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Brian & Jess
Thank you for taking the time to look through our profile! We've been married 10 years and have been living overseas for Brian's career for the past 7 years, and we have deep family roots across the Midwest. Our two friendly cats give us love, snuggles, and entertainment. We are so excited to finally start our family and we cannot wait to share our worldwide adventures, snuggles, and love with a child of our own!
What It Means to Become Parents
To us, being parents means we are finally a family instead of just a couple. As a couple, we are happy enough, but as a family, we will be complete! We have both felt the call to be parents and to have a family ever since we can remember, and we cannot wait to finally experience the joys and challenges of parenthood! Being parents also means a lifelong commitment of teaching, supporting, and guiding our child through their high and low points in life. We have a "family first" mentality and we understand our child's needs will always outweigh our own. A child means the world to us and will always be the top priority in any family decision we make.
Brian is so excited to teach our child all about sports and computers. He hopes that our child will love video games and soccer as much as he does, but he is ready to support them in whatever they desire to do. Brian would love to coach our child's sports team.
Jess cannot wait to watch our child curiously learn about the world around them. She is most excited to instill a love of the arts from an early age. Jess would love nothing more than to have a connection to this child like she has with her mom and dad.
We are both looking forward to traveling and making memories together as a family.
Our lifestyle is not exactly "normal." Brian works for a U.S. organization and we live and work overseas and move to a new country every two or three years. Jess can also work for this organization each time we move, though as soon as we have our adopted child in our arms, Jess will become a stay-at-home mom at least until our child is school age.
On weekdays, we both work during the day, then come home and have dinner and watch TV together. Brian is quite the cook! After dinner, Brian plays one of many favorite computer games and Jess cuddles with the cats while watching TV.
Our weekends are very relaxed. We work together on household chores. Brian plays computer games and Jess plays Animal Crossing. We like to take walks or drives when the weather is nice to go geocaching or explore our surroundings. Jess loves to cuddle with the kitties on "Caturday."
For vacations, we try to visit family and friends in the U.S. at least once a year. Sometimes we travel to new countries, and now that we live in Europe we will take road trips in our SUV. While we travel, we leave the cats at home and someone checks on them daily. It won't always be easy to travel with a child, but we are looking forward to traveling together as a family and creating meaningful memories from day one!
Our Family Traditions
Both sides of our families have traditions that we are so excited to share with our child! Most of these traditions center around holidays as a chance to get together with family, make memories, and eat delicious food. Both sides of our families hold family reunions in the summer every two years or so. Brian's mom loves planning games for the many kids and adults to all participate in to win prizes. Jess' side of the family gets together at her parents' farm for a BBQ with a bonfire, s'mores, homemade ice cream, and fireworks.
Both sides of our families host Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts every year. Brian's mom loves to pick out a special, personalized Christmas ornament for each immediate family member to signify something special the individual accomplished or experienced that year.
Since we have moved overseas, Jess also started the tradition of getting her parents, siblings and their five kids together for a yearly family portrait at the farm. It's always at the same slide and it's great fun to look at the past years' photos and see the kids' growth between pictures!
Our House and Neighborhood
Brian's job requires us to move to a new country every 2-3 years. Brian's employer is extremely supportive of families and there is an office dedicated to connecting families with each other, helping with school enrollment, and organizing annual holiday events like Easter egg hunts, 4th of July celebrations, and Halloween trick/trunk-or-treat. Community parents often organize play dates and informal get-togethers.
In each country, our housing will usually be large, and our child will have their own bedroom. The living room is always our favorite place to hang out, so we make it cozy with blankets on the couch and family photos on the walls.
We currently live in a quirky four-bedroom home in beautiful, mountainous, Kosovo in Eastern Europe. We spend most of our time on the main floor with its large living room, dining room, and kitchen. Outside, we have a huge sunny patio, two small shady yards, a grape vine, fruit trees, and pine trees. Our property is walled in and we have a garage for our vehicle, so our child can't wander into traffic while outside!
