Who We Are

As the Illinois branch of Holt International, we seek a world where every child has the support and resources to reach their full potential — a world where every child has a loving and secure home.

With a commitment to serving every individual with dignity and compassion, we provide support and resources for women facing unplanned pregnancy, facilitate domestic newborn and international adoption for families in Illinois, and offer lifelong post-adoption services for all who are touched by adoption. 

Always, we focus on each child’s unique needs — keeping the child’s best interest at the forefront of every decision.

What We Do


Unplanned Pregnancy Support

For women facing unplanned pregnancy, we offer options counseling, referrals, adoption planning, parenting support and a listening ear. We empower women to make a plan that is best for her and her baby.



Domestic & International Adoption

Our domestic infant program matches and facilitates adoptions between families in Illinois and birth parents in our program. Through Holt International, we also have international adoption programs in eight countries.



Post-Adoption Support & Therapy

We offer post-adoption support, workshops, groups and therapy for birth parents, adoptive parents and families, and adoptees of all ages. We are dedicated to providing the tools and support to help all families thrive.


Our Services

Our Services

Our Impact

In 2016 we served over 132 women facing unplanned pregnancy

Since 2014 we've placed over 35 children with loving families through domestic adoption

In 2016 we provided therapy and counseling to over 80 families and individuals

In 2016, we offered trainings and education to over 350 professionals in our community

Meet Our Team

The caring, professional staff at Holt-Sunny Ridge stands committed to serving birth parents, children and families throughout their lives — providing the education, support and resources needed for lifelong success. Throughout your adoption process, you may have questions and concerns, or may just need to talk to someone who understands. Our compassionate and experienced staff will be here for you every step of the way.

Caroline Kritzalis

Caroline Kritzalis, MPH, MSW, LSW
Birth Parent Worker
630-754-4504

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in July 2015 and I feel honored to work with women who are considering or choosing adoption. I provide birth parents with support during the adoption process, conduct homestudies and post-placement services, and perform outreach in the community. I have a bachelor's degree in anthropology and psychology from Washington University, dual master's degrees in public health and social work from the University of Michigan, and am a licensed social worker in the state of Illinois. I love working with pregnant women and am even trained as a doula (labor and delivery advocate). I am continually amazed by the strength birth mothers demonstrate during the adoption process, during labor and delivery, and after the baby is born. The love they have for their children is so deep, even during challenging times, and I am happy that I can help make such a difficult process a little bit easier.

Nancy Crouch

Nancy Crouch, MA, LCPC
Domestic Adoption & Birth Parent Services Director
630-754-4526

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in 2011 and adoption has been one of my passions for the last 25 years. I adopted my oldest son, Alexander, from Russia; my daughter, Catherine, from Ohio; and after many years of infertility treatments I was able to have one biological son, Jack. With my professional and personal experience with infertility and adoption, I am able to provide education, training and counseling services to families. I work with each family to develop a custom adoption plan that works for their unique situation as well as counseling and support services to women who decide to make an adoption or parenting plan. I've also had the exciting opportunity to develop our interstate adoption program.

I have a bachelor's degree in applied arts from Central Michigan University, a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University and am a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. I feel my life's work is helping adoptive families experience the joy of expanding their family through adoption, as well as helping birth families by providing options and support during a very difficult time.

Nancy Crouch

Nancy Crouch, MA, LCPC
Domestic Adoption & Birth Parent Services Director
630-754-4526

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in 2011 and adoption has been one of my passions for the last 25 years. I adopted my oldest son, Alexander, from Russia; my daughter, Catherine, from Ohio; and after many years of infertility treatments I was able to have one biological son, Jack. With my professional and personal experience with infertility and adoption, I am able to provide education, training and counseling services to families. I work with each family to develop a custom adoption plan that works for their unique situation as well as counseling and support services to women who decide to make an adoption or parenting plan. I've also had the exciting opportunity to develop our interstate adoption program.

I have a bachelor's degree in applied arts from Central Michigan University, a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University and am a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. I feel my life's work is helping adoptive families experience the joy of expanding their family through adoption, as well as helping birth families by providing options and support during a very difficult time.

Colleen Martinson

Colleen Martinson
Social Worker
630-745-4500

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in May 2015. I have a bachelor's degree in social work from Bethel University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota. I was a Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar during my graduate program, which is how I was introduced to the adoption field. I've worked in adoption and foster care since 2009, in both Minnesota and Illinois. At Holt-Sunny Ridge, I conduct homestudies for families adopting internationally and domestically and also provide post-placement services. I work part-time while also caring for my two children.

Jessica Augsburger

Jessica Augsburger, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker
630-754-4532

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in 2005 and love working in the adoption field. I conduct homestudies for adoptive families and provide post-placement services in the international adoption program. I have a bachelor's degree in social work from Hope College and a master's degree in social work from Dominican University. I'm a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois as well as a certified W.I.S.E Up facilitator and TBRI® practitioner. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 2002 with experience in both foster care and adoption.

