How the SNAF Grant Changes Lives

Abraham Herston waits in India for his family.

The Herston Family’s Story

 by Jamie Herston

We began the adoption process in October of 2011, after I had received a recommendation of Holt International through a friend who had researched adoption. I sent an email to the agency, inquiring which countries would be open to working with my husband and I. Given that my husband is deaf, we worried that other countries would view his deafness as a disability that would prevent effective parenting. I received a response from Holt that if we were willing to adopt a child who was also deaf, most countries would be open to working with us. So, we sent in our application and began praying.

About two weeks after submitting our application, we were asked by Holt’s waiting child assistant if we would be interested in looking over the file of an older hearing impaired boy from India. We were cautiously optimistic. We didn’t want to get our hopes up, but the minute we saw Abraham’s face, we knew he was our boy.

Abraham Herston waits in India for his family.


A week later, on November 3, 2011 to be exact, the Waiting Child committee at Holt met to discuss Abraham’s future. That same afternoon, I received a call that we had officially been matched with him. We will never forget that day – the excitement of knowing that we were finally going to be parents, the gratitude we felt to our Lord and to Holt, and the fear of the unknowns ahead.

Because my husband is deaf, we knew that getting Abraham home in timely manner was key. Due to the fact that he was an older child, the timeframe for his success at learning language was growing thin. We had to get him and get him home fast, so that he did not miss his opportunity for learning language.

Through a Special Needs Adoption Fund (SNAF) grant provided by generous donors, we were able to bring Abraham home sooner than we had expected.

Abraham has been home for three months. During that time, he has gone from having no means of communication and knowing no sign language, to having a sign language vocabulary of over 120 words. In addition, he is also signing short sentences. He is able to tell us what he needs and that he loves us.


Before learning about Holt and beginning the adoption process, we thought that having children would not be a reality for us, and that children were not in God’s plan for us. However, through Holt and the assistance of the SNAF grant, our prayer was answered and we were blessed with the most amazing little boy. Through the assistance of the SNAF fund, not only did our child come home, he came home quickly. And we are so thankful for that.




Holt’s Special Needs Adoption Fund helps children with special needs come home to the families who are waiting for them.  Help a child come home today! Give a SNAF grant!

One Reply to “How the SNAF Grant Changes Lives”

  1. Jamie,
    Thank you for telling your inspiring story! You must be really busy now but it means so much to hear about these kinds of successes to motivate those of us who are considering beginning the adoption process. Best wishes to your family.

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