Meet our Advocates

TFI resources, supports, and equips Advocates to facilitate on-going, long term relationships between their local agencies and the Body of Christ.

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Meet Our Advocates

AlabamaBack to Top

Blake and Blair Martin
Baldwin County Blake and Blair Martin

Coming Soon!

Kristin Solomon
Birmingham, AL - Jefferson County Kristin Solomon

Kristin is married to Shane and the homeschooling mom of two boys. God gave her a passion for “the fatherless” as she read His word. For two years she prayed and waited for God to show her what her next steps were and when she learned about The Forgotten Initiative, she felt God was leading her to action.

It is exciting to watch the Body of Christ in my community come together to serve the forgotten!
Catie Lumpkin
Birmingham, AL - Shelby County Catie Lumpkin

Jamie and Catie Lumpkin have been licensed foster parents for three years and cared for more than thirty children during that time period. They have three biological sons and four long term foster children. Their journey daily takes them to the foot of the cross, where they find strength to love and serve their children’s families, their caseworkers, and other parties involved.

Jena Turner
Escambia County Jena Turner

Jena and Keath have always had a heart for adoption. Their desire at first (after having 2 biological children) was to privately adopt an infant. After beginning that process, God divinely opened a door for them instead to foster-to-adopt a five and six year old that were biological siblings. Fostering was never something they planned to do, but they knew when this opportunity arose it was God’s plan for their lives. They eventually adopted their two foster children, but during their first 9 months of being foster parents to these siblings, they were able to see the reality of broken children, broken homes, broken parents, worn out workers, a lack of help on so many levels, and a broken system altogether. They have such a heart to fill these gaps by working with TFI. They are excited to have the resources, encouragement, counsel, and leadership that The Forgotten Initiative ministry offers to their advocates and the foster care community.They desire to see Christ exalted in whatever is accomplished through this ministry by them.

“We care for orphans not because we are rescuers, but because we are the rescued.” – David Platt
Mark and Alison Rudd
Mobile County Mark and Alison Rudd

Mark and Alison Rudd live in their hometown of Mobile, Alabama and have been foster parents since 2012. They have a biological daughter, age 8, and a boxer named Bailey. The Rudd’s have had 4 placements since becoming licensed and are active in the local Foster Parent Association. Mark is a pastor at People of Mars Hill in Mobile and Alison is nursing faculty at a local university. They are passionate about engaging the church to care for the foster care community, including meeting the needs of birth families in crisis.

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
Carissa Wright
St. Clair County Carissa Wright

Carissa and her husband Chris’ lives were changed forever because of their experience with the foster care community. God opened their hearts 9 years ago to adoption through foster care and blessed them 7 years ago with three precious daughters. Through their journey they have seen many needs in the foster community and are excited about helping support their local foster care community through the love of Christ.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Phillippians 2:3-4

CaliforniaBack to Top

Becky DeCarlo
Bakersfield, CA Becky DeCarlo

Becky and her husband Dominic have five children and are foster parents. When their hearts were burdened by the enormity of needs in the foster care system, they desired to be a voice for the fatherless. As an Advocate, Becky has a front row seat in watching the Body of Christ use their gifts and talents to share the love of Jesus with the foster care community.

We truly believe the Lord is going to use The Forgotten Initiative to make His name and love known to those in the foster care system in Bakersfield and across the United States.
Dale and Jillaine Maples
Humboldt County Dale and Jillaine Maples

Dale and Jillaine Maples learned of the need for good foster homes in their community in 2012, and after that, they no longer had the luxury of not knowing. They quickly began to research how they could better equip their local church to serve the foster care community. They found The Forgotten Initiative at a CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) conference and soon after began the process of becoming advocates in their community of Humboldt County, California. Dale is a plumbing and heating contractor and Jillaine is a full-time mom. They have been married since 1988 and have eight children and one grandchild.

Ricardo Garza
Sacramento Ricardo Garza

Ricardo can often be found with coffee in hand, music playing, and singing and dancing to children songs with kiddos in tow; not necessarily in that order. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany, for seven years. After having two biological children of their own, they became foster parents in 2015, growing their family of four to five through adoption. Just months after their adoption, they were surprised with the arrival of his little brother, whom they are currently fostering. Ricardo serves as the Young Adults Pastor at River’s Edge Church and spends weekdays in the banking industry.

