Meet MLJ: Jen Gavin


Jen Gavin MLJ AdoptionsTitle at MLJ: Associate Program Director for Africa & Asia

What do you actually DO with MLJ? I work with our families adopting from Congo. I help them from the beginning of the process all of the way until they bring their child home.

What is your favorite part about what you do with MLJ? I love helping people…it makes me feel good to help families during the adoption process and ultimately helping children by finding them forever families.

How long have you worked with MLJ? Since the end of August.

What do you think makes you excellent at what you do? I love helping people and I am very organized. There are a lot of different steps in the adoption process…and a lot of paperwork.

What do you love about adoption? I love seeing the smiling faces of the kids when they are home with families who provide them so much love and support.

If you could change one thing about adoption what would it be, why, and how? I would speed up the adoption process. I understand the need for investigations to ensure that the children being adopted are truly orphans, but I wish there could be a easier, faster way.

What is one thing you wish more people understood about the adoption process? I wish people understood the great need for adoption…especially international adoption. I think it is difficult for most people to imagine never having a pair of shoes or not being able to eat when we are hungry.

What do you want to tell us about your family? Marc and I have been married for 12 years. He is an amazing cook and a very creative person. My stepson, Max (15) is a super talented drummer and my daughter, Abby (8) loves crafts, reading and is very athletic (she plays softball, soccer, tennis and just got her first set of golf clubs). We also have 2 (very spoiled) Labrador Retrievers who love to swim and dock dive.

When not working, what do you do for fun or to relax? My husband and I try to have a couple of date nights each month. I love going to the movie or having him cook dinner at home. I am also lucky enough to have a great group of girlfriends I have known for over 20 years. We are still really close and I love spending time with them!

Any other fun, interesting facts about you: I love recycling! I think sometimes I annoy people because I am a little crazy about it. I try to reduce, reuse or recycle whenever possible. If I see a plastic bottle or aluminum can in the trash it drives me crazy. My family now recycles too!

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.