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Ryan & Stephanie
With so many different paths to parenthood, we are thrilled to begin our journey through the choice of adoption. We have so much love for one another, and we can't wait to open our hearts and home to a child. We are so grateful that you are taking the time to read through our profile to get to know us. We pray that you find comfort and peace as you make this decision.
Our Leisure Time
We are a musical family. Ryan serenades the house with classical and jazz piano daily. He is a lifelong student of music and loves sharing his knowledge with others! Stephanie plays ukulele, is learning piano, and often can be found singing catchy tunes. Ryan composes new songs frequently, sometimes even with the help of his students.
We are both lovers of card and board games. A friendly competitive game of cribbage is a favorite pastime of ours. Ryan has created several unique and really fun board games that we love sharing with friends and family. Pictionary is a staple of any family gathering!
On the weekends we enjoy visiting our favorite hiking spots to soak in some natural beauty. Recently this has included creek hiking as a new way to explore the local rivers and creeks. Stephanie loves curling up in a cozy hammock with a can't-put-down book.
A few other hobbies of Stephanie's include gardening, painting, yoga and baking the world's most delicious raspberry bars! Ryan has recently become an avid inline skater, and he loves strategy and tactics in video games.
We are so excited to share all of our favorite activities with a child as well as helping them find their own hobbies and passions!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Ryan About Stephanie: Stephanie is my lifelong best friend; I feel so blessed to spend every day with her! She is easily excitable and lights up with joy over life's small pleasures. Her wit and natural ability to make others laugh never ceases to amaze me.
My wife's heart is so pure; it is gentle, calm and endlessly loving. I admire her dedication to making me feel loved and happy. She displays thoughtfulness when she leaves me love notes and chocolates. Long hugs power our love for each other.
I respect Stephanie for her unwavering support in me. She graciously allows me time to pursue my own interests. I fall in love with Stephanie daily knowing she loves me unconditionally.
Stephanie About Ryan: The first song Ryan ever played for me was "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It couldn't have set a better tone for our relationship.
Ryan is so curious about the world and loves to know how things work. He loves to create – from composing music to designing board games – his imagination never quits. This is what makes him such an incredible teacher! He is patient with his students and finds creative ways to connect and help them learn. Ryan lights the creative spark within me, too.
Ryan is so kindhearted and always anticipates my needs. He is the best storyteller, often bringing me to tears with laughter. Ryan is going to be an amazing father!
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
We love spending time in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In the summer and winter we visit Ryan's grandma, who lives in the foothills near a 160-acre apple orchard. Our favorite tradition is playing mini-golf at a quaint little course in the town of Twain Harte. We also enjoy visiting Pinecrest Lake, which is perfect for camping, fishing, hiking, swimming and watching movies at the outdoor amphitheater under the stars.
Lake Tahoe is another must-visit for us. The smell of the pine trees alone is enough to keep us coming back year after year. Ryan used to spend his summers here with his grandparents when he was young. It was his grandma's most-treasured place on Earth. There are endless hiking and biking trails to keep us entertained for days.
But our absolute favorite destination is Yosemite. It is also the spot where Ryan proposed to Stephanie – along a bend in the river, in the shadow of the Ahwahnee Hotel. The towering granite cliffs and cascading waterfalls captivate our imaginations. The best hiking trail is the Mist Trail – a challenging walk up smooth rock steps with mist floating up from the waterfall ahead. Feeling cocooned in the valley floor by surrounding boulders is like Mother Nature putting you to sleep each night.
Our House and Neighborhood
We feel so blessed to live where we do! Our 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home is located on a golf course along the California Central Coast, and was originally owned by Ryan's grandparents. Three generations of family have made memories in our home, and we are so excited to welcome the fourth! Ryan is an accomplished pianist, so our home is always filled with the sound of music. We love spending time in our family room where we play board games, work on puzzles and have cozy movie nights. Our yard is the perfect place for playing ladder golf, corn hole and taking in stunning sunsets while eating s'mores. Our safe, quiet neighborhood is walking distance from the beach, several playgrounds and an elementary school.
