COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs

Lee, Yoon-Joo, director of overseas adoption programs at Holt Korea, and Paul Kim, director of Holt’s programs in Korea and Mongolia, share how the pandemic is affecting the children, families and individuals in Holt’s sponsorship program in Korea — and how Holt sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs.

While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.
While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.

How has COVID-19 affected Korea and what is life like there right now?

PK: Korea has gone from one of the first countries in the world outside of China to be impacted by COVID-19 to a leader in fighting the spread of the virus. The nation is currently experiencing the third wave of infections, and the authorities have tightened existing regulations. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs”

A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed

In September 2019, we met Linna, a Holt-sponsored child living with her family in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The leaky roof over her head made it hard for her to sleep at night when it rained — and even harder for her to concentrate in class. Her family also needed help covering the costs for her to attend school. Learn how Holt sponsors and donors worked together to help Linna succeed!

 Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!
Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!

Linna lives with her mom, dad and older brother in the slum community of Phnom Penh. She just turned 10, and was about to start 5th grade when we met her last year. She was washing dishes in a big metal pot on a wooden table in front of her home, still wearing the white button-down sailor shirt and long blue pleated skirt of her school uniform.

Her mom works in a garment factory. Her dad had a good job as a security guard, but now works as a fisherman. It was just Linna and her dad at home when we visited. Continue reading “A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed”

How to Fund Your Adoption: a Q&A With The Adoption Finance Coach

An interview with Kelly Ellison, creator of “Your Adoption Finance Coach,” whose team of coaches works with families across the U.S. to help create a comprehensive financial plan that matches their adoption plan. The service is free for families in the Holt adoption process, and families that use the Your Adoption Finance Coach system typically raise between $5,000 and $15,000 for their adoptions. 

This Q&A is an edited version of the original interview. 

Kelly Ellison is the creator of Your Adoption Finance Coach. She holds a master’s degree in business administration, has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years and is also an adoptive parent herself.
Kelly Ellison is the creator of Your Adoption Finance Coach. She holds a master’s degree in business administration, has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years and is also an international adoptive parent.

How did you become the “Adoption Finance Coach”?

I am an adoptive parent myself. My husband and I brought our daughter home from China in 2007. … Prior to that I was in the nonprofit sector, so my lens on life was really about fundraising and community involvement and development. And so it just became very apparent to me going through the adoption process myself that there was just a huge gap between the adoptive family and the money that’s affiliated with the high cost of adoption. Continue reading “How to Fund Your Adoption: a Q&A With The Adoption Finance Coach”

We Are So Thankful For You

We are so thankful for you.

We are thankful for your compassion for children growing up in orphanages without parents. For families struggling to survive a life of poverty. For single mothers and fathers who need help parenting on their own. For children who spend their days digging through trash in search of food. For girls who deserve just as much as their brothers to go to school. For mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who are always living on the edge of crisis and separation. Continue reading “We Are So Thankful For You”

New Children’s Book Gives Voice to Unknowns in Adoption

Author (and Holt mom!) Sarah Hopper has written a book about adoption for children, ages 3-8 years old. Called “Tiger and Lily Together,” the book was recently released and is now available on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.

Every child who leaves one home to move to another is faced with worries, hopes, questions and preconceptions. And every child joins their adoptive family with a ‘tiger’ like Lily’s in the new adoption book “Tiger and Lily Together” by Holt adoptive mom Sarah Hopper.

Continue reading “New Children’s Book Gives Voice to Unknowns in Adoption”

5 Reasons We’re Thankful for Sponsors and Donors Like You

As we approach the national day of giving thanks, we’d like to share a few of the reasons we’re so thankful for Holt child sponsors and donors. It was hard to narrow it down to such a short list, but here are our top five:

Mary Luz thought she might have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her children in someone else’s care. But then she discovered a Holt child sponsor and donor-supported program in her community.
Mary Luz thought she might have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her children in someone else’s care. But then she discovered a Holt child sponsor and donor-supported program in her community.

1. You help children stay in the loving care of their families.

Poverty and hunger make people do desperate things, including placing their children in someone else’s care. But as a Holt child sponsor, you prevent children from needlessly growing up apart from their families. You help provide everything a child needs to thrive right where they are, from nourishing food to safe shelter to job skills training for their parents. Your monthly gifts mean that parents never have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their child at the gates of an orphanage. And a child never has to experience the trauma of separating from their family. Continue reading “5 Reasons We’re Thankful for Sponsors and Donors Like You”

How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda

By providing solar lamps, sponsors and donors are helping children in Uganda learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created so many challenges for the children and families sponsors and donors support through Holt International. With schools closed and families isolating at home, one of the greatest challenges parents face is how to keep their kids learning outside the traditional classroom setting.

From country to country, the needs are a little different. In many places, access to remote learning devices like phones and tablets is a major obstacle. In some countries, lessons are broadcast via television — making it difficult for families who don’t own a TV. But in the rural farming communities where sponsored children live in Uganda, it’s not a lack of devices that keeps kids from learning— but a lack of electricity. Children are struggling to complete their schoolwork in the dark! Continue reading “How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda”

The Only Home He Knew

When a tragic fire burns down an orphanage in Haiti, Holt donors immediately step up to provide nourishing food, safe shelter and psychological support for the 28 children who survive — including one boy who lost the only home he ever knew.

Samuel with a life skills trainer at the transit center where he has stayed since the fire at his orphanage in Haiti.
Samuel with a life skills trainer at the transit center where he has stayed since the fire at his orphanage in Haiti.

Ten-year-old Samuel can’t remember how old he was when his mom left him at an orphanage in Fermathe, a city just south of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. He was little, though — around 3 or 4 — and he remembers that his mom visited him for a while afterward. Until she didn’t. Continue reading “The Only Home He Knew”

COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids

An interview with Hang Dam, country director for Holt Vietnam, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Vietnam — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs. 

Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.
Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support  after they lost their source of income during the pandemic.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Vietnam programs?

We in Vietnam feel so blessed to be safe up to this point in time. All of our children are safe. None of them are diagnosed with the illness. But the pandemic has caused so many difficulties for the parents because so many have lost jobs. Even with the social distancing period over in Vietnam, many families still face difficulties finding a job due to the number of companies that had to close down or ran out of business. Families have fallen into financial crisis and are struggling with daily living and needing basic necessities for their children. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids”

Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State

Contact:
Susan Soonkeum Cox
susanc@holtinternational.org
(541) 687-2202

Eugene, Oregon, November 10, 2020 — After an 18-month approval process, Holt International is now authorized to provide homestudy and post-placement services to adoptive families in the state of New York. While Holt facilitates adoptions for families in all 50 states, until now, Holt had to rely on coordinating provider agencies to complete the homestudy and post-placement portion of the adoption process for New York-resident families who were adopting a child through Holt. Continue reading “Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State”