A great story from a Holt family–“Hope and Ethiopia”

Photo Credit: BRIAN DAVIES/THE REGISTER-GUARD

Patric and Holly Campbell read to their children Miles and Lauryn Campbell in their home in Eugene. The Campbell family adopted Miles from Ethiopia in 2009. Since then, Patric Campbell has helped organize medical equipment and other help for other families in the area where Miles is from, south of Addis Abbaba, the capital and Ethiopia’s largest city.

Click here to read the whole story at the Register Guard.

These Brothers Just Want a Stable, Loving Family

Brothers Dylan and Jude are this week’s featured waiting children. Please help them find a loving family!

Dylan*, 11/24/03 and Jude*, 5/20/05

These handsome brothers live at a care center in East Africa, where they are waiting to find a loving family to adopt both of them. I met Dylan, the older of the two, while visiting children in Holt’s care last summer, in July 2012. At the time, his brother was in school.

I remember Dylan as gentle and sweet, with a charming smile and extraordinary hazel-colored eyes that exuded warmth and intelligence. Just a happy, healthy boy, Dylan gave no indication of the hardship he has endured already in his young life. Only later did I learn what brought Dylan and Jude into care, and on the track for adoption.

The brothers came into Holt’s care in May 2012, just a couple months before my visit. Their father is a former policeman whose struggle with alcoholism caused him to lose his job. His wife eventually left him as well, leaving Dylan and Jude without a mother. With little to eat and an unstable home environment, Dylan thought he could do better for himself and his brother. He fled to the streets, where he lived for a couple weeks until finding a local shelter. Jude came to live with him at the shelter, while their father tried to overcome his problems. But the cycle continued, and although the shelter tried to reunite the family, the father said he could not care for them. Wishing for them “to be well-educated and to have a better life,” he relinquished his sons for adoption.

Dylan during our visit in July 2012.

This is how they came to live at one of our partnering care centers – a lovely, well-tended home that cares for just a handful of children at a time.

Continue reading “These Brothers Just Want a Stable, Loving Family”

With Just Ten Dollars

A Secret Keeper Girl’s generous sacrifice

By Suzy Weibel, Secret Keeper Girl staff, written for Centre Church’s blog

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4

 

Every once in a while something so good happens on the Secret Keeper Girl tour, and I have to share it with the church, believing it translates to the church at large. Such a thing just happened in Anniston, Alabama.

The Secret Keeper Girl tour is sponsored by Holt International. You may have seen the video featuring Autumn Gresh at intermission of that tour, and Autumn on stage for that matter. (read more about Autumn Gresh, here) Our intermission “pitch” for Holt is very similar. With 64,000 international adoptions, and Autumn being one of them, under their belts, Holt has an appealing ministry. Abby, a little girl from Alabama thought so too. Continue reading “With Just Ten Dollars”

Happy (Almost) Wordless Wednesday!

This is Luke Williams!  His photo and many other adorable faces grace the pages of Holt’s 2013 Calendar.  You can purchase your calendar today for just $10!  An added bonus and Perfect Christmas gift:  Calendar proceeds go to support vulnerable children around the world!  Purchase your 2013 Holt Calendar by clicking, here.

 

Oregon State Students Give Over 200 Pairs of Shoes to Families in Ethiopia

In July 2012, 13 Oregon State University students traveled with Holt to Silti, Ethiopia. While they came to build homes for families in Holt’s family-strengthening program, they also brought with them over 200 pairs of shoes to distribute among the families. For some, these would be the first pair of shoes they had ever owned.

This holiday season, give gifts with heart and “sole”! Click here to gives shoes or other Gifts of Hope to families and children in need.

by Robin Munro, Senior Writer

Silti is a peaceful farming community at the westernmost edge of the Great Rift Valley. With breathtaking mountain views and a patchwork landscape in eye-popping shades of green, life in this fertile valley of southern Ethiopia is easy to romanticize.

In many ways, Silti is an idyllic setting. Here, children run barefoot through open fields – safe from the dangers of the city. Everyone knows everyone’s child, and the whole community is looking out for them. There are no factories in Silti. No cars or parking lots. No power lines, no landfills. No one has paved this paradise.

Silti, Ethiopia

In other ways, life in Silti, Ethiopia is not so ideal. Silti is rich in culture and natural beauty. But in the strictest definition of the term, the residents of Silti are achingly poor. They do not choose to live without electricity or running water. Most would prefer to live in homes made of brick, not of mud and dung. And it’s not just children playing in summer who go barefoot. For many of Silti’s residents, even shoes are a luxury. Continue reading “Oregon State Students Give Over 200 Pairs of Shoes to Families in Ethiopia”

Merry Christmas to You

A special Message from Holt’s president

I hope you and yours have had a joyous and blessed year and that your holiday season is off to a wonderful start.

I would like to take a moment to thank you for the compassion and support you have provided for children. These are uncertain times for us all, but it seems that one thing remains constant: Holt continues to provide love, hope and consistency to the children in our care; They are and always will be our number one priority, and your generous gifts, especially at Christmas time, make their care possible. Whether through our loving and attentive care centers, our Child Sponsorship program or Holt’s family strengthening projects, we look to our many child care programs and know that we have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas.

 Gifts for Children in Korea

One component of Holt’s holiday festivities that I am always particularly excited about is our gift team trip to Korea. Each year, a group of generous and caring individuals take a week out of their busy holiday schedules to bring Christmas joy to the children in Holt’s care. This year, 17 enthusiastic Holt supporters, with gifts in hand, visited Holt’s baby care unit, the Ilsan center, and an unwed mother’s home. The gift team trip proved, once again, to be a huge success, bringing Christmas to Holt’s children in Korea and smiles to their beautiful faces.

