Their Home is Not Safe

Families living without safe shelter face all kinds of threats — especially during the rainy season in Cambodia. Ten-year-old Linna lives in the city. Eleven-year-old Thak Kan lives in a more rural area. Neither of them have a safe place to live. 

Thak Kan sits between his parents as his mom wipes tears from her eyes and his dad holds his little sister in his lap. His little brother sits on the other side of his mom. Thak Kan looks down, his brow knit tightly together. Sleepy, he rests his head on his dad’s shoulder. He is 11, but looks small for his age.

“How do you feel when it rains really hard?”

“Scared,” he says. His voice is sweet, soft and high. Continue reading “Their Home is Not Safe”

The Full Picture Of My Adoption

Last year for National Adoption Month, adoptee Mai Anh Hall reflected on adoption’s role in life — a role she hadn’t thought much about in her 21 years of life. One year later, she takes a closer look at the full picture.

Mai Anh didn't know about National Adoption Month until last year, but now she's reflecting on the full picture of her adoption.

Last year, I learned about National Adoption Month for the first time. I reflected on my adoption story, allowing myself to think about what my adoption meant to me.

When I reflected on my story, experiences and upbringing, my mind was immediately filled with gratitude. My brother and I both had positive experiences growing up together, as we were both adopted as infants. We knew adoption was a part of our family’s story from the beginning.

As a child, I rarely thought about my birth parents or culture. I didn’t feel out of place since I had other friends who were adopted, or grew up in Vietnamese families. I learned about the culture, ate the food and celebrated the Tet Festival every year. But honestly, I didn’t think too much about adoption’s role in my life.

Continue reading “The Full Picture Of My Adoption”

Why U.S. Kids Need You To Say “Yes”

Children in our U.S. foster care and adoption system are in crisis — sleeping in hotel rooms and repurposed jails for a lack of somewhere to go. They need individuals and families to stand up, and say “yes.”  

In our Seattle area office each day, we receive multiple emails from the State of Washington that briefly describe children who need a place to go. For multiple reasons, some need a placement for only a few days, other need a long-term foster family, and others need an adoptive family. These emails overwhelm me with the sheer volume of need.

One recent Friday, I opened one email to find 57 children listed. We received eight more emails that same day, just like this one. They come every day. Every. Day.

Continue reading “Why U.S. Kids Need You To Say “Yes””

Preparing For The Unexpected — And The Expected!

How the “Child-Specific Preparation” tool helped two families anticipate their child’s needs, and ease their transition home.

Two-year-old Nam Fon with her parents.

A 2-year-old girl from Thailand, and a 13-year-old girl from China. Over a thousand miles and a 10-year age difference separated them. But in the last year, both of their lives would change forever in the very same way. Each would leave the life they had known and the country of their birth to join an adoptive family in the United States. And though their caregivers had prepared each girl as much as possible, when the day actually arrived for them to leave — reality sank in. And with it came confusion, fear and sadness. Continue reading “Preparing For The Unexpected — And The Expected!”

He Makes Everyone’s Life Better

In honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month — and children with Down syndrome around the world who are waiting for their permanent, loving families — we want to share about Jaxon. This sweet 4-year-old joined his adoptive family eight months ago, and he has enriched their lives more than they ever imagined.  

When Amy Kalani first met Jaxon in China, she thought she’d have no trouble finding him a family.

Although now the director of Holt’s Korea adoption program, at the time, Amy worked with Holt’s China program. When she met Jaxon, she was in China visiting orphanages and meeting children so that she could get to know them — and better advocate for them individually upon returning home.

Out of the dozens of children she met, Jaxon stood out to her the most.

Amy meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017
Amy Kalani meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017.

Continue reading “He Makes Everyone’s Life Better”

Because They Are Brave

For generations, women and girls in Cambodia were taught not to speak their minds or stand up for their rights. But step by step, and with the support of sponsors and donors, they are learning to stand up, speak up and go after their dreams.

Sela sits in the Holt Cambodia office in Phnom Penh.
Sela sits in the Holt Cambodia office in Phnom Penh.

Sela’s voice quivers a bit as she speaks. She is slight and girlish, in jeans and a V-neck shirt, her dark hair pulled back in a ponytail and long bangs swept across her forehead. A large, black, practical watch overwhelms her slender wrist. Continue reading “Because They Are Brave”

You Gave Them Christmas: Photos & Updates From 2018 Parties

Every year, children around the world receive a special Christmas and holiday celebration — all thanks to generous sponsors and donors!

Christmas and holiday celebrations look a little different for children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world. For most children, holidays aren’t celebrated with treats, a party or gifts wrapped in colorful paper. These luxuries are often too expensive for families and children who have just enough to survive each day.

But every year, our generous sponsors and donors share the love of Jesus, and the spirit of Christmas, with children in Holt’s programs. They go above and beyond, and they bring so much joy to their sponsored child!

When sponsors and donors give $25, each child receives a hand-picked gift, festive meal, treats and a special party with their family and friends! It’s a fun-filled day — giving them wonderful memories that they will cherish all year.

Take a look at last year’s joyous holiday celebrations around the world!

Continue reading “You Gave Them Christmas: Photos & Updates From 2018 Parties”

More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD

It’s always heartbreaking when children have been exposed to drugs or alcohol. But Holt’s child nutrition program can help improve the health and nutrition of these children. And for one little girl with FASD in Mongolia, the program has had a huge impact on her life.   

Altansarnai entered into care at of one of Holt’s partnering care centers in Mongolia shortly after being born. Nothing was known about her family or prenatal circumstances. She was small and very sick. Although the staff provided care for her sickness and appropriate formula for her age, they still noted that over time her development seemed to be slow and delayed. She seemed behind her peers in physical growth, was often fussy, and had difficulty calming herself down. Continue reading “More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD”