Dani Needs a Family!

Any family would be blessed to have Dani as their son.

Dani is one of the 33 kids that I met in Colombia on our last resource-gathering trip. We showed up to a botanical park in Medellin where he and six other kids were waiting to spend the day with us. A few of the other kids were energetic and running all around, but Dani was very calm and collected. He was pretty interested in my camera and so after a little while I took it off and handed it to him. He seemed surprised that I would trust him with it, but after an approving nod from me, he quickly and carefully started taking pictures. Continue reading “Dani Needs a Family!”

Raymond needs a family!

Raymond needs a family!

There Must Be a Family for Raymond!

Raymond’s caregivers are especially adamant that Raymond is a special boy who needs an adoptive family.  When asked what stands out about him, his caregivers say that he is optimistic and works very hard.

Raymond’s hard work is paying off in school. He attends a public school where his academic performance is excellent and he earns prizes for his good behavior. His favorite subject is math and he likes his math teacher. Continue reading “Raymond needs a family!”

How We Fundraised $45,000 For Our Adoption

Adoption Fundraising

Adoptive parents Alex and Todd Smith share how they fundraised $45,000 in adoption costs!!

Adoption costs quite a lot, that is a well known fact and one of the main reasons people don’t pursue adoption even after they feel called to. But something I have learned through this process is that these costs have a purpose. There are hardworking people that are caring for these children and working on piles of paperwork and helping you jump through so many hoops to be able to bring your child home. I can only speak from our process, but even though our adoption costs seem like a lot of money, it provides jobs for those helping us along the way, a home for our baby girl and her foster family, and a way for our family to bring home our daughter.

With all of that said, the cost of this process was still one of Todd’s biggest fears, but standing on this side of the journey he said “can you believe I was scared about how we would be able to raise the money?” I strongly believe that God places you in a spot where you are not enough, so that He can show that He is.

Through God’s grace, our family and friends raised $45,000 in 8 months.  Praise Jesus! Continue reading “How We Fundraised $45,000 For Our Adoption”

Why Do You Sponsor Us?

In Bengaluru, India, Holt child sponsors help over 1,000 girls go to school and receive an education — girls like Payal, Sanjana, Manixa and Mayvis. The importance of education for girls is not lost on them. When you educate a girl in India, you help prevent child marriage, and empower her for a successful future. And these girls want to know – why do you sponsor them?

“Why do they want to let the children to study?” says Payal, her dark brown eyes perplexed.

Continue reading “Why Do You Sponsor Us?”

Adoptee & Actress Danielle Lyn Travels to the Philippines

Actress Danielle Lyn (Queen Sugar and The Divergent Series: Allegiant) is a Filipina adoptee using her platform to advocate for orphaned children and kids in impoverished communities. Below, she shares about her first trip to the Philippines since she came home to her family in the U.S.,  and what it meant to her to reunite with her caregivers and see the continued outreach of Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, Holt’s partner agency in the Philippines.

Danielle with Marilyn Manuel, executive director of Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, Holt’s partner agency in the Philippines.

We tell story by choice, chance and experience in life. To mark 2018’s New Year, I penned my first piece for Holt seven months ago. Sharing then my hopes to receive what family is, far away beginnings for children awaiting theirs, and offering the wonder for what would come of it all. In the time that has passed, a lesson has grown nearer to me: the most touching stories are the ones we touch ourselves, they are the ones we ourselves live. Continue reading “Adoptee & Actress Danielle Lyn Travels to the Philippines”

Torn Pages Made Beautiful

Adoptee Lily Daniels shares how the sad stories of her family’s lives became one big beautiful story of restoration, tinged yet strengthened by loss.

Lily’s senior portrait.

I want to tell you a story that is really about how a lot of different little, sad stories became one big, beautiful story.

The setting is June 17, 2001. Two stories collide and become one. In my mind, it was always about two groups of characters whose lives mirrored each other. There were the parents who lost their unborn children. They tried many years, traveled many miles, and faced the unknown. Then, there was the newly born baby girl who lost her parents. She, too, waited long, traveled far, and faced the unknown. They both needed something — family. And so, it became a beautiful story of restoration, tinged yet strengthened by loss. Continue reading “Torn Pages Made Beautiful”

Like a Boss: Single Moms Take on Men’s Jobs in Haiti

In Haiti, jobs that pay the best tend to be considered “men’s jobs.” But with the support of Holt donors, one hard-working group of single moms is proving that they can do any job just as well as a man — especially for the sake of their children.

Last December, Stephanie’s neighbors started giving her advice.

‘If I were you, I’d start praying,’ they told her.

‘Maybe it’s Voodoo,’ some of them said.

‘He may not make it,’ they warned, preparing her for the worst. Continue reading “Like a Boss: Single Moms Take on Men’s Jobs in Haiti”

Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!

Many of the kids waiting for an adoptive family through Holt’s new Colombia adoption program are over the age of 5. But, partially spurred by fear, most adoptive families express openness only to a child who is 0-5 years old, passing up some precious, special, smart and wonderful kids whose greatest dream in life is to feel the unconditional love of a family. Learn about two kids — Cata and Santi — who are waiting for families. And, learn more about why Colombia adoption is an amazing option for families!

Colombia Adoption Program for Older Child Adoption
Kim Dowd-Uribe with two of the children she met in Medellin, Colombia. Holt’s Colombia adoption program is our newest country for families, but with Kim’s expertise, passion for kids and work ethic, it feels more like one of Holt’s long-standing partners.

On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older children.

When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.

Paperwork can be dehumanizing.

At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children we met waiting for families through our Colombia adoption program.

When I read Cata’s file, it didn’t say that she loves sports and dancing. It didn’t talk about how funny and confident and abundantly sweet she is. It didn’t talk about her bright, sparkling eyes or gap-toothed smile from the loss of baby teeth.

Colombia Older Child Adoption
Cata is waiting for a family to adopt her through Holt International’s Colombia adoption program.

Continue reading “Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!”

Sofia needs a family!

Sofia needs a family!

Sofia is absolutely precious.

She’s 7-years-old and while her verbal communication skills are limited, you always know what she wants, what she likes and what she doesn’t like. She’s good at expressing her emotions. She really loves to color and draw and she’s always down for an adventure — whether it’s a picnic in the park, a piggy-back-ride through the zoo or a hand-in-hand walk to see the sights.

Sofia needs a family! Continue reading “Sofia needs a family!”