Who We Are

Affiliates

Stacie Lerum, BSW, LSW

Minnesota Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from Minnesota! I am a busy wife and mother of 4 young children living in the Twin Cities Metro area and through God’s divine providence, I have taken on the added title as Minnesota’s Director of Social Services for America World. I have my Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Calvin College and since earning that, I have worked in positions that would allow me to improve the lives of children (including child protection, school social work, crisis pregnancy counseling, and juvenile probation.) I “fell in love” with adoption when I was a Birthparent Counselor in Colorado, and since returning to Minnesota in 1998, I longed for God to provide me with another mission field related to adoption. Helping America World families is that opportunity!


Therese McOwen, LSW

Ohio Director of Social Services (Email)
Greetings from Ohio. I have lived in Northwest Ohio all my life. I was raised in Payne only a few miles from the Indiana state line. I now live in Pandora with my husband, Wayne, and one of our three daughters. My two older daughters are now married, one living in Dover, Ohio and the other in Bluffton, Ohio. I graduated from Bluffton College (now Bluffton University) in Bluffton, Ohio with a degree in Social Work. I worked in the field for several years before choosing to stay at home to raise my family. In 2005 I was hired as Director of Social Services for America World. I feel very blessed and humbled to work directly with families in the state. It is so exciting to be able to use my profession as well as my faith in my employment. It is also a great honor to assist families bring their children home.


Amber Lewis, LPC

Oklahoma Director of Social Services (Email)
“Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” -Genesis 18:14

God reminded me of this affirmation and promise of his love and perfect timing while I waited in the hospital for my son to be born at 27 weeks gestation. Indeed nothing is too hard for the Lord, and he did give me a son in His perfect timing. I thank God for that experience because it helped grow my faith and it brought us to the point of being ready to adopt a child. We found AWAA in the next year and began our journey toward bringing home our beautiful daughter from China. I once again relied on God's promise of perfect timing during our seemingly long wait for her. We now have 3 sons and 1 daughter, all wonderful and unique gifts from the Lord. Prior to that, I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Texas, and earned my bachelors at Texas A&M (whoop!). I met my wonderful husband in graduate school in Mississippi, and we moved to Oklahoma in 1995. While I have spent most of my time since 1997 at home with my growing “brood” of children, I have also enjoyed my work as a part-time Licensed Professional Counselor. I am delighted now to have the opportunity to help others find their place in the beautiful process of adoption, and I believe God’s calling me to work with AWAA is one of the most thrilling things He has ever place in my path.


Robert Woolridge, MSW

California Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello! I am very excited to be part of the America World family. As a Pastor’s kid growing up in Southern California, I was always blessed to be surrounded by a supportive and encouraging family. I first started my social work career in my early teens and eventually found myself studying social work at both the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University.

In 2006, God led me to the world of international adoptions and since that time, I have had the sincere pleasure of working with many families in Southern California and assisting them with home study services. I am both honored and humbled to be working for America World. I feel confident that God will bless our team and allow us to bring the America World service and expertise to the state of California.


Stephanie Willis, LMSW, MPA

Arizona Director of Social Services (Email)
I have served in several systems of care for children and families, including: child welfare, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, education, juvenile probation, and family support. My desire to serve children and families stemmed from observations of my mother’s work with children and youth in the church and surrounding communities throughout my entire life. My mother’s dedication and love for all God’s children guided me towards work in the field of social work. I have master’s degrees in social work and public administration and want nothing more than to use my talents to improve the lives of children and families.


Harlan Dalluge, MSW

Kentucky Director of Social Services (Email)
Now serving as the Kentucky DSS, I have a background of a “ministry of service for children” using my education with a master’s degree in psychiatric social work—to found and direct several residential treatment facilities for troubled/disturbed children in various states. My wife and I moved to Kentucky in 2007 to be near family. We have four biological children and one adopted Korean child.

John 15:1-5, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, shall bring forth much fruit.” Using this guidance has helped me in direct work with children and staff, as an administrator, and as a “fundraiser” to generate funds needed for new facilities, strong staff and strong program services to better meet the needs of children. I became ordained many years ago and welcome my current “ministry of service” with AWAA and direct work with warm, caring, loving people of Kentucky.