“Don’t let the fear of loving a child who might leave deter you. Let the fear of a child not knowing love drive you.” Jason Johnson

DelawareBack to Top

Tara Johnson
Kent/Sussex Counties Tara Johnson

Tara and her husband, Billy, live in rural Delaware and have three boys. After becoming aware of The Forgotten Initiative and the needs within the foster community, Tara was motivated to do something. She has become an advocate with TFI to bring awareness to other of needs they can fill, spread God’s love to a hurting community, and encourage the workers, families, and children within the foster care system.

One person cannot do everything, but everyone can do something. What is your something?

FloridaBack to Top

Tammy McGuire
Northeast Florida Tammy McGuire

Tammy McGuire’s experience within the child welfare system expands over the past twenty-eight years. It started in her early twenties when she mentored a teenage girl within the Foster Care system. Married for over 22 years to her husband, John McGuire, their family has been foster parents for 11 years; and have nurtured and cared for over 61 foster children in their home. Tammy and John have two adult biological children; and on April 5, 2016, adopted their last two foster children a (nine-year-old girl, and her eight-year-old brother). In 2009, the McGuire family started the Foster Closet Corporation in their home. This 501c3 Charity is a free resource, which now helps over 800 foster, relative, and non-relative placements each year. Within the Foster Closet, Tammy also facilitates a foster parent support group, as well as “foster parent’s night out” for all foster parents. Tammy has won many local and state advocacy awards. Her purpose is brought to life when speaking to local PRIDE classes about her role within the foster care system. TFI will bring a jumpstart to Northeast Florida’s churches, with the desired hope to bring His heart to the forgotten.

“My most rewarding work is the souls the Lord allow her to touch each day through fostering, guidance and support of our foster families.”

GeorgiaBack to Top

Jon and Amber Schwalls
Colquitt County Jon and Amber Schwalls

Amber and Jon were married April 2005 and are parents to two beautiful girls, Carter and Ellie. They are excited and expectant of God’s plan in continuing to expand their family unit. They have served as foster parents and TFI coordinators since the summer of 2013. Their passions in ministering to the forgotten is helping break the cycles of abandonment and poor parenting in their county via TFI. They hope to unite the churches in their county in these efforts by serving as the bridge between them and the foster community. Their favorite quote comes from a very special Godly counselor that has blessed their lives individually and united them as a family. It has given them a better understanding and profound empathy in ministering to the broken.

“Sometimes, the problems in a persons life are often, not what was done to them, but what wasn’t done for them.”- Sylvia Evans
Tony and Selena Whitley
Middle Georgia Tony and Selena Whitley

Tony and Selena live in Warner Robins, Georgia where Tony serves as the Children’s Pastor of Shirley Hills Baptist Church. Selena is a working mom of two biological kids, and she and Tony have been foster parents for two years. TFI is the God-ordained next step in their desire to improve and honor the Foster Care system in Middle Georgia.

“We are passionate about equipping and empowering the local church to take back their God-given responsibility of caring for the fatherless. Children from hard places are my heartbeat, and we are beyond excited to see what amazing possibilities God has in store for our area!”
Amber Schaub
Northwest Georgia Amber Schaub

Amber Schaub grew up in West Michigan but moved South for a job after graduating from high school and hasn’t missed the frozen north. She currently lives in Georgia and has been a foster parent since 2013. She loves being a single foster parent and has welcomed over 35 children into her home through fostering. By partnering with TFI, Amber hopes to reach beyond just the kids who come to her house but the foster care community as a whole in her area.

