Expert Advice About Adopting a Child With Alcohol Exposure

In this Q&A, Dr. Eckerle and Dr. Gustafson share answers to some of the top questions parents ask about adopting a child with alcohol exposure.  Both Dr. Eckerle and Dr. Gustafson are Korean adoptees who work with adopted children and their families, with a special focus on alcohol exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). 

Q: If a child has exposure to alcohol, does this always mean that they have FASD?

A: No. Most alcohol-exposed kids will not be on the FASD spectrum. The issue is that, when they are young, we do not know if they will be more or less affected.

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Adopting a Waiting Child; A Q&A With Holt Social Worker Zoila Lopez

Holt clinical social worker Zoila Lopez answers the most commonly asked questions about adopting a child on Holt’s waiting child photolisting. 

Zoila, pictured with Charlie, one of the children waiting for an adoptive family! Learn more about eight-year-old Charlie here.
Zoila, pictured with Charlie, one of the children waiting for an adoptive family! Learn more about eight-year-old Charlie here.

Who are the children on Holt’s waiting child photolisting?

The children on Holt’s waiting child photolisting are a diverse group of kids in orphanage or foster care with individual needs ranging in ages from 1 (which is an outlier) to 16 years old. All the children on the photolisting require additional advocacy to help identify the best adoptive families for them. Every country program has different child profiles, and the range of special needs is broad. There are many children who are physically healthy whose only special needs are their age (as children age 5 or older are considered “special needs”), a history of trauma and some level of developmental delay. There are also children with very involved medical, emotional and/or developmental needs. Continue reading “Adopting a Waiting Child; A Q&A With Holt Social Worker Zoila Lopez”

No Holding Back; How One Family Funded Their Adoption

Ready to adopt, but short on funds, Kevin and Sarah Brown reach out to their community — and learn a beautiful lesson in return. 

For Kevin and Sarah Brown, adoption felt like a natural choice. High school sweethearts from Nashville, Tennessee, they – like many young couples — knew they wanted a family someday. But also like many young couples, they weren’t in any hurry. “Then we turned 35,” Sarah says. After watching a documentary about children growing up in orphanages in China, they made up their minds. Continue reading “No Holding Back; How One Family Funded Their Adoption”

My Cherished Son

Adoptive mom Jen Skipper shares about adopting her son who has developmental delays — the unknowns, the hardships and the hope she now has for his future.

It was time to go and meet our fifth child, our second adoption from China. Our path to him had been clear — we knew he was the boy that God had led us to. He was to be our son. We knew he would come to us with a couple medical diagnoses and some developmental delays. We thought his developmental delays included learning to walk and speak late. At 2 years old, he was just starting to babble.

I had poured over his paperwork and felt like all of his reported delays were simply related to being institutionalized, and I was encouraged by the great strides in his development after joining a foster family in China. I had heard stories of institutionalized kids coming home to their forever family and overcoming so many of their delays. I was optimistic and ready to welcome my son into my heart and our family forever.

Jen and Marc in their first days with their son in China.

The moment he was placed into my arms in China at almost 3 years old, I knew his delays and issues were more severe than I had anticipated or imagined. He was laughing and smiling, and that was not how kids are supposed to act when being placed into a stranger’s arms.

We took him back to our motel room and I realized he was not making eye contact with any of us. He had no verbal communication and was rummaging through every garbage can he could find, looking for something to play with. He hit himself repeatedly and when we went anywhere new, he would go cross-eyed and grind his teeth. He was so scared and couldn’t communicate it. And so was I.

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5 Things to Know About Adopting a Child With Developmental Delays

As prospective adoptive families learn more about adoption and the children who are waiting to join families, they may frequently run into the term “developmental delays.” But what does this mean, exactly?

Developmental delays can present in many different ways, often encompass unknowns in a child’s development, and are different for every child.

Here are five of top things to know about adopting a child with developmental delays:

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What It Means to Adopt a Child with Down Syndrome

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How a Holt Adoption Grant Helped Save Shelby’s Life

Every day 2-year-old Shelby Jane spent in an orphanage in China, she grew weaker. She needed to join her adoptive family — and fast — but finances stood in the way. That’s when a Holt donor stepped in to help.

Two-year-old Shelby Jane had a hole in her tiny heart, a blood condition called thalassemia and chronic cases of pneumonia and bronchitis that caused her to be hospitalized just about every month of her 24-month life. She could not speak, could not crawl and could not chew food. Every day she spent in an orphanage in China, she grew weaker.

Her adoptive parents, Michelle and Adam Campbell, needed to bring her home — and fast.

“We knew we needed to go get her because she wasn’t getting the care she needed. Waiting,” Michelle says, “wasn’t an option.”

Shelby at her orphanage in China before coming home to her family.
Shelby at her orphanage in China before joining her family. While living in the orphanage, Shelby spent part of every month in the hospital due to pneumonia or bronchitis.

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