Brian Andrew Luwis
I have lived in the Washington Metropolitan area for over 40 years and have been actively involved with adoptions since 1993 - both as a parent, and as an
advocate for orphans.
After attending St. Albans School, I graduated with honors from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1988 with a Bachelor of Architecture. In 1994 my wife and I founded America World Adoption to assist other former orphans like our first daughter, Fei, and share the blessing of adoption with Christian families.
I work for my family business, a building development and management company and serve America World Adoption solely as a 40+ hour/week volunteer (no salary). Like the Apostle Paul who made tents, I enjoy having the ability to earn my income through a source that is separate from my primary focus/ministry. My father was a first generation American born to a poor immigrant family from Yugoslavia; he was a very successful developer in the D.C. area and it was his commitment to hard work that has enabled me to volunteer at America World.
In 2006, I went back to school, and by late 2007 I had earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Management. During school, I applied every project and assignment to America World Adoption and
. This was a great time for me to learn and study the business side of managing a non-profit organization.
My wife, Renee, and I now have five children: four by adoption and one by birth. God has revealed one of his greatest blessings to our family through His
Spirit of adoption
and it is our passion to share this with families like you. We are excited about what God is doing through America World and consider it an honor to be building families like yours through God’s design of adoption.
Susan B. Maines, LSW, LCSW
Senior Executive Director of Programs & Social Services
It has been my privilege and joy to serve families through America World since May 2001. I hold a bachelor and masters degree in social work and have had a career that spans 4 decades. God has provided me with jobs in both the public and private sectors and in all aspects of child welfare. It has been my greatest joy to work with adopted children and families and to provide direction and support to the dedicated staff who have worked here at AW over my ten years. I have always known that God wanted me to work on behalf of children, and my almost 40 year social work career has enabled me to serve Him and His precious children.
On a personal note, my husband and I have raised our daughter, Sarah, who is a senior in college and very excited about launching herself into her chosen career. One of my many and consistent blessings is my work here at America World and the wonderful staff and families I have come to know.
Ryan Hanlon, MA, MS, MSW
Executive Director of Programs
In 2001, I traveled to China with America World Adoption and volunteered in an orphanage for a week; that trip really impacted me – allowing me to see the importance of adoption for parentless children. I have worked for AW since 2004, holding different roles including my current position overseeing international adoption programs. I love my job because I get to work with both adoptive families and with co-workers throughout the agency. I am convinced that adoption is one of the best fields a person can work in and I'm grateful to be able to work with such a committed team of professionals. I greatly enjoy what I do here, and I consider it a privilege to be serving America’s families and the world’s orphans. In addition to my work for America World Adoption, I have served in roles with child protective services and as a foster care caseworker. I live in Falls Church, VA with my wife and our two children.
As we were praying and fasting about being used by God in our next season of life, an e-mail arrived about an accounting job at AWAA.
I graduated from Villanova University in 1978 and went to work for a “Big 4” CPA firm. After ten years of auditing, with a two year stint in England, I held senior financial management positions in industry including as the CFO of a listed company during its initial public offering. For the ten years prior to arriving at AWAA in August 2010 I was a forensic accountant assisting attorneys in securities litigation.
In the midst of a self-directed existence God changed everything and gave me new life in January 1989. I’m fortunate to be married to Connie for 35 years and we’ve been blessed with six children. Three of our children are married, the oldest with our three grandkids, and three are still at home, the last two by way of Russia and China.
Senior Director of Programs
America World has given me an amazing opportunity to live out my passions daily by working directly with families and helping orphans all over the world. I came to America World in 2004 with the desire to help orphans and families in a very tangible way. It has been truly a gift and life changing experience to work with hundreds of families as they are united with their children. I feel extremely blessed to be part of such an amazing organization that strives to love and serve God in all areas.
Director of Programs
I joined the America World team in early 2006 and since that time have been honored to serve families in various stages of their adoption for programs including China, Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador. It has been a privilege to work with many families especially when families return to adopt another child through AW. It has been an honor to advocate for many waiting children and to assist those families who were called forward for their adoption. I have valued my time traveling to countries where AW has programs to serve the children and learn about the people and cultures of Haiti, China, and India. I have also enjoyed mission team work with Visiting Orphans to Ecuador and with church mission teams to Zambia and a year of volunteer youth work in England.
My personal faith journey and educational background in Family and Community Services have created a foundation for my career and volunteer experiences. Prior to my work at America World, I worked as a coordinator for outreach services to children in Washington D.C. at a Christian nonprofit. Currently I enjoy various volunteer roles with churches and nonprofits in the D.C metro area. I continue to value and look forward to my work alongside dedicated staff as we accompany families on their adoption journey.
Director of Affiliate Offices
Hello! My name is Julia Norris and I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I graduated in 1989 from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. My passion to work in International adoption began in 1987, when I traveled the world by ship in a college program called “Semester At Sea.” During that trip I visited orphanages in several third world countries, and those images never faded from my heart. It was then that I knew I wanted to work in International Adoption, and someday adopt a child.