Joy Quante

Joy Quante
Social Worker, working form St. Louis, MO
314-471-7110

I live in Saint Louis, Missouri and am a licensed professional counselor with a master's of education in counseling degree. I work with families from both Illinois and Missouri to complete their international or domestic homestudy. I have been working with children and families for over 16 years. My experience includes individual counseling for both children and adults, group and family therapy, crisis intervention and pregnancy and adoption counseling. I've had the privilege of working with many adoptive families over the years to achieve their dreams through the wonderful gift of adoption. I look forward to the blessed opportunity of working with you!

Pam Shepard

Pam Shepard, MSW, LCSW
Supervisor of Clinical Services
630-754-4522

My passion is educating adoptive parents and assisting adoptees of all ages as they navigate through their own adoption journey. I provide individual, family and group therapy for anyone connected with adoption, and specialize in common adoption-related issues such as trauma, attachment and identity. I'm a TBRI® practitioner and educator and have also been trained in Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. With experience in the child welfare field since 1996, I've worked in foster care, domestic and international adoption, and birth parent counseling. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology from Olivet Nazarene University and a master's of social work degree from Dominican University. I am also a licensed clinical social worker and a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and United Healthcare provider for behavioral health services. My husband and I live in Frankfort with our two children.

Kristina Knapp

Kristina Knapp
Community Outreach & Educational Specialist
630-754-4508

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in May 2014 and am excited about sharing my passion for adoption and building partnerships within our community. Through meeting with staff at hospitals, medical centers, churches, schools, social service agencies and attending other Chicagoland events, I raise awareness and share information and resources about our counseling and support for women facing unplanned pregnancies. I have a bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Illinois and previously worked in the corporate sector. I have two children — one biological and one adopted domestically. My husband and I have spoken on several adoption panels and we love sharing about how our adoption story and relationship with our daughter's birth family is such a positive part of our lives.

Susan-Stellmacher

Susan Stellmacher
Director of Donor Relations
630-754-4510

I have the privilege of building relationships and raising funds to further the mission of Holt-Sunny Ridge and Holt International. I have a bachelor's degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, a master's degree in leadership development from North Central College in Naperville, IL and I have worked in the nonprofit sector for more than ten years. My husband, Jim, is a music teacher in East Aurora, and our daughter is Aurelia. I was adopted as an infant and am so excited to see my personal and professional lives coming together in such a meaningful way!

Amy Trotter

Amy Trotter, LCSW
Branch Director
630-754-4514

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in 2008. In addition to supervising program activities, I prepare families for adoption in our international and domestic programs, provide training and education to families, as well as post-adoption services. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and hold both a bachelor's and a master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 1995, including experience in the fields of foster care, juvenile court and adoption.

Katelyn Wilhelm

Katelyn Wilhelm
Branch Assistant
630-754-4542

I joined Holt-Sunny Ridge in February 2015 and have experience working in health insurance and journalism. I have almost seven years of experience working with children in a daycare setting, and I also have two cousins who were adopted. I have a bachelor's degree in news/editorial journalism from Illinois State University.

Our Story

Holt-Sunny Ridge joined with Holt International in 2014, but we have a long history of serving children in Illinois — with roots planted as early as 1926.

A man named Reverend John Klingberg had already created a home for children in Connecticut, but he also had plans to open one in Chicago. With this idea, he sent his daughter, Mabel, to Chicago. Mabel was able to find a house and on October 17, 1926, the Klingberg Children’s Home of Chicago was born. In 1953, the home moved to a 36-acre farm in Wheaton, Illinois named “Sunny Ridge Farm,” which led to a new name for the home, “Sunny Ridge Home for Children.” Here, children from 4 to 18 years old lived together, learning to help out with everyday duties and building life skills.

In 1979, the first child from Sunny Ridge Home joined a family through adoption — creating the foundation for the Sunny Ridge Family Center domestic adoption program. Two years later, Sunny Ridge placed our first child through international adoption. In the next 10-20 years, Sunny Ridge Family Center grew enormously. By 1986, we were placing over 100 children through domestic adoption every year, and by 1994, we had placed over 750 children from China.

After 50 years in Wheaton, Illinois, Sunny Ridge decided to move our location to Bolingbrook, Illinois in 2007. Here, we continue to serve children and families domestically and around the world. In 2014, Sunny Ridge began yet another exciting chapter when we merged with Holt International to become Holt-Sunny Ridge. With a unique and expansive history that began over 90 years ago, Holt-Sunny Ridge remains dedicated to upholding the vision of finding loving, secure homes for children both here in Illinois and around the world.

If you need free unplanned pregnancy support, we're available day or night.

CONTACT

LOCATION

  • Serving women in:
  •      Chicagoland,
  •      Northern Illinois,
  •      Central Illinois,
  •      & Southern Illinois