Planning Team

Jen Catoe- Chair

Brian and Jen Catoe live in Charlotte, NC with their three boys (Jack, Sam and Josh). They are both on staff with Cru, a Christian ministry to college students. They have been a foster family for two years and have cared for seven children. Jen has a heart to advocate for children who need safe and loving homes in her local community.

Rachel Ness- Co Chair

Being raised in Africa as the eldest daughter of Wycliffe missionaries, Rachel has always had a heart for the needs of people without a voice. She graduated from Winthrop University with a degree in Social Work and began working with Foster families. From there she moved into working in Adoptions with Christian Family Services (then in Tega Cay, SC). During that time, the Lord called Rachel and her husband, Erik (also a Missionary Kid), back to overseas ministry. They served in Kenya and Tanzania for almost 12 years and are now living back in South Carolina. She is excited about the opportunity to be involved in supporting and encouraging foster and adoptive families through the Big Love Retreat.

Kylie Carroll

Kylie has been married to her high school sweetheart for 15 years. They knew we were called to adopt while they were still dating and had plans to do so early in their marriage, but God... They have four bio children: Jayden (13), Asher (11), Jude (9), and Evy (7), and just brought home their son Kidus (5) from Ethiopia in June after a LONG 6 year wait. They are overjoyed with our newest addition and hope to adopt again at some point. Kylie has been on the bigLove planning team since the beginning, serves on Eternal Church's Embrace (orphan care) ministry team, and is PASSIONATE about advocating for vulnerable children and walking alongside adoptive, foster, and special needs moms!

Laura Phillips

Joe and Laura are high school BFFs who dated in college and got married after graduation. They have one biological son, Noah (8) and after multiple miscarriages and lots of discussion and prayer, moved forward with adopting domestically in 2011. Isla (5) joined their family in 2012 at 2 days old. Isla's adoption was complicated and uncertain and wasn't finalized for over a year. Due to the complications of Isla's adoption, Joe was not too keen to adopt domestically again, and they don't feel called to adopt internationally, so Joe and Laura decided last year to open their home to whoever needs it, for as long as they need it. They have been fostering through SC DSS since June and have had two placements so far who have happily been reunited with their families. They're not sure if they will add any more permanent members to their family, but feel they are right where God would have them fostering.

Anna Russo

Anna and Mike Russo are parents to four- Julia (22), Kinsey (19), Seth (16), and Gracie (7). Their first three are biological and their youngest, Gracie, is adopted from China. Anna and Mike waited six years to bring their Gracie home, but she is worth every minute. She was 16 months old when she came home.

Patricia Lonadier

Brett and Patricia Lonadier recently became foster-to-adopt parents of 13 and 9-year-old brothers. Their love for children comes from experiences in education, youth and children's ministry, group homes, and psychiatric facilities. Patricia works as a therapist and specializes in work with adolescents, many of whom are in the foster care system. Brett is currently the youth and children's pastor at Manchester Creek Community Church. They are passionate about being willing to stand in the gap for kids and teens and take the risk of being hurt so that kids may have love and security that they deserve. They firmly believe that loving orphans is a Biblical mandate and are committed to this call for the rest of their lives.

Kristina Pihanich

Kristina is wife to Seth and two kiddos. Kristina works as a teacher where her passion for helping children led to her motivation to foster and adopt. Once she told her husband, she found out the Holy Spirit had been molding his heart, as well! Her and her husband started fostering an adorable 4-year-old in November of 2016. What started as a short-term placement has since evolved into an adoption process. Though it be long and trying at times, Kristina and Seth have grown so much and are super anxious to adopt their now 5-year-old princess! The couple also had a baby boy, Kayson, in November 2017. They plan on continuing to foster and adopt in the near future.

Stefany Tindale

Stefany is wife to Joe and mom to five kiddos- four adoptive and one biological. She adopted her first three boys after she married their daddy in 2009. Their first mommy went to be with Jesus, and Stefany met, and shortly after married, Joe around a year after she passed away. The boys were ages 1, 3, and 4 when she married Joe and became their mommy. In August 2013, Joe and Stefany brought their daughter, age seven at the time, home from Taiwan. They had plans to adopt again, but no plans for biological children. God had a different idea! Their youngest, Jones, was born in June 2014, and has been a sweet, fun surprise for the whole crew. Stefany and Joe don’t have plans to have anymore children biologically or through adoption (realizing it’s ultimately not up to them but to the ONE who has the BEST plans of all!), but are in the process of being licensed to foster through the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Kim Gray

Kim has been married to her husband Dan for 25 years. They have 5 wonderful children. They have 3 biological children: Emily (24), Ethan (21), Trevor (18), and 2 adopted children from China. Eliana (13) was adopted in 2005 at 11 months old, and Thomas (11) came home in 2011 at 5 years of age. Kim and her family are passionate about orphan care, adoption and advocating for children still waiting for their forever families.

Melanie Stone

Melanie & her husband Dwight always thought they would foster or adopt ‘one day’ but were surprised when they felt God calling them to host a teenage orphan from Ukraine in 2015. ‘One day’ came much sooner then they anticipated! Melanie, Dwight & their two, young, bio kids quickly fell in love with their host daughter and they started the adoption process.

But God had other plans. Their 13 year old host daughter changed her mind about adoption in spite of her love for her host family. They kept in touch & supported her from afar while praying for God‘s will for their family.

A few months later, they were contacted about an orphan who was aging out in Ukraine. Their heart skipped a beat when they saw her photo & everything started falling into place. They felt so confident and sure that this was the child God meant for their family.

They flew to Ukraine to meet their daughter last spring and in December, they legally became parents to a beautiful 16 year old! They hope to have her home for good by Valentine’s Day.