Our Team

Team Members

We are here to manage your
adoption with experience and compassion

Debbie Price, BSW, CC Angel in Adoption Awardee

Executive Director

International Specialist

Eastern Europe

Debbie Price, BSW, CC

Executive Director

International Specialist

Angel in Adoption Awardee
Adoption is my life and passion! I was adopted at birth, domestically. I have searched and found my birth family. I am also a mother of four children. I became the Executive Director of CHI in 1994, after adopting our daughter in 1991 in Romania, on our own. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work and have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work worldwide with CHI, developing programs and giving children who really need homes, a chance at having one of their own. A permanent, loving family is what children need. I’ve personally been in the adoption journey from several angles and I enjoy assisting others in theirs. I have traveled to over 40 countries in the past 20 years, developing a greater understanding of the cultures and how much adoption- permanency- is needed in the world for children.
Cindi Fuller, MSW

Social Services Supervisor

Cindi Fuller, MSW

Social Services Supervisor

cindi.f@chiadopt.org
I received my Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Montana and my Master’s in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. I am a licensed mental health counselor in the State of Washington. I have 2 adopted nieces and have worked in adoption as a home study and post-placement provider since 1999. I began clinical counseling for adopted children in 2010. My husband and two children are my top priority, and we love spending weekends at our cabin and hiking through the mountains of the Northwest.
Kelsey Melvin, MSW

Social Services Supervisor

Kelsey Melvin, MSW

Social Services Supervisor

kelsey.m@chiadopt.org
In middle school, I stood in a crowded court room while the judge finalized the adoption of my cousins. In that moment, I knew that I wanted to commit the rest of my life to the journey of adoption. I volunteered at various adoption agencies in high school then began as an intern for an international adoption agency in 2009. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010, then obtained my Master of Arts in Social Work from Walla Walla University in 2011. Since that time, I’ve been blessed to facilitate and supervise hundreds of international adoptions. I also complete pre and post adoption reports for domestic and international adoptions. Being a mama of two is my greatest joy, and I’m grateful that my role in adoption allows others to experience the love of a family.
Megan Blok, BA

Assistant Case Manager

Eastern Europe

Megan Blok, BA

Assistant Case Manager

I graduated from Trinity Christian College in 2020 with degrees in both Communication Studies and History. Growing up, two of my cousins were adopted from Guatemala. Having people so close in age to me helped me understand the experience of adoptees. In 2015, my nephew was adopted domestically, and now I continue to see the adoption process and experience from my sister and brother-in-law as adoptive parents. I’m excited to be a part of families’ adoption processes at Children’s House International and help bring children to their forever homes!
Tricia Jager, BA

Case Manager

Asia

Tricia Jager, BA

Case Manager

tricia.j@chiadopt.org
At a young age, I was exposed to adoption through family friends, and soon after I learned that a boy in my Sunday School class was adopted. The idea of adoption was very intriguing to me as a five-year-old. Fast forward 16 years and that boy and I were married in 2000. As an adoptee, he always wanted to adopt and in 2008 we were blessed with our daughter from Ethiopia, and in 2013 our son also joined us from Ethiopia. Just two years ago my husband was reunited with his birth mother. Seeing adoption from so many angles, made me want to pursue a degree in Psychology and work in an adoption agency. I feel so blessed to be here at Children’s House International and am excited to walk with you on your journey.
Tanya Knapp

Case Manager

India

Tanya Knapp

Case Manager

tanya.k@chiadopt.org
As a mother of 6 and grandmother to 7 I’ve realized that the lessons in life learned from raising children are irreplaceable and the memories are immeasurable. Growing up with a mixture of an adopted parent, stepparents, blended families, and family with special needs was really the foundation of my belief that families aren’t just born that they are formed. I am excited to be a part of The Children’s House International Team and to be able to help children find forever families and forever families to find children. Our family enjoys the outdoors and doing things together, we are always ready for our next adventure!
Sue Likkel, BA

Post Adoption Assistant

Sue Likkel, BA

Post Adoption Assistant

sue.l@chiadopt.org
Former – (and ongoing, actually) middle and high school English teacher. Mom of 3, Nana to 2, obsessed dog mom Hobbies – baking, reading, writing Favorite vacation – visiting kids in Michigan or going to places I’ve never been before, all with husband
Kylynn Stenhoff, BS

