“Defending the fatherless and the oppressed” (Psalm 10:18, NIV).
Click on the state to see our team.
Dr. Daniel Nehrbass
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 these 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 President, 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.
CA Executive Director
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.
Snowflakes® Team Lead
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® Team Lead, helps oversee the day to day function of Snowflakes, facilitates matching, coordinates legal and logistical aspects of embryo transport, and facilitates communication between families involved in the adoption process.
Snowflakes® Donor Parent Coordinator
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: B.A. English, Biola University; currently working toward M.A. Clinical Psychology
Responsibilities: Managing Snowflakes® donor parent files and walking with them through the embryo adoption process
Snowflake Client Services
Hannah’s Favorite Adoption Story: God has always given me a desire to work in the field of adoption. It is too hard to pick a favorite adoption story as they are all special, but the one that impacted me the most was from within my own family. After my uncle and aunt read about the need for children to be adopted from China, they became passionate to expand their family to include one more little girl. After a long and emotional process, my little cousin Ivy became a part of our huge Italian family and I have had the joy of watching her grow up to now be a six year old with a lot of spunk. She has impacted our whole family as we got to experience the challenges and the beauties of the adoption process.
Education: B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University
Responsibilities: Snowflakes assistant, opening and maintaining new client files, sending out final contracts, and providing resources to families who have birthed little ones through Nightlight’s Snowflakes Program.
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.
Foster Care and Adoption Social Worker
Amanda’s Favorite Adoption Story: I don’t have just one favorite adoption story! Each adoption that I have been involved in becomes my favorite and leaves an impression on my heart. My most impactful adoption story is my grandmothers. She was adopted domestically as an infant into a wonderfully loving and supportive family. Even though her adoption was closed and she never learned who her birthparents parents were, her parents always spoke positively and respectfully of her birthparent’s decision. Through my grandmother’s story, I grew a passion for adoption and pursued a career in the adoption field.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Biola University; Master of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach
Responsibilities: As an adoption social worker, I work with families in the domestic, international, and foster care programs in the areas of training, completion of home studies, and post adoption/post placement care.
Alice’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story is of my friends who have adopted three of their six children. I admire their family and how their love continues to grow with each child who enters their family. After observing this family I have a picture of how vast God’s love is for His children and the rejoicing that happens when someone joins the family.
Education: Bachelors of Arts degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Sociology from Concordia University Irvine
Responsibilities: My responsibilities are to help where needed.
Home Study Coordinator
BA in Sociology, Biola University
My favorite adoption story is that of my cousin. Almost all of my cousins are boys and I remember being so excited when my aunt and uncle came back from Honduras with a baby girl. I love how she fits right into my family. It’s fun when we are together and tell people that we are cousins and they stare at us wondering how this could be possible since we are polar opposites in our appearances I love being able to share her story of adoption in these moments. I’m so grateful that God chose to place her in my family.
Responsibilities: I work with families who are just beginning their adoption journey through the home study process.
BS in Human Services at California State University, Fullerton
My favorite adoption story would have to be my dear friend’s story. He grew up in the Philippines and was born into an abusive home. He wondered the streets, as a young boy, until the police picked him up and put him in an orphanage. He stayed in that orphanage until at the age of fourteen, his social worker gave him the news that a family in the US wanted to adopt him. His mother came to this country to meet him for the first time. He says all he can remember is this lady who he had no idea what she was saying just embraced him in a bear hug and kept saying how much she loved him. Since that day, he has been living in the US and has come to know the Lord through his adopted family. This is one of my favorites because of the genuine love the Lord gave to his family for him; the call He placed on both my friend’s life and the lives of his family, as well as their response to that call.
Snowflakes Inquiry Specialist | 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: As the Snowflakes Inquiry Specialist I connect with adoptive families considering this unique adoption choice and provide support as they navigate the application process. As the Agency Liaison for the Awareness Center, I speak with adoption professionals regularly, helping them learn more about Embryo Donation and Adoption.
