Keenan* is a cute almost 2-year-old that loves playing ball with his caregivers. Like many other 2-year-olds, he is just starting to gain some independence and likes to do things like put his own shoes on— though he is still working to master that skill (see video below). He is learning to walk and doesn’t want to sit still, so instead he spends his time exploring the playground and climbing on all the fun structures.
Keenan was born with Thalassemia, and needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. He also has congenital heart disease. Despite the challenges that he faces, Keenan is known for being cheerful and happy. One of his favorite things to do is listen to music and shake his head and hips to the beat.
Keenan needs a family that can provide the medical care he needs and is willing to have a dance party every so often.
Could you or someone you know be Keenan’s permanent family? To learn more about Keenan, please contact Jessica Zeeb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early September, devastating floods left hundreds of people in North Korea missing or dead. Crops were destroyed, and thousands of people found themselves homeless and starving. The situation is so urgent and desperate, the government of North Korea reached out to us to ask for help.
Because of your help in the past, we have been able to deliver food, clothing and supplies to Holt-supported orphanages in North Korea. Thankfully, these children are safe. But 30,000 people living in the surrounding areas — including thousands of children — remain desperate for food. The flooding has left them with nothing.
For roughly $1 per person, we can bring lifesaving food to 30,000 people in North Korea.
This back-to-school season, your sponsored child has all he or she needs for a successful year of learning — and that’s because you are their sponsor! Or if your sponsored child is not yet in school, you are empowering them with the love, support and enrichment they need to one day succeed in school.
All around the world, the children in Holt’s sponsorship program will receive school tuition, uniforms, school supplies and nutritious school lunches. These school supplies are so crucial. In many places where we work, children are not permitted to attend school without them.
Not only does education inspire and prepare a child for their future, but staying in school can save them from a life of intense hardship. In China, educational sponsorship keeps children in rural and impoverished regions from dropping out early to work in factories or other child labor; it prevents child trafficking in places like Thailand and Cambodia; and in India, it can protect young girls from early arranged marriages.
When Holt first pioneered the modern practice of international adoption 60 years ago, we started in Korea. And today, the Korea program remains one of our most predictable and stable adoption programs. The reliable timeline and process, the quality of care that the children receive in country, and the detailed medical information available about the children make it an appealing program for many families. Continue reading “We Need Families for Korea!”
Facing an unplanned pregnancy, Napha, a college student in Thailand, made the difficult decision to place her baby for adoption. But when she learned that Holt Sahathai Foundation could help with support and resources she needed to raise her daughter, everything changed.
Napha* looked down at her swollen belly, six months along with her first child, anguished over the decision before her. No longer able to hide her pregnancy, she had recently dropped out of school — one of the top universities in Bangkok — where she was in her final year of studying to be a teacher. Her boyfriend, the father of her baby, left her shortly after learning of the pregnancy. Her parents knew nothing, and because of the strong stigma against unwed pregnancy in Thailand, she intended to keep it that way. At just 22 years old, Napha was afraid, without a home and alone. So she picked up the phone.
The number she called was an unplanned pregnancy hotline where she got in touch with Jintana Nontapouraya, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s longtime partner organization in Thailand. HSF works with women like Napha who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies. They offer counseling to help women make a decision for themselves and their babies. And regardless of whether they choose to parent or relinquish their child for adoption, HSF provides these women with a safe place to live, prenatal nutrition and, if they do parent, opportunities for training and education needed to provide for themselves and their baby.
While a difficult decision was still before her, Napha was no longer alone.
A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home!
Eleven-year-old Rowan has had to overcome many challenges, but he is perseverant and quick to recover from and adapt to the changes in his life.
He came into Holt’s care when he was 3 months old, and was severely malnourished. He has several special needs, including congenital heart disease and abnormal curvature of the spine. In 2010, after doctors preformed surgery on his heart, they predicted he would only live 5 years. He didn’t let that discourage him, though, and now — 7 years later — he is thriving and beating all the odds!
