Top 15 Holt Blog Stories of 2018

Every year, we receive the most powerful, inspiring stories from adoptees, sponsored children and families, sponsors, donors, adoptive families and birth parents to share on our blog. 2018 was no different. The stories — and the people behind the stories — show a tremendous sense of strength, love, hope, generosity and family. During 2018, adoptees reunited with family members, reflected on their stories and wrote letters to their ten-year-old selves. Adoptees and adoptive families reflected on the challenges, the joys and the special moments they shared with one another. Sponsored children and families expressed their gratitude to the sponsors and donors who support them, and opened the door to share their stories of perseverance and success.

Each story from 2018 is full of empowerment, inspiration and hope. Here are some of your most viewed, most shared and most favorite adoptee, adoption, family strengthening and orphan care stories of 2018!

Continue reading “Top 15 Holt Blog Stories of 2018”

It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia

Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia.

Ten years ago, Holt sponsors began supporting children and families in the impoverished community of Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia where goats and cattle still roam the unpaved roads that lead through town, few homes or businesses have electricity or running water, and donkeys are the primary mode of transportation.

Here, as throughout Ethiopia, years of civil war and drought have robbed many families of their livelihoods, while famine and illness have robbed many children of their parents. Most families in rural Ethiopia subsist on what they can grow on small plots of land, which is often just barely enough to feed their families. But in 2008, when Holt began working alongside local leaders and community elders, life began to change for many children and families in Shinshicho. Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia”

Holt International & WACAP Merge to Strengthen Resources, Impact for Families Worldwide

Phil Littleton, president and CEO of Holt International, shares about the merger of Holt International and World Association for Parents and Children (WACAP). 

Today, we are making an exciting announcement that will better position Holt International to do the mission-critical, child welfare work at the heart of our organization. Holt will merge with World Association for Parents and Children (WACAP) — a highly respected international adoption and child welfare agency — under the name Holt International Children’s Services on April 1, 2019.

Holt International first pioneered international adoption in 1956 and today remains the global leader in adoption. Founded in 1976, WACAP has united thousands of children with families in the U.S., and has also developed strong foster care and foster care adoption programs in the state of Washington. But while both Holt and WACAP have remained leaders in international adoption, the recent downward trend in adoption has called for a different strategy—one that creates a united front and a merging of efforts to ensure every child has a loving and secure home. Continue reading “Holt International & WACAP Merge to Strengthen Resources, Impact for Families Worldwide”

Given in Faith

When sponsor Jenna Curtis got an unexpected check in the mail, she prayerfully considered how to use it. Deciding to give it to her sponsored child in Haiti, she then watched in astonishment as its impact rippled far beyond what she could have imagined. 

Jenna during one of her trips to Haiti.
Jenna travels to Haiti regularly, so she knew she wanted to sponsor a child from this country that, she says, had already stolen her heart.

Halfway through the concert, the music stopped and someone took to the stage. There with a group of high school students from her church, Jenna Curtis — a college student in her last semester — knew what was coming. She had heard this before, and already knew what she had to do.

Continue reading “Given in Faith”

Journey of Hope: TBRI Adoptive Family Camp

This summer, Holt International in Oregon will host its inaugural TBRI camp for adoptees and their parents!

This two-day family camp is designed around the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)® parenting curriculum for domestic and international adoptees and their families. Even years after their adoption, some children may struggle with behavior regulation, attachment and social skills. With specialized assistance from TBRI practitioners, this camp will equip families with tools and strategies they can use to help their child learn self-regulation skills and deepen family attachment. Other activities include fun sensory games, art, nurture and movement groups and a visit from FETCH Eugene therapy dogs!

Continue reading “Journey of Hope: TBRI Adoptive Family Camp”

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”