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Lauren & Holly
Thank you for taking the time to know part of our story and we hope we may be able to share in part of yours. We have a family that is beautifully knitted together through adoption and we are excited to share all of our love, openness, and playfulness with a child. We hope to be your ally through this journey and we are already immensely thankful for you.
How We Met
Lauren is a theatre director and in the Spring of 2009 she was holding auditions for a two-person comedy called "Parallel Lives" when Holly came in to audition. After watching Holly's hilarious monologue, Lauren wrote YES! in all caps next to her name. Holly got the job (obviously)! Rehearsals were really fun and although our relationship remained professional, we were growing closer throughout the creative process.
When the run of the show ended, we felt a little panicky like we were afraid we weren't going to see each other as much anymore. So we started planning dinners and hikes and field trips in Holly's convertible. After a few more weeks of hanging out as "friends," Holly bravely admitted that she was attracted to Lauren and Lauren responded that she had undeniable feelings as well. And that was over 11 years ago! Lauren often says that casting Holly in that show was the best decision she ever made. And at our wedding in 2015, Holly and the other actor from the show (a dear friend of ours) performed a funny piece from the play that brought us together.
Our Leisure Time
We really love the outdoors and that was a big part of us moving back to Tennessee (where we met) after being in Chicago for seven years. We have so many amazing hiking trails nearby and we spend almost every weekend exploring a new path or revisiting one of our favorite spots near waterfalls and swimming holes. We are also taking up kayaking and enjoy getting out to the nearby lakes as close as 15 minutes from our house.
We also really value cultural experiences. As we both have backgrounds in the arts, we spend a lot of time seeing theatre and live music. We attend local festivals with friends and their children and we love to venture to our local farmers market as well. As we think about having a child, we really look forward to taking them to see their first play at the nearby children's theatre and having our actor friends give them a backstage tour. We also look forward to going to the awesome Adventure Science Center and to the local zoo. We are curious and playful people and we really want to create opportunities for our child to develop their own curiosity and interests.
Adoption in Our Family
When we first started talking about having children, we talked about adoption as it has shaped our family so much already. Lauren's dad and uncle were adopted, so it has always been a part of their family story. Holly's mother placed two children for adoption when she was young and Holly has a lovely relationship with both her older half-sister and half-brother.
We also have many friends with adoptive children, including Holly's goddaughter who lives close by and who was the flower girl in our wedding. And one of Holly's best friends was adopted. All our experiences with adoption have been positive and we believe that families are people brought together by choice, committed to loving and caring for each other.
We feel it is important to be honest and open about our child's story, so we plan to introduce adoption early on through books, conversations, and family stories. We want it to be a positive and special part of who they are. Adoption feels like such a big part of our lives already that we feel it is the best way to grow our family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a cute university town outside a major city in Tennessee. We own a beautiful, bright 3 bedroom house in a great neighborhood and we live there with our two sweet, affectionate kitties Leo and Toby, who have been part of our family for 10 years. We are near several parks with playgrounds and we are a short distance to one of our favorite local spots, the greenway along the river. We love going for walks on the lush green nature paths after work and on the weekends. There are always lots of parents with young kids walking or riding bikes on the path. At home, we spend a lot of time out on our back deck, grilling and chilling, or working on the garden in our big sunny backyard. We also have an awesome bonus room that we are looking forward to transforming into a playroom. The neighborhood is full of young families and we are zoned for one of the best elementary schools in the city. Our house is about 10 minutes from the university where we both work and about half an hour from a big city where we have access to awesome theaters, museums, festivals, restaurants, music venues and more. We feel lucky to have access to the culture of a bigger city while living in a smaller community with lots of green space to explore.
Our Extended Families
We have really loving and supportive extended families. Holly has a big, diverse, outgoing family that lives on the West Coast. Her family is full of nieces and nephews, many of whom have children of their own. When we travel to Oregon, we are always in for a fun family reunion that usually involves making tacos, game playing, and feeding the ducks at the local lake with the kids. We also often make trips to nearby Ashland Oregon to enjoy the beautiful small town parks, shops, eateries, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Lauren's sweet family lives only three hours away so we get to see them more often. Her parents and brother are excited to be first time grandparents and uncle. Lauren's smaller family loves Christmas so this is always a special time where we spend about a week together baking holiday cakes and cookies, decorating the Christmas tree, and wrapping presents. Our family tradition is to find a new trip or holiday activity each year. Some of our recent adventures have included a trip to a local castle and a visit to a historic Shaker Village. Lauren's family still lives in the house where she grew up so it is fun to return home often to see many close friends who feel like extended family as well.
Both of our families are excited about our adoption plan and we are looking forward to sharing our traditions and also creating new ones with a child!
From Us to You
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We understand that this is an overwhelming time, and we empathize with the wide range of emotions that you are likely experiencing. We are experiencing a lot of emotions too as we excitedly write and delete and write again in hopes of meeting you. While we may not be able to know exactly what you are going through, we hope to start a genuine conversation with you and we hope that as we get to know each other, the process starts to get a bit easier and less unknown for us all.
In our 11 wonderful years together (5 married), we have experienced so much joy as well as many obstacles. Through all of it, we have been a united team. At our wedding, we danced to our favorite song, "Life is Better with You" by Michael Franti. While we blast this song on good days, we also sing it to each other to help us through the hard stuff. We have supported each other through a move to a big city, graduate school, job changes, the loss of a beloved parent, and infertility. All of these big life events have deepened our relationship and helped us focus in on what matters most. And for us that is an open, sweet and playful love that we want to share with a child. While it seems a little cheesy, we can't wait to sing (likely off key) "Life is better with you" with a child because even though we have a good life, we believe it can get even better as parents.
When we started talking about being parents, it always came back to the fact that we feel like we have so much love to give. We know everyone says that, but it feels really true for us. We are excited about the little everyday moments like dance parties in the living room even if it is to "Baby Shark", making a fun mess while cooking chocolate chip pancakes, creating our own puppets and putting on a show, and splashing around in the creek on a hot summer day. While we know we won't always be perfect, we have a stable, fulfilling life and feel like we can provide an authentic home where a child can grow up to embrace all the potential they have inside of them. In our family, curiosity is celebrated and this child will be encouraged to try new things, to make mistakes and try again, to learn, to accept, and to love with all of their being.
We really want this child to have a relationship with you and we are open to discovering that as we go. We will send letters and pictures to share important and everyday moments of this child's life. We are also happy to share emails, phone/video calls and visits. You are an essential part of this child's story and we are committed to making sure this child knows your love for them.
We hope that as you get to know our story, you may be open to having us be part of yours. For us, that story affirms that your child is loved and will be loved unconditionally. And everyday they will wake up in a supportive home where they will be able to be authentically themselves.
We are already grateful for you and hope to meet you soon.
Lauren & Holly
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