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.

Continue reading “How a Holt Adoption Grant Helped Save Shelby’s Life”

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.

Continue reading “A Holt Grant Helped Me Adopt My Daughter”

Charlize Needs a Family!

2021 Update: Charlize is no longer eligible for adoption, but there are many other children who are waiting for loving, adoptive families! Meet the children by visiting our waiting child photolisting.

Charlize is a smart and active girl who loves school and is a talented artist.

Charlize came into orphanage care in China when she was 5 years old. When she was 6, she was adopted domestically in China, but her adoptive parents relinquished her back to the orphanage a year and a half later. Now 11, Charlize longs for a permanent, loving family of her own.

Charlize loves school, and though she doesn’t get as much support as she would if she lived in a family, she is succeeding in her classes! She is especially good at languages — Chinese and English — as well as math and art. She gets along well with her teachers and peers, and communicates herself well.

In August 2018, Charlize was reported to have moderate anemia and physical delays, but our social work staff has not seen indications of these delays in her videos or other information.

Charlize has been through several transitions in her young life, but she is brave and full of hope that she will one day have the love and stability of an adoptive family.

Could you be the right family for Charlize? For more information about this brave girl, contact Alycia Fahr-Zarlons at alyciaf@holtinternational.org.

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”