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.
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.
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

China

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!
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!
Susan Eastland

Social Worker

Susan Eastland

Social Worker

Susan is a Licensed Associate Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s degree from the University of TX. She has over 10 years of experience in individual and group therapy.
Dru Groves, MA, CC

Social Worker

Dru Groves, MA, CC

Social Worker

dru.g@chiadopt.org
I was born into the world of adoption as an adoptee. I am one ​of eight children in my adoptive family and we all joined our family in different ways. I grew up learning about the world of adoption. As an adult, I went into the adoption field in my twenties and have been an adoption professional ever since. I have a Master of Arts degree in Psychology with a specialty in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. I have also completed the Foster Care and Adoption Therapy program through Antioch University. I feel very fortunate to have worked with all members of the adoption triad over the years. One of my passions is sharing adoption education with families on their adoption journey. I am happily married with three children and reside on Bainbridge Island. I love being a mom – it is one of my life’s greatest joys! I enjoy spending time with my family, socializing, gardening, reading and going on family vacations. I am happy to be part of the CHI family.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
Stefani Ellison Angel in Adoption Awardee

International Specialist

East 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.
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.
Melissa Larsen, SSW

Social Worker

Melissa Larsen, SSW

Social Worker

melissa.l@chiadopt.org
I am the daughter of Robert Yeates who started Children’s House International in 1975 with his friend and colleague Ric Oddone, so international adoption has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1993. When Debbie Price took over as Executive Director of the agency in 1994, I seized the opportunity to work for Children’s House as a social worker. I am married and have four biological children. I enjoy reading, exercising, and watching my children’s ball games and musical performances. In 2012 I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia when my brother and sister-in-law adopted a little girl. We are so happy to have her as part of our family and the experience renewed my desire to be a part of the adoption process for other families.
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.
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.
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!
Marcy Pederson, BA

Social Worker

Marcy Pederson, BA

Social Worker

I graduated from Dallas Baptist University and have worked in adoption on and off for over 20 years. In addition to adoption, I have experience teaching children with special needs and also have a child on the autism spectrum. I have worked with birth mothers and adoptive parents across Texas and have experience in domestic and international home studies. I have been married for 24 years and my husband was adopted domestically. I have three children who have various interests and enjoy spending time traveling with the family. I have always had a heart for adoption and see it as a tremendous gift for all involved.
Heather Main, LCSW, ACSW, CCM

Social Worker

Heather Main, LCSW, ACSW, CCM

Social Worker

heather.m@chiadopt.org
I earned my Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Science in Social Work degrees from the University of Texas in Arlington. Through my employment in various fields of social work, I found my most rewarding work in assisting members of the adoption triad with their individual adoption journeys. I have been privileged to work in the field of adoption for the last twelve years. My husband and I are the adoptive parents to three wonderful children. It is truly my desire to assist in educating others about the miracle of adoption and watching these children thrive in their loving homes.
Cathie Richardson, MSW, LCSW, LCPAA

Social Worker

Cathie Richardson, MSW, LCSW, LCPAA

Social Worker

cathie.r@chiadopt.org
I received my BS in Human Development & Family Studies from Texas Tech University & my MSW from the University of Houston. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed child-placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA), and a Board Approved Supervisor for social workers seeking to earn their Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) or their LCSW licensure. I have worked as a social worker in the adoption field since 1989. Although I have never officially adopted, I have parented seven of my grandchildren and one great-grandchild. My ministry has always been working with children. I currently oversee the Texas CHI office. My passion is seeing the children after their adoption and how they change and grow when planted in a loving and nurturing family.
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.
Susan Fremer, LMHC

Social Worker

Susan Fremer, LMHC

Social Worker

Susan Fremer has worked in the adoption field since 2003.  She has five adopted children and has experience in both domestic and international adoption.  She has worked with birth families and adoptive families for many years.  Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York.  She spent many years as an educator in the public and private sectors.  She later completed her Master’s degree at Concordia University in Wisconsin.  She is currently licensed as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Intern in the State of Florida.  Susan has worked with adoptive families as a case manager since 2003 and as a home study provider since 2007.  More recently, Susan began working with families by providing them with education on issues relating to attachment and parenting children who have been exposed to trauma.   Susan also offers counseling services and home coaching for families who are struggling.  She travels the entire State of Florida.  Susan is the 2003 recipient of The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s  Angels in Adoption. Susan holds a leadership position in her local chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She spends her free time volunteering in the community rehabilitation arena, service to Veterans and historic preservation,  First Responder support, and traveling with her children.
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.
Stacy Johnson, BS, CWCM

Social Worker

Stacy Johnson, BS, CWCM

Social Worker

stacy.j@chiadopt.org
Stacy got involved with child welfare immediately after graduating from Florida State University in 2007. Stacy has worked directly with families through the dependency system and loves to help create families through the process of adoption. It quickly became a passion for her and over the years she has gained expertise in the following adoption areas: Special Needs, Relative, Domestic, International, Embryo, and both state and private adoptions. Stacy currently resides in the panhandle of Florida with her husband. Together in their free time, they enjoy traveling, boating, and spending time with their families. Stacy is a warm and compassionate person who cares about the welfare of children and their futures. She looks forward to being able to assist you in becoming the family you have always dreamed of being. She is a dedicated activist for you and the children that she works for.
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.
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.