Meet The StaffOur staff has unparalleled compassion with decades of experience.
The founder and staff of A New Beginning Adoption Agency are adoption professionals with personal adoption experience as adoptive parents, adult adoptees and/or birth parents. We are a non-profit, licensed adoption agency with extensive experience supporting, preparing and educating adoptive families and birth families. Our goal is not to only match children with their families but to also provide essential post-adoption services to everyone involved; adopted children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Adoption is a journey, we guide families through theirs.
Stephanie Pearl, LSW
Stephanie Pearl is the Founder and Executive Director of A New Beginning. She has over 20 years of experience in the social work field working in nursing homes, elementary schools, the juvenile justice system and family services. She has 16 years of experience in the adoption field working with all members of the adoption triad. She is passionate about preparing and supporting birth families, adoptive parents and children through the adoption journey. Stephanie and her husband have two children, one they adopted from China at 9 months old and a biological son. In her spare time Stephanie enjoys camping with her family, reading and traveling.
Christy Frans, BA Psychology
Christy Frans has worked in the non-profit arena for over 17 years and has worked with A New Beginning Adoption Agency as an adoption specialist since 2009. As sister to an adopted brother and aunt to an internationally adopted niece, Christy has been surrounded by adoption most of her life. Christy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She works primarily with families in the home study process, where she provides them support and training as they begin their adoption journey. She also has experience working with birth families in placement and adoptive families in post placement services. She currently co-teaches the agency’s foster adopt training, but has enjoyed developing and conducting trainings in all adoption programs over the last 9 years at A New Beginning. Christy is especially passionate about working with youth adopted from the foster care system. She co-facilitates ANB’s Youth Advisory Board which meets twice monthly at A New Beginning. Christy is a proud mom to three daughters, who loves family time with her husband and children.
Shelly Cozakos, JD
Tina Kierce, Bachelor of Science / Education
Tina Kierce joined A New Beginning in 2016, but has ten years of experience in the field. Her role as Marketing Director for the agency is focused on communicating available services to the girls experiening unplanned pregnancies and adoptive families through outreach. In her adoption experience she’s seen over 1,200 children be placed in forever families, functioned as a community liason for adoption, and raised funds for international humanitarian projects. In 2000, Tina traveled to China to open a family-style orphanage in the Shangxi Provence. A graduate of Radford University in Virginia she has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a focus on at-risk adolescents.
Amberlee James, Boise State University
Social Work Intern
Amberlee is pursuing her undergraduate degree with the school of Social Work at Boise State University. She has a background working with children of all ages that have experienced domestic violence and trauma. As a child, her parents provided respite care for children in the foster care system, and since then, she has become very passionate about advocacy and adoption services. In her personal time, she enjoys playing music, dancing, and spending time with her husband, who was adopted as an infant.
Cara Walsh, BSW
Cara has been working in the field of adoption since 2008. She has a passion for adoption and enjoys caring for birth mothers and adoptive parents during their adoption journey. Cara’s experience includes writing home studies, conducting post placements for infant children, foster children and international children and birth parent case management, support and counseling. Cara also teaches the agency’s Infant Family Training to adoptive parents. She developed a unique and effective curriculum entitled Adoption 101 that has been taught in high schools around the state, college campuses in Idaho, pregnancy crisis centers and to hospital nurses. She is a very proud mother of two beautiful girls and enjoys spending time with her children and her husband.
Emma Kennedy, LSW
Emma has been involved in the adoption world since 2014. Having a good friend who is an adoptee, adoption has always been an interest of Emma’s. She completed her senior year practicum with A New Beginning and graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelors degree in Social Work. Emma is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Idaho. As an Adoption Specialist, she finds much joy in working with adoptive families and birth parents throughout their adoption journey. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and what the Boise area has to offer.
Amber Kidd, BSW
Amber has been with A New Beginning Adoption Agency since 2013. A New Beginning is where Amber completed her senior practicum working with birth parents, adoptive families, and children adopted domestically as infants, internationally, and through the foster care system. She graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Amber works primarily with the domestic infant and foster-adopt families as the Family Support Coordinator. Amber is a passionate advocate for adoptive families and enjoys helping support them as they go through their adoption journey. Amber’s personal loves include concerts, a good book, Netflix series, and spending time with her family.
Quincy Budell, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
Wellness Center Coordinator
Quincy Budell is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, with an emphasis in Public Health and is working at A New Beginning’s Wellness Center Administrator. Quincy became interested in adoption at a young age watching her aunt and uncle adopt her cousins and completed her internship at the agency helping birth parents and adoptive families get connected with community resources. In January 2017, she started the new position is will help build the Wellness Center which specializes in counseling and therapies common to birth parents, adoptees, adoptive families and foster-families. Originally from Boise, she is happy to have the opportunity to help people in her community and be near her family again.
