The Annual Report Is Here!

Because children belong in families.

Mission and Vision

A Family for Every Orphan is a Christian organization that helps orphans find care in safe and loving families in their home countries.

Our vision is a world without orphans.

Read more about our work here:

Financial Accountability

We believe in fiscal transparency. We want you to feel confident that we are using your gifts to help kids not only get into families, but STAY in loving families. Visit our financial accountability page to learn more.

Our Founding Executive Director
Micala Siler

Micala Christie-Hicks Siler, A Family for Every Orphan’s founding Executive Director who served from 2010 to 2020, had a tremendous impact on the global orphan care movement. Micala’s vision was a world without orphans, and she lived out this mission with an inspiring dedication to those in need. Micala was an exceptional advocate for orphans and vulnerable children, caring deeply for each and every child and family in her path.

As the Executive Director for AFFEO, Micala helped over 227,500 children and at-risk families in any way she could. Because of her tireless efforts and remarkable wisdom and leadership thousands of families were reunited and strengthened, social workers trained, families were provided with adoption support or counseling, and millions were reached with the message of adoption.

Micala was the first born to Michael and Celeste Hicks in Iowa City, Iowa on December 19th, 1978. She was an intense light and fierce leader from the day she was born. Over time, she became the oldest of seven siblings who loved her so dearly and consistently looked to her for insight and inspiration in writing the next chapter of their collective narrative. Micala graduated from high school in Olmsted Falls, Ohio in 1997, and earned a nomination to join the ranks of the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The next five of her six younger siblings followed her into the Army. Consistently, when asked why they wanted to serve in the military, the explanation started with, “Well, my older sister Micala went to West Point…” She was the rare, uniquely beautiful type of person who always sought the next challenge, always sought to serve, and always pressed into what it means to become ever more alive and fully human.

Over the course of Army assignments that would take her to Fort Leonard Wood, Korea, Fort Bragg, Fort Lewis, Iraq, and Afghanistan, she became the first female to ever graduate from the demanding Sapper Leadership Course, became Jump Master certified, and led many men and women through the challenge and danger of combat deployments.

She met the love of her life, Jason Siler, while assigned to Fort Lewis and married him on July 4th, 2009. Through their deep love and commitment to each other, four beautiful girls were brought into this world – Keira, Noelle, Cheyenne, and Natalie. All five of them are such preciously tangible legacies of her goodness and outpouring of love.

After stepping away from military service in 2009, Micala’s desire to serve the world – and specifically to protect and encourage those whose lives had been less fortunate than her own – found a new outlet. Micala became the Executive Director of A Family for Every Orphan, an International Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to finding loving families for orphans in their home country. There could not be a mission or calling more accurately expressive of who Micala was. Her deepest desire was to love others well and to spread the light, hope, and restoration of an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Micala’s light and goodness will be deeply missed by her friends, colleagues, and family. We take great comfort in knowing that she is in heaven, eternally free and infinitely restored. Her legacy of joy and purity are just as concrete and eternal as her new home. Even now, we hear her saying “Good job!” “That’s great!” “I love you!” Even now, she leads us.


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Statement of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
I believe in the holy catholic* church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*represents the global ecumenical church

David Melilli, J.D., LL.M.

Voting Board Member

David is an attorney located in Boerne,Texas. His areas of practice include estate, tax and philanthropic planning. One of the major priorities in his practice is helping his clients invest significantly, wisely and strategically in Kingdom work. David enables his clients to accomplish their estate, tax and charitable objectives efficiently. He understands the need for business and legal professionals to lead the way in promoting Kingdom Investment and growth.

David and his wife Julie are blessed with six children – ages 1 to 14. They are both strong proponents and supporters of adoption and orphan care. David was adopted and it has impacted his journey greatly. Their care for orphans and heart for adoption has helped form and grow their family. Three of their children are adopted from China and each adoption story has been an amazing journey of faith; watching God provide for their family in truly awesome ways. David and his family continue to have a heart for the orphans and are continually looking for ways to be involved in this arena. He is thrilled to be involved with A Family for Every Orphan as a board member.

Melinda Mandell

Vice Chair

Melinda is the owner of Melinda Mandell Interior Design, a residential design firm located in Palo Alto, California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from Seattle Pacific University, and an associate’s degree in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Melinda lends a creative and market savvy edge to the A Family for Every Orphan team.

Melinda is passionate about orphans and how families can play a role in the healing of children with broken pasts. She is specifically interested in how the physical home can support foster/adoptive families as they care for their children. Her three siblings, who were adopted from Russia, who were instrumental in making her aware of the plight of orphans in Eastern Europe and the issues surrounding orphan care.

