Moya Smith, Executive Director of
Dianjiang Kids International/First Hugs
Her younger daughter was adopted from Dianjiang in 2004. Moya visited the orphanage at that time to meet her daughter for the first time. She was struck by the many children who did not meet their forever families that day. Moya became interested in childhood trauma and its effects as she continued to raise her four children. When the chance came to work with Dianjiang Social Welfare Institute to help those children left behind, Moya was thrilled at the opportunity. She is Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with families of children who have experienced trauma. She lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. Her professional website is .
Krista Dolan, Director First Hugs China
Vice President of a small engineering firm, Krista Dolan lives in Nevada with her husband of 20 years and their 5 children, Abigail, Isabelle, Hanlin, Lily, and Grace . They adopted Lily in 2005 from Dianjiang at 1 year old, Hanlin from Tianjin in 2008 at 4.5 years old and Grace from Hefei in 2014 at age 10. Krista has been active with the adoption community in her area and has been the Director of Gracies Room/ First Hugs since October 2008. She has a special place in her heart for China's orphaned children.
Taylor Starnes, Communications Director
Taylor is an Appalachian State University Graduate and now a social studies teacher at a local high school. She has two siblings adopted from China. Lily was adopted in 2008 from Jiangxi and Jacob in 2010 from Beijing. She has volunteered several times in China at Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an and has a passion to help those that are waiting for families. She is the founder of the advocacy blog Still We Wait, where she advocate for children who are waiting worldwide for families.
Emma Kennedy, Director at Large
Emma and her husband Tim adopted their daughter Ciara from Dianjiang in 2003 and their son Sam from Xinxiang in 2005. Emma graduated college in Dublin Ireland and now lives in the US. She is a real estate broker. Her passion is adoption and adoptive families. She has served on several committees for Martha's Vineyard Community Services. She co-facilitates all families touched by adoption of Martha's Vineyard and a waiting parents group with Martha's Vineyard Community Services.
Leslie Bishko, Secetary
Leslie Bishko and her husband Wolfgang adopted their daughter from DianJiang in 2008. At DianJiang, their daughter received care in Gracie's Room as well as foster care funded by First Hugs. They actively participate with the Families with Children from China British Columbia chapter in Vancouver, BC Canada, where they live in a very international community. Leslie is an Associate Professor of Animation at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and an Independent Consultant with Arbonne.
Jenny Ma: Translator
Jenny grew up in Chengdu, China. While studying journalism at Fudan University in Shanghai, she met her husband, a teacher from Canada, who she would eventually move with to New Brunswick, along with their 2 children. Krista Dolan introduced her to First Hugs and she has been involved ever since, happy to use her experience from China to assist children in need. Every positive change made in the lives of First Hugs children brings her hope for a better future.
Kim Radersma. Director at Large
Kim and her family live in Southern Ontario, Canada. They adopted their youngest son from Dianjiang in 2007. In her spare time, Kim teaches at Brock University where she is also working on her PhD in Education with a focus on anti-racist pedagogy. The focus of her work is intertwined with her role as a mother of two very different looking children--in both roles, she attempts to help create a truly inclusive world where all racial identities are honored, celebrated, and treated with dignity.
Amber Ratliff: Medical Director
Amber Ratliff was introduced to the work of First Hugs during the adoption of her son, Samuel from China in 2014. Now residing in St Louis, MO, Amber works as a neonatologist. "So many of the health problems of these beautiful children could be avoided with proper nutrition, attention and loving care. I was drawn to First Hugs because they are going into orphanages and working with the nannies to provide the kind of healthy stimulation that promotes brain development and emotional growth. These children are blossoming. The work of First Hugs is life-changing for these children and I am honored to be a part of it."
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
― Edward Everett Hale
Shanon Brown, Member at Large
Shanon and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, with their four sons and three cats. Shanon began volunteering at a young age; it turned into a life-long commitment to help make the world a better place. Shanon believes that all children have value and is a passionate advocate for orphaned children, children with special needs and adoption. After visiting orphanages in China and seeing the immense need thousands of children faced, Shanon knew her world was forever changed, but she also knew she could make a difference. Shanon is excited to join First Hugs in improving the lives of orphaned children.
We are currently seeking a Fundraising Director. These are all volunteer positions. If you have a few hours a month to dedicate to Dianjiang Kids International, please contact Moya Smith for more information.
We are also always seeking volunteers to help with various needs, so if you would be interested, please drop us a line via the contact form.