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Mark & Caitlin
As you consider potential adoptive parents for your child, we are so grateful to be among those you're learning more about. We cannot imagine what you must be feeling, but you can be confident we would make wonderful parents. We are here to pour on the love, to teach and play, to support and strengthen, and to listen with open hearts. Thank you, and we look forward to this journey together.
Our Life Priorities
In addition to Mark's full-time career as a high school teacher, he also coaches the girls' varsity basketball team. Ever since he graduated high school himself, Mark returned year after year first as a volunteer coach and then as lead coach, and has had his hand in the game for 20 years now. Caitlin puts effort into getting to know each of the players and their parents, and shows her support at all their home games (and some away ones). We've chaperoned the team at their annual winter tournaments the last 2 years in a row, where the girls nicknamed Caitlin their "team mom". Giving back to the community and working with kids and young adults alike gives us both joy and purpose, and we cherish the relationships we're building with these bright, capable young people.
Aside from our careers, we value a balanced active lifestyle where we have plenty of opportunities to be outside in nature, and where we can take a break from technology. We don't have our phones out during meals, and weekends are spent off our computers. It's important to feel a connection to our surroundings and take pride in conserving that which cannot be replaced or replicated. We value memories over pictures (although we'll still make sure to capture milestones and important moments). We'd much rather watch a sunset than film one!
Our hope is to share these values with our child, as we continue to learn what's important in life as a family.
Adoption in Our Family
During the summer of 2019 we joyfully welcomed our nephew, via adoption, into the family! Caitlin's younger sister and her husband adopted their son with the help of American Adoptions, and it was such a meaningful experience to be a part of. As luck would have it, the birth mother lived only a couple of hours' drive away and was very welcoming for our family to visit the same day he was born. We were able to meet both her and the birth father, as well as their parents, and we got to hold our nephew, Theodore, for the first time. This memory will always be a special one in our hearts, and it is an absolute joy watching him as he continues to grow and show off his personality.
In turn, Caitlin's sister and brother-in-law have been especially supportive of our own path to parenthood, and Theo will be very lucky to share a special cousin bond with our little one as they grow up together. Both of us see the blessing in having siblings who've experienced and celebrated adoption so recently, in that they can share with us advice, guidance, and encouragement along the way!
Fun Facts About Us:
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a beautiful suburb in Washington state with quick access to city life (restaurants, theater, sports) and country charm (farms, pumpkin patches, and lots of trees!).
We bought our first house at the end of 2019 and moved in January of 2020. Our house has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large, open kitchen, and lots of natural light. The main level has an open floor plan with sight lines from the kitchen into the living room and dining space, plus a room that closes off with a huge sliding barn door that showcases Mark's mom's piano (we have photos of a very young Mark sitting on the bench when he was little!). Our backyard is fenced off with a view of a small lake behind our house, peeking through the trees.
We live towards the end of a cul-de-sac that culminates in a round-a-bout where our neighbors and their kids frequently come outside and gather when the weather cooperates (and sometimes even when it doesn't). Snow days turn the hill we’re situated at the top of into a great sledding zone. There are about 20 other families in our neighborhood with plenty of little kids to play with, as well as older ones who already babysit. There’s a playground, skate park, and walking trails within a block of our neighborhood. We're also within walking distance of both the elementary school and the high school our child will eventually attend!
Our Extended Families
Family is our number one, and we're so lucky to live in the same area as our parents and siblings!
Mark is an only child. We have dinner with his dad every few weeks, and Mark plays golf with him often in the summer. Mark’s mom passed away in August 2019, and we're looking forward to sharing photos and memories of her with our child as they grow up.
Caitlin's parents have a cozy, peaceful island home just a ferry-ride away where the family loves to gather all year round. They have a huge garden with a tree swing, and we visit often in summer where we love being out on the water or hiking through the woods. We also spend every Christmas there together, where we still all wear matching pajamas and bake way too many cookies.
Caitlin's two sisters are both married and already have little ones who can't wait to have another cousin to play with! One of our nephews was adopted into the family by Caitlin’s younger sister and her husband. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of, and something the whole family welcomed with open arms. When we told our family we'd decided to also adopt, they were overjoyed and ready to share in our excitement right away!
The support we’ve already begun to receive from friends and family alike has been overwhelming. Along with us, they look forward to welcoming another child into this growing, loving group.
From Us to You
We can only begin by first saying how immensely grateful we are for your part in this journey. Adopting a child would be the most exciting event we could imagine in our lives, and you are helping us make it happen. Starting our family and raising children has been a topic of conversation many, many times over meals or on long walks through our neighborhood. We have arrived at a place now where we are more than ready to open our hearts, our arms, and our home to the child that will help us realize the gift of becoming someone's parents.
We have chosen to adopt because we want to be parents, and we have so much to offer in the desire to raise a well-rounded child. We want to raise a child through all of life's phases, providing as many opportunities as we can to show them all the love we have to give. We know in our hearts that what matters is how we adapt when things don't quite go as planned. It's not so much about how or what it took to get here, but recognizing that we're here now, with the committed intention of starting a family of our own. We will give our child the opportunity to be welcomed with open arms into the life we have to give. We know our child will be welcomed into a family, a neighborhood, and a community that is so excited to embrace a new member of our family. We can’t wait to become someone's mom and dad!
We first met online and began dating in early 2017. Caitlin came across Mark's profile on a dating app and several things about him caught her eye, prompting her to throw caution to the wind and send him a message first. Right away we discovered we are both very tall, we grew up within a few miles of one another, we went to the same college, and each of us has been married once before. After dating for 1 year we got engaged, and then 5 months later we eloped in the summer of 2018 in an outdoor tree-house ceremony with only our immediate family attending.
The area we live in is ideal for raising a family - we are close to the ocean, to mountains, and to lakes. In one direction, it's a short drive to the vibrant, bustling oceanfront city with museums, theaters, restaurants, and dozens of fun neighborhoods and parks to explore. In the opposite direction, our home is also closely situated to a quieter way of life with rolling countryside, horses, and farmland. Where we live reflects the lifestyle we both value - a mix of laid-back charm with endless opportunity to try new things, if the mood strikes. Our house is just waiting for a child to fill it with play and laughter, and probably a few mismatched socks.
We know what it's like to struggle with decisions that are life changing. We cannot imagine what you are going through, however, we are so empathetic towards the experience of what you must be feeling. We look forward to building a bridge with you in sharing updates through photos, emails, and letters over the years. How our family came to be is something we'll openly talk about with our child from the beginning, and we look forward to reading stories at bedtime about how special it is to be adopted. Your role in this will always be celebrated and appreciated, and we will always speak highly of you, with care and respect.
Thank you for considering us as potential parents for your child, to raise it as our own with unconditional love, comforting safety, calming security, new opportunities, healthy boundaries, and lots of belly laughs. Game and popcorn movie nights, dance parties in the kitchen, family camping weekends, road trips, Saturday morning waffles with messy hair and rumpled pajamas are what we're dreaming of!
With hope and gratitude,
Mark & Caitlin
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