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Deva has been with Good Shepherd since 2002 and serves 150 foster homes. Her hobbies include traveling, cooking, playing board games, and completing DIY projects around the house.

Why did you choose to do this work?  I chose this line of work because I like knowing that I’m making a difference in the lives of children and families.

What is some important advice you’d give an adoptive family?  Adoption is multi-faceted. While it can bring great joy to adoptive parents, it can also be very painful for children who are grieving the loss of their birth family. Adoption severs the legal tie but not the biological one. Adoptive parents need to prepare to help their child navigate those emotions.

Also, adopted children experience fewer issues when they are raised by parents who embrace their culture, background, and family of origin.

What is a myth about adoption you’d like to see change?  I’d abolish the term “gave up for adoption” because it makes kids feel like they weren’t wanted or that their parents just gave them away. That is the furthest thing from the truth.  Birth parents are either making a selfless plan to allow someone else to parent a child they were unable to care for, or the court decided that adoption was in the child’s best interest (often against the birth parents’ wishes). In either case, it’s a painful process for the birth parents who continue to love and grieve the loss of their children. Even when it’s voluntary, it’s the ultimate act of love, and it is worthy of respect.