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Joe & Jessica
Hello - it is so nice to meet you! We are Joe and Jessica. Thank you for letting us introduce ourselves to you. We admire your courage in considering adoption and working through very difficult decisions for yourself and your child. We are honored that you would take the time to get to know us a little.
How We Met
When the eHarmony commercial comes on, we smile. That is how we met!
While dating, Minneapolis became our halfway meeting spot, as Joe drove south from North Dakota and Jessica came north from Iowa. It wasn’t long until we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Many hours were spent on Skype and the phone. Being hundreds of miles apart, each good-bye became more painful. Job hunting commenced for both of us. After several months, Joe was hired to a job in Iowa and we started to plan a wedding. Married since 2017, we love each other more now than we did on that very special day.
Minneapolis remains a special place for us, full of many celebrated memories. We look forward to being able to take the child to visit these places – and more – and share them as a family. We want to experience baseball games together, listening to the sounds of the organ and smelling the hot dogs. Play time at the amusement park in the Mall of America will definitely include mini-golf. We will take the train to visit city landmarks and museums, sharing our memories and making new ones.
We want to celebrate our family's adoption story. We chose to pursue adoption after finding we were unable to conceive. Adoption is not our second choice; it is an amazing (a second chance) opportunity to grow our family. The discussion of adoption is one we think changes with the child’s age; always focused on the message of love that adoption is.
This child will be fully part of our family. We are grateful to have the support of family and friends in embracing adoption as our way of growing our family. Adoption has a special place in our family. Both Joe and Jessica have family who were adopted (including those of different races) and others who are proud adoptive parents. We know that the child will be welcomed with open arms. There are some excellent children's books focused on positive adoption discussions at age-appropriate levels. We think these would be good conversational tools to have honest and timely discussions. We can write our own adoption story together as a family. We want this to include the loving decision made by the child's birth parents.
We have a saying, Better Together, developed from our belief that we are better together, as a family no matter what life brings. We dream of adding a child into our family and supporting their hopes, gifts, and dreams. Intentionally celebrating special moments in life, the gift of time together as a family is something we will treasure. Baseball’s opening day means grilling and tossing the ball around for the dog. The greatest gift of birthday celebrations is time with friends and family. Friends find a spot on the porch and talk for hours. Game nights are loud with laughter, as Scrabble, Monopoly, Jenga and other games are played. Friends come over with their little ones for pumpkin painting, family brings their lawn chairs for backyard bonfires, we gather into the living room to share family songs and stories. Shelves are full of good books on many different subjects, and we never run out of things to talk about and share. Striving to maintain a good work and life balance, Joe and Jessica set aside time to serve at church, teaching middle school students. Both of us enjoy traveling. Joe looks forward to feeling the energetic pace of large cities. Jessica loves the mountains or the ocean, where she can take pictures and see stars. We look forward to sharing all of this with a child. As the child grows and develops their own interests, we look forward to adding these into our life.
Our Extended Families
Family is foundational, a place to find support and encouragement. We can be loud. We can annoy each other. We love each other. We are there for each other. Our families are very excited about adoption. We both have family members who have been adopted or are adoptive parents. They are all ready to welcome a child with open arms and hearts. Between regular visits with Joe’s mom and dad in Minnesota, we Skype to stay connected. Joe’s proud of his parents’ examples of diligence, hard work, perseverance, and caring.Joe’s extended family is in North Dakota and Minnesota. With Joe’s Norwegian and German heritage, we celebrate Christmas by making lefse together. Football games are discussed by Joe and his dad and watched together when possible. Annual reunions are held at the family farm.
Living in the same town as Joe and Jessica, Jessica’s parents value caring for others, hard work and hospitality. Jessica has strong ties to her family in Ohio and Kentucky. Music, books and being active in church are all part of Jessica’s Appalachian heritage. When visiting Jessica’s family, joining the “cousin breakfasts” helps to keep strong connections. Jessica’s mother is very excited to be caring for the baby when Jessica and Joe return to work. Jessica’s childhood friend is like a sister. She and her family are a big part of our life, and we love being Aunt Jessica and Uncle Joe to their son. Our families are a blessing.
