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Sebastian & Jen
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our profile and meet our growing family. We made a promise to each other to be completely ourselves throughout this process and have worked hard to give you a glimpse of our life, just as we are. We hope that our love for each other shines through! Our hearts are open and we look forward to this journey together!
Why We Chose Adoption
When we married in 2015, we knew that we wanted to have a family. Adoption was a part of the discussion from the start. We both have first cousins who are adopted, and we believe that adoption is a beautiful and important way to build families.
We were blessed to get pregnant quickly and have our son, Hank, in 2017. Surprise, 8 months later we were pregnant again, and our daughter, Anna Joan, entered our lives! It was a whirlwind! We loved being parents and, despite being up to our eyeballs in diapers and toddler toys, we knew we wanted to continue to grow our family.
Trying to have a third child naturally was very difficult for us. We lost a baby in January of 2020 and a daughter, who was Downs Syndrome positive, in July. After these difficult and painful losses, we decided the time was right to more actively consider adoption.
We have made the space in our hearts and our home for more children, and the more we have learned about adoption, the more confident we are that it is a good fit for our family. We are in awe of the special bond already formed in our hearts with you and mothers like you who can love so deeply and give so generously to families like ours.
Our Family Traditions
We both come from families with many special traditions. Since getting married and starting a family we have incorporated many of them into our daily lives and special celebrations and have even started some traditions of our own, just the four of us! Jen grew up in a large Italian-Portuguese family that embraced many cultural traditions. One special tradition has always been the celebration of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Each year Jen's family shops and prepares a special Christmas Eve dinner the same way her grandparents did 70 years ago! Although these days, it takes some coaxing to get all of the young cousins to try squid and scallops. We attend church together, listen to Christmas music, and open gifts that night with everyone at Gigi and Papaw's house. Sebastian's family is of Irish and Italian background. His parents prepare Hoppin' John, a traditional meal for New Years. One lucky family member will find a penny hidden in his dish bringing prosperity for the new year. On a more regular basis, we enjoy Pizza Friday, a throwback to Sebastian's childhood and use a special birthday plate each time someone celebrates a birthday. Our little family of four has built some traditions of our own as well. We love having "Movie Night" together where we turn off all the lights and eat snacks on our trays. Hank and AJ love to yell "movie night" to start the festivities.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Jen About Sebastian: Sebastian is the best person I know. He grew up playing sports with his brothers and "make believe" with his sisters. He is the perfect mix of strong and sensitive – a steady, calm, and respectful man. Anyone who knows Sebastian would tell you first that he's kind. He cares about other people. He goes out of his way to help everyone, whether that involves simply being a good listener or buying a meal for someone in need. His coworkers know that he is hardworking and isn't afraid to ask for help. He's trustworthy. Each of these qualities helps to make him a wonderful partner and father. Sebastian is also musical and very silly. He has been singing and playing piano with our children since birth, and they both love having dance parties with Dad.
Sebastian About Jen: Jen has many qualities that I absolutely love about her. She is a deeply caring person, and her words and actions consistently show this. I can think of many times where she's either been called on by a friend or initiated action when she knew she could help someone. She'll stop at nothing to make it happen. Everyone that knows her would say the same thing. Jen is also very funny and can relate to people very easily. One reason for this is her ability to truly listen to others. We have deep, mutual respect for each other and that is another reason our bond is so strong.
Our House and Neighborhood
Welcome to our home! We live in a mid-sized city about two hours from Atlanta – a friendly town that feels small but has lots of big-city amenities. Our neighborhood is just outside of downtown. It's filled with historic homes and diverse, active, young families. Kids in our area walk to the neighborhood elementary school during the week and visit its playground on weekends. The school playground is just one of many great play spaces nearby. We have been lucky to visit almost all of them during the pandemic. Hiking at the Botanical Gardens is our favorite outdoor activity.
Our city also boasts museums, historical sites, and a children's science center. The theater puts on many children's shows, and there is a farmer's market every Saturday. The kids loved seeing their first drive-in movie downtown this winter! Because Atlanta is just a couple hours away, we also visit often and have access to the zoo, aquarium, and other fun activities!
