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 Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda

In partnership with the nonprofit Vitamin Angels, Holt’s nutrition team helps bring vital supplements and medication to vulnerable women and children in rural Uganda. 

A health worker administers vitamin supplements to a child in rural Uganda.
A healthcare worker administers vitamin supplements to a child at a child health camp in rural Uganda.

In October 2018, Holt’s nutrition team launched a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides vitamins and deworming medication to mothers and children under age 5 who are at risk of malnutrition. Continue reading “Holt Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda”

The Least We Could Do

When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.

The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”

Dayton Needs a Family!

Could you be the right family for Dayton?

A few months ago, caregivers in Colombia sat down with 7-year-old Dayton to record a video Q&A with him. And just like Dayton, his answers were cute, confident and funny.

“Hello,” he said, confidently and punctuated. “I am Dayton. And I am 7 years old. And I have a good idea.”

“What’s your good idea?” his caregiver asked him.

Continue reading “Dayton 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”

A Part of Him Forever: A Philippines Adoption Story

Philippines adoption storyWhen Lynda and Joe Tama adopt 3-year-old Finn from the Philippines, they’re grateful to be introduced to a country and culture they’ll now know for the rest of their lives.

Lynda and Joe Tama sat eating Italian food at a restaurant near their hotel. There were little candles on the tables, and they ate bread and olive oil — but apart from that, Lynda doesn’t remember much.

They were staying at the type of place where most adoptive families stay when they travel to bring home their child — at a resort that is safe and quiet and the perfect place for new families to bunker down and navigate their first days together. But just outside the gates, everyday life in the Philippines rushed on. Children ran and played. Chickens and goats meandered down the street. Motorbikes weaved and whizzed through traffic. Continue reading “A Part of Him Forever: A Philippines Adoption Story”

Healing the Hurt Child

When Brett and Noelle Hersom adopt a 9-year-old with a history of abuse and neglect, they soon realize that given the right combination of love, commitment, patience and flexibility, every child has the potential to heal.

At one point in her first year home, 9-year-old Vienna threw a tantrum so severe, so next level, that her mom, Noelle, made a decision that few parents would make. She didn’t walk away, like she wanted to. She didn’t leave the room and let Vienna work through it. She knew this would be a long one, and she wasn’t about to leave her daughter’s side. So she got a book, and settled in.

“The point was to be there with her and not walk away,” Noelle says. Continue reading “Healing the Hurt Child”

Favorite 15 Stories of 2019

In 2019, we shared some amazing and inspiring stories from and about adoptees, adoptive families, sponsors, donors, and children and families in our programs around the world. It has been an incredible year at Holt — a year that you shared with us as you read, commented on and reposted our updates, stories and videos throughout the year.

Early last year, we merged with the adoption and child welfare agency WACAP — combining our resources and knowledge to help even more orphaned and vulnerable children both in the U.S. and in countries around the world. Throughout the year, Holt’s extraordinary donors made it possible to reach more than 280,000 children and families in 14 countries with everything from school supplies and bicycles to lifesaving food and critically needed surgery. Continue reading “Favorite 15 Stories of 2019”