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Jacob & Crystie
Welcoming your child into our family would be a dream come true, and we promise to do everything we can to bring this child's dreams to life too. We're committed to a family-centered life full of affection, acceptance, exploration, and fun. We appreciate your consideration of our family and the brave decision you are considering making. We believe we're all on this path for the same reason: to build the best life for this child.
Why We Chose Adoption
We both dreamed of building a family and when we were married, immediately began trying for a child. It wasn't as simple as we had hoped, and we suffered three unexplained miscarriages before seeking help from a fertility specialist. We were then extraordinarily lucky to become pregnant with our first son, Marshall. Unfortunately, Crystie experienced very serious pregnancy complications that made us question whether or not we should try to have more children. However, Crystie's doctor was more optimistic and after receiving her blessing, we began trying for another child a few years later. Once again, we suffered a miscarriage. We decided to try one more time and were profoundly lucky to have a successful pregnancy with our second son, Owen. Crystie was fortunate enough to avoid the same pregnancy complications she'd had previously but had the same complications with delivery. This time her doctor told her no more, and we agreed. Adoption has always been a natural part of both of our families so it became immediately clear to us that adoption would be the path for our family to continue to grow.
Marshall is a sensitive and caring kid who loves to cuddle and give kisses. He's very intuitive and quickly picks up on the emotions of those around him. Owen tends to be more reserved in new situations and is shyer with new people, but once he opens up he is a real character. He absolutely loves to make people laugh! They will be amazing big brothers and cannot wait to meet our newest family member!
Our goal is to keep a healthy and balanced schedule where we take opportunities for new experiences and adventures while making sure our life doesn't become too hectic or over-committed. As working parents, we are very intentional about finding ways to recharge, relax, and reconnect.
Our family time is full of affection, exploration, and creative play. Our favorite moments are when we're laughing and being silly together. We love to snuggle, give hugs, and tell each other how we feel. We say we're sorry when we're wrong, and we offer forgiveness when someone makes a mistake. We encourage curiosity and learning about the world, ourselves, and others. Our family loves to travel and experience all the natural beauty our area has to offer, such as hiking on a nature trail or exploring a cave. We try to teach our kids about social responsibility, whether it's by recycling to take care of our world, getting pets through rescue rather than a pet store, or helping less fortunate kids have a happy Christmas. We also love to pretend, dress up, watch movies, and stretch our imaginations. Music is central to our lives and we love listening to a variety of musical styles. Jacob plays guitar and we encourage an appreciation of music and other forms of creative expression such as theater and art. These are things we value and hope to share with your child.
Adoption in Our Family
Both sides of our family have been impacted by adoption. Each story is different and unique, but all are positive and full of love. Jacob and his siblings were adopted by their stepfather when their mother remarried. Jacob's aunt made the decision to allow her older sister to adopt and parent her first child because she was not ready to become a parent at that time. Jacob's grandmother was adopted and raised by her grandparents through a similar situation. And while not adopted, Jacob's grandfather was raised by a foster father who instilled in him the values that built his family.
Crystie's older brother was adopted and raised by her father. When Crystie's brother married a woman who had a son, he adopted that son and raised him just like his own father did years ago. Crystie's cousin was also adopted by her aunt and uncle when both of her cousin's parents passed away.
Having witnessed a variety of approaches to openness and discussions surrounding adoption, we've talked in depth about how we would approach the topic. We feel very comfortable with our decision to be very open with a child about his or her adoption.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a thriving, suburban area of Arkansas with many amenities and resources available locally. We've both lived in this area for more than a decade and can't think of another place we'd rather raise a family.
Our home is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, single-story brick house situated in a newer subdivision that includes a private park and swimming pool for our neighborhood use. Both the park and the pool are a short walk from our home, and we love to pack a beach bag and spend time there on beautiful summer days. Periodically our neighborhood invites a food truck to set up near our pool, and it's always a special treat! Many families with young children live in our neighborhood and we are within walking distance of our elementary school. Our neighborhood has a variety of fun activities for kids, including a fireworks show on the Fourth of July and a Halloween parade to show off all the kids in their costumes.