Dr. Richard Scheuerman

Richard Scheuerman served for thirty-six years in public and private education and as a foundation and non-profit board member for organizations promoting indigenous adoption and orphan care in Europe and Asia. He and his wife have three children and are natives of the Endicott, Washington area where he recently co-founded Palouse Colony Farm. The business produces and markets sustainably-grown heritage grains.

After coming to Seattle Pacific University in 2004, Dr. Scheuerman chaired the Master of Arts in Teaching program for seven years. His teaching and research focused on comparative educational systems with special emphasis on Russia and Eastern Europe, and on environmental sustainability education involving perspectives from Northwest Native Americans and U.S. and Canadian Anabaptist groups. He is co-author with Dr. Arthur Ellis of the Journeys of Discovery interdisciplinary curriculum series for middle level and high school students and has recently worked with students and faculty on curriculum development at Seattle Urban Academy, a private alternative school. He is also co-founder and executive director of The Joseph Fund, a foundation devoted to orphan care education and placement in Eastern Europe that is affiliated with the global Home for Every Orphan movement. 

Paul Zhdan


Paul currently serves as Treasurer for AFFEO. Over the past decade, Paul has been passionately engaged in student development, special needs care, and orphan ministry. After graduating from Wheaton College with majors in Philosophy and Business/Economics, Paul spent time volunteering with summer camps and orphan care organizations in Ukraine. This international trip solidified Paul’s desire and commitment to make a difference in the lives of orphans in Ukraine and around the world, both on a personal and systemic level. He now resides in the Bay area working as a financial analyst for a local college endowment.

Anita Deyneka

Voting Board Member

Anita has been involved as a leader in non-profit work in Russia and Ukraine for many years. In 2010 she retired as President of Russian Ministries (now Mission Eurasia)—a non-profit organization that she co-founded with her late husband, Peter. She continues to serve as an emeritus board member with Mission Eurasia. Anita has devoted her life to advocating for orphans through strategic partnerships. She holds a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, an M.A. from Mundelein College in Chicago and an honorary PhD from Seattle Pacific University. Anita is the mother of two adopted children from Colombia and grandmother to five grandchildren and lives in Wheaton IL.

Anthony Ritchie

Voting Board Member

Anthony serves as a voting member on the board. He graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania in 2014 and now resides in Big Rock, Illinois.  Anthony works as a project manager at Fox River Foundation where he is involved in a myriad of projects including many that support orphans and vulnerable children in the U.S. and abroad, primarily with the strategy of mobilizing government, the faith community, and the business sector around the goal of permanency and belonging for every child.

He is passionate about helping vulnerable children and believes that a permanent family is the most effective way of solving the world orphan crisis, making him a perfect match for the team. The youngest of ten children, Anthony’s upbringing and core values are based strongly on the idea of family, and that every child needs a loving home to help them truly reach their full potential.

Anthony and his wife Kelsey (the eldest of ten children, 7 of whom are adopted) just welcomed their first child, Amos into the world in April 2017.

Taylor Brudos

Voting Board Member

Taylor works as a cybersecurity professional at a technology company in Silicon Valley. He holds a degree in political science and has formal training in security engineering, software development, and finance. He has extensive international and domestic experience serving vulnerable children, the unhoused community, incarcerated men, and trafficking victims.

Taylor and his wife reside in the San Francisco Bay Area with their young son. He enjoys intentionally building relationships, traveling with his family, making music, and exploring nature. Taylor’s heart is to know Jesus more intimately and help others do the same. He believes God cares deeply about orphans and vulnerable children, and that we all have the duty to seek justice for them as Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

Dr. Natalya Ageyeva

Natalya Ageyeva has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and internationally, including Italy, Austria, and Israel, as well as on tour in her native Russia. She has appeared at a broad range of venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow.

Her artistry has earned her awards and recognition around the world, including the Young Artist Competition in Moscow, Rotary Club Scholarship in Chicago, Brechemin Scholarship at the University of Washington, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New-York, and the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. Read more about Natalya’s esteemed career here.

Natalya is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Russian Chamber Music Foundationof Seattle. Natalya has a heart for the orphan cause and has graciously shared her gift of music with A Family for Every Orphan through private benefit performances.

Chelsea Elizabeth

After leading AFFEO’s programs in Asia and Africa from 2014 to 2020, we are thrilled to have Chelsea continue to provide excellent program strategy insight as an Advisory Council member. 

