Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!

Many of the kids waiting for an adoptive family through Holt’s new Colombia adoption program are over the age of 5. But, partially spurred by fear, most adoptive families express openness only to a child who is 0-5 years old, passing up some precious, special, smart and wonderful kids whose greatest dream in life is to feel the unconditional love of a family. Learn about two kids — Cata and Santi — who are waiting for families. And, learn more about why Colombia adoption is an amazing option for families!

Colombia Adoption Program for Older Child Adoption
Kim Dowd-Uribe with two of the children she met in Medellin, Colombia. Holt’s Colombia adoption program is our newest country for families, but with Kim’s expertise, passion for kids and work ethic, it feels more like one of Holt’s long-standing partners.

On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older children.

When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.

Paperwork can be dehumanizing.

At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children we met waiting for families through our Colombia adoption program.

When I read Cata’s file, it didn’t say that she loves sports and dancing. It didn’t talk about how funny and confident and abundantly sweet she is. It didn’t talk about her bright, sparkling eyes or gap-toothed smile from the loss of baby teeth.

Colombia Older Child Adoption
Cata is waiting for a family to adopt her through Holt International’s Colombia adoption program.

Continue reading “Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!”

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!”

In Memory of David Kim

A celebration of David’s life will take place at the Faith Center in Eugene, Oregon, on February 24, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested to please make donations to Holt International. Your gift will be used to help children with urgent needs that might otherwise go unmet, especially children with special needs as that was a cause close to David’s heart. For hotel information for February 23 and 24, please scroll to the bottom. If you would like to share memories or photos of David Kim, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org

Dr. David Hyungbok Kim, who alongside Harry and Bertha Holt pioneered the modern practice of international adoption, died on Jan. 25, 2018, in Eugene, Oregon. He was 86 years old.

With a deep Christian faith, David devoted his life to advocating for orphaned and homeless children around the world. It was the suffering of children that David witnessed during his early days working for Harry Holt in post-war Korea that in many ways shaped the course of his life and career. Continue reading “In Memory of David Kim”

Sara Needs a Family!

DOB: June 22, 2004

Sara urgently needs a family to bring her home before she ages out of the adoption process on her 14th birthday in June.  She has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).  She is unable to walk unsupported and uses a wheelchair to get around.  Sara has been living with a foster family since 2007, and she has a close relationship with her foster parents.  She can’t attend school in her area because of her special needs, but she is receiving therapy and education at a special center.  Her language development and literacy level are on target, and she is thought to have a high IQ and a strong ability to learn.  Sara is an enthusiastic artist, she especially likes music and painting.  Please click on the video link to listen to her sing (audio only).  She has an open, determined and kindhearted personality. She especially likes playing with other children and gets along well with others.  Continue reading “Sara Needs a Family!”

Two Minute View

Sarah DeGarmo has 12 brothers and sisters, 11 of whom joined her family through adoption. Here, Sarah shares about her journey to find God’s 30-before-30 bucket list for her life, and how she and her husband, Leighton, began their own adoption journey to their third child.

Sarah and her husband, Leighton, with their 4-year-old son, Wyatt, and 6-year-old, Levi.

My husband and I are currently in the process of adopting from the Philippines. While we may have just started our adoption journey, the seed of adoption was planted for me over 20 years ago when my parents returned home from the Philippines with my brother Isaac. After him followed Kim, Lancer, Josh, Gerard, Arturo, Ericko, Melvin, Cathy, Chris and Jena. I have one biological brother, Austin, making our family 13 children strong.

Back when there were only four of us kids, our family took a road trip to the Grand Canyon. I was 12 or 13 at the time and somehow Dad had convinced Austin and I that we should hike from the rim of the Grand Canyon down to the river and then back up to the rim in a day.

We were so excited!

Continue reading “Two Minute View”

Divergent Series: Allegiant actress, Holt adoptee advocates for kids in need

Actress Danielle Lyn (Queen Sugar and The Divergent Series: Allegiant) is a Filipina adoptee using her platform to advocate for orphaned children and kids in impoverished communities. Here, she shares her hopes for 2018. 

We embark into a New Year, another holiday season come and gone. Festivities fading with the Christmas tree adorned in lights and memories captured in the ornaments we care for year after year. As we pack away the decorations, there is quiet again, where just days ago the sounds of family and friends filled our homes. Continue reading “Divergent Series: Allegiant actress, Holt adoptee advocates for kids in need”

11-year-old adoptee publishes her first book

Juliese Padgett was adopted through Holt in 2008 from Guangzhou, China when she was three. Now, as an 11 year old, she is sharing her first published book — a children’s story that encourages all kids to respect the differences in each other. And, she is donating all the proceeds to Holt to help children who are waiting for families. Here, Juliese shares what inspired her to write The Newest Flower. 

