Adoption Champion

“My goal is to find a permanent and loving home for every child in Virginia” – Debbie Johnston, Virginia’s Adoption Champion

debbie and kids

On August of 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Debbie as Virginia’s Adoption Champion. An adoptee herself, Debbie is passionate about helping children find homes and works to support the Commonwealth’s permanency efforts state wide. Debbie serves as spokesperson for adoption in Virginia and is working to engage and educate the public in support of Virginia’s adoption program goals and objectives. Debbie credits all of her success both professionally and philanthropically to her loving Virginia family of eight who adopted her, believed in her, and gave her that basic human right: a family.

Debbie believes that our state does a tremendous job of telling us when a dog or cat needs a home, but fears that same awareness does not exist for our foster children. She wants them to know that not only is their struggle heard, but that their unique stories are of value. She is working diligently to give them a brighter tomorrow. She is using her personal experience to reach out to the media and organizations across the state to help her find permanent, loving homes.

Debbie created Connecting Hearts, a non-profit organization, out of a recognized need to work together to spread awareness for adoption & foster care issues and to inspire potential adoptive & foster parents to step forward. Connecting Hearts creates a linked and cooperative community across Virginia of individuals and organizations invested about finding permanent, loving families for the children of our state. Connecting Hearts partnered with Jewish Family Services in January of 2018.

Through Debbie’s vision Connecting Hearts truly does “connect hearts”.