After college I spent 10 years as a Federal Investigator, Private Investigator, and even worked part of that time for the television show “America’s Most Wanted.” Although my career was challenging and rewarding at times, my heart still longed to want to help the millions of orphans in the world. After a lot of prayer, God opened the door for me in 1999 to come to work in the field of adoption with America China Adoption Association (now known as AWAA). I have held many different positions within the organization over the years, but since 2007 I have been overseeing our Affiliate offices.
The Lord has truly given me the desires of my heart through my work with America World and especially through the adoption of my two children- an eight year old boy from China in 2001 and a 10 month old baby girl from China in 2004.
It is such a blessing and honor to be a part of the dedicated staff at America World helping to unite these precious children with loving families!
Public Relations Director
It was on a mission trip to El Salvador in 1996 that the Lord planted a seed in my heart to consider ways in which I can care for orphans. During this time we were stuggling with infertility and why God was not giving us children?
Years later adoption became 'Plan A' for my wife and me after attending an America World adoption seminar and hearing Brian Luwis' Spirit of Adoption
message. On October 22, 2003, we brought our beautiful daughter home from China. It was very clear that this was God's plan for our family. Then, just 5 months later, our son was born. We believe God wanted us to see that there was no difference between growing a family biologically or through adoption.
I am privileged to be a part of the ministry of America World Adoption since 2004. Sharing the miracle of adoption with others and daily working alongside our amazing staff is such a blessing. If you have not ever considered adoption, I pray that you will seek His will for your family.
My name is Mary Hamilton and I am originally from the Tidewater Area of Southern Virginia. At the age of fourteen I left home to pursue my education at a Christian-based boarding school in New Market, Virginia. During those years I fell in love with the Shenandoah Valley and chose to remain there. I am a busy mother of three, who are each seven years apart. Presently, my oldest is in her second year of college and my youngest is in Kindergarten, and my son (the middle) is aptly in middle school. After spending the majority of my professional life in the technology sector, I am thrilled to be associated with America World. It is truly a blessing to work with such a warm and dedicated group of people in the service of children and families.
Assistant Director - Travel & Post Adoption Administration
Hi! My name is Kristen Hansen and I have had the privilege of working with families in the travel stage of their adoption process since 2007. I was raised in Northern Virginia as the second oldest in a family of eight children. The blessing of being raised in a loving home by godly parents gave me a passion and desire to serve in a role that would benefit families and children. Before coming to America World I had been praying that God would open doors for me to use my gifts and passions in my work. I thank God for answering my prayers through a position at America World. I am a graduate of Liberty University with a B.S. in Communications. “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
“Dios es Amor” translated, “God is Love”, is one of the most simple, yet truest of phrases in which I have experienced through several trips to Nicaraguan orphanages where my heart’s passion for orphans became so evident. After graduating from James Madison University, I decided to go to Nicaragua for a summer and lead mission trips for people whose passion for orphans was similar to my own. Upon returning from Nicaragua, I decided to pursue my heart’s desire to place the world’s orphans into loving Christian homes by moving forward and accepting His call as Travel Coordinator at America World. I feel so completely honored that the Lord has given me the opportunity to take part in this beautiful mission of adoption and consider it a privilege to serve all of our families here at America World!
Since joining the America World team in 2005, I have had the honor of working with an incredible team here at America World and have been privileged to work with many wonderful families throughout the years. I graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Psychology/Human Services and Youth Ministry. My first exposure to orphans came while working in an orphanage in India and it was from this experience, that God began to stir a passion in me for international ministry and for children around the world. After returning to the States, I could not get the smiling faces of these precious children out of my mind. My life was greatly impacted by these children’s lives and their stories, and I returned to the States and prayed that God would allow me to find a job that was not only involved in missions, but one whose heartbeat was to make a difference in the lives of children around the world. After waiting on God, He truly gave me the desires of my heart and I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve families and children through America World. Since that first trip to India years ago, God has given me multiple opportunities to minister to children in a number of countries, including special needs children in China, children in Africa, as well as living in South America and ministering to youth and street children. I count it a true blessing to be able to help build families through adoption.
“Unto Him who is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…unto Him be all the glory…”
– Eph. 3:20
Ever since a young age, I have had a heart for orphans and vulnerable children. In result of mission experiences in Venezuela and Africa, my passion was expanded even further. Upon my return from Africa, I deeply longed to advocate for children across the world. Thanks to America World, I am able to work in a position that seems to perfectly align with my passions and the gifts God has given me. I feel extremely blessed to be part of such an agency.
It’s such a blessing to be a part of each family’s journey as they are united with their precious children. A Washington D.C. area native, I completed my undergraduate degree at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Adoption had been on heart since a young age, but during my studies the Lord used an experience in Swaziland, Africa to impact me deeply. I had an opportunity to observe God’s heart for orphaned and vulnerable children first-hand. Since that time, it has been my desire to advocate for the fatherless. It is amazing to see how God has directed my steps, and placed me in an organization that is doing just that. It is a privilege to serve alongside the team at America World.