When I was in second grade, my class was doing a study on Martin Luther King, Jr. We were talking about different skin tones, and my teacher held up a fan of colored construction paper: black, brown, tan, beige, white, and some other primary colors. Then, the class came up and held their hands to the paper; the point of the lesson was to show us that skin tones are not “black” or “white”. Because everyone in my class was Caucasian, my Asian-colored skin looked even darker and was pointed out by a classmate. This experience made me feel like an outcast, and eventually, my parents decided that it would be better for me to finish out the year being homeschooled with my two brothers. Continue reading “11-year-old adoptee publishes her first book”

What makes a family right for older child adoption?

What makes a family the right family for an older adopted child — meaning a child who will arrive home at 5 years or older? Two adoption experts weigh in on the characteristics they look for in families for older children …

Abbie Smith is a licensed clinical social worker whose specialty is working with adoptees and adoptive families. She has been working with adopted and fostered children and their families for 27 years. She is also the mother of a now 27-year-old whom she adopted at age 7.

  • Flexibility is the number one characteristic I look for in a parent who would be successful parenting an older child. Parents of older children need to loosen up so they can bend and flow with whatever comes their way. They may also need to be able to stretch to keep their nose above water.
  • I look for parents who can laugh at themselves and whatever life brings. In international adoption, bringing an older child into your family who speaks a different language, has a different religion, looks different, and doesn’t know how to use a fork and knife or a western toilet can provide some unique experiences. All of this will go down much easier with a hearty dose of laughter.
  • Mindfulness is the ability to think about your feelings as you are feeling them. It’s also the ability to stay present and think about how to respond to your terrified, but belligerent, child — and not just simply react.
  • Parents of older kids need to have a willingness to try new things — some of which you never thought you would do. This might be giving piggy back rides to your 14-year-old, singing lullabies to your 16-year-old or spoon feeding your 10-year-old. This might also look like celebrating his first English word, first bite of pizza, first time touching snow or first day of school.
  • Creativity! Parents of older adopted kids need to use different parenting approaches with each of their kids. One size does not fit all! Try a lot of different approaches with each of your kids and note who responds to what. Don’t get complacent though! What works on Monday may be a disaster on Tuesday.
  • Adoptive parents need to be good at relay races, or at least knowing when to pass the baton to their partner when their efforts are not effective. None of us can be on top of our game all the time, and good teamwork gets everyone further.
  • I like lousy housekeepers! Older adoptive parents will need to value being with the kids over the sparkling appliances. Family movie night on Friday might look like a heap of blankets and snacks crumbs come Saturday morning because you were having too much fun spending time together to get everything cleaned up.
  • Parents of older kids need to be playful, no matter what your child’s age. The wrestling, the snowball fights, swimming at the lake, tag and rolling in the leaves — these are all key to bonding.
  • Parents need to be able to just be quiet and listen to your child’s breathing, or reach out and hug him for no reason.

Continue reading “What makes a family right for older child adoption?”

Life in the Caves

In China, some of the poorest children and families live in ancient, hand-dug caves — the only housing they can afford. In the harsh, frigid winters, life is not easy. But these kids are in school because of the support they receive from their sponsors. Through education, children like Ping have the best possible chance to escape poverty forever. Thank you for supporting kids like Ping! Your commitment to children is making a world of difference.

To read more about life in the caves, click here.

You Made Last Christmas So Special!

Every year, because of the generosity of sponsors and donors, children in Holt’s global programs receive a special surprise: the gift of Christmas!

For most children living in impoverished communities or orphanages, Christmas is just another day. No gifts, not treats, no special meals or extra time with loved ones.

We think sharing Christmas with orphaned and vulnerable children is one very special way to celebrate the true meaning of the season and share the love of Jesus with children in need.

We are so grateful to sponsors and donors who give $25 per child to make this day possible!

Because of sponsors and donors, children receive hand-picked, wrapped gifts — items they want or need chosen by their on the ground advocate. They also receive special, festive meals, often for their entire family, and a day of games, arts and crafts, field trips, visits from Santa or other fun activities!

For each child, Christmas is a day they remember and cherish all year.

Want to join the fun this year? You can donate $25 to provide Christmas to one child here!

Check out just a few of the photos from last year’s Christmas celebrations around the world …

Caregivers in India celebrate with the youngest children at the orphanage.

Continue reading “You Made Last Christmas So Special!”