Dan’s Favorite Adoption Story: Each year Nightlight brings a group of kids from orphanages overseas. I wonder how these kids feel as they get off the plane in a strange country, and head off with a stranger (host family) for a couple weeks. I spoke with Luba, a young woman who came several years ago on one of these tours. She was later adopted by her host family. I asked her, “Were you scared to walk off with a woman you didn’t know?” She said, “No, because I knew she was my mom. I got off the plane and pointed at her.” There is a divine appointment set between this waiting children and their loving parents. We at Nightlight are privileged to be there when it happens.
Education: Daniel Nehrbass has a Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling from Fuller Seminary and holds three masters degrees: in theology, divinity, and ministry. His B.A. is from U.C. Irvine. Prior to coming to Nightlight, Daniel was an ordained Baptist pastor, professor of biblical studies, and professional Christian counselor.
Responsibilities: As Executive Director, Dan plans for the future goals and direction of Nightlight, oversees the three Nightlight offices and manages our capable and experienced team. Dan also focuses on fundraising for the agency.
Rhonda’s Favorite Adoption Story: More of my family members are adopted then born into our family. I first became aware of adoption, when my brother came home on my 5th birthday, a month after his birth. Adoption was the way my husband and I chose to build our family, adopting five school aged children from Russia. Adoption is a way of life for me and I feel very blessed to help other families throughout their adoption journey.
Education: Graduate of both University of Michigan and Pepperdine University with a Master’s Degree in Psychology.
Responsibilities: Director of Family Support Services; Hague Coordinator for Nightlight Christian Adoptions and a Lead Evaluator for the Hague Evaluation process for Council on Accreditation
Director of Social Work
Kelly’s Favorite Adoption Story: I have done many adoptions in the last several years. They are both happy and sad at the same time, but nothing makes my heart happier than to see a birthmom make a special plan for her child and to see that plan come true for her. There is always sadness that she feels, but there is also joy and empowerment that she did the best she could for the child that she so dearly loves.
Education: M.A. Counseling at Ball State University; B.A. Social Work, Minor in Psychology at Indiana University
Responsibilities: Directing the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program including responding to inquiries, coordinating client matches, communicating with clinics regarding embryology reports & medical records, creating communication agreements for families’ legal contracts, and providing counseling to Adopting Parents and Genetic Parents.
Home study & Support Services
Lynda’s Favorite Adoption Story: To be a small part of God’s awesome story for each family is a tremendous gift. The homecoming is such a miracle, especially knowing the incredible journey for the children and the adoptive parents. The joy on each of their faces lives forever in my heart.
Education: Professional and experiential education.
Responsibilities: Family Support Services – Legal documentation, domestic and international.
Snowflake Client Services
Alyssa’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story comes from a couple in my church. After having one biological daughter they decided they wanted to expand their family through adoption. They chose to adopt internationally and soon they were the proud parents of a young girl from China. Soon after they decided to grow their family yet again, this time adopting sisters from Ethiopia. When I see the different cultures represented in their family and get to watch how they interact so lovingly, I cannot help but feel I am getting a glimpse of heaven, where every tribe, tongue and nation is present, giving full glory and honor to God.
Education: Alyssa has B.A. in Political Science and Intercultural Studies from Biola University
Responsibilities: Snowflakes administrative assistant, opening and maintaining client files, facilitating communication between families involved in the adoption process, providing resources for adoptive families , and coordinating contract and shipping information.
Snowflake Client Services
Leah’s Favorite Adoption Story: I knew I had a passion for adoption when I heard the story of my friend’s family. She and her brother were older and almost out of the house when her parents decided they wanted to adopt from China. They indicated that they were willing to accept a child with special needs, and much paperwork and prayer later, the matching stage began. When her mom got sent the profile of a little baby girl with a cleft palate and saw the picture of her, she burst into tears and knew that she was her daughter. Not too long afterward was the whole family on their way to China to pick up their little girl. It’s been beautiful to see this energetic and caring little one (who’s now in kindergarten) grow up in such a loving home and learn what it means to be adopted not only into her earthly family, but into God’s family as well.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in English, Biola University
Responsibilities: Snowflakes administrative assistant, opening and maintaining genetic parent client files, client acquisition – maintaining phone and email inquiries, social media
Manager of Domestic Programs
Katie’s Favorite Adoption Story: It’s so hard to choose just one favorite story. Honestly, every story is my favorite because every time I watch an adoptive placement I am reminded of God’s sovereignty and how He has orchestrated everything according to His perfect plan and I am merely an instrument He has allowed to help.
Education: Master of Social Work degree from University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Fullerton.
Responsibilities: My responsibilities include counseling expectant parents considering adoption, communicating with prospective adoptive parents inquiring about the domestic program, conducting domestic home studies, maintaining relationships with hospitals, pregnancy centers, and attorneys, and speaking at various community and training events.
EAAC Agency Liaison
Amy’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story is that of a friend of mine who was adopted as a young child by a couple with a great deal of influence in their community. His adoption inspired a small adoption movement in that community, which resulted in 15 children finding forever families.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in English and an Asian Studies Certificate at Colorado State University
Responsibilities: Speaking with adoption agencies frequently, helping agencies learn more about Embryo Donation and Adoption, and assisting agencies in establishing their own embryo adoption programs
EAAC Clinic Liaison
Adam’s Favorite Adoption Story: In the summer of 2010, Nightlight brought an Orphan Tour from Russia to Northern Colorado for the first time. After hosting the kids, spending time with them and seeing them perform; God put it on the hearts of three Northern Colorado families to adopt a child from the tour. Eleven months later, all three families had their adopted children home with them and are living as a forever family. I was tremendously blessed to see this whole process unfold from start to finish right before my eyes.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University
Responsibilities: Fertility Clinic Liaison with the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center, Social Networking Coordinator.
Foster Adoption Coordinator
Amber’s Favorite Adoption Story: With all of the adoptions that are taking place in the physical world that we live in, the most amazing adoption story I have encountered is what Jesus Christ has done for us. He has come in weakness, in human form, meeting us in our weakness– our humanity, and has offered us through Himself the riches of heaven! We have been given the very nature of God through Christ, including His joy and peace that passes understanding. It is truly a blessing to be called a son or daughter of the Most High God! Nothing can truly compare to the spiritual adoption I have been given—being brought from death unto abundant life! It amazes me on a daily basis and reminds me of the heart of God when working with all of the families I service here at Nightlight. It is an honor and blessing to see His heart on full display with each and every family and their unique adoption story!
Education: Masters of Social Work from the University at Buffalo
Responsibilities: Certifying Families for Foster/Adoption, Coordinating Matching Process for families in Fostering Love Adoption Program, Completing Home Studies, Post Placement in Home Trust Based Relational Interventions Training
Director of Social Work
Cheri’s Favorite Adoption Story: Over the years, I have worked with many, many adoptive families and have been fortunate enough to be a small part in their adoption journey. I don’t know if I have just one favorite adoption story, but I find great joy in seeing families become complete. I love watching babies and children grow in attachment, forming that inseparable bond with their parents, and the healing that takes place for parents, birth parents and children.
Education: Masters of Social Work (1995) from University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work; BA (1989) from State University of New York at Albany. TBRI certification through Texas Christian University (2012). Director and trainer for Colorado Adoption Consultants, where we provide adoption training and pre and post adoption consulting and training to adoptive families.
Responsibilities: As the Director of Social Work I provide supervision, support and training to our social work staff. I respond to inquiries and provide pre and post adoption education support and resources to families. I also educate prospective parents regarding adoption program options.
Program & Marketing Manager, Embryo Donation & Adoption Awareness Center
Kimberly’s Favorite Adoption Story: While adoption has not occurred in my immediate family I do have several friends who have been adopted. It has been interesting to hear from them, as mature adults, regarding their adoption experience. Many of them were adopted during the era when adoption was ‘secretive’. Based on their personal experience the new emphasis on ‘open’ adoption is heartily supported by them. It is exciting to be a voice for children in all stages of their development, especially for the unborn. Since I also struggled with infertility for many years I am able to relate to many people who call into the Awareness Center searching for solutions. After years in corporate America it is my joy to work for an organization that directly and positively impacts the lives of children and adults.
Education: Kimberly Tyson has more than 20 years of leadership experience developing and deploying leading edge technology products and services for top-tier companies. An accomplished corporate marketer, her vision and expertise in business performance have brought goal-oriented success in the medical, education and general business sectors. She received her BA from Colorado State University in Business Administration-Marketing with a minor in Political Science.
Responsibilities: As the manager of Nightlight’s Embryo Adoption Awareness Center she has developed educational training and videos, created Internet strategies to increase website traffic, launched a legal essay competition and established regular communications with Adoption Agencies and Fertility Clinics throughout the U.S. In 2011 the outreach will expand to OB/Gyns where many women first learn about infertility treatments. Kimberly is also responsible for marketing and promotion of Nightlight’s many adoption programs and services.
Director of Colorado Office, International Program Director
Kate’s Favorite Adoption Story: While there have been many adoption stories that have warmed my heart during my time with Nightlight, it has been my recent work our Haiti program that has really been on my mind lately. Since launching our program late last year, I have been able to travel to Port Au Prince twice to visit the orphanage we are working with there. It has been a wonderful and heart breaking experience simultaneously. There is so much need in Haiti, but it excites me how families will soon begin brining these children into their forever family. I look forward to seeing our Haiti program grow and change lives.