We are in town, close to shopping, restaurants, and activities, but can drive 10 minutes one direction and be in farm country or 20 minutes the other direction and be at the lake. This area has a great mix of kid friendly activities, ranging from museums and activity centers, to nature trails and parks. The local university brings not only academic and cultural opportunities, but also sporting events. We are 2 to 3 hours from several major cities, which provide additional activities and entertainment.
Our Extended Families
Both of our extended families live locally. All the grandparents are closely involved, attending birthdays, graduations, and games. Crystie's parents are retired and gladly watch the kids whenever needed. Both sets of grandparents love to have the kids visit for the weekend, and we love that they're building memories that they'll treasure for the rest of their lives. We have three siblings who live locally, and we have seven nieces and nephews between them, with the newest addition being 9-months-old.
We have one great-grandparent who lives nearby, and we love our Christmas traditions with her. Our entire extended family gathers at her home for a huge meal, followed by a gift exchange with the kids. We have very close relationships with two other great-grandparents, as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins who live in Illinois. We enjoy road trips to visit them and love that no matter how long we go between visits, it always feels as if we never left.
From Us to You
We have the utmost respect for you and the strength of love for your child that leads you on this path. We're grateful that you're considering our family. Our promise, should you choose us to embark on this journey with you, is that we will be by your side in whatever way you choose. We're completely open to phone calls, emails, and visits so that we can get to know each other better leading up to the birth of your child. Ultimately, we want you to feel confident that the connection is sincere, and the choice is right. From the very start, we want to build a foundation of openness, honesty, and trust, so we'd like to share a little bit more about us.
We met at work in 2008. Our first date was watching a meteor shower on a cold December night in 2009. We fell in love and got married on a beach in 2011. Our biggest wish had always been building a family, so when having children didn't come as easily as we expected, we knew we couldn't give up. Throughout our fertility struggles, multiple miscarriages, failed IVF, and two high risk (but successful) pregnancies, our relationship as a couple has only grown stronger. Our boys, born in 2013 and 2015, have taught us so much about life, love, and ourselves. Our love of being parents increases each day as we watch our sons grow into the most amazing little humans. They are incredibly excited to add another sibling to our family and promise to be the best big brothers in the world.
One thing that makes us unique is our previous experience as foster parents. Over the past year, we've been able to provide a safe and loving home for newborns and toddlers when they needed it most. We welcomed each child into our home with very little notice, and each left just as suddenly. While it could be emotionally challenging at times, it was also a great opportunity to learn and grow, especially for our kids. Our involvement in fostering renewed in us and instilled in our children a sense of compassion for others, and a desire to help them, even when it's personally hard. We're proud of the loving, protective, and gentle nature our sons showed as big brothers to these children. With each child our family felt an immediate love, connection, and affection, and with each experience it solidified our wish for another child to join our family permanently.
As parents, it's critical for us to instill a sense of morality and doing the right thing, no matter what others do. We talk with the boys about "being leaders," and how that means that if their friends make bad choices, they should feel confident to do the right thing instead. We're both in leadership positions in our careers and we talk openly with our kids about what that means. It's especially important to us for our kids to understand that men and women are equally capable in any career path they choose, and this factors significantly into Crystie's decision to continue working. Though at times her heart feels pulled to be a stay-at-home mom, she wants to demonstrate strong, successful female leadership for the kids.
With open minds and open hearts, we know our dream of continuing to build our family can come true. We cannot imagine the questions circling your mind, the weight of the decisions you have ahead of you, or the strength of character it takes to make them. While difficult circumstances may have brought us each to this place, we're here together with an opportunity to build something special and beautiful. We look forward to a healthy and supportive ongoing relationship with one another, including sharing letters and pictures with you along the way. We hope this continues to reassure you that our family was absolutely the right choice.
Jacob & Crystie
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