Chelsea became involved in the orphan crisis while serving in Southeast Asia. She became known locally as the “orphan lady” as she connected hospitals with local orphan care NGOs, often rescuing abandoned children and finding placements for children with special needs.

In addition to her work in the field, Chelsea studied at Peninsula Community College, Seattle Pacific University and completed a Communication & Design course through the University of Nations in Switzerland. Chelsea will continue pouring her energy and heart into Amma’s Umma, her online fair trade boutique that also raises funds for adoptions!

Chelsea and her husband Amith currently live in the Pacific Northwest with their two sweet sons.

Karmen Friesen

Principal Coordinator, World Without Orphans

Executive Director, CoMission for Children at Risk

Karmen has led CoMission for Children since 2001, networking, resourcing and equipping Christian leaders, organizations and churches globally to minister more effectively to orphaned and vulnerable children. In 2007, CoMission began equipping Russians and Ukrainians for adoption and foster care, and later helped to develop the Russia Without Orphans Alliance and to support Ukraine Without Orphans. Both of these movements are engaging the church in their own countries for family-based care as part of the World Without Orphans (WWO) movement. Currently, Karmen serves as the Principal Coordinator for the WWO Executive Team. He lives with his family in Pennsylvania.

Richard T. Moore, Esq.

Richard is an attorney with a background in health technology and consulting, and is currently the Lead Consultant in the Strategy and Innovation division at Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit healthcare organization. He was previously the SVP of Operations and In-House Counsel at Array Health, a health IT software company. Richard served as a founding director of A Family For Every Orphan and is active with the Washington Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He holds a Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law and an MBA from the Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics.

Allison Pinkham

After serving on the Board of Directors for two years, Allison is now a valued member of the Advisory Council. Allison Pinkham has over 20 years experience in business and HR and is currently the CHRO for a dermatology company headquartered in Europe. Before that she was a Chief People Officer for a Consumer Products company in the US and also previously Vice President of Human Resources for a large multinational pharmaceutical company based in Germany. She provides a broad range of business and HR experience which includes her previous work as an IT systems consultant at Accenture and as an Organizational Development and Change Management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She has also worked previously in Marketing and the majority of her experience is comprised of HR leadership roles at MasterCard, Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.

Allison has always had a passion for helping children, especially children in vulnerable situations, which includes her previous volunteer work with the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Charlottesville, VA; as a Counselor for at-risk youth in Annapolis, MD; a summer camp counselor in NJ; and a Sunday School Children’s teacher in Wilton, CT. While on an expat assignment in Germany, Allison was seeking out opportunities to help specifically support orphans and learned about the organization “A Family for Every Orphan”. Upon learning about the amazing work the organization was doing, Allison wanted to volunteer where she could and was eventually led to join the board to contribute her business and HR experience where needed to further realize the goal of finding a home for every orphan. In 2020, she transitioned to serving on the advisory council to continue providing business and HR support. Allison feels strongly that every child deserves a loving home and she will work to use the gifts that God has given her to try to make that passion a reality.

Allison currently resides in Switzerland with her husband and two children. She enjoys various travel adventures with her family including hiking, biking, boating, swimming, experiencing different countries and cultures and seeing the beauty of the world that God created.

Karl Scheuerman

Karl Scheuerman has been involved with A Family for Every Orphan since its inception.  He currently an Advisory Council member after having served as both the board’s Secretary and board Chair.

As a child, Karl’s family was involved in foster care. He spent a year during his college studies to serve students and orphans as a missionary in Russia, which further developed his heart for the fatherless.

Karl is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy whose military service included tours in Turkey and Afghanistan. He later earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland and now works as a principal analyst for a global cyber security company. Karl also serves as Squadron Commander for an Air National Guard squadron.

He lives with his wife and three daughters in Richland, WA.

Elena G. Shipina

Elena is a cross-cultural business professional with a background in commercial lending, franchise development, market research, and business consulting.

She is passionate about the cause of vulnerable children, which began in the 1990’s when Elena had the opportunity to work with a Christian non-profit mission serving the children from orphanages and foster homes in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Elena was a Senior Strategist and Commercial Lender with Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking serving a wide range of financial needs of commercial and non-profit clients. She also worked in the franchise restaurant development industry with Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc. supporting expansion of the organization’s international and domestic footprint. Elena holds an MBA in Business Finance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master’s of Science in International Business from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

Heather Dyer


Heather’s journey and passion to see children in stable and loving families began when she first accompanied her father on a work trip to Central America as a young girl. Heather’s eyes were opened to the impact of poverty and the vast and deep needs of children and families who care for them. After attending graduate school, Heather began volunteering with vulnerable youth in West Dallas and as a youth ministry group leader at her church for eight years. During that time, she helped lead mission trips ministering to impoverished children alongside a local church in Guatemala. These experiences deepened Heather’s empathy and love for vulnerable children and their families, and her passion to see every child in a stable and loving home.

