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About Shepherd Care

ABOUT
US

Adoption by Shepherd Care was founded in 1980 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit agency. Our mission is to provide competent and compassionate adoption services to birth parents, prospective adoptive parents, and children needing a forever family.

Adoption by Shepherd Care’s main program areas include:

As we enter our 35th year as an agency, we celebrate the thousands of families and birthparents we have been privileged to serve.  We look forward to many more years to come!

WHO WE ARE

At ASC, we strive to be compassionate and competent in all we do…

Compassionate. We are committed to expressing God’s love through the services we provide.  We work with individuals and families of all faith backgrounds, but it is no secret that we are motivated by our Christian faith.  We respect the dignity and confidentiality of each person and the sacredness of all human life.  And we realize that everyone who comes to adoption brings with them some amount of pain and struggle, and we seek to work with everyone with great compassion and acceptance.

Competent. We believe that God is honored when we do our jobs well.  We are not do-gooders who are just trying to bring more happiness to the world.  We are professionals who are committed to providing quality services and staying abreast of all changes and developments in adoption policy and practice.  When adoption law is complicated and corruption abounds, true competence and ethical standards are invaluable.

MEET OUR STAFF

The mission of ASC is carried out day in, day out by our dedicated staff.  Here's what our Executive Director, Joseph Sica, has to say about them:

"This may be surprising, but I believe one of the main qualities that allows our small agency to do such a significant amount of quality work is our staff's attention to detail.  They are continuously educating themselves, thinking things through, and researching to be ready for the next phone call, the next question, the next situation we are involved in.  They are caring, committed, and stand ready to serve you."  

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Joseph Sica, MS

Executive Director

Joseph Sica has served as the Executive Director of Adoption by Shepherd Care since 2001. He has been involved in adoption since 1988, first serving as a house parent for pregnant women in a maternity home and serving variety of other roles since that time. Much of his previous training and experience is in the field of education and learning disabilities, so he brings a unique perspective to many issues within the field of adoption. He believes the mission of ASC is to serve birthparents and adoptive families with competence, compassion, and passion. He enjoys providing oversight and direction to the ASC team so that this mission can be accomplished. When he is not at the office, Joe can always be found spending time with his wife and their four children.

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Trey Miller, P.A.

Attorney

Trey Miller is the attorney who handles the legal aspects of all adoptions completed through Adoption by Shepherd Care. He obtained his law degree from Nova Southeastern University and is a member of the Florida Bar. Trey has represented ASC since 2007 and has been the attorney of record in over 250 adoptions.  He feels that many attorneys work their entire career and never feel their work made a difference in people’s lives or society—he has no doubt the work he does touches people’s lives and our community in a meaningful way. He finds it a true privilege to work in adoptions and represent Adoption by Shepherd Care. He has extensive experience in adoption-related trials and appeals.  Additionally, Trey represents adoptive parents in dependency cases, step-parent adoptions, grandparent adoptions, relative adoptions, and re-adoptions. He loves spending time with his wife and three children.

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Nidia Sica, MSW

Director of Social Services/Director of International Programs

Nidia has worked in the field of adoption since 1988. She began her work in adoption by serving as a house parent in a maternity home, and she has since had the privilege to work with several agencies and attorneys in a variety of roles. Throughout the years, she has worked with birthparents to make an adoption plan for their child, with adoptive families by providing home study and post adoption services, and in the fields of both domestic and international adoption. She has also had the opportunity to participate in birthparent, child, and adoptive parent reunions as well as providing training to birthparent and adoptive parent caseworkers. She currently serves as the Director of Social Services and the International Program Director at ASC. She feels that during her career in adoption, she has met the most courageous people who sacrifice everything for the sake of another’s best interests. She and her husband have been blessed with four children, one of whom came into their family through the miracle of adoption.

