Her Best Example: Empowering Women and Children in Colombia

When Diana got pregnant at 17, she thought her dreams — and her dreams for her children — were over. Then she discovered Holt’s partner program in Colombia, empowering both women and children through education.

We visit Diana at her home on a warm weekday morning, and her neighborhood is quiet but for an occasional horseback rider clop-clopping along the long, straight dirt road out in front of her home. A small black dog lays in her doorway and a cat sleeps in her garden, which is lush but well-tended, with neat stone steps that descend from the road above down a story to her orange brick home. Diana and her husband built their home themselves, she says, “brick by brick.” Continue reading “Her Best Example: Empowering Women and Children in Colombia”

Every Child Deserves a Chance: Advocating for Older Kids From Colombia

To help find loving, permanent families for the many older children eligible for adoption in Colombia, Holt is now recruiting families for a special five-week hosting program.

In partnership with hosting agencies Kidsave and P143, Holt is seeking families to welcome an older child into their home for five weeks.

Julian grew up in Colombia, in protective custody. At young ages, he and his sister separated from their family because they couldn’t care for them the way they needed to be cared for. Julian looked out for his sister, who is two years younger. He is studious and shy, and very mature for his age.

Julian would have loved to have a family, and a home. But as he grew older, and watched other, younger kids join adoptive families, he slowly gave up hope of ever having a family — especially one that would adopt both he and his sister. No matter what, they wanted to stay together. Continue reading “Every Child Deserves a Chance: Advocating for Older Kids From Colombia”

The Children Left Behind

When a news story broke in China about children who died by suicide after their parents migrated without them, it became clear this was more than a crisis of poverty. It was a crisis of loneliness and loss.

When Luan's parents left, she was left in charge of her younger brother and her elderly grandparents.
When Luan’s parents left, she was left in charge of her younger brother and her elderly grandparents.

Luan doesn’t blame her parents for leaving. She loves them and forgives them for doing what they did. She even goes to visit her mom sometimes.

“I don’t know why she left me,” she says of her mom, “but I don’t blame her or hate her.”

Luan is among an estimated 60 million children in China who are growing up without their parents — left behind in rural villages in the care of elderly grandparents or relatives who struggle to provide for them on their own meager resources. In some cases, parents leave their children when they divorce, or when they remarry and their new spouse won’t accept children from a previous marriage. But most parents leave when they migrate to cities in search of work. They leave out of poverty, out of desperation. Continue reading “The Children Left Behind”

An Age-by-Age Guide to Talking About Race & Racism

Did you know that every parent who adopts through Holt goes through a special curriculum on transracial parenting?

In this time when families are searching for resources to help talk with their children about race and racism, we’d like to share one of our favorite pieces from this curriculum.

Click here for an age-by-age guide to talking about race and racism with your kids, written by Joemy Ito-Gates and Wei Ming Dariotis. While it’s geared toward transracial adoptive families, it’s an insightful piece and a valuable reference for every parent looking to discuss this sensitive topic with their child.

To learn more about Holt’s adoption curriculum for prospective adoptive families, click here! Or if you have specific questions, email Steve Kalb at stevek@holtinternational.org

A Miracle for Gracie

Four-year-old Gracie was weeks away from traveling to her adoptive family in the U.S. when COVID-19 hit Haiti. With a heart condition and suppressed immune system, she urgently needed to be on the last known flight leaving Haiti. But no one expected it would take an army of compassion, and a miracle, to get her here.

It was 11:30. The exit letter office closed at noon.

Gracie’s flight — the last known flight leaving Haiti before the country shut down all air travel due to the pandemic — was scheduled to depart at 6 p.m.

Holt’s staff in Haiti had less than four hours to complete her documents so she could be on that flight to Miami, where her dad, Brian, would be waiting for her. Continue reading “A Miracle for Gracie”

A Herd of Sheep, a Lifetime of Hope

For her class community service project, adoptee Anna Hebert launches a fundraising campaign for impoverished families in Mongolia — and raises enough to provide a herd of sheep and goats for three families!

My name is Anna Hebert, and I am currently in 11th grade at a public charter school in Southern California. I was born in a small province in China called Hunan and adopted through Holt as a baby. I have always loved helping out those who are less fortunate than I am.

This whole project started because my school has a graduation requirement to do a community service project. After learning about this graduation requirement in seventh grade, I was really excited to tackle a project that would change the lives of others in a positive way. Continue reading “A Herd of Sheep, a Lifetime of Hope”