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Matt & Briaghn
We truly appreciate your taking the time to consider us as potential parents for your child, as we know what a challenging decision it must be for you. As a couple, we have built our relationship on a balanced foundation of care, respect, humor, and kindness. We want to continue growing as a family, and to give a child the gift of a loving, safe home that values their confidence, compassion, and self-worth.
How We Met
The story of how we met not only happened because of some unlikely circumstances, but it also shows a lot about who we are. About eleven years ago, Briaghn's older brother Michael decided to perform in a play being put on by a friend's church. This surprised us all, as he is not usually the artistic type! But he invited friends and family to the show, which meant that his little sister Briaghn, and high school friend Matt, were both there on the same night.
After the play, everyone went out to celebrate, and Matt and Briaghn found themselves sitting next to one another, and spent most of the evening talking to each other. After they parted ways for the evening, Matt didn't want the conversation to end, so he sneakily convinced Michael to give him Briaghn's phone number. From there, they began texting and calling one another, until Matt finally asked her out. But, it almost ended before it began. Briaghn, always the cautious sort, was worried about going out with one of her brother's friends, so she started working on an excuse to get out of their first date. Little did she know, Matt knew about her plan, and he prepared. When Briaghn called him to cancel their date, he seemed to have an answer for every excuse she could give. So what could she do? The first date was followed by a second, and a third, until finally, a year and a half later, they were engaged.
Our Most Memorable Moment
A few years ago, we took a trip to Ireland that was, and may always be, the most wondrous and adventure-filled experience we ever had. For two weeks, we made our way around Ireland and Scotland, exploring amazing cities and hidden natural wonders, and we have so many stories as a result. It was the longest trip either of us had ever taken, the furthest away from home we had ever been, and the most time we had ever spent with each other.
Matt had to re-learn how to drive a stick shift--but a left-handed one, while driving on the wrong side of the road. Our car broke down, and we spent two hours playing Uno in the beautiful Irish countryside while waiting for a tow truck. We met strangers who selflessly volunteered to help us when we got lost, we hiked through forests, found hidden caves on stone beaches, and climbed down rock walls on the seashore. We found ourselves immersed in the history of political conflict as we toured the murals of Belfast and learned about the troubles that had beset Northern Ireland. Perhaps most memorably, after two failed attempts, we finally made it to Skelling Michael, a craggy stone island, where we climbed 600 steps to reach a secluded monastery. We have hundreds of photos and even more memories of our Ireland trip, and it is one of the experiences that we most treasure, especially because we did it together!
While Matt grew up with dogs, Briaghn's family never had pets. As such, no one imagined that Briaghn would become a "dog person," but here we are, a year after adopting our chocolate lab, Hershey, and we couldn't be happier. Since Briaghn had never had a dog before, we decided that an older dog would be the best fit, and we wanted to make sure it was a rescue animal that needed a good home. However, we could not have predicted just how much energy an 8-year-old lab can have!
Hershey joined us a year ago, and he has quickly become a beloved member of our small family. Every day is filled with leisurely walks, games of tug-o-war, and cozy snuggles on the couch. Hershey is incredibly well-tempered, friendly to people and other dogs, patient with little kids, and always excited to see us when we come home. Having Hershey has helped bring out the best in both of us, because he gives us endless opportunities to show love, affection, and care, and he inspires us to spend time together as a family, whether it's exploring new parts of our neighborhood, or just quietly relaxing around the house. Of course, Hershey can't wait to have a new brother or sister to take care of!
Our Extended Families
Luckily for us, our family trees never seem to stop growing! We are fortunate to have our parents and siblings close by, so we are able to see each other frequently for birthdays, holidays, and just to keep in touch. Matt and his brother are always entertaining each other with jokes, sharing ideas for their classrooms, and spending time with Matt's nephews and niece. Matt's parents spend half the year in Florida, but come back to town frequently for family events and celebrations. Briaghn's mother, two brothers, and sister all live in the Chicago area, so we are able to get together frequently for dinners and family events. Both of our families are very excited to add another seat at our get-togethers.
