“Defending the fatherless and the oppressed” (Psalm 10:18, NIV).
Click on the state to see our team.
Dan’s Favorite Bible Verse: I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
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 Bible Verse: Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. Yerushalmi Talmud 4:9
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: Rhonda Jarema earned her B.A. In psychology from University of Michigan and her M.A. from Pepperdine University.
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. Rhonda helps families with international kinship and UAA adoptions.
Snowflakes® Donor Parent Coordinator
Leah’s Favorite Bible Verse: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
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 Team Lead
Hannah’s Favorite Bible Verse: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
Hannah’s Favorite Adoption Story: God has always given me a desire to work in the field of adoption. It is 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, a sweet baby girl from China became a part of our huge Italian family and I have had the joy of watching her grow up. 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® 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 Adopting Parent Coordinator
Nicole’s Favorite Bible Verse: Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Nicole’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story would be that of a family at church. After having a few children biologically, they sought to internationally adopt a set of siblings. It was wonderful to see the siblings come together under one roof, loving each other and living life together in community. What a beautiful reminder that we have been adopted into the Lord’s family for eternity!
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Biola University
Responsibilities: Assisting adopting families in the application and matching phases of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, providing informal counseling to adopting families throughout the process, and managing the coordination between adopting families, clinics, and home study agencies.
Foster Care and Adoption Social Worker
Amanda’s Favorite Bible Verse:
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.
International Home Study Coordinator
Alice’s Favorite Bible Verse: My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you. Song of Songs 4:7 (NCV)
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 in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Sociology from Concordia University Irvine
Responsibilities: My responsibilities are to assist families through the Home Study process.
Pregnancy Counselor and Domestic Home Study Coordinator
Cristiana’s Favorite Bible Verse: Psalms 139: 13-16
Cristiana’s Favorite Adoption Story: 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.
Education: BS in Human Services at California State University, Fullerton
Responsibilities: I work with expectant mothers in making an adoption plan for their child as well as assisting families with their paperwork in our foster program.
Snowflakes GP Inquiry Specialist | EAAC Clinic Liaison
Jen’s Favorite Bible Verse: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm37:2, NLT
Jen’s Favorite Adoption Story: Adoption is an incredible blessing! It is an opportunity to give of ourselves and to live a life of intentionality, looking beyond our own concerns to the needs of another, providing love and support. Every adoption is a gift! It is a blessing, realized or unrealized, to both those who give and those who receive. When you get to see the love and true delight in a person’s eyes as they welcome a life into their small part of the universe, there is nothing like it! Their joy overflows, even the little ones, the babies, they know they are loved! Although I’m asked what my favorite adoption story is, and several come to mind, the truth is that there is nothing like your own.
Education: Jen has a BS in Organizational Management in Human Resources, with a minor in Psychology and has an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Corporate Education. Yet despite her education and experience in both HR and Training, her most valued management experience was spent working in a communications company and serving on three continents. “Working with cultures, from all around the world, gave me a deeper understanding of people, their values, and how we all want to make a difference in life.”
Responsibilities: For families, and individuals, who want to give their remaining embryos a chance to be born, I am here to help anyway I can. Therefore, if you are one of those amazing people who is considering Embryo Donation, you probably have a number of questions that you would like answered, that is where I come in. I am here to answer your questions, put your mind at ease, and should you decide to move forward, provide you with the support you need as you make the best choices for you and your remaining embryos.
Domestic Program Manager
Corie’s Favorite Bible Verse: Luke 6:31-36
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.
Education: MS in Social and Community Services. BS in Child and adolescent Studies with a minor in Human Services.
Responsibilities: I oversee our home study program for International, Domestic Infant and Foster Care Adoption. I also oversee our Foster Care and Domestic Infant adoption programs.
Snowflakes Inquiry Specialist | EAAC Education Coordinator
Deb’s Favorite Bible Verse: “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21
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.
Snowflakes Inquiry Specialist | EAAC Ob/Gyn Liaison
Paige’s Favorite Bible Verse: Isaiah 41:10
Paige’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story starts with my husband. He has two adopted brothers and has had several foster brother and sisters throughout his childhood. His sister and her husband are now starting to adopt and foster as well. As for his extended family, he has six adopted cousins. It’s is amazing to be a part of a family that opens up their homes to children in need and makes adoption a top priority in their lives.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Chemistry from Grace College and Theological Seminary.
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.
Marketing & Marketing and Program Director |Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption Program | Embryo Adoption Awareness Center
Kimberly’s Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
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 Bible Verse:
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 Bible Verse:
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: Business Administration student at Grand Canyon University
Responsibilities: Assist families in the international adoption process
Foster Adoption Coordinator
Meaghan’s Favorite Bible Verse:
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
Kelsey’s Favorite Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so the Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Kelsey’s Favorite Adoption Story: 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.
