Holt Donors Help One Boy Find a Nurturing Home to Heal

Through Holt’s new donor-supported foster care program in Cambodia,  one boy with special medical needs finds a loving place to heal. 

Kiri’s mother brought him to the hospital for medical care, but then left and never came back. We may never know why she felt forced to make this heartbreaking decision…

He was just 1 year old and had a serious lung disease and a cleft palate. He was rushed to the ICU. Kiri stabilized, but for months he had no one to visit him. No one to hold and comfort him. Continue reading “Holt Donors Help One Boy Find a Nurturing Home to Heal”

Honoring First-Generation Foster Mothers in Thailand

In honor of National Foster Care Month, learn about Holt’s longstanding foster care program in Thailand as well as one first-generation foster mother who cared for 13 children over 20 years. 

In 1977, Mrs. Bayan and her family became one of Holt’s first foster families in Thailand — joining the program just one year after Holt introduced foster care as a more nurturing alternative for children living in the country’s orphanages.

“Mrs. Bayan was a full-time housewife and Mr. Boonsong, her husband, was a captain serving the Royal Thai Army. They were both in their 40s, and their two children — a son and a daughter — were in high school by then.  The family was residing in an army residential compound in Bangkok,” shares Kobgarn Trakulvaree, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s local partner in Thailand. “All members in this foster family loved children and were always very happy to welcome the homeless little ones to their heart and their home.” Continue reading “Honoring First-Generation Foster Mothers in Thailand”

Permanency: Why It’s Important for Foster Children and How Parents Can Help

When foster parents have a relationship with biological parents, they can help children find permanency.

Child welfare professionals often use the word “permanency” to describe the desired outcome for children in foster care. But what does that really mean?

Permanency refers to the idea that a child has a lifelong place to belong, with a committed caregiver who assumes the legal responsibility of a parent-child relationship. Permanency can be achieved in many ways — reunification with the child’s family, guardianship with a safe adult, or adoption. Once a child lands in a permanent place that is safe and nurturing, the state closes the case and the child is no longer in need of foster care. Continue reading “Permanency: Why It’s Important for Foster Children and How Parents Can Help”

140 Children, Forever Loved From Korea

Together, Mrs. Yang and Mrs. Kim have fostered over 140 children in Korea. In August 2017, they visited Holt families in Oregon — an experience they, and the adoptees and adoptive families they met, will never forget.

This story originally appeared on the Holt blog in September 2017. 

Mrs. Yang sat in a room at Holt’s international headquarters in Oregon — sobbing.

She clutched the glossy photobook to her chest then set it down to cover her face with her hands. The photobook was sent to her by a Holt family, and full of pictures and descriptions about how their son was doing. Her shoulders rose and fell with emotion and a Holt Korea social worker and translator, who was helping me with the interview, put an arm around her.

“Separation is not easy,” she said to me. Continue reading “140 Children, Forever Loved From Korea”

Who Are the Children and Youth in U.S. Foster Care

Holt’s U.S. foster care and adoption specialist shares about the kids in U.S. foster care today.  

What excludes a foster child from many other children in the world is maltreatment. Maltreatment is a behavior acted on a child that causes high risk of harm that can hinder the security, development and trust children have. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, homelessness and substance abuse are the main reasons why children enter into foster care. Continue reading “Who Are the Children and Youth in U.S. Foster Care”

Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms

The best place for children is NOT a hotel room.

Can we all agree that children belong in families who are safe and able to meet their needs? This is why we have foster care. What happens, though, when the system intended to protect children has weaknesses of its own? What if the state removes a child from their parents, turns to find a fostering family, and finds none? Continue reading “Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms”

How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A

An interview with Kobgarn Trakulvaree, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner organization in Thailand.

The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.
The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything from masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.

How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Thailand programs?

Ten percent of the families we are helping are actually unemployed due to the pandemic. The rest have experienced pay reduction. Prior to the pandemic, the average monthly income of these families was 5,000 Thai baht per month, or around $167 U.S. dollars. Since the pandemic, most of the average income is reduced to only 3,000 baht a month — around $90 U.S. dollars. And the minimum, the lowest pay that we have found was only $17 dollars … So it’s not hard to imagine that these families are facing really hard situations. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A”

Fear, Fantasy, Reality and the Pursuit of Foster Care or Adoption

Today, I’m writing to all of you thinking of, or pursuing, foster parenting or adoption. You. The hopeful, the risk-takers. The ones dreaming of future sons and daughters, looking through waiting child websites or picturing futures with the one(s) who will eventually join your family.

Keep doing that.

It helps. I’ve been there, and imagining the possibilities is one of the best aspects of this crazy-making adoption process. These conversations are where you carve out all of the rich, sweet potential of adoption. Here is where you make sense of the preparation, the gut-wrenching process, with all of its false starts and inadequate answers. Here is where your motivation lives. Continue reading “Fear, Fantasy, Reality and the Pursuit of Foster Care or Adoption”

My Son’s Second Mother

Adoptive mom Angela Crisanto shares a tribute to her son’s “second mother” — his foster mother — in gratitude for all the love she gave him while in her care in Korea.

Kai with his foster mother in Korea.
Kai with his foster mother in Korea.

For so many months, we had wondered about the family who was taking care of our son.

Before we adopted our older son, he had lived in an orphanage in Vietnam. We were so relieved that in Korea, there were more foster homes to take care of the children — including for our soon-to-be younger son, Kai. Continue reading “My Son’s Second Mother”

Fostering Resilience During COVID-19

Greg Eubanks, Holt’s VP for U.S. foster care and adoption, shares how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting foster families and children this National Foster Care Awareness Month — and why we urgently need new families to say ‘yes’ to fostering. 

None of us imagined it would feel ‘normal’ to carry out our work in isolation, particularly when that work is so focused on human interaction and relationships. In Holt’s foster care program, we work every day with vulnerable children as our focus. These particular children live in our state, our county, and our neighborhood. Continue reading “Fostering Resilience During COVID-19”