Just look at the striking differences in these children and families…

Holt’s supporters are amazing. Because of gifts to our President’s Top Priority Fund last year, we have seen striking changes in the lives of children and families we serve. Hopeful adoptive families have been able to offer a loving home to children with special needs, while children with special needs living with their families around the world were able to receive the vital medical care and therapies they need to thrive. Through family strengthening initiatives, many struggling families now have the tools and resources to independently support their children. Holt’s supporters created pathways for children to go to school, provided lifesaving food to orphaned children in North Korea and created hope and opportunity in the lives of children and families as near as Haiti and as far as Mongolia and Vietnam.

Below, we share some of our favorite stories from the year — stories that show the lasting and meaningful difference you made in the lives of children and families in 2015. Thank you, and enjoy! Continue reading “Just look at the striking differences in these children and families…”

MYTH: Adoption — Particularly International Adoption — Is Coming To An End.

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Without a doubt, this is one of the most pervasive and dire of adoption myths. There are many theories behind the adoption doomsday scenarios — the most lovely and hopeful of which is the notion that children no longer need adoption to have a permanent, loving family.

If this were true, our work would be done.

In every country where Holt works — and long before pursuing adoption — we strive to keep children in the loving care of their birth families, whenever possible. But sadly, we are far from living in an ideal world where every child can remain with their families.

Fall LeavesFor children who are orphaned, abandoned or unable to remain or reunite with their birth families, adoption is still the best route to a permanent, loving family.

And we assure you that adoption is not ending — not anytime soon.

“I mostly hear this myth about Korea.” So says our long-time adoption counselor Emily Lund, who is often the first person you will speak to when you contact Holt. “There have been rampant rumors for decades now about Korea wanting to eventually cease international adoption,” Emily explains. “Social media doesn’t always help.”

As with many rumors, this one is actually grounded in some truth. But in the game of telephone that invariably follows — now conducted over Facebook and Twitter — truths often become warped and distorted. Continue reading “MYTH: Adoption — Particularly International Adoption — Is Coming To An End.”

Can you guess what gift made children shriek with joy?

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It’s only October. So why are we blogging about Christmas?
Because in order to create an incredible Christmas for every orphaned and vulnerable child we serve, we need you now.

This year, let’s create something truly magical for children. Miraculous, even.

So many of the children in Holt’s programs have experienced so much pain and poverty — hardships that no one should ever have to endure, but especially children. The children in our programs have an adult-like maturity. You can see the worry in their eyes.
Continue reading “Can you guess what gift made children shriek with joy?”

You’re Forgiven and Loved

Holt adoptee Max Douglas, 21, shares a poem he wrote about — and for – his birth mother, who he has never met but hopes to some day when he returns to Thailand. “I have a really good connection with how it feels to be adopted,” Max says. “Originally, I was just going to make a regular poem. As you can see, I repeated a sentence throughout the whole poem. This sentence was not put in the same place every time — it’s to help bring emotion to the poem. This is based off the song ‘Everything to Me’ by Mark Schultz. In the song, he conveys intense emotions about how his birth mother gave everything to him.”

Douglas, Maxwell Continue reading “You’re Forgiven and Loved”

Growing Their Confidence

Through a community-based gardening program, Holt’s partner agency in Thailand provides vulnerable children and families an outlet for enhancing their self-esteem and providing for their community.

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Since 1998, Holt Sahathai Foundation, in an effort to strengthen families and help children thrive, has provided a community-based gardening program in the Tha Sala district of southern Thailand. The program provides learning and socialization opportunities for vulnerable children and their families in order to enhance self-esteem and help promote community camaraderie. “If a community is strong and healthy, then the children of that community have a much higher chance of healthy development both physically and mentally,” Thoa Bui, Holt’s senior executive for SE Asia programs, says. “This is what the community garden helps to address.” Continue reading “Growing Their Confidence”

Give Hope on Two Wheels This Mother’s Day!

Chanunsiri_1Last January, 15-year-old Nissa received an unexpected birthday gift from her sponsor in the U.S… A blue bicycle wrapped in a red Christmas tree garland! It had a matching blue basket and a big banana seat on which her two little brothers could take turns riding behind her.

“My birthday is on January 20 and I have never received a birthday gift,” wrote Nissa in a thank you letter to her sponsor. “This year, I received a gift from you that makes me feel proud and very grateful.” Continue reading “Give Hope on Two Wheels This Mother’s Day!”

