Jason and Lisa Smith live in Taylorsville, Utah and have been adoption advocates most of their married lives. They have served in several positions with Families Supporting Adoption at both local and national levels. They have been involved with adoption outreach for many years promoting adoption as a positive choice in church meetings and high schools. They have most recently sat on the Board of Trustees for LDS Family Services. Jason is a Director of Operations with ADP Benefits Outsourcing. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Organizational Communications. Lisa is dance instructor and director of MCE Dance in Murray, Utah. Jason and Lisa have two beautiful daughters, Nicole and Addison, both joining their family through the miracle of adoption. They love to travel, and spend time with their girls.
Adoptive Parents, Former Board of Trustees for LDSFS and Families Supporting Adoption National Board Chairs, and former Chairs of the FSA National Board
Philip and Valerie Hochheiser live in Clinton, Utah, with their three children: Jordyn, Sydney and Adrian; all of whom joined their family through the miracle of adoption. They have been involved with adoption through LDS Family Services for over 14 years. They have served in many positions during this time, including teaching adoption preparation classes on a local level, serving on the FSA National Board and as chairs of the FSA National Board for 5 ½ years. Philip works as an engineer with ATK Launch Systems. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering. Valerie graduated from Weber State University with a BA in Business Education/Administrative Systems and is currently enjoying being a stay-at-home mother.
Adoptive Parents, Former Board of Trustees for LDSFS and Families Supporting Adoption National Board Chairs
We have been married for 19 years. We have been involved in adoption since 1998 when we put our paperwork in for the first time. We realized quickly there was a place for us in the adoption community. We have adopted 4 incredible children. Our oldest is 13, from there we have a 11 year old, a 7 year old and a 4 year old. Our first 3 adoptions were through an agency and were considered “Designated Adoption”, where a birth mom found out about us through a 3rd party and went into our agency requesting us. Our last adoption was through the state. We were blessed to work as Foster Parents for 4 years. After saying goodbye to seven children we got a call about a baby boy and we knew he was meant to be!
Brad and I have served on local and national adoption boards and committees and have enjoyed getting to know the many wonderful people who work hard to help promote adoption as a positive option. We are also blessed to be part of a Birth Family. Our nephew was placed for adoption and watching the whole process from beginning to end was a life changing experience. Our family enjoys open adoptions with our children’s Birth Families.
Brad works for University Hospital and I stay at home with the kids. We both enjoy movies, camping and anything we can do as a family. Brad enjoys target shooting and I love to write.
You can get to know us a little more on our family blog Another Small Adventure
Dennis Ashton has been passionately involved with the adoption community for 38 years. He retired from LDSFS in 2014 after a long and distinguished career where he served as a licensed psychotherapist, agency director, program specialist, and assistant commissioner. He and his wife Joyce, are the parents of 6 children and 10 grandchildren who they love spending time with. He and his wife are the authors of 5 books: Loss and Grief Recovery, Jesus Wept, 3 Volumes of “But If Not”, now in compilation. We’re lucky to have Dennis serving on the Board of Directors of Forever Bound Adoption. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him.
Amanda is currently a fifth grade teacher living with her husband and three daughters in Fulshear, Texas. Amanda placed a daughter for adoption 25 years ago through LDSFS in a closed adoption. She and her daughter were reunited 17 years later. Both the biological and adoptive families enjoy an open and loving relationship.
Amanda has served as the chairperson of the San Diego chapter of Families Supporting Adoption helping to support adoption advocacy. During this time she was able to participate in several birthmother panels and advocate in ecclesiastical settings. Amanda was also fortunate to attend the annual United for Adoption conference as a presenter. She participated in FSA for another year while living in Mesa, Arizona.
She has always felt blessed by the miracle of adoption in her own life and has been privileged to see it’s miracles in the lives of so many others on all sides of the adoption triad.
Bob grew up in New York and West Virginia. He attended Central Connecticut State College, where he majored in Social Science. He was a four-year member of the football team. In 1968, Bob entered the United States Air Force. He served in the Air Force until 1976. While serving, he attended Utica College and Syracuse University and completed his degree in Social Science.
Over the past 41 years, Bob has worked for the New York State Division for Youth and LDS Family Services. While at LDS Family Services, he worked with birth parents and adoptive couples working to build their families through adoption. He also worked with a number of not-for-profit programs providing services for individuals with persistent mental health issues. In his spare time, Bob loves to read about history and politics. He also enjoys playing golf.
Rose grew up in Connecticut as the youngest of nine children. She graduated with honors from Central Connecticut State College. Rose then taught in Rome, New York, while she attended Syracuse University. She graduated with honors from Syracuse University.
Rose spent her career teaching in New York, and eventually retired twice; once from Hyde Park Central School District and once from Dutchess Community College. She is a member of the American Association of University Women and Dutchess Community Black History Committee. Her passion is, and always will be her family.
Bob and Rose met while they both attended Central Connecticut State College. They were married in 1969, and will soon celebrate 50 years of marriage. They are the proud parents of three wonderful children.
Ken graduated from Weber State College and the University of Utah. He has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is licensed as a LCSW. He has worked with adoption for over 30 years and has helped literally hundreds of adoptive couples and birth mothers. Adoption is one of his great passions in life. His favorite (and only) sister was adopted, which piqued his interest in adoption early in his life. Ken loves the idea of placing children in loving homes when birth parents are not able to raise their child. Ken has four children and has been married to Gail Bennion Lowe for the past 37 years. He looks forward to helping you with your needs in a loving and compassionate manner.
I am Shelley Sweet, I am a daughter, sister, wife, and the mother of 4 adopted children and 4 stepchildren. My adoption experience has included designated adoption, agency adoption, and foster care to adoption. One of my agency adoptions was special needs. Included in my experience is also a failed placement. I have been a stay-at-home Mom for 27 years as well as the owner of several business in the field of construction and property management. I’m a certified mentor, a loyal friend, and a lifelong learner.
My favorite part of my adoption experience is the ongoing relationship I’ve had with my birth families. It started with annual letters and picture on birthdays and Christmas, and has morphed into annual reunions, trips to Disney, and supporting them in mile markers in their lives and the lives of their other children. Adoption is a beautiful thing where LOVE is the crowning motivator of all involved.
Nikki Mackay has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, particularly in the child welfare arena. As the CEO of Utah Foster Care, she is dedicated to building partnerships with community organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders to improve the lives of children in foster care.
Nikki has a strong track record of strategic planning, program development, and community engagement. She has led successful initiatives to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families and has a deep understanding of the complex issues facing the foster care system. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that all children have access to the resources and support they need to thrive, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational counseling. She has served on numerous boards and committees focused on child welfare and social services, worked as a foster care caseworker for the Division of Child and Family Services prior to beginning her career at Utah Foster Care in 1999 and is a respected voice in the field. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two teenagers or helping as needed at one of their two restaurants.