Education: Masters of Social Work from the University of Louisville
Responsibilities: to counsel and educate expectant parents who are considering adoption, facilitate match meetings with expectant parents and prospective adoptive parents, facilitate match meetings with county workers and prospective foster parents, handle inquiries regarding Domestic Infant adoption program and Foster to Adopt program, lead and guide families as they go through Domestic Infant adoption or Fostering to adopt, conduct home studies, and maintain relationships with pregnancy centers and hospitals.
Home Study Coordinator
Emily’s Favorite Bible Verse: Rev. 7:9-10
Emily’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption stories are one generation apart. Both involve siblings adopted internationally. They are my cousins, and a niece and nephew. Their stories are ongoing, as are yours and mine – in which the Lord’s hand is at work.
Education: B.A., Bethel College, MN
Responsibilities: I work with families who are just beginning their adoption journey through the home study process.
Chelsea’s Favorite Bible Verse: Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
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 a pregnancy counselor, 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
Dana’s Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:6-9
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.
Snowflakes Family Evaluation Coordinator/Home Study Provider
Beth’s Favorite Bible Verse: Mark 10:13-16
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.
Vickie’s Favorite Bible Verse: “28: Do you not know! Have you not heard! The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. 29: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30: Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31: but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. THEY WILL SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
Favorite Adoption Story: In 1989 my sister adopted a newborn baby boy who soon became one of the greatest joys of my life. I spent much time with him throughout his youth and teen years, enjoying sports, art, fishing, and many other activities. He has grown into a wonderful young man who, along with his wife, just gave our family another baby boy. Again, much joy watching this little newcomer grow. Because I know the joy adoption can bring, I love serving God by helping place homeless children in homes where they will be loved and nurtured.
Education: Licensed Master Cosmetologist. Studied music and counseling at Indiana State University and Kentucky Christian College.
Responsibilities: Administrative Assistant as of June 2002, and 2005 to current as the Bookkeeper for the Kentucky Office.
Social Services Manager
Candice’s Favorite Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Candice’s Favorite Adoption Story: I don’t have one particular adoption story that is my favorite. Instead, I have favorite adoption moments. My overall favorite adoption moments are times when God works so clearly in the lives of all those involved with the adoption that no one can mistake the experience for anything other than a miracle from Him. This may come in the form of a match between a birth family and an adoptive family who have the exact same visions for their child (even having picked out the same name prior to the match). Or, it may happen when an adoptive family experiences a disappointing setback in their process, only to find out soon after that it was actually a blessing in disguise. I have witnessed moments like these when God has walked with adoptive families through difficulties and disappointments, only to bless them more than they could have ever imagined just a short time later. These types of experiences are my absolute favorite adoption moments.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kentucky, Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky, Certified Social Worker in the state of Kentucky
Responsibilities: Candice is responsible for the training, supervision and support of Social Services Staff in the KY office, including the Domestic Program Coordinator, the Home Study Coordinator, and the Post-Adoption Coordinator, and the Snowflake Family Evaluation Coordinator. She also reviews all home studies completed in KY, and works with out of state agencies on completing and reviewing home studies for mutual International Adoption clients from their states. Candice has enjoyed working in the adoption field since October of 2011, and feels blessed to be a part of Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
Stephanie’s Favorite Bible Verse: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
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.
Social Services Assistant
Rita’s Favorite Bible Verse: 2 Timothy 2: 11-13
11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
Rita’s Favorite Adoption Story: I’ve worked in adoption for 11 years and have heard many adoption stories. It amazes me to see and hear what the Lord has done in the lives of families and orphans. One story that is dear to my heart is about a young girl who had a very hard time adjusting to her adoptive family and to life in the USA. She was very difficult to parent, but after much love, patients and prayer, her life changed. Years later the mother called and ask if her daughter could come to our office and share her story with the staff. The girl is a very happy, bright and accomplished young woman now. She wanted to thank us for our part in helping her find a loving family. It is very exciting to see how the Lord works in the lives of so many precious children.
Education: Certified Nursing Assistant, and Insurance Billing
Responsibilities: Rita is responsible for post adoption reporting for several of the NCA programs. Rita and her husband David live in Lexington and love spending time with their grandson and three granddaughters.
Home Study Coordinator/Inquiry Specialist
Alicia’s Favorite Bible Verse: “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
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.
Margaret’s Favorite Bible Verse: “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
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.
Becca’s Favorite Bible Verse: “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
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.
MO Executive Director
Mariah’s Favorite Bible Verse: 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)
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.
Karie‘s Favorite Bible Verse:
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‘s Favorite Bible Verse: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”-Psalm 30:5
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‘s Favorite Bible Verse: Isaiah 43:5
Stephanie’s Favorite Adoption Story: It is difficult to choose just one favorite adoption story. All adoption stories are unique and touching.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Kansas State University
Responsibilities: Stephanie oversees all placement services for Nightlight’s India and Nigeria programs. Stephanie also oversees all international home studies within the state of Missouri.