Domestic Program Manager
Corie’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story starts with my own family. My sister and I were raised by our mom and step dad. In our pre-teen years, we were formally adopted by him. We were “chosen” children and he made sure we knew how much he loved us – and still does! As an adult, when I searched for my biological dad I learned he had changed his life and was giving back. He and his wife had become foster and adoptive parents to medically fragile children. They have adopted 5 children.
EAAC Education Coordinator | Fertility Clinic Liaison
Deb’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story comes from one of my best friends. His biological mother was unaware she was pregnant until she visited a hospital with severe stomach pain and realized she was in labor. She ended up abandoning him outside the hospital in a dumpster but was quickly found by hospital personnel. His story is certainly a miracle because the nurses that found him were positive that his mother would have aborted him had she found out he was pregnant. Instead he got the chance to live, and grew up in a big amazing family after he was adopted by two doctors that fell in love with him. He is one of the happiest people I know, and is currently working on becoming a chef and traveling all over the world with the biggest smile on his face.
Education: CNA, Front Range Community College; Arts & Photography, Aims Community College
Responsibilities: I am responsible for our robust webinar program which has been attended by over 1,000 medical and adoption agency professionals. I also develop programs for both embryo donor and embryo adopting families. As the Fertility Clinic Liaison I am in regular communication with clinics throughout the U.S. to help educate them, and their patients, about embryo donation and adoption.
Marketing & Marketing and Program Director |Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption Program | Embryo 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 Embryo Donation and Adoption 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 30 years of marketing and 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 Director of the Nightlight 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, Ob/Gyns, donors and adopters throughout the U.S. Kimberly is also responsible for leading the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program team and has doubled participation in the program since assuming responsibilities in 2015.
CO Executive Director, 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 bringing 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 Program 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: Assist families in the international adoption process
Foster Adoption Coordinator
Meaghan’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story is that of my aunt, whose daughter was placed into a loving adoptive home when was a young woman. While my aunt knew it was the best thing for her daughter, she experienced a lot of heartache over not knowing who her daughter was or how she was doing over the years, since it was a closed adoption. Thirty years later, my aunt decided to find her daughter and by the grace of God, her daughter had decided at the exact same time in her life that she wanted to find and meet her birth mother. Since then, they have met and developed a wonderful relationship with each other and our extended family. My cousin was able to grow up in a happy, loving family who could provide for her more than my aunt could at the time. I love this story as it provides a beautiful example of sacrificial love and the love and workmanship of God in our lives. God truly does know the plans for us and make all things work together for good.
Education: Bachelors in Psychology from Georgetown University
Responsibilities: I work extensively with families who are interested in fostering children with the intention to adopt. I handle inquiries about the Fostering Love Adoption program, act as a liaison between the county and our families, and lead families as they go through the necessary steps in the program.
Social Worker/Pregnancy Counselor
My favorite adoption story would have to be about my little boy, Isaiah, whom I adopted from South Sudan in 2009. I was working in a medical clinic in South Sudan when he was brought to us with severe meningitis. Isaiah who was 13 months old at the time, was living on the streets with his 9 year old sister Rose, and they had lost both parents to AIDS only a month after Isaiah was born. Isaiah was HIV positive from birth and as a result of it going untreated for so long, he passed away shortly after I adopted him. When I first met Isaiah he was extremely unhappy, malnourished, and had never experienced joy or laughter. Isaiah, though only 1 year old, showed obvious indicators of neglect, distrust, anger, and an absence of love. I was privileged to spend 4 months with Isaiah and in my short time of loving and caring for him I saw God’s love transform this child from an angry, distrusting, and hurting little boy into a loving, playful and joyful little boy. It taught me about the power of love and how important it is for every child to know that they are loved, accepted, and worthy. Though this story has a tragic ending, it’s beautiful because Isaiah was able to know and experience love, self-worth, acceptance, and joy before he left this earth. It is now my objective, hope, and aspiration that every child will have a loving home and family and will know they are unconditionally loved because nothing is more transforming and powerful than LOVE.