Do you know a mother like this?

Philippines Stacy 2015 5For many years, Holt has, with great admiration, witnessed once-struggling mothers in our family strengthening programs achieve amazing accomplishments for the health and well-being of their children. These mothers worked 15-hour days, earning pennies so that their children could eat and attend school. In Thailand, a mother took a job sewing palm tree leaves together for a mere $2 a day to help her 14-year-old daughter stay in school. In Haiti, a mother worked two jobs to support her daughters after her husband died in the 2010 earthquake.

Philippines stories 2Mothers would do anything for their children. They would give up everything just to see their children thrive and succeed in life. And nothing brings Holt greater joy than to help these mothers succeed for their children. When you purchase a Gift of Hope today, you help mothers help their children, too!
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Chickens can help a widow feed her children nutritious eggs. When you purchase a “vocational training” Gift of Hope, a single mother could learn the valuable skills she needs to earn a steady income and help her family stay together.

By helping mothers, you help children! By purchasing a Gift of Hope today, you will change lives.

The time to give hope is now!

Phillip Littleton
President and CEO

Could You Open Your Heart to a Boy?

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Eight-year-old Maverick is waiting for a family!

This is it!

You have decided to adopt. You’ve chosen an agency. And you’ve started an application…

You’ve shared all the details of your life. Your medical history. Your references. Every email address and phone number at which we could possibly reach you. Your form is almost complete.

And then… There it is. The question. The one you’ve dreaded answering.

“What gender of child would you consider adopting?”

Rationally, you know that you could love a boy just as much as you love a girl. You even know that most families request a girl. And that requesting “girl only” will limit the countries from which you can adopt, and will likely mean a longer wait for a match with a child.

In your heart, you also know that boys need and deserve families just as much as girls… Continue reading “Could You Open Your Heart to a Boy?”

Forever a Part of Our Story

The vast majority of children in Holt’s sponsorship program live with their birth families. For these children, Holt sponsors provide vital support while their parents work to get back on their feet — and ultimately, regain their ability to independently care for their children. But for a small number of orphaned and abandoned children, Holt sponsors stand in the gap while the children wait to join loving adoptive families in country or overseas. Their monthly commitment ensures these children have everything they need to thrive — from food and medical care to the nurturing care of devoted caregivers. And often, when the children go home to their families, their parents will reach out to their former sponsors with letters expressing their heartfelt gratitude. Below, we share two recent letters from Holt adoptive families to the sponsors who cared for their children while they waited to come home…

Dear Holt Sponsor,

Nattinach before she came home to her family.
With the support of sponsors, Eden Nattanich was able to stay in a loving foster family in Thailand while she waited to come home to her adoptive family.

I cannot describe the gratitude that our family feels for the support that you have provided over the past 2.5 years in our daughter’s life. With that, I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to you and give you a personal and heartfelt thank you along with some updates on her.

My family and I are from Las Vegas, Nevada. My husband and I have a birth son (Kai) who is 5 years old, 2 huskies, and 2 little parakeets. My mother was adopted from China when she was four years old, and I have wanted the opportunity to give to a child what my grandparents gave to her so many years ago. Before my son was even old enough to walk, we began our process with Holt. Since then, Thailand saw flooding and coups and general political turmoil which delayed our process greatly.

FINALLY, October 21st we were able to meet Nattanich in real life. She was super nair-30spunky, and even her social worker warned us that she was definitely in the midst of her terrible-twos! She wasn’t though. She was an angel. Still is. The saddest part of the whole journey was leaving her foster family. They were amazing people, and the support that you provided, assisted them in providing a wonderful and loving home for our daughter. I have heard horror stories of the care that foster families sometimes provide, and this is most certainly not one of those. She is well loved, well nourished, has excellent hygiene, and best off all – beautiful teeth! My girl LOVES brushing her teeth. (My 5-year-old could learn a thing or two from her!) Continue reading “Forever a Part of Our Story”

Gifts of Hope

Can you put a price tag on Hope? Can you calculate the worth of something so abstract?

The worth of something is, after all, relative — it changes from place to place, person to person, currency to currency. Hope is relative too, and looks different for everyone.

By definition, hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

The expectation that something is about to change.

Something is about to get better.

Hope is also a feeling — a very powerful one — that drives us to continue to push through hard situations, eager to find the light in the darkness.

Continue reading “Gifts of Hope”