Nicole Skellenger works as MLJ Adoptions’ Consultant and Adoption Attorney. She serves our team by constantly researching the changes and progression in laws as they relate to our international adoption programs to advise staff and clients. In addition to serving MLJ Adoptions’ staff and families, Nicole volunteers with the Council on Accreditation as a Peer Evaluator by lending her expertise to ensure that adoption agencies receive an objective, professional, and quality review of their programs and services.
Working in adoption has not just touched Nicole’s life, but it has changed it. In her travels around the world, she has spent time in orphanages with children who have nothing and are desperate for affection. The older children who live in orphanages have impacted her the most because some have lost hope, and it is evident in their eyes; these children are aware that their future is bleak. Once her heart broke for children in need of families, her job was no longer about her, but how she could use her skills to create better futures for these deserving children.
One of Nicole’s favorite parts of her job is who she works for – the adoptive parents and children in need of families. Adoptive parents make a considered decision to make incredible sacrifices and adopt and parent children with difficult pasts. In some cases, it takes more than just love to move towards healing the hurts these children shoulder, and it is the personal sacrifices made by adoptive parents that allow children to thrive. Nicole also really enjoys the team of women she works with, crediting them as strong, bright and compassionate women who make her better as a professional and as a person. Since working in adoption is not for the faint of heart, it is important to hold on to the incredible rewarding moments in the midst of heart-breaking, difficult times.
When she is not working, Nicole enjoys cooking, yoga, reading and spending time with her husband and daughter. Her favorite weekend activity is attending the farmer’s market with her family.
Nicole graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Theater. She continued her education earning her Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis where she focused her studies on international, immigration, family and poverty law issues. Nicole joined the MLJ Adoptions Team in 2008 after working as a law clerk for Michele Jackson, assisting with various domestic and international adoption law matters.