meet our team

Carrie Murray Nellis

Executive Director & Caseworker Supervisor

Carrie's BIO

My Mother tells a story about me at the ripe age of 7. She found me pacing up and down the driveway with my suitcase full of necessities (i.e. dolls, toys, etc) in hand. A family friend happened to be out for a run and stopped me thinking I was planning to run away. He asked: “Carrie, what are you doing?” With the innocence of a 7 year old I simply answered “Mr. Stan don’t you know Jesus is coming? Are you ready?”

And with that I seem to have never stopped asking the same question to all who would listen. As I grew older I realized simply loving people was more effective than words – but when God opened the doors the question remained the same – Are you Ready?

I graduated from Wheaton College with degrees I would never use, but my time at Wheaton furthered my passion for others and a thirst to discover how my talents & passions fit into the body of christ.

My sweet husband, Gil, and I married fresh out of college. Only three months into our marriage when literally I woke him up in the middle of the night to say “God is calling me to go to Law School.” His response was as surprising as my impromptu announcement – He said “me too.” And with that we quit our jobs and went to Mercer University School of Law together. Throughout our time at Mercer I admit I was jealous of Gil. He was focused. He knew his calling was towards Tax law and Estate Planning. For three years I continually asked God “Are you sure I heard you right?” “Why am I here?” His steady voice continued to say “Just wait.”

After Graduation, I worked for a small general practice law firm in Savannah, Georgia. I was blessed with great partners who genuinely loved me, but I was lost – still not knowing why God had called me to practice law.

Within my first year of practice, I had my first Adoption case and a fire inside me started burning. Shortly afterward The Murray Nellis Law Group was born. I quickly became involved in Juvenile Court cases and saw an opportunity to serve my clients by not only fighting for them inside the courtroom but by loving them outside the courtroom walls as well. But as many do, I became disillusioned with the Juvenile System that so many times it fails our children and Birthparents. The Lord showed me that through Open Adoption children would have an opportunity for a stable safe upbringing and Birthparents would have the opportunity to reclaim their dignity and know what it means to be truly loved.

And so one thing lead to another – years have gone by and the Lord allowed my law practice to become exclusively centered around Adoption Law.

In 2016, the Lord called us to start Abiding Love Adoption Agency. It is our passion to serve Birthparents and to serve them well by loving them FIRST! I consider it an honor that God chose me to love on such special women and men during one of the most difficult times of their lives.

Britt Paladino

Birthmother Mentor and Public Relations Manager

Britt's BIO

I am a Bostonian now happily living on the Space Coast of Florida. I love the sway of a palm tree and any excuse to buy more sunglasses. I am married to my husband, a quadriplegic and a passionate disability advocate. I parent one teen daughter who lives life on the spectrum. Those two, along with my three dogs, keep me pretty busy! I am also a published writer in several publications and have authored two books (and counting). Running is a hobby I enjoy a lot. I am also a longtime weight lifter. I might be the best athlete, but I am determined. This is a skill I have learned to embrace about life in general: Do it fast or do it slowly, but don’t give up! 

I am deeply committed to adoption as a viable option for an unexpected pregnancy. I know this is true because I became a birthmother 11 years ago. Coming to terms with the fact that adoption was the best choice for everyone in my unexpected pregnancy situation was humbling and scary. Thankfully, I had loving people come around me to support me through the process, alleviate the fear of the unknown, and strengthen my faith as I walked through this. There were many questions along the way. I had doubts too. I want to be there for the next woman contemplating adoption for her unexpected pregnancy. To replace fear with confidence. To strengthen her feeble knees as she walks through the unknowns of adoption planning. I want to go before her to pave the best way possible for a healthy experience. That is what I hope to do. That is what gets me out of bed to do this work in the morning. I don’t know what every woman who does this is going to go through. I know the journey is a lot better for her when she knows someone understands and can show her the way to go through the lens of shared experiences. 

I have an open adoption and a great relationship with my biological daughter and her family. We have more of a relationship than any of us planned on, which makes it all the more special. My advice to couples seeking adoption; be honest about what you want in an ongoing relationship with a prospective birth mother to your child, but make sure to leave room in your heart for more. 

My work in the Pro-Life arena concerning adoption takes me to many stages to share my story and advocate for adoption. It is has been my joy to help raise awareness about women just like me in how we can change how society sees us and what we can do to make adoption more of a conversation in Pro-life circles. 