Education: Master’s in International Business
International Support Services & Home Study Coordinator
Liana’s Favorite Adoption Story: I have a couple of favorite adoption stories. The first one would be my own. I was adopted from St. Petersburg, Russia at age 11. I feel truly blessed to have a family, a very wonderful loving family. In the orphanage I prayed to find my biological family and for them to take me back home but another family found me instead, my true family. My second favorite adoption story is the adoption of my first son. I ended up pregnant at age 18 and could not provide for a child. My best friend’s parents asked if I would consider them to be my baby’s parents. I decided that that would be the best option for my son and he would be well taken care of. Since I have known this family since I came to the U.S. we have maintained a great relationship and have a wonderful open adoption. I am so grateful that I still get to be a part of his life and he knows that I am his “birth mama” and that I love him.
Education: Fullerton Community College
Responsibilities: International Support Services & Home Study Coordinator
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Renee’s Favorite Adoption Story: I have had the honor of walking through the adoption journey with several birthmothers who have chosen the selfless act of adoption. I’ll never forget my first placement, a day after a sweet, baby girl was born. The birthmother and the adoptive parents met only a couple weeks before the due date, but quickly established a loving, trusting relationship. The never got the chance to discuss baby names, but that day in the hospital, they separately chose the same first name for the baby girl (and it was a very unique name). When I told the birthmother, she sat with her mouth open. At that moment, God confirmed to her she was making the right decision and a peace washed over her. It was truly miraculous and an expression of God’s heart for adoption. I am sure the little girl will love hearing that story one day.
Education: Graduate of University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a Bachelor of Social Work.
Responsibilities: Birthparent counseling and working with domestic adoption families.
Director of South Carolina Office
Laura’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite story of adoption is the adoption of my two daughters. The story continued when my younger daughter’s birthmother contacted us when my daughter was nine years old. She and her husband later adopted a newborn through us. My older daughter recently graduated from college and is an RN. She also has an open relationship with her birthmother and completed her own lifebook, which she recently sent to her birthmother.
Education: MPH and working toward an LPC through a degree program in counseling from Liberty University.
Responsibilities: Is the director of the South Carolina office; provides pre- and post-adoption education, support, and resources to families. Initiated the ReNEWed Hope Program to help families prevent disruptions. As the founder and leader of the South Carolina Alliance for Orphans and the director in South Carolina for Orphan Sunday, she coordinates outreach to churches and other organizations involved in the orphan care ministries. As the president of the South Carolina Association of Licensed Adoption Agencies she assists in the planning of immigration, medical, and other adoption-related workshops and conferences.
Finance Manager & Support Services
Susan’s Favorite Adoption Story: Several years ago, I was lucky enough to meet and form a beautiful friendship with a birth mother and her 2 year old son. Taking her on doctor appointments and shopping trips, and caring for her child during this time…. She asked that I be in the delivery room with her; and I was able to witness her giving life in three distinct ways: Pregnancy, Delivery, and Signing the adoption paperwork. It was an experience that I have shared with many people throughout the years and am grateful for her special story that touched my life.
Education: 35 years of financial experience, 10 years with Nightlight; Administration with a focus in Dossier preparation
Responsibilities: bookkeeping; administration with a focus on Uganda adoption and orphan ministry
Home Study Coordinator
Amy’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story would have to be my own. God changed our lives completely almost six years ago when he brought our two little boys home. I am still in awe that I am able to be a mom. Our children are now 9 and 6 and have brought us more joy than we knew possible. It is because I have experienced the miracle of adoption that I am so thankful to work for Nightlight and witness other families’ lives be changed as ours was.
Education: Bachelors of Social Work, East Carolina University
Responsibilities: Assisting families through the home study process. I enjoy helping to complete home studies for SC families as well as Updates and Post-Placement visits.
Domestic Program Coordinator
Katie’s Favorite Adoption Story: I have had the privilege of working with so many children and families that have been blessed by the adoption process. My favorite story, however, is that of a friend of a friend of mine. She was given my name by our mutual friend to inquire about the adoption process, I gladly told her about the process and what she and her husband could expect. Once informed, she was overwhelmed to say the least. After a great deal of prayer, she and her husband were certain that this was their calling and so they pushed forward. They were matched with two precious little girls, a perfect fit for this wonderful couple. To hear stories about how these two little girls have grown in their loving home warms my heart. I know that this couple has changed the lives of these little girls, but more importantly, these two precious gifts from God have completed this family in a way that cannot be put into words!
Education: Graduate of Winthrop University with a Bachelor of Social Work
Responsibilities: Counsel birth parents facing an unplanned pregnancy and adoptive families wishing to adopt domestically, while guiding each of them through the adoption process.