Skip to content

VIProfile: Travis and Kristen Swann

From Power Couple to Power Parents

Travis and Kristen Swann have been what one would call a Murfreesboro “power couple,” involved with many different organizations in the community like Center for the Arts, Beesley Foundation, Junior League, Taste of Stones River, Jazz Fest and Doors of Hope. He is one of the partners in Adams + Swann, a local advertising and digital communication company. She is the Vice President of Collective Impact and Strategic Initiatives at United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Now, they are the adoptive parents of the love of their lives, a little girl named Charlie. She has changed their lives.

“We are really not very interesting,” Kristen said with a laugh. “We spend a lot of time with family. My parents live down the street…his brother lives around the corner.”

After having some fertility issues, the couple consulted with a doctor, but they didn’t feel like IVF or any of the other treatments were for them. They began thinking about adoption and immediately the universe pushed the idea along. Call it karma or synchronicity. 

“On Tuesday, the doctor told us that I was not going to get pregnant,” said Kirsten. “Then on Wednesday, my grandmother died. And on Friday, the offer we had put on a house was accepted.”

“We had talked about getting a house before we adopted,” explained Travis. “And that freed up money to pay for the adoption.”

They immediately started to do some research into how the whole process worked. After reviewing a number of agencies, they chose one out of Florida. Then got a lawyer.

“We moved into the new house and then started the [adoption] process,” explained Kristen. “Six months later a birth mother contacted us. She was due in January. We spoke with her beginning in the summer and through December. And then nothing.”

Adoption, once having completed the paperwork and going through a home review, is a waiting game. There are ups and downs. In December of 2022, Kristen found out from someone she worked with that her niece was expecting and thinking about adoption. The Swanns put the niece in contact with the agency they were using in Florida, and then once again they heard nothing. However, the baby wasn’t due until March 2023. 

“I had been procrastinating about painting the baby’s room,” said Travis. “Then on the night of January 14, I decided it was time to paint it. We got the call the next day that Charlie had been born.” 

She had been delivered in an emergency C-section in a hospital in Killeen, Texas, and had been life flighted to Dell Children’s Hospital with a collapsed lung. 

“That was all we knew,” said Kristen, “but we packed our bags and flew to Austin, Texas.” They were there for six weeks, between the Children’s Hospital in Round Rock and the hospital in Austin.

When Kristen and Travis walked for the first time into the room where Charlie was being treated, she was surrounded by doctors and nurses making sure that she didn’t have a brain bleed. She didn’t. But, the hospital wanted to be cautious with the preemie. 

Only three pounds when she was born, Kristen’s parents took a photo of Charlie with a Texas sized doughnut from a local specialty shop named Round Rock Doughnuts. The doughnut was far larger than the baby. But, at the end of the six weeks, she was up to six pounds, and she was working on taking over the length of the doughnut. 

Even when they first returned with Charlie to Murfreesboro, Travis and Kristen were not yet officially her parents. First of all, even after giving up parental rights, birth mothers have 10 days after the birth to change their minds. And, then it takes a while for all of the legal paperwork to be processed. Now, she is officially theirs. 

“She’s doing great,” said Kirsten. 

Officially, her name is Charlotte Marie. The Charlotte is a variation on Travis’ grandfather’s name, and the Marie comes from Kristen’s grandmother. To her parents and their families, she is Charlie. With both Travis and Kristen back at work, Charlie is doted on by her babysitting grandparents. 

Adams + Swann was founded as a traditional agency almost 10 years ago, but they have changed with the times and currently concentrate much more of their efforts on digital marketing, web development and consulting. Travis oversees the day to day operations side of the business, as well as handling the digital services which include websites, email marketing, social media and content creation.

“We provide businesses with a full-service virtual marketing team for less than the cost of an in-house marketing department,” explained Travis. 

At a very changed United Way, Kristen oversees all of their internal programming and also the giving of grants. Just as COVID was settling in, United Way was going through a process to focus on the biggest issues in Rutherford, Cannon and Bedford Counties. They have since developed “Initiative 2030,” which focuses their programming and funding on three areas – health, education and financial stability. They have also changed the granting process, doing away with the long days of one-on-one personal interviews of each non-profit requesting funding.

Their in-house programs include 211, VITA, Single Care, Imagination Library, Family Collective, Launch Point and Charity Tracker. Each of these programs is focused on one of their initiatives. For those in need of services, there is the free and confidential 211 to connect them with organizations that can help. VITA provides free tax services. Single Care offers discounted medications. Imagination Library is Dolly Parton’s program offering age appropriate books to children from birth through age five. Family Collective addresses homelessness. Launch Point offers financial literacy assistance. And, Charity Tracker helps multiple agencies coordinate on services to clients. 

Busy with Charlie and work, Travis and Kirsten are not as community involved as they once were. 

“Now that we are parents,” said Kirsten, “you have to choose.”

“I’d rather give all to one thing,” added Travis. His one thing is Beesley Foundation. He was brought onto the board by his late friend, Amanda Oliver, and he has stayed. He coordinates the Barks and Bourbon fundraiser every fall. 

“United Way is a lot of my community commitment now,” said Kristen. “But, I help Travis with Barks and Bourbon, and I do a little with the Center for the Arts.”

What they are totally devoted to is their new daughter. 

“We had a great experience adopting,” said Kristen, “even if it was a little scary at first. The adoption agency was great and so were all the people at the hospitals. I even think Charlie was a little bit of a favorite because of her story.”

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 5 24

    Read More
  • Editor's Letter

    Welcome to the May issue, bursting with the vibrant energy of spring and a celebration of our incredible community! As the days get longer and the world seems to bloom anew, so too does the calendar of social events that bring us together. Read More
  • 32nd Annual Secret Garden Party to be held Friday, June 7th

    The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring recently announced the 32nd Annual Secret Garden Party. Hosted at the home of Kathy and Bud Horsley in Murfreesboro on Friday, June 7th,from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM, all proceeds support the Discovery Center’s mission to provide essential adventures for every child’s journey through interactive programming and exhibits. Read More
  • Main Street Murfreesboro Celebrates National Historic Preservation Month

    Main Street Murfreesboro is celebrating National Historic Preservation Month in May by hosting two “Community Scanning Day” events. Preserving historical photographs is agreat way to ensure that the rich history of Murfreesboro is documented and accessible for future generations. Read More