Amy Kryszan, MSW

Florida Director of Social Services (Email)
Greetings from Florida. My name is Amy Kryszan and I am the Director of Social Services for the Florida office. Growing up, I always knew that God had a special place for me and that my ministry would be exactly as He intended, however I never knew that it would be this wonderful. As an only child, I always dreamed of a big family and due to circumstance, I have been blessed beyond belief with three beautiful children through adoption. When asked why I love my job so much, the answer is simple: I get to help others experience the same joy and love that my husband I have had the honor and privilege of experiencing with our children.

With my Masters degree in Social Work, I have had the wonderful opportunity of serving in the field for over 10 years, working specifically with foster care, adoptions, and mental health. It is an honor to do the Lord’s work through adoption and see forever families come together in this process.


Briana Currey, LCSW

Oregon/Washington Director of Social Services (Email)
I was born and raised just outside of Dallas, Texas and lived in Texas until our move to Oregon in July 2006. I have two adoptive siblings and one birth sibling but we are all the same. I began working in the field of adoption in 1994. I obtained my Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and became licensed in the state of Texas. After two additional years of clinical training, I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Texas and now hold this license in Oregon, Texas, and Minnesota. My husband and I have two wonderful boys: Connor was born in 2000 ad Andrew was born in 2002. My whole family is actively involved with my adoption ministry. We serve children in Africa through our church, and host a yearly adoption picnic for my Northwest AWAA families. My husband and I plan to raise our children in Oregon, and we have all adjusted to the nice, relaxed lifestyle in Oregon and love the beautiful outdoors.


Bethany Martin, MSW

Tennessee Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello! My name is Bethany Martin and I grew up in Springfield, MO. While attending undergraduate at Evangel University, I traveled overseas many times. My experiences in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Zambia stirred within me a passion to help vulnerable populations of children. While pursuing my Masters degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, I interned with an international adoption agency for one year. Through this experience God confirmed his calling on my life to work in the field of international adoption. I feel so privileged and blessed to be a part of AWAA since 2008 as we work to put orphaned children into forever Christian homes.


Kim Laube

Iowa Director of Social Services (Email)
I am pleased to be working with America World Adoption – Iowa. I began my social work career after experiencing an adoption of my own. I knew after going through our experience that helping families with home studies and post placement reports was exactly what I was meant to be doing! God led me to the right people to begin an internship and eventually become a Caseworker. I love the work I do, and am passionate about helping families through their adoption journey. Prior to my change in career paths, I have worked as the Director of Human Resources for several organizations. In addition, I have served as the Executive Director of Iowans for L.I.F.E., a pro-life group here in Iowa. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Communications.


Michele Kuxhausen

North Carolina Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from North Carolina! I attended graduate school at the West Virginia Graduate College and earned my MA degree in Counseling. I have been serving children and families as a social worker for over 16 years. I started working at America World in 2005 as a Home Study Coordinator, and in December of 2009, started serving as the North Carolina DSS. I have a passion working with families and have been very grateful for this amazing opportunity to help orphans unite with Christian families. I feel extremely blessed to be part of such an amazing ministry. I love my job and I am committed to America World and the families that we serve.


Erika Coleman, BSW

Pennsylvania Director of Social Services (Email)
I attended Philadelphia Biblical University where I received degrees in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Upon graduation, I served children in Philadelphia who were on the verge of being removed from their homes. In this role, I witnessed the hurt of abandoned children and divided families. It is my privilege to continue serving orphaned children and facilitating the building of families, through America World.


Kim Tilley, LMSW

Kansas Director of Social Services (Email)
I am excited to work with AWAA to serve families in Kansas as they create loving homes for orphaned children. I live in the Kansas City metro area with my husband and three busy teenagers. I received my bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State University. While working in education, I developed a passion for strengthening families. After taking some time at home to raise my children, I entered graduate school and earned a master’s degree in social work. I have held a variety of social work positions before finding my true calling in the field of adoption. I have worked with AWAA as a Home Study Coordinator and am now thrilled to continue serving Kansas families as the Director of Social Services.