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Terri Maikkula

Orlando Supervisor/International Program Specialist

Terri came on staff at Adoption by Shepherd Care in 2007 after working for eleven years at a Pregnancy Center.  She has worked with biological parents who have chosen adoption for their child and has been forever impacted by the selfless love  of the bravest ,most amazing women and men in the world.     

 

Terri currently works as a team member with our Colombia program and also serves as the supervisor in our Orlando office.  Terri is married and loves spending time with her children and grandchildren and working in her garden.   

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Martha del Castillo Schrader, MS

Colombia Program Coordinator

Martha has served as Adoption by Shepherd Care’s Colombia Representative since 2008. ASC is very fortunate to have a representative with her level of dedication, experience, and competence. In ASC’s Colombia adoption program, Martha manages all matters in the country and serves as a support to families during their travel.   She has been working in the field of adoption since 1999, with years of previous training and work as a journalist. She feels that children have always held a special place in her heart, and for many years she has been very active in volunteering with at-risk children in Colombia. Martha lives in Bogotá with her husband and two grown children.

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Marilyn Woolard, BA

Senior Office Assistant

Marilyn joined Adoption by Shepherd Care in March of 2005 and has worked in a variety of roles since that time. She currently is responsible for many administrative tasks within our corporate office in Hollywood, and there is a good chance that hers is the friendly voice that greets you when you call this office. Marilyn enjoys seeing God work in people’s lives:  birth parents, families, children and our staff. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, walking, and classical music.

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Jess Cameron, BS

Adoption Specialist

Jess completes Home Studies and Post Adoption Reports in the Orlando office. She also works on ASC's social media platforms and their website. She is excited to grow the online presence of the agency through social media. She loves that ASC feels like a family; from the staff to the birthparents, and the adoptive families, everyone is treated with compassion and care. Jess is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a Masters of Counseling. She is a transplant from Virginia and enjoys exploring Florida with her husband, Scott, and dog, Murphy.

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Heidi Morgia, RMHCI

Birth Parent Counselor

Heidi has been working in the social services field for over 10 years. She was adopted herself and adds an incredible perspective to ASC because of that. She has her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is working towards licensure. Heidi is recently married and has two adult step-children. When she isn't working, her and her husband enjoy going to Disney and taking weekend trips to new places. She enjoys going swimming and experiencing new cultures; she has lived in many places all over the world!

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Claudia Martinez

International Adoption Coordinator

Claudia Martinez obtained her Law degree from Universidad Sergio Arboleda , in 1999,in Bogota Colombia, where she was born and raised.  Upon obtaining her license she practiced law as a legal consultant in various areas for the Government of Colombia.

In 2007, she and her family decided to move to the United States in order for her to purse her love advocacy for vulnerable children in need of a Forever Family.

Claudia is the International Program Coordinator for ASC.  She enjoys working with families desiring to be parents through adoption and identifying Families for children around the world.  Her love for the law has made her an expert Hague Law since the United States ratified  the Hague in 2008.

Claudia's compassion and competence is what makes her the best advocate.

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Marcy Leon, MSW

Adoption Specialist

Marcy came to Adoption by Shepherd Care with over 12 years of experience working with children and families.  She earned her Masters in Social work and is working toward her License in Clinical Social Work. Marcy conducts home studies and follows up with families post adoption. She enjoys walking alongside families throughout their adoption journey and watching children become a part of a forever family. Marcy enjoys spending time with her husband of 10 years and her two daughters as they go to the beach, participate in extra curricular activities and enjoy south Florida's diverse opportunities of food and culture.

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Rose Shin, MSW

Supervisor of Home Studies &Post Placement/Adoptive Services

Rose has worked with children and families for over 15 years as a social worker. She earned her Master’s in Social Work and is working towards her License in Clinical Social Work. She has two amazing daughters and hopes to help other individuals and families actualize their dream of building a forever family. Rose conducts home studies and post adoptive visits for our families at Adoption by Shepherd Care. 

