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Matt & Amanda
We are so excited to be on this journey of becoming first-time parents through adoption. We feel we have been incredibly blessed to have a home filled with so much love and life. Welcoming a child into our family to share this love is our greatest dream. Words cannot describe what it would mean to us to be chosen to be your child's parents. We are so thankful to you for your consideration of our profile.
Our Leisure Time
We both love to get outside and be active. We live by the motto, "the family that plays together, stays together" and have found tons of activities we love to do together. Our favorites are reading, cooking, hiking at the state parks, pontoon rides and walking our dog to the lake to swim. We love to spend our free time with friends and family, but also designate a night each week as date night. We also love to travel (who doesn't?) and usually go on 3-4 trips per year. We've been lucky enough to hike in the mountains of Germany, Italy, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Arizona and all over the Midwest. For the past 8 years we've gone on 2 annual trips with cousins and friends. In the early fall, we go for a long weekend of camping where we do all sorts of fun things like mountain bike, play games and eat lots of s'mores. (This fall, there will be 8 kids under 7!). In the winter, we go for an annual ski and snowboarding vacation; sometimes in the Midwest and sometimes out to Colorado. When we're home, Matt loves to get in a round of golf while Amanda rides in the golf cart. Amanda really enjoys going out for walks and spending time with her sister and nephews who live nearby. We are so lucky to have so many activities we love to do together and are looking forward to being able to share these adventures with a child.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Matt About Amanda: Amanda is the most patient and caring person that I know. She works as a Physician Assistant in an emergency room, so every week she goes to work and cares for people and their families in what's usually the scariest time of their lives. Seeing the way that she cares for our nephews and niece as well as our friends' children, I have no doubt that the love and affection that she pours out to them will make her an incredible mother. I admire that Amanda's top priorities are her faith, family and friends, and then her career.
Amanda About Matt: Shortly after meeting Matt I knew he was the one I was going to marry. I remember the first time I went to his apartment he had a bulletin board with a daily bible verse posted; I loved seeing that he was confident in his faith and knew that he would help guide me in mine. He is a better husband than I could have imagined. He is patient, adventurous, doesn't take himself too seriously and most importantly he is devoted to our marriage and family. He's also pretty handy around the house (WIN!). The way Matt plays with and adores all of the children in our life show me every day that he is going be a wonderful father. I feel so blessed to have found this man to be my rock.
Adoption has been part of the discussion for our family since we were dating. It is something that both of us hold dear to our hearts. Matt grew up with friends who were adopted and Amanda has two cousins who were adopted from South Korea. We are very close with her cousins and they have been great resources as we've prepared for our own adoption journey. Adoption was always an open discussion growing up for Amanda and we plan to have this same openness with the children we are lucky enough to raise. We plan to teach them from the very beginning about their adoption story and about their first family. Both of us hope to have a relationship with their first family so that this child can know the love and history from which they came.
While we did try to have biological children, it was our familiarity with adoption that made the decision to stop fertility treatments a simple one. We had a couple of miscarriages and went through a year of fertility testing, medications and procedures. After the transfer of our last embryo failed and it was time to start another round of IVF, we realized that passing on our genetics was not what was important to us, but rather to share our unconditional love and this journey of life with a child.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a spacious four-bedroom home in the Chicago suburbs. We've got a great open floor plan with a fireplace that we use all winter long and a big finished walkout basement. Our house is in a wooded area that has a nice yard where we love to play with our dog, Nikita. The primary school is directly behind our house; there is even a path to the school from our backyard. The neighborhood we live in is mostly made up of young families with children. Every year our neighborhood has a block party with hoola-hoop contests, water balloon fights and a barbecue with lots of delicious food. In the fall, we do a great neighborhood chili cook-off and cookie-baking contest. It's a smaller neighborhood, which means it's pretty quiet and generally easy to get to know everyone. There are always families outside playing with little ones and kids riding around on bikes. Nature trails, parks, public lakes are all within walking distance making it the perfect spot to grow our family. In fact, our favorite park is right across the street and we walk our dog there each week. The park has a playground and a great lake front area with a beach for swimming and boat docks where we can go fishing. They also have a picnic area that we use for an annual picnic with friends.