Karen Coughlin, MSW, LCSW

Missouri Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello! I was born and raised in St. Louis. I received my Masters in Social Work from The University of Missouri-St. Louis and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have been working in social work for over 7 years with most of my experience working with children in the foster care system. I also have experience working with families that are adopting internationally as well as through the foster care system. I am excited to be working with America World to help Missouri families provide forever homes for children in need.


Laurel Hanlon, MSW, LGSW

VA/MD Home Study Coordinator (Email)
My work with America World began in 2005. After holding positions as an Asia Family Coordinator and Assistant Ethiopia Program Director, I left the agency in order to pursue my Master’s degree in Social Work. After receiving experience in school social work, foster care and working with families impacted by HIV/AIDS, I am pleased to be back at America World working as a Home Study Coordinator for Virginia and Maryland families. I am enjoying the opportunities that this role affords me to work more directly with adoptive families and their children.


Barbara Kampa, MSW

Indiana Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from Indiana! My name is Barb Kampa and I have a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and a Master of Social Work. I have over 5 years experience working in child and family welfare and over 25 years experience teaching students of all ages with unique learning styles in non-traditional settings. I am the administrator and developer of a church-based adoption ministry and a not-for-profit for foster/adoptive children. I have devoted extensive volunteer hours over the past 23 years in various capacities to children and families, including aide to refugees in Thailand and to victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. I also work as a Behavior Clinician with developmentally disabled individuals. My greatest passion is adoption advocacy, helping adoptive families build strong bonds and attachment and promoting an environment of healing for traumatized children. I enjoy traveling, crafting, and spending time with my husband of 25 years and 5 children, the youngest of whom was adopted from China.


Christy Holland, LCPAA

Texas Director of Social Services (Email)
Hi! I am the Director of Social Services for Texas. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Elementary Education in 1996 and was an elementary school teacher for four years. In 2000 I was given an awesome opportunity to begin working with abused and neglected children and the families who desired to provide a home for them through the foster care system. I have worked in all aspects of the foster care system beginning in 2000, including being a foster parent myself. In 2011, I became a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator. My most treasured accomplishments is being the mother to my three amazing daughters who I adore. I am honored that God is using me to serve orphaned children and the families who are adopting them. What a blessing to be a part of the America World Adoption Association team!


Diane Hood, MS

Georgia Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from the Peach State! My name is Diane Hood and I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eckerd College and a Master’s degree from Florida State University. My husband and I became parents in 1993 when a beautiful woman named Mary chose us as the parents of her unborn son. We went on to have three children by birth: two more sons and a (spoiled by her big brothers) daughter. Since 1995, I have been performing domestic and international homestudies, working with women in crisis pregnancies, and advocating for orphans around the world. Adoption is a calling and a passion, and I seek to honor God in this ministry. He has adopted us as His children and I feel blessed that He gives me opportunity to help children and parents come together in forever families.


Cristina Cook, MA, LPC

Illinois Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from Illinois! My name is Cristina Cook and I am the Director of Social Services for Illinois. I am a native of the Chicagoland area and also spent some of my life growing up in a small town in Western Michigan. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Calvin College and my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Lewis University. I have been working with children and families through foster care and adoption for over 10 years. I feel incredibly blessed that God has led me to America World. I am passionate about adoption and look forward to working with you as you build your family through adoption!


Emily Head, MSW

South Carolina Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello! It’s a great day in South Carolina! I have always had a passion for adoption, and am very blessed to be a part of AWAA. I received my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work from Florida State University. I have had the privilege of working with domestic adoptions and also child protective services in my professional career. I am excited about venturing to International Adoption, particularly placing orphans across the world in Godly families who will raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I have four beautiful children (Mackenzie, Parker, Ashton, and Boaz). My husband is adopted and we hope to one day adopt a child as well, Lord willing. I am looking forward to serving adoptive families in South Carolina!


Samantha Fuhrman, MSW

New York Director of Social Services (Email)
Hello from New York! I am truly honored to be a part of what God is doing in the world through America World. I earned my BSW from Cairn University, and my MSW from Bryn Mawr College. I have experience working in foster care, the homeless population, mental health, and as a family and children’s therapist. As a Christian social worker, it is my desire to serve God through advocating for those without a voice. I am awed by what God is doing for orphans through the obedience and faithfulness of his people, and believe that AWAA is a place where this is happening on a daily basis.



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