Our house itself has plenty of space for our children to play and be active. When the pandemic moved preschool home, Jen was able to teach the kids each day, doing crafts and learning letters in the kitchen and playroom. The kids have been able to play with a few close friends in the driveway, where they are becoming experts at bike and scooter, and our dog patrols the yard. We might be a little bit messy at times – but we live here, and we have lots of fun doing it!
Our Extended Families
We both come from large and close-knit families, and honestly, they are what make us great! We truly value our family, and name our siblings and parents among our best friends. We are lucky that both sets of grandparents and many aunts, uncles, and cousins live nearby in Atlanta. We are able to visit them often, and they are active in our children's lives. In fact, Hank and AJ would rather visit their grandparents and cousins than do just about anything else. They love to play piano with Grandma, eat donuts with Papa, build forts with Gigi, and hear Papaw tell stories. It is wonderful to watch them sit and play with our old childhood toys and make up games with their cousins. Because Sebastian and Jen's brother went to school together, our parents have known each other for years and enjoy being together. Whenever our extended family is together, we usually have members from both sides, and a very large, over-the-top meal. Our families both love to cook and eat. We watch football, play outside, and visit fun sites around Atlanta together. Both Jen and Sebastian's families take a family trip each year! We love going to the beach! During the pandemic Hank did his first solo sleepover at Grandma's. It was his idea, and off he went – no fear. Our families are very supportive and excited about our plan to adopt, and we are grateful to be able to welcome a baby into a big, loving group!
From Us to You
We don't know how to begin without first thanking you -- for your strength, for your heart, for your openness in choosing adoption. We are so respectful of and deeply grateful for that choice and all that came before and will come after. If our role in that journey is nothing more than your reading of this profile, we want you to know this: You have support beyond measure! We are one of so many families ready and willing to share our lives and our love with you and your baby. We hope you can feel that support and that meeting our family through this profile helps guide you to the right adoption opportunity. We are immensely thankful for you and your story.
The beginning of our story took place at "the singles' table" at a mutual friend's wedding. At the time, Sebastian had been working in finance and Jen was teaching high school Spanish. We began talking, became friends, and, in no time at all, were a couple. While dating, we loved taking trips together, running, and being with our friends and family. It was an easy and fun courtship - it just seemed to fit. In 2015 we planned a low-key, family-only, elopement because we just wanted to be together without all the fuss. It was the calmest day of our lives!
Our journey as parents began in 2017, a little more than a year after getting married, with the arrival of our son, Hank. Despite having many nieces and nephews, we were unprepared for the total and complete way that being parents would change our lives. Hank and Anna Joan made our hearts grow and filled them with great joy! They also created a great desire and sense of responsibility within us to do right and teach them right. Yes, sometimes we still get it wrong. But, simply by their existence, they have made us more patient, more kind, more eager to serve each other. They have strengthened the already strong relationship between us as spouses. They've made us a better team.
Being parents has also made us more resolved in our values as a family as we strive to raise children with kind hearts. Jen's background in Spanish and our mutual love for travel were fueled by our need to expose Hank and AJ to the world around them; to have them know and appreciate different cultures, races, and religious experiences; and to celebrate what makes people different and the same.
Parenting, perhaps more than anything, has been a lesson for us in unconditional love. We support who our kids are as individuals and are so excited to watch them grow and develop their unique and special personalities. We make every effort to create a safe and secure environment where they can flourish and be who God made them to be. They know that they can tell us when they make mistakes, are unhappy, or are in need of help - just as we can share moments of joy.
When we found ourselves struggling to grow our family in 2020, it was easy to come to adoption in part because of the many ways our children helped us grow and love as individuals. We also know from our personal experience that adoption is a beautiful way to make a family what it is supposed to be. We are so excited to have another child and experience wonderful moments as parents, children, and siblings. We have abundant love to give.
We are in awe of the choice you have made to consider adoption. We support you and promise to make the same decision you have made today every day going forward - to do what is in the best interest of our child. This means that we welcome you and your love into our lives, just as we welcome your child into our family. We promise to speak lovingly of you; to openly communicate with emails, pictures, and special keepsakes from your child's life; and to make arrangements for visits when the time is right. We look forward to meeting you and to building a healthy relationship together.
Sebastian & Jen