IllinoisBack to Top

Madison Flack
Galesburg Madison Flack

Growing up as a farm girl, Madison’s heart has been fashioned to pursue a cause that is greater than herself. She will graduate from Judson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry in just a few short months. As a ministry student she began serving with TFI in Elgin, IL a year and a half ago. Back in her hometown of Galesburg, IL, Madison is passionate and eager to serve the local foster care agencies and churches within the community.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Hellen Keller
Jami Kaeb
Bloomington Jami Kaeb

Jami Kaeb is a dreamer and a coffee lover! She is married to Clint and the mother of seven – five through adoption. It was through a difficult season of waiting, that Clint and Jami’s eyes were opened to the foster care community. They became foster parents to three siblings who they eventually adopted and in April of 2011, Jami founded The Forgotten Initiative. Jami views life as a great adventure with Jesus and desires simply to know Him more and share His love with those who feel forgotten.

Follow Jami’s personal blog at www.lifewithapersonalgod.org

“We love watching God do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ever ask, think, or imagine! To Him be all the Glory.”
Vicki Kellenberger
Elgin Vicki Kellenberger

As a wife, mother, and grandmother, Vicki’s life has been full of love and purpose. During the 33 years of her marriage to Ken, they have together raised four wonderful children and are now the adoring grandparents of two grandchildren. In addition, Vicki first had a career as a court reporter and is now a business manager for a nursing home. However, in the midst of it all, Vicki felt God begin to nudge her to look outside the richness of her own life and engage with and serve those less fortunate than her. Through her daughter, Jillian, Vicki’s life intersected with TFI in 2011. The more she learned about the work of TFI, she realized she, too, had a passion for the children and care-givers involved in foster care. As a result, Vicki officially began serving in TFI along side her daughter, seeking to “defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; [and] maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” (Psalm 82:3) Vicki was involved in organizing the Elgin, IL chapter of TFI in 2013 and now serves as the local Advocate.

Carrie Purtell
Peoria Carrie Purtell

Carrie and her husband Seth are believers in Christ and it is their belief that they should pass on the love of Jesus to others. They have been foster parents for 5 years and are also adoptive parents. Carrie loves people, and is so excited to be a part of TFI – to have more opportunities to pass on Jesus’ love to those who are in such desperate need of it (but aren’t we all?).

Adam and Melissa Craig
Will County Adam and Melissa Craig

Adam and Melissa have 4 children- 2 boys and 2 girls. After a powerful Bible study with their small group from church, they really had the desire to start serving their community. Melissa and Adam got connected with TFI and found out there was a need for an advocate. Half way through another powerful Bible study (studying is the easy part!) and prayer, Melissa felt like this was something they should pursue. Thinking maybe it was time to apply what they had learned! They are excited to serve the foster community and to see how the Lord can use them to help fix a broken system.

“We live in a broken world. Here is a great opportunity to help make it better and what better time than now?”
Gary and Marie Briggs
Southern Maine Gary and Marie Briggs

Gary and Marie live in a small town in Southern Maine. Marie has been teaching preschool for 16 years and loves impacting the lives of children and families through the special education program she developed 5 years ago. Gary and Marie have 5 children in their home currently and hopes to bring in more someday. They took in their first foster placement last summer and God really opened doors for them to become involved in the foster care community. They began investing in relationships and churches in their area, praying over all that they believe God wants to do through them to help children and strengthen families. Gary and Marie found TFI through online research and loved reading about ways TFI was serving the foster care community. The TFI team was so helpful in the months that led up to us joining TFI in coming alongside us with hope in the midst of so much brokenness in our community. Our story is very similar to others in our region and we are excited to join TFI and bring joy and purpose to the Southern Maine foster care community.

“Adopting and fostering a child imitates the COMPASSION of Christ toward individual suffering and obeys the biblical mandate regarding the fatherless. Christ-like communities who stand ready to love and adopt needy children illustrate in living color, the gospel of our adoption into the family of God.”

MinnesotaBack to Top

Natalie Heise
Coulee Region (On the border of WI & MN) Natalie Heise

Is there really anything more important than meeting a child where they are? My heart breaks for children and families whose lives have been challenged and tested by the difficulties of this world. It is through this passion, that the foster world has now become our world. Together with my husband Dave of 29 years and our 6 children, 3 biological and 3 adopted, we have been fostering for 11 years. The opportunities we have been given through saying yes to God are immense. We are continually being refined by being given the blessing of parenting our own children and others for either one day or a lifetime. It is a calling we are intentional about and are deeply thankful for, which is why partnering with The Forgotten Initiative is just a natural decision. We look forward to what God will do as we seek to empower others to move closer to God in caring for these precious souls.

