Its Takes A Team

Introducing

The Michigan Adoptee Collaborative Board

Erica Curry Van Ee, MPA

Erica Curry Van Ee, MPA

Founder

Erica is a global thought leader and change maker based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Adopted in the state of Ohio in 1969 at the height of the closed records era, Erica began searching for her biological family when she turned 18 and continued her search for the next 27 years, with no success. That all changed in 2015 when Ohio advocates were successful in changing the law, opening access to original birth certificates for 400,000 adoptees born during the closed records era. Since then, Erica has reunited with more than 20 biological relatives and traveled the world learning about her family, medical history, cultural background and ancestral heritage. She believes access to unaltered original birth certificates is central to one’s identity and a basic human right. Erica is on a mission to change the world through reforming practices and policies in domestic and international adoption. Erica is co-founder and President of the Michigan Adoptee Collaborative, co-facilitator of Adoptees Connect - Grand Rapids, and founder of The Legitimacy Movement. When she is not advocating for adoption reform, Erica expresses her passion through Urban Curry Consulting as a leadership coach, a human development consultant, a change maker, a philanthropist, and an Airbnb host. She loves being a Wife to Brian, Stepmom, Grammy, Auntie, Daughter, Sister, Niece, Friend and Cat Mama.

Melissa K. Nicholson, MSW, LMSW

Melissa K. Nicholson, MSW, LMSW

Secretary

Melissa is a psychotherapist and owner of Embrace Therapy & Wellness, LLC located in Grand Rapids, MI. She specializes in helping adoptees embrace their unique stories and gain wholeness through self-compassion and mindfulness-based practices. Melissa started facilitating support groups for adoptees in 2017; she is the co-founder and Vice President of the Michigan Adoptee Collaborative, a nonprofit organization providing advocacy, education, and support for the adoption community.

Jillian Blair

Jillian Blair

Trustee

Jillian Blair is a late discovery adoptee (LDA) who was part of a private adoption in 1967. She is in recent reunion with her paternal biological family thanks to DNA testing. Jillian, who graduated from Davenport University is an Industrial HVAC Sales Professional while also owning a residential rental property company, Jil-Ley Properties LLC. Residing in West Michigan all of her life, she has one Daughter and feels passionately about bringing awareness & education the masses as to what adoption really is. She wants to see real change regarding support services for adopted children & teens. She hopes to assist in putting programs into place that seek to provide the needed self-understanding & emotional support that are so vital to an adoptee.

Jeff Lund

Jeff Lund

Treasurer

Jeff has been a licensed realtor in Michigan since 1988 and has lived in Michigan all of his life. He moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989 and has been a landlord for the past 15 years. He has a loving wife, Pam, and 2 children. His interests include the outdoors, music, motorsports and home renovations. Jeff has been searching for his birth parents since the early 1990’s and was able to locate and have a reunion with his birth father about 3 years ago, and his birth mother about 4 months ago. These reunions have given answers to the many questions that he has had throughout his life, including ancestry lineage and medical history. Jeff feels the need to give the adoptee triad and general public an insight on support, knowledge of challenges and processes of searching/locating lost family members. He serves as the treasurer for the Michigan Adoptee Collaborative.

Introducing

The Michigan Adoptee Team Members

Alicia Schlehuber

Alicia Schlehuber

Facilitator

Alicia Schlehuber is an adult adoptee who was adopted from Bogota, Colombia at only ten days old. She grew up in a suburb of New Orleans and was raised by Caucasian parents. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master‘s degree in Counseling. She has spent the majority of her career working in human resources, however, her heart’s desire is to help others and in particular other adoptees or children impacted by trauma. She has volunteered at several international adoption camps including, Holt International Adoptee Camp and Colorado Heritage Camp. She has spoken on many adoptee panels and loves to share her story, in an effort to spread awareness of the impact of adoption throughout an adoptee’s life. She is well-versed in attachment parenting after having a daughter of her own, and is a published author having contributed to Decoding Our Origins: The Lived Experiences of Colombian Adoptees under an alias. She believes there are many events in an adoptee’s life that are impacted by their adoption experience, but in her case, nothing has impacted her more than becoming a mother. Her passion is international adoption and transracial adoption. Learn about Alicia’s search and reunion story

Cally Prince

Cally Prince

Facilitator

Cally Prince was adopted from Gaoyou, China at the age of 3 and was planted in Traverse City, Michigan during the Summer of 1999. She grew up with two outstanding parents who adopted four other children from different countries around the world. Adoption matters began to stir Cally’s curiosity in her senior year of high school, and when she entered into college she began to explore the ideas of what adoption meant to her (both emotionally and mentally) and the common struggles that many adoptees, such as herself, endure on a regular basis. In the Winter of 2018, Cally obtained her certification and license in Life Coaching, specializing in the areas of mental health and spirituality. Her ultimate desire is to help adoptees and others alike that face deep rooted abandonment issues, clinical depression, anxiety and other forms of emotional difficulties.

Andie Coston

Andie Coston

Facilitator

Andie Coston is an infant adoptee born and raised in Michigan. She was one of the first open adoptions in Michigan. She has been married for 12 years to Matt. They have three biological children, Pilot, Ford and Rolena. They are in the process of adopting their two year old foster daughter through foster care. Andrea has been a stay at home parent for the last 9 years while supporting her husband as he worked and completed his Bachelors of social work. She holds a BS in Intercultural Studies and marketing through Indiana Wesleyan University and is working on her Master of Social Work. In her spare time she writes and advocates for the adoption triad, mental health awareness and motherhood.

Our Board Structure

EXECUTIVE:
The executive team, comprised of the chairs of all other teams, provides overall strategic leadership for MAC and oversees organizational growth and development efforts, including fiscal health and human resource management.

MARKETING:
The marketing team provides leadership on branding, social media, communications, promotion, volunteer management and membership.

FINANCE:
The finance team provides leadership in financial management and fundraising, including the assets of the organization

PROGRAM:
The program team provides leadership for program development, operations and evaluation as well as partnership development.

ADVOCACY:
The advocacy team provides leadership for public education and engagement with the general public, lawmakers and other key stakeholders to promote “best practices” in adoption policy.

Interested in Joining Our Team?

Our Partners

Adoptive Family Support Network
Arbor Circle
Bethany Christian Services
Bistro Bella Vita
Brian Kelly Productions
Bridge Street Market
Butchers Union
Celebration Cinema
Company Bell
DA Blodgett

Daeja Marzette, Research Assistant
Deanne Carbone Design
Engaging TECHniques
Forty Acres
Foster Kids Kent
Grand Valley State University
Harmony Hall
Jil-Ley Property LLC
Lake Michigan Credit Union
Lenny Speiller, PR Consultant

Loft at Union Square
Maru Sushi
Mitten State
Pretty Little Bow
Property Shoppe Real Estate
Sovengard
Travis Mandenberg, Film maker
Urban Curry Consulting
Winchester

Interested in Becoming a Partner?

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Michigan Adoptee Collaborative (MAC) improves outcomes for adoptees by providing advocacy, education and support with the adoption community.

MORE UPCOMING EVENTS COMING SOON!

Past Events:

“Be A Voice, Not an Echo”
Grand Rapids — March 9 2019

“Seeing Is Believing”
Ann Arbor — March 16, 2019

40th Annual AAC International Conference
Washington D.C. –Thursday April 4, 10:15-11:15 AM