Meet Michael Wenhold!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received.

This week we want to introduce you to someone that many of you might not know yet, our Administration Director, Michael Wenhold! Michael is one of this office’s best kept secrets. He is well-known and loved by all of our staff, but due to his behind-the-scenes role, you may have never had the sincere privilege of meeting Michael! He is consistently taking care of the staff and working diligently to make sure that everything around here goes off seamlessly. He is someone that will make your grey skies a little brighter, and put a big smile on your face- mainly because he always has one on his.

So without further ado… Meet Michael!

  1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA?

My title is Administration Director.  I function as the Accounting Manager, Human Resource Manager, and Office Manager for GWCA/CAN.

  1. How long have you been working at GWCA?

I started here in June 2012.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy getting to work with all the Great Wall/CAN employees as they help families through the adoption process.  Our staff is filled with dedicated individuals that constantly go above and beyond to make sure families have the best adoption experience.  Getting to work with such selfless individuals makes my job great!

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

My commute and dealing with Austin traffic.

  1. How have you grown personally from working at GWCA and with their families?

Although I don’t get to work with families directly, I still feel like I have grown from working here.  Working at this organization has opened my eyes to the real problems around the world.  When I think about the problems in my life, they don’t compare in contrast to what others are dealing with.

  1. Why do you love adoption?

I love adoption because it can help a make family complete.  Not everybody has the ability to have children but through adoption everyone can have a family.  Every child deserves to have loving parents and a place to call home.

Fun facts about Michael:

  1. I was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (where the Pilgrims landed).  I guess that’s why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (and the food)!
  2. I love football.  My favorite team is the New England Patriots.  I have a man crush on Tom Brady.  Who doesn’t. I also play in a flag football league.
  3. I am married to my high school sweetheart.  I have 1 son in the 6th grade and 2 dogs.
  4. My wife and I have a retirement plan to open a bed & breakfast on the East Coast.
  5. I have never had any broken bones.

 “Michael is a great representation of GWCA because he embodies the values of the organization. He is hardworking, always willing to help others, and very resourceful. I love working with Michael because he takes pride in his work and makes everyone’s day easier because he works so diligently, consistently going above and beyond what is asked of him. He’s here early and stays late everyday, and that is just one example in how he makes a big difference for the families we serve.” -Michael’s co-worker

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St. Valentine

By definition today is the day of love. The funny thing is, that it’s a day that we either love to love, or rather we love to hate; a day that can elicit a variety of emotion, but many of us can’t even recall why we celebrate it. The story of St. Valentine is indeed a nebulous one. Historians believe that Valentinus was a martyred Saint sometime around 269 AD in Rome—this much we know. After this, the details become a bit hazy. Was he a priest or was he a bishop? How many St. Valentine’s were there? Did the poet Chaucer invent the day as a fallacy? The bottom line is, we don’t really care.

Over the years we have seen and heard some of the greatest love stories of all time waft through our hallways. They usually involve a loving family who feel like there’s just one more of them out there. Someone they’ve never met, but they know that they love from the deepest parts of their being. And they never stop knowing until they meet.

We maybe a little biased, but to us—that’s true love. So with that, we wish you the happiest of days!

Happy Day from the CAN team! 

Here are some of our favorite quotes about LOVE:

“My heart is, and always will be, yours.” – Sense and Sensibility

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” – Ali MacGraw, Love Story

“A simple ‘I love you’ means more than money.” – Frank Sinatra

“To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.” – Madonna

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” – Lao Tzu

“Where there is love there is life.”-Mahatma Gandhi

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Reports from the Field: Haiti

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Meet Kristy Inman!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received!

Our next staff member that we want to introduce you to is Kristy Inman, one of our international adoption counselors! Kristy is a case manager for our Latin American & Caribbean, European and Asian countries. She works exclusively for our CAN office, advocating for our families interested in adopting children from those regions. Kristy is a little ray of sunshine. She cares about connecting with the people around here, and that’s no exception for her families. She is there for them when they need her the most and she’s fiercely committed to their cause.

So without further ado… Meet Kristy!

  1. What is your job title and description here at CAN?

My job title is International Adoption Counselor for Children of All Nations. I am the case manager for families in our non-Africa, non-China programs. Once a family sends back their contract I work with them to help complete their dossier all the way through the referral phase until they are ready to travel.