Heather has over 15 years experience in finance, accounting, NGO work, leadership, and strategic planning. She most recently served as the CFO of a 110-year-old Chicago based non-profit which provides early childhood education and camps for children with special needs. Prior to that, Heather worked in multiple senior financial management roles at Southwest Airlines. Heather obtained a Master’s in Accounting from Southern Methodist University, her Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance from Texas Christian University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

In an effort to provide the best care possible to vulnerable children she cared for and ministered to, she received further education in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a holistic model in trauma-informed intervention. Heather is an active member of Park Community Church in Chicago, where she currently leads the Foster and Adoption Ministry.

Heather and her husband, Graham, recently completed a four-and-a-half-year international adoption journey and are so thankful to be the parents of a beautiful daughter. Through this adoption journey, the Lord opened Heather’s eyes to the complex plight facing orphans today. Heather sees the vital role the church plays in supporting family-based care and the great impact a supportive community can have in the lives of children. As a passionate adoptive mother, Heather is committed to helping children find loving families and understands the importance of taking a holistic approach to orphan care. 

Sarah Wolfe

Advisor and Special Projects
Support Sarah

Sarah Wolfe served as a board member before joining the staff as Chief Operations Officer in 2011. She currently serves as an advisor and over special projects.

Her journey towards serving orphans and vulnerable children began right after college when she spent several years as a case manager working with high-risk children and families. During that time, Sarah recognized a growing passion for the language and culture of Eastern Europe, and became firmly convinced that every child grows best in a loving family.

In addition to nine years of financial and operations management as COO, Sarah brings experience in program development, grant writing, social services, and building international relationships.

Sarah holds a BA in Psychology from Huntington University and an MA in Russian and East European Cultures and Societies from the University of Manchester.

She and her husband currently live in Steilacoom, WA with their daughter and pup. Sarah enjoys hiking, reading, yoga, knitting and baking.

Stefanie Thornberg

Director of Operations

Stefanie Thornberg has always had a passion for serving. Her journey to care for at-risk children began when she spent a summer serving at an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. It was there that she first recognized the complexities of caring for orphans. This complexity challenged her preconceived notions about what caring for orphans should look like. When she returned to the United States, she spent the next three years working alongside a nonprofit and living with low-income families and at-risk children. God taught her how much His love could impact a family, and how instrumental a strong family is for the lives of children.

Stefanie has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico and comes to A Family for Every Orphan with an extensive background in operations management, communications, and human resources.

In her free time, Stefanie enjoys reading, hand lettering, and mountain biking with her husband. She and her husband Benjamen currently live in Tacoma, WA with their adventurous baby boy!

Anna Tufts

Social Media Specialist

Anna is a south Mississippi native, and she has always had a passion for caring for and working with children. She worked at Twin Lakes Summer Camp in Mississippi for 6 summers as a camp counselor and unit director, and she has served in various capacities within the children’s ministries at church throughout the years.

Anna graduated from The University of Mississippi in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. After college and an internship, she moved to Georgia to work within the realm of Higher Education. While working for the Georgia Institute of Technology, she completed her Masters in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. Her program and event management experience have greatly prepared her to transition into working with A Family for Every Orphan.

Anna met her husband in Georgia through church friends, and they now live with their daughters Susie and Annie in Decatur, Georgia. They enjoy traveling as much as they do being home together. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, pilates, podcasts, her women’s bible study, and spending time with family and friends.   

Daria Palatna started her work as AFFEO Regional Director in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in October 2022.

The Lord called Daria to serve children and families when she was 17 years old and needed to choose her future education. She ultimately studied social work and social psychology in Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.

She started her ministry path in Ukraine as a social worker with children who had experienced trauma and violence, with families in difficult life circumstances, and with foster and adoptive families. Her main focus was ensuring that every child could live in a loving family by either being reunited with the biological family or placed in a new family. 

Subsequently, Daria worked as an executive director of the International Leadership and Development Center (ILDC), an international non-profit founded in 2008 in Kyiv, Ukraine. ILDC promotes best practices in child welfare through the development of the family and child-serving work force, including comprehensive competency-based inservice training. 

Currently, Daria is finishing her Ph.D. research on the topic of community mobilization for social services development under decentralization in Ukraine.

Daria is originally from Kyiv (Ukraine). She moved to Columbus, Ohio in August, 2022.

