As an adoption coordinator, Mari works directly with birth parents: from when they first contact us until their baby’s placement is decided. She has a big heart and does everything she can to make the process go as smoothly as possible. She is always ready to provide a sympathetic ear when you are feeling unsure about your decision or are just dealing with challenges of pregnancy.
Where did you grow up?
Sioux City, IA
What were/are the major influences in your life? What makes you who you are?
My children make me who I am today.
What are your top three favorite foods?
Shrimp cocktails, Mangoes, and Ribeye Steaks
Who are your top three favorite bands/musicians?
Michael Jackson, Usher, anything 90s.
What are your top three favorite movies?
That is hard because I am a HUGE movie person. Hot Tub Time Machine, The Twilight Saga, Marvel comics movies, The Hunger Games, The Little Mermaid.
What are your favorite athletic teams?
Huskers, Notre Dame, Bears.
Why did you start working with adoptions?
I wanted to be a positive influence in the world, to make people’s lives better. It’s such a privilege to be a part of an adopted child’s story of how they came to their adoptive parents.
What have you found most surprising about adoptions or the adoption process?
How much all the different states’ laws differ. How you go about adoption depends a lot on where people are. Sometimes it gets really complicated because the birth parents and the adoptive parents are in different states that have very different requirements for the adoption process. Having a Quad A attorney (American Academy of Adoption Attorneys) who specializes in adoption is something I highly recommend.
What is most challenging about your job?
I’ve had a few birth moms who turned out not to have the best intentions. Discovering that a birth mom that I’ve been working with has been dishonest with me is really hard, especially when it turns out she was trying to scam the adoptive parents. I don’t know why you would want to take advantage of the people who are already doing everything they can to help you.
What is most rewarding about your job?
Getting pictures of the new born babies with the adoptive family and birth moms. They’re so cute! It makes all the headaches and heartaches worth it to know that that baby has a home.
If you could tell one thing to the entire world, what would it be?
There are millions of people in just the United States who want to adopt who are waiting to be matched with a child.