What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Colombia?
Is it Pablo Escobar or the drug cartels? If so, you aren’t alone. Colombia is a country with a brutal history. But there’s another side to Colombia — a side that is passionate, resilient and full of kids who embody these traits, and who are waiting for permanent, loving families to call their own.
Over four and a half years at Holt, our China child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb, has chosen “advocacy names” for over 1,000 kids on our China waiting child photolisting. Most are temporary names. But among the hundreds of kids who are now home with their families, there are a few who still have the name their parents “grew to love them as.”
One day, in the spring of 2016, Adam and Jennifer Lenzen decided they wanted to adopt a little girl.
“We didn’t know what the process would look like, but we were looking through the beautiful faces on Holt China’s waiting child photolisting and one little girl caught our eye,” they say.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Any family would be blessed to have Dani as their son.
Dani is one of the 33 kids that I met in Colombia on our last resource-gathering trip. We showed up to a botanical park in Medellin where he and six other kids were waiting to spend the day with us. A few of the other kids were energetic and running all around, but Dani was very calm and collected. He was pretty interested in my camera and so after a little while I took it off and handed it to him. He seemed surprised that I would trust him with it, but after an approving nod from me, he quickly and carefully started taking pictures. Continue reading “Dani Needs a Family!”
Raymond’s caregivers are especially adamant that Raymond is a special boy who needs an adoptive family. When asked what stands out about him, his caregivers say that he is optimistic and works very hard.
Raymond’s hard work is paying off in school. He attends a public school where his academic performance is excellent and he earns prizes for his good behavior. His favorite subject is math and he likes his math teacher. Continue reading “Raymond needs a family!”
She’s 7-years-old and while her verbal communication skills are limited, you always know what she wants, what she likes and what she doesn’t like. She’s good at expressing her emotions. She really loves to color and draw and she’s always down for an adventure — whether it’s a picnic in the park, a piggy-back-ride through the zoo or a hand-in-hand walk to see the sights.