 Kim Hanson, Holt board member and enthusiastic Korea gift team member, had this to say during her trip:

“Santa’s sleigh had to be replaced with a bus because our gift team members had such huge hearts for these kiddos!” said Kim. “I’m so blessed to be a part of a group of people that want to share in our blessings and give to those that wouldn’t have Christmas if it weren’t for us coming to Korea.” Continue reading “Merry Christmas to You”

Help a Child Sing, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Because There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

This Christmas, what if you could help a child with special needs go home to a loving family? What if you could help a family pay for their adopted child’s medical bills?

With Holt’s Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF) Gift of Hope…you can!

Holt just wrapped up our National Adoption Month campaign—a month we dedicated to finding homes for children with special needs. But just because National Adoption Month has come to an end, doesn’t mean you still can’t help advocate for children who need homes—and what better time to help orphaned and abandoned children than at Christmas time!

 

Nathan Betts went home to his family two years ago with help from a SNAF Grant.

 The SNAF grant helps offset the cost of adoption for families adopting children with special needs—it also helps with medical care the child may need, a critical factor in a family’s ability to adopt.

Don’t let an adoptive family’s finances stand in the way of their desire to provide a permanent, loving home for a child who desperately needs one. Provide that family with a SNAF grant Gift of Hope today!

This Christmas, tell your family member or loved one that – through your Gift of Hope on their behalf – they helped a child with special needs go home to a loving family this year.

Holt will send an e-card notifying your family member or friend of the Gift of Hope you gave in their honor.

Thank You and Merry Christmas!

An Irresistible Opportunity

An update on Holt’s child welfare and adoption program in Uganda, including new partners, the opening of a new Holt office, and one opportunity we couldn’t resist!

by Robin Munro, Senior Writer

Over more than five decades of caring for children, Holt has left a legacy in countries around the world. From our founding program in South Korea, to Russia, China and Romania in the 1990s, to brief forays in Central and Latin America and long-standing partnerships in India and Southeast Asia, Holt has through the years cared for hundreds of thousands of children in more than 30 countries.

But not until the year 2001 – 45 years into our 56 year history – did we step foot on the continent of Africa. By the end of 2001, HIV/AIDS had orphaned more than 11 million children (80 percent of the world’s total) in sub-saharan Africa. In this region alone, estimates for the total number of orphaned children – from all causes – stood somewhere around 34 million.

The need for Holt’s services had become overwhelmingly clear.

A boy in a Holt and AFC family strengthening program, 2008.

In no better place did we begin serving children in this troubled region of the world than in Uganda – a country so devastated by the AIDS epidemic that over half the population is under 18 years old.

Part of Uganda’s youthful makeup may be attributed to the country’s birth rate, which is the second highest in the world. But it is also home to an estimated 2.7 million orphans, who have each lost one or both of their parents to disease, armed conflict or other ills chronic to this East African nation. Uganda is, in short, a country of children – many of whom have no one to take care of them.

As Holt discovered when we arrived here over a decade ago, grandparents or relatives often take on the responsibility of caring for orphaned and abandoned children. Other children live in makeshift shelters, with an older child acting as head of household. In recent years, orphanages have sprung up throughout Uganda to meet the needs of homeless children. As a result, more and more infants are also now brought in by dying parents or relatives who are unable to care for them.

Although orphanages serve a vital purpose, Holt has always viewed them as temporary care centers. Not long-term solutions. Rather, our first goal is always to keep children – and help them thrive – in their own extended families. Continue reading “An Irresistible Opportunity”

It Never Gets Easier

Kim Hanson joins 16 other individuals on Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip! For a week, the gift team participants will bring gifts and joy to the children and other residents in Holt’s care in Korea.  On this day, Kim and the rest of the group visited an unwed mother’s shelter and distributed gifts to the residents at the Ilsan Center.

by Kim Hanson, Holt adoptee and board member

Seoul, South Korea — This is my sixth gift team trip and tenth time visiting an unwed mother’s shelter. Why do I even try to fool myself into thinking this time around it will be different and I won’t get emotional. I’ll take the low road and blame the other people that are with me, they are the ones that start to cry, so of course, I cry!

The same questions are asked over and over on each trip, so you would think I would be used to the drill. Yesterday, when we went to the shelter, we started off with the tour and then created our own pottery out of clay. That was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to have a great time with it. So with this type of atmosphere, things should be pretty mellow. Wrong. Once the Q & A begins, the tears begin.

I am a very strong advocate for adoption, but I will not tell any other woman what her decision should be. This is a lifelong decision that this mother has to live with. I’m only grateful that my birth mother made the decision that she did. I am here today because of her and I love her for giving me life. I feel the same way about my daughter’s birth mother. I hope I can do her proud raising this beautiful girl and give her every opportunity I possibly can.

These types of visits tend to drain me emotionally, which then leads to fatigue. After getting back to the hotel, we went shopping then I had a late dinner of Korean fried chicken. Yes, I am addicted to this chicken!! But being so tired and worn out, I was physically getting sick. I could feel my sinuses hurting and then my top molars began to hurt…a clear sign that I had or have a sinus infection. I told hubby that during our video chat…not something he wanted to hear, but I needed him to call my doctor to have a Rx ready for me for when I get home on Saturday. Continue reading “It Never Gets Easier”