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Ryan & Ben
Hello! We're grateful you're exploring the choice of adoption, and we're thrilled to share our story with you! As a gay couple, we didn't always know if our dream of starting a family would be possible, and we're excited that you are considering us as potential parents for your child. We can't wait to expand our life with a little one, and provide them a home filled with laughter, joy, and happy memories.
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption has been part of both of our lives. Before Ben's senior year of high school, his father received a new military post, so Ben remained in Montana and lived with family friends who had just adopted a baby girl. He got to be in the fun role of big brother again, seeing her first year. He witnessed the wonderful process of bonding as parent and child, regardless of how a family is brought together. Ryan's dad legally adopted him at age 3, shortly after he and Ryan's mom married. Growing up, adoption was just another aspect of what made his family special, and is one of the reasons why he sees adoption as such a natural path to becoming a parent himself.
As gay men, we have been fortunate that our families are supportive and accepting, but we understand that not everyone is so lucky. A common theme for the LGBT community is that family is more than just the people we're related to—it includes all the people invited to share the most important parts of our lives. We're excited to include not only your child, but also you, as a part of what makes up our family.
Education We Will Provide
Learning is a lifelong experience and we both love to learn new things—from quick searches of Wikipedia and reading books, to getting our hands dirty while trying to figure out how something works. One part of being dads that we're most excited for is watching a child learn and grow, and helping them explore their world. We plan to make time for nightly bedtime stories that help develop their imagination and love of reading, just as it did for us growing up.
We both believe education leads to looking at the world with curiosity and compassion. We were fortunate to have passionate teachers, arts programs, and foreign language courses in school. We both studied French, plus Ryan studied Spanish and Ben learned Italian, so we are looking forward to giving a child opportunities to learn about different languages and cultures from a young age. A critical factor in choosing our neighborhood was access to public schools that could offer a variety of educational and extracurricular opportunities. We hope to foster an enthusiasm for learning in our child, drawing from the world around them in preparing for whatever path they choose.
Our Family Traditions
We both love Christmas, often starting to decorate before Thanksgiving so that we can enjoy it as long as possible. We love the magical warmth and joy that fills our home during the holiday season. Ryan enjoys baking more cookies than we could possibly eat (we eagerly share with friends and neighbors); this includes a recipe that's been passed down through his family over many generations. Ben's mom gives everyone a new set of matching pajamas every year, and when together we pose for a family photo. Our Christmas Eve tradition includes cooking up a bunch of our favorite treats, playing games, and watching a movie. On Christmas morning, we open the stockings from Santa and presents from friends and family, then enjoy a cozy day together. We're so excited to pass down our holiday traditions as a family!
Another important tradition in our family is a love of the Olympic Games! Ben's family even started their own Family Olympics: a field day that starts with a torch run and ends with homemade medals. Ben visited many Olympic sites as a child, including host cities Barcelona, Atlanta, Berlin, and Salt Lake City. Ryan quickly caught Ben's enthusiasm for the Olympics. We even visited sites from the 2010 Winter Games during our honeymoon in Whistler, Canada. We can't wait to share all of our family traditions, and make new ones!
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a spacious two-story, four-bedroom home, purchased in 2014. We love its big windows which fill the house with sunshine, the large trees in the yard that give us all-day shade in the summer and beautiful colors in the fall, and the garden spaces where we plant fresh flowers each spring. There's a finished basement and a backyard perfect for a swing set. We love holidays, especially decorating for Christmas, each year adding to our decorations and lights. We have dreamed of being able to share the magic of the season with a child, helping them decorate their room and teaching them about giving to others.
We live in a suburb of a large Midwestern city, and we love our community! Just a five minute walk from our house is a beautiful park with a playground. We currently enjoy the walking trail several times a week, and can't wait to be one of the families gathering there to enjoy evenings and weekends as the neighborhood children play and make friends. A bit further walk reaches our suburb's downtown, which is home to a farmer's market, ice cream shop, a favorite local pizza restaurant, a water park, and a children's museum. In the summer, there's community concerts, a weekly food truck event, and an annual town festival.