Senior Family Coordinator
When I was very young the Lord placed the scripture James 1:27 on my heart. I had no idea at that time where and how God would direct me through my studies and in my career. I grew up in southwest Virginia just outside of Roanoke and completed my degree at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I have been blessed to take on the role of Senior Family Coordinator and it is tremendously rewarding to see all the little ones come home! For several years I have been active in children’s ministry through my church and on the mission field. It is exciting to expand this ministry into helping orphans find loving, Christ-centered homes.
I am in awe as I look at the way God has directed my steps over the years to fulfill a passion He has placed in my heart. I have always loved working with children and have wanted to be a part of the adoption process for a long time. I obtained a degree in Social Work and had the opportunity to work with children in the U.S. foster care system. Over the years, God has continued to give me a burden for children all around the world. I was never sure where God would lead me, but one step at a time, He has faithfully shown me that I can trust Him to reveal things in just the right time. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to serve in orphanages in Romania and China or that I’d move from North Dakota to Virginia to work at America World Adoption. As God continues to open doors, I’m thankful for each opportunity to see more of who He is and to be a part of the process of helping children become a part of their forever families.
I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and attended college in South Carolina, where I received a degree in Organizational Communication and Business. I moved to the Washington DC metro area in the fall of 2009 to be part of a young start-up church. I love living in this area and have been richly blessed to be able to serve in my church and now here at America World. Although I didn't have prior experience with adoption, it's exciting to see the process unfold and share in the joy of adoptive families. It is a constant reminder that God adopted me into His family, and for that gift I am so thankful.
Public Relations Administrative Assistant
My name is Tammy Stone. I began working part-time for America World in 2005 and am currently the Public Relations Administrative Assistant.
Adoption became an integral part our lives when my husband and I adopted our daughter, Maylia, from China in October 2003. As we collected the required document for our dossier we began to feel God’s call into orphan ministry. The moment they placed Maylia in our arms we knew there was nothing else we could do but help others to experience the awesome gift of adoption.
My husband is Mike Stone, the Public Relations Director and we have two children, Maylia and Joshua. I am an adoptive mom as well as a biological one. God blessed us with infertility so that He could lead us to China where our daughter waited for us as well as leading us into our ministry with America World Adoption!
Andrew C. Brown, J.D.
Director of Corporate Governance/Director of Foster Care & Domestic Adoption
I joined America World in the fall of 2010, shortly after graduating from law school in Dallas, Texas where I spent most of my life. Prior to entering law school, I honestly had not considered adoption as a profession and fully intended on continuing in my plans to become an attorney and work in government. Fortunately, God had other plans. During my second year of school, my cousin and her husband went through what would prove to be an unsuccessful attempt to adopt internationally. While this was incredibly difficult for them as well as our family, God used their experience to peak my interest in adoption law. I went on to enroll in Family Law courses, publish an article on international adoption law, and represent abused and neglected children as part of the law school’s child advocacy clinic. In each of these experiences, it was clear that God was whispering, “This is my plan for you; serve my children.” Shortly before I left Texas to move to Virginia, my cousin and her husband came for a visit and brought along their newly adopted son. It was amazing to see how God had moved in our family during those past two years and brought joy out of the midst of hardship. I am excited and truly blessed to be a part of the America World staff and working to place children in loving homes.
“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood…” –Daniel Burnham
Having worked as a Waiting Children Family Coordinator in the China program from 2006-2009, I am excited to be back at America World in 2011! Very early on God placed a desire within me to serve families and children, and later cultivated that passion specifically for international adoption. My travels to China and Africa graciously allowed me to see first hand how our God is truly God of the nations. Working on behalf of families seeking to bring their children home is a wonderful blessing. I am honored and humbled to serve in such a capacity.
Adoptions Programs Coordinator
I was born in Zimbabwe to a missionary family and spent my childhood in Swaziland. When I was ten, my family moved to Paris, France, where I completed middle school and high school in French public school. After that, I attended The Ohio State University where I received a B.A in Arabic with a minor in Human Development and Family Science. While in college, I traveled to Uganda and East Asia, where I helped lead mission trips for younger missionary kids to various orphanages. God used those experiences to soften my heart to adoption, creating a desire to adopt and help other families adopt. I count it a privilege and a blessing to work with America World and be a part of the adoption process.
"Not only do we know God through Jesus Christ, we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ." - Blaise Pascal
Adoption Program Coordinator
I have had a heart for adoption for over 20 years. I have a passion for the people and children of Haiti and advocating for older children living in orphanages around the world. God has shown his never-ending faithfulness by providing me with the opportunity to purse the desires of my heart after working as an accountant and obtaining a Masters degree in Education. To be able to work with families as they pursue adoptions and host older orphans is a dream come true. I am incredibly blessed to be able to nurture both passions in my position with America World. God has orchestrated all the opportunities laid out before me in his perfect timing and for that I am forever grateful.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
For as long as I can remember I have had a heart and passion for helping people. I went to school in Washington state (where I am from) and was blessed to be able to align my passions with my education. I graduated with a degree in Human Services and through this degree I have gained experience working with various populations, including families in the child welfare system, youth in chemical dependency treatment and children suffering from mental health issues.
I am so grateful to be a part of the America World team. I feel so blessed to be a part of AWAA’s mission to build Christian families and to be helping place the world’s orphans in loving, Christ centered homes.