Welcome! Meet:

Dan + Janelle

Special Education Teacher for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders / Technical Writer




All About Dan & Janelle

Hello! Thank you for taking the time to get to know us! 

We are a childless couple in our 30s who are ready and excited to expand our family. We have experience with adoption through Janelle’s family; two of her siblings were adopted, and she has always known that she wanted to follow the same path. Dan is a special education teacher who has worked with kids of all ages and is thrilled to start the process to bring a child into our home.

Fun facts about Janelle

  • She has eight younger siblings! The oldest is four years younger than her, and the youngest is twenty years younger than her.
  • She wrote a young adult fantasy novel for her Master’s program in Creative Writing.
  • She is nearly fluent in Spanish.
  • She loves to garden and has added six native flower gardens to our yard since we moved in.

Fun facts about Dan

  • Although he’s a teacher, his degree is in psychology; which has really helped him understand how his students’ minds work and help them achieve their best.
  • He is quite good at pool and has been known to play one-handed from time to time, just for fun!
  • He has a brown belt in karate.
  • He thrives in chaos. It gives him energy, and there’s never a dull moment.

A few of our favorite things

  • Animals, especially our cat Tippi and our chinchilla Wes
  • Board games with friends
  • Broadway musicals at the Orpheum
  • Hikes and camping trips at state parks
  • Traveling, anywhere we can!
  • Hosting social gatherings at our home

Our favorite places around town

  • Como Zoo, a free zoo within a short drive of our house
  • Minnehaha Regional Park, which has a lovely waterfall and picnic areas
  • The Renaissance Festival, where we dress up as pirates!
  • Pretty much anywhere we can go outside and walk around

Why Adoption?

Adoption is our first choice for bringing a child into our lives. Janelle has two younger siblings who were adopted, and based on that experience, she knew from a very young age that adoption was how she wanted to grow her family. Dan is a teacher and has experience with kids of all ages. He has loved working with them all and is more than ready to welcome a little one to our home.

Our promise to you

  • We will love this child unconditionally.
  • We will do our best to teach kindness, empathy, and respect for all.
  • We will honor their cultural heritage, whatever that may be.
  • We will provide a variety of opportunities to help them discover their passions.
  • We will support them as they are and encourage them to follow the path that will bring them happiness.

Family & Home

We have a two-story house on nearly a half acre with a fenced-in backyard that’s perfect for kids to play in. Our neighborhood is safe and friendly, and more and more families have been moving in the last few years, so there are lots of kids around. There are two parks within easy walking distance, and we’re in a nice central location that’s close to anything we want to do.

Janelle has a large family, all living within a thirty-minute drive of our house. Her family includes her mom and stepdad, her dad and stepmom, and eight younger siblings, ranging from four years younger than her to twenty years younger than her. One of her brothers was adopted from Ethiopia, and one of her sisters was adopted from Arkansas. They are now adults and will be such great resources as we navigate this adoption journey ourselves.

Dan has a smaller family, who all live in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They are farther away but are still an important part of our lives, and we drive to visit them a couple of times a year. Dan’s family includes his mom, his stepdad (though now divorced from his mom), and his sister.

How others describe me

About Janelle, by Dan:

My gorgeous wife is spectacular in dozens of ways.  For starters, she has a smile that lights up the room...which is probably why I'm silly all the time because I absolutely thrive on that smile.  She supports me, our family, our friends, and her coworkers as much as she possibly can.  She's been like this since the day I met her and in this regard - nothing has changed.  Her love knows no bounds and I have no doubt that she will be a fantastic mother.  :)

About Dan, by Janelle: 

Dan is a fun-loving goofball with an infectious sense of humor. I love the way that he can bring fun to any situation - even our day-to-day errands! No matter what we're doing, it's more fun when we're doing it together. He's happy to explore new places and activities with me, and I know he'll be the same with our child. He’s going to be an amazing father.

how we met

How We Met

We met in 2007 in the pool hall on our college campus in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We immediately felt a connection and started dating, but just a few months later, Janelle left the country to study abroad in Spain for a semester. In spite of the newness of the relationship, we knew that we had something worth keeping and continued a long-distance relationship until she returned. Over the next fifteen years, we moved to Minnesota, completed our degrees, started careers, got married, and bought our lovely house. We love our home and our neighborhood, and we intend to stay here for the rest of our lives.

Advice to Future Child

Always be true to who you are. Find what you’re passionate about and do it, whether it be a dream career, a hobby that you love, or a place you want to travel. We will always be here to support you as you explore, grow, make mistakes, and achieve. We’re proud of you, and we love you no matter what.

Perspectives on Open Adoption

We believe that openness is beneficial to the child and generally a good thing. What that looks like will depend on the specific circumstances, so we are open to many possibilities - ranging from sharing photos to in-person visits. We also know that the decision to create an adoption plan is a difficult one, and if the birth parents believe that it would be better to have no contact, we understand. We are open to that possibility as well. In that situation, we would make sure that our child knew that a very difficult decision was made, and that it was made with love.


  • Favorite Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • Favorite Holiday/Tradition: Halloween
  • Hobbies/Interests: teaching, learning, board games, video games, LEGO, reading
  • Dream Vacation: Brazil
  • If I Could Choose a Superpower: time manipulation
  • Favorite Movie: Good Will Hunting
  • Favorite Holiday/Tradition: Christmas
  • Hobbies/Interests: crafts, gardening, board games, video games, piano, writing, reading, puzzles
  • Dream Vacation: New Zealand
  • If I Could Choose a Superpower: be able to pause time

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