Gene and Lora

The Journey to Our Children

In 2006, Gene and I were married with visions of a family in our future. We enjoyed 5 years of married lifeand decided it was time to expand our family. In 2009, we endured a miscarriage and began 2 years of hopeless infertility treatments.

We frequently asked ourselves “Are we ever going to be parents?” Infertility rocked our marriage and dreams of having a family. We felt alone. Our friends and siblings were having babies. Being childless and having Christmas alone was not our vision of our future.

Adoption Gave Us Hope

In 2011, we decided to start the adoption process. We loved what All About U had to offer. An intimate and close knit agency was just what we needed. We finally felt ourselves saying “It’s not if we will get a baby, it’s when!” Adoption gave us hope. Something we needed after weeks, months, and years of loss. We treated this process like our labor of love. It grew our marriage closer, as we were finally on the same page and stopped blaming each other for our losses.

9 Months Later - We're Parents!

From the time we started our adoption paperwork to the placement of our first child, we waited just 9 short months! We were matched with our daughter’s birth family on Father’s Day 2012 and began the process of getting to know each other. Conference calls and face to face meetings helped us connect two strangers that were coming together for one purpose, our daughter.

Ryan Jean was born September 2012 in South Dakota. Thanks to the choice of her birth mom, I was chosen to be in the delivery room! We spent 12 long days in the NICU and finally got word we got to take her home. We feel so fortunate to be a part of Ryan’s adoption triad. We share an open relationship with her birth family by emailing, texting, and meeting once a year around her birthday.

Adding a Sibling through Networking

Fast forward 3 years, and we are looking to add a sibling to our mix! All About U was, of course, ouragency of choice. We realized things may not be as smooth as our last adoption. After 1 year of waiting, seeing profiles, and not getting matched, we were introduced to “adoption networking.” We were the first South Dakota family from AAU to experiment with networking. We were put in contact with a networking agency, A Step Ahead Adoption Services, who networks with 40 different agencies all over the United States.

In just 2 short months, we were matched with our son’s birth mom. We traveled to Colorado for our matchmeeting and started our relationship with Gayle. While in Colorado, we were able to see an ultrasound that confirmed “its a boy”!

Zane Taylor was born August 2016 in Colorado. We left South Dakota just in time to get to the hospital for his birth. We stayed in Colorado for 16 days (per ICPC laws) and finally got word to bring him home!

Even though we worked with the networking agency, the staff at AAU was always there for us! They always provided encouragement and performed many of the “behind the scenes” paperwork required to bring an out of state baby back to South Dakota! Your dedication and work to our case will never be forgotten!

We share an open relationship with Zane’s birth mom by texting, calling, and connecting through Facebook. We got the opportunity to share his 1st birthday together in Colorado at a major league baseball game! 

Proud of our Adoption Identity

Adoption has become our family’s identity. It is who we are and what we stand for. We are no longer meek and insecure about how we grew as a family. It is our journey that is unique and we feel very proud to be a part of the adoption triad. We feel that our open adoptions are important and can see how therapeutic it is for us, our child and their birth family.

Click here to read a letter Lora wrote to one of her birth mom's just hours after her child was born.