History of International Adoption

Karla Thrasher, Director of International Adoption, is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a licensed social worker. She is also a TBRI® Practitioner, certified by the TCU Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development. Karla has been on staff at Lifeline since 2001 and currently serves as the Director of International Adoption. In her role, Karla is privileged to manage the day to day of Lifeline’s International Department and provide leadership to the international team. She coordinates with other Lifeline departments and outside ministry partners to better serve waiting children and families. Some of the specific focuses in Karla’s role at Lifeline are government compliance, customer service and quality assurance. She considers it a great honor to share the gospel through the gift of adoption! Karla lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband Jamie. They have three adult children. Karla’s family are her biggest cheerleaders in her ministry at Lifeline.

Jana Lombardo, Senior Program Director of International Programs, has been with Lifeline since 1992 after she graduated from Auburn with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She worked for six and a half years as a domestic social worker/ birthmother counselor until the birth of her first son Eli. She became a TBRI Practitioner in 2017. Jana and her husband, Luke, are also proud parents of another son, Gideon. Jana has been serving Lifeline for over twenty-two years and serves Lifeline as our Senior Program Director on the International Team.

Beth Perez, Director of Global Care Initiative – Global Orphan Care, joined the Lifeline staff in August 2011. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Mobile in 2008 and continued her education at the University of Alabama, where she received a Master’s in Social Work in 2011. Beth is a licensed social worker and works with Lifeline’s Global Orphan Care program. She became a TBRI Practitioner in 2012. Beth has had the opportunity to travel overseas to several countries in Central & South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. This has caused her to have a growing passion to serve others in foreign contexts for God’s glory. Beth firmly believes that God has blessed her with the exciting opportunity to serve children and families of all nations through working here at Lifeline.

Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children’s Services.

The Defender Bible Study is free weekly resource podcast for you. This Bible study is led by a Lifeline staff member, featuring an in-depth study either on a portion of Scripture or a book like Plain Theology for Plain People by Charles Octavius Boothe or New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. Click here to listen to the latest Defender Bible Study. 


The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples.