2018 Urgent Need Update: You Changed Their Lives

At the end of 2018, we shared with you about three children in our programs who were experiencing the most heartbreaking, hopeless and urgent needs: Linh, a 13-year-old who became pregnant after a violent assault; Shenaz, a little girl in India who was grieving her father’s death and living in extreme poverty; and Jun Jun, a boy in China who desperately needed a surgery for his cleft lip.

Your outpouring of support and care for these three little ones amazed us. You gave generously. And because of you, Linh, Shenaz and Jun Jun’s lives have changed.

Keep reading to see just how powerful a difference you made in these children’s lives!

Linh.Linh | A Mother at 13, She Needed Help

Continue reading “2018 Urgent Need Update: You Changed Their Lives”

From Ashes to Beauty

Given the strength to overcome her own struggles, child sponsor Karis Feezell strives to help others overcome theirs. 

Hello, my name is Karis Feezell. I am a determined, strong and compassionate 19-year-old artist who has struggled with physical issues all my life. I have cerebral palsy, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and birth defects in my hands and feet. When I was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, resulting in lack of oxygen for eight minutes until I was revived. During this incident, my cerebellum was injured, causing constant, shaky tremors. The tremors make it a struggle to control my hands, particularly opening them.

That I have these issues, and can still draw and paint, is proof to me that God is still working miracles today. Continue reading “From Ashes to Beauty”

Jun Jun Urgently Needs a Cleft Lip Surgery

In China, children with special needs who are living in orphanage care often go without — or wait too long for — the medical care they need. These are children like Jun Jun…

Jun Jun is a child with special needs who is living in an orphanage in China.

Jun Jun’s cleft lip should have been repaired months ago. Most babies born with cleft lip and palate get their first surgery at 3 to 6 months old. But Jun Jun is nearly a year old.

His orphanage can’t afford the procedure. Continue reading “Jun Jun Urgently Needs a Cleft Lip Surgery”

Archer Needs a Family!

Archer is an easygoing and active 11-year-old who is well liked by everyone. He came into care when he was a little over a year old.

Archer is currently in the fifth grade and attends public school, where he studies math, Chinese, English, art and PE. He particularly enjoys Chinese class and PE. He also has a very good memory and can recite poetry. Archer likes to help others, and gets along with his teachers and classmates. He is doing very well in school and can do addition and subtraction problems in his head. Check out the video!

Continue reading “Archer Needs a Family!”

The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China

Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. They are not just orphans. They are AIDS orphans. 

The picture that Jenna's son drew that illustrates which family members have passed away. The characters read "I love my mom and dad."
Becca snapped this photo of a hand-drawn picture taped to the wall of her son’s former home in China. The characters read “I love my mom and dad” and above each picture, from left to right, he wrote “Me, Dad, Mom, Grandma.” All of his immediate family has now passed away.

It was as if time stood still.

Everything sat undisturbed — preserved in the moment their son left his childhood home for a new life in the city.

A couple of bikes stood leaning in the doorway, covered in dust. A calendar remained open to November 2016, the month their son moved to his group home. Becca noticed a hat with a flower hanging on the wall.

“I wondered if this was his grandmother’s hat,” says Becca, now mom to the boy who once lived in this cold concrete block home. Becca wondered if his grandmother wore this hat while working in the fields that surrounded their family compound.

Here and there, Becca also caught glimpses of the child her now teenage son once was. The child who left Spiderman stickers and hand-drawn pictures taped to the walls, rollerblades and tiny shoes by the door. The child who created an elaborate chalk drawing of a guitar on the window, and lines on the wall to prove he was growing taller.

Continue reading “The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China”

Favorite Five Adoption Stories

For National Adoption Month, read, view and share the five most popular adoption stories and videos to ever appear on the Holt blog!

A Heart for Rini

At the 2014 Holt Gala and Auction in Portland, Oregon, Holt adoptive mom Andrea stood to speak. She told her story of bringing home her daughter Rini from China — a little girl with severe congenital heart disease — and the struggle to save her life. Here, Andrea again shares the story that captivated an audience of families, adoptees and Holt supporters at the Portland event, as well as her appeal to help save the lives of other children with serious heart disease… children just like Rini. Continue reading “Favorite Five Adoption Stories”