Love is… Adoption: Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger’s Path to Parenthood
Writer / Kara Kavensky
Avon residents Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger began their journey into parenthood through the traditional route and then weighed fertility options, eventually deciding on adoption as their best course of action to become parents.
Both Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger are Avon High School graduates. Adrienne is a pediatric physical therapist and Will has been part of the Smiley Morning Show on WZPL for the past six years. Both are outgoing people and, given Will’s public persona on the radio each weekday morning, being open about their fertility adventures seemed natural. Not that they had much of a choice.
“We thought it would be funny on the air to promote the Midwest fertility clinic and do a test on air,” says Will of his and Dave Smiley’s experiment. “The results came back that I was half of the problem and didn’t know it.”
Will continues sarcastically, “Luckily, I got to share my results live on air.”
“We decided to be publicly open about our experience, as a lot of people go through similar issues,” says Adrienne, who started a blog documenting their journey.
The Pfaffenberger’s not only chose to adopt locally, but opted for an open adoption. Their process took two years. Their son Lincoln was born in 2015 and is now 17 months old.
“The result is amazing,” says Adrienne. “The process of open adoption can present challenges, but we are blessed to have a wonderful relationship with the birth mother.”
During the exploration of the potential rabbit hole of the fertility process, Adrienne and Will carefully weighed their options.
“Fertility treatment is not a sure thing,” shares Will. “Considering the physical challenges versus the emotional ones, we opted for adoption.”
“It wasn’t that important to me to personally experience pregnancy,” shares Adrienne. “I just wanted to be a mom.”
Toni Williams, fellow Smiley Morning show host, was the first of the show’s foursome to have a child and the rest of the morning crew would tease her about her adventures. Now that Dave and Will are dads, only Nikki Reed remains without children.
“When Will and Dave became dads, I was like ‘Ha! It’s not so funny now, is it?’” jokes Toni, whose son Lucas is a personality on their show thanks to Toni’s recordings of him.
“It will be a sad day when we have to fire Lucas,” jokes Will. “Noah, Smiley’s son, is up and coming. Noah is now 2 and very verbal.”
The Smiley Morning Show has been ranked number one all but one month over the past year. “With the show, we create a product that people engage with. We don’t spend a lot of time prepping, but we all come to the table with our own strengths and we know how to make something out of nothing,” notes Will. “We are fortunate to be supported by management that supports our creativity and allows us to be autonomous.”
Will and Adrienne have been married for 10 years. Both are creative. In addition to being a physical therapist, Adrienne is also a professional photographer. Adrienne received her undergraduate degree from Ball State and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis.
Will graduated from DePauw with degrees in communications, media, and theater, and even had an internship with The Bob and Tom Show. Tom Griswold paid Will directly to be an introductory producer.
“It was a great experience. I got to work with their national guest booking agent, I wrote bits, went to writer’s meetings, and got to do characters,” shares Will, who is mainly known for the Joe Johnson memory bit. “I am grateful for that experience, as I was given the opportunity to be creative beyond an internship.”
Will’s creativity is mainly expressed through comedy. He studied improv in Chicago, founded “Three Dollar Bill Comedy”, which wrote several shows for The Indy Fringe Festival. Will’s other passion is soccer, and his second fulltime job is that of Soccer Director at United Soccer Alliance of Indiana, one of the largest youth soccer clubs in the state.
There’s no shortage of activity for Adrienne and Will. Add their son Lincoln into the mix, and the Pfaffenberger’s are quite busy.
“We are surrounded by family support,” shares Adrienne. “Which is great since they all love spending time with Lincoln.”