With COVID Microgrants, Sponsors and Donors Keep Families Together

Around the world, the COVID crisis has significantly increased the risk of family separation. But because of Holt sponsors and donors, vulnerable families have what they need to stay together. View a slideshow of families in Cambodia who received COVID microgrants to start small businesses they can sustain throughout the pandemic.

Around the world, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. Cases continue to spike in communities where sponsors and donors support children, and families continue to struggle with loss of employment, school closures and sick family members. Continue reading “With COVID Microgrants, Sponsors and Donors Keep Families Together”

Thoughts on Older Child Adoption From Experienced Parents

If you’re considering older child adoption, one of the best things you can do is seek advice from other families. Families who have worked through many of the same fears or concerns you’re now grappling with, and who have gone through the experience of helping an older child adapt to a new country, culture, language — and, in many cases, to life in a family instead of an institution. Families who have learned how to help their child heal from trauma and long-term institutionalization, and how to build a loving, trusting bond with a child who may have never experienced that kind of bond with a caregiver or family member before.

View the slideshow above to hear from a handful of Holt families who have adopted children at older ages. You can also read more in-depth stories about these families below and, if you would like more advice, you can contact an adoption service specialist to get in touch with an advocate family directly!

Continue reading “Thoughts on Older Child Adoption From Experienced Parents”

A Day With Javkhaa; Meeting a Sponsored Child in Mongolia

Sponsor Jen Haberling is surprised to discover that her new sponsored child lives in Mongolia, where her sister is in the Peace Corps! This story originally appeared in Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine

 Jen’s sister, Andrea (top), was able to visit Javkhaa twice during her 27-month stint with the Peace Corps in Mongolia.
Jen’s sister, Andrea, was able to visit Javkhaa twice during her 27-month stint with the Peace Corps in Mongolia.

My sister Andrea’s mind was racing in a million different directions as she spent months preparing for a big life change. After much thought and deliberation, in 2015, she decided to leave a safe government job of 16 years and join the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps recruiter gave her four country choices, and when she asked where the greatest need was, the recruiter quickly answered, “Mongolia.” Andrea knew nothing about this part of the world and immediately began researching the culture and studying the language, while her family and friends came together to support her and help make this dream happen. Continue reading “A Day With Javkhaa; Meeting a Sponsored Child in Mongolia”

The Discovery That Brought Tears to One Mom’s Eyes

A message to Holt child sponsors from Holt President Phil Littleton, sharing how one adoptive mom responded when she discovered all three of her children had sponsors.

 

All three of the Lafler children had sponsors while in care in Korea.
All three of the Lafler children had sponsors while in care in Korea.

Have you ever wondered what your sponsored child’s family would share with you if they had the chance?

Recently, I came across a story from a Holt adoptive mom who found out all three of her children had sponsors who cared for them before they joined her family.

Continue reading “The Discovery That Brought Tears to One Mom’s Eyes”

A Place for Sponsored Children to Grow in Thailand

Tha Sala Learning Center in southern Thailand is a place for sponsored children and families to grow. This story originally appeared in  Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine

Walking through the gates of Tha Sala Learning Center is like stepping into a greenhouse with no walls.

The warm, thick air smells wonderfully of earthy soil and sweet flowering plants. Black-and-white spotted butterflies flutter through it — catching your eye as you walk, dodging around long-hanging vines and shady fruit trees. But plants aren’t all that grow here. Continue reading “A Place for Sponsored Children to Grow in Thailand”

The Five Most Common Heart Conditions Among Children Who Need Adoptive Families

Read about the five most common congenital heart defects among children waiting for adoptive families, as well as potential challenges, treatment plans and stories from Holt families who have adopted children with a heart condition.

Congenital heart defects are problems of the heart’s chambers, valves or blood vessels that develop before birth. This condition encompasses a broad range of defects, most of which affect how blood flows through the heart or through the blood vessels near the heart. Some defects may cause blood to flow in an abnormal pattern, while others completely or partially block blood flow.

A baby may be born with just one, or several heart defects, some of which may need little or no medical treatment even through adulthood. Others are more serious and can endanger the life of the child — either immediately to the newborn, or over time. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to the lifelong health and wellbeing of a child born with a congenital heart defect. Continue reading “The Five Most Common Heart Conditions Among Children Who Need Adoptive Families”

Restoring Their Joy: One Sponsor’s Gift to Her Sponsored Child

Earlier this year, a Holt child sponsor decided to make an extra donation of $500 to her sponsored child and his family in Uganda. In response, she received these photos of her sponsored child standing in front of the new home she helped build for him — along with the following letter from Julius Magezi, Holt’s sponsorship coordinator in Uganda.

Julius and his family stand in front of their new home that Julius' sponsor helped build for them.
Yasin and his family stand in front of their new home.

“Warmest greetings from Holt Uganda!

On behalf of Yasin and his family, I want to extend their heartfelt thanks to you for the gift of $500 you sent to him. The entire family was excited to receive it. His grandmother says it was the greatest gift they have received in her entire life. Continue reading “Restoring Their Joy: One Sponsor’s Gift to Her Sponsored Child”

At a School for the Deaf in Ethiopia, Children Learn to Communicate for the First Time

In a region of southern Ethiopia with an unusually high prevalence of deafness, Holt sponsors provide the sign-language based education children need to finally express their thoughts and feelings — bringing greater hope, and happiness, to their lives. A longer version of this story appeared in Holt’s fall 2016 sponsorship magazine

Dawit signs “thank you and God bless you” to his sponsors in the U.S.
Dawit signs “thank you and God bless you” to his sponsors in the U.S.

When Dawit was 3 years old, a mysterious epidemic swept through his village in southern Ethiopia. With the nearest hospital an inaccessible 12 miles away for most families in this impoverished farming community, many parents instead cared for their children at home — hoping and praying for their recovery. But as the community mourned the loss of first one and then another and then another child, Dawit’s mother nursed and comforted her only son — and prepared to say goodbye.

“So many kids died at that time,” Dawit’s mother remembers. “The whole family expected him to die. I was prepared to bury him. He was that sick.” Continue reading “At a School for the Deaf in Ethiopia, Children Learn to Communicate for the First Time”

10 Ways You Changed Children’s Lives in 2020

The year 2020 was truly an unprecedented one. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work and live, and caused a tragic loss of life and livelihood on a scale few if any of us have ever seen. But as we look back on the year, and feel sorrow for the lives lost, we also feel immense gratitude for Holt’s incredible supporters who responded to this crisis with selflessness, compassion and generosity.

Because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 288,405 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed to stay strong and healthy throughout this unprecedented year. Your devotion to children in need during this time of global crisis is truly inspiring. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.

Here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:

Last year, we were truly humbled by your generous giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in 2020, when we told you that orphanages in China didn’t have enough masks and PPE to protect children in care, you gave above and beyond our expectations — making it possible to care for kids in more orphanages than we partner with. When we told you that lockdown measures were causing children to go hungry in countries like India and Mongolia, your donations ensured our teams on the ground could distribute emergency food to thousands of families. Continue reading “10 Ways You Changed Children’s Lives in 2020”