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Friday25 April 2014

Against the Odds

donate-btnThanks to you we are able to serve vulnerable children all over the world. You have made our work possible for 39 years. Help us help more children with your donation to our annual appeal. 



HIV took the lives of Miriam’s parents when she was only a few months old. Orphaned and helpless, she and her brothers faced a bleak future.

But they beat the odds. Through sponsorship, Miriam’s grandmother was given the tools she needed to care for the children and start a small business.

Today, that business is thriving. Miriam and her brothers excel in school. They are healthy and happy. With your continued support, more children like Miriam can know the gift of family and a brighter tomorrow.





Abebe is a new mother – and wants you to know she is grateful. It almost didn’t happen. On a recent medical mission to Ethiopia, Dr. Fletcher Wilson stopped in to see a family in our child sponsorship program. He spotted Abebe sitting quietly in a corner. She was 5 months pregnant and bleeding. Abede thought she was miscarrying. Doctors at a local hospital had told her so, and sent her home.

Dr. Wilson, an obstetrician, wasn’t so sure. He got Abebe to WHFC’s Leku Hospital. Turns out she had an infection treatable with antibiotics. Abede’s bleeding stopped. She gave birth to a healthy baby.

You have supported our medical missions in rural Ethiopia since 2008. Teams of skilled, dedicated doctors and nurses, many of them adoptive parents, are working to make labor and delivery safe for mothers like Abebe. Their legacy will be felt for generations.




Matt and Angela came to us hoping to adopt a little girl from China. Amelia was ready and waiting. She was born with Spina Bifida – a serious spinal condition that often carries life-long effects. The couple wondered if their family was right for a child with special needs. They already had two young boys taking up much of their time.

But there was something about Amelia. They decided to learn all they could about her condition. In the end, they knew her adoption was meant to be.

Within a few months of coming home, Amelia had surgery. Today, she keeps up with the other four-year-olds in her dance classes – and loves giving her older brothers a run for their money! Her doctors are amazed at her recovery. Because of you, we are able to offer subsidies to help bring waiting children like Amelia home to loving families.




Elena graduated top of her class from Moldova’s largest university. She began a master’s degree program in social work this fall on a full scholarship. Seems unremarkable. Until you learn about Elena’s story – and the WHFC donor who believed in her.

Domestic violence claimed the life of her mother. Elena held her baby brother in her arms as she watched it happen. She was only 6 years old. Her father was sent to prison for the crime. With no one to care for them, Elena and her siblings grew up in an orphanage.

Serious and hard-working, she earned a scholarship to college, but needed help with living expenses. We learned of her story through our long-standing work with young adults aging out of state care in Moldova – and found her a sponsor.

Elena is one of the lucky ones. She tells us that all but two of the girls she grew up with are living on the streets, in jail for prostitution or stealing to survive. With your support, we can change the future for more children like Elena.




Yun-seong arrived at Holt’s Ilsan Center in Korea when he was just 14 months old. It is the only real home he will ever know. Yun-seong has major developmental disabilities. Ordinarily, his problems would make simple activities like walking and dressing impossible for him to manage on his own.

But, thanks to you, this spirited 6-year-old is able to receive the cutting-edge therapies he needs to improve his motor skills and quality of life. Today, Yun-seong attends school and enjoys regular visits to his caretaker’s home, where he gets to take in the beauty of nature and experience family life.

Donors like you have sponsored children who need life-long care at Ilsan for more than 20 years. It is a place where Yun-seong and others like him can work on skills that lead to self-care and independence – a place where they can dare to hope and dream.




The Osario family has been part of our child sponsorship program for many years. When their youngest son Elvis was diagnosed with cancer, it added enormous strain to an already vulnerable family. Mrs. Osario wasn’t able to work during her son’s treatment. Her husband put in long hours, but his income wasn’t enough to support their family.

Thanks to you, we were able to provide food, counseling and emotional support during the crisis. Today, Elvis is cancer free.  But there is more good news. The family has started a profitable business selling backpacks, hats and other items they design and sew themselves. The youngest children help out on the weekends.

Your support for our child sponsorship program provides food, medical care, school supplies, economic counseling and job training to impoverished families in Guatemala and Ethiopia. Sponsorship remains one of the most successful models for preserving families and protecting a child's future.




Branden is a typical two-year-old. Creative. Inquisitive. Curious about the world. He loves building blocks. He adores his big sister. But his story is anything but typical.

Branden was born into addiction, weighing 2.9 pounds. His birth parents were struggling – and asked us to find him a loving home. Darrell and Michelle had a 5-year-old daughter and were longing to adopt. But they didn’t know what to expect from such a high-risk placement. We counseled the couple, referring them to medical experts who could tell them exactly what Branden would need to thrive. Based on what they learned, the couple decided to move forward with his adoption.

They have never looked back. These days, Branden’s development is on target. He talks up a storm. He runs, jumps and plays – and has no trouble keeping up with his older sister! You make it possible for our adoptive families to receive the expert counseling and support they need to come to the decision that’s right for them.