Director of Services
Deena originally joined us as a birthmother coordinator, where she effectively utilized her background in advocacy and crisis intervention. She has an undergraduate degree in Human Services and is currently working towards her graduate degree in Human Services Administration. When someone close to her placed their baby for adoption, she witnessed firsthand the bravery, strength, and love of a birthmother. She is proud to serve as an advocate for all those involved in the adoption process. Deena is married with two wonderful children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, art, watching hockey, eating at the best restaurants, building puzzles, and relaxing with her family on their pontoon boat.
Q&A with Deena
What do you do at LifeLong?
I oversee our Adoptive Parent Services and Birthmother Services Departments. My position gives me the unique opportunity to nurture the relationship between hopeful families and expectant mothers during the entire adoption process.
When did you join the LifeLong team?
I joined the team on July 5th, 2018.
What motivates you to get up and go to work?
I have never had a position drive so much passion in me. There has never been a day where I have not wanted to head into work. I am so motivated by our brave and selfless expectant mothers and birthmothers. I love when that perfect connection between an expectant mother and an adoptive family come together.
What is your favorite inspirational, motivational, or positive-thinking quote?
"Minds are like parachutes — they only function when open." — Thomas Dewar
What's your personal connection to adoption?
I am personally connected to adoption on all sides. I know adoptees, women who have placed, and families who have adopted. This has given me great perspective on the overall process.
What advice do you have for our waiting families?
What is meant to be always has a way of working out. Whether you are waiting and have never been selected, or have been selected multiple times and still have not adopted, your baby will make his way to us. Trust in the process, keep your heart open, and know that when the time is right, your miracle will happen.
Who inspires you and why?
There are too many to list. Not a day goes by where I am not inspired by someone.
When are you happiest?
When the sun is shining.
What is your favorite family tradition?
Playing games with my family on every holiday. There is not a holiday we don't bust out the board games or head outside to play tag or football. Yes, my siblings and I are in our 40s and 50s and are still playing tag.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about life, my children, my career, learning, evolving, art, music, books, food, and anything that ignites a fire in others.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
I am strong because of a culmination of tribulations in life. I was raised by a strong, smart, and caring family that helped mold me into who I am. I feel every day something happens that helps shape me into a stronger person than I was the day before.
What’s the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
Losing my father.
What was something that happened to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
I find most things turn out to be for the best, even if they don't feel like it in the moment.
What’s your most memorable facepalm moment?
What do you like to do on your days off?
Spend times with kids, boating, reading, concerts, and dinner out with friends.
Where is your favorite place to be?
In someone else's backyard...Surprise!". Just kidding — I would say home.
What is one thing you cannot resist?
Angel food cake
What are you proudest of?
My children and the amazing people they are turning out to be.
What books are at your bedside?
'Lilac Girls' by Martha Hall Kelly
What music is on your most-played list?
My most recent favorite is Tame Impala, but I love most music: alternative and country probably get played the most.
What's your favorite TV show to binge-watch?
What's your favorite movie quote?
Any line from the Scottish father in So I Married An Axe Murderer