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Jeff & Becca
We are so thankful to have become parents by adopting our daughter and are beyond excited to again grow our family. If you're reading this, you have a difficult parenting decision of your own to make. We hope our openness and the details we offer help you get a feel of who we are, how we try to raise children and if we'd be a good fit to raise your child.
Adoption in Our Lives
We adopted our daughter Eve and words cannot express how in love we are. It's hard to explain but as soon as we met Eve, she was our daughter. We loved her and wanted the best for her immediately. At the same time, she was no less her birth parents' daughter. We wanted to know as much as they were willing to share with us and show us. We wanted to know them as people outside of the scenario in which we were meeting. Also, in case something changed and for whatever reason we didn't all reconnect down the line, we wanted to be able to share things about them with Eve so she'd know as much as possible about where she came from, what her birth family was like and anything else she wanted to ask. We just want to be able to answer as many of her questions as possible.
While we'd always planned to adopt we still did a fair amount of research before the first adoption. It was during that when we agreed we both wanted to adopt at least twice. It was an emotional experience the first time around but so miraculous and amazing. We're excited to adopt again and have started talking with Eve about becoming a big sister. She's excited and we expect her to be a great helper and to stay excited whenever it does happen.
Our Leisure Time
Jeff really likes to BBQ and use his smoker for tasty dinners for us as well as friends and family. He also enjoys going to sporting events to see our local teams including baseball, hockey and soccer. He decompresses by watching TV or working in the yard which he takes pride in. Jeff is also an elder at our church which means he goes to some meetings in the evenings to help shape how our members are supported by each other, what services look like and sometimes serves communion during service.
Becca was admitted to a regional program that matches mentors or Bigs with mentees or Littles who could use a steady friend. The year commitment was made to Janell, her little, 9 years ago and Becca can't imagine life without her. They still hangout regularly and she has become a valued part of both of our lives. Becca also likes to cook and bake.
Together we really enjoy traveling, cooking dinner, going on walks and trying new things – be it a recipe, restaurant, movie, activity, game, community festival or otherwise. It's been amazing to see the wonder and excitement through Eve's eyes as we do these enjoyable yet everyday things. She's been a trooper and especially loves anything with other kids, outside or food and baking.
Society is more racially divided than many admit. We alone can't change society. We can raise children to be thoughtful and aware of many cultures and to be proud of their own.
We've made a point to ensure the books, dolls and toys in the house represent a range of races including her specific skin color. Eve is two so right now we use books like We're the Same, We're Different to start talking about diversity in terms she understands. Different family members have also gifted her books with black feminists and leaders. For Black History month, we picked a couple of cards from a Black History Flashcard deck each morning and read about the people as part of her daily routine. Eve really liked to hold the cards and hear about the people pictured. She likes books so we use them a lot right now but the method will be based on the child's preference and age.
We strive to include strong, positive role models who look like our child(ren) on the regular. We picked a pediatrician based on recommendations for who was good, black, and had experience with adoptions. A large deciding factor in the daycare we use was the diversity of teachers, staff and children alike. We participated in a racial awareness cohort to try and strengthen our ability to raise strong black children who are educated on and proud of their full culture. We want them to be proud of themselves and respectful of others.
Our House and Neighborhood
We bought our house in 2015 and put a lot of energy into fixing it up for our future family so we'd have a forever home. It's in one of the highest rated school districts in the state and on a corner lot across from a large park. The park has trails and streams as well as a dog park, tennis courts and a huge play area that's bustling with neighborhood kids. Every time we walk we're pleased with the range of ethnicities represented in our area.
Our neighborhood/community pool is within walking distance and includes a kiddie pool and sand-volleyball court. They host "dive-in" kid movies once a month during summer and usually have a pizza party to open or close the season. With an early bedtime for Eve (she likes to go down at 7 p.m.) we haven't gotten to partake in the movies but have enjoyed the pool and walks regularly. We have some friends that live in the neighborhood so that's nice to have helping hands close if we ever needed something. Also, the neighborhood is turning over to a younger generation with more and more kiddos around.
