COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids

An interview with Hang Dam, country director for Holt Vietnam, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Vietnam — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs. 

Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.
Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support  after they lost their source of income during the pandemic.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Vietnam programs?

We in Vietnam feel so blessed to be safe up to this point in time. All of our children are safe. None of them are diagnosed with the illness. But the pandemic has caused so many difficulties for the parents because so many have lost jobs. Even with the social distancing period over in Vietnam, many families still face difficulties finding a job due to the number of companies that had to close down or ran out of business. Families have fallen into financial crisis and are struggling with daily living and needing basic necessities for their children. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids”

Homes, Not Hotel Rooms for Children in U.S. Foster Care

Holt donors help children all around the world — including children in the United States! In Oregon and Washington, you help children find safe and secure foster and adoptive families. You help children like Marc and Jenny!

For two months, Marc and Jenny didn’t have a home. They entered Washington’s foster care system. But there was nowhere for them to go. Nowhere for them to unpack their bag of few belongings.

So they were moved around. They lived with nine different foster families. Never for very long. And when they were in between these foster families, they had to stay in a hotel with their social worker. They spent a total of ten nights in a hotel. Scared, and feeling alone and unwanted.

Finally, Holt staff in Washington found a foster family for Marc and Jenny to live with. These siblings had already experienced a lot of trauma, and the care of a family came right in time.

Continue reading “Homes, Not Hotel Rooms for Children in U.S. Foster Care”

I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story

Chinese adoptee Grace White shares about her life as an adoptee, and how she found a community — and a stronger identity — at Holt Adoptee Camp. 

Chinese adoptee Grace White

Every adoptee has a story. Although they likely share some similarities, each story is also unique to the adoptee. I hope sharing my story helps other adoptees or anyone from the adoption community speak out and share their own story. Even though it’s truly hard to write my story, I hope it sheds light on the challenges as well as shares the beauty of adoption, the highs and lows, the pros and cons, and not everything that is just black and white.

Hi, my name is Grace White. I am 16, almost 17 years old and this is my story. Continue reading “I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story”

Can I Adopt a Baby From Foster Care?

Greg Eubanks, Holt’s senior vice president for U.S. foster care and adoption, answers the most frequently asked question his team receives — “Can I adopt a baby from foster care?”

In May, we recognize National Foster Care Awareness Month. In the same breath, we advocate for children in foster care who wait for adoptive families. To many, this duality can be confusing. Foster care, to be clear, is intended to be a temporary solution to keep children safe until they can reunite with their families of origin. On the contrary, there’s nothing temporary about adoption.

So, which is it? Continue reading “Can I Adopt a Baby From Foster Care?”

How a Goat Changed a Family’s Life in Uganda

Ten-year-old Gloria holds on of the goats that her family received as a Gift of Hope!

Every year, a goat is one of the most popular Gifts of Hope given to children and families in need! And it’s no wonder why. Not only are goats cute and fun, but they can change the life of a child and family living in poverty.

Just ask 10-year-old Gloria!

Gloria lives with her mother Gorret, twin sister Angella, and two younger sisters in rural Uganda. And for most of Gloria’s life, they struggled to get by.

Gorret with her twin daughters, Gloria (left) and Angella (right).

After Gloria’s father left their family, they couldn’t pay rent, afford school supplies and even struggled to buy enough food. Her mom, Gorret, didn’t know what to do.

Meeting Gorret now — a woman petite in stature but strong in conviction — it’s hard to believe that she ever felt uncertain about the decisions she makes for herself or her daughters.

“I felt so bad when my husband left,” she shares. “I had so many children and no money to pay rent. I felt very desperate at that time.”

Without her husband’s income, she knew the burden was now on her to support her children. So she decided to move herself and her girls from the capital city of Kampala to her home village. She immediately looked for work, and quickly found a job with another children’s services organization working in her community. But unfortunately, not long after she started, her job was terminated and she once again found herself without any means to support her family.

Gorret prayed for help. 

Continue reading “How a Goat Changed a Family’s Life in Uganda”

TBRI in Action: Practical Adoptive Parenting Tips

Holt social worker Carolyn Cain provides tips and examples for how to apply the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) parenting approach for children from hard places. 

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) is a popular parenting approach among adoptive and foster parents who are raising kids who have experienced trauma — kids who come “from hard places.” The TBRI® principles were developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross of Texas Christian University and are found in the book “The Connected Child,”  which Holt began encouraging parents to read almost a decade ago.

Many times, however, parents read this book several years before their child comes home and the concepts have been long forgotten once they are actually in the throes of parenting their son or daughter. Continue reading “TBRI in Action: Practical Adoptive Parenting Tips”

Pregnant at 14, Macy & Liam Made a Loving Open Adoption Plan

Macy and Liam were 14 when they found out they were pregnant. They felt scared and lost. But Holt in Wisconsin helped them make a loving open adoption plan for their daughter. 

Right after she turned 14, Macy found out she was pregnant. She felt scared, stressed out, sad and lost.

“We didn’t know what we were supposed to do,” she says today through a video call, sitting in her backyard in Wisconsin with Liam. It’s nearly a year later from this time she’s describing — the beginning of their unplanned pregnancy and adoption story.

When Macy got pregnant, Liam was also just 14. For him, money was one of the biggest obstacles  — he had no clue how they would financially support a child.

It was late May and they were just finishing their freshman year of high school. Liam was excited to play football over the summer and in the fall, and Macy couldn’t wait for school to be out so she could spend more time with friends and family.

But suddenly, instead, they had a huge decision to make.

Continue reading “Pregnant at 14, Macy & Liam Made a Loving Open Adoption Plan”

Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State

Contact:
Susan Soonkeum Cox
susanc@holtinternational.org
(541) 687-2202

Eugene, Oregon, November 10, 2020 — After an 18-month approval process, Holt International is now authorized to provide homestudy and post-placement services to adoptive families in the state of New York. While Holt facilitates adoptions for families in all 50 states, until now, Holt had to rely on coordinating provider agencies to complete the homestudy and post-placement portion of the adoption process for New York-resident families who were adopting a child through Holt. Continue reading “Holt International Now Licensed to Provide Direct Adoption Services in New York State”

You Made Their School Warm for the Winter!

In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Holt donors help provide a special school for children living in or near the city garbage dump. Before this school opened, these children spent their days digging through the trash in search of food and recyclables.

The Red Stone school in Mongolia needed repairs in order to keep children warm as they learned!

This school is the only place many of these children can take a hot shower or get warm . This is especially important in the winter when temperatures in Mongolia can drop to an icy 40 degrees below zero.

But recently, the school was in serious need of renovation. Four doors needed to be replaced and the walls were drafty and needed additional insulation to keep children warm and dry during Mongolia’s extreme winter weather.

Continue reading “You Made Their School Warm for the Winter!”

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”