Having spent her whole life in a Colombian orphanage and foster homes, 15-year-old Vanessa now wants a family more than anything. She and her 12-year-old sister, Bianca, have limited time left to be adopted.
Vanessa doesn’t remember being taken from her mom. She was 17 months old and too little to develop memories. She’s not even sure why child protective services took her, exactly. No one has ever told her, and her mom has only tried to contact her once — late last year, just a bit before her 15th birthday. Vanessa didn’t end up seeing her.
Vanessa keeps tugging at the hem of her T-shirt, pulling the embroidered, floral fabric layers down flat. She tinkers with the ring on her right middle finger, spinning it around nervously. She smooths her black skinny jeans that tuck into a pair of shiny, black lace-up boots. She pulls her long, brown hair behind her shoulders.
Any family would be blessed to have Dani as their son.
Dani is one of the 33 kids that I met in Colombia on our last resource-gathering trip. We showed up to a botanical park in Medellin where he and six other kids were waiting to spend the day with us. A few of the other kids were energetic and running all around, but Dani was very calm and collected. He was pretty interested in my camera and so after a little while I took it off and handed it to him. He seemed surprised that I would trust him with it, but after an approving nod from me, he quickly and carefully started taking pictures. Continue reading “Dani Needs a Family!”
Many of the kids waiting for an adoptive family through Holt’s new Colombia adoption program are over the age of 5. But, partially spurred by fear, most adoptive families express openness only to a child who is 0-5 years old, passing up some precious, special, smart and wonderful kids whose greatest dream in life is to feel the unconditional love of a family. Learn about two kids — Cata and Santi — who are waiting for families. And, learn more about why Colombia adoption is an amazing option for families!
On paper, kids’ backstories are scary. Especially older children.
When children are reduced to medical forms, psychiatric evaluations, intake documents and quick assessments — lacking the context of their vibrant personalities, beautiful smiles and contagious laughter — their needs seem overwhelming.
Paperwork can be dehumanizing.
At least, that was the case for many of the 33 children we met waiting for families through our Colombia adoption program.
When I read Cata’s file, it didn’t say that she loves sports and dancing. It didn’t talk about how funny and confident and abundantly sweet she is. It didn’t talk about her bright, sparkling eyes or gap-toothed smile from the loss of baby teeth.
She’s 7 years old and while her verbal communication skills are limited, you always know what she wants, what she likes and what she doesn’t like. She’s good at expressing her emotions. She really loves to color and draw and she’s always down for an adventure — whether it’s a picnic in the park, a piggyback ride through the zoo or a hand-in-hand walk to see the sights.
But, sadly, Sofia’s chances of joining a family are rapidly dwindling.
She’s now an “older child” — a somewhat arbitrary line that separates kids younger than 5 from kids older than 5 waiting for adoptive families. As the vast majority of adoptive families request to adopt children younger than 5, the older a child is, the smaller the pool of willing families. Sofia also has Down syndrome, and while her condition is well understood, the stigma associated with almost all disabilities means that she will need a very, very special family.
This reality is heartbreaking, because like all kids, Sofia is beautiful, charming and so very deserving of the love and attention of a family of her own.
Pablo is an affectionate 3-year-old who needs the love that only a permanent family can provide! He is good at expressing his emotions and is learning how to use words to communicate with his caregivers. He is shy with strangers at first, but once he warms up to them he likes interacting with them and playing games. Continue reading “Pablo Needs a Family!”
We know there have been a lot of changes in adoption recently. Country programs are changing their eligibility requirements, the profile of children coming home is changing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and give up.
One thing that isn’t changing, though, is the need. There are still so many kids who have been deprived of the love and protection that only a permanent family can provide. Each child is waiting for a family, and our mission is to find loving parents for those children.
Could you be the family that a child is waiting for?
If you are just in the beginning stages of adoption and aren’t sure what to do next — or if you are ready to move forward — email our adoption team at firstname.lastname@example.org! They can give you free information with no strings attached — helping you learn more about adoption or guiding you through the first steps of the process.