Dear Expectant Parent(s),
Thank you for taking the time to view our adoption profile. As we prepare this profile, we try to imagine what you might be thinking and feeling as you work your way through piles of prospective families. Maybe you already feel resolved about making an adoption plan. Maybe you are still struggling through a process, or feel lost in the decision. Wherever you find yourself today, we hope your journey brings you to a peace about the plans you are making for the life inside you.
Waiting for peace is what has guided us from our early desire to start a family, beyond the reality of our own infertility, past the appeal of fertility treatments, and into the world of adoption.
Resting in peace freed us from being disappointed with our circumstances. It encouraged us to move beyond holding out for what we thought would bring us happiness but rather embrace the many blessings that already filled our lives. This peace led us to the adoption of our two daughters, Elise and Faye, and it continues to guide us through each new stage of parenting. It keeps us ever satisfied with the present while remaining hopeful for the future.
We hope these pages reflect that peace and help give you a sense of who we are as individuals, parents, and a family. Furthermore, we hope something about one of the many profiles you are given stands out in such a way that you are able to find a peace in the plans you are making.
Aaron and I met in college at a groovy 80’s themed skating party. We remained friends and running partners for three years before he realized there was something special and I freed myself of other distractions. We have been inseparable ever since and now married for twelve years.
In that time, we have become homeowners, renovators, graduate students, teachers, pet owners, world travelers, aunt, uncle, friendly neighbors, and adoptive parents.
Our personalities complement each other well. Where I am strong-willed and always moving, Aaron is laid-back and focused. We are both educators and share a common passion for life-long learning. Aaron demonstrates this to his students in the classroom while I do so at home with our two daughters and in community with our local preschool group. We believe the strength of our marriage comes from our desire to follow God’s leading in our life, open communication, individual and shared goals, and support from family and friends.
Elise was born on June 26, 2010, and lovingly placed in our arms that very same day. Her birth parents, Kalee and Adam, gave us the privledge of being at the hospital for her birth, sharing time with her those first three days, and welcoming her home straight from the hospital. Our shared experience at the hospital clarified for us the gravity of their choice to so lovingly care for a life in and beyond the womb by making a plan for adoption. Our experiences in the years to follow have taught us that every adoption story is truly unique and ongoing. Kalee and Adam’s initial request for no contact has changed over the past two years from periodic email updates and receiving photo books on Elise’s birthdays to planning our first visit this past July. However nervous each of us might have been, our time spent together was truly a blessing to all. Kalee and Adam took pride and joy in seeing Elise, while Aaron and I were encouraged by their ongoing confidence in their plan for Elise.
“You two are my proudest decision,” is a compliment I will never forget. We know Elise is blessed to be loved by the pair that gave her life, the pair training her through life, and the God who sustains all life.
Thankful and thrilled that we had been knitted together as a family, Aaron, Elise and I all remained hopeful that more children might someday be added. Three and a half years later, on November 22, 2013, that hope became a reality when Faye was born!
In the weeks leading up to Faye’s birth, we had multiple opportunities to spend extended time with Faye’s birth mother, Ashley. The collective sum of time spent together helped give us a fuller picture of who she is as an individual which we can share with Faye both now and in the years to come. On one occasion I curiously asked what had led her to choose our family to which she quickly answered, Elise. Having been adopted herself, Ashley treasured the idea of the girls having adopted siblings with whom they could relate. We couldn’t agree more. An added blessing in this story was the experience it provided Elise to be on the receiving end of adoption. In addition to her own excitement to be a big sister, she saw how much her sister is loved by Ashley and how much care went into the adoption plans made.
I grew up in Burlington WI, sharing the role of oldest with my identical twin brother, Andy. My parents, even now, will not tell us who is older. I consider myself blessed to be part of a loving family of six children: four boys and two girls. We are a blend of biological and adopted siblings; each one thankful for the rewarding relationships that have grown over time.
My mom is my favorite grade school teacher. In addition to her ability to lead all six of us in song at the piano each morning, her approach to homeschooling taught us to be independent self-motivated learners. It didn’t hurt that recess included climbing trees, building forts in the woods, and exploring the swamp behind our house.
Originally trained as an engineer, I later found my passion in teaching and continued my education to earn a teaching license and master’s degree in physics. I now teach physics at a public high school which rewards me with the opportunity to pursue something I love every single day: sharing my love of physics and engaging in the lives of students and colleagues.
My love of kids and teaching continues to be shaped in new ways through parenting. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding roles in my life. Walking alongside our girls as protector and coach while they learn and explore the world around them is an awesome responsibility. Some of the most joyful moments in my day are being welcomed home from a day at work by the bright smiles and open arms of my two girls, seeing their smiles and hearing their laughs as we wrestle on the living room floor, and cuddling with them before they go to bed.
Aside from his killer skating moves, one of the first things that drew me to Aaron was his ability to give his undivided attention to whomever or whatever was before him (namely me at the time). Be it his work, a new project, friend, or our daughters, you know he’s fully there in the moment and will see it through to the end. He succeeds at everything he does with humility, naturally diverting the attention away from himself and onto the encouragement and coaching of others. His patience and grace have pursued me through the unlovable seasons of my life, providing an example for both our daughters and myself to follow. He leads our family well and keeps me grounded in truth whenever fears or anxiety arise. It is no wonder Elise and Faye are “Daddy’s Girls.”
