Jewel Among Jewels Adoption Network, Inc.
Communicating the True Identity of Adoptees
The Founding of Jewels in 1994
When Sherrie Eldridge was in counseling in the 1990’s for adoption challenges, her counselor gave an assignment. Go to the local hospital, pray, and ask God to show you what you lost when you were separated from your birth mother immediately after birth.
Sherrie and a nurse-friend, Rose, went to the neo-natal unit at Riley hospital, where Rose worked. They gowned up, went and looked at the babies and prayed. No great revelations happened. Sherrie took Rose home and headed toward her home. Suddenly, she had to pull off to the side of the road because the tears were flowing. As she did, a word and phrase came to mind. The word was “jewel” and the phrase, “On the day you were born.”
The Origin of Our Name
Already an avid Bible student, Sherrie ran upstairs to her study and eagerly looked up the word jewel in Ezekiel 16: 4-7: On the day you were born, you were thrown out into an open field, unwanted. But I (God) came by and saw you lying there in your own blood. And, I said, ‘Live, thrive, like a plant in the field! And you did! You became a jewel among jewels. This was life-defining for Sherrie-she knew what God thought about her. She dreamed of fellow-adoptees seeing themsleves through God’s eyes.
When Jody Moreen visited East 91st Street Christian Church in 1993, she found an adoption article written in a Christian newspaper by Sherrie Eldridge. Within days, the two women met and a strong friendship began as they discovered the healing bonds of fellow-adoptee friendship and faith in Jesus Christ.
Soon, they attended their first national adoption convention-the American Adoption Congress in Cleveland, Ohio. When they perused the book room, they found no adoption literature from a Christian, Biblical perspective.
It was then that God gave Sherrie the vision for beginning a newsletter from such a perspective. Not knowing whether the need was simply their impression, they began publishing a four-page newsletter, Jewels News, and sent it to 250 people. Within 12 months, the readership increased by 500%.
It was then that Sherrie talked with the late Pastor Gary Rowe, Pastor of Counseling at East 91st Street Christian Church, about beginning a church-based adoption ministry. Sherrie wrote Under His Wings workbook and all-adoptee groups met on a weekly basis, finding healing and hope.
Soon, Vicky Rockwell, created the beautiful Jewels logo. When Sherrie asked for the invoice, Vicky said, “Oh, I couldn’t take anything for this. What you’re doing is so pure.” Vicky continued to support the ministry by offering her talent free of charge for all graphic needs of the organization.
After this, a 501c3, faith-based educational organization was founded in the State of Indiana. Sherre attained funding from several local Indianapolis churches to print work ooks. THe mission? To provide adoption literature that would encourage adoptees on every level–physical, emotional and spiritual.
A board was formed and adoption experts agreed to be board members: Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., Jayne Schooler, M.Div., Michael Puckett, CPA, Lisa Abbot, BA, Vicky Rockwell, CEO of Cavu, Ltd., and the late Gary Rowe, M.Div.
In 2001, Jewels News transitioned from hard copy publications to online resources.
What once began as a friendship between two fellow adoptees has become global in outreach. Online All-Adoptee Boot Camp has been occurring for since 2008, using the Under His Wings Workbook.
In 2011, Sherrie hosted the first Live All-Adoptee Boot Camp in Fishers, Indiana. Pastor Gary Rowe, in the last stages of cancer, conducted the opening, where he was honored by everyone present.
At that time, Beth Willis Miller, picked up the leadership baton from Sherrie, and they became co-authors of Under His Wings.
Beth is now conducting online All-Adoptee Bootcamps.(email@example.com) for nearly 175 adoptees around the world.
Lives have been dramatically changed by Jesus, and we thank Him for the privilege of serving the adoption community in this, our niche!
Click here to see videos of the first Boot Camp Live and hear about the changed lives!
Beth Willis Miller Becomes Co-Author
In 2012, Sherrie handed over the baton of leadership for Jewels to Beth Willis Miller.
Beth has a Master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.) specializing in curriculum, instruction, and supervision. She writes articles on a variety of topics to inspire and encourage others. Her expertise as a creative and critical thinking specialist is steeped in years of experience as a writer, speaker, educator and former Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education. Seeing others’ lives transformed by the truth of God’s Word is her passion and purpose. She understands the personal struggles others face spiritually, relationally, and emotionally. She has a unique ability to address those who have been rejected and abandoned, as she survived being conceived on Memorial Day, almost aborted on Columbus Day, and placed for adoption on Valentine’s Day. She is married and has two grown children, and one grandson.