Rowan has also had spinal surgery, but to fully repair the curvature in his spine, he will need additional medical care that’s not currently available in Vietnam. He doesn’t let that slow him down, though, and he is able to do any physical activities that the other kids can do! (Watch him dance in the video!)
Through all of the hardships that he has had to endure, Rowan adapts and goes on with his life. He does well in school, is eager to learn and his caregivers say he has a particularly good memory. His favorite things to do are playing soccer and badminton with his friends, and he appreciates praise for his accomplishments. He is an easygoing kid who also enjoys reading and trying new foods. Someday, when he grows up, Rowan wants to be a police officer.
Rowan understands adoption and would love a family of his own, especially one with a brother or sister. He needs a family that can provide for his medical needs and help him overcome the challenges that he faces.
Could you or someone you know be Rowan’s permanent family? To learn more about Rowan, please visit his photolisting profile and contact Holt’s adoption advisor, Caitlin Howe.
Over the summer, Holt held our first adoptee essay contest. We asked adoptees to respond to the question, “How has adoption shaped or how does adoption currently shape your identity?” Below, adoptee Abby Lindner — a finalist in our contest — shares how adoption has shaped her identity, and empowered her to become “a daughter of faith and hope who most definitely belongs.”
In 1948, the first recorded transracial adoption in the U.S. instigated a debate among social workers, parents and others on whether adoption across racial borders helped or harmed. Again and again, opponents cited the identity crisis that transracially adopted children would experience as a result of their mixed circumstances. Continue reading “An Identity Built By Adoption”
Over the last month, Holt’s child nutrition program team has traveled to twelve childcare institutions in Vietnam and China to evaluate the success of the program as well as the ongoing implementation of our nutrition, health and growth screening system. Below, Holt’s nutrition initiatives coordinator, Aloura DiGiallonardo, shares the story of one boy she met in China whose extraordinary transformation illustrates how Holt’s groundbreaking nutrition program is impacting the children we serve.
In the minds of Jin’s caregivers, finding a family for him would never enter the realm of possibility.
Jin has cerebral palsy (CP), a neurological condition that affects motor function in the body. As caring for a child with CP is beyond the resources of most low and middle-class families in China, many of these families feel they have no other recourse than to abandon a child born with CP or other special needs — hopeful that others will provide the care they need. Jin too was found abandoned and brought into care as an infant.
With a weak immune system and constant upper respiratory infections, Jin was never not sick. He was extremely listless, he could not walk, he could not sit up or support himself and he had extremely limited mobility. For the first few years of his life, he laid in a crib all day and all night. His caregivers would come and interact with him from time to time and he would listen to the noise in the background of his room. But without the attentive care of a family, he missed most of his developmental milestones and had very low cognitive function. His caregivers believed he had no hope of advancing to be independent or engaged in his own life. They assumed he would spend his entire life in an institution.
After a stroke left her paralyzed, one single mother in Mongolia considered taking her own life. But empowered by the support of Holt sponsors, she regained hope — and her children regained the courageous woman they call mom.
The year 2010 was an especially brutal year in Mongolia. A devastating summer drought followed by an extreme winter — a weather phenomenon known as dzud — wiped out millions of livestock and affected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of already struggling families. While distressing for the population, this pendulum of weather is nothing new for Mongolia, where winter temperatures can plummet to as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and summers are often short but very humid.
But the 2009-2010 season was unusual in Mongolia. The winters were much colder, and the summers were much hotter.
This past August, Holt’s director of adoptee services, Steve Kalb, attended a gathering in Seoul, Korea with over 700 other Korean adoptees. Together, they made meaningful connections and looked toward the future.
They came from Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France and the United States to celebrate and learn about the one thing they all had in common — that they were all Korean adoptees.
The International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) is an organization that connects Korean adoptees with each other to form community, learn about their roots and make a stand together on adoption-related issues. Each of these countries has their own IKAA group, but every three years, Korean adoptees from all IKAA groups gather together in Seoul, South Korea. Last month was the three-year mark for this gathering, bringing over 700 Korean adoptees to the country of their birth. Continue reading “IKAA Korean Adoptee Conference in Seoul”