Dorothy and Robert DeBolt
Today, Dorothy and Bob DeBolt live alone in their home in El Cajon, California. It was but a few short years ago that their home was filled with 20 children, 14 of them adopted-many of them with disabilities (spina bifida, polio, amputees), some from other races (Black, Hispanic, Korean, Vietnamese), some victims of child abuse-all now happy, productive, self sufficient citizens, thanks to the firm and loving hands and hearts of Dorothy and Bob DeBolt.
The DeBolt family has been featured in scores of national and international newspaper and magazine articles and was the focus of two television documentaries, "Who Are The DeBolts?" and its sequel, "Stepping Out-The DeBolts Grow, " narrated by Henry Winkler and Kris Kristofferson. The first film was recently named one of the best documentary films at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, Holland.
One would think this would be enough, but Dorothy and Bob have spread their love further throughout the world by founding a non-profit organization called AASK (Aid to the Adoption of Special Kids). AASKAmerica has placed more than 6,000 physically and/or mentally disabled children of all races in permanent adoptive homes. Today AASK is nationally recognized and respected as a licensed adoption agency and "court of last resort" for "special kids." Dorothy and Bob give the credit for any courage it took to accomplish these great goals to all their remarkable children.
Dorothy and Bob DeBolt, with no formal background in special education, but with lots of love, firmness and common sense have given over 1,000 speeches throughout the U.S. and abroad to audiences ranging from educators to national associations to corporate heads. They have received numerous awards including commendations from Presidents and Congress. They received the Father Flanagan Award for Humanitarian Service, sharing this honor with Jonas Salk and Mother Teresa. They were recently inducted into the National Adoption Hall of Fame and heralded as America's pioneers in the movement to find families for children once thought unadoptable.
The DeBolts and AASK lovingly fulfill the needs of thousands.