A Family That Will Love Me

At a care center in Bogotá, several older children who have chosen to be adopted share what it means to them to have a family — and what they would like to tell people who are considering adopting an older child. 

Lina is 14. She lives in Colombia, in a care center for older children who have lost or become permanently separated from their families. For a long time, she dreamed of having a family. But as time went by, her dreams began to fade.

“I thought I was going to be adopted. But the time went by, and then, my hopes just went away,” she says, her eyes watery and her voice soft. She is pretty, with gentle, dark eyes, a sweet, warm smile and long straight brown hair. She wears a T-shirt that says, in large block letters, “Brave Gals Also Cry.” Continue reading “A Family That Will Love Me”

A Whole New World

As five decades of brutal war come to an end in Colombia, families have begun to heal from the violence and crime that ravaged their communities. And now, with the support of sponsors, many have begun to create a happier, more hopeful future for their children.

Yalena peeks out the side of her princess castle — a sheer, pink-and-white cylindrical-shaped tent with a miniature kitchen set and a family of stuffed animals to keep her company. Monica, her mom, grabs her foot, making her giggle and scoot back to safety. Continue reading “A Whole New World”

To Be Her Dad

New adoptive dad Pete Chrissotimos could not wait to meet his daughter in Colombia — to love, nurture, cherish and support her. And to her those words that make it all worthwhile: “I love you, Dad.”

Pete, his wife, and his daughter in Colombia

What inspired me to adopt my daughter from Colombia became proof God’s plans are bigger than ours. When I started the adoption process with my wife, we were initially looking at another country.  However, God had Colombia in mind for us — and we did not yet know it! Continue reading “To Be Her Dad”

In Every Moment, You’re There

A few years ago, 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 donor-supported program in her community. And now, in every moment, she’s there.

At home, in a special place, Mary Luz keeps a collection of cards. Each card has a message inside, written in crayon or colored pen.

“Mama, I want to tell you that you’re the best, and in every moment and place, you’re there,” reads one message written by her daughter, Camilla. “You’re my right hand. You’re my light. You’re my joy, my sadness, my company, my everything. With Love, Camilla.”

Inside another hand-cut in the shape of a heart, the message reads, “On this day, I want to tell you that I love you. And I love you with a lot of love.” This card came from both her children, 5-year-old David and 9-year-old Camilla.

Continue reading “In Every Moment, You’re There”

On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.

 Last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.
Erika, 23, blow-dries a client’s hair. Thanks to sponsors and donors, last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.

Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.

She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.

They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”