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Beth Lawson, BA

Legal Assistant

Beth is the Legal Assistant to Trey Miller, the attorney who provides legal services for ASC adoptions. Beth has worked in this role since 2008. She loves being able to be a part of such a joyous occasion in families’ lives. In her spare time, Beth enjoys arts such as theatre and music, as well as reading and travelling to new places.

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Amy Scholz

Orlando Administrative Assistant

Amy works in our Orlando office handling paperwork and virtual files for all of our birthmothers and adoptive families. She aids everyone in the office get their job done and is excellent at organization and administration.  Amy has a background in special needs education and has taught preschool. She has two children of her own, and has a huge heart for adoption. In her free time she enjoys playing volleyball, serving at her church, being outside, and spending time with her family.

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Benjamin Nelson, BAA

Financial Director

Benjamin earned a Bachelor's in Finance with a double major in International Business, along with multiple certificates in banking. He handles the bookkeeping and related responsibilities for the agency.

In more recent years, adoption has been something that has become more and more close to his heart; he is thrilled to be able to use his talents and abilities to help in the process of placing children in families. Outside of work, he enjoys playing the drums, taking leisurely rides on his motorcycle, and spending quality time with his soon to be bride.

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Miranda Thomas, BA

Adoption Coordinator

Miranda joined the Shepherd Care family after completing an internship with ASC and falling in love with the incredible journey of adoption. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Counseling and Biblical Theology at Moody Bible Institute.

She enjoys being able to facilitate various aspects of the adoption process. She assists with birth parent care as well as aids the Colombia adoption and hosting programs. Her passion is for older children adoptions, and she is grateful to be part of an agency that brings together forever families.

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Angela Knapp, MSW

Adoption Specialist

Angela has over 9 years of experience working with children and families, including several years’ experience working abroad. She has a Master’s in Social Work and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2011.

Angela enjoys working with anyone touched by adoption, and serves as a Birthmother Counselor at Adoption By Shepherd Care. She loves being a part of bringing birth mothers, children, and families together. Angela has one son through international adoption and enjoys travel, reading, and spending time with family.

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Jackie Braun, MSW

Birth Parent Counselor

Jackie has been working with children and families as a social worker for over four years. She earned her Master’s in Social Work and is working towards her license in Clinical Social Work.

Jackie loves Social Work because it gives her the opportunity to hear people's stories and see healing in their lives. She works as a birthparent counselor at Adoption by Shepherd Care and walks alongside them through the adoption process. Jackie enjoys spending time with her community, husband, and dog.

ACCREDITATIONS
AND ASSOCIATIONS

One way that competence is measured in adoption is through professional accreditations and associations.  ASC is a licensed child-placing agency through the Florida Department of Children and Families, and we are also proud to hold the accreditations and memberships listed here.

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Hague Accreditation

In April of 2008, ASC was among the first group of agencies to be accredited by the Council of Accreditation to work in Hague Convention cases. We have maintained our accreditation since that time. The Hague Convention is an international treaty created to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children. Hague accreditation ensures that agencies are in compliance with Hague Convention standards.

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National Council for Adoption

ASC has been a member NCFA since 1998. NCFA was founded in 1980 as an adoption advocacy nonprofit organization. NCFA’s mission is to promote a culture of adoption through education, research, and legislative action.

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Council on Accreditation

ASC received COA accreditation in April of 2009. COA evaluates agencies and organizations to ensure they are providing high-quality, ethical services in compliance with COA’s accreditation standards. The accreditation process involves substantial investigation of the agency by COA and an in-depth site visit to ASC’s offices.

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Florida Adoption Council

ASC has been a member agency since its inception in 2001. The Florida Adoption Council is a not-for-profit association of adoption professionals, including attorneys, agencies, and social workers. FAC is dedicated to furthering and improving the adoption process within the state of Florida. Members of FAC are heavily involved in adoption legislation and spend time lobbying for better adoption laws.

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