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Shawn & Gretchen
We are so thankful you are taking the time to view our profile. Our family is excited to discover who is missing from our home and to embrace this child through the adventures of life. It would be our privilege to make your dreams of a loving, happy, and supportive home real for your child. It takes a special person to gift their child to a family seeking adoption. We admire your strength and are grateful you are considering us.
Why We Chose Adoption
When we were dating, we shared about our hopes and dreams for the future. We used to talk for hours, late into the evening, about so many different things. One of many things we had in common was our desire to have children. We spoke even then about how incredible it would be to have the chance to adopt and those conversations have always remained as a burning spark in our hearts. We have had two children biologically and each of us know that someone is missing. We have been unable to successfully carry more children but see this as the reminder that God placed adoption on our hearts so many years ago for a reason. While we absolutely love our children, we also know there's an abundance of love still available for more in our family. The four of us could not be more joyful in the chance that someone will choose us to love their child.
We have two sons, Wyatt and Grady. Wyatt is naturally kind and views the world as a glass half full. Wyatt loves participating in sports, reading, going camping, playing outside, and being a Cub Scout. Grady is full of energy and is sensitive to others around him. He loves school, sports, playing toys, learning to read, riding his bicycle, creating art, and making crafts.
Wyatt and Grady are enthusiastic about adopting a sibling. They are both great helpers and have big plans for welcoming a new child into our home. Wyatt and Grady have always expressed a desire for more children in our family and they most look forward to having another person on "their side" in wrestling with Shawn.
We Love to Travel
We love to travel and look forward to visiting somewhere new each time. Our vacations are often road trips and most recently have included stops in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee. When we travel we explore through playing and visiting special places. Our most popular searches are for zoos, kid-friendly museums, and historical attractions. We love trying new foods that might be local to an area and securing a hotel with a pool is always a must. We have an amazing time on our trips, but all of us would agree that our all time favorite has been Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We chose to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge right on Disney property where we woke each morning to giraffes, zebras, birds, and so many more animals right outside our window. We enjoyed a balcony where we could view nature as if we were the only ones observing. Our lodge had so much to do that we almost didn't want to leave the premises. Four of our days were spent playing in the Disney parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Our Disney adventure gave us some of the best family time we've experienced on a vacation and we look forward to going again some day. We are blessed with opportunities to travel and love that we get to expose our children to the world beyond our community. We are excited to make more memories through the years as our family expands through adoption.
Our Life Priorities
Our relationships with God and our family take priority over anything else in our lives. We have learned that as we put God and our marriage first, our entire family is happy and our home runs smoothly. We are constantly focusing to build our bonds with each member of our household by encouraging all to be contributing members in our home and frequently playing together. We support each other daily such as through homework, assisting with jobs like putting away laundry, exercise, meal planning, or listening and telling stories about our day. We eat dinner together every night around our table because it's important to us. Each night our children count on their alone time with a parent to read, visit privately, and cuddle in our bedtime routine. Then we, as a couple, get time together to do the same. We feel that the stronger our relationships are with God and with our spouse, the stronger and more confident our children become and the more united we are in facing the challenges that life presents to us.
Our House and Neighborhood
We currently live on a military post in the state of Kansas. We have not moved frequently compared to most military families, but this is our fourth community to live in since getting married fourteen years ago. Each move has brought us in touch with wonderful people and has given us opportunities to explore areas we otherwise may not have visited. We have completely taken each community and made it our home, but this location is our favorite home so far.
Our neighborhood has spacious yards allowing lots of room for running around or playing catch with our kids. We love to go for walks while the kids ride their bikes and rush to find the next of the many playgrounds available here. We have everything from smooth, wide sidewalks to areas for hiking in the woods. There are currently 25 children living on our block and all have become friends. There is almost always someone around to play with. We have frequent block gatherings that are both spontaneous and planned. Our neighbors become more than just friends as we support and rely on each other. Friendships are made quickly here and the relationships last long beyond the time for us to part ways.Our community, even our block, brings people in from all over the USA. We have even had neighbors from other countries living right next door. We love the diversity and how we get to play and interact with people from so many backgrounds. We have learned to treasure this atmosphere for the growth it brings us in our views towards other people and the cultures of others.