Our House and Neighborhood
On nice summer days, with open windows, we hear neighbors in their yard and children playing up and down the sidewalk. Greeting each other across yards, neighbors enjoy catching up with each other. Our front sidewalk is often busy with strollers, scooters, bicycles, and neighbors out walking their dogs. Nearby is a large park with a nice playground, along with the city’s aquatic center, field and walking trails, and duck pond.
We want our home to feel welcoming. The living room, dining room and kitchen are on the main floor. Upstairs are two bedrooms and Joe’s office. A large attic and basement provide storage areas. The fenced yard shows Jessica’s love of growing things. Backyard bonfires are the spot for many roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. The porch swing on the large screened-in porch is a relaxing spot for conversations and reading books. Jessica’s favorite rooms are the kitchen and dining room. She loves to cook for and with others, then watch the chairs around the dining room table fill up with family and friends. Joe’s favorite room is the living room. He likes how so much can be done there, watching TV, playing games, taking naps, and welcoming visiting friends.
Our town has many activities for children, such as art classes and sports camps. There are many different opportunities to volunteer, share, and celebrate with our neighbors. A presidential library is nearby, along with a major university where there are always different shows, festivals, and sports activities.
From Us to You
This feels like such an odd way to introduce ourselves to you. But that does not change how pleased we are to have this opportunity! Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We hope it resonates with you and encourages you.
In 2015, Jessica and Joe connected on eHarmony. It didn’t take us long to determine our relationship was (and is) special. But Joe was in North Dakota and Jessica was in Iowa. Though grateful for Skype video calls, being apart became too painful and we knew we needed to be together. Joe found a job in Iowa, and in 2017 we celebrated our wedding surrounded by family and friends.
Since then, we have settled into our home (with a sweet fuzzy pup named Eloise). Jessica has turned her attention to the yard, creating a garden of flowers and vegetables. Joe finished his MBA in May, and we are excited to celebrate this achievement. We have set out to create a home which welcomes; where if the walls could talk, they would tell stories of love, laughter, and constant support. Jessica can be heard singing to herself as Joe checks food on the grill, the aroma wafting across the yard. We sit on the porch swing and catch up on the events of the day.
We had planned on adding a baby to our family biologically, but after time and medical procedures, we realized that wasn’t going to occur. It hurt, and we grieved. God’s plan is not ours though. We see the path taking unexpected twists and turns, but when we look back, those unplanned routes can lead to the most unexpected blessings. Adoption is that for us, a path we didn’t expect. This is not a second choice; it is a remarkable opportunity.
Adoption is something we approach with hope and excitement. At the same time, we want to be sensitive to your feelings and decisions. We recognize these are weighty and difficult choices. Thank you for considering adoption. We hope to have an open adoption plan, where photos and letters can be shared with you. If you would be comfortable telling us about your traditions and culture, we would like to honor those as well. Visits can certainly be discussed. We would be delighted to meet you, but also understand if that isn't something you can do. We would like you to know that we are praying for you.
We pledge to do our best as parents. Bound together by love, and living a life rooted in faith, we will do our utmost to provide a loving, stable, and safe environment where creativity is encouraged, learning occurs, and a solid foundation for life is provided. Our families are ready to welcome a child with great love and enthusiasm. With family members and friends who are parents of adopted children, or are adopted themselves, we can promise the support of family and friends who are anticipating a child with us.
We are ready to be parents at a moment's notice or with time to plan, so don't worry or hesitate even if you are late into your pregnancy. We have a plan, and our work and life are flexible. Thank you for visiting with us and taking a look into our lives.
We hope to meet you soon.
Joe & Jessica