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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In Good Hands | A China Adoption Travel Thank You Message


When the Kennedy family arrived in China to adopt their daughter Mia last year, some things did not go as expected. But John Feng — Holt’s site manager in Guangzhou, China — went above and beyond to care for them and meet each need that they and their daughter had.

Sometimes, adoption is all about preparing for the unexpected.

From the homestudy and dossier to waiting for a match, adoptive parents quickly learn that while there’s a lot they can control, there’s also a lot that is out of their hands.

No one understands this more than our current families in process. As of July 2020, travel is still on hold for many Holt adoptive families because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Every day, Holt is tirelessly advocating for children to unite with their adoptive families as soon as it is safe to do so. Continue reading “In Good Hands | A China Adoption Travel Thank You Message”

A Holt Grant Helped Me Adopt My Daughter

Children with Down syndrome, like Jyn, always wait much longer to be adopted. But after eight years of waiting, a donor-funded Holt adoption grant helped unite her with her permanent, loving family — just before COVID-19 shut down China and the rest of the world. 

When Sara Croasdaile traveled to China to adopt her son Cam, she already knew she’d come back.

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Healing the Hurt Child

When Brett and Noelle Hersom adopt a 9-year-old with a history of abuse and neglect, they soon realize that given the right combination of love, commitment, patience and flexibility, every child has the potential to heal.

At one point in her first year home, 9-year-old Vienna threw a tantrum so severe, so next level, that her mom, Noelle, made a decision that few parents would make. She didn’t walk away, like she wanted to. She didn’t leave the room and let Vienna work through it. She knew this would be a long one, and she wasn’t about to leave her daughter’s side. So she got a book, and settled in.

“The point was to be there with her and not walk away,” Noelle says. Continue reading “Healing the Hurt Child”

He Makes Everyone’s Life Better

In honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month — and children with Down syndrome around the world who are waiting for their permanent, loving families — we want to share about Jaxon. This sweet 4-year-old joined his adoptive family eight months ago, and he has enriched their lives more than they ever imagined.  

When Amy Kalani first met Jaxon in China, she thought she’d have no trouble finding him a family.

Although now the director of Holt’s Korea adoption program, at the time, Amy worked with Holt’s China program. When she met Jaxon, she was in China visiting orphanages and meeting children so that she could get to know them — and better advocate for them individually upon returning home.

Out of the dozens of children she met, Jaxon stood out to her the most.

Amy meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017
Amy Kalani meeting Jaxon in China in March 2017.

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