NORCO, La. -- As news of former WWL-TV anchor Hoda Kotb's adoption spread Tuesday morning, it's helping to put child adoption in the spotlight.
While thousands of kids end up finding forever families, some go their entire childhood without ever getting adopted.
One family in Norco were thrilled to hear the news. It reminded them of their own journey to choose adoption.
"I took my first steps after my first birthday," said Lora Leigh Luquet.
The Luquets now have been able to share a lot of firsts with their daughter Lora Leigh.
She's like any teenager, except she knows she's adopted.
"With other kids, they don't talk about how they were born, I get to talk about how I was put up for adoption," said Lora Leigh.
As far as Lora Leigh is concerned, she hit the parental jackpot. Mom is a sports journalist, and dad is a high school coach. Her parents said it was a blessing in disguise.
"We tried for 6 years to have a baby the traditional way, and nothing worked," said mom, Lori Lyons.
The couple admits adoption was a hard choice at first.
"And I wanted to keep going to doctors until either she could conceive, or there was no chance," said Marty Luquet.
And continuing to try and conceive meant medical bills were adding up to tens of thousands of dollars. But then, one day the couple realized happiness was just being able to raise a child together. Back in 2001, there were no social media platforms to spread the message, so Lori wrote a letter.
"Explaining who we were what we were trying to do and we sent it out with our Christmas cards," said Lori.
Word spread slowly, but an expectant mother answered her call, and within two weeks they met Lori.
"They were smoothing the blanket on her bed, and I walked in, and she said are you ready to hold your daughter, and everybody in the room cried," said Lori.
It's been a fairytale for the Luquets. Yet by one estimate through the AdoptUs.org agency, there are about 700 children waiting to begin the same chapter.
"It can be a sensitive topic, but I think it's important for people to know that it's an option," said Lori Arceneaux, who runs the adoption program with Volunteers for America.
Arceneaux said it's a tough option to consider, but she says kids of all ages just need a safe home, care and love.
"They're great; they're great parents," said Lora Leigh.
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