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Mark & Sheri
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for reading and considering our profile. Our hearts are filled with love at just the thought of adopting a baby, and we know that love will overflow when we meet your child. We cannot wait for the joy the child will bring to our lives and to shower him/her with all the love and support in the world.
Why We Chose Adoption
One of the great joys of a married couple is the prospect of building a family and raising children together. We did not find each other until our mid-thirties, and by that time, Mark's children were well into their teenage years. We raised Mark's children in their teenage years and helped them out to adulthood.
Through this, we tried IVF and donor eggs to conceive, but it was not meant to be. During the entire process, adoption was always on our mind, because Mark adopted his daughter during his first marriage. One day, we looked at each other and realized that adoption is what we wanted and is the perfect way to complete our family. Mark has experienced the beauty, joy, and happiness that adoption brings to a family, and we cannot wait to experience that together.
We are incredibly excited to bring this child into our lives. There is something magical that develops between two people when they have the joy of a child in their life. We cannot wait to provide him or her with a home full of love, hugs, kisses, understanding, fun, and laughter. Mark's children are also incredibly excited for a new sibling and to shower him or her with love.
Our Individual Strengths
One of Sheri's greatest strengths is her ability to empathize with people. She has an innate gift, where she can listen to someone talk about a situation and understand where that person is coming from. She is a wonderful listener and is able to help people take a step back from situations to help them make sense of things. She is a rock for her friends and family, who often turn to her for advice because of this trait, and she is always happy to help. Sheri is also very funny and silly, and loves to make people laugh. She enjoys breaking out into dance in the kitchen, singing jingles from commercials, or singing whatever song is stuck in her head. She is extremely kind-hearted and has a soft spot for rescue animals - if she could rescue every dog that needs a home, she would!
One of Mark's greatest strengths is his optimism. He always sees and focuses on the best in people and in situations. He is fiercely loyal to his friends and family and always thinking about ways he can help other people. He has a fantastic sense of humor and a positive outlook on everything. People love to be around him. And, like Sheri, he enjoys breaking out into random dance in the kitchen! He is a wonderful father, family man, and friend, someone who people always know they can rely on.
What Makes Us Unique
Mark grew up in Alaska and some of his family still lives there. Mark's aunt and uncle homesteaded in the 1960's and as a result, his family owns a property outside Anchorage that is 80 acres, has two lakes, an airstrip, and a wonderful cabin. The view of the snow-capped mountains in the distance is amazing! We visit as often as we can. It is incredibly peaceful and feels like a different world. There are moose we often see grazing the property and beautiful red foxes.
We love to travel in general and between the two of us, we have visited 29 countries. We enjoy learning about, and experiencing, different cultures as it gives a different perspective on everything. We look forward to sharing our passion for travel with a baby.
We love getting back to nature in places all over the country. We enjoy renting a cabin in the mountains, whether it is in Shenandoah or the Great Smokey Mountains. It feels so tranquil to sit on the porch of a cabin, listening to nature, and reading a book or taking a nap. We both love getting away from technology and spending time together. We also really enjoy hiking, riding our bikes, walking our dog, and kayaking.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Virginia, less than ten miles from Washington, D.C. Our house is four stories with two living rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two patios, and a fenced backyard. We spend most of our time in the living rooms and kitchen area watching TV, cooking, playing games, playing with our dog, or just talking.
Our neighborhood, even though it is close to a city, is very quiet, safe, and family friendly. It has a beautiful playground and a pool! There are lots of children in the neighborhood who are always out riding their bikes or playing. The neighborhood has a "block party" on Halloween where everyone sets up a table in front of their house with candy and everyone greets trick or treaters together!
We have a lovely strip of restaurants up the street that we regularly walk to. We are also a mile walk from a quaint, colonial street full of shops, restaurants, and bakeries. We enjoy walking there in nice weather to browse, have a meal, or grab a snack.
Our neighborhood is also less than a 5-minute bike ride to the Mount Vernon bike trail, which leads either to the Mount Vernon estate or to D.C., with a view of the monuments and Capitol Building on the way. We enjoy going for bike rides together when the weather is nice.
