While attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, Coleen planned to become a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. That dream became a reality for 16 years. Although teaching was rewarding, Coleen’s life journey took her down another path to co-found All About U Adoptions.
Coleen married her high school sweetheart, Rob. They have been blessed with two children, both adopted. Having gone through the process of adopting and raising their children, Coleen and Rob learned that the adoption process could be filled with complications and emotional struggles. They also learned that the challenges don’t stop once the adoption is finalized. Parenting an adopted child provides a different set of challenges than parenting a biological child. Being passionate about children and families, Coleen and Rob, along with their college friends, Barb and her husband Trevor, became involved in PAC, (Parents of Adopted Children), a support group for adoptive families.
While leading PAC, it became clear Coleen had the experience and passion to form an adoption agency focused on supporting the birth families as well as the adoptive families. She also wanted to provide educational tools to be used through the adoption process, as well as for the rest of the child’s life. During Barb and Trevor’s second adoption, which was with an out-of-state agency, Barb found an agency that was fantastic and served as a model for All About U Adoptions.
Turning the All About U Adoptions dream into a reality did not happen overnight. It too, just like the adoption process, was a rollercoaster. It had been decades since the state of South Dakota had licensed a new agency. However, after nearly two years of persistence, and with much support from their husbands, the adoption agency became a reality in March 2006.
All About U Adoptions grew using grassroots efforts, as well as plenty of time and sweat. In the early years, Coleen and Barb would travel the state with their children in the car and a babysitter, stopping to talk to any doctor, church or, anyone that would listen, about adoption and their approach.
Today, All About U Adoptions is licensed in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Arkansas. We made the choice to become licensed in North Dakota because there was a significant need in the western part of North Dakota for adoption services. All About U Adoptions saw a need to serve families and felt compelled to help them.
Our decision to become licensed in Arkansas came after one of our adoptive families had a placement there. Through this process, the Arkansas attorney with whom we networked advised us to become licensed as there was a need in that region to help families. Since licensing in Arkansas, our families have been able to work with adoption laws that are designed to benefit both adoptive families and birth families. In 2015, Barb left the agency to pursue other interests.
Geographically speaking, it made sense to expand our serives to Nebraska. All About U Adoptions is a proud member of the Nebraska Adoption Association, a networking group to support ethics of adoption in the state. Through this partnership, we continue to collaborate, provide post adoption support, and seek opportunities for our families. Nebraska has been a seamless addition to our licened states.
Since 2006, our team of two has grown to include other caring professionals who share the All About U Adoptions passion for providing compassionate support and empowerment to all involved in the adoption process. Today we average 15-20 adoptions per year. All About U Adoptions has placed more than 200 children in adoptive family homes since January 2007. For us, it’s not about being the agency with the highest number of adoptions per year. It’s about providing the personal care, support and education to ensure a quality life for the adopted child, as well as the birth and adoptive families.