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.
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.
A $3,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family cover the fees to adopt Hector!
Hector is a sweet 4-year-old who likes playing with the other kids in his orphanage and being outside. He imitates others and has learned how to say “baba” and “mama.”
When he was brought to the orphanage, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and his development was slow — but he’s been learning a lot! Now he can walk, jump, go up and down stairs, put on his own shoes and socks, and wash his hands before eating! Some of Hector’s favorite foods are soup and rice!
Hector needs a family that is open to the challenges that come with Down syndrome, and one that can keep up with his developmental growth. A $3,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family cover the fees to adopt Hector!
Could you or someone you know be the right family for Hector? For more information about Hector, please contact Jessica Zeeb and visit his photolisting profile!
For Courtney Hohenlohe Langenburg, Holt’s development officer, working on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world is personal. And nowhere was she reminded of this more than in Mongolia…
It started in 2015. After a meeting, Paul Kim came to my desk and said, “You know, we should totally do a donor team to Mongolia.” I replied with what I can only imagine was a very blank stare, “Why?”
He sold me on the idea and two and a half years later a team of us were off. I didn’t know a lot about our programs in Mongolia. I just knew it as a small program that Paul had talked about from time to time and that I had a few donors specifically interested in. I left for Ulaanbaatar with an open heart and an open mind.
I want to highlight one day — a day that was particularly hard. After we went to visit the Red Stone School, we went out to visit families who were living near the landfill. The staff in Mongolia took us to find families who needed help — and hope. These families were literally living among the trash of the landfill. In on ger, they were surviving on moldy bread they had found in the garbage.
As an adoptee, it’s impossible not to see yourself in every child who seems to have a less fortunate outcome. That day I found myself asking, “Why me, God? Why was my outcome so different?”
One of my donors, a mother of two children from Mongolia, once told me that the hardest part for her was looking at the ones who would be left behind. The ones who would not go home with a family.
I understand so clearly that I’ve been blessed with the privilege to speak up for those who did not get to go home. And those who do not have anyone to advocate for them. After that I week I understood why Paul, for years, had been pushing me towards Mongolia. He knew that if he could get people to see the program we would understand the need. My heart is awake and ready to answer the call for these kids!
Courtney Hohenlohe Langenburg | Development Officer
His foster mother tells us that he loves to laugh and play games with people. One of Harvey’s favorite games is peek-a-boo, because he thinks it is hilarious when the other person uncovers their eyes! Continue reading “Harvey Needs a Family!”
• Children waiting for families are younger with minor special needs
• The children live in a very good foster home while they wait for an adoptive family
• Excellent medical information is available about the children
• The program is very stable and predictable
• Open to single and married applicants
• Families can request a child of a specific gender
• The process takes on average 12-30 months
• Most children have moderate to major special needs or are older
As 16-year-old Van Dai prepares to meet his adoptive family, and his adoptive family prepares to meet him, they share what they’re nervous about, what they’re excited about, and why they are so eager to finally meet one another.
Van Dai is 16 years old. He likes math, soccer and computer games, and is naturally good at things that require problem solving and forethought. He’s a bit shy and introspective, and doesn’t show a broad range of emotion. But when you catch his eye and smile, he will return your smile a thousand-fold. His smile is absolutely radiant.
It’s a hot and humid January afternoon in the south of Vietnam, but cooler where we sit inside on wooden furniture, beneath a blowing fan. In the background, we can hear the sounds of children playing, the occasional squeak of metal swings.
“How are you feeling right now?”
Van Dai’s eyes gleam and glance around the room. He smiles.
Holt’s feeding specialists have traveled the world training caregivers in nutrition and feeding best practices — and sometimes, something as simple as a spoon can make all the difference.
Several months had passed since Holt’s Child Nutrition Program team’s last trip to Ethiopia — to help lead a nutrition training at Sele Enat orphanage. And now, Rae Miller, an occupational therapist who specializes in feeding — a skill particularly helpful in her work with the child nutrition program — was there to evaluate how things were going. Already, rates of anemia had decreased and children looked healthier — and happier!
When Koni and Ken Maat decide to adopt a 3-year-old girl from China with significant medical needs, they are moved by the generosity of others who help them bring her home.
Everything in life was great! Our four biological children were all healthy, successful adults and the youngest was halfway through college. We could go where we wanted, when we wanted, without a thought to childcare or bedtimes. And I was finally able to have a dedicated guest room that I had always wanted in our modest home.
I was excited as I planned, painted and decorated the guest room, imagining the family and out-of-town friends who would stay there. When it was completed, I would periodically open the door and look in. It was the one room in the house that was always perfect and glancing in gave me a sense of peace. The satisfaction was short-lived. It seemed so pointless to have this empty room when there were children without a home. I began to research foster care, domestic adoption and international adoption. I would read waiting children’s bios knowing I could help them. I began frequently mentioning my desire and my findings to my husband, Ken, but was met with silence. On the occasion he did respond, he made it clear that he thought I was crazy for wanting to mess up our clearly perfect lifestyle. Continue reading “The Least We Can Do”