Our Extended Families
We come from loving and close-knit families cheering us on from near and far. Ben has two siblings. His brother lives locally and we see him and his daughter regularly. We're proud that "sleepovers at Uncle Ben and Ry's" have always been one of our niece's favorite activities—we read, cook, watch her latest favorite movie, and play in the park. Ben's sister is in Nebraska, and his parents live in Texas. Everyone gets creative hosting family gatherings, including our very own Family Olympics complete with customized shirts and decor!
Ryan's family has deep roots in the area. Both sets of grandparents and much extended family still lives here, and our city remains the gathering point for family living across the country—including Ryan's mom who lives in Tennessee, and his dad who's in New Mexico. Ryan and his younger brother were raised primarily by his mother; they forged especially close relationships as a brave and optimistic little family during the years his mom completed her education and worked to start a company that Ryan now helps manage. His mom remarried in 2010 and she and her husband can't wait to welcome a grandchild and continue beloved family traditions of baking, travel, board games, all kinds of music, and books!
From Us to You
We appreciate you taking the time to learn about us, for exploring if adoption may be right for you and your child, and, if so, considering us as adoptive parents. We know this is a very important decision, and perhaps one of the most difficult you have ever had to make. We want to share both our home and our love with a child, but view those parts as only the basics of our commitment. Our family's story will also always include the child's birth parents, and we want to involve them in the ways they are comfortable with. We're open to sharing letters, photos, and videos regularly, as well as occasional visits. If you choose us as adoptive parents, we look forward to getting to know you, hearing your perspective, and determining together what the future might look like. We will always respect your feelings and choices, and please know that we'll be sharing a supportive and positive message of the incredible amount of love and strength that brought this child to life and our family together.
When we met in 2005, we knew that we both valued time with family and hoped to become fathers. As our relationship evolved over the years the dreams of parenthood have only gotten stronger, even when we weren't always sure it would be possible for us as a same-sex couple. We've built careers that provide stability and flexibility to care for a child, and chose a house with plenty of space for laughter and toys. We celebrated our wedding in 2014, and have a relaxed and happy life that's truly ready to be shared.
Ben works for a Human Resources company, training other employees in customer service skills. He has a passion for helping others learn, and looks forward to the teaching roles of parenthood. Ryan runs the business and technology side of a psychology center that his mother began when he was in high school. He added to his childhood talent of self-taught computer skills with a degree in business and healthcare administration. Bonus parts of Ryan's job includes the flexibility to work from home or bring the child to work, and coworkers who are doctors specializing in health and human development—we can gather solid parenting resource information in minutes!
Outside of work, we enjoy activities like cooking and baking, gardening, discovering new movies or shows, and playing our favorite games. We both grew up with a love of reading, and want to pass along that sense of discovery to a child with our favorite bedtime stories and chapter books. Staying healthy and active is also important to us. We go on regular walks to the nearby park and are excited to hit the great outdoors as a family, whether climbing across a playground or exploring the hills of Texas and mountains of Tennessee visiting our parents. We make an effort to try new things, and are excited to become involved in child and family activities and events in our community. We love history and travel, and can't wait to share old favorites and new adventures with a child. With family and friends across the country, we look forward to family road trips (including the snacks, car games, sing-a-longs, and being asked "are we there yet?"). Ben's family also lived overseas as part of his dad's time in the Air Force, and he chose French as his college major. He's very excited to show us Europe, and for our family to make new travel memories!
We hope our profile gives you a sense of how deeply we care about providing a life of love and joy for a child, and how committed we are to staying respectful of everyone involved in an adoption. We believe that the story of a family includes those you choose to share love and life with. We hope you will choose to be part of our family's story.
Ryan & Ben
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