Who We Are

Our Mission

To be champions for special needs adoption and family preservation.

Our Vision

To reverse the orphan crisis in our lifetime, and inspire and equip the next generation to eradicate it.

Our Founders’ Story

by Mike + Mandy Gallagher

Our journey as a family has been different than we’ve ever thought but we can’t imagine it any other way! After two years of marriage, we delighted in becoming parents to our first daughter, Emily. We were over the moon in love with her, and later we were overjoyed to fall in love with two more children, Matthew and John David. We felt like we had it all!

But after a while, something happened in our hearts for the millions of children in our world without families. We then learned that the most vulnerable children, those with special needs, were the least likely to be adopted.

Something inside of us knew this wasn’t okay, and we had to consider sharing the joy of a family with a child who might otherwise always be alone.

We were well aware of the challenges and unknowns that go with adoption, but as a family we believed that all of our lives would be enriched by adopting a child with special needs! And so we added our beloved Hannah, Eli and Ellie to our family.

Yes, we know things like Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, clubfeet, brachial plexus palsy, HIV, sensory integration dysfunction, attachment disorder, and so on, but we’re not afraid. Those special needs don’t define a person, and they don’t hinder us as a family. If anything, they draw us closer and make us more compassionate, understanding, and grateful!

The world often deems children with special needs as costly, too hard to handle, too difficult and even “useless.” This is a lie and a great injustice. The truth is that these children are valuable! These children add value to this world, and to families.

There’s nothing perfect about our life. We have a lot of responsibility and hard days. However, adoption has changed our lives for the better! It’s been an incredible joy to witness our adopted children’s lives be transformed through the simple unconditional love and acceptance of a family!

Family is the place that gives children a chance to thrive and become all that they are meant to be! As our family of supporters grows, we are excited to help more orphans with special needs know what it means to be chosen and dearly loved sons and daughters.

Mike & Mandy Gallagher

The Gallaghers – Adopting Eli & Ellie  Watch the video

Executive Team

Mike & Mandy Gallagher


Mike Gallagher and his wife, Mandy have six beloved children. Their youngest three children were adopted, one daughter domestically and boy and girl twins from Uganda. Flowing from their years of experience with adoption, with a variety of special needs, and with personally building strategic partnerships to help more children like those they adopted, they co-founded The Chosen & Dearly Loved Foundation. Mike volunteers full-time as President.

Mike and Mandy are currently majority owners of Educational Outfitters, a U.S. franchisor of school uniform retailers. Mike served as CEO from 2008-2010, and currently serves as Chairman. He previously served as a Managing Director of Denver-based private equity firm, Gallagher Industries. Mike currently serves on the Leadership Council of the Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO) and the International Advisory Board of University of the Nations. He previously served as a founding Board member of Ekisa Ministries International.

Mike, Mandy and their family live in the Chicago area.

James & Millie Snook

Board of Directors

In his two-decade career with Starbucks, James Snook served in a range of business and technology leadership roles, including most recently as vice president of emerging platforms and innovation. In this position, he led and developed many industry-leading mobile and digital capabilities that drove new levels of customer loyalty and engagement. At Starbucks, James developed and led key strategic technology partnerships and new business ventures in digital content, mobile payments and loyalty, enhanced in-store experiences, and the first national Wi-Fi platform. He played a principal role in many mergers and acquisitions that helped expand Starbucks’capabilities and leadership around the globe.

Previously, Snook served as a top systems consultant to large enterprises, including US Bank, General Electric, Boeing and Microsoft, running hundreds of projects that laid the groundwork for him helping Starbucks scale successfully through years of tremendous growth.

Millie is actively involved in her church, and in all aspects of her children’s lives. She and James have been long-time advocates of orphans.

James, Millie and their four children live in Redmond, Washington.

Our Executive Team members speak and advocate to business men and women, youth, conferences, panel discussions, and media. To book a speaking engagement with one of our Executive Team members, please email: info@chosenanddearlyloved.org

Our Team

Michele Schneidler

Director of Programs & Partnerships


Media & Missions


Director of Finance

Contributing Strategic Partners

Rich Metcalfe

Adoption Grants Program Director
Lifesong for Orphans

Jenn Ranter Hook

Director of Replanted Ministry
Therapist, Trust-Based Relational Intervention Educator

Derek Davis J.D., PH.D.

Legal & Compliance

Robert Reich

Board Treasurer
CFO, Gallagher Enterprises