For nearly a decade, viewers around Dallas turned on their TVs and invited meteorologist Colleen Coyle into their homes as she broke down the weather forecast for ABC affiliate, WFAA. Now, the Channel 8 weather woman opened her home to a child who became a permanent member of her family. In July, Coyle announced she was leaving the station to be a stay-at-home mom to her newly adopted daughter. “This is a season that I needed to make changes, and unfortunately, that meant walking away from a job that I love,” she says. Coyle joined WFAA in 2010 and appeared on the 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. programs. Prior to that, she graduated from Georgia Tech and went to work as a meteorologist in Palm Springs, California, and a weather producer in her hometown of Atlanta.
Have you always wanted to be a meteorologist?
I knew I wanted to chase storms since I was in third grade. I have drawings I made in elementary school filled with weather conditions and forecasts. I fell into broadcast meteorology through an internship in college. On the first day, tornadoes touched down. After the storms had moved out, the chief meteorologist showed me an email from a viewer. They said TV coverage had saved their lives. The minute he told them to seek shelter, they did. Minutes later, a tornado struck their house, but everyone was OK because they were in their storm shelter. That story really had an impact on me, and I saw the importance of meteorologists and the responsibility we have to the public.
What’s one of your most memorable weather stories?
In 2017, I was sent to Hurricane Harvey. In all my years covering storm damage, I had never seen hurricane destruction in person or flooding of that magnitude. One of the days we were there, I jumped on the back of an ATV with a family. They took me into the flooded neighborhoods as they tried to help with rescue and cleanup efforts. They wanted us to come along to share these stories with a watching world.
Do you ever get numb to storm damage?
Absolutely not. I don’t care how many times you’ve walked through a ravaged neighborhood, seen cars thrown like toys or water up to the second-story window of a house. You never get numb. Even if we’re here to do a job, turn a package or set up a live shot, we’re human. We feel, and it’s something you have to balance when covering tragic weather events.
Tell me about the time you got Nickelodeon slimed.
It was quite the dream come true. My family and I were visiting Universal Studios. I randomly got picked out of the crowd to be slimed. They sat you in a kiddie pool and dumped buckets of gooey green slime all over you. I think there was still slime stuck behind my ears days later. I received a certificate stating I was a “true Nickelodeon kid.” I’ll never forget that.
How did you become interested in adoption?
We were not planning on adopting. We thought it was something that may be part of our story in the future. God had different plans. We learned about a child up for adoption. My husband and I literally saw the child’s photo and thought, “That’s supposed to be our kid.” We spent the end of last year navigating the adoption process. We ended up getting licensed to adopt in time to be considered as a potential family. After much prayer and waiting, words can’t describe the day we found out that CPS had chosen us as the family. We were going to get to meet our new addition.
How has it been introducing the child into your family?
It has been a very sweet time. Introducing a child into your family, biological or adopted, is a major life change. It comes with a roller coaster ride of experiences and emotions. This was our first taste of parenthood. When we moved forward with the adoption process, it was like becoming instant parents overnight. Many may not know, but we adopted an older child. Our lives quickly switched to the fast lane — school functions, soccer games and summer camp schedules. To say our life has changed is almost an understatement, but it’s changed in the most radical and beautiful way.
What’s the best experience you’ve had through this process?
Seeing God at work every single day. Becoming a family. Growing closer to each other. Watching my husband step into a role as a dad. Creating new memories on family trips. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child again. Impromptu Nerf wars. Being ambushed with water balloons when I get home from work. Cuddling on the couch during family movie night. Getting hugs and kisses just because. And, of course, being called “mom.”
What would you say to other families wanting to adopt?
If they have any inkling that they may want to foster and adopt — right now or down the road — learn more about the process right now. Don’t wait. Attend an info session. Get coffee with a foster family. Reach out to a local agency. Or just send me an email. Ask questions and ask for help. Once we did, it made this whole realm more approachable. You never know when adoption may become part of your story. For us, attending an info session opened our hearts even more to adoption. We didn’t know much at first, but we had a lot of hands guiding us along the way. We hope to do the same for folks in the future.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a follower of Christ. Not remembered by my works, but how Christ worked through me.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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