Additionally our back yard is flat and just under .5 acre, offering room to run and play outside without ever crossing a street! Our actual house has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a partially finished basement which is already an official kid zone filled with an array of toys!
Our Extended Families
We both have parents that are still married to each other and one sister each. Becca's younger sister and her husband have two dogs while Jeff's sister is married with two young girls.
Our sisters and parents all live within a 7-20 minute drive from us which is great as we're usually doing a meal or getting together with someone most weeks. When we get together it's usually for a meal, catching-up, swimming, playing a game, with Jeff's nieces or the dogs. Becca's parents also have a dog and all three have been great with Eve and other children.
All the grandparents (our parents) and aunties (our sisters) have asked when we're giving them and Eve another and excited to welcome a new little face to the family! Eve gets an excited face and says, "YES!" when we ask if she wants to be a big sister. We expect she'll be a helpful and very loving big sister.
Jeff has a large extended family that includes six aunts and uncles all of whom (except one in TX) are no more than 30 minutes away. Each has 1-4 kids, Jeff's cousins. Between parents and aunts we typically have plenty of offers for a babysitter without even asking!
We're also quite close with our friends and enjoy barbecues and just hanging out often. Our kids will have a built in social circle as most get-togethers include lots of little ones since most of our friends already have 1-3 kids.
From Us to You
We are honored and grateful that you're considering us as parents for your child. We don't pretend to know what you might be going through but certainly appreciate your strength and courage to consider this option and if it's truly best for you and yours. Our first experience had mutual respect and ended up more open that either originally agreed to. Yet here we are nervous, anxious and at the same time excited, hopeful and as ready as one can be to again grow our family. We hope to give you a feel of who we really are and what life with us would be like so you can assess if we're the right fit.
We met over eight years ago and have been married for over five years. We're committed to each other and our family. To us, being committed parents means being open and honest about how we became a family, making sure the child knows your decision was out of love, and that s/he knows as much about you as you want us to share. We'll also share our love for travel with them- be it camping trips or oversea adventures. We are both naturally curious and have great memories of traveling across the country and want to pass that on. It will also mean lots of family pool parties and barbecues in the summer, sledding and snowball fights in the winter, board games and lazy days where we just lay around or have movie marathons. We genuinely enjoy spending time with our daughter and often spend time on the floor playing games, reading books or running around the backyard. We make a point to still make time for each other as a couple but we truly enjoy hanging out with Eve and are excited to have another child to keep up with.
We are not perfect and will not be perfect parents. But we promise any children we are blessed with will know unconditional love and encouragement. We will fight fiercely for their safety, development and opportunities. Our primary focus is to raise happy, healthy children who know right from wrong, are proud of themselves and their story. They will be taught to respect and appreciate others as well as share with and give to others. They will also have choices as we believe this helps kids learn to problem solve as they grow and prepare for life. We're big on setting guidelines but allowing kids to explore as they prefer within those guidelines.
We have surrounded ourselves with people who will help watch out for our children. We're excited to introduce a new family member into the fold so they can feel not just our love but the love of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This connection extends to our church and other friends as well. We have carefully chosen these circles so they are filled with humble, caring, loving, and supportive people who are already so excited to meet the next little one we bring home.Additionally, we have some family members and a couple friends considering adoption and some friends actively listed as adoptive parents so it's likely there will be other children who were adopted in the larger network the child would be raised.
We welcome talking before and after you give birth, we'll happily send pictures and letters after birth and welcome as much visiting as you're comfortable with at the hospital. The more we get to know each other, the more questions we'll be prepared to answer for the child. (Even little things like "your birth mom/dad is soft spoken" or "funny" or whatever could be meaningful for them.) We're fully comfortable coordinating a visit after birth/placement. We did this with our daughter even though it wasn't required. Our gauge is and always will be what is best for the child. We pray for a scenario that is a blessing for you, your family, the baby and us. We truly wish you clarity and conviction as you decide what is best for you and the baby. Thank you for learning about and considering us.
Jeff & Becca
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