Shalini Gordon

Project Coordinator: South Asia and West Africa

Shalini Gordon has always been passionate about serving children as she sees every child as valuable and uniquely designed by God. Having traveled around the country, she has had the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures & backgrounds and sees the growing need for children who are in desperate need of love and care. It breaks her heart to see children abandoned, abused and hurting. Her experiences and interactions enabled her to lead a team of volunteers in a few rural communities educating women on the importance of children. She is encouraged to look at different ways in which children can receive the love and attention they deserve.

In her professional career, Shalini worked for several years as a teacher and has coordinated various events in the Church and in ParaChurch ministries. She studied History at University and holds a Masters in Religious Education as well.

In her free time, you will find her enjoying baking and sipping on a cup of tea. She finds it relaxing to stitch, play board games, and enjoy long runs. She and her husband live in Bangalore, India, and are waiting to adopt and welcome home a child in need of a loving family environment.

Sara Mercer

Administrative Coordinator

Sara serves as the Administrative Coordinator for A Family for Every Orphan. She has always had a heart for children in the foster care system. While God changed her and her husband’s path from becoming foster parents themselves, she is blessed to have found this opportunity to still be able to help children and families who face difficult situations.

Sara received her undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona and her Masters in taxation from Arizona State University. She has over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting and tax administration oversight. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She especially loves going on family adventures and exploring the beautiful and majestic nature that God has created.

Ruth Sharon

Volunteer: Program Liaison

Ruth is from the UK, where she has worked as a lawyer specializing in cases of child protection, adoption, and domestic violence for over 20 years. During 2019 she travelled extensively in South America and Africa, where she was moved by stories of thousands of vulnerable and orphan children being harmed by the legal process that was supposed to protect them. She found the laws were not being implemented properly in many cases. In partnership with AFFEO, Ruth founded International Justice for Children, which works to support governments and the judiciary legal systems that ensure each child’s right to live in a safe, loving, permanent home.

Ruth also acts as our program liaison for Ghana, where she has enjoyed training judges and lawyers.

Ruth currently lives in Oxford and enjoys authentic connections, the outdoors, and creative projects, but nothing captures her heart more than her children and grandson!

Elaine Springer

Volunteer Coordinator of Pray for Every Orphan
Support Elaine

Elaine Springer has a BS in nursing and works as a registered nurse in community health. She spent 25 years as a missionary with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) and Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries (PDRM) in several capacities including publications manager and editor/writer for a variety of radio programs and publications to English-speaking prayer partners and financial donors. She also taught English and practiced “friendship evangelism” for Soviet émigrés near Rome, Italy. In addition, she served as a liaison for exchanges between Soviet and American universities in the early ’90’s.

She has traveled to the former Soviet Union numerous times (twice with a music team!) and has written the biography of one of SGA’s entrepreneurial missionaries. One of Elaine’s favorite responsibilities was advocating prayer for The CoMission and its missionaries from the early through late ’90s as contributing editor for The Chariot, a quarterly newsletter for CoMission supporters. (The CoMission was a collaborative effort of more than 80 Christian organizations to take the love of Christ to those living in the former Soviet Union.)

Elaine is passionate about prayer and is thrilled to encourage prayer for the World Without Orphans movement. 

Malia Taylor

Malia Taylor has a heart for serving and helping others. She started work at A Family for Every Orphan as communications manager in the summer of 2024.
Malia earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has a background working in public affairs, state politics, and news reporting.
A lifelong Alaskan, Malia and her husband live in Anchorage and love getting outside to hike, fish, and ice skate.

Oleksandr Moroz

Regional Program Director: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Oleksandr came to know and have a relationship with Christ in high school. Since that time, God has moved in his life and heart. His relationship with Christ and Christian faith has moved Oleksandr to gain experience in Christian ministry, learning from and building relationships with others in his community, all while continuing to serve at various ministries.

Years of Christian ministry allowed Oleksandr to visit and meet children at orphanages, boarding schools, and at-risk families in Ukraine and Russia. The hard lives these children lived, in comparison with children from healthy, safe, and loving families, have deeply touched his heart and brought him to the following conclusion: No institution, despite its good intentions, is able to enhance a child’s life as much as a family does. Oleksandr believes serving with AFFEO will help to transform the lives and futures of orphans and at-risk children for the better.

Oleksandr has an extensive background in Theology and Christian leadership. He brings substantial experience in coordinating and consulting national teams, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluating teams, and budgeting and reporting. 

Oleksandr and his wife Anna live in Kyiv, Ukraine. They also serve as guest theology teachers at the Bible Schools in Ukraine.