The Kansas City Adoption Team
Hi, I am Steffany Aye. I have been a part of the field of adoption since 1993 and have found adoption work to be very rewarding. I was brought to the work of adoption in college while obtaining my first masters degree in Family Life Education and Consultation. I have always had an interest in unplanned pregnancy and infertility. However, it was not until I was asked to work in the field of adoptions that I began to see how the pieces of my interest could fit together.
While obtaining my 2nd masters degree in Social Work, I had the opportunity to also study Hospital and School Social Work. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these other fields; however, I knew that my heart’s desire was to be involved in the field of adoption. Within a few short months, the doors began to open and my desire of starting an adoption agency became a reality.
Since 1998, Adoption & Beyond has grown from a small, one-person home-based agency to an agency with several workers covering two states. I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of wonderful prospective birth parents, prospective adoptive families and their children. In addition, I am the proud mother of five children, one having joined our family through adoption.
Steffany A. Aye
Hello! I am Cindy, I joined the Adoption & Beyond team, in September of 2016. I graduated from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) with my Bachelor of Social Work in 1989. I previously worked for an adoption agency in Colorado doing home studies, and I have spent the last several years in the field of Medical Social Work.
I have two biological sons, one adopted daughter, three stepdaughters and an adorable, 18 month old granddaughter. As a recent empty nester, I spend my free time enjoying time with my husband, traveling to see our children and spoiling our three cats and three dogs.
For many years I have longed to again work in the adoption field. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to follow my passion for uniting forever families through adoption. I consider it privilege and gift to be a part of such a personal life journey. As an adoptive parent myself, I feel that I bring a unique understanding and perspective. I believe there is not a braver, more selfless person than a Birthmother and no love more genuine than that given by an Adoptive Parent. Thank you for allowing me to take this journey alongside you.
Home Study and Post-Adoption Coordinator
I was honored to become a part of the Adoption & Beyond team in 2015! I received my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University in Kansas City, MO in 2014. I completed my internship with Sunflower House in Shawnee, KS as a Family Advocate. After graduating, I worked with families in the Head Start Program in the Kansas City, KS public school district. I greatly enjoy working with families and look forward to working with Adoption & Beyond’s families.
I have a personal connection to adoption as I was adopted by my father around the age of 13 years old. Some might say that it was an adoption by my stepfather, but he is my dad. I am married and have a young child. I know the joy that comes along with becoming a parent and want to help others experience that joy as well.
In my free time, I like to read, run, spend time with my family, and be outdoors. I am excited to work for Adoption & Beyond and look forward to working with you!
Regional Adoption Team
Hi, my name is Tonya Grauberger, I am a Home Study Coordinator and have been with Adoption & Beyond since 2005. I live in Topeka, Kansas and I graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelors of Social Work and later returned to Washburn for my Masters of Social Work. I have always had an interest in working with children. I completed my undergraduate internship with Court Appointed Special Advocates, of Shawnee County (CASA). Unsure of the focus I wanted to pursue in my work with children, I took a job in the field of accounting for five years. I still had a desire to work with families and children, so in the summer of 2004, I began working on my master’s degree. I completed my graduate internship at Adoption & Beyond, where I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with prospective birth parents and prospective adoptive families. It was through my personal experience as a prospective adoptive mother that my interest in working in the area of adoption grew. My husband and I were blessed with a precious son through adoption in January 2003 and a beautiful daughter in May 2007. I had wonderful adoption experiences, and I knew that I wanted to provide families beginning their adoption journey with similar experiences. My heart truly is in the field of adoption and the issues that surround families touched by adoption.
St. Louis & Eastern Missouri Adoption
Hi, My name is Karla Jacquin, and I am very excited to be a member of the Adoption & Beyond team! I graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1989, and received my Master’s degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University in 1996.
I live in St. Louis, and am the mom of two teenagers! I work as a Pediatric Medical Social Worker at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and love my job there as a member of the International Adoption Center.
Adoption has always been a passion and dream of mine – even as a young child. Working as an adoption social worker has turned that dream into a reality. I look forward to meeting you as we embark on your adoption journey!
Kansas City Metropolitan
I am very thrilled to be working for Adoption & Beyond! I recently moved back to the Kansas City area to pursue my Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2010. From the first day I began my social work coursework I knew what my end goal was: to be a part of the adoption field. I have always been fascinated by the field of adoption and how complex and meaningful it is to everyone involved. I love that every family is different so every adoption story is different.
Since I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree I have worked with children in many different settings. I have worked as a mentor, camp counselor, Youth Care Worker, Child Behavior Aide, and as a preschool Assistant Teacher. To me, there is nothing more important than my family and the love and support they surround me with, so I cannot imagine a more fulfilling and rewarding career than to be even just a small part of building a loving and nurturing forever family.
When I am not at work I love to be outdoors, play soccer, attend Sporting KC games, read, crafts, or be swimming and boating at the lake! I feel very blessed to be a part of the Adoption & Beyond family and I look forward to working with you!