GA Executive Director
Vanessa’s Favorite Adoption Story: I believe that my favorite adoption story would be my own. Our family struggled with infertility for many years. We always believed that we were going to be parents and had to continue the belief and faith that it would happen. After years of testing, and finally deciding that fertility treatment was not going to be our answer we decided to foster to adopt. I have always prayed God please remember us as you did other women who have struggled with infertility. When I would pray I would ask God to remember me like Hannah, Ruth and Elizabeth. In July of 2014, we got notification of baby girl in hospital and she needed a foster to adopt family. She came home with us in August. Then we received a call in November 2014 that another child needed a family. We bought her home November 2014. If God’s blessing were not already over flowing with all the goodness he was bestowing our family, on February 5, 2015 I found out that I was pregnant. When you believe in the power and greatness of God, he truly blesses.
Education: Vanessa holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a certificate in Marriage and family therapy. She also earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Valdosta State University.
Responsibilities: Provides direction and oversight for the Georgia office for Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
Chelsea’s Favorite Adoption Story: This is hard because I believe every adoption story is special and should be celebrated for its unique ordainment by God. However, my favorite story is still in the works, and it is one that belongs to my mentor and her husband. For the last couple years, I have walked alongside of her through their adoption journey. She and her husband are the perfect representation of a couple waiting earnestly for the birth mom and child God’s picked for them while also being extremely vulnerable about the roller coaster ride of their adoption journey. It has been a blessing to watch her story, and I love that I can to be a part of more stories through Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
Education: Chelsea is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree and a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Georgia. She also earned her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Georgia.
Responsibilities: As an Expectant Parent Caseworker, I work with individuals who are making an adoption plan. I assist them throughout their adoption journey by helping them make a hospital plan, connecting them to resources, matching them with adoptive families, and offering continual support.
KY Executive Director
Lisa became the Executive Director of AHH in October of 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a graduate of the University of Kansas, with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Lisa has worked in the field of adoption for over 5 years and previously worked in both private foster care and child protective services. Lisa is a licensed social worker in the State of Oklahoma. Lisa herself was adopted by her step-father and has had a heart for adoption since her childhood. She feels honored to play a role in bringing orphans together with loving families.
Lisa has a large family including 4 wonderful nephews. She enjoys travel, running, and spending time with friends and family.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Snowflakes Family Evaluation Coordinator/Home Study Provider
Beth’s Favorite adoption story: I have a sister who is 9 months older than me and was adopted domestically as an infant. Since it was a closed adoption (as most were back then), we grew up with very little information about her birth parents. After nearly 40 years, my sister was contacted by her birth mother. Since then, with the support of our parents, she has formed a close relationship with her birth mother and her birth mother’s immediate and extended family. I was recently able to meet that family, who welcomed me into their home and lives with open arms, and who I now consider to be part of my family. The experience is very much a testament to the joys of open adoption!
Education: Bachelor of Science in Family Science, Brigham Young University
Responsibilities: Beth began her career in private residential child care before working for the state of Kentucky doing child protection for 5 years. She joined Nightlight Christian Adoptions (then A Helping Hand Adoption Agency) in 2004 as a Home Study Provider for families adopting internationally. She has also managed A Helping Hand’s domestic adoption program. She is now the Snowflakes Family Evaluation Coordinator for Nightlight. Her favorite Bible verse is Mark 10:13-16.
KY Executive Director
Dana’s Favorite Adoption Story: I began working at A Helping Hand Adoption Agency (which later became Nightlight Christian Adoptions) the first week of May, 2007. That very same week, in Guatemala, a precious little boy was born. Four months later, our Guatemalan caseworker walked through the office holding two files in the air, one in each hand, praying “Dear God, we lift the files of these two boys up to you. We know that you know where their families are and we pray, dear Lord, that You will send them our way. Do not keep them waiting!” I asked to see the files and immediately fell in love with the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. One month later, we began the process of adoption. One year later, this little boy became my son!
Education: Graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with two degrees. Her first degree was an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies obtained in the summer of 1990. She returned to college, as a wife and a mother, to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies in May 2007.
Responsibilities: Dana serves as the Executive Director of the Kentucky office and oversees the China program.
Dana and her husband, Mike, have a blended family of 5 children and currently, three grandchildren. Her favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:6-9.
