When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.
The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”
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.
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.
In spring 2019, Holt’s nutrition program released Holt International’s Feeding and Positioning Manual: Guidelines for Working with Babies and Children. The first of its kind, this publication will have a lasting and life-changing impact on the lives of children in orphanages and impoverished communities around the world.
After Dat’s father caught malaria and died three years ago, his mom was forced to sell their only cow to pay off their debts. In this story, the family’s local caseworker in Vietnam shares what happened when a generous donor replaced the family’s cow — and the family’s hope.
“What are you building?” I ask Dat, the little boy playing on a small sand dune by the entrance to the house. He answers me as he continues to collect sand and pile it onto broken bricks.
“I’m building a sand bridge,” Dat answers in a soft voice without looking at me — his family’s caseworker.
Imagine your sponsored child receiving her first school uniform or the news that he can attend school on a one-year scholarship. Imagine the opportunities that an education will provide her, knowing that going to school helps prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.
Sponsorship — and your commitment to your sponsored child — empowers boys and girls around the world to overcome poverty and achieve their dreams.
At a preschool in Cambodia’s impoverished Kampot province, a sponsored girl leans on her desk. In many rural areas of Cambodia, children do not have access to a preschool education, resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. But in Kampot, children now attend one of five sponsor-supported preschools where they have a safe space to eat snacks, learn skills and prepare for life-long success in school. Students like this young girl can now pursue their dreams by receiving an early education. Continue reading “Bringing Education To Their World”
In this episode we talk to Caley, a Vietnamese Adoptee and college student at the University of Oregon. Caley shares with us about being a transracial Adoptee growing up in Oregon, existing in the “grey” space, and attitudes towards racial stereotypes through an Adoptee lens. We are so excited to be able to share more from Caley through this video.
Vuong used to sit on her porch every day — watching other kids go to school. Then a donor made it possible for her to attend Kianh Foundation, a school for children with special needs in Vietnam.
“I can’t do it!”
Parents often hear this phrase from their frustrated, exhausted children who are convinced they’ve been defeated by whatever challenge they are facing. Sounding out their first word. Catching a baseball. Trying to figure out a math problem. The obstacles children face are endless, and sometimes the confidence they have in their perceived inability overpowers their resolve. They know they can’t do it. But their parents — their cheerleaders — know better. Continue reading “Every Day of Her Life”
We have a few long-standing adoption programs in that region, but two that stand out are our Philippines and Vietnam programs. Although smaller, they both have unique factors that might make them a good option for your family!
When Vieng’s husband got sick and could not work, their family quickly fell into crisis. But they had inherent strengths as a family that held them together. And when a donor sent them a much-needed Gift of Hope, they were able to build on those strengths — empowering them to overcome any crisis they faced, now or in the future.
Hung climbs behind his mom and dangles his arms around her in a big bear hug. She grabs his hands and laughs — smiling up at him. Hung is 4, dressed in a plaid golfer’s cap and puffy coat on this cool, 60-degree morning in Danang, Vietnam. He looks like a miniature version of his mom — with round, dimpled cheeks and warm, dark, shining eyes that shine even brighter when he smiles.
At the end of 2018, we shared with you about three children in our programs who were experiencing the most heartbreaking, hopeless and urgent needs: Linh, a 13-year-old who became pregnant after a violent assault; Shenaz, a little girl in India who was grieving her father’s death and living in extreme poverty; and Jun Jun, a boy in China who desperately needed a surgery for his cleft lip.
Your outpouring of support and care for these three little ones amazed us. You gave generously. And because of you, Linh, Shenaz and Jun Jun’s lives have changed.
Keep reading to see just how powerful a difference you made in these children’s lives!