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Luke & Cristen
We are beyond excited to become parents through adoption! We cannot thank you enough for taking the time to look at our profile. If you select us, we will unconditionally love your child and do everything we can to foster within them a love for themselves, who they are, and where they come from. We promise to not only love them, but to keep you as a loving and important person in their life and forever a part of our family. We cannot wait to share our love and open our hearts.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
One of Luke's favorite memories of growing up involves vacations that he would take with family each summer. For many years, this would involve packing up the car with camping equipment and traveling West across the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains where they would spend several weeks camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring mountains, streams, rivers, and lakes in the west. For several years, instead of going West, we took a boat up the Mississippi River and camped on beaches each night as we explored and saw a part of the country that most do not have the opportunity to experience! It was all a fantastic adventure to have growing up, and one that we hope to carry on with our family.
Cristen's family took vacations to tropical locations growing up. Her father loves to scuba dive, so there was always a beach and body of water nearby. They have traveled to Disney World, Mexico, and have visited Italy several times to sight see and visit family that live in the town her mother is from. Together, we have been to Disney World several times, including our Honeymoon! We have also begun to celebrate "Christmas in July" with extended family since the weather is more cooperative in July than in December! We look forward every summer to getting together and opening presents in a cabin that we rent, even if it means there is no snow to be found.
Education We will Provide
We are both in education - Cristen in elementary and high school education, and Luke in high school education. Education is something that is very important to us. Both of us were lead to paths that involved going to college after high school, Cristen has a degree in Sociology and is working on a second degree in Communication/Theater Education. Luke has a degree in Music Education and a Masters's Degree in Choral Conducting. While that was the path that was suitable for us, we both believe that it is important to find and develop something that you are passionate about, and then use that drive to pursuit whatever path you need to reach the goal. We both work with many young people to help find what that passion is, and help them to take the next steps they need in order to reach it. For some that is college, others may need vocational training or a trade school. In any case, we both believe that finding something you love to do is the most important step. We will encourage our child to find, nurture, and develop this passion and help them every step of the way as they work towards, and reach their dreams.
How We Met
We met in 2001 in college. Cristen was a freshman performing in a musical that Luke, a sophomore, came to watch a mutual friend who was also in the show. When Cristen walked out on stage, Luke told a friend watching the show with him that he would put a ring on her finger. After our first date, Cristen went home to her roommate and told her "I don't know how I know this, but I'm going to marry him."
We have so much fun talking and spending time together that we have been together ever since that first date. Not only do we have a deep love and respect for each other, but we also like each other and genuinely enjoy one another's company. There is nobody that either of us would rather spend time with - we are very much best friends. Through all of our life's journey, our ups and downs, so far, we have been very fortunate to have each other alongside to share the load. There isn't anyone else we would choose to take on the blessing, challenge, and privilege of parenthood with!
Our Extended Families
We are both very close to both our immediate and extended families. Luke has two younger sisters and Cristen has one younger sister. Between both sides of the family, we have 10 nieces and nephews that are under the age of 10! Everyone is thrilled to welcome a new member of the family, and our child will have plenty of cousins to play with. Nearly everyone in both our families are teachers, so we are able to get together for holidays and long visits over the summers.
We love to spend our time eating, laughing, and spending time together whenever we can. We have family members from Puerto Rico and Peru, Italy, and Afghanistan, so there are many different languages, holidays, celebrations, and backgrounds that make up our family time together. When we get together, we like to play board games, typically long into the night after we should have gone to bed! We love to eat as a family and spend almost every weekend gathered together around someone's table.
Family is extremely important to both of us, and we are very fortunate to have such a large, diverse, supportive family to support us on this journey!
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a large, diverse city in northern Iowa. Although it is a large metropolitan area, it is filled with many smaller, historic neighborhoods. We purchased an older house in one of these neighborhoods a couple years ago and have been working to make it our home! It was built in 1921 and is filled with beautiful hardwood floors, a fireplace we love to gather around in the winter, and a large fenced in backyard that we grill and play in during the warmer months. Our home has three bedrooms, one for the two of us, one that we have setup as an office, and one that is already starting to become our nursery! Our neighborhood is made up wonderful old houses on a tree lined, shady street. Several times during the summer, our neighbors block off the street to have a neighborhood block party where everyone brings food to share and kids gather to play together in the street. We also celebrate Christmas each year together as a neighborhood after spending a Saturday decorating the street. We have a wonderful Elementary school within walking distance of our house, and the local middle school and high school are also both close enough to walk to. We have access to rivers, trails, restaurants, theaters, sporting events, and other entertainment throughout the year. We are very fortunate to live in such a diverse area with so much to do and so much to explore!
From Us to You
Thank you for taking the time to look at our profile to learn more about us. First and foremost, please know you are loved. We cannot imagine all the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing but know that we recognize it is all surrounded WITH, and BY, love. We promise to raise your child in a loving environment that honors the loving and selfless decision you have made for them.
We have tried to have children of our own for many years, but have been unable to conceive biological children. While this has been a difficult journey for us, we are both excited to be pursuing adoption to complete our family. It will be a wonderful experience and we cannot wait to share all the love we have in our hearts with a child.
We met in college twenty years ago while both studying music and theater. In some of our earliest conversations, we started to talk and make plans for a future family. While we always anticipated biological children, we also acknowledged the possibility and desire to consider adoption as a way to complete our family. We now know that this is the perfect way to achieve this goal we have always had for ourselves. We have been married for twelve years, during which time we have achieved many of the educational and professional goals that we have set for ourselves. We are now in a place where we can begin the adoption journey, which is where we find ourselves at currently.
As we are both involved in teaching and education, we highly value the importance of education for our future child. We are committed to helping them pursue their education and passions, and to raise them to be motivated, disciplined, and respectful no matter what path they choose to follow. Our extended families are both extremely close-knit, and very excited to welcome a new member to the family. They will grow up with loving Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins that will encourage and support them as they develop and grow. We are excited to share with them the same family activities and traditions that we both enjoyed growing up; vacations, family dinners, holidays, and other joy-filled activities.
We are both looking forward to incorporating you into our family as well. We want you to know you have our utmost love and respect and would love for you to become a part of our family if that is what you would like as well. No matter what, we promise to keep you updated of your child's growth, experiences, and other milestones through photographs and letters if you desire. We will always be open and honest when the subject of adoption comes up. We will ensure that your child knows how much you love and want the best for them, and how that love is reflected in the difficult, loving decision you have made for them and their future.
We promise to parent your child with love, compassion, patience, and grace. We will do our best to teach them to love, respect, and be proud of themselves no matter who they are, or what path they choose to follow. We will always encourage them to do their best and make themselves, and you, proud.
Thank you for considering us as parents for your child. We are looking forward to making our family complete through adoption. We will provide all the love and support that any family or child can hope for. Please know that while you are considering this difficult decision for your child, we will hold you in our thoughts and prayers as you consider all of the possibilities ahead of you. Again, please know how much unconditional love we will give to your child, and you.
Luke & Cristen