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Zach & Kathryn
Thank you for considering us during what must be a difficult time. We are grateful to you, and we know that you will make the best decision for yourself and your child. Our home is overflowing with love and joy, and we cannot wait to share it as parents and to guide this child through the world.
What it Means to Become Parents
Being a parent is an enormous responsibility, but it is also rewarding. Life is difficult to navigate on your own, and it is our time to be guides for a child who is trying to understand the world. We expect this will be a challenge, but anything worth doing is hard.
Of course there will be the early days of sleepless nights and shifting schedules, but those will be distant memories as we all grow older.
We both are the most happy when we are teaching someone. There is nothing like that spark in their eye when they fully understand something. Then, when they can take that skill and improve upon it, there is this circle of learning and growing. This is what we expect to like the most about parenting. Every day we all learn something new, overcome some challenge, and have a new story to tell.
Our Leisure Time
Our lifestyle isn't glamorous, but it is bright and full of love. We made a decision a long time ago that we would maximize our time together and remove unnecessary stress. For Kathryn, that means biking to work instead of driving and earning slightly less to avoid a long, horrible commute. For Zach, that means maximizing his time outdoors and planning us weekend trips. Nearly every morning we wake up early and have coffee and breakfast together.
We travel whenever work allows and like to do something internationally at least once a year. Much of our travel time is spent with family as well. We recently organized a vacation for both of our families to hang out together and rent a house on the beach. Our niece and nephew came and we all had a great time playing with the kids in the pool, hanging out at the beach, and cooking big family meals. We are looking forward to bringing both of our extended families into the life of a child and introducing a new cousin to our niece and nephews.
Together we enjoy relaxing on the couch and reading books together. We organize a book club with friends and enjoy bringing people together to discuss something we have all read.
We have also begun gardening recently as our backyard is huge and we have a lot of improvements that we can make. All of these things keep us pretty busy but also bring us a lot of joy!
Education We Will Provide
We have both been really fortunate to receive exceptional public education and use our military benefits to pay for college. Zach was the first person in his family to go to college, and we are glad for the opportunities that has afforded us.
However, we both now understand that the best education we first got was at home. We were lucky to have parents who read to us and then we used reading as a way to explore our own passions. School is important for building social skills and understanding cultural norms, but it is not the only way to learn. As part of a military family, this child will have the added benefit of exposure to different languages, travel, and diverse types of people. Formal education is important, but it's the informal learning that shapes a person. If this child decides college is the path for them, we will provide for it, but if they choose a different route, we will support that too.
Our House and Neighborhood
Our neighborhood is amazing! After many years of apartment living, we made the switch to a single family home and we absolutely love it. Our home is newly renovated, so we feel very safe and lucky that we don't have to do any improvements.
Our neighbors immediately welcomed us and made sure we had everything we needed in the form of a "Welcome Wagon" filled with food and goodies. They hold quarterly gatherings and events at the beautiful park across the street.
There are many children in the area and we live near some of the best public schools in the country.
Our community is in a diverse area where we hear multiple languages daily ranging from Spanish to Korean to Croatian. Additionally, we are a quick trip to Washington, D.C. where we can take advantage of all the history, art, and cultural opportunities.
In the opposite direction are wonderful national forests and parks where we often enjoy getting away from the city life.
Our Extended Families
Zach is the oldest of three and Kathryn is a middle child of three as well. Despite being spread across the country and the world, we make an effort to see both our families multiple times a year no matter how big or small the occasion.
On Zach's side we have two nephews and a niece along with many cousins who enjoy all water sports and everything involving the California outdoors. We have two nephews on Kathryn's side who just light up the world around them. Kathryn's father was a social worker and her mom was a special education teacher and principal, so education and meeting children and families has always been a big part of life.
Both of our fathers are voracious readers, and it's hard to find a topic that they don't know anything about! Our traditions are simple; we enjoy hanging out by a bonfire, playing board games, and doing crafts with the kids.
From Us to You
We wanted to start by saying thank you and for taking the time to get to know us as we hope to get to know you. Please know that we are with you during this time, and we are sending our love in your direction every day.
We started dating our senior year in college back in 2007. It was a funny thing since we had known each other in passing for three years, but it wasn't until that last semester that we actually took notice. We dated for three years before getting married in 2010. During that time we were serving in the US Army, and spent over a year apart while we were both deployed to Iraq. Since then, we have appreciated all the moments we have together as we know how precious they really are. While difficult, that time apart strengthen our bond as we learned to be better communicators and to be open about the challenges going on in our lives. We learned that we can handle anything when we work together. This can't be more true when it comes to parenting. First and foremost, we are a team.
Our marriage has been an amazing adventure. Zach is still in the Army and since leaving active duty in 2012, Kathryn has worked as a teacher and recently transitioned into the tech and marketing services field. On the side she also runs a yoga business which is a wonderful community committed to healthy living. We have lived in Hawaii, California, Virginia, Europe and Missouri. Each place gives us a new perspective on life and on our place in this world. Our family of friends continues to grow- so much so that no matter where we go, we have a place to stay!
We soon reached a point in our relationship when we realized we wanted to expand and share our lives with someone. Adoption was the only route we wanted to take. While we have not been directly affected by adoption, Kathryn grew up with foster siblings and was a volunteer with Family Programs of Hawaii and so she recognizes there is a need that must be filled. Zach has so much to offer as a father and role model to future generations. We are so excited to share our experiences and the overflowing love in our home. Everyone is eager to welcome a new member to the family, and we can't wait to watch the youngest cousins growing up together.
This child will see the world and have all of the best opportunities. We will use every chance we have to teach them about your culture, where they come from, and why they are special.
We want this child to know who you are and to feel free to ask about you. You are a significant part of his or her life and that will never change! We would be honored to send email updates and other keepsakes regularly to keep you up-to-date on this child's life. Depending on how things go, we are happy to explore occasional visits at appropriate times. You are brave and we promise to always speak positively of you and share that your decision came from a place of love.
Zach & Kathryn
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