What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Colombia?
Is it Pablo Escobar or the drug cartels? If so, you aren’t alone. Colombia is a country with a brutal history. But there’s another side to Colombia — a side that is passionate, resilient and full of kids who embody these traits, and who are waiting for permanent, loving families to call their own.
For Martha and Bob Bonneau, their daughters’ special needs have been the least challenging part of their adoption experience. The hard part has required them to learn a few new parenting strategies — and their daughters to learn just how strong and proud they can be.
Over four and a half years at Holt, our China child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb, has chosen “advocacy names” for over 1,000 kids on our China waiting child photolisting. Most are temporary names. But among the hundreds of kids who are now home with their families, there are a few who still have the name their parents “grew to love them as.”
One day, in the spring of 2016, Adam and Jennifer Lenzen decided they wanted to adopt a little girl.
“We didn’t know what the process would look like, but we were looking through the beautiful faces on Holt China’s waiting child photolisting and one little girl caught our eye,” they say.
Growing up without a stable family in the Philippines, Konny Dela Cruz struggled to stay on track — and eventually left school early to work in a garment factory. Then she learned about Holt’s independent living and educational assistance (ILEA) program — a donor-funded program that helps institutionalized and disadvantaged teens to attend college and learn independent living skills.
The story of my life is so beautiful with a lot of learnings.
I was born in 1997. I grew up with a family with whom I have no blood relationship. I was only 2 years old when my mother entrusted me to the care of the landlady of the boarding house where we used to stay because she went to Korea to work.
When I was growing up, I was wondering why there is no name of my father on my birth certificate. I asked the landlady, whom I have been calling grandmother “Lola,” to explain “why I have no father on my birth certificate,” but she would just tell me it is only your mother who can answer your question. And my mother kept ignoring my question, too.
Three and a half years ago, Holt learned about seven children who needed families from a small but exceptional orphanage in China. One by one, six of those children were matched with their adoptive families. One by one, they said their goodbyes and left the orphanage to start new lives with their forever families.
Benjamin has been there for every goodbye. He has watched each of his friends be embraced by the families who chose them.
Do you want to send aid to North Korea, but want to make sure your donation actually helps kids in need? You may wonder if it’s even possible. For 19 years, people like you have sent aid to children and orphans in North Korea through Holt International — winter weather, emergency food and disaster relief aid that saves children’s lives.
Want to learn more? Here are ten things you might not know about sending aid to North Korea.
Two adoptive moms share what it’s like to adopt children with a common, though not commonly discussed special need — anorectal malformation, or ARM. Because this is a sensitive need, all names in this article have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.
“William just turned 5 and he is amazing! He is so intelligent, inquisitive and goofy. He keeps us laughing all day because he has such a wonderful sense of humor. He has an amazing imagination and is constantly playing make believe or making up songs. He would be outside all day, every day, if he had a choice. He loves nature, bugs, animals, science, swimming, hiking, camping and getting really dirty.”—Tavia, William’s mom
“Tess is such a blessing. She brings us such joy. She is 6, almost 7 years old, but sometimes we say she is 6 going on 18 because she is so mature for her age. She’s very opinionated and will let you know exactly what she thinks! She doesn’t like going to school because she hates waking up early, but she always has a big smile on her face by the time I pick her up. She is such a beautiful, loquacious little girl.” — Sarah, Tess’s mom Continue reading “Top Things To Know About Adopting a Child With ARM”
In her community, Betsy is known for looking out for others and attending to their needs. When her nanny is tired, she will go fetch a stool for her to sit on. If her foster brother is crying, she will give him snacks to make him happy. She even helps her elderly neighbor with his cane. Needless to say, she is well liked in her neighborhood!
Betsy has Down syndrome, but her cognitive and language development is reported to be above average for children with this developmental special need. Betsy is good at expressing herself and loves to tell stories. She is also quite active and loves to dance (see video below).
A $3000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover the fees to adopt Betsy through Holt.
Could you or someone you know be the right family for Betsy? For more information about Betsy, please visit her photolisting profile or contact our child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb.
Birth Month: 5/2011 | China
*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 the Special Blessings grant may still apply for our Special Needs Adoption Fund grant.
Congratulations to Suzy Allen, Sarah Carlson and Jill Cuzzolino — our three 2018 Adoptee Scholarship winners! This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work framed around the prompt, “To My 10-Year-Old Self Re: Adoption…” Suzy, Sarah and Jill each won a $500 scholarship.
I decided to write a slam poem about one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had with my mom regarding my adoption. She wrote a book about me when I was 4 years old so I decided the best way to allude to her work was to write something back. She gave me her love through words so I wanted to do the same. I wanted to specifically highlight an instance of me as a child to represent how our relationship has transcended as well as how it will stay that way. My family means the world to me and this was my gift back to them, a letter of love you might say, before I left for college. Continue reading “Congratulations to Holt’s 2018 Adoptee Scholarship Winners!”