Last November, as the worst monsoon flooding in over 50 years submerged Thailand’s homes, businesses and farms, Zach and Henry Zimmerman came up with a great idea to help with the recovery effort! In particular, Zach — a Holt adoptee from Thailand — wanted to help his former foster mom rebuild her house. So Zach, 5, and Henry, 9, put together a poster about the Thailand floods to bring to their school’s International Night — an annual event to celebrate diversity. Together, they raised $83.50 for Holt’s Thailand Rehabilitation Fund, which will help us repair and rebuild homes for the many Holt foster families displaced by the floods. Thank you Zach and Henry for your extraordinary efforts!
A Q&A with Mariia Zimmerman, mom of Zach and Henry
How old are your boys and what grade are they in?
Zachary is 5 and started Kindergarten this fall. Henry is 9 and in the 4th grade.
How long did Zach live with his foster mother in Thailand?
Zachary lived with his foster mom for 16 months. We adopted him when he was 18 months old.
What does he remember about his foster mom (and foster family)?
Zachary doesn’t remember very much, but we talk about his culture and history with him. He’s very curious to know about it all and asks lots of questions. We have pictures of Zachary with his foster mom that Holt sent to us while we were waiting the nine long months between referral and being able to go over to Thailand and bring him home. These are part of Zach’s adoption book, which he likes to read and discuss all the photos.
One of the stories we like to tell is that his foster mother lived very close to a Buddhist temple, which had an area for children to play soccer in the courtyard. Zachary spent a lot of time there when he was a baby, watching the children. His foster mom told us he always had a laugh when they played soccer and he learned to kick a ball shortly after he could walk. When we met Zachary, he already had really good soccer skills and to this day he loves to play. It was one of the things that we did a lot of when he first joined our family, since his older brother also enjoyed playing and it didn’t require either knowing how to speak the other’s language.