Kansas City Metropolitan & Eastern Kansas
Hi! My name is Melissa McGill and I am honored to have been a part of the Adoption & Beyond team as a Home Study Coordinator since 2010. Having worked in the field of adoption before, I am glad to be back working in adoptions and I look forward to helping you and your family with your adoption process.
I completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and Sociology in December 1999 from Baker University. Following my bachelors degree I worked in the field of social services prior to pursuing my Masters of Social Work degree. Upon graduating from the University of Kansas in May 2003, I obtained my license and began working in the field of foster care adoptions. My heart went out to these children who had lost their parents due to abuse and neglect; but, it is hard to put into words the joy that came when a match was made for these children to have the forever family they longed for.
After the birth of my daughter, I chose to leave child-welfare to have more time with my family and began working part-time in school social work. I continue to work part-time as a School Counselor in two area schools.
I am married and have two young children. I truly believe in putting one’s family first and believe everyone’s situation is unique, especially when it comes to adoption. I am privileged to be able to help you work through your adoption as you grow your family.
Central & Western Kansas Adoption
Hello, my name is Debbi Stone, and I am one of the Home Study Coordinators, I have been with Adoption & Beyond since 2006. I graduated from Bethel College in 1999 with a Bachelors degree in Social Work. During my senior year at Bethel I was able to intern at an adoption agency in Wichita, Kansas. It was an awesome experience which turned into an awesome job!
I enjoy working with prospective adoptive families and appreciate and admire their strength and determination as they travel through the journey to become parents. I have a special place in my heart for all members of the triad. In order for you to know what makes me tick as a person and as a social worker it is important for you to know that I am a birth mother of a 25 year old son named Danny. Danny is a well adjusted man who happens to be an adoptee because I made the decision many years ago to give him parents who could provide for him like I could not at that time in my life. I believe Danny is the awesome man he is today because of his mom and dad, and yes, because he is a product of an open adoption. I understand “open adoption” is not always possible, but by educating yourself about adoption and about your child’s heritage, you will be prepared to help him or her navigate through adoption and through life. I wish you the best and pray your adoption journey will bless you as mine has me.
Wichita, Central & Western Kansas Adoption
Greetings from Central Kansas, I am Mary Waggoner and I am a Home Study Coordinator for Adoption & Beyond, I have been with the agency since 2010. For over eight years I worked with children and families through the mental health and school system, currently I am working as a school social worker. I have undergraduate degrees from Emporia State University and Bethel College and I received my Master of Social Work from Newman University in 2007.
My first introduction to the adoption process began nineteen years ago when some friends of mine decided to forgo fertility treatments and pursue adoption. As they weighed the pros and cons of their decision, I was there to listen, support, and encourage. After their son was born I celebrated with them as he reached various milestones and I cheered with the family when he graduated from high school and moved on to college. Since that first introduction I have had numerous opportunities to interact with other touched by adoption. These experiences have left me with the desire to work with others who want to build their families through adoption.
When I am not working, I spend my time on the never ending house projects of demolishing, re-building and decorating. I am actively involved in a Bible study group where I have developed and maintain close friendships. I also spend as much time as I can with my three children who are each leaving home to pursue dreams of their own.
I am looking forward to working with your family.
Mary E. Waggoner
Julie L. Wilson
Southern & Central Missouri Adoption
Hello! My name is Julie Wilson. I started at Adoption & Beyond in 2006 as an Adoption Coordinator, since moving to Springfield, Missouri in the fall of 2009, I became one of Adoption & Beyond Home Study Coordinators. I have worked in the adoption field since 1992 and thoroughly enjoy what I do. I attended Evangel University where I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology. I attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City and achieved my Master in Social Work degree and then completed my supervision to become a licensed clinical social worker.
I have had the opportunity to work with all members of the adoption triad – prospective birth parents, prospective adoptive parents, and the adopted person. I believe adoption is a wonderful experience for all involved. I am always amazed how God puts together the pieces of the adoption puzzle to form a beautiful picture. I have also seen how the adoption process has changed over the years from being closed to much more openness regarding communication. I feel the changes have been positive for all involved and am privileged to be a part of such a wonderful process. I like what I do and am looking forward to continuing my work in the field of adoption.
Julie L. Wilson
Southwestern Missouri Adoption
Hi, my name is Shannon Wilson and I live in Springfield, Missouri. I graduated from Evangel University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2000 and from Missouri State University with a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2003. I received my clinical social work license in 2007.
I have been working with an agency that facilitates Adoptions and Foster Care since the spring of 2003. I received my clinical social work license in 2007. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy developing relationships with my foster families and investing in the lives of the children that I work with.
I have been working with Adoption & Beyond as one of their Home Study Coordinators since the fall of 2004 and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many new people. It is so rewarding to be a part of children and adoptive parents coming together and becoming a family. There are so many children that need families, and I love sharing in the process of these families being created. I enjoy working with families from the beginning of the home study process all the way through getting to meet their children during the post adoptive visits. I believe that God has opened this door for me, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of bringing children who need a family to a family that is waiting for them.
I am married and have been blessed to be the mother to two little girls, Reagan and Riley. Both of my jobs allow me the flexibility to stay home with them most of the time. I love being a mom, and I love helping people become parents through adoption.