Our Extended Families
We both come from large, close-knit extended families, each with an older sister and a younger brother. Spending time with all of them is so very important to both of us. With Amanda's parents, siblings and five nephews and niece all living within 20 minutes, we get to see them regularly. We often get together for boat rides and swimming or Friday night dinners at Amanda's sister's restaurant. The tradition we love most with Amanda's family is celebrating birthdays at a hibachi grill they have been going to since Amanda was 8! Matt's family lives a little further away in Indiana, however, this makes for great opportunities to spend long weekend visits at Nana and Grandpa's house! Our weekends in Indiana are frequent and filled with barbecues, trips to the zoo, wild card games and lazy afternoons by the lake. Matt's sister just gave birth to baby boy number 3 this summer so we're looking forward to many trips back to hang out with our nephews. Sleepovers with cousins and grandparents, game nights, learning to swim and ski with family are all memories we can't wait to share with children. Both of our families, especially our young nephews are so excited to welcome a new member to the family and all are extremely supportive of our adoption plan.
From Us to You
As we sit here writing this letter, we can't fathom the weight and difficulty of the decision you are making. We hope this little glimpse into our home, family and adventures has helped you to learn a little more about us and our lives and we thank you for taking the time to read about us.
We're a fun, adventurous and relaxed couple (or so we think!). Matt loves all sports and played many as well, including baseball in college at Valparaiso University. He loves the idea of one day coaching a sports team for our future kids. Amanda loves all things food and worked as a dietitian for 3 years before deciding to go back for her master's degree. Now, she keeps nutrition as a hobby by growing fresh vegetables in our garden and always coming up with healthy new recipes to try. If we can't be outside doing our favorite things, you can find both of us on the couch nose deep in a good book.
Our very close friends introduced us at a wedding 9 years ago. We clicked right away and were married 2 years later. We've spent the last 7 years finishing graduate school, traveling, hanging out with our friends and family, and vacuuming up all of the dog hair from our beloved fur baby, Nikita.
Both of us have jobs that offer great flexibility in our schedules. Matt manages investments for a large finance company and is typically able to work from home one day per week; Amanda is an emergency medicine Physician Assistant at our local hospital and usually works three days per week. Our flexible hours mean more time at home together and the ability to make children's activities our priority. We both love our careers and hope to teach our future children to reach for their dreams and their greatest potential.
Family and faith have always been our greatest priorities and in honoring both of these, we have dreamed of expanding our family since shortly after getting married. After trying on our own for some time, God made it clear to us that he had another plan and our path towards adoption became clear. Becoming parents would mean the world to us. We look forward to raising children who are hard working, open-minded, patient, loving and kind. We were both blessed to grow up with families that made our future a priority and granted us every opportunity; we are committed to providing these same opportunities and ensuring our children grow up in a stable, supportive and loving home.
In choosing us to be your child's parents, your child will grow up in a home with parents who make them dinner, help them with homework and tuck them in at night. Your child will grow up with memories of camping with family and friends, trips to the beach in South Carolina and holidays with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all around. We will teach them to fish and ride bikes, to play baseball and to dance and to be a good friend and a good person. Most importantly, your child will grow up in a home knowing what it is to be loved unconditionally.
You are your child's history and we open our hearts to your continued presence in your child's life through letters, email updates, pictures and keepsakes. We also welcome the idea of arranging visits when the time is right if that is something you wish for. We are so eager to get to know you and your child's story. If we are so lucky to become your child's parents, they will always know the love from which they came and the amazing way in which we are all connected.
We would be eternally grateful to begin this journey with you and promise to support you in all the ways that we can. We are by no means perfect, but please know that love is the foundation of our family and we have so much more love to give.
With love and respect,
Matt & Amanda
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