There are American and Kosovar children living on our street. Many kids in our community live closer to the international schools about 15-minutes away from our home. Typically, there will always be a swimming pool and a park with a slide and swing set nearby. Currently, there are several parks with swings and slides within walking distance of our home, and a private swimming pool for our community.
Our Extended Families
Jess' parents are "Gramma and Grampa" to five young grandkids from her two older brothers. They all live close to each other and the grandkids love visiting Gramma and Grampa on their farm! Grampa enjoys taking the grandkids on rides in the truck or ATV to feed the cows, and Gramma is the best playmate: "Come on, Gramma! Let's play outside!" is a phrase often heard when the grandkids visit.
Brian's parents both come from large, close-knit families so Brian and his brother have a lot of cousins of all ages. Brian's mom is very enthusiastically invested in the lives of her many nieces and nephews and loves to send them books and small gifts throughout the year. Brian's dad is amazingly smart and patient and is eager to share his engineering knowledge and skills with those around him.
This child will be the first grandchild in Brian's immediate family and his parents cannot wait to finally be grandparents! Each side of our family is incredibly warm and welcoming, and without a doubt, this child will absolutely be loved and cherished by our entire extended family!
From Us to You
We hope you have enjoyed reading through our profile to get to know us a little bit. We can't wait to get to know you too! We strive to be genuine people, so "what you read is what you get," in a manner of speaking.
Our very sappy and sweet how-we-met story is best told by Jess in person, so our quick history is that we met virtually in 2007 and immediately connected and started dating long distance. In 2009, Brian moved 1000 miles across the U.S. to be with Jess! We were married in 2010, started traveling around the world in 2014 for Brian's career, and we plan to eventually retire in the Midwest. We both agreed early in our relationship that we wanted to have kids and needed to wait until we were ready to grow our family, however when we started trying to conceive a child in 2017 we learned that Jess has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. After several years of trying various fertility treatments, we never saw a single positive pregnancy test. We decided that conceiving naturally was unlikely to work for us, but we still longed to be parents and to have a child in our lives to love and nurture, so we researched different possibilities and found our path to parenthood through adoption.
Family is our highest priority in life, and even though our lifestyle and Brian's career keep us overseas for most of the year, we try to visit both sides of our family once a year. Some years these visits just aren't possible though, which is why we can't promise you'll be able to see your child at least once a year, however we are happy to work with you on what you consider to be an acceptable schedule. From overseas, we can still mail letters and pictures to you and we will always have internet access that will allow phone calls, video chats, and sending messages back and forth. Jess is a photography and art enthusiast, so you will be guaranteed many photos of and handmade crafts from your child as they grow up traveling to and exploring new places as well as learning about many other cultures, including their own!
Education is also a high priority for us, and we can promise your child will receive an excellent education from international schools. Jess will be a stay-at-home Mom until our child is ready to go to preschool and from day one, we plan to read books to our child and get them hooked on the love of reading and learning. At least one of those books will be the story of their adoption with a lot of photos from and of you, so you can help tell the story of their adoption journey. We have photos on the walls and fridge of all of this child's adoptive family – from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, to our friends that are like family, and we would love to include you and any of your family members that you wish so that this child grows up knowing they are loved by so many people around the world, including by their biological family.
Our child will never be lonely as there are always other children nearby in our overseas American communities. When we look to move to a new city, we will always put our child's educational and health needs above any of our personal desires. If the needs of our child dictate that we can only live within the U.S., then we will change our lifestyle to meet their needs without hesitation.
We understand this is a difficult time for you and even though we can't properly know or imagine what a difficult choice this is that you're facing, please know our thoughts are with you. Please know that we would be so humbled and honored if you chose us to raise this child. We will pour all our love into this child and they will know their birth parent(s) love them so much.
With love and hugs,
Brian & Jess