Our Extended Families
Our extended family is important to us and each relationship with our parents and siblings is uniquely special. We are blessed to be able to spend quality time with our family on a regular basis. Our bonds with our siblings continue to evolve and strengthen in every stage of our lives – in fact, they just might be our best friends. Shawn appreciates time with his dad and brother as they attend sporting events or discuss sports happenings. Shawn's family regularly played board games in their home, so we love to have his brother and sister over for game night to carry on the tradition. Gretchen's family (including parents, two brothers, sister-in-law, a nephew and a niece) spends hours visiting and interacting with the kids. Sitting around for non-stop talking is all we bring ourselves to do after the huge meals her mom offers us!
When we married, Shawn at first was not accustomed to the large family gatherings that Gretchen grew up with (tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, and sometimes even great-aunts, great-uncles, etc.). Despite how intimidating a large family may initially be, all are immediately welcomed and never turned away. We very much look forward to our traditions of big family gatherings for sure each Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.Our families are delighted that we are pursuing our dreams of adoption. They cannot wait to be a part of another child's life. Our family is praying for this little person along with those who are important to this child - especially you.
From Us to You
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to share ourselves with you. We already know one thing we have in common with you: we all want your child to experience a fulfilling life. We look forward to starting a relationship with you. We know you have so many questions about us and we pray you will find it easy to approach us. We want this child to know how loved he/she is, not only by us, but also by you. Gretchen absolutely loves to take pictures and it will be our pleasure to keep you updated with photos and letters.
There is a quote we see often ... "Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite." A bit cheesy, but it's so true! We recently celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary and the years have flown by. We have identified ourselves as a couple most of the twenty-one years since we were first introduced. When people say opposites attract, we are positive they were talking about us. Shawn likes life to be routine, follows a logical path, and he takes full advantage of technology while Gretchen likes changing things up, follows the heart, and would rather be creative a little bit each day. We are extremely different, yet we match in our values, goals for our family, and love for each other. When it comes down to it, we feel that we compliment each other perfectly.
When we bring a new child into our home it will be an incredible moment for our two sons, Wyatt and Grady. This child will have two brothers, two best friends, and two protectors ready to help navigate this little one through life. They tell us daily how they will assist and share their lives with their new sibling. Grady has drawn pictures with our new addition in family activities and Wyatt practices with the neighbor baby hoping to hold his own sibling soon. They are already so in love with this child, as we all are.
We have dreams of our children having a life full of happiness and opportunities. We love being parents and love that our kids add so much meaning to our lives. If you were to glance into our home, you'd see a busy family who enjoys work, school, and play time together. Gretchen spends the days organizing at home or running errands to ease the rush of evenings and weekends. Unless traveling for work, Shawn makes it home in plenty of time for evening activities. We eat a healthy, family dinner around the table every night and Shawn frequently asks, "How were you kind today?" Some nights we have activities like Cub Scouts, Awana, or sports the boys have chosen to participate in. On weekends we often plan outings but sometimes we just stay home and set up elaborate games where toys are spread all over the house. It's not unusual for us to play outside with neighbors, pull out a board game, or get lost in playing video games. On longer weekends we may head out to visit family or take a small trip to explore other areas. Sunday mornings we attend church and leave feeling refreshed and more centered for our week. Each night, our bedtime routine starts with bathing and ends with one-on-one time with a parent for reading, talking, and cuddles. This time alone to listen to our children's thoughts and feelings is treasured time that is valuable in meeting our children's needs. We look forward to another child becoming a part of our family and having these same opportunities each day.
This time in your life must be very hard for you. We do not know your circumstances, but we are sure you have a lot of worries in thinking about the future of your child. We admire your courage as you seek the ideal family for your little one and we know that you will make the best choice for you and your child. We appreciate that you have considered us and wish you the best as you move forward.
Shawn & Gretchen
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