Tampa

Mary Wheatley, Executive Director

Mary Wheatley joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in June 2012 as the new Executive Director. As Executive Director, she is responsible for supervising all staff members and for overseeing each adoption case. Mary is held accountable for compliance with agency licenses, training and evaluating staff, and monitoring the entire adoption process.

Mary graduated from Georgia College and State University with a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and devoted many years to adolescents in residential facilities. As program manager with the crisis stabilization unit, she was able to improve levels of therapeutic care for all ages. As a proud adoptive parent of two beautiful girls, Mary was eager to join the field of private adoptions in 2005 and loves creating families through adoption. 

Annsley Atkin, Senior Adoption Case Worker

Annsley Atkin has worked in the field of private adoptions since 2003. She joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. as an Adoption Caseworker in 2009, and now acts as our Senior Case Manager. She works closely with birth mothers and adoptive families at the intake stage and helps them to build and create their adoption plans. Annsley also performs assessments and provides clients with referrals for services, as needed. She has worked in every aspect of private adoption, now and in the past, including birth parent support, adoptive family support, home studies, foster to adopt placements, older child adoptions, international adoptions, etc. 

Annsley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and hopes to obtain a Master’s degree in the near future.

Rachel Balfour, Adoption Case Worker

Rachel Balfour joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. as an Adoption Case Worker in June 2014. She works closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well-being. Additionally, she oversees the Adoption Subsidy department by working closely with adoptive families and various CBC agencies throughout the country to assist families that are adopting children with special needs. Rachel previously devoted two and a half years to working as both a traditional and adoptive Case Manager in the dependency system at Directions for Living in Pinellas County.

Prior to receiving her degree, Rachel interned as a Family Specialist with Woven Basket Adoption Agency during her last semester in college. Rachel graduated from the University of South Florida in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in  Behavioral Healthcare.

 

Reena JayaSegar, Adoption Case Worker

Reena JayaSegar joined Heart of Adoptions in October 2014 as an Adoption Case Worker. She works closely with birth mothers handling their day to day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well being. Prior to joining Heart of Adoptions, Reena worked as a child safety case manager in Pinellas County where she ensured child safety, wellbeing and permanency for the children involved in Florida’s dependency system. Reena also has experience working with individuals suffering from drug addiction and co-occurring mental disorders.

Reena graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology from The University of Tampa and with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from NOVA Southeastern University.

Fallon Buckley, Adoption Caseworker

Fallon Buckley joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. as an Adoption Case Worker in October 2015. She works closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well-being. Fallon previously devoted her time working as a Targeted Case Manager for a Specialized Therapeutic Program working with foster care children in Pinellas County.

Fallon has extensive experience working with foster care children, children with mental health diagnosis residing in a group home setting and has also interned with Sarasota/Manatee Riding Therapy, Creative Clay, and Velasco School Center as a speech pathology assistant. Fallon graduated from Eckerd College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Human Development.

Meredith Shepard, Adoptive Parent Coordinator

Meredith Shepard joined Heart of Adoptions in August 2013 as an Adoptive Parent Coordinator. She works closely with waiting adoptive families handling day-to-day needs and assisting with matching adoptive families to birth families. Meredith has worked in the area of social work for over 15 years and has experience with child development, adoption, foster care, and developmental disabilities.

Meredith graduated with honors from Eckerd College with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Walden University with a Master of Science in Non-Profit Management & leadership.

Erin Fawver, Home Study Coordinator

Erin Fawver joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. as the Home Study Coordinator in July 2014.  Erin oversees the completion of homestudies and post-placement supervision as well as all homestudy and background screening updates.  She enjoys educating adoptive families about homestudies and the adoption process as a whole.  Erin's extensive family social work experience consists of  quality home studies, post-placement supervision, adoptive parent education,  and managing adoptive parent’s day-to-day needs.  Erin also has experience in adoption marketing and social media. 

As a member of Pi Gammu Mu, the Social Science Honor Society, Erin graduated from The University of South Florida with honors.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Anthropology.   

Judi Martin, Office Manager

Judi Martin joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in November 2004 as the Office Manager. Judi ensures the Tampa office of Heart of Adoptions runs smoothly by providing support to all staff. Previously, Judi was the office manager of a local engineering firm before she became a mother of a beautiful baby girl and opened her own fully licensed family day care.  Judi devoted all her energy and love into her daycare kids for 6 years until her daughter began school full time.  She than joined a renowned local historic preservation architectural firm as an office manager before joining the HOA team.

Jason Lauer, Administrative Assistant

Jason Lauer joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in January 2010 as an Administrative Assistant.  Jason primarily acts as a liason between our adoption agency, our legal team, and the local courthouse.  He is responsible for filing all new adoption cases with the courts.  Jason is also responsible for maintaing our closed files and records, aiding caseworkers in obtaining support needs for our birth mothers, and assisting in daily clerical needs.  He continues to be a valued member of our adoption team.

Naples

Gabriela Bonn, Adoption Caseworker

Gabriela Bonn joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in June 2006 as an Adoption Caseworker Assistant.  After receiving her degree, Gabriela was later promoted to Adoption Caseworker and began working closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring medical care and overall well-being.  Additionally, she coordinates the interaction between adoptive parents and birth parents.  She has previous experience working with youth in a parenting program. Gabriela has experience in both domestic and international adoptions, specifically working internationally with Guatemala.

Gabriela obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013.

Natalie Londono, Adoption Caseworker

Natalie Graddy joined Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in December 2012 as an Adoption Casework Assistant.  Natalie was later promoted to Adoption Caseworker and began working closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well-being.  Additionally, Natalie conducts home studies and post-placement supervision for the Naples’ office.     

Natalie obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013.  

Merritt Island

Amy Dean, Adoption Case Worker

Amy joined Heart of Adoptions Inc.  in January 2016 in our Merritt Island office.  Prior to this she was an Adoption Assistant for another Florida adoption agency for 8 years.  She works closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well-being. She graduated from Rockledge High School and has an AA degree from Brevard Community College.  Amy has 3 children and uses her experiences as both an adoptee and an adoptive parents to serve and support our clients.  She brings with her a wealth of knowledge.  Amy's prior employment includes: Aggressive Constructors, General Nutrition Center, Fern Creek Elementary, and Interlachen Pediatrics.

Kelly Rhoads, Adoption Case Worker

Kelly joined Heart of Adoptions Inc. in January 2016 in our new Merritt Island office.  She was an Adoption Social Worker for another Florida agency previously and has been a social worker for 15+ years. She works closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and overall well-being. She received her Bachelors of Social Work from Temple University.  She previously worked in adoption in Georgia and fell in love with it.  She took some time off to have her two children and also spent several years working with children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses.  In Florida she previously worked with the elderly doing the Meals on Wheels-Senior Nutrition Program.  She has worked for non-profits for most of her social work career.  She has lived in Florida for ten years.  She has two children ages 8 and 12 and a fabulous supportive husband.  She finally feels back home working in adoption.

Sylvia Faniel, Adoption Case Worker

Sylvia Faniel joined Heart of Adoptions in January 2016 as an Adoption Case Worker and has worked in the field of private adoptions since 2008. Sylvia has a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from University of Central Florida.  She works closely with birth mothers handling their day-to-day needs, monitoring their medical care and over all well-being.  Prior to joining Heart of Adoptions, Sylvia was the executive director for six years with another adoption agency and spent 17 years as an executive assistant/paralegal for Royal Palm Homes in Orlando. Sylvia has four children, three of which were adopted at birth and uses her experience as an adoptive parent to serve and support our clients.