Case Manager

Latin America and Jamaica

Kylynn Stenhoff, BS

Case Manager

Kylynn.s@chiadopt.org
For 18 years I wanted to be a grade-school teacher. It was when I realized that I wanted to be able to help children outside the confines of public education, that I decided to enter social sciences. Children and the enhancement of their childhood for their future are what drive me and inspire me to keep going. I plan on continuing my schooling, aiming for a Master’s in Applied Demography, to eventually be able to conduct research for Educational Policy Reform. Until then, however, I will be cooking, baking, and arranging adoptions!
Carli Tjoelker

Case Manager

Eastern Europe

Carli Tjoelker

Case Manager

I graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2020 with a BS in Behavioral Health Science. Throughout high school and college, I volunteered at Eagle’s Nest International in Guatemala. Spending time with the children living there gave me a better understanding of adoption and ignited a desire to help children find their families. Having the opportunity to help families on their adoption journey is a great blessing, and I’m excited to be able to do that at Children’s House International!
Kathy Looser, MA, CC

Social Worker

Kathy Looser, MA, CC

Social Worker

kathy.l@chiadopt.org
I have a Master of Arts in Social Science and have worked in the field of adoption since 1996. I became interested in working in adoption after my husband and I adopted twin daughters domestically in 1988. I complete home studies and post-adoption reports for families with CHI. I also love educating parents on the issues that children face and sometimes struggle with as they deal with being adopted into a family instead of being born into it. I enjoy going out for coffee with friends, quilting, reading, traveling, watching movies with my family, and going birding.
Carly Palmer, MA

Social Worker

Carly Palmer, MA

Social Worker

carly.p@chiadopt.org
I have always had a passion for working with children and their families and have worked with a variety of populations. I first became involved with foster care and adoption through my work for a foster care agency in 2017. I served in multiple different roles at the agency, from working directly with youth, to licensing and serving as a support system for their foster families. After working for the foster care agency, my husband and I decided to become licensed foster parents and have been fostering for the past 3 years. In addition, I have experience working with the families of children with a range of special needs and disabilities through my work providing ABA therapy. I have earned my Master’s degree in Educational Studies that I received from Western Governors University, in addition to a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Western Washington University. I look forward to working with families through CHI and assisting them in providing a forever home for the children they are adopting!
Molly Bachelder

Junior Office Assistant

Molly Bachelder

Junior Office Assistant

Laura Boudreau, BS

Administrative Assistant

Laura Boudreau, BS

Administrative Assistant

laura.b@chiadopt.org
I graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. While studying, I realized that, while I enjoyed the one-on-one aspect of psychology, I was more interested in areas relating to social work, especially relating to helping children. Multiple members of my extended family were adopted, and through them, I have seen firsthand how life-changing adoption can be. I am so excited to be a part of CHI, where I get to utilize my interests in social work while helping create families.
Yadira Clapper, BA

Executive Assistant

Yadira Clapper, BA

Executive Assistant

yadira.c@chiadopt.org
I graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Sociology. I’m the oldest of seven kids in my family, four of whom were adopted from Mexico. This has given me a unique perspective on the anticipation and excitement that comes with adoption. I feel incredibly lucky to play a small role in helping kids find stability and love with their forever families.
Kim Looper

Assistant Bookkeeper

Kim Looper

Assistant Bookkeeper

I have been married for 41 years. My husband Mike and I have 5 boys and 5 grandchildren. We have our own business in Arizona but work in California. We split our time between both states. We love to travel in our motorhome to visit places we’ve never been and to visit with our family as often as possible. I do all the accounting for our business and while in California, I work for some good friends of ours making ADA signs part time. Although we have a busy life, I love to spend time in the mountains and most of all the beach! I’m looking forward to working with all of you.
Jeanne Petersen Angel in Adoption Awardee

CFO and Bookkeeper

Jeanne Petersen

CFO and Bookkeeper

jeanne.p@chiadopt.org Angel in Adoption Awardee
I have always been passionate about children and have been blessed through the adoption of two sons. In  2001, with our youngest in school, I was hired as a part-time bookkeeper with Children’s House International. CHI offered me the perfect opportunity to mix my passion for children and my love for accounting. Since then, that part-time job has grown by leaps and bounds under the leadership of Debbie Price and the BOD. I look forward to many more years working with the wonderful adoptive families and passionate staff here at Children’s House.
Hilary Wright

Personnel Coordinator/Office Manager

Hilary Wright

Personnel Coordinator/Office Manager

hilary.w@chiadopt.org
I am the mom of two sibling sets, adopted from foster care in Washington State. My boys are now adults and my girls are in the thick of their teen years.  I’m thrilled to be able to use my passion for adoption to assist other families in bringing home their newest blessings and help children find loving families. In my limited spare time, I enjoy drinking coffee, snuggling my English Bulldogs, shopping for unique Converse, and watching live theater (especially Broadway-type musicals).
Cristina Peña, LCSW

