American Adoptions Staff

The dedicated staff members at American Adoptions have decades of experience in adoption. With backgrounds in social work, counseling, business and media, our staff can help you on your adoption journey every step of the way. Additionally, many of our staff members have personal adoption experience as adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents.

All of our clients will be matched with an Adoption Specialist, who can help them with any questions during the adoption process. Read our staff bios below to get to know the faces and learn the heart of America's adoption agency.

Shannon Jesberg

Shannon Jesberg - Adoption Specialist, LMSW

Hi! My name is Shannon Jesberg, and I am an Adoption Specialist here at American Adoptions. I graduated from Pittsburg State University with my Bachelor’s in Social Work, and then attended graduate school at the University of Missouri- Kansas City where I received my Masters of Social Work. I am now licensed in both Kansas and Missouri. My role as an Adoption Specialist is to support and advocate for birth parents as they explore adoption and work to develop an adoption plan that is a unique to their needs and preferences. I have seen the joy and opportunity that adoption can bring into a family’s life from personal experience within my own family. I feel very blessed to be able to work in the adoption field, and it is an honor to be a part of this experience with the families that we work with. I admire your bravery in taking this next step, and I look forward to working with you throughout this journey!

E-MAIL: shannon.j@americanadoptions.com

Kelli Cox

Kelli Cox - Adoptive Family Specialist, LBSW

Hi! My name is Kelli Cox. As an Adoptive Family Specialist, I look forward to assisting families through education and support as they work their way through the adoption process. I am a licensed social worker and have been at American Adoptions since 2005. During my time here I have not only worked with adoptive families, but also with women who were considering adoption for their children and provided them with guidance and support. Adoption is something that is close to my heart as I have three family members that were touched by adoption. It is wonderful to see how much of a blessing adoption can be in lives of each family I work with. I hope to take my experiences and share them with families to make their adoption experience as positive as possible.

E-MAIL: kelli.c@americanadoptions.com

Dacia Peterson

Dacia Peterson - Adoptive Family Specialist, LMSW

My name is Dacia Peterson. I am an Adoption Specialist here at American Adoptions. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and am a licensed social worker in the state of Kansas. I have worked in adoption for over 10 years now and have experienced adoption from both the state foster care and adoption side and the private adoption side. My role is to provide support and education to adoptive families during the adoption process. I am honored to be part of such an important time in a family’s life. I have found my home here at American Adoptions and love working with such amazing families throughout their adoption journey!

E-MAIL: dacia.p@americanadoptions.com

Melanie Leal

Melanie Leal - Adoptive Family Specialist, LMSW, LCPAA

Hi! My name is Melanie Leal. As an Adoptive Family Specialist, I enjoy helping families with education and support throughout their adoption journeys. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas. I have worked in the adoption field since 2003 and have worked in several areas of adoption, including home studies, domestic and international adoption, adoption education for families, working with adoptive families, and working with women considering adoption for their children. Several of my family members are adopted and I greatly enjoy using my experience to help adoptive families throughout their adoption experience.

E-MAIL: melanie.l@americanadoptions.com

Lara Sandusky

Lara Sandusky - Adoptive Family Specialist, LSW

My name is Lara Sandusky and I am a Licensed Social Worker and Adoption Specialist in Northwest Arkansas. I obtained my Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and have spent a majority of my post collegiate years working for or with a child placement agency. My primary focus is to meet with potential adoptive families, complete home studies, as well as support and guide you through your wonderful adoption journey. I look forward to meeting you all very soon!

E-MAIL: lara.s@americanadoptions.com

Emily Droge

Emily Droge - Adoptive Family Specialist, LBSW

Hello! My name is Emily Droge, and I am an Adoption Specialist here at American Adoptions. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and am now a Licensed Social Worker here in Kansas. My role is to provide support and advocacy for men and women that are exploring and creating adoption plans, and to help guide them through and ensure that all of their needs and expectations are being met. I provide education about the adoption process, and am available for emotional support as well. I have experienced adoption personally in my own family, and have always known that one day I would be blessed with the opportunity of assisting others in their journeys. I am amazed by the strength and courage of each and every birth parent that I work with, and I look forward to working with you in any way that I can!

E-MAIL: emily.d@americanadoptions.com

Justin King

Justin King - Adoptive Family Coordinator

As a member of our Adoptive Family Department I complete home study reviews for our families before activation. This entails reviewing all home studies done by agencies other than American Adoptions, to ensure their compliance with ICPC standards nationwide and collecting all of the family's supporting documentation for their file. I also coordinate all post placement supervisory visits with both American Adoptions social workers and outside agencies and make sure these are sent to the necessary parties before finalization. If you received a home study through an agency other than American Adoptions and have questions or have any questions about the post placement process, I'm your guy.

E-MAIL: justin.k@americanadoptions.com

Mike Aguilar

Mike Aguilar - Adoptive Family Coordinator

Hi! My name is Michael Aguilar, and I have worked here at American Adoptions since 2006. I understand that choosing a domestic adoption agency can be very overwhelming, and as a result, I truly believe that knowledge is power, especially when it pertains to adoption. Helping couples complete their families is the most rewarding part of my job here at American Adoptions. My role with the agency is not only to provide information and support to potential adoptive families, but more importantly listen to our families and try to meet their needs. I never know what the next day will bring; every family that I talk to is unique, and it is not every day that a person can help influence the outcome of another's life.

E-MAIL: mike.a@americanadoptions.com

Jason Tabuchi

Jason Tabuchi - Adoptive Family Coordinator

As an adoptive family coordinator, I assist families with initial guidance about how the adoption process works. I answer any questions they may have and assist with their adoption plan. I am involved in preparing the family for a successful adoption and work closely with them regarding their specific needs. Together with the other coordinators, we give seminars in different locations for prospective adoptive families. I also assist in the accounting department as my background is in finance. I have been with American Adoptions since 2011, and I love working with families on fulfilling their dream of becoming parents!

E-MAIL: jason.t@americanadoptions.com

Wade Morris

Wade Morris - Director of Community Resources

I have been with the agency since 1995. I provide education and support to adoptive couples on our adoption policies and procedures and educate adoptive families joining American Adoptions. In addition, I network and market our agency with other adoption professionals and organizations and provide outreach in adoption communities nationwide. Adoption is extremely rewarding, and I enjoy assisting couples in becoming parents. As the years go by, watching these children grow up happy and seeing their progress means the world to me.

E-MAIL: wade.m@americanadoptions.com

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