Shea + Ryan
We're so excited to meet you! We're thinking about you even though we've never met! Making an adoption plan is one that is deeply personal and we imagine you have a number of questions as you consider what's next for you and your baby. More than anything, we are praying for you and wishing you clarity as you make this important decision.
You are considering the great gift of entrusting our family to care for and parent your child. We do not take that lightly. A host of emotions likely accompany this selfless act, and we are prayerful you find the family that eases your mind, gives you peace, and just feels "right."
Thank you for looking at our profile. We hope you'll get a sense of who we are, what is important to us, and our story. We look forward to the next chapter of our lives with hope and anticipation.
Our mutual friend (Shea's best friend and Ryan's law school buddy) set us up on a blind date. We were both a little scared, but we said "yes" and we are so glad we did. At the time we were living in different states, and in addition to the distance, Shea had a four-year old, so there was a good bit of intentionality and apprehension given that context. Leading up to our date, we were both really nervous and just tried to keep it cool. As it turns out, our conversation was effortless, and that scared us both (especially Ryan!). It took seconds for us to connect and before we knew it, a two-hour lunch led to a forever connection.
We both describe that date as "refreshing." We talked about life-our challenges, setbacks, and successes-and although we didn't tell our whole life stories, we really connected. Shea shared that she had a son (JW) from a previous marriage, and Ryan leaned into that as opposed to turning away. We also connected around our genuine desires to serve the community.
Once we began dating (nearly two years later), we committed to a day by day journey of being easy on one another, an abandonment of dating games, patient and kind love, and a commitment to fun. After dating for nearly five years, we got married on the beach May 2021 and officially became a family of three. We've been on an amazing ride since.
I'm a southern girl who loves hard. I'm an optimist and like to think about what is going right. I get my energy from being around people and am gratetul for an amazing village. By day, I have a serious job on a college campus, but try not to take myself too seriously. My passion is helping students find theirs. I love making our house a home, spending time with JW and Ryan, and getting lost in a sewing or DIY project when time allows. I love to sing, but these days, its mostly in the shower. Second to summer, football is my favorite season!
I'm also from the South and my Louisiana roots are still a big part of who I am. I love cooking, running, playing and wathcing golf, the beach and watching college and professional football. I'm passionate about service to others and love my family. After a long day at work as a higher education attorney, I love taking care of the lawn and frequent trips to Harbor Freight and Costco. JW calls me P-Dub. That stands for Practical Pop, and that describes me to a tee. I love working hard and the simple things in life.
Hi, I'm JW and I'm 14. I have been asking for a sibling for as long as I can remember and look forward to becoming a big brother. I like soccer, video games, track, singing, Legos, and STEM classes. I am outgoing, animated and love innovating.
During the summer, I spend my days at the neighborhood pool, and my favorite family trips have been visiting California and Hawaii. My favorite season is fall because the weather is THE BEST!
The things that are important to me are family, transparency, healthy relationships, reflection, and joy. My mom calls me a wise soul. I hope to show my sibling the ways of the world, teach them my favorite knock-knock jokes, and share some experiences with them. I also hope to be relatable to them. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer.
Why We're Adopting
We were fortunate to find love later in life and are excited to build our family. In many ways, we thought this was a dream that would not materialize, but then were introduced to the Gladney Agency and felt a renewed sense of hope and gratitude. While we are far from perfect, we both have a strong support system, jobs that we enjoy, and a family where love abounds.
We have a 14-year-old son who is excited about being a big brother. In talking recently, we reflected that although we could explore many paths to parenthood, our baby may already be born (or developing). We are open to remaining in touch with the birth family and look forward to the opportunities that can come from building a solid identity for this child. We have so much to give, have much to learn, and feel that parenting is one of the greatest teachers. Throughout our childhood and to the present, we have appreciated an amazing village (in addition to our parents) that supported us and helped us to have the successful lives that we live today. It is for these reasons we want to provide a strong, loving foundation for a child. We deeply desire to grow our family with more children and to give our son the sibling(s) he has always wanted!
We love to travel! Our developing motto at home is, "collect memories and not things." We have made an investment in spending quality time together and love exploring. Some of our favorite trips have been to the Florida Gulf Coast, Myrtle Beach, SC, Newport Beach, CA, New York City, and Chicago, IL. Recently, we visited Kauai, HI, and got to explore the "Garden's Island's" natural beauty. We also love going home to Mississippi and Louisiana. Each time we come away with new memories and begin planning our next ones. One of our favorite places to visit is Orlando, FL. We've named ourselves, "Team Scream," because we are along for the ride, at amusement parks, and in life! We look forward to seeing the world and our bucket list includes Italy, Australia, and South Africa.
Before You Go
Thank you for taking the time to learn about our story. Each person's story has meaning and purpose and we're so glad we have connected. If you feel like we are the family with whom you want to place you child, know that we will provide them with love, affirmation, and will encourage them to follow their wildest dreams. As we have sought to learn more about the adoption process, we have become keenly aware that there can be great joy and profound grief that comes with this decision. We want to hold space for all of the emotions and feel we are equipped to learn from all this opportunity will bring. We very much want to build a life with this child and also want to remian in touch with you so that you know what is going on in their lives.
We have great hopes and dreams and look forward to what the future holds.
Shea, Ryan, and JW