Vickie spent 21 years as a Master Cosmetologist in Brazil, IN where she also studied music at Indiana State University. She moved to Grayson, KY in 1990 to work at Kentucky Christian College as a telecommunications office manager, and later, as administrative assistant to the Bible and Ministries Department.
In February 2000, Vickie moved to Lexington, KY to work at Southland Christian Church as ministry assistant to single adults. There she met Kent Birkheimer who soon became her best friend. One year later, Kent and Vickie were married (December 15, 2001). On June 3, 2002 Vickie accepted the position of administrative assistant with A Helping Hand/Nightlight and loves serving God by helping place homeless children in homes where they will be loved and nurtured. She has served as our Financial Assistant for the last 4 years.
Her favorite Scriptures are Psalm 34 and Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or dream…” Dare to dream; He is faithful!
Social Services Manager
Candice joined AHH/Nightlight in October of 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Candice is also a Certified Social Worker in the State of Kentucky. In the past, Candice has worked professionally with children in mental health and educational settings. She believes children are one of God’s greatest gifts, and feels it a privilege to work in the field of adoption.
Candice lives near Lexington with her husband and son. She enjoys nature, reading, and spending time with family.
Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Stephanie has been with AHH/Nightlight since January of 2014 working in the Domestic Program as the Birth Parent Liaison. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Sciences with a Minor in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. In March 2015, Stephanie began working with the International Programs in her current position as Adoption Advisor. Stephanie has a heart for orphans and feels honored to play a role in placing homeless children in forever loving homes.
Stephanie is a sports fan and enjoys coaching gymnastics. She has two sisters and loves spending time with family and friends. Stephanie is excited to marry her fiancé, Christopher, this September.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
Post Adoption Coordinator/Social Services Assistant
Rita has been with A Helping Hand/Nightlight since January 2005. She worked as the receptionist and did Dossier Prep at AHH before taking the position of Post Adoption Coordinator. Her favorite part of her current position is seeing the pictures of the children with their new forever families.
In the past she worked as a medical insurance clerk and volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center.
Rita and her husband live in Lexington and have two grown sons. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her grandson and three granddaughters.
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. ” Hebrews 13:20-21.
Home Study Coordinator/Inquiry Specialist
Alicia joined the AHH/Nightlight team in January 2012. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky and is a certified social worker with the state of Kentucky. She has prior experience with child, adolescent, and family therapy, as well as providing social services to low income families through several community agencies. Alicia enjoys working with families and helping children find their forever home.
Alicia lives with her husband and dogs in Lexington, Kentucky. She enjoys nature, running, reading, and going to the dog park.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12.
Domestic Program Coordinator
Jen joined the Nightlight team in August of 2015 as the Domestic Program Coordinator. She is originally from northern Indiana where she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bethel College and spent over 12 years working in the field of social work. In 2011, Jen moved to Kentucky to pursue her Master’s degrees in both Marriage and Family Counseling and Spiritual Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary. When she’s not working or studying for grad school, Jen loves taking ballroom dance classes, shopping for bargains at local thrift stores, cooking her favorite meals, hanging out with friends, and volunteering in her church.
During her teen years, Jen’s parents became foster parents, and she was introduced to children in need of loving homes. Since then, Jen’s passion for seeing that children are loved and provided for has grown into a career. She has been able to assist in creating and maintaining healthy families for children, and she is excited to continue on this journey with Nightlight!
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:1-2, ESV
Margaret joined the Love Basket team in November of 2011. She is a graduate of Liberty University with a BS in Psychology. Margaret has served as an Adoption Caseworker completing home studies, post placements, birth parent counseling and various other administrative duties. She is married to Rob and they have two children, Christopher and Sydney. Margaret enjoys the beach, snow skiing, playing tennis, biking and taking long walks. She resides in metropolitan Louisville, KY.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Becca began working with Nightlight in June of 2016. She is new to adoption and is really enjoying learning as much as she can about all of our different programs. She is recently married and lives with her husband and dog. She enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering with the women’s ministry at her church.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23
Mariah Bundrick, MA, LPC
MO Executive Director
Championing motherhood, promoting family, protecting life in the womb, endorsing adoption and educating people about these values are the passions that have motivated Mariah to serve full-time at two non-profit, life-affirming organizations (a pregnancy resource center and an adoption agency) since 2001. Mariah considers it a welcomed privilege that her vocational calling is also her passion. Her service as a licensed professional counselor and adoption caseworker has provided the opportunity both to weep with those who are brokenhearted and rejoice with those who give and receive the priceless gift of a child. Bringing families together through adoption embodies honor, responsibility and joy.