It is my joy to serve the next woman seeking to make an adoption plan. God has been gracious to me in allowing me many opportunities to do that outside of Abiding Love, and now as an advocate for an organization I love and respect so much. 

Myrlene Mondesir

Director of Adoptee Relations

Myrlene's BIO

Welcome to Adoptee Relations and Advocacy. I am Myrlene Mondesir, the Director of Adoptee Relations for Abiding Love Charities. I am honored to be working alongside an organization that supports and loves all adoption triad members. My divine purpose, passion, and experiences have led me to a career in adoption.

I look forward to sharing a safe space and supporting one another as we navigate life after adoption.

Delora Credle

SEEN Program Manager

Delora's BIO
I have been happily married to my husband, Ken, since 2002 and am the proud mother of two sons, Connor and Jackson. A few years ago, I was reunited with my daughter, whom I placed for adoption in 1987. This was one of the most meaningful moments of my life. In addition to meeting her after 34 years, I also met her husband and 5 amazing children. (She has since had her 6th and I was able to be there!)
My life is centered around family, and I find immense fulfillment in nurturing those I love. Alongside my husband, I cherish the adventures of travel and the simple pleasures of savoring delicious food.  My journey is a testament to the enduring strength of maternal love, the beautiful connections that continue to shape my life, and most importantly, the immense grace and mercy of my savior, Jesus Christ.
Jessie Mattos

Director of Birthmother Programs

Jessie's BIO

Jessie Mattos is a birthmom from Orlando, Florida, who has a passion for people, really good chicken wings, and will be the first to tell you if you have something in your teeth (in the nicest way possible!). She’s married to her best friend, Gabe, and parents their two sons Gabriel and Micah. She is a University of Florida alumna and has been known to cut a rug or two. Jessie is the type of friend who will never leave your side and when she’s not spending time with her family, she loves to explore her hometown and immerse herself in the flavors of the city. Jessie has a passion for her “people” within the adoption community and aims to use her voice and experience to help guide others through adoption with mindfulness and intentionality.

Kerri Seigrist

Adoptive Parent Program Manager

Kerri's BIO
An Arkansas native, born and raised, home of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Woo Pig Sooie, Arkansas has my heart. It is where I met my husband, Robert, and where we attended church together, became friends, started dating, and married in March 2005. We have five children, four biological and one through the gift of adoption. We have called Savannah, Georgia home since 2018. The moss-covered trees, quaint squares, unique eateries, diversity in culture, the downtown vibes, and the closeness of the ocean won my heart over fairly quickly.
Adoption has always been part of my life from the very beginning.  Being an adoptee and an adoptive parent, adoption has a special place in my heart.  We recently adopted our son from Arizona. Through the experiences, and all they entail, my passion for ethical adoption grew greater. Adoption is such a beautiful thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s both beautiful and painful.
Being an adoptee, and not knowing anything about my birth family or history, really opened my eyes to Open Adoption when we started pursuing adoption and the desire to build that type of relationship with our son’s birth family. I understand the importance of that for him, and for everyone involved in the adoption triad.
Since starting our adoption journey back in 2020, I began having a strong desire to do something in the adoption field, but I just didn’t know what that was supposed to look like. I pursed several positions, but nothing panned out. I see now that God’s plans were greater, and his timing is perfect. Having previously worked at our family business in Arkansas for over 14 years, to being a stay-at-home mom for four years, to then starting my career here in Savannah in the aviation industry in 2018, I am thrilled to now be serving as the Savannah area Birth Mother Advocate with Abiding Love. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve and love. I look forward to loving big and serving well. To love our moms and meet them right where they are. To lend a hand, a listening ear, a word of encouragement, to be a friend and mentor. Know you are not alone, and we are in this together.
When I’m not wrangling children or trying to catch up on sleep, you can find me at a local thrift store searching for a good deal. I mean, who doesn’t love a good bargain? I enjoy being with my family watching movies, soaking up the sun at the beach, traveling and being involved as PTO Co-Chair at the twin’s elementary school. Life is busy, and at times a bit chaotic, but when I step back and take a deep breath, I’m reminded of how blessed I am as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, co-worker and now birth mother advocate.
“Let all that you do be done in love.”