The Birthday They Deserve

Every year on June 1, the International Day of the Child, children in Holt’s programs receive a birthday celebration to remember.

More often than not, these children don’t get to celebrate their special day. For families living in poverty, a birthday party for their child is often a luxury they can’t afford. And limited resources make it difficult to give children living in orphanage care the extra special attention they deserve on their birthday.

But Holt sponsors and donors want to make every child’s birthday special and memorable — even if it’s not on their actual birthday.

This year, through the generosity and kindness of sponsors and donors, boys and girls in Holt’s programs around the world will receive birthday gifts, a special meal and a fun-filled day with their community! These celebrations bring such joy to kids who are growing up in poverty with their families, or have no family to celebrate them — giving them the special birthday celebration they deserve.

Check out some of last year’s celebrations below!

On June 1, the International Day of the Child, children in Holt’s programs receive a birthday celebration to remember. Kids in Ethiopia excitedly hold up their birthday cards from their sponsors.
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Given in Faith

When sponsor Jenna Curtis got an unexpected check in the mail, she prayerfully considered how to use it. Deciding to give it to her sponsored child in Haiti, she then watched in astonishment as its impact rippled far beyond what she could have imagined. 

Jenna during one of her trips to Haiti.
Jenna travels to Haiti regularly, so she knew she wanted to sponsor a child from this country that, she says, had already stolen her heart.

Halfway through the concert, the music stopped and someone took to the stage. There with a group of high school students from her church, Jenna Curtis — a college student in her last semester — knew what was coming. She had heard this before, and already knew what she had to do.

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On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.

 Last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.
Erika, 23, blow-dries a client’s hair. Thanks to sponsors and donors, last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.

Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.

She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.

They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”

Why We Sponsor

Rebecca Tyler shares the highlights from her family’s 22 years of child sponsorship, and why they have kept sponsoring all these years.

Shortly after bringing our 18-month-old daughter home from Vietnam in 1996, we inquired about adopting a little girl featured in the Holt magazine. As it turned out, she had a family in process but needed another sponsor. We agreed to sponsor her and have been sponsoring ever since.

A Tyler family portrait always includes a photo of their late son, Andrew.
A Tyler family portrait always includes a photo of their late son, Andrew. Although Rebecca and Ed considered suspending their sponsorship when Andrew fell ill, they decided, “As long as God was providing, we would keep sponsoring.”

 

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Embracing Sponsorship

Susie Doig, Holt’s senior director of adoption services, recently wrote a short testimonial to our branch offices, encouraging the adoption staff to embrace and promote Holt’s child sponsorship program — and maybe even sponsor a child themselves. With a continual decline in international adoption across the globe, child sponsorship is one of the strongest and fastest-growing ways Holt can ensure that children in our programs remain with their birth families and receive the vital, life-saving support they need.

Child sponsorship. It’s nice. I’m glad we do it. But it doesn’t really affect me, because I work in adoptions. My focus is to spread the word about the need for adoptive families, and help families get the support and assistance they need to successfully complete their adoption process.

Back when adoption fees made up the majority of Holt’s revenue, focusing on fundraising efforts like child sponsorship felt like an elective to me. It was something that, if I had extra time, I would learn a little about it, or maybe mention it to a friend, but for the most part I kept my blinders on and my head down — focused on serving adoptive families.

The Doig family. Susie and her husband adopted two children from Thailand.

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Just Another River to Cross

Overcoming financial and family pressures — and one fast-moving river — a young woman in Cambodia pursues her dream of a college education. Research and interviews for this story were conducted by University of Oregon student Hallie Rosner, who recently interned with Holt Cambodia through IE3 Global Internships.

Every morning before class, Sath Chheangly puts on her uniform — a neatly pressed, knee-length khaki skirt and crisp white button-down oxford that proudly displays the logo of the university she attends in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She looks like any other college girl, with stylish, blunt-cut bangs and a little personality coming across in her choice of shoes, often a pair of yellow, flowered flip-flops. Quiet and contemplative, Chheangly is a serious student, majoring in economics, rural development and agriculture with extra classes in Chinese.

But she, more than most, knows just how much personal appearance matters.

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A Selfless Act of Pure Love

A mom learns of the extraordinary kindness and generosity of Holt sponsors.

by Amy Lafler 

My husband Barry and I started the adoption process for our first son, Evan, in July of 2007. We were matched with him in August of 2008 and brought him home in December of that year. Best Christmas present ever! Evan is a smart, handsome and thoughtful little boy who loves to build. We are positive that he will be building or designing something when he grows up. He started kindergarten this year, and is doing very well academically.

Shortly after we came home with Evan, we knew we wanted him to have a brother or sister and almost immediately began the adoption process again. We were matched with our twin daughters in March 2012 and traveled to Korea to bring them home that November. Kassandra and Addison complement each other very well, but are still developing their own interests. Kassi is very interested in anything her big brother is doing, and Addie loves to sing and dance. They have only been home for a year, so we are still seeing their personalities emerge.

During the wait for our girls, the rules changed in Korea. This gave adoptive parents a chance to connect to each other and support one another during the wait. Several Facebook groups were set up to encourage one another when the waiting days seemed endless. Additionally, it gave waiting families the opportunity to cheer for each other when one of us was finally united with our child. Today, we are all learning from each other, helping to raise our kiddos together and supporting each other through the journey of parenthood. We have such an amazing connection in our group. We just “get each other.”

It was in this group that I learned of Holt child sponsorship, and its connection to our family.

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