As usual, I am left speechless by the awesome support and enthusiasm of everyone, this time for our first Family Day post and our little announcement. Thank you! Part of the fun of blogging, at least for me, is the amazing group of friends I have made through this little "experiment." I have had the good fortune to meet some of you in person, to have had heartfelt conversations over the phone with others, to have shared anecdotes and pictures via email, and just to connect in a million little ways. I've learned so much from so many of you. So again, thank you!
I received quite a few emails asking about Holt and our experience, so I thought I would give a brief overview of the program. Holt operates a bit differently from CHSFS, and is structured a bit differently as well. While CHSFS may have as many as 300 waiting families, the last time I checked, Holt had about 30. Since the list is so small, they do share your family's exact spot on the waitlist. As of January 31st, we were #14. We started out at #32, so we've moved a little over halfway in 3.5 months. Again, we are open to an infant, 0-12 months, of either gender. This was actually a difficult decision for us, as we considered adopting an "older" child, but ultimately felt that Dinkeneh would do best by remaining the oldest in the family. (Of course, after the doll disaster, who knows!?)
I also wanted to share a very brief history of Holt's activities in Ethiopia. Their program is only a little over a year old, which admittedly caused us some concern. However, we were told by a friend (and Holt confirmed) that Holt worked very closely with CHSFS in setting up its Ethiopia program. Until Holt had its care center up and running, Holt infants stayed at the CHSFS care center in Addis. Holt also contracted with CHSFS to produce its lifebooks and DVDs (although that is no longer the case). Most importantly for us, Holt has an extensive and established Family Preservation Program to assist families in staying together. If anyone would like more information about Holt, or our experience with them so far, please feel free to email me or leave a comment with your contact information.