Mariah accepted the position of Missouri Executive Director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions in October 2015. She currently resides in Ozark, Missouri with her husband, David. She and David believe their greatest legacy to be their three remarkable adult children and their families, who are employing their God-given strengths and talents in service to others.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5, NLT 2007).
Domestic Adoption Supervisor
Favorite Adoption Story: I have two favorite adoption stories – the tales of how both of my children became mine! After a journey of infertility, we decided to explore becoming parents through adoption. While awaiting the adoption of a child from overseas, we received a phone call from our caseworker about a baby boy who had been born prematurely and was in need of a family. That is my son Jake! A few years later, we came back for a second adoption and were again planning an international adoption. Imagine our surprise when we ended up adopting a beautiful baby girl here in the U.S. That is my daughter Rachel! God has truly blessed us and we have open adoption relationships with each of the four birth parents of my now-grown children.
Education: Shirley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Southeast Missouri State University. She has worked in the adoption field for over 20 years.
Responsibilities: Shirley oversees the Domestic Infant adoption program at Love Basket, a division of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, in Missouri.
Karie began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in August of 2016 serving as a Domestic Adoption Caseworker. She is the mother of 2 children. Karie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and spending time outdoors. Education: Karie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Southeast Missouri State University.
Domestic Adoption Coordinator/Office Manager
Lara began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in August 2005. She serves as the Office Manager, Domestic Adoption Coordinator, and as backup support for our international program. Lara is married and the mother of two children, who were both adopted through Love Basket’s domestic infant program prior to her working for the organization. Lara enjoys reading and spending time with her family and two English Bulldogs.
Education: Lara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling through Missouri Baptist University.
Stephanie began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in August 2014 serving as International Coordinator for their India program. She is married and the mother of three children. Stephanie enjoys reading, scrapbooking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Education: Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Kansas State University
Sarah Price, MSSW, CSW
Sarah began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in May 2007, originally serving as an Adoption Social Worker working with birth parents and adoptive families. She currently serves in an administrative role, reviewing and editing pertinent documents written by other staff members. Sarah and her husband have two children and live in Louisville, Kentucky.
Education: Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kentucky Wesleyan College and a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville.
RoNishia began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in December 2015. She serves birth parents and adoptive families in the Kansas City region. Prior to joining Nightlight, Nishia served as a youth counselor in behavioral health with a non-profit Christian organization. Nishia is married to her childhood sweetheart and the mother of two children.
Education: Nishia holds an Associate of Arts degree in Business Management, with an emphasis in Marketing and Public Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is also currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling through Avila University.
Deb began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in February 2016. She serves birth parents and adoptive families in the southwest Missouri region. Deb became passionate about supporting expectant parents and adoptive families after adopting her son in 2005. She began by volunteering and became a professional in the adoption field in 2013. Deb is happily married to her best friend and is the mother of three children. Deb enjoys time with family and friends, travel, painting and taking walks with her dog.
Education: Deb hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Evangel University.
Deborah E. Nomura, LCSW, ACSW
OK Executive Director
Debbie has worked with hundreds of adoptive families in all phases of the adoption process since 1975 through both agency and private practice. She served as Coordinator of the Baptist Maternity Home, where she counseled many birth mothers and helped them through the difficult emotional ups and downs of the adoption experience. Debbie is an experienced therapist and counselor who relates to all her clients with empathetic concern and understanding.
