I truly believe your kindness has created miracles …

We are excited to share that little Liu — now Penelope Lian — is home with her family in New Jersey!

Penelope with her mom, Lauren.

Earlier this year, sweet Penelope was living at Peace House, Holt’s very special, donor-supported medical foster home in Beijing. Because Penelope was born premature and experiencing global delays, Peace House offered a more nurturing alternative to orphanage care. At Peace House, Penelope received 24/7 attention from a dedicated caregiver and she grew and developed rapidly in a short time. Continue reading “I truly believe your kindness has created miracles …”

A Meeting that Changed My Life

In a post originally on their blog, We the Lees, Lee Fritz shares about he and his wife’s trip to Korea, and the unforgettable afternoon he spent with Molly Holt. 

Exactly one year ago, I had the distinct opportunity of meeting a woman whose life work was dedicated to helping orphans and abandoned children – a work that has had a direct impact on my life. She has always put the needs of others ahead of her own and is such an inspiration. There were probably times when she struggled to keep going and was under so much pressure that it would have been easier to quit and do something else. She, of course, did not quit, but continued building an organization that has helped thousands of children around the world. Her name is Molly Holt.


Continue reading “A Meeting that Changed My Life”

Vincent urgently needs a family!

Vincent needs a Family
Vincent’s face is blurred for privacy, but there are great photos available on file!


Sometimes when a country hasn’t seen any movement on a waiting child’s file, they remove Holt’s referral for the child. Effectively that means that Holt can no longer seek families for these children.

Vincent is one of three boys who Holt will soon no longer be able to home-find for. If we can find the right family for Vincent, a $5000 Brittany’s Hope grant is available to help cover his adoption costs!

Vincent is a people person.

He has decided that five best friends is not enough, and is open to having more. It is rare to see him alone and he is most upset when he can’t hang out with others. He isn’t just popular with his peers, though, he is also close with his caregivers!

Vincent is also a very active boy, which can get him into trouble when he is supposed to be sitting still. He can ride a bike, play soccer, and likes to play pretend with the other kids in his care center.

He is very observant and a quick learner. One of his caregivers told the story of when a carpenter came to repair a door. Vincent was very curious about all of the tools that the carpenter brought and was very interested in the work that he was doing. He sat and watched as the man worked and in a very short time, he knew what each tool was called and how it was used. By the end, Vincent was helping the carpenter by handing him the right tools at the right time.

Vincent also has a very caring and thoughtful spirit. He can often be found helping the younger children in his care center and he likes playing with others and doesn’t mind sharing his toys because it brings them joy. One day, he hopes to be a priest because they help people.

Vincent is said to be in good physical health and to have mild cognitive delays. An adoptive family for this older boy should be knowledgeable about older child adoption issues, such as how grief may affect adjustment and attachment. His family should also have access to a good educational system to help him reach his full potential.

Can you or someone you know be the right family for Vincent? For more information, visit his photolisting profile and contact our adoption advisor, Caitlin Howe, at caitlinh@holtinternational.org.

DOB: 1/16/06 | Vietnam



Holt to Join the United Nations

Charles Abbey at the United Nations in New York.

Following a vigorous application process, Holt International is excited to announce that we’ve received special consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations (UN), credentials that will allow us to both influence and advocate for improved social welfare practices, orphan care and treatment of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children on a multinational platform.

While the United Nations is primarily a platform for nation states, international non-governmental organizations like Holt International provide critical civil society perspective and practice-based solutions. Holt International joins 3,800 non-governmental organizations from around the world on the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, organized by ECOSOC. We are recognized and accredited among the family of nations as a leader and expert in the field of child welfare, one of the UN’s top priorities. Continue reading “Holt to Join the United Nations”

His joy is so abundant! — Jaylenn Needs a Family

Jaylenn needs a family!

Jaylenn is waiting outside of his group home on a beautiful sunny day while the cherry blossom trees are still in bloom. He is eager to have visitors and greets the four of us with a huge smile and quickly ushers us into his home. Excited to see visitors, Jaylenn spins around a few times and flashes a beautiful smile on his exceptionally handsome face.

My first thought is, how could he be here? Why isn’t he with a forever family?