When it comes to extended family, both Matt and Briaghn have been blessed with a great number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and more. Every year, there are weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, graduations, and other events to attend! Matt has over 50 cousins just on his side, and we love seeing many of them at our annual 4th of July reunion in Milwaukee. Briaghn's extended family gets together every December, and the two of us get to spend quality time with our siblings and parents during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Of course, we can't forget our chocolate lab Hershey, who is looking forward to snuggling a new addition to our family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We were both born and raised in Illinois, and we bought a house of our own in the Chicago suburbs a few years ago, in a neighborhood that we truly love. We have a small, three-bedroom Cape Cod, the kind of house that is great for a new family, with a spacious yard for our dog to play in, a large garden that we use to grow wildflowers and vegetables, and a cozy family room for quiet relaxing and family time.
Our house sits between two parks, so we are steps away from playgrounds, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, and even an ice skating rink! Many families from diverse backgrounds live in our neighborhood, and it's always fun to see them enjoying the summer camps offered by our park district, attending little league games, and gathering together for special events. Summers include free Music and Movies in the Park on Friday nights, cooling off at the community water park, festivals hosted by the schools and churches in our area, and a 4th of July parade that passes right down our block. In winter, we get to enjoy colorful lights on all of the houses, seeing kids sledding and building snowmen, and helping our neighbors shovel driveways and sidewalks. We even have a free bus service that takes residents around town! Overall, we feel lucky to have found a fun and safe community to call home, and we feel it is a great environment to raise a child.
From Us to You
We have to begin by thanking you for taking the time to review our profile, because we can only imagine the emotions you are experiencing during this process. Thank you for your strength, your courage, and your selflessness in seeking the ideal family for your child. Words cannot express the respect and admiration we have for you in taking the time to make such an important decision.
We have been together for 11 years, and have been married for 9, and in that time we have become strong and devoted partners, best friends who celebrate each others' successes and support each other in times of challenge. After spending many years caring for both of her grandmothers, Briaghn was inspired to pursue a career working with the elderly. Now, she works as an activities assistant at a memory care facility, where she works with older adults who are experiencing memory loss due to Alzheimer's, dementia, and other life events. Through games, songs, and crafting activities, she brings joy to her residents and creates a community of caring and kindness.
Matt has been a high school English teacher for 15 years, and he loves his job more every day. Working with students, helping them to build their confidence and discover their talents, and challenging them to be their best selves is the greatest job he could imagine. Even when dealing with the toughest students, he wants them to know that he believes in them and that he cares about their success. He still receives letters from students he had five, ten, even fifteen years ago, thanking him for his help and telling him how he inspired them to pursue their goals.
We love to laugh, to travel, and to just be together. We have found that open, honest communication has made us stronger and more effective partners. We place a strong emphasis on family, and make frequent efforts to see our parents, siblings, and extended family members. We believe in the benefits of kindness and in being of service to our fellow citizens. We believe in the value of diversity, charity, and honesty.
We know that, in making this difficult decision, you can only gain so much peace of mind from a letter or a video, and that is why we understand and value whatever contact you would like to have with your child and us along the way. We will gladly send letters and photos to you, so you can follow your child's growth and experiences along with us. We are open to meeting with you, exchanging emails or phone calls, or making other arrangements that will provide you with the sense of connection and reassurance that you desire. We will be open with them about their adoption, and make sure they know where they came from, and what an important part of their life you are.
Most of all, we will want your child to know how much you loved them, and how you made a difficult and selfless decision, one that gave us the gift of a family. Just the fact that you are looking at our profile is a gift in itself, and we appreciate that you have taken the time to read our words, look at our photos, and reflect on your child's future. We know that we are ready to give a child the love, devotion, and guidance they need, and as their birth mother, you would always hold a special and valued place in our hearts. We know that you will make the best decision you can for your child, and we thank you for considering us.
Matt & Briaghn