In the summer of 2016, Holt sponsor and then Holt employee Billie Loewen met a very sad, hungry girl in a remote village in Cambodia. She immediately signed up to sponsor her. Four years later, she receives an update that makes her heart soar.
In the first week of every month, I pull open the Excel spreadsheet with four years of monthly budgets. I open the Chase app and Wells Fargo and drift quickly over the charges, looking for anything amiss. The single line with a shortened title, “HOLT INTL CHILD,” and associated charge — $38 — always catches my eye.
Most months, paying bills is the only time I think about what it costs to sponsor the beautiful, shy, heartbreakingly sad little girl I met in a village in Cambodia on a scorching hot, dusty day in 2016.
Tiny, impossibly thin with straggly hair turning yellow from lack of nutrition, and a broad face with deep, serious eyes, 10-year-old Phal captured my entire heart the moment I saw her.
It’s been four years since I met her, and I think about her a lot.
As a baby in China, Callie Ware had a sponsor who helped care for her while she waited to come home to her adoptive family. Now 17, she’s continuing her sponsor’s act of kindness by sponsoring another child in need.
Being adopted is definitely the biggest part of my identity. Yes, I am Chinese, but I do not feel as connected to my heritage as I feel to my backstory. I was adopted at 9 months old to a single, hard-working woman, brave enough to take on the challenge of motherhood alone. My mother wanted me to know from the beginning that I was adopted and that my story is unique. When I was little, she would tell me stories told to her by the orphanage staff to remind me where I came from, and how I had arrived into her arms. Before coming home, I also stayed with a foster family for a time, and my foster mother also shared stories about me.
Seven-year-old Hiro is a sweet and helpful little boy whose caregivers describe him as having a “sunny personality.”
He came into care when he was just one day old, and has lived in his care center in China since he was a baby.
Hiro loves his friends, and has many interests and talents. He likes playing with remote control cars and Legos, loves working on art projects and also enjoys sports like soccer and rock climbing. He is confident and curious, imaginative and expressive. He likes to read and play games with his friends, and loves to help others.
Hiro has congenital heart disease and will need a family with the resources to meet his medical needs. Mostly, though, he just needs a loving, permanent family to support him as he pursues his interests and explores the world around him.
When Lynda and Joe Tama adopt 3-year-old Finn from the Philippines, they’re grateful to be introduced to a country and culture they’ll now know for the rest of their lives.
Lynda and Joe Tama sat eating Italian food at a restaurant near their hotel. There were little candles on the tables, and they ate bread and olive oil — but apart from that, Lynda doesn’t remember much.
They were staying at the type of place where most adoptive families stay when they travel to bring home their child — at a resort that is safe and quiet and the perfect place for new families to bunker down and navigate their first days together. But just outside the gates, everyday life in the Philippines rushed on. Children ran and played. Chickens and goats meandered down the street. Motorbikes weaved and whizzed through traffic. Continue reading “A Part of Him Forever: A Philippines Adoption Story”
You did some truly amazing things in the lives of children and families this past year.
As Holt sponsors, donors, volunteers and advocates, you gave your time, money and energy to make sure as many children as possible could grow up with the love, stability and opportunity they deserve. And because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 283,212 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed in 2019!
Seriously, you’re amazing. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.
Just to give you a glimpse, here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:
In 2019, we shared some amazing and inspiring stories from and about adoptees, adoptive families, sponsors, donors, and children and families in our programs around the world. It has been an incredible year at Holt — a year that you shared with us as you read, commented on and reposted our updates, stories and videos throughout the year.
This year’s National Adoption Awareness Month campaign made quite the impact!
Throughout the month, Holt families and adoptees helped show the real, raw, emotional moments that capture what it means to adopt, or be adopted. Through stories, photos and videos, they helped take people behind the scenes — showing the true joys and complexities of adoption, and inspiring others to start their own adoption journey, advocate for kids waiting for families or reach out to Holt’s post-adoption team for information about adoptee and family camps, adoptee mentoring through Circle Back, birth search assistance and more! Continue reading “National Adoption Month 2019: A Recap”