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Justin & Stephanie
We want to thank you for taking time to consider us as future parents! We want you to know you are loved and supported no matter where you are in your journey. We acknowledge the courage it takes for you to consider this path. We promise that we will respect you, cherish your child, and love you both without reservation. We are praying for you and your sweet baby and thankful for the possibility to begin this journey together.
Our Leisure Time
In our leisure time together, we often go for walks, bike rides, workout, work on house projects, or try out new restaurants. We really enjoy going on scenic drives in our Colorado mountains and traveling with each other. We make an effort to go on at least one vacation every year and enjoy exploring coffeeshops in new locales. We are both "social introverts," so we tend to be quieter in large groups but are invested in building relationships with others.
Justin is very diligent and numbers-minded, so in his free time, he can often be found working on a spreadsheet to help answer a question or solve a problem. He teaches himself new skills by reading. He volunteers regularly at church, helping run the lights for weekend services. He is a sports fan and enjoys watching football and basketball games. He always looks forward to opportunities to go back to the farm where his family lives, where he knows many of the community members, can see for miles, and can help out on all the farming equipment.
Stephanie really enjoys getting together one-on-one with various friends, going for walks together or grabbing coffee. Doing life together with friends is very important to her. She enjoys being creative and doing arts/crafts, especially watercolor painting, and makes time each week to paint. Playing with children is also one of her favorite things to do, and she enjoys playing with nieces and nephew as well as our friends' kids.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Stephanie About Justin: Two things that have always stood out to me about Justin are his genuine kindness and his generosity. He is quick to offer help whenever he observes a need and truly enjoys helping others. He has taught me how to be more generous and I am excited for him to model these qualities for our future child as well. When I began experiencing Bell's Palsy just after we were married, half of my face was paralyzed. Even though I don't look the same as I used to, and something as simple as smiling can be hard, I believe it's a testament to his love that his feelings toward me never wavered, even though my looks have changed. His unconditional and consistent love, even through challenges, allow me to be free to be myself.
Justin About Stephanie: As I have gotten to know her over the years, I am always blown away by the ways that she supports me in anything that I put my mind to as well as being patient with me when life gets hard. I've also noticed this patience and support as she's taught children during and after this stressful time of Covid. It's been difficult keeping the focus of students while school looks different but Stephanie has made the best of the situation while also supporting the students as they process through their own challenges. Her support also carries over to all of her friends and a common response is "Stephanie makes me feel so cared for."
Adoption in Our Family
While we have several people in our lives who have adopted children or who were adopted themselves, the closest experience we have with adoption is with Stephanie's nephew. He is 3 years old and was adopted at birth, from another state. We have seen Stephanie's sister and brother-in-law pursue a relationship with his birth mother with grace and faithfulness, visiting yearly and sending her photos, Mother's Day cards, and staying in touch. They talk to him about his adoption story and the day they were at the hospital for his birth. Both sides of his family instantly loved him wholeheartedly and there is no distinction between him and family members who are biologically related. Our families have been able to speak openly about the adoption process, which gives us confidence that that openness will continue as we navigate and learn together.
Our House and Neighborhood
We have lived in Colorado for several years and moved into our home in July 2020. It was the first home we purchased together as a couple, and we were looking for enough space to grow a family. We love that our home has multiple bedrooms, a nice-size backyard, and a finished built-in tunnel in the basement designed for kids to play in! In the summertime, we regularly eat meals outside on our back patio or sit on our front patio and chat with our neighbors.
We also love the neighborhood and how friendly everyone has been. There is a neighborhood park just a 2-minute walk down the street, with multiple playground structures, a roller rink, and some soccer fields. There are often kids and families playing there at any given time during the day and our families love to walk there when they visit us. Our neighborhood also has several walking trails that funnel down towards the K-12 school that is nearby. It's about a 10-minute walk from our home and we look forward to getting to walk our children to school someday. Our HOA regularly hosts community events like concerts at the park and food truck rallies to bring neighbors together, which has been a great way for us to meet other families.
Our Extended Families
Our extended families live in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Much of Justin's family farms for a living, so in addition to traveling to Kansas for holidays, we visit every June to help with wheat harvest. Justin drives large pieces of equipment during harvest and enjoys working together with his brother. It will be fun to create family memories during summer days on the farm. Justin's brother and his wife have 2 young daughters and they will be excited to teach a new cousin all about farming. Nearly all of Justin's extended family and their kids live within an hour of the farming community and getting everyone together at Christmastime has created some fun memories, including indoor snowball fights and roller-skating in his aunt and uncle's basement!
Stephanie's parents lived in Colorado and were married for 43 years. Her dad had some long-term health issues, and recently passed away. Her mom still lives in Colorado and is retired. We continue our pattern of seeing her regularly, about once a month, to spend a weekend or celebrate special events together. Stephanie's younger brother recently moved back to Colorado and lives close by. Stephanie's sister and brother-in-law live in Oklahoma along with their son, who is a toddler and is also adopted. Our family all loves him and having a cousin who is also adopted will be a great connection point for them. Playing games, going for walks, and watching movies are favorite family pastimes for us together.
From Us to You
First, we want you to know that we have been praying for you and your child since we started pursuing adoption. We acknowledge that we may not know how you’re feeling right now. But you are loved, cared for, and seen. Our families are excited for us and will wholeheartedly embrace this little one. But not just the child… YOU will be accepted and welcomed by us also. We are committed to staying in touch with our child’s birth parents (should they desire to do so) by sharing photos and updates through emails, phone calls, texts, online photo sharing, and the ability to see each other in person again through future visits as well. We are excited to get to know you and want to support the connection between you and your child.
We want you to know that we truly enjoy doing life with each other. We have been married since 2018 and we often choose to do even simple tasks, like running errands or washing dishes, together. Raising a child will be no different – we will do it together. We are partners in life and are able to talk about decisions together and encourage one another when the other is struggling. We complement each other well and often, a situation that throws one of us for a loop has the other one feeling confident to manage it smoothly. We hold one another up and hold each other in high esteem. We both enjoy learning, and parenting (especially through adoption) will be an opportunity for us to learn together.
Currently, we both work full-time; however, once we are home with the baby, the plan is for Stephanie to transition to being a stay-at-home parent while Justin works. Justin's primary job is with a company located in Kansas, so he works mostly from home. We believe it will be a gift for our family to experience having two parents who are located mostly at home during the day. We want our child to feel connected to both parents.
We both had stable childhoods, where we were given freedom to just be kids and that is our hope for our future children. We want them to be able to learn through play, to have fun experiences, and to introduce them to responsibilities as they grow and become ready for them. We want to take family vacations, allow them to experience different cultures, and teach them how to value those differences. We will encourage them to do well in their education, support their successes, encourage extracurricular activities, and help them explore different experiences in order to find what they love doing. We want to have fun with them, play together, and enjoy who they are becoming. We will also teach them how to be responsible, thoughtful, and caring community members.
A principle that is important to us is the idea of identity and understanding who we are, where we came from, and where we fit in. Therefore, we plan to weave our child's adoption story into their understanding of their identity. There will never be a time where the child doesn't know they're adopted and they will always have access to their birth parents through email, pictures, text, or phone calls. This will enable them to ask questions, understand connections, and better understand where they fit in. In-person visits will help make that relationship feel more real as well. We want our child to know their truth and will share truth with them with grace and love. The topics of adoption and identity will be an ongoing conversation, one that we are learning more about through our own education, and one that we want to be open about with our child so that we can all learn together.
You are very courageous to be considering adoption and we honor and value your bravery. Know that we will support you and your child, whatever you decide, and will continue praying for you both.
Justin & Stephanie
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