He is so sweet and surely someone would want him to be their son!

Jaylenn has been waiting for a family for over four years. An early history of prenatal exposure to alcohol and smoking placed him in a higher risk category as an infant, and an MRI revealing Rt. Pachygyria as a toddler made home-finding more challenging. Because of his difficult beginnings, his opportunity to find a family has now narrowed.

But Jaylenn has thrived despite his early obstacles. He is a healthy and energetic 5-year-old boy bursting with laughter and smiles, and he loves to play — whether with toy trucks and cars or while watching and singing along with his favorite cartoon, “Catch You Boy.” He also loves dinosaurs and he quickly pulls out a book about dinosaurs to show us. Tyrannosaurus Rex has captured his imagination.

When we go outside to play, Jaylenn runs to put on his ankle brace without anyone reminding him. He quickly puts it on his foot without even looking down at the straps. Jaylenn shows no impediment in movement; in fact, Jaylenn seems extremely athletic and coordinated in both fine and gross motor skills. He instantly makes friends with a young man in a wheelchair who works at the care center and decides that he wants him to come along and play as well. Jaylenn flashes his beautiful smile and asks if he can push his wheelchair. The gentleman agrees, and Jaylenn uses all of his strength to push him — and he succeeds! He laughs and then stops to flex his muscles and show off his superhero biceps!

For a child that showed early balance issues, Jaylenn thrives with physical activity and shows natural grace, agility and strength. Jaylenn is not without a sensitive side either. As we move outside, he comes alongside me and reminds me that I left a bag inside. Jaylenn wants to make sure that I didn’t forget anything and his thoughtfulness is touching, but also shows that he has a strong sensitivity and awareness of others. While outside, he keeps up conversations with all of the adults, and communicates cheerfully.

As Jaylenn laughs and smiles freely, his contagious spirit soon has everyone laughing and playing, and I quickly forget that I am with a child who needs a family. His joy is so abundant! Jaylenn is a happy and independent little boy and it is clear that despite all of his losses — of both his birth parents and his foster parents — Jaylenn loves life and loves people. Jaylenn will thrive in a family that is active and loves to spend time outdoors. He would be a fun and energetic playmate for other children, and his happy and extroverted nature will lead you places you never could have anticipated. Would you like to go there with Jaylenn?

For more information about Jaylenn, please visit his photolisting profile and contact our adoption advisor, Caitlin Howe at caitlinh@holtinternational.org.

Ann Cleary | California Branch Director


Tobin and I

Knox Beard writes what he loves about — and what he’s learned from — his little brother, Tobin, who has autism. This post originally appeared on Anna-Marie and Brian Beard’s blog, pursuingtob.com

Our eight-year-old, Knox, is an “old soul.” There is just a knowing that he has… like he can feel people and situations. He’s still an eight-year-old, full of laughter and fun and light, and he still makes mistakes… he’s not perfect but he is so Good. He’s been through heavy himself, and heavy with us, and he just seems to understand. He “gets it.” Continue reading “Tobin and I”

The Secret of Their Lives

A little girl at the HIV group home looks out the front door to a sunny courtyard.

Most of the children here don’t know they are HIV+. It’s too risky.

Their teachers don’t know. Their neighbors definitely don’t know because if they did, they would have to move again. They’ve moved eight times in ten years, all 28 children. If their teachers knew, they would be isolated and discriminated against or even kicked out of their pricey private school — a school they attend because they don’t have to inform the principal of their disease.

Most of these children don’t even know about the disease in their blood, the disease that killed many of their parents, robbed them of their life in their villages and that was likely passed to them at birth.

They just know that they have strict rules to follow.

Absolutely no fighting. No rough housing. If they get a cut or a scratch, they have their own first aid kit. And they have Mr. Huang.

“The kids are happy now,” Mr. Huang says, his face worn and tired, his spiky, graying hair hinting at his age.

When children pass through the living room of the apartment, they stop to grab his hands or talk to him and his eyes soften as he greets them lovingly.

“They are too young,” Mr. Huang says. “They don’t understand their fate. But as they get older, they will learn. The discrimination will start. They will always have to keep their secret.”

Continue reading “The Secret of Their Lives”