RoNishia‘s Favorite Bible Verse: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. – Corinthians 13:4-8
RoNishia’s Favorite Adoption Story: I can not choose just one adoption story as a favorite. Every physical adoption has been such a sweet, beautifully special blessing to be apart of. The Bible speaks about adoption in a spiritual sense. As Romans 8:15 so beautifully states, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,‘Abba, Father.’” God says we become part of His family in much the same way a family welcomes a new child — it is done out of love. As God adopts those who receive Christ into His spiritual family, it is my desire to continually see more and more children also adopted into their forever families.
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.
Responsibilities: Nishia is an Adoption Counselor and caseworker in the Kansas City metropolitan area. She serves birth parents and adoptive families throughout all stages of the adoption process.
Deb‘s Favorite Bible Verse: Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Favorite Adoption Story: We adopted our son when he was just 2 days old after waiting and praying. He was premature and so precious and fragile. Our dream had come true and our journey of parenting our precious son was finally beginning. Adopting changed my heart forever and inspired me to start a career in the adoption field. He is a such a bright light in our lives, and we feel so blessed to be his parents.
Education: Deb holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Evangel University.
Responsibilities: Deb began working with Love Basket/Nightlight in February 2016. She serves birth parents and adoptive families in the southwest Missouri region.
Lisa‘s Favorite Bible Verse:
Name’s Favorite Adoption Story: Suubi’s story is Lisa’s favorite. You can read more about Suubi’s story here.
Education: 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.
Responsibilities: In her role as Vice President, Lisa helps in writing policies and maintaining Quality improvement within Nightlight. Lisa also directly manages the Albania, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Panama, and Uganda programs.
OK Executive Director
Debbie‘s Favorite Bible Verse:
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 Bible Verse: Psalm 68:5 “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
Allison’s Favorite Adoption Story: I was adopted and never knew my biological father. My adoptive father passed away when I was 25 years old. My children’s father has chosen not to be in their lives. So I have learned and I teach them that our Father is in Heaven and He can love us like no other earthly father can. They understand that and believe that He is a better father for them than anyone.
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‘s Favorite Bible Verse: 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”
Name’s Favorite Adoption Story: I love how God shows up for these girls and the families each and every time! I’m amazed at the opportunities to see beauty from ashes. It’s often not about how smart or educated we are but how willing we are to let God work through our lives. It’s exciting to see how each situation is both unique & difficult, however adoption always creates opportunities to see Gods Redemptive love at work.
Responsibilities: Works together with Executive Director and staff to support the daily workings of the office. Helping adoptive clients with paperwork processes & procedures. I also address inquiries that we receive from families who are interested in our adoption programs.
SC Executive Director
Laura’s Favorite Bible Verse:
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 Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
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: My responsibilities include counseling expectant parents considering adoption, communicating with prospective adoptive parents regarding the domestic program and guiding each potential adoptive family through the adoption journey.
Home Study Coordinator
Katherine’s Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart…”
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.
Home Study Provider
Amy’s Favorite Bible Verse:
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.
Administrative Assistant & Inquiry Specialist
Kristen‘s Favorite Bible Verse: “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1b-2
Kristen’s Favorite Adoption Story: My favorite adoption story is that of Shabana Sparks who was adopted from India in the 1980s through our MO office. I came across her story a few years ago and have been inspired by her adoption story ever since. Her passion for adoption and her humble attitude towards God’s careful working of every detail in her story is so moving to me. I was thrilled to have recently had the opportunity of meeting her! Seeing her now, as an adult adoptee, I’ve been inspired to adopt internationally someday. What an awesome opportunity to share your love with a child, and in turn give them an opportunity to know Christ’s love! How exciting it will be to see them using their gifts and talents to further Christ’s kingdom because you were able to give them opportunities that they might have never had.
Education: Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, Bob Jones University
Responsibilities: I am responsible for reaching out to families who contact us looking for information regarding their adoption options. I spend time listening to families’ dreams and desires about adoption, help answer their initial questions and give them guidance as to what program may be the best fit to meet their family’s adoption needs.
Ghana program worker
Carrie’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Carrie’s 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.
Responsibilities: Coordinating adoptions from Ghana, West Africa.
Texas Executive Director, Licensed Child Placing Administrator
Erin’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Erin’s Favorite Adoption Story:
Education: Bachelor of science in family and consumer sciences with a major in child and family studies
Responsibilities: Erin is the new Executive Director of the Texas office. She oversees the adoption programs and the staff. Erin is gifted at counseling birthmothers and helping our families navigate the adoption process.
