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Dan & Ashley
We feel so fortunate that adoption is an option for us to expand our family! We have so very much tenderness, patience, and love to share. Our home is filled with giggling, pets, and outdoor activities which we so very much want to share with another child. We would be deeply honored for you to consider us as parents for your child.
Why We Chose Adoption
We have one child, a 10-year-old, witty little boy name Aaden who adores cats, soccer, and challenging his friends to duels in Fortnite.
We have been trying for more than three years to have another baby without success. We've gone through invasive, stressful, time-consuming fertility procedures with no luck conceiving on our own. After many tears and crushed hopes we started having heart-to-heart talks where we considered that our fate was to not have another baby. However, we whole-heartedly feel like someone is missing from our family. This led us to explore adoption. We view adopting as a blessing and are so very grateful that it is an option for us. We understand that another mom is giving us the most precious gift a person could ever receive – a beautiful little life.
Aaden has experienced with us the highs and lows of trying to have another little one of our own. He has shed tears and asked, "How long until I have a baby brother or sister?" He is in this journey just as much as we are, and true to his old-soul personality, will be the most caring and tender big brother. He is even in the mix of picking baby names and nursery room wallpaper - it's so important to include him in this big step.
Our Leisure Time
During leisure time Dan loves to care for the yard by fixing things and tidying up the yard. He also loves to drive his big-boy remote control cars that drive super fast and fly his drone over our neighborhood taking video of cool things. Dan also loves to ride his dirt bike through the ditches and fields around our home because in North Dakota, it is totally OK to ride a dirt bike in town.
Ashley loves to cook, especially big weekend breakfasts such as carrot cake muffins and homemade breakfast sausage. She also loves working on the yard on warm sunny days - cleaning out flower beds and weeding all over. Ashley regularly takes walks and runs on the trails and sidewalks in our neighborhood - even in the winter months when there's ice and snow. She also loves bird watching.
Together, we love to go for hikes in the national park near our home town then stop for ice cream afterwards. We love looking for neat rocks, plants, birds and insects on our hikes and bring with binoculars and bird and insect books. We also love to go for family outings to our families' farm property just outside of town where we ride dirt bikes, RZRs, and 4-wheelers. While there we get to bird watch and check out the old farm buildings for cool antiques.
Adoption in Our Family
Adoption has touched our family on a personal level. Dan's mother was a foster mom for many children while Dan was growing up. His little sister came into their family through the foster system in Northern California and she was adopted by his family when she was very young.
This experience has provided our family with a background in foster care and adoption so that we can view the process from an educated, compassionate position. We understand that adoption affects all parties involved on some level and that people react differently to the process. Thus, we believe that compassion and acceptance for birth families and the adoptive child is an important part of any adoption journey.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in North Dakota where people take being friendly very seriously. It's quite common for strangers to wave at you while you're driving and say "hi" in the grocery store. Our community is very family oriented, with lots of parent play groups and a massive, recently build Community Center with an outdoor pool, waterslides and kids water park. Our town is speckled with community parks that we love to explore on our bikes - we even found one that we nick-named the "hidden park" because it's nestled in-between houses in a residential area and you might easily miss it if you weren't looking.
There are many families who live near us and utilize the walking paths, three community parks and elementary school playgrounds just a block away. There is a small river that runs through our community and people often kayak and fish along it during the summer months. Ashley likes to take Aaden fishing there each spring at a little secret beach area they discovered one year. There is also dirt roads and some places to ride dirt bikes and ATV's.
Our home is a beautiful red brick home with lots of garages (for all of our Christmas decorations, dirt bikes and 4-wheelers and yard care stuff). It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two offices, a toy room, two living rooms, a workout room and a couple of storage rooms. Ashley's favorite room is the workout room, and Dan's favorite room is his shop.
Our Extended Families
We live in the same town as Ashley's family and spend most every holiday with her parents and brother and his family. Christmas is a very special time for Ashley's family. Each year we spend Christmas Eve night at her parents' house and watch Home Alone and Christmas With The Kranks, eat homemade appetizers and laugh and tell stories and hope we get snow. Then we wake up in the morning to Santa's presents and half-eaten Christmas cookies, carrots and milk (because Santa and his reindeer showed up).
Part of Ashley's family lives in Northern California. We make a trip there every 2-3 years to swim, go to water parks, eat amazing food, and visit and listen to music by their pool.
Dan's family is split between Mexico City and Northern California. They are Hispanic and make the most delectable homemade refried beans and chile relleno dishes. On our last visit to Northern California to see Dan's mom, sister, brother and nephew, we all went mini golfing and riding go carts... yes, even Dan's mom took part in the festivities.
From Us to You
We are so excited that you are considering our family to love and cherish your child. We are so grateful that adoption is an option for us to grow our family because we have dreamed of having another baby for three years now, but sadly through many ups and downs, have been unable to make that dream come true on our own.
Dan was born in Mexico City and lived there until he was 8 years old. He moved to California with his family and ended up settling in Northern California. Dan's family embraces his heritage by speaking Spanish, cherishing family gatherings (especially Thanksgiving and Christmas), and by cooking Spanish foods. His sister's specialty is chili relleno and his mom makes the most wonderful Spanish rice and refried beans.
Ashley's cultural heritage is Norwegian and German. Her grandma on her mother's side was Norwegian and she embraced her heritage by cooking lots of ethnic foods such as lefse, a flat potato crepe for special occasions. In 2013 we took a trip with Ashley's family to Norway to visit all of the spots that our ancestors had lived and even got to visit some relatives that still live there. It was like going back in time to see the little fishing villages, narrow, winding roads, and buildings built out of rock with slate roofs.
We have been inseparable since the first day we me in Northern California, 18 years ago, and blissfully married for 12 years. We knew from the first day our friends introduced us at a BBQ, that we had a special connection. The day after we met, Ashley asked Dan "Are you all mine?" and we have been the best of friends ever since. Ashley still writes Dan love notes on the bathroom mirror and bakes him his favorite desserts to show Dan that he means the world to her. Dan gives Ashley foot massages in the evenings and buys her flowers regularly just to say, "I cherish you." We rarely disagree, but when we do, we can resolve our issue in a respectful, talk-it-out, or come-to-the-middle type of approach. Our home has a calm and safe feeling about it - which we are so very proud to share with another child.
If you choose our family to raise your child, we would love to have a very open adoption by frequently sharing pictures, texts, videos, FaceTime calls, e-mails, and mail. We are also open to regular in-person visits so you can connect with your child. We believe that the connection a baby has with his or her birth family can never be replaced. We believe whole-heartedly that it is vital that a child know his or her roots and understand his or her heritage and culture so that he or she can embrace and be proud of where he or she came from. We fully plan to honor our child's birth family by speaking openly about them starting in infancy, so we very much want to have a close relationship with our child's birth family. We hope to have a close enough relationship that we can text photos or milestone videos as they happen and ask questions (such as "Does anyone in your family have allergies?") as things come up. It is also an ideal of ours to be able to let our child know that he has his/her birth family's features (e.g., "you have your birth mom's nose" or "Your birth sister laughs like that!") - so it is a goal of ours to have an open adoption and get to know our child's birth family.
We understand that considering adoption for your child must be one of the toughest decisions in your life - so know that we are here to go through this journey with you. You are not alone in this. You will be a part of your child's life.
Dan & Ashley