I was born in Illinois, the youngest of two girls in our family. My childhood memories include experiences growing up in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Growing up, my sister and I argued on a daily basis. Thankfully, the process of getting older and experiencing the gift of family has allowed us to become each other’s closest friend. We now live in the same neighborhood and are an integral part of each other’s lives.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Math Education, earned a license in Gifted and Talented Services, and am in the process of completing my master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Prior to the adoption of our daughters, I taught high school math at a small K-12 school for seven years.
For as much as I love teaching, careful planning, gentle prodding (from my mother), and God’s timely provisions have led me to take an indefinite break from teaching and redirect those same energies into life as a stay-at-home mom. In addition to caring for our girls and home, this season of life has grown my confidence in the kitchen and interest in providing healthy meals for the mouths I feed. If I’m not reading books to the girls, teaching a preschool lesson, jumping on the trampoline, taking a walk, or at a park, I’m probably in the kitchen making nut butters, hummus, salads, and more.
Like Elise, I was born with a passion for all things furry (excluding tarantulas) and love pursuing this shared interest together. We currently care for our three cats, are mourning the loss of our hamster, preparing to rescue a guinea pig (or two), and dreaming of raising chickens. We don’t own a dog (yet) but often care for others when they are traveling.
Katy has enthusiasm for life and others. I love how passionate she is about pursuing life together; even if it involves a stimulating discussion about physics, she is kind enough to show interest. She seeks adventure in the everyday or inserts it by adding sprinkles to yogurt, sneaking kittens into bed (ours or Elise’s), requesting cookies at the grocery store (even though cheese would be healthier), and filling the day with goofy songs (always off-key). Katy is an excellent cook, a committed mother, a loving wife, and always my greatest encourager.
For Aaron that includes weekly trips to a rock climbing gym and weekend excursions to the Red River Gorge, where he can boulder and top rope in the open air with Elise, Faye, and me cheering him on from below. He’s even built a climbing wall in our basement in order to share this hobby with the girls. Elise enjoys planning and labeling new routes with her stickers. Faye uses training sessions with daddy to help take on more practical routes like climbing onto the table, out of her crib, and into everyone’s lap.
I find adventure in the little details of the day. Each morning over breakfast, Elise and I like to review our calendar of activities: there’s Monday’s preschool group (taught by moms), Tuesday’s trip to the zoo or museum, Wednesday’s play date with a friend and community group in the evening, Thursday’s library time, Friday’s pizza and a movie, Saturday’s swim & dance lessons with cousins, and lastly Sunday’s gathering with our church community & lunch with Andy. I love that she asks who’s coming over for dinner, wants a van so we can include more friends, and enjoys being a hostess as much as me.
We consider it a gift to both come from families rooted and established in love. Even though we don’t live in our hometowns, staying connected with family shapes much of how we spend our time and travel. Most cross country adventures are to share the company of grandparents, parents, sibling, and cousins in IL, WI, PA, SC, and FL. Family traditions are so cherished that we often end up celebrating every holiday twice rather than rotating through the years as planned. Each summer, Katy’s family squeezes into a ocean-front condo for a week spent surfing, biking, building sandcastles, flying kites, and playing UNO. For Christmas in WI, Aaron’s family postpones the opening of presents to first feast on monkey bread, made-to-order omelets, strawberry eggnog, and sausage (a manly must at any breakfast).
In 2011 we welcomed the opportunity to move closer to Katy’s sister and into a newer three bedroom ranch with a fenced-in yard and country view. This new location put us less than a mile from family and 10 minutes from our church community. Then in 2014 Katy’s parents retired and also moved into the neighborhood. Now, walking to Grandma and Grandpa’s or Aunt Jenn’s is often a daily activity rather than a six hour car ride. These nearby sources of community, in addition to friends and Aaron’s family afar, support us during life’s trials, celebrate with us during life’s triumphs, and share our everyday moments in between.
In addition to our time spent with family and community, we value creating special time and memories as a family of four. We are intentional to sit down for dinner each night, enjoy a family activity, and curl up to read books before bedtime. Our girls’ favorite evening activities currently include playing outside, dancing in the living room, Skype-ing with Aaron’s family, or just chilling on the couch with cats.
Many friends and family have generously invested themselves in our lives through their time, energies, and resources. In response, we similarly welcome the chance to bring others into the rhythms of our daily life and insert ourselves into theirs. “Bringing people in” is typically an invitation to join our family for dinner or myself and the girls in one of our many adventures throughout the week. “Inserting ourselves” has included Aaron helping friends tackle a new project and diagnose car problems, myself providing babysitting and meals, or our girls delivering cookies and treats to the neighbors with the hope of getting to know them better.
Since August of 2014, Aaron and I have continued to grow as a team by taking on the oversight of our church’s children’s ministry. Where I am detail oriented and task driven Aaron is very relational and helps us keep the big picture in mind as we set goals. This commitment has stretched us beyond our strengths and is teaching us how to lead and share responsibility with a diverse group of individuals. It has also been a privilege serving the children and families of our church community.
Aaron and I are each thankful to have parents who provided the foundation for our faith and an example of life lived in obedience to God. Beyond the example of their own lives, they encouraged us to follow that of Jesus Christ so that we might see others through His eyes, have compassion with His heart, and serve as He did. We know we are far from perfect, but believe that with willing and obedient hearts, God will still choose to use us to accomplish His goals in our lives and the lives of others.
We understand that life in this world is not perfect, but we know we can trust the God who is. In trusting His love and plans for us, we find ourselves free to enjoy the blessings He has provided and available to respond as He guides. We see how God has used previous disappointments in our life to lead us to the adoption of Elise and we continue to trust His plans for our future.
Aaron, Katy, and the girls
To view Aaron and Katy’s Shutterfly “Share Site” which has even more info and pics, click here!