Bonnie Porter
Twin Cities - North Bonnie Porter

Bonnie is married and has 4 children, one son-in-law, and one grandson. Through the process of adding her two youngest children to the family, Bonnie experienced the miracle of adoption and God’s grace that restores and redeems. She is excited to play a role in helping mobilize the Church to bring God’s redemption to hurting children, youth, and their families in her community.

“We love because He first loved us.” I John 4:19
Candace King
Twin Cities Candace King

Looking for a way to make a connection with foster care needs in her own community, TFI came into view as an answer to the “how” that could happen. Candace’s family growing up was a foster home for their county, giving her the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges that children and foster families face. Candace and her husband Santy have two children.

“It is so amazing to connect the Body of Christ with opportunities to support foster care, deepening the connection that believers already have with Jesus by meeting these needs in our community and loving the forgotten. People really want to respond to that calling when they are given the opportunity.”

MissouriBack to Top

Pam Chapman
Webster County Pam Chapman

Pam and Charlie have been married for 31 years and together have two married children. They also have the sweetest joy imaginable, an adored two-year-old granddaughter and a second precious grandchild on the way. Following their ’empty nest’ four years ago God placed a burden on their hearts for the foster community, and recently led them to The Forgotten Initiative. Pam has a vision of each local church supporting one family who is fostering – with that family being surrounded by Godly, willing helpers – as they are the hands and feet to the needs of the children placed in their homes. She is confident that if only one family in each church took on this opportunity, we could provide for all the children in care in our area – and if those churches surrounded one family each with support, that family would be blessed and encouraged beyond measure! What a tremendous opportunity to share and show God’s love!
Together, Charlie & Pam look forward to working with the other advocates at TFI, reaching and supporting the foster community in rural areas in Central and Southwest Missouri, and challenging our local churches to be Christ’s hands and feet in the care and love of these children and vulnerable adults. Now is the time to show them the love of Christ; she wants to be a part of that.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Everett Hale

NevadaBack to Top

Gloria Torma
All of Nevada Gloria Torma

Gloria and her husband Michael began working with their local social services agency and churches in 2012 after attending an orientation and being moved by the overwhelming desire to serve in this area. Since then they have been blessed to expand the ministry partnership with the agencies throughout Nevada and as the West Coast Regional Coordinator for Orphan Sunday Gloria has been privileged to introduce Orphan Sunday to many of the rural Nevada areas. Michael and Gloria are also foster parents and enjoy working with the local recruitment and training team to recruit and encourage new foster parents. Although there is a level of sadness that accompanies foster care/adoption/orphan ministries Michael and Gloria believe passionately in the power and potential of the churches working together with the agencies, families, and professionals involved in the Nevada child welfare system to make lasting positive impacts for future generations.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

New MexicoBack to Top

Jennifer Bartz
Albuquerque Jennifer Bartz

Jen is a happy mother of four beautiful children. Her husband James and she adopted a baby boy with Down syndrome in 2014. Being in the adoption community opened their eyes to the needs around them in the foster care community. They want to help mobilize the Church to meet the needs through Christ and expect to see miracles happen as He moves in the Albuquerque community.

“They who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

North CarolinaBack to Top

Traci Prillaman
Union County Traci Prillaman

Traci and her husband, Brad, live in Matthews, North Carolina where they are both active members of their church and community. They are the proud parents of three wonderful boys and have been licensed foster parents since early 2014. Traci is excited to partner with TFI and lead a team in Union County that will be the hands and feet of Jesus to the foster care community.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

OklahomaBack to Top

Kara Reid
NW Oklahoma Kara Reid

When God opened their eyes in 2009 to the needs of the foster care community, He also ignited a passion in Kara to serve the families effected by foster care. Along with her husband, Cory, they have been serving Jesus by caring for those in need. Over the past few years this has included adopting their youngest son from the foster care system, and adding an older sister to the family as well. Kara has been praying for God to show her how to get others in her community of Woodward, Oklahoma involved and felt Him lead her to TFI.

