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Matt & Anna
As parents, we cannot think of a more selfless, courageous, and heroic act than considering adoption. Even the decision of who to place our daughter with in our Will was a difficult decision. So before we tell you about us, we want to tell you how much we admire you. Know that your child would be surrounded by love, from our family, our friends, everyday life, and from you.
We pack as much life as possible into every day. On most weekends, we walk to the beach, swim in the lake, have a picnic at the park, play board games, and read books. We get together with friends, run 5ks, and participate in community events and festivals.
On weekdays, we wake up early to pray, exercise and enjoy other activities before work. In the morning, Anna and Fiona often explore museums, parks, go to swimming lessons or other classes. Matt goes to work early so he can always be home for family dinner. When he comes home, we put our phones away for the evening and spend quality time together. We always talk about our days.
On summer evenings, we go to the park and play after dinner. In the winter, we build a fire in the fireplace, read books, play games, make music, or listen to records. Anna paints and sews. Matt plays the banjo and ukulele. We love introducing Fiona to art and music.
We go to church every Sunday and often during the week. We volunteer time in the community. We pray together before meals and before bed. In our family night prayers, we thank God for the blessings of our day.
We place a priority on experiences. Specifically, experiences together as a family. An example is our annual trip to another country. Our children will grow up seeing the world, learning from experience, together as a family.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Anna About Matt: Matt's perpetual optimism and endless energy bring joy to every day. People gravitate towards Matt because he lives life so fully. Fiona and I are blessed to have him as ours.
Matt's love for family is remarkable. When we met, Matt talked about his nieces and nephews and how he couldn't fathom how much more he'd love his own children. His heart explodes for our daughter. When I was pregnant, Matt became overjoyed to the point of tears at the incredible gift of life we were given. I adore Matt's same excitement in talking about our future children that come to us through adoption.
Matt's commitment to God, his desire to be kind to everyone, and his belief that every day we should make a better mark on the world make me so grateful to be his wife and have him as the father of my children.
Matt About Anna: When I think of my wife Anna, I smile. Anna is honest, generous, loving, and compassionate. She is an amazing example of living a life of virtue.
Anna has dedicated her life towards helping others. From her first job out of college, she helped students make the best choice for their education. She then attended law school at Notre Dame with the goal of using her education to help children. When we met, she was an non-profit attorney fighting for the lives and safety for children across the United States.
And now, Anna is using all of her talents to raise our daughter Fiona. And my dream for my daughter, is that she will grow up to have the amazing virtues of her mother.
Our Family Traditions
We have loved adopting each other's family traditions and creating new ones of our own.
We share a love of competition and games. We have a closet full of board games and Sunday is dedicated Family Game Night.
During Advent, we light candles every night at dinner. On the evening of December 5th, we put out our shoes for Saint Nicholas to fill. On Christmas Eve, we go to a local theater for a sing-a-long of carols and old Christmas movies.
On Christmas Day Matt's extended family has a talent show. Anna's family has one on New Year's Eve. Adults and kids alike participate and the winner gets a trophy and their name on a plaque at grandma's house.
On Fridays during Lent, many of the churches in our city host Fish Frys and we organize a Fish Fry crawl for our friends. We choose a different church each week and Anna has made shirts for our 20-30 friends that regularly attend.
Anna makes our family Halloween costumes. We usually choose a theme related to the country we most recently visited.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a large city in Illinois. Our home is in a neighborhood close to downtown. We love the walkability of our neighborhood: we live close to several playgrounds, large spacious parks, a big zoo, museums and the lakefront.
Our home is a three-story townhouse on a tree-lined street. A favorite room for all of us is our family room. Its walls are covered with our books, our artwork and our musical instruments. And our fireplace gets a lot of use during the winter, as we read, play games, dance, make music or listen to records.
Our neighborhood is full of families. Being an urban area, it is easy to get to know each other and make friends since we all play together at the parks. The city's park district also offers lots of classes that our daughter participates in. And one of our favorite year-round activities has been family swim at the local park's indoor pool.
Our city has diverse events and fairs throughout the year. Our neighborhood is historically known for being an artist neighborhood and hosts an annual art fair. Anna takes painting classes at the neighborhood association. Matt takes lessons at the local music school. We are grateful that our children have access to so many creative and educational experiences.
We love our city and all the opportunities it provides year-round.
Our Extended Families
We have a very large, loving extended family. Anna is one of 10 children and Matt is one of 3. Our daughter has 43 first cousins, with more on the way. Both of our moms were from families of more than 13! Combined, we have hundreds of family members that we are close with.
Our siblings live all over the country and we love traveling to their homes, hosting them at ours, and doing joint vacations at beach houses and water parks.
We have been fortunate to travel with Anna's parents to Europe three times since our daughter was born. And we have plans to visit Spain with them next year.
We are also blessed to live close by to Matt's grandparents, and many of his aunts, uncles and cousins. We love that we can easily visit with family on any weekend and Matt's aunts and uncles host holiday celebrations.
With such a big family, each year seems to bring weddings, baptisms, graduations and other events that bring us together in joyous celebration. Everyone is so excited about our plan to adopt and is looking forward to meeting this child and celebrating holidays and milestones with them.
From Us to You
As parents, we know the love you already have for the baby growing in your womb. We admire the selflessness and courage that it takes to consider adoption. Adoption is a decision of love that is nothing short of heroic.
We have been married for almost 6 years and have always desired to have many children. Anna has 9 siblings and both of our moms were from families of over 13. We love the big family life and hope our own house will always be full. We were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Fiona, 3 years ago. She is a constant source of joy to us. She is eager to be a big sister and tells us that she prays for a baby.
Adoption has always been on our hearts. We discussed our openness to adoption when we were engaged and we were ready to begin the process shortly before we realized Anna was pregnant with Fiona. We feel strongly that God is calling us to adoption now.
The foundation of our family is faith. Our children will be raised to be kind and generous and to know God. We pray together as a family before meals and before bed. Our daughter is baptized and we look forward to all our children making their Sacraments.
Education is a priority for all our children. We believe education starts at home and we already love reading with and teaching our daughter. We also believe that many of the most important things are learned outside the classroom and text books. We encourage creativity and curiosity in our daily life.
We live in one of the greatest cities in the world, in walking distance to parks, the zoo, museums, and the beach. A former attorney, Anna now stays home with our daughter and loves adventuring every day. We also regularly travel as a family. Every year we take a trip to another country. We enjoy researching before we go, learning the language and traditions, and always read at least one novel set in that country.
Should you choose us to be parents, we want to respect your wishes for contact. We know firsthand the longing of a parent's heart and promise to exchange emails, pictures, and calls. We are open to arranging visits. Regardless of how much or little contact you want, we will always let our child know that you love them. We will tell them what a heroic, selfless choice you made because you love them.
You will always be the one who gave life to this child, the one who carried them under your heart. If you choose us to be parents, you will always be family. You will always have our prayers. You will always be loved. Know that your child would be surrounded by love. Love from our family, our friends, and from you.
We know you are reading this letter because there is something difficult going on in your life. But more importantly, we want you to know that reading this letter tells us that you have an uncommon strength and love.
The scripture verse Jeremiah 29:11 has been a comfort to us. In it, God tells us that He knows well the plans that he has for us: "plans for your welfare, not for you woe. Plans to give you a future full of hope." God speaks to all of us through that verse. He has plans for your welfare and for your hope. Beyond and through the difficulties in this present moment, God's plan is great.
Regardless of whether you choose us as parents, we want you to know that we admire you and that we are praying for you to know and feel God's plan of hope for you.
Matt & Anna