In May 2015, four Holt ambassadors traveled to the Philippines to get to know a special group of children — all of them older, many of them in sibling groups. Five years ago, Holt began participating in this special adoption program as a way to increase home-finding efforts for older children and sibling groups in the Philippines. The ambassadors spend a week bonding with the children then return to the U.S. to help the children find loving families. Below, Holt adoptive parent Larry Vollmer shares about a sibling group of two boys he met while serving as an ambassador on last year’s trip — boys for whom we are still seeking a family!!
Have you ever been totally surprised by an event or circumstance so much that you can’t stop thinking about it? I have lost count of how many times I think back about my recent trip to the Philippines as a member of the Holt ambassador team. Truly, a life-changing experience for me. Hopefully, it will also be a life-changing event for these wonderful children.
Our team had the privilege to get to know several wonderful youngsters on this recent mission trip to the Philippines. And for me, I had a truly special experience with two brothers. Why, might you ask, was it so special? I am an adoptive parent of a delightful girl. In addition to that, I’m the only male in my house, including the pets. While this may sound strange, I was a bit bewildered about how I could connect with these young boys, not having any experience with male children. This experience helped me learn a simple truth. Kids are kids, no matter what gender, and these youngsters are typical kids in every way.
These brothers are a couple of characters in every way. They are active, busy and full of everything that a 13 and 10-year-old (now 14 and 11) should contain. They live together, and attend school where they each learn and participate with other children. They have unique, and distinctly different personalities. Those personalities compliment and support each other, but without question, these guys are markedly different.
The older brother, Aja*, age 13 (now 14) — and the most outgoing and active of the two boys — is intelligent and artistic. He currently sings in the children’s choir, which recently performed in Europe. He is active and enjoys sports like soccer and basketball. He also does well in school, and shows the confidence of an older sibling. At times, he can be mischievous and behave like a stereotypical older sibling.
The younger brother, Max*, age 10 (now 11), is more quiet and reserved in his personality. He is generous, playful and quite a ham. He enjoys basketball, soccer, swimming and playing with other children. He is adventurous and on the move, exploring the world around him. He is very compassionate, making sure that his peers are equally engaged and a part of his activity group.
Each of these boys are a delight. While different in personality, they are both well behaved and considerate. As a family unit, they are close and support each other. These youngsters are in need of a loving family unit that will accept them, and provide guidance and support as they become teenagers. An active family that will be willing participants in the lives of their children would be a great fit for these boys. I’m certain they will be as active as they can be, and benefit significantly from any peer engagement. As with many youngsters, they are curious and actively seek boundaries. They do take direction easily, and are able to make good decisions when their adult peers are engaged. They would be a wonderful addition to a family that has previously raised boys of this age.
The more that I think back on my time with these guys, I am just filled with laughter and joy. I sincerely enjoyed spending time with these guys, and would happily travel back to visit them again. Please take some time to pray for these boys, and see if your heart may wish to extend yourself further and look into adopting them. They would be a blessing to your family, and you would actually be the lucky ones, no doubt.
I truly enjoyed my experience on this trip, and certainly look forward to participating as an ambassador again… Many folks that have done mission work will say, “This experience changed my life “ This trip certainly did for me.
Larry Vollmer | McMinnville, Oregon
To see individual photos and learn more about Aja and Max, contact Jessica Palmer at email@example.com.
* names changed