Rowan Needs a Family!

A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home!

Rowan gets the joke.

Out of breath, and laughing, he has just demonstrated how easily he can skip on one foot — racing across the dining area in the orphanage where he lives in Southeast Asia. Breathless and thirsty on this humid January morning, he gulps down his cup of water. Still thirsty, he eyes my water and I push it toward him. Once Rowan’s downed his second cup of water, our photographer pushes his glass of water across the table toward Rowan as well.

We all laugh, including Rowan, through gulps of water. Continue reading “Rowan Needs a Family!”

Going For More Than Gold


A skating coach for Olympic hockey players, Kim Muir knew there was no way she’d miss this year’s Winter Olympics in Seoul. But as a Korean adoptee, the trip was about even more than gold medals…  

When I found out that that the Olympics were being held in South Korea and that I had five hockey students competing, I contacted Holt. As my athletes’ technical skating coach, I knew I wanted to travel to Korea to see my students compete. But I’m also an adoptee, so I knew that traveling back to Korea for the first time would be a meaningful and significant experience. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I’d be able to meet with the agency in Korea and potentially see my orphanage or an orphanage. Through reflection, it became a priority that I come and share my life story with my children. My life has been amazing, and I was eager to learn more about my beginning.

Continue reading “Going For More Than Gold”

Watching Her Grow Up

Linda and Jim Vail have sponsored You Jun since she was 9 years old. Now 18, You Jun wants to say thank you for supporting her all these years.

When Linda and Jim Vail first “met” their sponsored child — when they received her photo in the mail and first read about her life — she was 9, and in crisis.

You Jun’s mother hadn’t been in her life for years, her father struggled with substance abuse and died the year before, and not long after, her uncle passed away too. She and her grandmother were the only ones left.

“The little girl and her granny depend on each other,” her social worker wrote in a sponsor report from 2009. “They lead a hard life.”

You Jun and her grandmother live on less than one acre of land near the Chinese border with Burma. They grow rice to feed themselves — selling any surplus to pay for necessities. But it has never been enough to afford school for You Jun. Continue reading “Watching Her Grow Up”

The Gift of Hope

When Tieu endures a horrific accident at work and loses her source of income, she fears her daughters will be forced to drop out of school because she can’t afford their fees. But when she receives an unexpected gift, in an unusual size and shape, she begins to feel hopeful again.

Tieu lightly rests her left hand on her right arm. Her skin is painful to look at. Marbled and pocked, shiny and red and raised about an inch above her healthy skin, a severe burn runs the length of her arm, serving as a daily reminder of the gasoline fire that nearly took her life. Tieu is 40 but looks much younger, with shiny black hair parted down the side. She has five daughters — the youngest of which sits beside her now, giggling and bouncing with excitement to have visitors in her home. Another of Tieu’s daughters sits on the other side of her giggly sister, watching her mom with worry as she talks about her burn.

“This daughter,” Tieu says, looking solemnly at her older daughter, “wants to become a doctor so she can treat my hand.” Continue reading “The Gift of Hope”

Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!

Choy Thy with her two children in front of their house in Cambodia after donors replaced the leaky thatched walls, roof and stairs with weather-proof tin.

Because of your incredible generosity, 10 of the most vulnerable and impoverished families in Prey Veng, Cambodia received new homes or significant and seriously needed renovations. The families and their villages helped with construction, but Holt donors provided all the tools and materials.

There are no greater words of gratitude than from the families who received homes themselves! Continue reading “Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!”

Rescued From Domestic Violence

You Gave This Family Warmth!

Gerel and Erhi when Holt first learned of their situation.

Because of you, Gerel and her daughters have a safe home, and hope for the future. But when we first met them nine months ago, Gerel was six months pregnant, and bone thin. She ate only flour so that her 3-year-old daughter, Erhi, would have enough to eat. Both Gerel and her daughter suffered from malnutrition.

Like so many women and children living in poverty in Mongolia, Gerel and Erhi stayed in an abusive situation because they had nowhere else to go. Continue reading “Rescued From Domestic Violence”

Sam Needs a Family!

Sam Needs a FamilyA Wish with a Time Limit—Sam Waits for a Family

Sam’s best friend was adopted last year. Before his friend left the orphanage for a new life with his family, the boys took photos together, to remember. Sam gives his best wishes to his friend, and he also has some wishes of his own. “He wants to have a home, too,” his caregivers tell us. Sam would like to teach his future family to speak Chinese! Unfortunately, time is running short for his wish to come true — he urgently needs a family to bring him home before he ages out of the adoption process on his 14th birthday in October.

Sam has been living in the orphanage since he was a baby and most of his caregivers have known him since he was little. It’s no mystery to them why Sam is popular with his teachers and the other students at school. “We think he is very thoughtful,” they tell us. “He can control his mood when he meets something unhappy… He barely has conflict with others.”

Sam is an active boy who enjoys sports and running. He is missing a toe on one foot, but has no other medical concerns. His development is thought to be normal for a child his age. He attends middle school, where he studies Chinese, math, English, music, art, PE, geography and history and he earns average grades. Outside of school, he likes reading books and playing games, like Chinese checkers and chess.

Sam will need a family educated about issues related to older child adoption and the effects of institutionalization. A Holt social worker has visited Sam’s orphanage and can share about her experience with interested families! A $3000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family adopt Sam through Holt.

For more information about this special boy, please contact Holt’s China child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb, and visit his photolisting profile!

10/6/04 | China