Our coastal area is a wonderland for families. It sits on the edge of a beautiful redwood state park – ideal for hiking, picnics and dips in the creek. We are a short drive from a world-famous aquarium where kids can watch sea otters play, observe sharks swimming through a kelp forest, and interact with sea creatures at the touch pools. Also nearby is an oceanfront amusement park complete with a mini golf course and bowling alley. Throughout the summer the park hosts family-friendly movies and concerts on the beach. During the holiday season, there is an ice-skating rink, a lighted boat parade, and even a holiday train where families can sip spiced cider, sing carols, and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Our Extended Families
Stephanie's mom lives 40 minutes away and loves visiting on weekends. We typically go on hikes or work in the garden. She is a couple years from retirement, and can't wait to get in lots of quality grandchild time! Stephanie's dad and step-mom also live a short drive from us. We like getting together with them for dinner. Dad is already enjoying retired life and looks forward to having a little one around. Stephanie's brother and his wife live a few hours away with their three sons, just outside a national park. Stephanie's sister and husband live in beautiful Washington state - we're so excited to visit!
Ryan's extended family moved to Texas ten years ago. We visit them twice per year, during summer and Christmas. They also come out for a couple weeks each summer. Ryan is very close with his younger sister. They are both super creative and they love making videos, writing or performing songs, or even working on stories. Time with Ryan's family includes fun activities like traveling, visiting the aquarium, taking bike rides and playing board games. His family is full of laughter, as there are several family comedians in the bunch. His family is unique in that they love to plan and are very organized. This allows for consistent expectations and a maximum amount of fun!
Both of our families are completely supportive of our adoption plan. They can't wait for us to become parents and to share in our joy.
From Us to You
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story. While we are over the moon to be on this amazing journey, we realize this may be a very difficult time for you. We hope that throughout this process you realize how special, strong, and truly courageous you are. We hope you find peace with whatever decision you ultimately make.
If we had to choose one word to describe our lives, it would be: CREATE.
Cultivate: We both work in education and love helping others learn. Some of our hobbies include composing and playing music; reading and writing stories; hiking and hammocking; playing and creating board games; and spending time with family, friends and loved ones. We are so excited to share these experiences with our child, but above all, we want to encourage our child to pursue their own unique interests.
Risk: We met by taking a risk - on eHarmony in 2017. We both felt timid about online dating, but we embraced vulnerability, opened our hearts to the unknown, and became lifelong best friends. We've been very happily married since 2019. Our relationship is special in that we find joy and laughter in all that we do. In this next chapter of our lives, we once again find ourselves opening our hearts to the unknown - and we couldn't be more thrilled.
Elevate: In the same way that we support and lift each other up in our marriage, we will do the same for our child. We will guide them in their growth and development to help them become the best they can be. And when they fail, we will be there to encourage them to get up and try again. Our biggest dream for our child is that they dream; that they discover what makes them happy. We will help them pursue and achieve their dreams, whatever they may be.
Adagio: In music, adagio is a tempo indicating that the piece is to be played slowly. As a family, we will appreciate the simple moments in life, such as enjoying nightly family dinners, and spending quality time together. We will count our blessings, give thanks for what we have, and give back to others.
Tell Stories: Creating memories and sharing stories is something that is really important to us. We can't wait to share stories with our child about when we met, the places we traveled, and of their adoption. We hope that through our experiences as a family - such as imaginative play, reading together, traveling to a new place, or discovering a magical spot in nature - our child will come up with their own fun stories to tell.
Entity: We love to create together, play together and laugh together. We are committed to each other, and to putting our marriage first. Once we become a family of three, we look forward to establishing our unique family identity. When we got married, we vowed to allow each other the freedom to be oneself; when we have a child, we vow to do the same, and to love them for who they are.
When we started dating, we knew there was a possibility we would adopt. After almost two years of trying to conceive, we have come to realize that this is where our unique path to parenthood truly begins.
We plan on being very open with our child about their adoption story. We want our child to know that because of their birth mother's love for them, we were given the greatest gift of all. We promise to always speak about you in a supportive and positive light. If you are open to sharing, we would love to get to know you and learn about some of your family traditions. We are committed to sending letters and pictures every year, and are open to discussing other forms of post-adoption contact.
We are SO excited to be first-time parents!
Ryan & Stephanie