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Jeff & Jenny
Honesty, creativity, compassion, love and intellect, these traits have shaped our marriage for over 15 years and will continue to define our family as it grows. We will joyfully welcome a child of any race or gender into our family with unconditional love. We believe our role as parents will be first and foremost to provide all of the resources necessary to enable our child to become the best human they can be.
We have been lucky to both come from diverse families where adoption has regularly been chosen as an avenue for growing a family. Members of our family have been adopted from Uganda, Guatemala, and Jenny's sister is from South Korea and we have other family members of a variety of races. Having a diverse family has been a blessing in that it has provided us with the opportunity to learn about other cultures and allowed us to grow as people. We have also been lucky to have a similar situation in our workplaces. Both of us work with individuals from around the world.
As parents we will address cultural diversity through constant education and respect. We live and work in a diverse community and will use a variety of resources to make sure our child has the opportunity to learn about their own heritage as well as that of the people around them. These resources might include books, advice from friends, and asking for help when needed. We have a genuine interest in learning about other people, cultures, beliefs, and experiences; we look forward to sharing this with our future child.
Our lifestyle is a balance between what we feel passionate about and what we enjoy. As scientists we chose to study cancer biology because we are passionate about improving treatments that help patients survive their disease. Luckily for us we also really enjoy science.
We fill our free time with what we enjoy most: hiking, birding, running, camping, golfing, and reading. Our vacation time is either spent visiting our families, whom we are very close to, or exploring. For our 10-year anniversary we went Costa Rica and in the last couple years we have gone to numerous national parks including: Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton. We look forward in the future to visiting Jenny’s brother in London and going to the Czech Republic for his wedding. We are excited to share our love of exploring nature and new cultures with our child.
Why We Chose Adoption
We chose adoption because we know it is a wonderful way to start or grow a family. Based on experience with Jenny’s sister, who was adopted from South Korea, we know first-hand how a family can become completed through adoption. In addition to Jenny's sister, we both have an extended family filled with adoption. While we were in college and were newly engaged, only a couple years after Jenny's sister joined the family, we had our first conversations about the possibility of adopting someday. At the time we had discussed having a biological child and adopting a child, this quickly evolved into our plan. Many years later, after we had finished our education and were financially ready, we decided to start our family building plan. After we were unsuccessful at getting pregnant naturally and with minor fertility treatments, we opted to forgo more invasive options and move directly to adoption. We feel strongly that family is not defined by shared genes but rather via unconditional love, trust, and the relationships these produce. Both of us are so excited to become parents and feel avidly that adoption is the right way for us to do so.
Our Extended Families
We are very close with our extended family members. Our scientific training has taken us to different parts of the country, but we've never had a shortage of family visits, phone and skype calls, and vacations to see family. In fact, we both have parents very near to retiring, allowing them to be actively and continuously involved in our child’s life.
Jeff’s siblings are wonderful parents and have shared many of their important experiences and parenting strategies with us. We have numerous nieces and nephews of varying ages to grow up with our child. Jenny has siblings whose careers enable them to work with children and who are fantastic role models for kids of all ages. Her siblings are also nearing the beginnings of their own families.
Adoption has been an important part for many of our extended family, including Jenny’s adopted sister, and through their involvement we will help our child see adoption as a beautiful part of who he or she is. All of our family members are genuinely excited to meet our child and become the favorite aunt, uncle, grandma, etc. We look forward to the many future holidays we can share as a family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a diverse university town, a few miles from the cancer center where we work. The townhouse community we live in is composed of families, couples, retirees, and students. It has two playgrounds, a pool, and lots of sidewalks - perfect for evening strolls and learning to ride a bike. We are also near a jogging/bike path and within walking distance of beautiful ponds, parks, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and a wellness center/gym, where we are members. Our gym houses an indoor pool and hosts lots of activities for children of all ages. We are within a 10-minute walk of two superb childcare centers and near an elementary school.
Our home is a two-story townhouse surrounded by beautiful trees. It has two upper balconies and a very large ground level deck where we like to drink coffee, relax with a book, or take a nap in our hammock. Our home is filled with books, games, wholesome food, and most importantly lots of love and laughter. Currently, it is well ordered and organized but we are excited for that to change and look forward to blanket forts, a living room filled with toys, and a dining room table covered with crayons, art projects, and puzzles. We want our home to always be a haven for our child, designed to help them flourish and grow while surrounded by love and laughter.
From Us to You
Firstly, we want to express our admiration for your strength and courage as you have continued this journey. We have dealt with infertility and know how pregnancy (and lack of) can cause many physical and emotional strains for you and those you care about. Take a deep breath, and know there are no bad decisions here. Regardless of who you choose to be your child’s parents, know that he/she will be deeply cared for and cherished and that it was you who made it happen.
We have been happily married for 15 years. We first started dating in high school and married shortly after finishing our bachelor degrees. Our curiosity and sense of adventure has taken us around the country for our graduate degrees and we have gained friends of many walks of life. Having several adopted cousins and an adopted sister, we have always considered adoption as a logical way to grow and enrich our family. When conceiving on our own became impossible, we eagerly began the adoption process.
Waiting to have a child has given us important perspectives we did not have early on. We place a high value on early childhood education and broadening a child’s experiences by keeping them involved in our daily lives. We believe a home should be a place of warm acceptance but also stable and enriching. We love to travel and are excited to share wonders of the National Parks, Washington D.C., Disney, and have so many new experiences with our child. We are eager to teach them to throw a ball, dance, ride a bike, and swim. We look forward to going to classmate’s birthday parties, hosting slumber parties with friends, and making a tree house.
We are dedicated to providing our child with unconditional love, the freedom and safety to develop into their own unique person, and the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. It is crucial to us that our child knows that they were loved from the beginning and that their adoption was an act of love. To ensure everyone’s peace of mind, we would be happy to talk with you via phone or email prior to the birth and send letters, emails, pictures, etc. and even a visit later on. We understand that your relationship with us may vary in frequency and we want to respect your desire for updates and reassurance as well as allow you the space you need. How you choose to navigate this balance is up to you and we promise to always remain free of judgment.
As white parents adopting an African American child, we understand that we will need to work hard to educate ourselves on the issues they face. Having an adopted Korean sister has opened our eyes to the challenges as well as the beauty of a racially diverse family. We have talked a lot with our cousin, who is white and adopted an infant from Uganda about her family’s experiences. Additionally, we have a large support system of racially diverse family members and friends who we will continue to use as resources. We have always felt that living in a racially diverse community is important and recognize it is even more vital when raising a child of a different race. Please feel reassured that we have put a lot of thought in adopting a child of a different race and know how cherished they will be in our family. We would feel both privileged and honored to be the parents of your child.
Jeff & Jenny