Cynthia M. Savage, Project Director
Cynthia has been involved in adoption for 26 years. Joining the COAC board a year before the adoption of her second child, Alison, from Korea, Cynthia learned a lot about adoption from meeting adoptive parents and helping to coordinate many of COAC's activities. As the years passed, she coordinated more and more of COAC's activities and eventually managed a grant from the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC). Through her work with COAC, Cynthia received four separate national scholarships for advance training in adoption, taking her to Chicago, Phoenix, St. Louis and Florida. She was a national adoption presenter for the NACAC parent training in Albuquerque.
In 1983 she joined the staff of Adoption Horizons, a local private, non-profit adoption agency which places fost adopt, foreign and domestic children. Cynthia has worked at all five locations and has done a variety of jobs, including office manager, US Adoptions Coordinator, and Foreign Adoption Coordinator. After 23 years service she is presently the Executive Director of the agency. In 1999, Cynthia received the "Friend of the Young Child" award in Humboldt County.
Over the years, Cynthia has participated in many media and radio programs, spoken at service clubs, university, high school and grammar school classes. She has provided adoption "options" training to many organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Pregnancy Care Center, The Young Mother's Program, TAPPN, Public Health, several local hospitals OB departments, Department of Social Services, Eureka Rescue Mission, and Juvenile Hall Schools Von Humboldt and The Regional Facility, Sunset School in Del Norte, to name a few. She has also co-presented, on behalf of Adoption Horizons, at two teen pregnancy/parenting state-wide workshops.
Cynthia has facilitated the adoption of 300+ children from California and abroad. Cynthia has made 7 trips to Asia (2 China and 5 Vietnam) escorting families who were adopting children. Cynthia has done relief work in Vietnam and China carrying medical supplies and clothing for the orphanages. She also recently completed a mission project in Mississippi in the Spring of 2006 for hurricane relief.
Cynthia has authored many booklets related to adoption education during her employment at Adoption Horizons and has written many articles for the PASP newsletter.
As the creator of PASP services, Cindy is excited to have brought the project from the ground up to where it is today. It is from her firm belief in adoptive parents and parenting that she is happy to use her twenty-five years experience to help shape this needed service. She is also excited to work collaboratively with State Adoptions, and her talented, hardworking teammates.
Cynthia also spends a great deal of her time volunteering with her church (Trinity Baptist Church in Arcata), where she has been the Head Money Counter for 17 years, and has been on the Mission Committee for 8 years. In 2002 she lead a team of four people into China to serve as missionaries. While in China they bought 20 highchairs for the orphanage as well as delivering clothing, medicines, and medical supplies. The team was also able to teach English to local school children for three weeks. She was also able to take 40 sweaters, booties and hats made by the church to the orphans of China.
Another volunteer project that Cynthia has been involved with is the AFS cultural exchange program. Cynthia helps to provide support to students living here from many different countries. Cynthia's family has hosted 8 foreign students from Korea, Japan, China, and Egypt.
For many years Cynthia also taught dance, specifically Ballet. She directed a Ballet program in McKinleyville for 10 years that included 100 students.
Cynthia is the mother of three children, two by adoption. Andrea, born in California, is 28 and works as a Staffing Consultant for Express Personnel. Together with her husband Mike, they own a lawn service. Alison, adopted from Korea, is 25 and works at as bookkeeper for Roto Rooter in Arcata. Alison is currently attending Humboldt State University majoring in Social Work. Dillon, adopted locally, is 22 years old is happily married to wife, Laureen. Dillon and Laureen have a one year-old baby girl, Karrie Ann, and are expecting their second daughter in May 2008. Dillon works for the Arkley Center of Performing arts and also spends time working on projects through his own business Open Mind Creations.
Cindy believes in hard, honest work, and that you need
to "speak" your dreams so they become realities.
"Having a faith-centered life gives peace, letting God use me to accomplish His will."
Teri Vodden, L.C.S.W., Project Family Therapist
Teri is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over twenty years experience working with children and their families. Teri has expertise working with attachment issues and child abuse, has published an article entitled "How to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse," and has developed a "protection" program for children that includes a video and a coloring book called "It's Up To Me." The coloring book is available for distribution through the Post Adoption Services Project, or at www.preventsexualabuse.com.
Teri is a certified black belt in Soo Bahk Do, a Korean martial art. She and her husband, Ryan, are co-owners of a martial arts school in Arcata - Redwood Coast Soo Bahk Do.
Teri is the mother of three active boys. She also raises livestock and currently has emus, goats, chicken, rabbits, dogs, and cats. Teri believes all of her experience training animals helped to prepare her for parenting!