Connecting Hearts

Commitment to Connecting Hearts

"My goal is to find a permanent and loving home for every child in Virginia" – Debbie Johnston, Virginia’s Adoption Champion, CEO, Care Advantage

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 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. Through fundraising, Connecting Hearts will also be able to provide scholarships and access to camps for kids in foster care.

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

Our Mission

The purpose of Connecting Hearts is to ensure every child has the opportunity for a loving home. Acting as a liaison with adoption & foster care partners, we make the commitment to thoroughly assess education and support needs across the state of Virginia. We pledge to continue our commitment to children by providing education, awareness and advocacy. Connecting Hearts will enhance public understanding and create positive attitudes about adoption and foster care.


  • To increase education, awareness and advocacy for adoption and foster care.
  • To educate the public as to the positive values of adoption and foster care.
  • To provide educational programs that will strengthen area adoption and foster care nonprofits.
  • To find affordable ways for adoptions to happen and lessen the financial burden to families.
  • To facilitate connections between organizations and VDSS by lobbying General Assembly.
  • To execute an annual conference to include all related agencies and Virginia’s Adoption Champion.
  • To offer continuous communication; including e-mails, monthly newsletter etc.
  • To create community events with awareness and fundraising components.

Learn more >

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10041 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
Contact: Ericca Facetti, Executive Director

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Adoption Champion

As the Adoption Champion for Virginia, Debbie has a passion for helping children find their forever home.

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Caring Companies

Caring Companies

Debbie spreads her love and care through her companies.

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