Board of Directors


Kari Nokken
Founder and Executive Director

Kari Nokken lives in Blaine, MN with her husband Eric and their two boys Isaiah and Jacob. As the Founder and Executive Director of Patiently Waiting, Kari's heart is to support and encourage others.

At the end of 2005 looking for support and resources for her own struggles through infertility and adoption, Kari went to her local church for support. She quickly found a support group was very much in need but did not exist. In early 2006 Kari and another gal started a small support and within a few short months Patiently Waiting was launched. Over the next several years the group and its attendees would change. As she continued to experience miscarriage, loss and navigating their adoption journey, Kari was led to continue to support others. Bi-weekly support groups were started to help walk alongside others and heal from her own pain and loss.

In late 2015 Patiently Waiting was established as a 501c3 Non-profit. God planted a seed many years ago. Kari is along for the ride to see how the Lord uses this organization to help heal from the heartache and loss as well as celebrate and support the beauty of family. It has been a journey filled with much pain and loss, but also overwhelming joy.


Ashley Jensen
Programs Director

Ashley has been involved with Patiently Waiting since the fall of 2006; shortly after her and her husband were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. After attending Patiently Waiting for just a few months, Ashley and her husband decided to start the adoption process. Their first adoption took place through a private agency and they brought their son home in the summer of 2008 at 11 days old. In 2010, Ashley and her husband started their second adoption through Anoka County Foster Care and brought home their daughter in 2012 when she was 9 months old. Ashley likes to help individuals who are also on the journey of infertility and adoption and sees her role with Patiently Waiting as a true blessing in her life.


Emily Streier
Compliance Director / Secretary

Emily serves as the Compliance Director/Secretary of the Patiently Waiting Board of Directors. Emily joined Patiently Waiting during the fall of 2012 after attending the infertility support group. She believes that finding support and making connections with others is essential for families who are experiencing infertility or growing their family through adoption. With the support and encouragement of Patiently Waiting, Emily and her husband adopted their newborn son in 2015 through the domestic open adoption process. Emily hopes to further expand their family through adoption in the future.


Nikki Jackson
Fundraising Director

 Nikki has been involved with Patiently Waiting since 2015 upon her return to Minnesota after serving in the Army for 11 years. After dealing with 5 years of unexplained infertility and multiple failed IVF/IUI treatments, she searched for a group that could help her through the adoption journey. Her and her husband brought home their son in March 2016 when he was just 9 days old through the infant adoption program in Texas.

Nikki was nominated as the Fundraising Coordinator Board Member for Patiently Waiting in 2017 and continues to support the organization in many ways. She is so proud to be part of such a wonderful organization that reaches so many others through Christ and continues to help others on their journey to find their forever families.


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Adele Schultz
Communications Director

Adele has been involved with Patiently Waiting since the spring of 2010. She was diagnosed with unexplained infertility and was looking for support when she found Patiently Waiting and started attending the infertility support group. After multiple rounds of unsuccessful IUI/IVF treatments, her and her husband decided to start the adoption process and started attending the Patiently Waiting adoption support group. In the fall of 2015, Adele and her husband adopted their newborn son from Nevada through domestic infant adoption. Adele is grateful for the support, friendships and love she has found in Patiently Waiting. She is passionate about helping others connect and find support in their infertility and adoption journeys. She has also blogged about her infertility journey and her path to growing her family through adoption.