and is especially adept at electronics. Frankie playfully teases others and can imitate the superheroes he sees in cartoons. Transformers are his favorites. Frankie lives in a small, well-run group home with other children who have tested HIV positive. He is popular in the group home and gets along well with his caregivers and the other children. A $3,000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover some of the cost of Frankie’s adoption through Holt. Could your family be the perfect fit for Frankie?
Nolan is a fighter; he has had three heart surgeries, but still finds a way to play basketball every day. He came into care when he was about 5 years old and has complex congenital heart disease (DORV, VSD, PFO, severe pulmonary hypertension, etc…). He takes medication for his heart condition and knows when to slow down so he doesn’t get overtired. He also has significant myopia and will very likely need glasses. Nolan is a favorite with the orphanage director and other staff. He lives in a small group home on the orphanage grounds and attends public school. Nolan is a bright and motivated boy and can say “thank you” and count up to 20 in English with clear pronunciation. Nolan has watched many friends go home with their adoptive families and he wants a family of his own very much. He says that he would like to be an older brother because he likes helping other children. Our staff observed his kindness and helpfulness toward younger kids at the orphanage. Nolan has been through a lot in his short life, but he has maintained a good attitude and hope for the future. A $3,000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover some of the cost of Nolan’s adoption through Holt. Could your family be the perfect fit for Nolan?
Gus is a cute little boy who came into care when he was about two days old. He has a urogenital condition, for which he had surgery, and an extra thumb on his right hand, which has been removed. Gus has been living with a foster family since 2014. He likes jumping up and down on the sofa and playing with other children. He smiles often, communicates well, and his intelligence is reported to be normal. A $3,000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover some of the cost of Gus’s adoption through Holt. Could your family be the perfect fit for Gus?
* Special Blessings grants are available to families who earn an annual adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less and do not apply to fees already paid to Holt International. Families who do not qualify for a Special Blessings grant may still apply for our Special Needs Adoption Fund grant.
In just a few short months, Deacon will age out of the adoption system and his chance at a loving and permanent family will disappear. His time is running out, and he needs a family soon.
However, if we are able to find the right family for Deacon, a $10,000 Special Brittany’s Hope grant is available to help them overcome any financial obstacles they may have to adopting him!
Deacon’s caregivers describe him as smart and extroverted and he has made several good friends in his group home. He’s in good health and developmentally on target. He is currently in 9th grade and receives high marks in school, where his favorite subjects include math and chemistry. He is also learning how to speak some simple English phrases. Someday, Deacon would like to become a doctor.
Deacon enjoys playing sports and his favorite activities include playing football, badminton and chess with his friends. He likes to eat Pho and chicken, and like any other 15-year-old, he can eat a lot of it.
He will need an experienced family with excellent resources, understanding and experience with older child adoption. Deacon will be making a big transition, and his family will need to be prepared to give him the support he needs along the way.
Date of Birth: 01/02/2002 | Vietnam
Just before Chinese New Year at the end of January, Holt staff and child sponsorship advocates in Nanning, China, visited Wei’s rural village.
Here, Wei lives with his mom and two sisters in a small home. Wei was excited to spend time with his advocate, Mr. Pan, who is the man in the leather jacket throughout this video. Wei showed staff his house, favorite fishing spot and the lush farmland that surrounds his home.
See what a day is like in Wei’s life and how sponsorship is helping him to stay in school — a luxury that his older sisters can no longer afford.
Thank you for the continued support of your sponsored child. We can’t emphasize often enough the very real difference your commitment makes in the lives of the children in Holt’s programs. Because of you, children are safer, healthier and staying in school longer. They feel loved and confident knowing their U.S. sponsor cares for them.
As you watch Wei’s story, consider how life may be similar or different for the child you chose to sponsor.
*As a note of authenticity, the voice in the video is not Wei’s, but it does accurately convey Wei’s responses during our recent visit and interview with him.
We urgently need families for girls and sibling sets who are older than 4 and have minor or no special needs. The parent eligibility requirements for our India program have also recently changed, and close to 120 children need families. Holt has strong partner organizations in India, and the adoption process is stable and predictable. Does this sound like a program that would be a good fit for you?
How Holt’s staff in Haiti is using your donations to help children in orphanage care, as well as single mothers, their children and their families to recover and rebuild.
The worst humanitarian crisis to strike Haiti since the country’s devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.
That is how the United Nations described the impact of Hurricane Matthew, a category-5 tropical cyclone that ravaged the southern coast of Haiti in early October 2016.
As torrential rain and 145-mile-per-hour winds downed communications systems, we lost all internet contact with our staff in Port-au-Prince. Two days later, we received a very brief email from our country director: “Lots damaged. I am in tears. We need donations and volunteers.”
In the aftermath of the hurricane, we were relieved to hear that the children and families in our programs were safe. But the destruction to homes and orphanages left them more vulnerable than ever and immediately, we began collecting donations from our supporters — raising over $40,000 to help repair the damage. Read More