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.”
This year for National Adoption Month, we are shining a spotlight on special needs. All month long, we will share videos and stories that demystify some of the most common — or most misunderstood — special needs, from cleft lip & palate to HIV to children who are older in age when they come home. Follow us on social media this November for myth-busting information and first-hand experiences of adoptees and families! Who knows, you may be surprised by what you learn, and how you could be the perfect family for a child with special needs.
Eight-year old Elizabeth is smiley, easy-going and kind. Tanner is also 8 and is extremely social, helpful and caring. Six-year-old Aubrey is outgoing and loves riding her tricycle. Thirteen-year-old Braxton is shy and patient and enjoys practicing calligraphy.
But despite their differences, these children all have two notable things in common. One, they are all waiting to join a permanent, loving family of their own. And two, they all have a special need. Read More
Amy Castle, Holt’s administrative social worker for the China program, recently visited a new orphanage partner for Holt in China. Very few children at this orphanage have joined families through international adoption, and many of them are older and some have manageable special needs. Below, Amy shares about her experience meeting these children, including seven for whom we urgently need to find families!
I visited this orphanage in March 2017 to prepare a few older children that Holt had matched with families for their adoptions. I had a very good impression of this orphanage from the beginning of my day there. The administrative staff seemed to know the children well and they were so pleased I wanted to visit. The orphanage director allowed us to use her office to video chat with the children’s families in the U.S., and she was also very interested in the older child adoption preparation books I brought with me. But the most excited I saw her was when we presented a child with his family’s photo album. This was the first time this child learned he had a family, and I remember the sweet look in her eyes as they flipped through the album together. She spoke to him while he looked at the photos, and later my translator told me what she was saying: “Look, here are your new parents! They look so nice! And this will be your new room! Aren’t you excited?” You could see the excitement on the child’s face and it was a sweet moment to witness. As my time in the orphanage concluded, the director said to me, through a translator, that she was so happy these older children have families. She has watched these children grow up from the time they entered the orphanage as infants, and now at 13 years old they will finally have families of their own. I left the orphanage feeling so hopeful for the other children living there, that we would be able to find families for them as well. I know the orphanage staff has that same hope, too.
Below are eight children at that orphanage who are getting older and closer to losing their chance at being adopted. They have watched many of their friends go home to adoptive families in China and are starting to get discouraged. Could you or someone you know be the right family for these children?
NOAH — Born Aug 26, 2009
Noah is deaf and received a cochlear implant in 2013. He became happier and more active after the procedure, and he has been attending a language training school for children with cochlear implants. Noah is described as a smart boy who adapted well to his new school. He gets along well with others. Noah very much wants to have a home with his own parents and siblings. Enjoy his photo — he lost a tooth!
TOMAS — Born May 4, 2005
Tomas is described as a patient boy who likes to help others. No special needs are reported in his file. Tomas likes music and sports, especially soccer. He came to the orphanage as a baby, and in 2010 he went to live at a foster care facility. This facility can be difficult to get information from. We do know, however, that Tomas gets along well with his foster family. A video is on file!
AUBREE — Born May 24, 2009
Aubree gets along well with the other children and likes to play with others. She had surgery for cleft lip and palate in 2010. Her health and physical development are reported to be good. Aubree attends school, where she enjoys English class and painting. She hopes to have a family with a brother or sister who she could help care for.
CHARLESTON — Born March 1, 2006
Charleston had surgery for cleft lip and palate and he has intermittent exotropia. He is described as a nice boy who is good at studying. He received full marks in math this semester! Charleston also likes sports and running. He gets along well with the other kids in his care center. Charleston hopes for a family of his own, and would like siblings to play with.
NYOMI — Born Aug 22, 2007
Nyomi is described as a lovely and sweet girl. She came into care when she was about two months old and had surgery for congenital heart disease (Tetralogy of Fallot) in 2010. Nyomi is well liked by her caregivers and teachers. She likes to help take care of the younger children in the orphanage and gets along well with other kids. She would like to have a family to live and play with.
SHANE — Born May 5, 2006
Shane has cleft lip and palate, which have been surgically repaired. His pronunciation is clear and no further treatments are expected for his cleft. He is now a healthy 11-year-old boy who longs to have a family with siblings one day. Shane’s personality is described as open, big-hearted, curious and energetic. He lives in the orphanage and attends a public school, where he earns average grades. He gets along well with other children and has five best friends who he likes to hang out with. He is curious and observant, paying attention to details and new things. He is a talented painter and is learning martial arts– please watch his video!
SAM — Born Oct 6, 2004
Sam is an active boy who likes sports and running. He is missing a toe and his development may be a bit delayed. He attends middle school, and he likes reading books and playing games like Chinese checkers and chess. His best friend was adopted recently and he hopes someday a family will come for him also. He would like to teach his adoptive family to speak Chinese. Sam urgently needs a family to come forward for him before he ages out of the adoption process on his 14th birthday.
BRAXTON — Born July 1, 2004
Braxton has had surgery for congenital heart disease and crossed eyes. He came to the orphanage as a baby and went to a foster care facility in 2010, where he gets along well with his foster family. This facility can be difficult to get information from. Described as a shy and patient boy, Braxton is good at studying and likes English and calligraphy. Braxton urgently needs a family to bring him home before he ages out of the adoption process on his 14th birthday.
See how twin brothers Kavi and Krit are thriving due to the nutritional support they receive from their sponsors!
When he was about a month old, Bennett was left at the front steps of his care center. He has lived here his whole life, and is now 7 years old.
Bennett is a shy kid at first, but quickly warms up to people! Humor is one of his favorite ways to make friends, and he can often be seen laughing and joking with others. He likes living with a bunch of other kids, but it is hard for him to see other kids leave to join adoptive families while he still waits.
He is learning all kinds of new things in second grade including reading, writing and multiplication. He does well in school and someday, he says, he wants to be a doctor and help people! He knows he will need to learn as much as he can if he hopes to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor, and that’s why he works so hard.
What Bennett most wants and needs, though, is to be a part of a family — a family that will give him all the love and support he needs to achieve whatever he wants in life.
DOB: 7/11/09 | Vietnam
**There is a $3000 Special Brittany’s Hope Grant available for families who qualify to help with the fees for Bennett’s adoption.
We need families to adopt from the Philippines! The Philippines program is small, stable, predictable and in urgent need of families for children. This program is a great fit for: Read More