Teresa Bevens, AS
Teresa is a graduate of Heald Business College with an Associates Degree in Accounting. For the past six years, she is the first individual you’ll meet at A New Beginning and answers your questions as you proceed through your process. She quickly becomes your “go-to” person for questions, scheduling appointments or just about everything. When Teresa isn’t helping A New Beginning families, she’s enjoying her own family.
Wendy Perez, LCSW, ACADC, CCTP, SAP
Wendy Perez, LCSW, ACADC, CCTP, SAP received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Boise State University and her Master’s in Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University in 2006. Wendy is currently working on completing her post graduate program in Play Therapy and Sand Tray. Wendy’s professional interests include Addictions, Co-Occurring Disorders, PTSD, Crisis Work, Domestic Violence, Disaster Mental Health, Trauma-Informed Care, Play Therapy and Family-of-Origin issues. She currently serves as the President of the ISCSW and was recently the Secretary on the ICADD Board and the Secretary on the Treasure Valley Alcohol Drug Coalition. Wendy also enjoys spending time with her husband, her young son and two small dogs.
Evie Hope joined A New Beginning as the first furry office helper and therapy dog in training. Evie is a Coton de Tulear and was born in Council, Idaho but originally from Madagascar. Her friends describe her as precious, definitely fluffy, comforting and a whole lot of happy. As she continues her training to be a therapy dog, she also enjoys stealing the fake grass in the planters around the office. Follow her on Instagram along with her distant boyfriend Midas in Argentina. Follow me on my Instagram account!
Rebecca Marquez, MS, MFTI
I have a Master’s degree in Counseling from California State University, East Bay, and am currently a licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. Most recently, my work experience encompass’ community based rehabilitation, case management and school based behavior intervention. I am thrilled to be now be changing my focus back to counseling! Personally, I have been married for almost 15 years and lived in Idaho for 12 years. After moving to Idaho, my husband and I adopted our first child through A New Beginning. He is 10 now. About 2 years later, we committed to becoming licensed foster parents through Idaho child and family services. We have fostered 14 different children over the years, and have adopted our second child through the foster care system. We also currently have 2 foster children. When time allows, some of my favorite hobbies include singing, reading and playing with my kids and pets.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
Laraine Merrill, MSW
Approach to life: Look for the positive in every situation
Hobbies: Hiking, biking, camping, fly fishing, gardening, and traveling to different countries
30 mins to self: Hiking, biking or gardening depending on the day
Dream Vacation: Hiking and biking in New Zealand
Favorite Food: Asian
Favorite Movie: British Classics
Favorite Quote: “True happiness comes only from making others happy”
Biggest Fear: Losing a child
One word my friends use to describe me: Friendly
Amanda Stueve, LSW
Hometown: Idaho Falls
Approach to Life: Lighthearted and open minded. “Life’s a garden, dig it!”-Joe Dirt
Education: Boise State University
Hobbies: Hiking, biking, running, tennis, reading, camping, fishing, boating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, eating burritos, playing with my dog
30 mins to yourself: Cuddle my dog
Dream Vacation: Therwil, Switzerland
Favorite Food: Sweet Pork Burritos
Favorite Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Favorite Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou
One word my Friends use to describe me: Sincere, Thoughtfu
April Calhoun, Boise State University
Social Work Intern
April Calhoun is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Boise State University. April has a background working with couples building their family through surrogacy. She has been a gestational carrier three times since 2011 and before that was an egg donor twice. April has a passion for serving individual’s and couples wanting to build their family. April has also been a certified personal trainer and nutritionist for 16 years, designing personalized plans for individuals to meet their fitness goals. She has also been the fitness professional for Rocky Mountain Surrogacy since 2012, working with Intended parents to ensure the health of their surrogate and future child during their journey. April is a proud mother of two wonderful girls, enjoys spending time with her family, two Boston terriers, and loves being active outdoors.
Ronda Cox, LCSW
Ronda Cox, LCSW received her master’s degree in Social Work from Boise State University and currently serves as a Social Work faculty member. Ronda has diverse experience including hospice care, grief and loss, family and marriage therapy, trauma, anxiety, psychosocil rehabilitation and drug and alcohol addiction treatment. She is also a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals, Idaho Association for Play Therapy, National Asociation of Social Workers, Phi Alpha Honor Society and OSSW (Organization of Student Social Workers). Cox enjoys working with individuals, families and groups.
A New Beginning has Social Work interns most of the time, but available positions fill up fast. We currently do not have an internship opportunities available. If you are interested in inquiring about upcoming opportunities, please click here.
A New Beginning Adoption Agency offers an incredibly rewarding career opportunity. We currently do not have any opportunities available. If you wish to learn about upcoming opportunities, please plan to revisit this page for updated status or email firstname.lastname@example.org.