Co-Founder and President
Jane Hansen, the founder of Healing Kids Hearts, and mother of three has been an elementary school teacher for the past twenty-nine years. She has taught children in all grades K-5 including, general ed, gifted, ESE, and ESOL classes.
When her two older children were grown she also taught parenting classes to struggling parents. This gave Jane the confidence she needed when she and her husband, Mark, decided to foster and then adopt a five-year-old girl from foster care. Jane felt well equipped from being a school teacher, raising children, and coaching parents. However, at the time, Jane knew little about caring for children who had experienced developmental trauma and quickly realized that traditional parenting techniques didn't work. As she sought to educate herself on a new style of parenting, she realized that t professionals were few and far between. She finally discovered some resources that helped her learn how to support healing the trauma that her daughter, Adriana, lived with.
Just before Adriana's adoption was final, Jane was inspired by Adriana to write a children's book titled, My Forever Friendship Pony, to help other children deal with their feelings of loss. It was through authoring this book and seeing the impact that horses had on Adriana's healing, that Healing Kids' Hearts was born. It is now Jane's passion to help heal the emotional needs of other children impacted by developmental trauma.
Director Of Operations
Jean has been an equine enthusiast all of her life. She and her husband Paul are originally from Massachusetts. They have 2 grown children, Cameron and Alana.
Their daughter Alana, who they adopted from Russia, is the inspiration behind Jean’s involvement in Healing Kids’ Hearts. After recognizing the damaging affects that early neglect and trauma had on her daughter, Jean sought out and found support with other adoptive parents going through similar challenges. To fill a need, she became a Respite Care Provider with a specialty in Therapeutic Parenting for many of these families. In addition, she also volunteered as a horse handler at The Bridge Center, a therapeutic riding facility in Bridgewater, MA.
Alana, was introduced at an early age to the care and companionship of horses at the family’s horse farm. Seeing the positive impact horses had on her daughter's ability to connect and learn, Jean and Paul decided to transform their own backyard with a vision in mind. Silver Lining Farm would welcome 3 sweet miniature horses to be trained in a dynamic equine therapy program specifically tailored to helping children with behavior issues associated with Reactive Attachment Disorder and other Developmental disabilities. Silver Lining Farm became a place to share with others and would prove to have a powerful and positive impact on kids' spirits. It was also a lot of fun!
In 2014, Jean and family relocated to Coral Springs, Florida. Jean home- schooled her daughter through her high school years. Now, with an empty nest, and a recently retired husband, Jean was presented with the opportunity to help others through HKH and she felt called into action once again! Jean understands the unique challenges international adoption presents and offers additional insight into this sector.
Jean has also been a professional dog walker/pet sitter (including horse care) for over 15 years. Her other interests include playing piano, creating art and learning French.
Co-Founder and Project Assistant
Adriana Hansen is a sixteen year old girl who has a passion for horses and desires to help other children who went through similar experiences as she did.
When Adriana was only four years old, she went into the foster care system and within a short period of seven months, she was in three different homes before finding her forever family. Adriana describes that time as being scary and not really understanding what was going on. She spent many years filled with emotions that she didn’t know how to handle. There was a constant feeling of anxiety that looked like attention issues and behavioral concerns. Her body was in a constant hypervigilant state and it was only through Adriana’s time with horses that her body was able to relax and feel at peace.
Ever since Adriana was five years old she has been around horses. Throughout the years her parents made it a priority to have her at the barn as much as possible. Whether she was cleaning stalls, grooming a horse or riding, Adriana was feeling the healing benefits of being around horses. Later in her teen years she began Equine Assisted Psychotherapy where she was able to work through some of her trauma experiences with a licensed mental health counselor and an equine specialist. Adriana now owns her own horse, RIver. RIver was once a wild mustang who came to Adriana scared, hypervigilant and had never been ridden. What an incredible journey it has been for Adriana to learn about herself as she helped her horse heal from his own trauma. They are a perfect match and their bond and relationship continues to strengthen. It’s now Adriana’s wish to find a way to help other kids like herself, to be around horses and experience their healing effects. Through Healing Kids’ Hearts she plans to do just that.
Horses have been a way of life for Alana since she can remember. Being that her heritage is from the Caucasus mountains (where horses were first domesticated), some say that horsemanship runs in her blood. It certainly does seem that way. Alana was a natural when it came to riding.
Alana’s story began in Moscow, Russia. At 13 months old, she was adopted and brought to her new home in Massachusetts. Growing up, she had many struggles and overwhelming feelings as she tried to discover her identity and to find where she fit in. Like many adopted kids, she had trouble coping with the big emotions that she didn’t understand. From a young age, Alana spent many days at the barn with horses. It was there that she was able to experience calmness and peace. She felt the horses understood her. The barn was her happy place. It was there that she found her 900 pound best friend (a horse). Her name was Montana! The barn became her safe place; a refuge where she would learn life’s most valuable lessons.
An outlet for expression has always been important to Alana. Most recently, she’s been able to accomplish that through music and art. She is a talented singer/songwriter, producing her own original music. Her preferred painting medium is acrylic on canvas. She has also done some commissioned work, painting on furniture.
Alana is excited to be on board at Healing Kids’ Hearts! Horses have opened up her world and she is looking forward to help give someone else an opportunity to have those same life changing experiences that she's had.
Alana is 22 and now resides in Central Florida.