  1. How long have you been working at CAN?

I have been with CAN since the summer of 2012.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The best part about my job is knowing that all the hard work I put in goes towards helping fulfill the real need for children that do not have permanent homes. I enjoy getting to know my families and walking beside them on their adoption journey. Adoption is a unique process and it’s a privilege to labor on behalf of these children and families.

My favorite part in the process is issuing the referral of a child to a family. Each family spends so much time, energy and resources towards being able to offer their home to a child in need and I feel very fortunate to facilitate the family learning about this child for the first time. The child that they’ve planned and made sacrifices for now has a name, face, picture and identity.  After all the preparation the family has done it’s a joyful moment to share their referral with them.

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

When working in international adoption you cannot escape the fact that there are a lot unknowns. I work with my families for such a long period of time that in many ways I experience the highs and lows of their adoption right along with them. When there are questions that can’t be answered for a family I feel frustrated too. I often wish I had a crystal ball on my desk to reference so I could alleviate all of those unknowns for every one of my families.

  1. How have you grown personally from working at CAN and with their families?

I have learned so much during my time here at CAN. I have never worked harder, and never been more satisfied with my work. I am constantly understanding more what it means to do something fulfilling and how believing in what you do can make all the difference.

My families have taught me a lot about perseverance and sacrifice when caring for others. Families will go through great lengths, inconveniences and expenses to care for a child they may not even know yet. It serves as a constant reminder of what we’re capable of—and what we’re capable of can be astounding.

  1. Why do you love adoption?

Over the last few years I have had several friends go through the adoption process, both domestically and internationally. Before I started at CAN I knew that adoption can be difficult, but worth all the effort. Since I’ve been an adoption counselor I have grown to comprehend what a gift these children are and how much they bless their adoptive families.

The picture of adoption is beautiful because it speaks of hope. Adoption is not necessarily how things are suppose to be. Children are not supposed to lose their first families. Yet there are millions of children without a home and without the ability to change their circumstance. Adoption is a reminder there’s always hope—and some for all of us.

Fun Facts about Kristy:

  1. One of my career goals was to work for an adoption agency.
  2. Growing up I was a competitive figure skater.
  3. In college I took a semester off and taught English to elementary-high school aged kids in a small mountain town in Peru.
  4. The biggest reason I may never leave Texas is queso and Tex-Mex.
  5. I have been playing the cello for 15 years.
  6. Sometimes I still dream of wining an Olympic gold medal.

“Kristy is so caring and kind with all of the families she works with and gets genuinely excited for them each step of the way. She makes a personal connection with them and spends a lot of time on the phone chatting with them. She has such a great bubbly and positive attitude!” –Kristy’s co-worker

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Media {almost} Monday.

**Yesterday we were having a few minor server issues and were not able to post. Please excuse the tardiness.**

Well the weekend is officially over and everyone is back to the grind at work! With the next week in sight, what better time to catch up on all of your current adoption news from the past week—including country and domestic updates, relevant articles, book recommendations, interesting websites, even how we are seeing adoption being talked about in movies, television, the media, etc.

At GWCA and CAN we know that you, the parents, are our experts so we are calling for your help. Our desire is to make this as interactive as possible, so if you ever have any suggestions about things to add please comment below or E-mail them to Mary at

This past week in adoption:

  • Shoe Collection

Here is the story of one mom helping another mom in her quest to adopt a special needs child. Covered by the local news station, this story is truly one of kindness and the human spirit!


 Photo courtesy of MyFOX Phoenix.

Here is the direct link to the adoptive family’s blog.

  • Adoption & The Foster Care System

Coverage on adoption is everywhere. This is a recent segment produced by well-known Washington D.C. radio personality, Kojo Nnamdi. He addresses the trends we’ve seen in recent news about the decline of intercountry adoption, and consequently advocates for the adoption of children in the domestic foster care system.

Click here to listen. 

**If you follow the link there is a button in the top left-hand corner that says “Listen.”**

  • 7 Tips on Reputable Adoption Grant & Loan Organizations

We know that many of our families are always actively pursuing ways to make adoption affordable for their individual family. Grants and loans can be two excellent ways to make that happen, but sometimes those organizations are not legitimate. You are trusting people with your private information so it is important to proceed with caution. Here are 7 tips from Founder and Director, Cherri Walrod, on how to recognize signs and verify that an organization is legitimate. Read more here…

Photo courtesy of

Have a wonderful week and check back with us next Monday for more top coverage on adoption!

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