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adoption with experience and compassion
Debbie Price, BSW, CC Angel in Adoption Awardee
Debbie Price, BSW, CC
International SpecialistAngel 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.
Social Services Supervisor
Cindi Fuller, MSW
Social Services Supervisorcindi.firstname.lastname@example.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.
Social Services Supervisor/ Hong Kong International Specialist
Carly Palmer, MA
Social Services Supervisor/ Hong Kong International Specialistcarly.email@example.com
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!
Megan Blok, BA
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!
Angela is an experienced international adoption specialist as well as a mother through international adoption. She was the assistant director and social worker of an agency for 12 years, during which time she helped place over 1400 children from 9 countries for adoption. One of her most poignant memories from adoption is being at the airport in 2010 with families adopting from Haiti when 80 children (from her agency and others) were flown from earthquake-ravaged Haiti to safety. The unexpected wash of relief and patriotic pride as the U.S. military reconnaissance plane landed in front of her and the waiting families is one she will never forget. Since leaving the world of adoption in 2017, she has worked as a hospice and medical social worker, but is thrilled to be back to her roots serving children and families all around the world.
In her spare time, Angela admits she enjoys spending time way too much time on social media, watching tv shows like Heartland with her now-12-year-old daughter, and playing games on her phone. She loves the Lord, and loves serving His children through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child each year. Angela is a native resident of Florida and will also assist our Florida office with home studies as needed.
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!
Social Services Provider
Tara Nichol, LSWAIC
Social Services ProviderTara.firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara earned her Master of Social work from Westfield State University and a Master’s in Education from Antioch University. She has worked as an educator for 14 years in various settings including outdoor education, wilderness guiding, residential programs and pre-k through high school education. Since her career change to Social Work, she has worked in Early Intervention, Adoption Management Services and trauma therapy with children and adults. While working in adoption services Tara assisted with the matching process and wrote home studies for prospective adoptive families. Tara has focused much of her work on trauma informed care, and she has experience in individual therapy, teaching about the effects of trauma and supporting caregivers to meet their children’s needs. In her spare time Tara loves exploring nature, doing home repair projects and spending time with her family. Tara is excited to work at CHI to support families through the adoption process!
Kathy Looser, MA, CC
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.
Laura Boudreau, BS
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
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.
I have always had a life long goal of wanting to help others change their lives for the better. I earned my Bachelors Degree in Psychology from University of Florida and my Masters Degree in Developmental Disabilities from Nova Southeastern University. I have been able to pursue my passion in helping others by working at non for profits, a foster care agency, and health care facilities. All of these experiences combined have made me realize how important it is to help parents and children create a forever family. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the beach, traveling to Disney World, and trying new restaurants. I am excited to be part of the CHI team!
Personnel Coordinator/Office Manager
Personnel Coordinator/Office Managerlaurie.email@example.com
My family tree has grown in many directions surrounding adoption and enjoying a loving family. I was adopted at birth, domestically, raised in a loving family with my adopted brother. Within my family, an Uncle opened his heart to 4 older step-nephews when their mother's life was unexpectedly cut short, and we all came together for support. A unique joy in life was to have found my birthmother and continue to enjoy years with her and to learn her story of putting a child up for adoption. The twists and turns of life have made me passionate about living to the fullest and whether career, family or friends, to always help others. Understanding the mysteries of family roots being adopted, has been a growing experience for both me and my daughter. I enjoy being creative, play piano and get another chance at being silly in life playing with my grandson. I am excited to be part of the Children's House team with their wonderful longstanding reputation. It is a privilege to be part of the administrative support that assures successful process, as well as be able celebrate in the joys when children find their forever home with a loving family.
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
CFO and Bookkeeperjeanne.firstname.lastname@example.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.
Kathy Holliday Angel in Adoption Awardee
International Specialistkathy.email@example.com 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.
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!
Volunteer Office Assistant
Volunteer Office Assistantmarri.firstname.lastname@example.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.
Tinya Thomas, LBSW
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!
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 Specialistlisa.email@example.com 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
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
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!
Claire Kosmicki, MSW
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
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
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.
Jaimie Homan, RCSWI
Jaimie Homan is an adoption social worker and registered clinical social worker. She is passionate about her work in the adoption field as she believes every child deserves to grow up in a family. Jaimie’s clinical specialties include attachment, trauma and abuse recovery. She is also an adoptive mother with experience parenting children with special needs, attachment trauma and acculturation stress. Originally entering the helping field through pastoral ministry, Jaimie counseled and taught women and children in Central Florida, India, and Myanmar. She has been a licensed clinical Christian counselor and a member of the National Christian Counseling Association since 2013. Jaimie opened The Garden Counseling Center in 2014, where she worked primarily with survivors of sexual abuse and children in the foster system. Her interactions with diverse and courageous people in crisis, along with her experience as an adoptive parent, compelled her to pursue a postgraduate degree at the University of Central Florida, where she earned her MSW in 2021. It is her privilege to work with families as they prepare for and complete the adoption process.
Courtney Kennedy, MS
I feel so incredibly blessed to have even a small part in helping people grow their families. I earned my Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 and my Masters degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to work with multiple populations to include homeless families, school aged children, and many years in child welfare. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, checking out new restaurants, and reading.
Adrienne Rich-Hochman, LCSW
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
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
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.
Cayuna Williams, ISW
My name is Cayuna (pronounced Kay-Yawn-Na) Williams. I am a registered social work intern in the state of Florida pursuing licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, affectionately known as FAMU, in 2018 with my Bachelor of Social Work. Upon graduating, I started working for a subcontracted agency of DCF in the Central Florida area as a Certified Child Welfare Case Manager. My favorite part of my job as a case manager was meeting children and finalizing permanency. I worked towards permanency in many ways including reunification, permanent guardianship, and my absolute favorite - adoption! After about a year of working in the field of child welfare, I decided to go back to school to pursue my Master of Social Work. I earned my degree from the University of Central Florida in 2020. As I worked as a school social worker, my heart desired something more, so I decided to return to my passion, finalizing permanency for children. My hobbies include taking my children on new experiences and taking self-care days for mani/pedis.