On this blog, we share stories and updates about our work around the world. With reporting from Holt staff in the U.S. and overseas as well as contributions from adoptive parents, adoptees, sponsors and supporters, we strive to represent the heart, life and experiences of our extended “Holt Family.”
China Child of Promise
By Elizabeth H.
We wanted to add another son to our family and, through Holt’s China Child of Promise program, we brought Will home just one year and one day after we signed the papers to begin our home study!
When we started to discuss adding a final child to our family, we realized that we had several prerequisites that made it challenging to locate a program that fit all of them. We wanted a son–that was the easy one. We also wanted our child to come home at under 2 years old, and the clincher was that we wanted him to be about 18 months younger than our youngest child at the time. This meant that we would need to complete an adoption in about a year. How in the world could this happen when adoption time-lines are increasing in so many programs?
Answer: Holt’s China Child of Promise program. After talking to Holt’s China staff, we became very excited about the potential addition to our family of a child with a minor to moderate need. When a staff member asked me if we were open to either gender, my heart sank….”No, we are only open to a son,” I replied. The excitement and joy in his voice reassured me immediately as he exclaimed, “Really? You want a son? This is great! We have so many boys that need families! Your referral will come very quickly!” Read More
A Letter from Susie Doig, MSW, Holt Director of Administration & Social Work Systems
We are so pleased to report that our last seven children from Holt Fontana Village (who were matched with families prior to the earthquake) arrived very early this morning into Miami. Holt Director of Social Services for Haiti, Mike Noah, and Africa Director of Programs, Bruce Dahl, are meeting with the children’s adoptive families at “His House”, the child residential care center processing the children and releasing them into their parent’s custody. By the end of today, these kids will be with their adoptive families.
Join us in giving thanks for the 21 children from Holt Fontana who have been united with their families!
Susie Doig, MSW
14 children from Holt Fontana Village in Haiti travel to the United States to be united with their permanent families
Happiness and tears washed over the faces of the caretakers and staff at Holt Fontana Village in Haiti on Tuesday, February 2nd, as they all gathered around to say goodbye to 14 children departing to Miami to unite with their permanent families.
“There were lots of tears,” said Holt Vice President of Adoption Services, Lisa Vertulfo, who accompanied the first group of children to Miami. “The caretakers sang a hymn and then the staff broke into “How Great Thou Art” in Creole.”
The children, already matched with adoptive families prior to the devastating earthquake in January, had their adoptions expedited. Seven more children from the Village will hopefully arrive sometime next week.
Three members of Holt staff have been in Haiti for a week assisting the caretakers at the Village and helping to get the children home to their families in the United States. Lisa Vertulfo and Director of Social Services for Haiti, Mike Noah, accompanied the children traveling to the United States.
Holt Director of Services for Haiti, Bruce Dahl, will be staying at Holt Fontana Village to assist Holt Haiti Director, Mansour Masse, with future plans to help more children and families in need.
“I always miss the children when they leave, said Mansour. “But I always look forward to the day when the kids finally go home to be with their families.”
Holt will keep you updated as the rest of the children are united with their families, and how we are continually working to help the children and families of Haiti.
A Holt adoptive mom shares her thoughts on the Haiti earthquake and the children affected by the devastating tragedy
A blog entry from Bethany Hutchison
I haven’t posted anything on my blog yet regarding the earthquake in Haiti, because honestly the tragedy has almost felt too overwhelming for me to put into words. Where do you even start? Well, definitely with prayer. Continued prayer for Haiti will be especially important as the media coverage begins to dwindle, and we are no longer confronted with horrifying images on our televisions every day.
My heart is burdened in particular for children who were orphaned prior to the earthquake, and children now who have not yet been able to find their family members. Will you join me in continuing to lift up these children, and all of the Haitian people, in prayer throughout the coming days, weeks, months, and year?
Holt International, our adoption agency, has received an enormous amount of phone calls since the earthquake, from people who are interested in adopting orphans from Haiti. I think it’s often a misunderstanding how complex international adoption truly is. On one hand, it is WONDERFUL that people are opening their hearts to the idea of adoption. On another hand, I think that tragedy sometimes spurs very emotional responses in people… and that is definitely not a reason to rush into anything. After all, international adoption is not an act of charity…it is an act of lifelong parenting. Quite a difference.
There are many children, as you know, who were already in the process of being adopted prior to the earthquake, and it’s wonderful that many of those have been granted expedited entry into the U.S. to unite with their adoptive families. I know of some families who are still waiting or trying to find their adoptive children in Haiti, and we continue to pray for those families.
For the children who “appear” to be orphaned since the earthquake, it is of utmost importance that due diligence is done to ensure that every effort is made first and foremost to unite those children with living family members. This crisis has the potential to create a highway for child trafficking… and agencies must be vigilant in the actions they take to work on behalf of children during this unstable time.
Holt International is one of many agencies who work on behalf of children and families in Haiti, and they issued the following statement on their website after the large influx of calls they have received about adopting from Haiti: Read More
Holt Director of Social Services for Haiti, Mike Noah, Vice President of Adoption Services, Lisa Vertulfo and Director of Programs for Africa, Bruce Dahl, arrive in Haiti
Members of Holt staff arrived in Port-au-Prince Wednesday morning (January 27th), and traveled directly to Holt Fontana Village to provide assistance and support to Holt’s dedicated and caring Haiti staff.
“Over the next few weeks, Bruce Dahl (Africa Program Director) and Holt Haiti Director, Mansour Masse, will be assessing and determining what role and task Holt will have next in helping the children and families in Haiti,” said Holt Senior Vice President, Phil Littleton.
Holt is currently waiting for the Haiti Prime Minister to sign off on the visa paperwork that will allow the majority of children at the Village, matched with families prior to the earthquake, to travel to the United States and be united with their adoptive families. From there, Holt hopes to be able to provide care to more children who lost their families in the earthquake.