Connected Parenting During COVID-19

A message to adoptive families from Holt’s clinical services team. 

During these times, we are being bombarded by recommendations geared towards keeping up with our children’s academic needs. Such recommendations, while important, often leave out the essential task of prioritizing connection and self-care.

Our children need connected/supportive parenting now more than ever, and providing this approach should be our top priority.

Why is this important?

Continue reading “Connected Parenting During COVID-19”

Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Over the past several weeks, Holt International, like all organizations, has experienced the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and the critical impact on our programs, our staff and partners, and the children and families we serve together with you around the world. As the world watched what was happening in China, this felt very personal to Holt. With the health and safety of both children and families our utmost concern, we made the heart-wrenching decision to suspend travel for more than 20 adoptive families who were ready to bring their children home. In both the U.S. and China, Holt staff responded quickly to support and assist families and took immediate measures to ensure our partner orphanages had the medical and other supplies needed to protect the children in their care.

When the virus began to spread to Korea and other countries where we work in Asia, we took immediate action — sending masks and other supplies to our partners in those countries. Thankfully, as of today, we have received no reports of any children in our programs contracting the virus, and we continue to pray for the health and safety of all children, families, staff, partners and supporters around the world. Continue reading “Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic”

Intercountry Adoption Becomes More Precarious As Coronavirus Outbreak Grows

Holt International Expands Support to Orphanages Across Asia as they Reassure Adoptive Families Waiting to Bring Their Children Home.

EUGENE, ORE – Holt International is rapidly ramping up its support for orphanages in Asia that are at risk of the expanding coronavirus outbreak. It also is working closely with 250 U.S. families in the queue to adopt children from China, including more than 20 families whose adoptions have been delayed by the outbreak.

“The families have been amazing in their understanding of the situation. It is not easy for them, but they realize it is a situation beyond anyone’s control,” says Jian Chen, Holt’s vice president of China regional programs. “We are all worried about the health and safety of the children in orphanages in China, but we are pleased with the quick response of Chinese authorities to isolate the children immediately. The caregivers in the orphanages have also been isolated with the children to continue to provide 24-hour care for them.”

Continue reading “Intercountry Adoption Becomes More Precarious As Coronavirus Outbreak Grows”

Why International Adoption is Still Needed

Until we live in a world where every child can grow up safe and loved  in a permanent, loving family, Holt will continue to provide and advocate for ethical, child-centered international adoption. 

Late last month, our fellow U.S. adoption agency Bethany Christian Services announced their decision not to renew their international adoption accreditation when it expires at the end of March 2021. In a blog post, their vice president of global programs, Kristi Gleason, shared how they prayerfully came to this decision after nearly 40 years of helping children come home to families through international adoption.

“The future of adoption is working with local governments, churches, and social services professionals around the world to recruit and support local families for children and to develop and improve effective, safe in-country child welfare systems,” Gleason wrote. Continue reading “Why International Adoption is Still Needed”

They Are Safe, Because of You

A few months ago, we shared with you the story of Thak Kan and his family in Cambodia.

Eleven-year-old Thak Kan and his family had trouble sleeping every time it rained where they live in rural Cambodia. The roof would leak. The house would flood in heavy rain. But what worried them the most were the poisonous snakes and scorpions that crawled through the holes in the walls of their house seeking dry shelter. Thak slept on the ground with his parents and three younger siblings. And he was scared of snake bites.

Thak Kan and his family stand in front of their old house, which had holes in the walls and floor that let in snakes and scorpions.
Thak Kan and his family stand in front of their old house, which had holes in the walls and floor that let in snakes and scorpions.

Thak Kan’s family was one of the poorest families in their village in rural Cambodia. They could hardly afford food, much less the materials to build a safer house. But when, on Giving Tuesday, we asked you to help build new safe homes for families living in dangerous conditions, you responded with overwhelming kindness and generosity.

You helped provide home repairs and new houses for some of the most vulnerable families living in some of the worst conditions — including for Thak Kan and his family!

Continue reading “They Are Safe, Because of You”

Holt International Responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak and the Consequences to Children and Adoptive Families

A medical provider holds a child in care at our partner orphanage in Wuhan.
A medical provider holds a child in care at our partner orphanage in Wuhan.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, families around the country in process of adopting from China are directly affected by the outbreak. Families who were preparing to travel immediately have had to rearrange schedules, childcare and travel logistics. However, that is nothing compared to the profound emotions caused by the uncertainty and delay. Continue reading “Holt International Responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak and the Consequences to Children and Adoptive Families”

Bodin Needs a Family!

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Bodin?

When asked how they would describe Bodin, his caregivers said he has a sunny personality! Bodin has some special needs, but he is a fighter who never gives up. He has not had the opportunity to attend school as much as other children in the orphanage, but when he attended special education classes in 2018, he was loved by both his classmates and his teachers. Continue reading “Bodin Needs a Family!”

I Won’t Give Up On Her

In the summer of 2016, Holt sponsor and then Holt employee Billie Loewen met a very sad, hungry girl in a remote village in Cambodia. She immediately signed up to sponsor her. Four years later, she receives an update that makes her heart soar.

In the first week of every month, I pull open the Excel spreadsheet with four years of monthly budgets. I open the Chase app and Wells Fargo and drift quickly over the charges, looking for anything amiss. The single line with a shortened title, “HOLT INTL CHILD,” and associated charge — $38 — always catches my eye.

Most months, paying bills is the only time I think about what it costs to sponsor the beautiful, shy, heartbreakingly sad little girl I met in a village in Cambodia on a scorching hot, dusty day in 2016.

Tiny, impossibly thin with straggly hair turning yellow from lack of nutrition, and a broad face with deep, serious eyes, 10-year-old Phal captured my entire heart the moment I saw her.

It’s been four years since I met her, and I think about her a lot.

Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.
Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.

Continue reading “I Won’t Give Up On Her”

Hiro Needs a Family!

Could you be the right family for Hiro?

Seven-year-old Hiro is a sweet and helpful little boy whose caregivers describe him as having a “sunny personality.”

He came into care when he was just one day old, and has lived in his care center in China since he was a baby.

Hiro loves his friends, and has many interests and talents. He likes playing with remote control cars and Legos, loves working on art projects and also enjoys sports like soccer and rock climbing. He is confident and curious, imaginative and expressive. He likes to read and play games with his friends, and loves to help others.

Hiro has congenital heart disease and will need a family with the resources to meet his medical needs. Mostly, though, he just needs a loving, permanent family to support him as he pursues his interests and explores the world around him.

Could you be the right family for Hiro? For more information about this sweet and helpful boy, email alyciaf@holtinternational.org.