Lauren, our Adoption Social Worker, has been with ECFA since October of 2018. Lauren received her BSW and MSW from Aurora University.
She and her husband met while she was traveling in Uganda. They have been married for five years and are blessed with a beautiful, unconventional family. She and Ronnie have a three year old biological daughter, and a twelve year old adopted daughter from Uganda. They are currently awaiting an adoption hearing for their 14 year old son from Uganda and necessary paperwork to process their 12 year old daughter’s immigration to the U.S. In addition, they are the parents (guardians) to six young adults/children in Uganda! She says, “We all consider each other family. We are truly blessed!”
Lauren says that her favorite thing to do for fun is to spend time with family and friends and play with their three year old. We are excited to have Lauren in her new position, and know that with her background and experience she will be a huge blessing to any one considering adoption. Lauren can be reached at 630-653-6400 ext 7230
Meet Julie, one of ECFA’s Pregnancy Support Caseworkers! Julie began full-time as a staff member in May of 2019, having previously completed two internships within Intact Family Services and Pregnancy Support Services. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Sociology, and a master’s degree from Aurora University in Social Work.
Julie and her husband, Ray, just celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary. They have two sons, nine and seven years old, and two dogs. Julie’s favorite thing to do for fun is to go on nature walks with a friend, shop, and sing worship or Broadway songs.
In her work at ECFA, Julie likes working with co-workers who also want to help people in need. She says that the “whole culture and atmosphere of ECFA is warm, inviting, and comfortable because of our shared Christian values. It makes me happy that I can openly ask for prayer, and my co-workers will pray for me. I am not just an employee here, but a sister-in-Christ.”
Something that God has taught Julie recently is that He is her provider through the storms of life. While other family members have been laid off, she is in a stable position that is essential, allowing her not to worry about the next paycheck coming. She shares how it has been great that ECFA understands that we also have our families to take care of at home, and has adapted to the pandemic by adopting work at home protocols. Julie says she feels like God has put her at ECFA to serve others and know that He is in control.
Rita is ECFA’s administrative assistant to the management staff, affectionately called our “Jill of all trades”. Rita has been with ECFA since June of 2007. She has a BS in Communication & Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University.
Rita comes from a big family, being the 9th out of 12 children, with 7 girls and 5 boys. She refers to her family as “large and sprawling”, with family gatherings being a “bit noisy and everyone accused of being talkative”. She and her siblings grew up going to Door County, and Rita still finds herself frequenting the peninsula whenever she can. She currently resides in the DuPage area with her three cats. Rita enjoys anything outdoors, from running to hiking, biking, walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
For Rita, the best part of working at ECFA is her position, which touches everyone and all programs. She says she is never bored, while often being challenged. and that “everyone has an attitude of excellence and is willing to pitch in wherever needed. Knowing your co-workers have each other’s back is priceless”.
Something that the Lord has shown Rita recently has been through the challenges ECFA has faced in the last three years. She shares how ECFA has been thrown difficulties that they were not prepared for, but that they learned that while the struggle was hard, they got what they needed. They survived and continue to survive challenges because of God’s grace.
Lam has been with ECFA for 10 and 1/2 years. She currently serves as a case worker on our Intact Family Services team. She has a BS in Business Administration, but the Lord gave her a passion for serving others. Lam was originally hired as a foster care case worker at ECFA after she graduated in 2007. When ECFA’s foster care contract ended in 2011, she went to work at a Children’s Home and Aid. She returned to ECFA in March of 2014, and has been working as an Intact Case Worker since then.
Lam’s favorite thing to do is play board games with her husband. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, and has a large extended family. Lam shares that while most of her extended family are unbelievers, she can count on her immediate family to be a support to her. What Lam likes the most about working at ECFA is the family oriented environment and feeling supported in her role.
Lately, God has been teaching Lam that as we are all dealing with unexpected grief and loss, God is still good and He is in control no matter what. She is learning to trust him more through her trials and suffering.
Alison has been with ECFA since July of 2020 and works as an Intact Family Services case manager. She attended Taylor University in Indiana where she studied Elementary and Special Education. Since graduating, she has worked in multiple special needs settings and is planning on starting graduate school this year to work towards her Masters in Social Work.
Alison has lived in the Wheaton area her whole life. Growing up, her family did foster care for newborn babies with her parents caring for around 30 infants.
For fun, Alison loves to bake, play board games, listen to podcasts, and go on walks. She also enjoys spending time with children, volunteering at her church, and babysitting the kids of her friends and family.
Alison says that she has really appreciated working at ECFA because of the supportive atmosphere within the entire staff. She shares that having the ability to start the week in prayer with coworkers is an incredible blessing. On the Intact Team, there is always someone willing to help share resources, brainstorm ideas, and provide encouragement.
When asked what God has been teaching her lately, Alison said, “I feel like God has been teaching me more and more about how much I need him. That might seem fairly straightforward, but there is so much I cannot do on my own. I cannot solve the pandemic or fix the challenges the families we work with are walking through. What I can do is pray. I can pray for the leadership of our country and local churches; I can pray for the safety of the children and the hearts of the families on my caseload; and I can pray for peace in knowing God has the whole world in His hands.