Choose Life in Maine

Pray Together

We are all in this together as we work to save lives.  Each one of us has a gift to offer and doing All for the Glory of God is our first priority.  We humbly ask that you pray with us for wisdom, strength and protection in this mission.

Speakers and Learning

The presenters at the Day of Hope retreat shared their efforts and their wisdom.

Networking

Adoption Solutions of Maine is hoping to make new friends in the community and we want to know HOW you help others to Choose Life!

Featured Speakers

Heather Burner

National Safe Haven Alliance Executive Director; Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation Board President, R.N., B.S.N, BTMC Pediatric Emergency R.N. and Banner Healthcare Safe Haven Coordinator

As the Executive Director for the National Safe Haven Alliance, she leads an extraordinary team of leaders from across the country. After working with Arizona Safe Baby Haven for seven years and as the Executive Director for over four years she was sought after to provide leadership and direction for NSHA in 2017. She is a wife, mother of three children, and grandmother. She has experienced the tragedy through the unnecessary death of a newborn firsthand, and this life-changing event propelled her motivation to save the lives of precious newborns and help parents in desperation.

Heather’s commitment to the Safe Baby Haven mission and raising awareness to provide an alternative to infant abandonment has led to many babies finding forever homes, and a safe place for a parent to find care and support in a heartbreaking and at times dangerous situation. She has shown love for her community, parents, and babies and is a gracious leader in the Safe Baby Haven realm. Her passion to provide safety and hope shines a light in a time of darkness, she has developed partnerships across the country to be the answer. Heather is also the administrator of a comprehensive training program for healthcare systems to provide best practice and subject matter expert direction in mother and infant safety and prevention. She is now a national speaker and a voice for the voiceless, changing the tide of fear by presenting the knowledge, answers, and resources to make an impact.

Dawn Degenhardt

Founder and Executive Director

Dawn Degenhardt has been dedicated to bringing children and families together through adoption for more than 30 years. While living in Cleveland, Ohio, she co-founded the Ohio chapter of COAC (Council on Adoptable Children) and was a pioneer in changing the foster care/adoption system. Dawn also co-founded Spaulding of Beechbrook, which is still in existence today placing special needs children. After moving back to her home state of Maine, she founded an internationally recognized adoption agency, which has placed more than 4,000 children. Dawn’s concern for children still in orphanages around the world prompted the development of many humanitarian aid projects. Wanting to devote her energy to this issue after retirement, Dawn, with family and friends, created The Degenhardt Foundation, now known as Aid for Kids. Dawn and her husband Ed are the parents of nine adopted children, now grown with their own families.

Maria Szemplinski

Founder, St. Gianna’s Place

Maria is married to her husband Jack and is the mother of two lovely children. She has a degree in biological science and worked for the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years as a pharmaceutical representative. She also worked in clinical research as a clinical science liaison for an Italian pharmaceutical company specializing in Endocrine Hormones and Infertility. This was the first time that Maria learned that approximately 10-15% of couples suffer from infertility due to environmental and lifestyle changes in our culture. She was a witness to the first baby created in a petri dish at the first IVF clinic in Boston.

In 2011, by God’s infinite grace and mercy, Maria decided to help undo some of the damage of her professional work by starting the Gianna Family Care Center, a nonprofit organization. This organization was created to promote Creighton FertilityCare and the new science of NaproTechonology, a natural method of achieving or avoiding pregnancy. NaProTechnology also helps monitor a woman’s health while teaching the gift of being a virtuous woman and mother. This new science offers the best treatment for infertility and is the best natural alternative to IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) while protecting the dignity of human life from the moment of fertilization.

When Maria was approached by Monica with the idea of starting a home for pregnant women, she knew that this was God’s answer to her prayers. Maria is excited and thankful for the everyday miracles with which God is already blessing St. Gianna’s Place.

Jackie Komar, LCSW Dir. Adoption Solutions of Maine

Jackie has over 25 years of experience providing support & counseling services to Women & families in transition. Mrs Komar has a Master's degree in Social Work. She is licensed by the State of Arizona and Maine as an LCSW level clinical social worker.

She has received training in the Project Rachael ministry which helps women heal From the wounds of abortion. Jackie is the mother of 5 children whom she & her husband adopted at birth. She worked as an Adoption Social Worker for almost 10 Years (prior to becoming a mom). She believes that life is a sacred gift from God. She feels honored to be able to provide support & counseling to women & children.

Retreat Partners

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