“Don’t just pray about what seems logical & possible. Pray HARD about the impossible. God will show you that NOTHING is impossible with Him. Ever. Period. End of Story.” – Ann Voskamp

PennsylvaniaBack to Top

Sean and Deanna Riccardelli
Lancaster Sean and Deanna Riccardelli

Sean and Deanna are parents to Liza (16), Elina (14), and Levi (6)! Their daughters and son both joined the family through the amazing gift of adoption! After traveling and living in Eastern Europe, Sean & Deanna have developed a great love for children in need of a loving home! Their desire is to encourage and support those who are in the midst of Foster Care Work – Foster Parents, Social Workers and most importantly the children!

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Theresa

South CarolinaBack to Top

Amanda Brown
Lowcountry Amanda Brown

Amanda and her husband, Matt, live in Moncks Corner, SC. They have four children and are foster parents. Their lives changed drastically five years ago when God placed on them the calling to love and support orphaned and the foster care community. Foster care has become an integral part of their lives and ministry. Amanda currently leads a ministry to equip, inform and support local families through the foster care and adoption process. TFI was brought into her focus as God is growing the reach and depth of how the Lowcountry looks at and supports orphan care.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” C.S. Lewis
Rachel Lawrence
Columbia Rachel Lawrence

Rachel is married to Jonathan and has three daughters through the gift of adoption. She wants to be more like Jesus and to live a life of gratitude for all He is and has done. Until recently, she didn’t have much exposure to or experience with the foster care community; but the more she learned about it, the more she realized that she wanted to be involved with something so near to the heart of Jesus. She is excited about what God is doing and will continue to do in the foster care community in her city and feels honored to get to be a part of it!

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” ~ Micah 6:8

TennesseeBack to Top

Kristy Smith
Anderson County Kristy Smith

The Smith family has been actively involved in their local foster care community since 2010, when Andy and Kristy became certified foster parents. After a couple of adoptions filled their home to capacity, they began looking for other ways to use the experience they had gained within the foster care community, to serve that same community. The opportunity to partner with TFI has been such a natural and exciting next step to making the most of their efforts to show Christ’s love tangibly to an often hurting and hidden group of neighbors.

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jeff and Becky Smits
Knoxville Jeff and Becky Smits

Jeff and Becky have 5 children. After a couple years of fostering and eventually adopting, they still had a desire to continue to help the children in foster care, minister to the social workers in their community, and support other foster families they met along the way. They were always saddened when their foster children arrived with either the typical “garbage bag luggage” or simply just the clothes on their backs. When Becky received an embroidery machine for Christmas and saw a Pinterest “pin” for Shelter Bags, the idea of personalizing bags for children entering foster care began. The ministry flourished and blossomed in meeting needs way beyond that, and they are now so grateful God orchestrated becoming part of such a kindred ministry with TFI! Jeff and Becky desire for more families to know about foster care and how God is calling them to use their gifts to impact the foster care community for Christ.

“I want to show the world the love You gave me, I’m longing for the world to know the glory of the King. I want to live like that, and give it all I have. So that everything I say and do points to You.” – Sidewalk Prophets

VirginiaBack to Top

Reagan Lowe
Richmond Reagan Lowe

Wayne and Reagan Lowe have been married for nearly two decades, have five biological children and have been foster parents for four years. The Lord has used to foster care to stretch and grow their family in a way only He can do. Saying yes to a sibling group of teenagers nearly two years ago was one of the best decisions they have ever made. They are grateful for the love and support that they have received from an extended foster care community and seek to make that support available to every foster family in the Richmond area.

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” Amy Carmichael
Angie Grant
Chesterfield/Henrico Counties Angie Grant

Stan and his wife Angie have Pastored Clover Hill Assembly of God in Midlothian Virginia for the past 17 years. They have 4 children, one of whom was brought into their lives through the foster system– they can’t remember which one. They are thrilled to see a mobilized church in the area of orphan care and are passionate about the people of God living a transcendent life!

“We are involved in Foster Care, because we can.”

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