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Matt & Jen
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us! We hope that you are able to see the love we have for each other, our families, and our future child. Adoption has always been something that has been on our hearts. We feel called by God to complete our family through adoption and we are so excited to pursue this journey with you!
Why We Chose Adoption
Adoption is something that we have thought about often. We have witnessed close friends and family walk through the adoption journey, and they have greatly impacted us. Our friends that run an orphanage in Uganda strongly influenced our family in our decision to adopt. Another influential family is Jen's sister's, as they adopted two children from the foster care system. We are blessed to be a part of their support system, as we have provided childcare once a month for them over the past five years. In addition, we also volunteer on our church's foster care ministry. We bless foster families with meals, resources, and encouragement. Through all of these encounters, God has been impressing on our hearts to pursue adoption. He has made it very clear to our whole family that the time is now and we are excited to complete our family through adoption!
Our children cannot wait to welcome a new sibling into our family! Maddox is 14, he has a gift of relating to young children and has even gained the nickname of the "Preschool Whisperer." He loves children and hopes to become a teacher in the future. Makai is 12, she is our nurturing encourager. She has such a compassionate heart and loves to serve others. She is very thoughtful and also hopes to be a teacher someday. Our youngest, Kelson is 9 and he is our firecracker. He is witty, loves to play sports, and is a natural born leader. All of our children enjoy playing with the younger neighborhood children and volunteering at our church nursery and preschool class. Our kids are so excited that we are pursuing adoption, they have shared that they would like to adopt children of their own someday!
Our Family Traditions
We celebrate many family traditions. For Halloween, we serve the community at a friend's house, by handing out hot chocolate to trick-or-treaters. Afterwards, we go trick-or-treating as a family and then serve together at the community Harvest Party, hosted by our church. For Thanksgiving, the kids enjoy making crafts with their grandma. Each year they make a gingerbread house with her, before the rest of the extended family comes over for dinner. Every December we bake cut out Christmas cookies and we ring the Salvation Army bell together at our local grocery store. On Christmas day, we stay in our pajamas and have a lazy day together as a family. For New Year's Eve, we plan a fun family party with different games, activities, and fun snacks every hour so that we can make it up until midnight. We enjoy a family vacation to a new destination each year and individual date nights with each of our children. Jen loves to scrapbook all of our adventures!
Addressing Cultural Diversity
If our child should happen to have a heritage different from ours, we want to share that we are excited to begin researching and learning as much as we can about the culture. We believe it is important for our child to know and understand their heritage, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be the ones to teach them.
We plan to address cultural diversity by surrounding ourselves with a loving community of family, friends, and neighbors. We are also part of a church family that has embraced adoption. We will be intentional in celebrating what makes us each unique, as well as reminding all of our children that despite any differences we may have, we also have one very important thing in common— the fact that we were all beautifully created by God who loves us exactly as we are.
We plan to continuously educate ourselves and our children by reading books that discuss cultural diversity. We will attend cultural events to broaden our awareness and understanding. We will make every effort to ensure that all of our children will grow to learn that there is so much beauty in understanding other cultures, and that investing the time and energy to do so will reap a great harvest in learning how to love others to the best of our abilities.
We will be our children's biggest advocates. We will also continue to glean insight from our friends who have adopted transracially as well.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a small town in Northeast Wisconsin. It is a close-knit community with a sought-after school district. There are several parks, hiking trails, and beaches surrounding us. Our town has an annual fall celebration that includes a parade and family fun events. Our extended family enjoys being in the parade together, as part of Jen's family business.
Our home is located in a wooded subdivision on the outskirts of town. We live in a two-story house that has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. We have been blessed with amazing neighbors! There are a lot of young children in our neighborhood. The kids all enjoy playing in our sandbox, on our swing set, and building forts together in the woods. We love to entertain friends and neighbors. Our front yard hosts a lot of mini baseball, kickball, and ultimate frisbee games. While our backyard hosts many neighborhood campfires and barbecues.
Our Extended Families
We live near Jen's family so we are blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with them. We love to fish and boat on her parent's private lake. We also enjoy spending time with Jen's siblings and their families. The cousins always have a fun time together! Some of our favorite memories are the family trips that we have taken with them to Aruba, Gatlinburg, and Wisconsin Dells. Everyone looks forward to our annual Family Fest, which involves games, friendly competition, and a lot of laughter!
Matt's family is spread throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. We enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July with them. The kids always look forward to the annual fireworks show! Every fall, we go to a pumpkin patch together and look forward to the caramel apples.
We also have many friends that we consider family. For the longest time, our children thought that one of those families was related to us because of our close relationship. We host a Gospel Community in our home each week. We eat dinner, study God's word, and serve the community together alongside various families.
All of our friends and family are very excited to welcome our new bundle of joy!
From Us to You
We are so thankful that you have taken time to learn more about us! It's so hard to put into words the respect and gratitude that we have for you. We admire you so much for not only choosing life for your child, but also for selflessly considering adoption. We cannot imagine what a difficult decision this is for you, and we pray that you will have the strength and the courage you need to walk each step of this journey.
We'd love to share our backgrounds with you. We met in college and after dating for a few years, we were married in 2003. Matt has a Bachelor's degree in Education. He has a gift of relating to children. However, he selflessly set aside his career goals early in our marriage, when we moved from a large town in Wisconsin to Jen's small, hometown. Jen had the opportunity to be the CFO of her father and brother's business. She has a Master's degree in Accounting, and this was a perfect match for her. Matt is the Director of Operations at a local travel center and restaurant that Jen's family previously owned. We are both blessed to have flexible hours, that allow us to attend our children's extracurricular activities.
We have always had a heart for kids. We both enjoy volunteering in our church's youth ministry. Matt is the game leader for the AWANA program. Jen teaches Sunday School and as a family we all love to serve together in the nursery. Jen hosts a girl's group in our home each week. This group of sixth grade girls, including our daughter, meet for fellowship and serve the community together. We also helped lead a similar boy's group for several years, when our oldest son was younger. In addition, Matt has enjoyed coaching both of our boys' baseball teams over the years. We have also enjoyed volunteering in their school classrooms.
We love being parents and we are excited to grow our family through adoption! We promise to love your child unconditionally and to support you throughout this journey. We will make sure your child knows that you also love them. We plan to be upfront and honest from the beginning with your child about their adoption. We promise to positively speak about you to your child. We want them to know you and for you to be a part of their life. We are also excited to get to know you more and to establish a relationship. We want you to know that you are loved too. We will share your child's growth and experiences through letters, photos, texts, and emails as often as you would like to receive them. However, we are willing to respect and honor whatever your desires are for the relationship.
Thank you for allowing us to share our hearts with you! Please know that we are praying for you and your sweet baby throughout your pregnancy, that God will fill you with peace in whatever decision you make. Ultimately, we know that you want what is best for your baby, and we pray that you will find us to be all that you hope for your child.
Matt & Jen