Board of Directors
Board Vice Chair
Monica is birthmom to Jack, age 6, and enjoys an open adoption with her son, his two dads and younger sister. She has spent the last few years educating hopeful adoptive parents on how to navigate a healthy open adoption for all members of the triad. She understands both the grief and joy in making an adoption plan and advocates for the importance of post-placement care for birthmothers. Monica has been involved with On Your Feet since 2016 when she joined the Auxiliary Board where she was responsible for helping with the organization’s fundraising efforts. She truly feels it is the greatest honor to serve on the Board of Directors and as a Retreat Facilitator.
Monica lives in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood and works as a Senior Project Manager in the hospitality industry where she oversees large scale projects of hotels, restaurants and senior living facilities.
Deanna Schuette is a central-Wisconsin native, now Madison-based, who works with United Way / 211 of Wisconsin to coordinate special projects and COVID-19 response efforts. She is passionately committed to cultivate communities that collectively activate ways to thrive together.
Life in Chicagoland—two years between Wausau and Madison—afforded her the opportunity to encounter On Your Feet Foundation. As an adult-adoptee of a closed adoption, this is the first time in her life she’s experienced a community of people connected to the experience of adoption. While the lens on adoption as an adoptee is most personal to her, to learn from others as birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees from other adoption contexts has been a most precious gift of healing and inspiration.
In addition to being a Board Member of On Your Feet Foundation, she has volunteered with Childcare Network of Evanston, United Way Emerging Leaders of Marathon County, and Leadership Wisconsin. In her spare time she enjoys re-discovering the State she believed she already knew: its beautiful parks, countryside, and waterways, whether in hiking boots, on a paddle board, or an aspiring way to tour in 2021 - on a bicycle!
Jen describes herself as the lucky mom to an amazing 10 year old son. Previous to adopting their son, she was an elementary school teacher for 12 years and is currently the chief operating officer of their busy household. Jen became involved with On Your Feet Foundation in 2016. She feels honored to work to empower women after they placed a child for adoption. She is grateful for the many things she has learned from the wonderful birth moms we work with. In addition to being Board Chair for On Your Feet Foundation she enjoys time with amily, cooking and supporting adoption education and advocating for children’s mental health support.
Rachel is a Chicago native. She is the adoptive mother of Jamiya and mother of 14 year old Parker. She was introduced to On Your Feet Foundation in the summer of 2016 and was inspired by the idea of supportive services for birthmothers post placement.
Hope O. Baker
Hope O. Baker is a successful business woman growing her career in Global Partner Management, and a budding entrepreneur. Hope is the international best-selling author of Finding Hope, which follows her journey of placing her new-born son in an open adoption and all the trials and tribulations that followed. She worked herself out of a deep depression, addiction struggles and is now thriving in life. She is a fierce advocate for birthmother rights, diversity and women rights. Hope recently relocated back to Minnesota from London and is starting the next chapter in life - home ownership and becoming a dog mom.
Molly Berger, LCSW
Molly has been an Adoption Social Worker since 2013 at a private agency in Chicago. After seeing the incredible support On Your Feet provided many of the birth parents she worked with, Molly was eager to be more involved in their mission. Molly currently lives in a suburb of Chicago with her dog Oliver. She also loves being a temporary foster mom for the agency she works for.
Hannah lives in Chicago, but she is a desert girl at heart, with her husband, twin girls, Ezra + Olive, and their winsome goldendoodle, Hadley. A photographer, designer, and creative, Hannah is passionate about adoption education and lifting up all voices of the adoption triad. After seeing firsthand the lack of birthmother support after placement she got involved with On Your Feet Foundation. Hannah is also the founder of Kindred + Co.
Cordan James is a voice laced with truth and a mesmerizing cadence that brings you back to self. He inspires the feeling of being totally submerged underwater, ears sensitive to your own heartbeat, and completely aware that being consumed isn’t so bad when you can see your way to the surface. Cordan’s voice, life, and mission is all about giving children hope for the future they dream of and reminding adults that it’s never too late to manifest the fearless imaginings of their childhood.
As a Motivational Speaker, Cordan James draws upon his experiences as a child of a Transracial Adoption (TRA), a leader in the US ARMY, and a mentor with a non-profit organization that uses storytelling and mentorship to empower fathers called Fathering Together. He aims to inspire fathers to achieve their birthright through cultivating safe spaces for their families to heal and thrive.
Martha Lindstrom, NP
Martha Lindstrom grew up on the Northwest Side of Chicago. She originally got a Bachelor's of Science in Social Work from Saint Louis University. After working 5 years in Child Welfare, she went back to Nursing School at Loyola University of Chicago. She subsequently got her Masters of Science in Nursing from Loyola and works as an Advance Practice Nurse with a Cardiology group out of Libertyville, IL. Martha is inspired by the birthparents who have made such a brave decision to place their child(ren) for adoption and is excited to be part of an organization that empowers them to get through such an impactful decision. In her spare time, Martha enjoys spending time with her two children and husband.
A Chicago native, Nancy and her husband are parents of two daughters through adoption. Nancy learned about On Your Feet in 2002 before her older daughter was born and when they were seeking ways to support their child's birth mother. Hallmark TV featured their open adoption story - "Everyone's Hope" - in its groundbreaking adoption series that aired in 2002. Nancy joined On Your Feet's board in 2016 and is committed to helping birth parents find community and connection after placement. She has worked in business-to-business marketing and the nonprofit sector, and now co-leads an event planning business.
Colleen DesRosiers, Ph.D.
Shelley Ballard, JD
Patricia Trudeau, LCSW
Thanks to Lerman Business Services for providing Accounting Services.