Social Worker

Cristina Peña, LCSW

Social Worker

cristina.p@chiadopt.org
I started my social work career in y early 20s working with adults with disabilities while I was in school at Utah Valley University obtaining my bachelors degree in Social Work. I continued to expand my social work career over the span of almost 6 years at the Division of Child and Family Services and Office of Licensing as a case worker and licensing specialist. During that part of my career I worked with children and families involved in the foster care system. I also assisted with foster families with completing home studies and adoptions. From there I decided to expand my experience in to the medical field and have been working at the University of Utah Health’s Infectious Disease Clinic as a medical case manager. This experience has been a huge learning experience and the past 4 years working in this capacity has been extremely valuable. This has also allowed me the flexibility to return to a true passion of mine, adoption! I am looking forward to continuing my work with all of the wonderful families, children, and team members part of the CHI team!
Stefani Ellison Angel in Adoption Awardee

International Specialist

Asia

Stefani Ellison

International Specialist

stefani.e@chiadopt.org Angel in Adoption Awardee
It is with great joy that I announce my return to the China program of Children’s House Int’l.  I have been a part of this program for almost 25 years, beginning as CHI’s first adoptive parent for China and then working as staff until November 1, 2018, when I took Family Leave to help our two newest adopted children transition into our family. My husband Stephen and I have adopted 15 children, with 9 of them being from China.  We have experience adopting a child of nearly every age and truly understand the joys and challenges of adoption.  I am fully aware that it truly takes a village to help maintain a strong program and I look forward to encircling previous, current, and future CHI families to assist us in creating futures with families for the vulnerable children of China.    We are all blessed to be part of this mighty work and I look forward to seeing what we will build.
Kathy Holliday Angel in Adoption Awardee

International Specialist

Latin America

Kathy Holliday

International Specialist

kathy.h@chiadopt.org Angel in Adoption Awardee
My life long journey with adoption began in 1993 when I adopted two children from Bolivia. Spending time in the orphanage there with my children and the others, truly changed my life. Even though two were going home with me, I knew I had to do whatever possible to find families for the others, which led me to begin working with CHI in 1994. Through the years, I have helped develop programs in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti, and Colombia. I also became involved with the Ethiopia program several years ago. I truly believe that every child that comes home through adoption is a miracle. I very much enjoy working with the children and families we serve.
Melissa Kometscher

Social Worker

Melissa Kometscher

Social Worker

I was born in Nebraska and lived in Iowa most of my life. I was exposed to adoption at a young age through family members. I grew up knowing I wanted to help others in their life. I graduated with my master's in psychology, and now finding out I want to continue in Social Work. Through my work and schooling, I had the opportunity to work in foster care. I found out I enjoyed working with children and families and helping them build a connect. I also enjoy cooking and hiking. I am excited to be part of the CHI team!
Maryanne McFarland, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

Maryanne McFarland, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

maryanne.m@chiadopt.org
I am an adoptive parent alumni of Children’s House International. My husband and I welcomed three children, one girl, and two boys, from India. We went on to adopt four more children, one private and three from the Foster Care system. I have worked extensively with child welfare and the foster care system. I provide counseling to children in foster care, adoptive parents, and children who have found permanency through adoption. In addition to working with Children’s House International, I have a private practice. My family and I are veteran travelers and have traveled to many parts of the world.
Marri Syndergaard

Volunteer Office Assistant

Marri Syndergaard

Volunteer Office Assistant

marri.s@chiadopt.org
My name Is Marri Syndergaard I was adopted back in 1993 from Bolivia. I recently became an office assistant for the Utah office but have been a volunteer for over a year for Children’s house. I love what this company does by helping children like me find a family.
Charlene Wang, PhD

Relations Coordinator

China

Charlene Wang, PhD

Relations Coordinator

charlene.w@chiadopt.org
I grew up in China and earned a Ph.D. in Engineering in the US. My hobbies are reading, hiking and cooking. In 1993, I heard that China was starting an adoption program and I wanted to help. After a phone call with Debbie, I started my first family with Stefani. CHI’s China program has grown so much over the years and our team has had so much joy in helping kids find their forever families.
Tinya Thomas, LBSW

