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Christina licenses and supports foster parents, relatives’ homes, and adoptive families within the Good Shepherd foster care program.  She also work as an adoption specialist and recruits adoptive homes for children who haven’t been matched with a family.

She and her husband spend most of their time keeping up with their young daughter, which means exploring all playgrounds, arts and crafts, and lots of pretend play.  She loves gardening (flowers, not vegetables!) and enjoys home improvement projects and travel.

Why did you choose to do this work?  For as long as I can remember, I liked to help others. I should have known in elementary school that I would become a social worker. I find it challenging, rewarding, and, above all else, meaningful and needed.

What is some important advice you’d give an adoptive family?  First, prepare yourself and your entire family for what adoption could look like. Adoption is a life-long process that requires understanding and acceptance at all of life’s stages.  Keep educating yourself about how to best meet your child’s needs, which includes learning to become a strong advocate. Build your support system, and never hesitate to reach out for guidance.

What is your favorite thing about your job? I enjoy building trusting relationships with the foster families I work with. I also love the flexibility of my schedule and the variety of job duties.

What is a myth about adoption you’d like to see change?  I’d like to make the perception of adoption more realistic. It’s a myth that adoption is a one-moment-in time celebration, then the child effortlessly melts into a family and everything is amazing. Bringing a child into a family through adoption –­ particularly an adoption through foster care – takes work and dedication. It’s good to remember that a child brings their own history, family connections, and experiences that often involve loss and grief. Adoption is absolutely something to be celebrated, but there are unique challenges that the Good Shepherd team is here to help with.