Director of Texas Foster Care Program & Waiting Children
Kelley‘s Favorite Bible Verse: “And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” Revelations 12: 11
Kelley’s Favorite Adoption Story: I love being able to get out of the office to do home study interviews with adoptive families and to facilitate their parent training! I love hearing from families about why they are motivated to adopt a child, when they first learned about adoption and how they settled on the program/country they are adopting from. It is such a privilege to be able to chat with families about their understanding of attachment and the impact of trauma, grief and loss on a child. I enjoy answering their questions, telling them stories about other families to assist in their learning and opening their eyes to the reality of adopting a child trans-racially.
Education:BA in Social Work from Baylor University, MSW from Baylor University, Diploma in Child Welfare and Safeguarding from University of Huddersfield, England
Responsibilities: Advocate for Waiting Children by recruiting Texas families to adopt them, ensuring Agency Hague Compliance, reviewing home studies and post placements, and developing a Foster Care Program for Nightlight’s Texas office.
Child Placement Management Supervisor
Sheryl’s Favorite Bible Verse: All of Psalm 27, but especially verses 13-14, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Sheryl’s Favorite Adoption Story: One of my favorite adoption stories (because how can you choose just one favorite???) comes from a family we worked with multiple times. When they first came to us, they already had 2 biological children and had adopted once internationally from Africa, but felt called to adopt domestically as well. They were matched with a birth mother who placed her precious boy with them and this family had then felt that God had completed their family! This same birth mother called us, pregnant again, a little over a year later. She asked if this same family would be interested in adopting this child, a half-sibling to the other child she had placed with them. When we reached out to the family, they were, shocked and unsure, but after praying as a family, they all felt that God had more for them…this new child! A little over a year and a half after their first placement, this new child was placed with them. My favorite thing God did through this story is this, when they set out to adopt domestically, they had hoped to adopt an African-American child. One reason for this was so their son from Africa would have someone else in the family who “looked like” him, like their biological children did. This first child placed with them was Caucasian; however, the second child who was placed with them was 1/2 African American and certainly looked it! I love that God always sees the greater picture in our lives and in our families and wants to meet every desire of our heart, even the little ones!!
Education: Bachelor of Social Work (2007) and Master of Social Work (2010) both from Baylor University (Sic ‘Em!)
Responsibilities: Oversees Domestic Adoptions to ensures that we maintain compliance with the Minimum Standards set out for the State of Texas.
Inquiry Specialist, Post Adoption Center Coordinator
Heather’s Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 116:7 – Be at rest once again, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Heather’s Favorite Adoption Story: I worked for many years in our international programs and I am filled with joy at each child brought into a family. There was one case where we had difficulty with getting paperwork completed by a foreign country and had been praying for months for everything to come through and be approved for a family to adopt their child. When we finally got news of the approval, I remember running down the hallway toward my supervisor as we hugged, cried, and rejoiced that this family would be bringing their child home. Even as agency staff, we carry each of these children and families heavy on our hearts and thank God for each family that He creates.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Baylor University
Responsibilities: I focus on educating the community on adoption and training adoptive families before they bring a child into their home and after on the impacts of trauma on children. This training includes creative ways to bring connection between the parent and child through many parenting methods.
Home Study Coordinator
Kelly’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Kelly helps prepare families for adoption by completing their home study, and providing post adoption reports. She also helps with birthmother counseling.
Home Study Coordinator
Lauren’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Lauren helps prepare families for adoption by completing their home study, and providing post adoption reports. She also helps with birthmother counseling.
Home Study Coordinator
Michelle’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Michelle helps prepare families for adoption by completing their home study, and providing post adoption reports. She also helps with birthmother counseling.
Pregnancy Counselor and Home Study Provider
Beverly’s Favorite Bible Verse:
Beverly helps prepare families for adoption by completing their home study, and providing post adoption reports. She also helps with birthmother counseling.
Pregnancy Counselor and Home Study Provider
Caidon’s Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Caidon’s Favorite Adoption Story: My husband and I are very passionate about adoption. It has played a large part in both of our families. One of my favorite adoption experiences is in my own family. My cousin, Megan, was born in China, but was adopted internationally by her forever family at age 7. Watching Megan blossom and grow in my family has been a beautiful experience to be a part of and see, and has continued to grow my love and passion for adoption.
Education: Bachelor of Social Work (2013) from Howard Payne University and Master of Social Work (2016) from Baylor University
Responsibilities: As a Pregnancy Counselor, I counsel and educate expectant parents who are considering adoption. I assist them throughout their adoption journey by helping them make a hospital plan, connect them to resources, facilitate match meetings between the expectant parents and prospective adoptive parents, and offer continual support. Part of my role as a Pregnancy Counselor is that I maintain relationships with pregnancy centers and hospitals. I also assist Texas families by conducting Home Studies, Updates and Post-Placement visits.