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.”
Through the Independent Living and Educational Assistance Program in the Philippines, young adults aging out of institutional care gain the skills to live successfully on their own. Marlon Cruz was once an ILEA scholar. This is the story of his life, as told by Marlon.
I was 5 years old when I got lost in the market of Marikina City and never found my parents again. That was the start of my struggles in life. I did not know where I would stay and how I would eat. I came to the point that I was sleeping anywhere I could. To survive, I started to carry baskets and bags of goods for people in the marketplace so I could get money for food. When authorities learned that I had no parents, they put me in an orphanage and they started to look for my parents.
But nobody was found and nobody came back to claim me.
The barangay authorities sent me to Boys Town Complex in Markina City, an institution for children without parents. I was admitted in Mahay, a section in the institution where children like me are housed. I had mixed feelings, happy but sad. Happy because there were people who would care for me and there was food, so I did not have to wonder how I would find food to eat. Happy that I would not experience again what I had been through, I experienced playing again. I focused my attention on playing to avoid thinking of my lost parents and continuing to wonder why I no longer have parents. Read More
When Eric and Jen Grabill first read about their son, Landon, on Holt’s China photolisting, they knew they could give this boy with a severe birth defect the love and care he needed. They also knew that at home with them, he would have access to something he would likely never have in China: an education.
Adoption was something that Eric and I had always planned. We never knew when or where, but we knew we wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. Just like having biological children, no one ever thinks they are ready, but when they do have children they figure things out as they go. So we decided to move forward without “feeling” we were ready and just trusting that it was the right thing to do.
We were early in our process when I found a little boy on Holt’s China photolisting. His innocent little face with his big almond-shaped eyes really caught me. Without hesitation, I clicked on the button to request more information about this little guy. Read More
Dustin is a friendly and energetic boy who has been in care since he was 3 weeks old. He is currently in the 1st grade and is reportedly learning well. He can write letters and numbers and enjoys counting. He is said to have mild cognitive delays and a lisp, but is otherwise healthy! Read More
Lee and Logan are biological brothers who came into Holt’s care in 2014 after their parents both passed away. Lee is the older brother and he is good at studying and doing his schoolwork. He especially likes math, reading and drawing. Logan is the younger brother and he likes to ride bikes and skate, and doesn’t like food that is too sweet. Both boys get along well with each other, and with the other kids in the care center. Read More
This summer, adoptee Calli Tilson went on the 2017 Holt Family Tour to Korea — her first time returning to Korea since she was adopted in 1999. And while there, she found home in an unexpected place…