Our Extended Families
Our extended families cannot wait for us to adopt! Sheri's parents, sister, aunts, uncle, and cousins could not be more excited to meet and welcome a baby into the family. Sheri's entire family has treated Mark's children, her step-children, as their family since they met, and cannot wait to add a baby to the family.
Sheri's family has always been extremely close. She grew up within an hour of her grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins. They saw each other all the time and celebrated every holiday together. They now live within three hours of Mark and Sheri and they continue to see each other all the time, whether for a holiday or just a visit. Sheri's family bond is special and everyone is always there for one another, through good times and bad. They enjoy watching movies and cooking, but mostly they relax, talking about anything and everything. Her aunts and uncle will be honorary grandparents, in addition to her parents, and will shower the baby with love.
Mark has 6 siblings and 15 nieces and nephews who live all over the country, including Alaska, California, and Washington. They all cannot wait for a new baby. He or she is going to come into our family with 15 automatic best friends! We do not see them as often in person, due to distance, but we visit them as often as we can, and vice versa, and we spend a lot of time catching up on FaceTime!
From Us to You
We are humbled and honored that you are considering us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We cannot imagine how difficult this decision is and assure you that we will give your child the most loving, supportive, and nurturing home.
We met online in February 2015! During our first date, we met at 6 p.m. and closed the restaurant, because we had so much to talk about and had so much fun together. We quickly started spending all of our free time together. Mark introduced Sheri to rugby and we spent many Saturday afternoons watching rugby matches with friends. Sheri expressed her love for astronomy and one evening, Mark arranged a date where we looked at the stars through an advanced telescope at a local University. We took a white water rafting trip to West Virginia. One of our favorite evening activities is to walk around the monuments and memorials on the National Mall. They are lit up at night and look beautiful. We quickly fell in love and realized we wanted to spend the rest of lives together.
When we met, Mark was an active duty Officer in the U.S. Army. (He has since retired). Six months after we met, the Army sent Mark away for a year.
Mark visited Sheri when he could and they spoke every evening. Mark gave Sheri a box before he left, which contained 365 notes for her to read, one for each day he was gone. Mark was inspired by the letters Sheri's paternal grandfather wrote to Sheri's paternal grandmother during WWII. Sheri's family still has all those letters and keeps them safe in a wooden box at Sheri's aunt's house. Sheri also kept all of Mark's letters.
On February 12, 2016, Mark proposed using those notes. He surprised her with a weekend visit and switched out the note for that day to say "Will you marry me?" She quickly said yes! Mark returned from his assignment in August 2016 and we got married in November 2016.
We still always take the time to check in with each other and do small gestures to make sure the other knows how much we care. Sheri bakes Mark's favorite cake, black forest cake, for his birthday, Mark randomly surprises Sheri with flowers, Sheri randomly surprises Mark with dinner reservations at his favorite restaurants, and one year, Mark planned a surprise birthday party for Sheri with all her family and friends. We will do the same for this child, always letting this child know how much we love him or her and surprising him or her with small gestures.
Since we got married, we have had the pleasure of raising Mark's children, Sheri's step-children, through their teenage years and as they graduated high school. However, we have not yet the chance to raise a child from day one. Sheri suffers from endometriosis and while we tried IVF and donor eggs, neither worked. After those experiences, we quickly realized that adoption was our meant-to-be path and the perfect way to make our family complete, given that Mark adopted his daughter during his first marriage. It will bring our family full-circle! We cannot wait to enjoy all the moments from the very beginning of this child's life, be able to share all the memories together, and watch him or her grow. Our hearts are bursting, just thinking about raising this child and providing him or her with all the love and support in the world.
If it weren't for you, we would not have the privilege of raising this child. We are very happy to share photos and letters. We are also happy to send email updates, if desired. We are open to discussing a visit(s), if desired.
We will be open about adoption with this child and make sure this child knows how much you love him or her and how difficult this decision was for you. We will ensure you are regarded very highly in the child's eyes and will forever honor you.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. Your selflessness and bravery has given us the greatest gift we could ever receive.
Mark & Sheri