Social Worker

Tinya Thomas, LBSW

Social Worker

tinya.t@chiadopt.org
I earned my Bachelors degree in Social Work from Baylor University in 1999. I am a licensed social worker and have my independent practice recognition. I started my career at Child Protective Services where I have worked in the field of Investigations for over 22 years. I began my journey in the adoption work in 2006 with experience in both domestic and international adoptions. I have been blessed and honored to be a small part of many families’ adoption journey through the years and watching these families thrive. I am single with four furbabies in the form of dogs. When not working, you will find me volunteering at the local animal shelter or with family, friends and/or my furbabies. I am very excited to be a part of the Children’s House team and look forward to putting you at ease during your adoption journey!  
Cheryl Duke, LPCS, NCC

Social Worker

Cheryl Duke, LPCS, NCC

Social Worker

cheryl.d@chiadopt.org
Cheryl Duke is a graduate of Texas State University San Marcos with a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders and a master's degree in Professional Counseling specializing in marriage and family therapy.  Along with earning her degrees, she is a National Certified Counselor as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in the state of Texas.  Cheryl has been working in the adoption field as a home study evaluator for over ten years and truly has a heart for adoption and is honored to assist families on their journey.  As a mom of four, Cheryl spends any free time she has at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels or attending football, baseball, volleyball, and softball games, and livestock shows across the state.
Jennifer O’Leary, LBSW, LCPAA

Texas Placing Administrator, Social Worker

Jennifer O’Leary, LBSW, LCPAA

Texas Placing Administrator, Social Worker

I earned my Bachelors of Social Work from Southwest Texas State University in 2002. I am also a Licensed Child Placing Administrator (LCPAA) for the State of Texas and have my independent practice recognition as a licensed social worker. After graduating college, I taught preschool and volunteered at a local adoption agency. In 2003, I began my career in adoption and feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many families and children over the years. I have experience working with all members of the adoption triad in both international and domestic adoptions as well as foster care.  I have been married to my husband for 18 years and we have two beautiful daughters. On the weekends, you will find us at the soccer field, watching football, or spending time with family and friends. I am very excited to be a part of the Children’s House team and look forward to working with you during your adoption journey!
Lisa Anderson Angel in Adoption Awardee

International Specialist

India

Lisa Anderson

International Specialist

lisa.a@chiadopt.org Angel in Adoption Awardee
A little over 22 years ago I adopted my daughter, Devi, from India and am now a proud Nonnie to Baby Priya. While I was there the orphanage director showed me many children that needed families and asked if I could help. This started a fire in me that has burned ever since. I immediately started finding families for those children and soon began working for Children’s House. I adopted my son a few years later. Both of my children were seven years old at the time of their adoptions and both had special needs. My heart is with placing older and special needs children and fund-raise to establish and sustain programs that can help those children that are not adopted. Since that time, I established programs in Nepal, Ghana, and Ethiopia.   We named our Ethiopian transition home, The Thomas Center, after my son, Tommy. It’s been a long 22 years full of ups and downs, but it has been much more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I like to think that my life has meaning because I made a difference in the life of a child.
Jana Holmes, LCSW-BACS, MSW

Social Worker

Jana Holmes, LCSW-BACS, MSW

Social Worker

jana.h@chiadopt.org
I was born and raised in central Louisiana and was the middle child in my family. I earned my Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Social Work from Northwestern State University in 1999 and then completed the Masters of Social Work program at LSU in 2000. My husband and I recently celebrated 6 years of marriage and we have 4 biological sons, including a set of twins born in early 2016. I enjoy working with people with various abilities and disabilities. I spent 5 years with the state of Louisiana, working with adults with developmental disabilities. I’ve been in the public school system in special education since 2007. Just before coming to the school system though, a friend contacted me and asked if I’d like to help out with a domestic adoption home study in my hometown. I was eager and excited to see what that entailed, and 9 years later, I’m still eager and excited each time I am asked to help expand a family unit through adoption. I’ve participated in both domestic and international adoption processes and am always personally affected and moved by the families I work with. I joined the CHI team in November 2015 and have loved the experiences I’ve had so far. I look forward to many more opportunities and experiences with this group!
Kimberly White, MSW

