On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.

 Last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.
Erika, 23, blow-dries a client’s hair. Thanks to sponsors and donors, last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.

Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.

She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.

They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”

10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!

We are starting 2019 inspired and filled with gratitude — all because of our donors! Thank you to every child sponsor, every donor, every advocate and every person who donated their time, money or social media platform to help a child in need this year!

You made it possible to help thousands and thousands of the world’s most at-risk children in orphanages, impoverished places, hard-to-reach communities and places of grave danger.

Because of you…

  • Hungry children received nourishing meals.
  • Sick children received critically needed medicines and surgeries.
  • Boys and girls learned they could go to school — in some cases for the first time! They received uniforms, books and supplies.
  • Children in orphanages received the one-on-one care they need to grow and thrive. Hundreds joined adoptive families. Many finally felt loved and accepted, joining foster families and group homes free from stigma and ridicule.
  • Single moms received job skills training, parenting help, free daycare support, and some even received new homes! Many more finally felt like they had a team of support wrapping them in encouragement and hope for the future with services like community savings programs, microloans, livestock training, counseling and much, much more.
  • Some women — and many children — fled or were rescued from violent situations.
  • You also fed more than 50,000 people in North Korea, including thousands of children growing up in orphanages.

Without a doubt, YOU are amazing. You are making the world a brighter place. You are giving real help and hope!

Here are 10 ways you are changing the world through your compassion, kindness and incredible generosity! Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!”

Adoption From Colombia: Older Children Like Santi Wait

Adoption from Colombia might lead you to a child like Santi — an older child with a larger-than-life love for everyone he meets. Santi, like so many older children living in orphanages, has waited a lifetime for a for a stable, loving family.

Santi is waiting for an adoptive family. Adoption from Colombia is focused on finding families for older kids and kids with special needs.

On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older kids.

When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.

Paperwork can be dehumanizing.

At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children who we met in Colombia.

When I read Santi’s file, it didn’t say that he loves board games and the color blue. It didn’t talk about his breathtaking smile or his love of building things. It didn’t mention his impeccable sense of style — he wore salmon-red slacks, a teal button-down with shell snaps, and a pair of fake Ray-Ban shades the day we met him — and the way he draws people in like a magnet. Continue reading “Adoption From Colombia: Older Children Like Santi Wait”

What Makes The “Perfect” Family?

Taeyang and his sisters.

Special needs. Older children. Single parent adoption. Kids with unknown medical needs. Just the good ol’ “let the agency choose” path. There are lots of adoption paths — and no “perfect” families — but whatever path you choose, your family will ultimately be the right family for a child who is waiting.

Once upon a time, there was the perfect adoptive family. The mom and dad — both pediatricians — decided to adopt a child with a few medical needs. Their neighbors, high school teachers with a trust fund and awards for their work with underprivileged youth, decided to adopt an older child. Then, their other neighbors, who have never once been afraid in their whole lives, adopted a child with some “unknowns” in his history.

If you already questioned whether this was a “true” story, congratulations! You caught us. Continue reading “What Makes The “Perfect” Family?”

Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!

Many of the kids waiting for an adoptive family through Holt’s new Colombia adoption program are over the age of 5. But, partially spurred by fear, most adoptive families express openness only to a child who is 0-5 years old, passing up some precious, special, smart and wonderful kids whose greatest dream in life is to feel the unconditional love of a family. Learn about two kids — Cata and Santi — who are waiting for families. And, learn more about why Colombia adoption is an amazing option for families!

Colombia Adoption Program for Older Child Adoption
Kim Dowd-Uribe with two of the children she met in Medellin, Colombia. Holt’s Colombia adoption program is our newest country for families, but with Kim’s expertise, passion for kids and work ethic, it feels more like one of Holt’s long-standing partners.

On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older children.

When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.

Paperwork can be dehumanizing.

At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children we met waiting for families through our Colombia adoption program.

When I read Cata’s file, it didn’t say that she loves sports and dancing. It didn’t talk about how funny and confident and abundantly sweet she is. It didn’t talk about her bright, sparkling eyes or gap-toothed smile from the loss of baby teeth.

Colombia Older Child Adoption
Cata is waiting for a family to adopt her through Holt International’s Colombia adoption program.

Continue reading “Colombia Adoption: Older Kids Want You To See They Aren’t Scary!”

Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!

Choy Thy with her two children in front of their house in Cambodia after donors replaced the leaky thatched walls, roof and stairs with weather-proof tin.

Because of your incredible generosity, 10 of the most vulnerable and impoverished families in Prey Veng, Cambodia received new homes or significant and seriously needed renovations. The families and their villages helped with construction, but Holt donors provided all the tools and materials.

There are no greater words of gratitude than from the families who received homes themselves! Continue reading “Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!”

In Memory of David Kim

A celebration of David’s life will take place at the Faith Center in Eugene, Oregon, on February 24, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested to please make donations to Holt International. Your gift will be used to help children with urgent needs that might otherwise go unmet, especially children with special needs as that was a cause close to David’s heart. For hotel information for February 23 and 24, please scroll to the bottom. If you would like to share memories or photos of David Kim, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org

Dr. David Hyungbok Kim, who alongside Harry and Bertha Holt pioneered the modern practice of international adoption, died on Jan. 25, 2018, in Eugene, Oregon. He was 86 years old.

With a deep Christian faith, David devoted his life to advocating for orphaned and homeless children around the world. It was the suffering of children that David witnessed during his early days working for Harry Holt in post-war Korea that in many ways shaped the course of his life and career. Continue reading “In Memory of David Kim”

Sara Needs a Family!

DOB: June 22, 2004

Sara urgently needs a family to bring her home before she ages out of the adoption process on her 14th birthday in June.  She has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).  She is unable to walk unsupported and uses a wheelchair to get around.  Sara has been living with a foster family since 2007, and she has a close relationship with her foster parents.  She can’t attend school in her area because of her special needs, but she is receiving therapy and education at a special center.  Her language development and literacy level are on target, and she is thought to have a high IQ and a strong ability to learn.  Sara is an enthusiastic artist, she especially likes music and painting.  Please click on the video link to listen to her sing (audio only).  She has an open, determined and kindhearted personality. She especially likes playing with other children and gets along well with others.  Continue reading “Sara Needs a Family!”