The Least We Could Do

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”

Holt International Responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak and the Consequences to Children and Adoptive Families

A medical provider holds a child in care at our partner orphanage in Wuhan.
A medical provider holds a child in care at our partner orphanage in Wuhan.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, families around the country in process of adopting from China are directly affected by the outbreak. Families who were preparing to travel immediately have had to rearrange schedules, childcare and travel logistics. However, that is nothing compared to the profound emotions caused by the uncertainty and delay. Continue reading “Holt International Responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak and the Consequences to Children and Adoptive Families”

Bodin Needs a Family!

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Bodin?

When asked how they would describe Bodin, his caregivers said he has a sunny personality! Bodin has some special needs, but he is a fighter who never gives up. He has not had the opportunity to attend school as much as other children in the orphanage, but when he attended special education classes in 2018, he was loved by both his classmates and his teachers. Continue reading “Bodin Needs a Family!”

Dayton Needs a Family!

Could you be the right family for Dayton?

A few months ago, caregivers in Colombia sat down with 7-year-old Dayton to record a video Q&A with him. And just like Dayton, his answers were cute, confident and funny.

“Hello,” he said, confidently and punctuated. “I am Dayton. And I am 7 years old. And I have a good idea.”

“What’s your good idea?” his caregiver asked him.

Continue reading “Dayton Needs a Family!”

I Won’t Give Up On Her

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.

Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.
Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.

Continue reading “I Won’t Give Up On Her”