MLJ Adoptions Highlights of 2013


2013 has been a very exciting year at MLJ Adoptions. We have experienced some awesome changes and improvements over the past year, and are anxious to see what 2014 has in store for us. Here are some of the highlights from our year!

  1. Hague Renewal – We received our Hague Renewal announcement from COA in August 2013! We are excited to have the opportunity to continue helping children in need of families find the homes that they so deserve. Our Hague Approval allows us to operate in other Hague compliant countries such as Bulgaria and Mexico.
  2. Mexico Adoption Program – MLJ got notification in July 2013 that we were approved to complete adoptions in Mexico! We are one of only 12 adoption service providers approved in the United States. We still have some room in our Mexico Pilot Program, if you are interested please contact us.
  3. Haiti Adoption Program – In January 2013, we received our approval to complete adoptions in Haiti! We are proud to be one of 19 agencies in the US to provide placements for children from Haiti. There are a few spots left in our Haiti Pilot Program as well. Please contact us for more information about our Haiti program.
  4. Conferences – MLJ places a huge emphasis on the importance of education. We are always eager to learn more ourselves, and we jump at an opportunity to educate others on important adoption topics as well. This year MLJ had a representative speak at over 15 conferences, educating adoptive professionals and families on topics such as: Nutrition and Adoption, Managing Adoption Stress, Adoption Law, Social Media for Attorneys, Liability & Risk Mitigation for International Adoption Agencies, and so much more! Our staff also attended more than 10 conferences, including Empower to Connect, National Council for Adoption, Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, and MixWest Indianapolis just to name a few.
  5. TBRI Training – Lydia, Nicole, Angela and Brooke all received scholarships from Show Hope to attend Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) training in Ft. Worth, Texas. For a full week in September, they were immersed in some intensive training to learn the core principles of the program. We are proud to have these trained and educated team members available as resources to our families who may need additional help post-adoption. Be sure to follow our TBRI blogs to learn more about parenting principles beneficial for all families.
  6. Samoan Luau – MLJ hosted our first annual Samoan Luau in June, and it was a smashing success! In case you missed it, we had volunteers cook up some traditional Samoan dishes for all to try, the Indiana Rugby team showed us some fun drills, and Molly Wyldfyre put on a stunning fire dancing performance! You can read more about the event here, and download recipe cards from the luau to try and make some Samoan meals at home.
  7. Bulgaria Adoptions Increase – We have seen a substantial increase in families looking to adopt from Bulgaria this year! The stable program draws in families looking for a relatively easy and predictable process. We currently have 35 families (and counting) in the Bulgaria program, and have brought 18 children home in 2013. In November, we hosted our second annual Bulgarian Open House and had over 80 people in attendance!
  8. Awards – Michele L. Jackson, founder and Executive Director of MLJ Adoptions has received a handful of awards this year and continues to be recognized for her many accomplishments. Michele has received the “Super Lawyer Rising Star” for 4 consecutive years now. This year, she was also acknowledged in the Indiana Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” that features some of the top professionals in Indiana under the age of 40. Michele was also listed on the Best and Brightest Indianapolis “Top 10 Attorneys Under 40”. Lydia Tarr, Program Director for Eastern Europe and The Americas was also recognized this year for her efforts in adoption. She was named an Angel in Adoption for 2013 and took a trip to Washington D.C. to receive her wings! A few different publications mentioned Lydia and her award, including The Daily Journal in Johnson County, and her hometown newspaper in Neelyville, Missouri.
  9. New Hires – We are so excited that our continued growth and increase in adoptions has allowed us to add new members to our team! This year we welcomed more than five new people to our diverse team. MLJ is thankful to have Jen Gavin as an assistant for Congo and Samoa, Nikki Lux as an Adoption Preparation Coordinator, Meghan Rivard as a Home Study Assistant, Julie Conner as a Staff Accountant, Joe Armaly as Director of Foreign Relations & Operations, and Liane Steffes as Chief of Staff. If you haven’t met them already, you can learn more about each of them in their bios!
  10. Home from Samoa – After a lot of hard work and dedication, MLJ Adoptions paved the way for families to adopt from Samoa. It was long anticipated but we finally welcomed home our first child from Samoa in 2013! Since then, seven Samoan children have come home to their forever families. A big congratulations to these families and we look forward to helping many more families bring children home in the future.

Photo Credit: Mr Lightman

From the MLJ Family to yours, we hope you have a truly wonderful New Year!

Jordan Kelly is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business where she majored in Marketing. As an assistant at MLJ Adoptions, Jordan does everything from event planning and managing social media, to writing blogs and designing advertisements.

Jordan Kelly is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business where she majored in Marketing. As an assistant at MLJ Adoptions, Jordan does everything from event planning and managing social media, to writing blogs and designing advertisements.