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Matt & Karen
We would like to thank you for taking a few moments to look at our profile and getting to know us. We know this is a difficult decision for you and appreciate that you are considering letting us play a part in your life's story. We are a fun loving, creative couple who are looking forward to building a family that we can enjoy life to the fullest with.
Travel is deeply ingrained into who we are. From an early age, Matt did a lot of travelling due to his father working for the airlines. When we met, Karen had rarely ever travelled outside of Southern California (where she grew up). Since then we have had the privilege to travel the world and experience many different cultures. For us, travelling is not about sitting on a beach somewhere, it is going places to experience new things - people, culture, food, nature, history. Travelling has given us a much wider perspective of the world which has helped us to life a full and enjoyable life. Our favorite vacation was hands down a safari in South Africa. For us nature lovers it was the best place on earth. We basically saw the cast of the Lion King playing out right in front of us. We also came across many very special moments and encounters (including Karen kissing a hippo....). This trip was also especially important to us because we were able to bring Matt's mom, who is the reason Matt is so obsessed with nature. She was battling cancer at the time, and this trip was the last that she was able to take with us - so it will always have a very special place in our hearts. We look forward to being able to share these gifts and experiences with our future children.
Why We Chose Adoption
As silly as it sounds, we have always had a perfectly aligned vision for the future. It was the "typical" house with a white picket fence, two kids (boy and girl) and two dogs vision. After we got married, we made a conscious decision to stop using protection and "let it happen when it happens!" Until then we agreed that we would focus on building our careers, travelling the world and enjoying life. After 5-6 years went by (and they went by quickly!) we realized that "it" wasn't happening on its own as it should. We then tried really hard for two years trying every trick in the book. There were thermometers, calendars, books, acupuncture, lab tests, doctors, and of course a million "this worked for us" stories from our friends and family. Needless to say, as the time went on, the stress went up. Finally we decided to stop and switch gears to IVF treatments. During the first round our chances of success was around 90% per the doctor, round two went to 30%, round three to 1%. We then pulled the plug, exhausted from the years of built up stress and disappointment. This really was the hardest emotional rollercoaster of our lives. After two years of talking to various folks and education, we have now arrived at adoption. Not as a last choice, but rather as the blessing which has renewed our outlook for the future, and given us hope that one day we may be called Mom and Dad.
We are fortunate enough to have found many things that we are passionate about in life. We love to experience new places, new people, cultures and traditions. Our favorite thing to do when we travel is to experience nature. We have taken many trips to find animals in their natural habitats and visit amazing natural wonders of the world. Matt enjoys being an amateur photographer and taking pictures of our experiences.
When we are not traveling, Matt spends a lot of his time in his workshop. He is very hands on and enjoys woodworking, house renovations and creating holiday decorations. We recently discovered that we can share the holiday decoration making as a couple. Matt cuts out the decorations and Karen enjoys painting them.
Karen enjoys creating things in the kitchen, from baking holiday treats to trying out new recipes for dinner. Karen's dream job would be to open a dog bakery one day (combining her passions of baking and dogs).
Some of our other passions include our pets, camping, watching sports (football and hockey) and spending time with our friends/family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Southern California. After getting married we were fortunate enough to be able to live with Matt's parents for a couple years to save money to buy our own home. We ended up purchasing a four bedroom, three bathroom house. It is way too much space for just the two of us - we purchased it because we were ready to start a family and grow into the house. The house is in a very nice quiet suburb which is extremely family friendly. There are a lot of parks, hiking trails, good schools, great library and many other amenities which drew us to the area.
When we were looking for a home Matt insisted that we not even see any house with a pool ... he HATED the upkeep that comes along with having a pool (having endured the pool chores growing up). One weekend Karen wavered and made the case that a pool would be beneficial and a great asset for our future children. Long story short, we saw our house that weekend (the one weekend that we wavered and ended up with a pool. To Matt's surprise, we get a lot of use out of the pool with our friends and their children (he loves it as well). We look forward to the day where we can make memories in it with our family.
In addition to our local community, we have Disneyland, fantastic beaches and mountains with snow in the winter all within an hour drive!
Our Extended Families
Our extended families are very important to us and play a large role in our lives.
Matt was originally raised in New York where his grandparents moved into the house next to his growing up. Matt's family was small but very close with one another, his parents, grandparents and brother, Tim. When it came time to go to college, Matt decided to go to California for college. Over the course of several years all of the pieces of his family migrated out here with him. Even the grandparents made the move and purchased (again) the house next to his parents! We see them every week and are very close with one another. Matt's brother even came out to California for school and now lives less than an hour away.
Karen's family lives approximately an hour south from us. Karen has a very large family with all sorts of aunts, uncles, cousins, and fake "aunts and uncles" all living in close proximity to one another. Growing up Karen called everyone "auntie and uncle", so when it came time for Matt to meet them he had a super hard time figuring out who the real aunts and uncles were! Karen's sister lives an hour away from us, we frequently get together to spend time with her children - Disneyland is a crowd pleaser!
From Us to You
Thank you again for taking a moment to look at our profile. It means the world to us that you would even consider including us as part of your life's story by allowing us to raise and love your child.
First and foremost, we would like to acknowledge that we understand what a difficult decision this must be for you. We imagine that it must take an immense amount of strength and faith in order for you to make the decision to consider placing your baby for adoption. Whatever the reasons are behind your decision, we think it is important for you to know that we view our role in adoption is not to just care for the child, but it is also to ensure that you are included in the process and can have the type of relationship with us that you desire. We will absolutely send letters and pictures periodically so you can see how the child is progressing. We are open to all types of communication - texts, emails, picture sharing sites, etc. Please let us know what kind of relationship you would like to have and we will do our absolute best to exceed your expectations.
We have been married for 12 years now, and have had a fun, loving and adventurous marriage together. For quite some time now we have both felt that something has been missing deep down inside of our life together. When we discovered our challenge of infertility, we initially tried to fill this void with "things" like taking more and more trips, spending more time with friends and family, and undertaking more projects around the house. We finally came to the realization that this hole inside of us was not going to be filled by "things." We have another 50 - 60 years in this life ... we couldn't possibly imagine going through it feeling like this. We are both missing what it means to be called Mom and Dad. For us its more than just soccer practices and getting good grades in school. It's creating a family. As cheesy as it sounds - it's the difference between having a house and a home. It's about having more to talk about over the dinner table, laughing, helping them grow, watching their success and failures.
We've spent the time to get to know one another over the past 12 years, build our careers and see the world. Our foundation is strong. We need your help to build our home upon the foundation. We have been able to accomplish much in this life together, not being able to build our family together has been devastating. We have never had to rely on the kindness of strangers for help before, but here we are. With arguably the most important aspect of our lives.
We have spent a long time trying to prepare this profile and the pictures within it. However we are really struggling with trying to convey who we are as people to you through written text. Can the essence of someone and their suitability to raise your child really be figured out through a written survey? If you are even the slightest bit interested in us, we encourage you to watch our video and arrange for a phone call with us. We would love to talk to you and help you get a better sense of who we are.
Thank you again for considering adoption. Regardless if you choose us or not, please know that we truly appreciate what you are considering doing. If it does not help us build a family, it will help another deserving family - which is an amazing gift you can give.
Matt & Karen