Cerebral Palsy in International Adoption: a Q&A With Dr. Julia Bledsoe

An interview with Dr. Julia Beldsoe about cerebral palsy (CP) , a common special need among children waiting for adoptive families. Dr. Bledsoe founded the University of Washington Center for Adoption Medicine and has worked in the field of international adoption for over 20 years. 

Dr. Julia Bledsoe

What is cerebral palsy and what causes it?

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects the movement of the muscles and it’s caused by damage to the brain that happens to the baby either during pregnancy or during delivery. Most forms are what we call “congenital,” meaning you’re born with it from an injury that happened at some point in the pregnancy. Some of it is called “acquired,” meaning it happened during a difficult birth process and the baby suffered brain damage because of that. … There are some kids who have very mild CP and some kids who have very serious complications of CP. … Each kid who has CP is like a snowflake. They’re all a little bit different. Continue reading “Cerebral Palsy in International Adoption: a Q&A With Dr. Julia Bledsoe”

Four Things to Consider When Sharing Your Family’s Adoption Story

After 15 years of blogging about her adoptive family of 12 — and recently sharing their story with the world in the documentary “Hayden and Her Family”— Elizabeth Curry has learned a few things about what, how, when and when not to share about her children and their lives growing up in a multiracial, international adoptive family. Here are Elizabeth’s four key pieces of advice to consider when sharing about your family and your family’s adoption story.

This story is part two in a series. Click here to read part one, “How Our Family Became the Subject of a Documentary.” Continue reading “Four Things to Consider When Sharing Your Family’s Adoption Story”

How Our Family Became the Subject of a Documentary

When a documentary filmmaker approached Elizabeth and Jud Curry about filming their lives as a multiracial, international adoptive family of 12, they hesitated. But then their 9-year-old daughter, recently adopted from China, asked a question that so surprised them, they decided to say yes — welcoming viewers inside their lives and home.

This story is part one in a series. Click here to read part two, “Four Things to Consider When Sharing Your Family’s Adoption Story.”

Continue reading “How Our Family Became the Subject of a Documentary”

What a Difference a Year Makes


The first year home for a child and his or her adoptive family holds a lot of change, joy, difficulty, patience and love. But one year can make all the difference.

For a child living in an orphanage or foster home overseas, joining an adoptive family often means finally receiving the medical care they need to grow healthy and strong. It means going to occupational or physical therapy to begin to catch up developmentally. It means receiving the love, attention and nurturing care that they went without for so long.

All children have the potential to grow by leaps and bounds with each passing year. But for a child who was just adopted, this growth can be even more profound.

Continue reading “What a Difference a Year Makes”

With an Open Heart and an Open Mind


As you begin your adoption journey, one small step beyond your comfort zone may be all that stands between you and your future child. But openness in adoption looks different for every family. 

So, you want to adopt! After months, or maybe years, of deliberation and prayers, you’re ready to move forward. Maybe you’re still at the very beginning of your journey, researching agencies and reading every adoption blog post you can find on the internet. Or maybe you already have an agency and are eagerly awaiting the next step. Either way, your life is about to change forever.

Continue reading “With an Open Heart and an Open Mind”

Finding Families for Children in Thailand With Special Needs

This month, three Holt staff members will travel throughout Thailand to assess 130 children who are eligible for adoption through the Thailand Special Needs Program. 

Thailand trip packing

Right now, I’m packing my suitcase, preparing for a 24-hour flight and an exhausting two weeks in Thailand. But I can’t wait!

Over the next three weeks, I will travel around the country to visit 12 orphanages and over 130 children who are waiting for families. Holt’s clinical social worker for our south and southeast Asia programs, Zoila Lopez, as well as Jennifer Nelson, Holt’s adoption services coordinator for Asia programs, will travel with me. And together, we will get to know these children so that we can better advocate for them once home.

Each of these children is eligible for adoption through Holt’s new Thailand Special Needs Program! 

Continue reading “Finding Families for Children in Thailand With Special Needs”