Social Worker

Kimberly White, MSW

Social Worker

kimberly.w@chiadopt.org
I was born and raised in North Louisiana. I earned my Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (previously known as Northeast Louisiana University) in 1997 and then completed the Masters of Social Work program at Tulane University in 1998. I have been married for seventeen years and have a step-son and a daughter that I love dearly. For relaxation, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching my daughter play softball, and sitting outside on our patio overlooking the bayou and reading a book. I’ve been in the public school system in special education since 2001. I recently became the Preschool School Assessment Coordinator and completed the transition process with the Early Steps program. Between 2003 and 2004 two sets of my relatives adopted from Russia and contacted me regarding a home study and what to expect. Supporting them through their adoption process led me to begin a wonderful journey in assisting families during the adoption process since 2005 domestically and internationally. I joined the CHI team in June 2017. I am excited to be a part of the CHI team!
Paulette Rodehorst, MSW

Social Worker

Paulette Rodehorst, MSW

Social Worker

paulette.r@chiadopt.org
Claire Kosmicki, MSW

Social Worker

Adoptee

Claire Kosmicki, MSW

Social Worker

Adoptee

I was adopted domestically at birth as was my younger brother. Because of this background, I was always interested in being a part of the adoption process. I graduated with my Master’s in Social work from the University of South Carolina and have been working in adoptions as a home study and post placement provider since 2002. I have also worked with children from foster care who are looking for their forever families, so I have seen a variety of ways adoption can help grow families of all kinds! I enjoy running, trail running, and being outdoors with my family and dogs as well as getting the chance to read a good book!
Carol Layne, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

Carol Layne, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

I am a licensed clinical social worker and I have worked in the field of adoptions as a case worker, and licensing worker. I have worked with many adoptive families and children. I currently work part of the week in a clinical counseling office and in my spare time, I enjoy spending time with 6 grandkids and my wonderful spouse. I am blessed with two grown children who married well. My brother was adopted at the age of 5 when I was 12 years of age.
Angela Priest, MSW

Social Worker

Angela Priest, MSW

Social Worker

My husband was adopted as a newborn.  I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Social Work.  I began my work in adoptions working with children in foster care who were in need of an adoptive family.  I have been working as an independent home study and post placement provider since 2002 and have worked extensively with families who want to adopt domestically.  I am excited to be working with families who want to adopt internationally! I love working with children and families who come from different backgrounds.  I love to travel and I’ve had the opportunity to do some volunteer work in orphanages in Thailand and in Mexico. My summers are spent camping and hiking in the mountains with my family and winters are spent on the ski slopes.
June Lewis, LCSW, DCSW

Social Worker

June Lewis, LCSW, DCSW

Social Worker

june.l@chiadopt.org
I have a background in education and nursing and found my true calling as a social worker later in life. I have both a personal and professional interest in adoption and work exclusively in that field. I am a widow with grown children and my work is an important part of my life. I love life and living things including people, animals, and plants, and also enjoy reading, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.
Adrienne Rich-Hochman, LCSW

Social Worker

Adrienne Rich-Hochman, LCSW

Social Worker

adrienne.h@chiadopt.org
Working with adoptive families for the past twenty-seven years has been deeply satisfying and inspiring. It is a joy to help people realize their dreams of having a family. In addition to my work with adoption, I have a psychotherapy practice providing services to individuals and couples. I earned my Master’s Degree in Social Work at Boston University and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am married and have two adult sons and a granddaughter I adore. In my leisure time, I love to read, grow orchids, bicycle, and travel.
Jennifer Starkey, LCSW

Social Worker

Jennifer Starkey, LCSW

Social Worker

jennifer.s@chiadopt.org
I was first exposed to and became interested in adoption work during an internship in 1999, I had always wanted to work with children and it became clear that bringing families together via adoption was the perfect fit for me. I began working with Children’s House International in 2002. I have also worked with The Dave Thomas Foundation as Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter, where I helped older children in foster care find their forever families. I have also worked with birth mothers and adoptive families via domestic adoptions here in Florida. My husband and I became adoptive parents in 2010 when we adopted our daughter Hope from China. I earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 1998, and Masters in Social Work in 2000. I then became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2005. I am married with two children, Bella and Hope, both four years of age. My hobbies include reading and spending lots of time with my family.
Pam Weyh, LCSW

Social Worker

Pam Weyh, LCSW

Social Worker

pam.w@chiadopt.org
Pamela Weyh has worked in the adoption field since 2003. After finding her passion working with adoptive families and children, Pamela followed her dream and returned to school as an adult and graduated with her masters in social work from The University of Central Florida in 2005, with special training in children, families and addictions. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and loves all areas of her job. Pamela spends her free time in the kitchen cooking and baking, reading, expanding her education, and traveling. She also loves spending time with her four children and eight grandchildren. Pamela believes children are a blessing beyond price and that all children deserve a safe, loving home with a parent or parents who will nurture and unconditionally love them.