Allison’s Favorite Adoption Story: Adoption became a part of my life when I was born and placed for adoption by my birth mother. Because of her selfless decision, I was blessed with an opportunity for a better life. When I moved to Tulsa in 2012, I was blessed again when I was asked to join the team of an amazing adoption agency, Heritage Family Services. I never thought I would be working with women making the same selfless decision as my birth mother, as well as watching waiting families finally have their dreams come true, just like my mom and dad did when they adopted me.
Education: I am a graduate of Northeastern State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to working in the adoption field, I was a Child Welfare Investigator for Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Responsibilities: I am privileged to be a part of Nightlight Christian Adoptions as an adoption caseworker in the Oklahoma office. I provide services to adoptive families as well as birth parents.
Loretta has worked in the field of adoption as office support for the past 16years. Her love for adoption came after she began working for Mike & Debbie Nomura at Heritage Family Services in 1998. She has always had a heart for young mothers with unplanned pregnancy, as many years ago she was one of those mothers who felt so overwhelmed with the responsibility of parenting. She loves to see God work out His purpose in the lives of women that looked hopeless, whether to parent or to place. Her daily gratitude lies in the opportunity of being given the wonderful privilege to be the “salt of the earth” to those she encounters & adoption work many times is that avenue.
Loretta has 3 children & eight grandchildren with the oldest in her freshman year in college. She loves country living, reading Christian psychology & spending time with her husband.
Matt. 5:13 – “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be the salt-seasoning that brings out the God flavors of this earth”.
SC Executive Director
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.
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Juliette’s Favorite Adoption Story: Several years ago, I got the opportunity to witness the adoption process through my friend Becki. She and her husband longed for a child to complete their family and began their journey to adopt. Months later, they were matched with an expectant mom. I vividly remember the night Becki and her husband brought their son home and it has been amazing to see him grow up in such a loving home.
Education: BA in Psychology from Southern Wesleyan University (1998) and a MA in Counseling from Webster University (2001).
Responsibilities: I joined Nightlight in July 2016 as the Expectant Mom Counselor and the Domestic Adoption Coordinator. I counsel, provide information and educate expectant moms who are considering adoption. I also work extensively with adoptive families and facilitate matching between expectant moms and adoptive families.
Home Study Coordinator
Katherine has been with Nightlight since June of 2016. She received her BA in Psychology from Clemson University and her Master’s in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Katherine has always had a love for children and looks forward to the day when she and her husband adopt. As a foodie, Katherine enjoys cooking and trying out new restaurants with her husband. She also loves all things Disney and volunteering at her church.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart…”
Home Study Provider
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.
Kristen joined Nightlight Christian Adoption in April 2014. She graduated with BS in Early Childhood Education in 2010 and has always had a deep compassion for children. She enjoyed being a summer staff member of a summer camp counseling juniors and teenagers for five summers. She then became a full time staff member for two years. She’s since married her husband Michael in July of 2014 and has grown in her passion for adoption ever since she’s joined the Nightlight Team.
Her role includes contacting prospective families who have inquired about adoption. As they are beginning to research for their adoption journey, Kristen is reaching out to them, getting to know them and their adoption desires and needs. She has the opportunity to assist them at the beginning stage of the process by helping them choose the right program that best fits their family—whether it be adopting Domestically, Internationally, or through our Embryo adoption program. She says, “I’m always inspired by the dear families that call to find out what child’s needs they can meet.” Kristen also has the opportunity to create profiles for waiting orphans so that Nightlight staff can advocate for them on their Waiting Child List. She says, “It just thrills my heart every time I hear a family has fallen in love with one of our waiting kiddos after seeing their face on the Waiting Child list and proceeds to adopt him/her into their forever family. All these adoption stories are my favorite! I get to see these families’ dreams come true and children with potential have hope for the bright future. I have such a rewarding job!”
Ghana program worker
Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story is that of two older boys from my children’s orphanage. They wanted a family so badly. When I met them on my first trip to Ghana, the oldest asked me to pray for God to bring him a family. Over the next several years he would call or write letters as often as he could to ask if I was still praying, and when a family was coming for him. Then one day, a friend of a friend saw the boys’ info on social media. This mother had never even considered adoption, but knew that these were her sons. Seeing these boys finally come home at 13 & 15 years old, and watching them all fall in love as a family has been priceless.