Zoie's Place has joined forces with Direction 61:3!

Help Us Welcome Board Secretary, Cindy Gordon

Cindy Gordon

We would like to introduce you to Cindy Gordon, who has recently taken an officer role on our Board of Directors as the Secretary. Cindy came to us first as a volunteer for Zoie’s Place and dedicated her time as an admin volunteer, a life skills teacher, and a mentor. We are so grateful for all of the time, talents, and wisdom Cindy has given to Zoie’s Place and we are excited to have her in this role. In her words, this is what Cindy wants you to know about her and the role she will fulfill at Zoie’s Place.

Interviewer: What would you like the readers to know about you and your family? 

Cindy Gordon: “My husband and I find ourselves in a stage of life where we have time and energy to devote ourselves to making our corner of the world a little better. As we think about retirement, and giving our time and monetary gifts, we desire to try and make a difference in the lives of those who have not had the same privilege that we have benefited from.”

Interviewer: When did you first get involved with foster care and adoption? What is one thing that has surprised you the most after your involvement? 

Cindy Gordon: “Before coming to Zoie’s Place, my only knowledge of the foster care system was family adjacent as my aunt and uncle spent many years fostering children in Wise County, Texas and adopted three children during their tenure. The most surprising thing has been the intersection between homelessness and those who have experienced the foster system.”

Interviewer: What made you want to join the board of directors for Zoie’s Place? 

Cindy Gordon: “My initial introduction to Zoie’s Place was as a volunteer. Volunteer training provided me with my first inside view of the hardships often faced by children in the foster care system. My experience as a volunteer gave me the advantage of getting to know many of the girls on a more personal level and solidified my belief that this population is basically invisible and thus, underserved. After a short period of volunteering, I became a mentor and in the process, also learned a great deal about myself. I wanted to do more for these young women – more than donating a little time and giving monetary support. Joining the board of directors will, I hope, allow me to continue to learn and to play a more substantial role in the growth of the organization.”

Interviewer: What are you looking forward to most in your role on the board of directors?

Cindy Gordon: “In order to best serve our specific population, Zoie’s Place must continue to grow and prosper. Guiding this growth requires a board of diverse perspectives. As a teacher and advisor, I was blessed to hear many stores, to witness multiple perspectives come together to create a new form of knowledge for each participant. I have personally benefited from these encounters and I look forward to sharing my experiences with the board.”

Help Us Welcome Our Newest Board Member, Cody McCommas

Cody McCommas

We would like to introduce you to Cody McCommas, one of the two new additions to our Board of Directors. Cody is the Executive Pastor at Christ Community Church of Denton. He met his beautiful wife, Karen, in college at the University of North Texas. When describing their relationship, Cody says, “She lets me do most of the talking, but she’s smarter than me.” Cody and his wife Karen are adoptive parents, foster parents, trauma-informed parents and LOVE to share what they know about foster care and adoption. They have two daughters, a 5-year-old and 18-month-old. Cody loves to cook and owns a crawfish catering company that serves people all over the metroplex. We feel honored he chose to serve his time on our Board and are so grateful to have him. Take a moment to read on to learn a little more about why he decided to join the board and what he wants you to know about foster care and adoption.

Interviewer: When did you first get involved with foster care and adoption? What is one thing that has surprised you the most after your involvement?

Cody McCommas: My wife, Karen, has had a yearning for adoption since she was in high school. We officially entered that world around 2011 when started looking for resources to help us navigate the adoption process. We didn’t realize how much we didn’t know at the time, and we’ve been learning ever since. It was obvious, though, that there was common language, in tv and movies, among friends, and in the culture at large, that was adoption/foster unfriendly. It was damaging. A big part of our role in the adoption and foster world is to help teach others the impact of particular language and to normalize orphan care by intentionally talking about it.

Interviewer: What would you like others to know about foster care and adoption? 

Cody McCommas: I’d like people to know SO MANY things about foster care and adoption!! Maybe primarily, I think if more people understood the impact of trauma on the human mind and body, they would be much more patient and caring with kids from hard places. They would better understand their struggles and be able to come alongside them to heal and move forward together. And if more people understood how our brains can rewire themselves to heal after trauma, especially through close personal relationships, they would see that there is so much hope, even in the most difficult of struggles.

Most importantly, I want people to know that you don’t have to be a superhero to be a part of the foster and adoption world. I’m not special, I’m not extraordinary. I’m a guy whose heart has been renewed by Jesus, who learns a little more each day, and who has been called, like all of us, to help set the lonely in families. If people knew their obedience is so much more glorious than their fear, they’d be freed to take their next step in serving kids and young adults.” 

Interviewer: What made you want to join the board of directors for Zoie’s Place?

Cody McCommas: “I love what Zoie’s is doing and the void they are helping to fill. I know how instrumental a loving family has been for me, especially when I transitioned into adulthood. Everybody needs that kind of love, trust, and support. The young adult population is so often forgotten or unseen in the foster care and adoption world. Zoie’s Place’s sights are set squarely on this particular population and am thrilled for that.

Interviewer: What are you looking forward to most in this new role?

Cody McCommas: “I’m most looking forward to seeing lives transformed, seeing young adults grow and prepare for a rich future. I look forward to dreaming about what Zoie’s Place can become in the future and helping us figure out how to get there.” 

 

Help Us Welcome Our Newest Board Member, Darren Thompson

darren thompson

We would like to introduce you to Darren Thompson, one of the two new additions to our Board of Directors. Darren and his wife Dayna came to know the Lord in their early twenties and were discipled by some people who were pivotal in their life. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Dayna, for 20 years and they have four children: two biological and two adopted. Darren works as an IT Manager at a local health care company, specializing in application development. Darren and his wife Dayna lead the foster and adoption ministry at Denton Bible Church. We feel honored he chose to serve his time on our Board and are so grateful to have him. Take a moment to read on to learn a little more about why he decided to join the board and what he wants you to know about foster care and adoption.

Interviewer: When did you first get involved with foster care and adoption? What is one thing that has surprised you the most after your involvement?

Darren Thompson: “We started the adoption process in 2006. We knew some families who had already adopted so we felt very comfortable adopting but it’s still a roller coaster at times. What we didn’t expect was to see God’s provision throughout the process. It was really encouraging.”

Interviewer: What would you like others to know about foster care and adoption? 

Darren Thompson: “Some people have a hard time understanding how you could love someone’s else’s child, but when you realize they are totally dependent on you that parental gene kicks in and you do what you have to do to take care of them and be the best parent possible.”

Interviewer: What made you want to join the board of directors for Zoie’s Place?

Darren Thompson: “My wife and I lead the foster and adoption ministry at our church, but we seem to focus on the 10 and under children. Zoie’s Place exemplifies a commitment to those who are technically adults but still need help in some of life’s biggest decisions in those young adult years.”

Interviewer: What are you looking forward to most in this new role?

Darren Thompson: “I would love to see the local church really get involved in helping ministries like Zoie’s Place. There are so many resources within the church that would be accessible if the right people are involved. I plan on bridging the gap with these two organizations where possible.”