Benjamin’s Turn

Benjamin needs a family

Benjamin needs a family!

Three and a half years ago, Holt learned about seven children who needed families from a small but exceptional orphanage in China. One by one, six of those children were matched with their adoptive families. One by one, they said their goodbyes and left the orphanage to start new lives with their forever families.

Benjamin has been there for every goodbye. He has watched each of his friends be embraced by the families who chose them.

But Benjamin still waits. Continue reading “Benjamin’s Turn”

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sending Aid to North Korea

Do you want to send aid to North Korea, but want to make sure your donation actually helps kids in need? You may wonder if it’s even possible. For 19 years, people like you have sent aid to children and orphans in North Korea through Holt International — winter weather, emergency food and disaster relief aid that saves children’s lives.

Want to learn more? Here are ten things you might not know about sending aid to North Korea.

Continue reading “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sending Aid to North Korea”

Top Things To Know About Adopting a Child With ARM

Two adoptive moms share what it’s like to adopt children with a common, though not commonly discussed special need — anorectal malformation, or ARM. Because this is a sensitive need, all names in this article have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.

“William just turned 5 and he is amazing! He is so intelligent, inquisitive and goofy. He keeps us laughing all day because he has such a wonderful sense of humor. He has an amazing imagination and is constantly playing make believe or making up songs. He would be outside all day, every day, if he had a choice. He loves nature, bugs, animals, science, swimming, hiking, camping and getting really dirty.”—Tavia, William’s mom

“Tess is such a blessing. She brings us such joy. She is 6, almost 7 years old, but sometimes we say she is 6 going on 18 because she is so mature for her age. She’s very opinionated and will let you know exactly what she thinks! She doesn’t like going to school because she hates waking up early, but she always has a big smile on her face by the time I pick her up. She is such a beautiful, loquacious little girl.” — Sarah, Tess’s mom Continue reading “Top Things To Know About Adopting a Child With ARM”

Betsy Needs a Family!

Betsy needs a family!

Betsy will take care of you!

In her community, Betsy is known for looking out for others and attending to their needs. When her nanny is tired, she will go fetch a stool for her to sit on. If her foster brother is crying, she will give him snacks to make him happy. She even helps her elderly neighbor with his cane. Needless to say, she is well liked in her neighborhood!

Betsy has Down syndrome, but her cognitive and language development is reported to be above average for children with this developmental special need. Betsy is good at expressing herself and loves to tell stories. She is also quite active and loves to dance (see video below).

A $3000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover the fees to adopt Betsy through Holt.

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Betsy? For more information about Betsy, please visit her photolisting profile or contact our child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb.

Birth Month:  5/2011 | China

*Special Blessings grants are available to families who earn an annual adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less and do not apply to fees already paid to Holt International.  Families who do not qualify for the Special Blessings grant may still apply for our Special Needs Adoption Fund grant.

Congratulations to Holt’s 2018 Adoptee Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to Suzy Allen, Sarah Carlson and Jill Cuzzolino — our three 2018 Adoptee Scholarship winners! This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work framed around the prompt, “To My 10-Year-Old Self Re: Adoption…” Suzy, Sarah and Jill each won a $500 scholarship.

Jill Cuzzolino

Slam Poem

I decided to write a slam poem about one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had with my mom regarding my adoption. She wrote a book about me when I was 4 years old so I decided the best way to allude to her work was to write something back. She gave me her love through words so I wanted to do the same. I wanted to specifically highlight an instance of me as a child to represent how our relationship has transcended as well as how it will stay that way. My family means the world to me and this was my gift back to them, a letter of love you might say, before I left for college. Continue reading “Congratulations to Holt’s 2018 Adoptee Scholarship Winners!”

Happy Birthday Max John Harrison!!

Today, Max turned 14 — the age at which children become ineligible for international adoption from China. Max would have aged out today, losing his chance at a loving, permanent family of his own. Instead, Max is with his family in China, completing his adoption! Below is an email message his mom recently sent our staff, and graciously agreed to share on our blog. Happy Birthday, Max!

Meet Max John Harrison!!! He is so smart!!! He’s a walking history book!! He’s curious, happy, kind, gentle, energetic, did I say smart?

Today we talked about currency, exchange rates, salaries, how many years ago the Chinese were oppressed by the Japanese, World War II, bought some collector’s Chinese bills, some collector’s stamps and coins… talked about buying some history and science textbooks… and so much more!!! Continue reading “Happy Birthday Max John Harrison!!”

Holt’s Child Nutrition Program Partners With the Philippines Government

Local caregivers and staff in the Philippines proudly hold their certificates showing they graduated from Holt’s child nutrition program!

In July 2017, the Philippines became the sixth country where Holt has implemented our child nutrition program (CNP).

In tandem with our long-time local partner, Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, we provided trainings for caregivers and staff at two new government-run care centers. The trainings were filled with lots of learning, dancing — a beloved pastime and popular ice-breaker activity throughout the country — and meaningful hands-on opportunities. Continue reading “Holt’s Child Nutrition Program Partners With the Philippines Government”

Raised in a Colombian orphanage: Waiting for adoption, this teen shares her story

Having spent her whole life in a Colombian orphanage and foster homes, 15-year-old Vanessa now wants a family more than anything. She and her 12-year-old sister, Bianca, have limited time left to be adopted.

Adopt older child Colombia
Vanessa, far left, and her sister Bianca, next to her, stand with other kids in Medellin waiting for adoptive families. Vanessa grew up in a Colombian orphanage and foster families, and now she’s hoping for a family will adopt her and her sister.

Vanessa doesn’t remember being taken from her mom. She was 17 months old and too little to develop memories. She’s not even sure why child protective services took her, exactly. No one has ever told her, and her mom has only tried to contact her once — late last year, just a bit before her 15th birthday. Vanessa didn’t end up seeing her.

Vanessa keeps tugging at the hem of her T-shirt, pulling the embroidered, floral fabric layers down flat. She tinkers with the ring on her right middle finger, spinning it around nervously. She smooths her black skinny jeans that tuck into a pair of shiny, black lace-up boots. She pulls her long, brown hair behind her shoulders.

She’s nervous.

She’s never really talked about what it means to grow up in Colombia’s child welfare system — what it means to have bounced from Colombian orphanage to foster home to group home — and to watch her five siblings do the same for their entire lives. No one has ever really asked. Continue reading “Raised in a Colombian orphanage: Waiting for adoption, this teen shares her story”

This Is Linh’s Story

We were given permission to share this story by the people involved, but due to its sensitive nature we have changed their names.

As Holt’s senior writer for the past eight years, I’ve met a lot of kids. I’ve heard — and retold — a lot of stories. And I’ve seen some pretty heartbreaking things. I feel it, every time. The hurt, the sadness in the eyes of these children.

But at this point, it’s pretty hard to shake me.

Then I met Linh.

Linh shook me. And I can’t get her out of my mind. Continue reading “This Is Linh’s Story”