Susan Voss-Rothmeier, a former Holt social worker and adoptive parent, recently returned from the Philippines with three other Holt advocates. While on this special Philippines Ambassador trip, the group bonded with 14 older children who are in need of families. Today, Susan and the rest of the group are back in the United States, and ready to find these children loving homes!
Below, Susan shares a blog post from her first day in the Philippines:
Manila —The Philippines Ambassador program is well underway. We arrived Saturday night after a long flight and settled into Manila amid the heat and periodic rain. Then, on Monday, we met six children, ages 10 to 14, at the KBF office, Holt’s partner organization. Initially reticent and shy as we engaged them in a painting project, the children eventually began to open themselves up to us over the course of the afternoon. Their personalities fully emerged, however, after we all traveled to a resort outside Manila to spend two days and loads of free time in a range of activities — swimming, biking, craft-making, and games. Their shy faces gradually turned to smiles and then laughter. The pool proved to be a huge success, as even the most hesitant ones let their guards down amid the horseplay and games of tag and catch.
Some of the children are sweet in nature, while others are jokesters, ready to ham it up. Whatever their personalities, they’ve all managed to weave their way into our hearts. They are so ready to be loved and they soak up any attention we offer. Their coy smiles, and the way they grab our hands amid our jokes and teasing, demonstrates their hunger for connection. Although they speak little English, and most of us know almost no Tagalog, it’s amazing how much we can still communicate. They are eager to know about us and want us to know who they are. They are so deserving of families of their own and our commitment to finding them homes grows stronger with each moment we spend with them.
It’s an intense, but enriching week for us, but we feel energized with the task at hand. We appreciate the opportunity God has given us to know these children.
Susan Voss-Rothmeier | Portland, Oregon