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Matt & Sarah
Thank you for learning a little more about us. We know this time must be so difficult and we admire the love you have for your child as you plan for their future. You are in our prayers. We're excited and hopeful to welcome a little one into our home through adoption and raise him or her to be a kind, confident, happy adult!
Seeing the world is a big part of our lives. Growing up, Sarah and her parents traveled to Texas every year to visit her dad’s family. Matt’s family had a tradition of staying in a cabin on a lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin every summer. For both of us, so many fond memories were created just spending time together as a family, enjoying a bit of a different way of life for a short time each year.
As adults, we have been so fortunate to travel to more distant places, like Hawaii, where we spent time enjoying nature (hiking and snorkeling) at a slower pace, and even Poland, where we learned about the history and traditions of Sarah’s ancestors.
We’re excited to introduce our children to the big, wonderful world around us. We hope that sharing new places – whether it’s visiting family in another state or traveling further on an adventure – will help them appreciate different cultures and ways of life. We’re confident this will help them guide their own interests to discover what they enjoy best.
Why We Chose Adoption
Although neither of us grew up with adoption personally touching us, it has never been far away, and seemed a natural way of being a family in the world. A second cousin of Sarah’s adopted her daughter (who is now grown with a family of her own!). From grade school through college, Sarah knew other children who were adopted. As a couple, we have met a number of other families who have adopted children, and found it’s more common than even we expected.
After a few years of marriage, when we learned we could not have children biologically, we spent time learning more deeply about becoming a family through adoption. The more we learned, the clearer it became that this was the path we were meant to take! We believe it’s so important that a child knows adoption is part of their story. We’ll always be open and honest so that they are totally comfortable with themselves. We believe that our own openness is the best way to encourage them to feel comfortable coming to us with any questions or concerns as they are growing and learning.
Our Family Traditions
Celebrations are important to us, and we can’t wait to create new traditions as a family. At Christmastime, we turn our house into a “winter wonderland” with twinkle lights and a snow village. Matt sets up his dad’s 1950s era train set under our tree…and every child that visits loves watching the train run and playing conductor. Family favorite cookie recipes, like Polish kolackis (Sarah) and chocolate snowballs (Matt) are on the menu at Christmas, made using the red stand mixer that Matt’s mom gave him (nicknamed “Big Red”).
We each were involved in very different activities as kids, and we think this has made our married relationship kind of a “best of both worlds” life together. Sarah grew up surrounded by music, theatre, and the arts – she played violin and still has fun picking out tunes on the piano and guitar. Matt was a Boy Scout, and has amazing outdoor skills – pitching a tent, building a fire, making peach cobbler over hot coals.
Now, as a couple, we feel lucky to live in a metropolitan area where we can see plays and concerts on a regular basis, but drive just a short way for a hike or a weekend camping.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a suburb of a large city in Illinois where we feel so fortunate to be able to take advantage of the city at our doorstep – see a baseball game, try all kinds of different cuisines, or enjoy a musical or a concert anytime.
At home, we love spending time in our family room which opens up from the kitchen area and features photos and maps from our travels, plus a warm and cozy fireplace. We also love our three-season room that overlooks our yard – we decorated it in a pineapple theme, and it’s well-known by family and friends as the Pineapple Porch. It’s a place to relax, to eat, and to play games. We often host get-togethers on the Pineapple Porch in nice weather. Our home has a big backyard, flowers, and lots of trees.
We live in one of the top high-school districts in the state, in a friendly neighborhood with nearby parks and walking/biking trails. Our dog loves to explore the parks! Our neighbors have children of all ages. We live in a cul-de-sac, so the neighborhood kids can be found learning to ride bikes and skateboards, practicing baseball, and launching water balloons, while the adults visit in the front yards and keep an eye on the activities.
Our Extended Families
We feel lucky to see our close families regularly – for holiday celebrations, birthdays, and regular cook-outs and dinners. Matt’s sister and her daughter, our niece, live fairly close. Each time we see our niece, we count on fun times blowing bubbles, creating elaborate chalk drawings, and telling jokes. Matt’s dad is “Papa Bear” to his granddaughter and is looking forward to spending time with another grandchild. Matt’s brother and his wife live in Oregon – we often travel to see them at Easter, where we attend Mass at the Cathedral, prepare a festive Easter dinner, and experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Matt’s mom, our original ringleader of family fun, passed away in 2013. We miss her every day, but her spirit lives on in our traditions.
Sarah’s mom is so excited to become a grandma for the first time! She loves everything artsy: music, plays, and movies. She always read aloud to Sarah as a child, which built Sarah’s love of reading. There are tons of books in our home for a child to explore. Sarah’s dad passed away in 2019 – we miss him greatly, but love to tell his stories of growing up in Texas and being in the Navy. Sarah is close with 6 of her cousins who live nearby and are in the process of having families of their own. They are excited to welcome a new little cousin, too!
From Us to You
We imagine you never pictured yourself reading letters like ours. If adoption is the path you ultimately follow, we believe it’s most important that you feel completely comfortable with the family you choose to parent your child. We are honored that you are taking the time to learn about us and hope to share a little of ourselves with you here.
We were married in 2007 and always planned to have children. After our very first date, Sarah literally thought to herself, what a great dad Matt would be. We had sort of assumed our path would be the one shared by many of our friends and family: We imagined a future of family dinners, homework and after-school activities, holiday and birthday celebrations. When we first met, we spent time sharing our own stories of growing up, family histories, and our hopes to create new traditions as we raised our children together.
Our future hopes shifted when we learned we could not have children biologically, and we spent time considering the best path for our family. As we looked into the future, we just knew that it was meant to include children. It was then that adoption became an important part of our plan. We knew we had love to give and wanted to share our lives with a child.
And now…we’re so very excited and hopeful about this new vision of the future: welcoming a little one through adoption and raising him or her in a loving and supportive home. As parents, we believe our most important role will be to provide a solid foundation of love for a child to learn and gain confidence as they develop into their unique self, with their own interests and ideas. We feel especially grateful that our family and friends are excited along with us! We feel so supported by all the important people in our lives.
Our experiences with children have helped develop how we see ourselves as future parents. Matt has volunteered for many years as an adult leader in a wilderness program with at-risk teens, where he guides them (most who have never been outside of a city) in canoeing, camping, and hiking. He always makes sure they are safe but also gives them the confidence to explore and develop their own leadership skills. When we spend time with our niece and children of our friends, Sarah gets right on their level to hear their thoughts and really understand what they are saying. She loves to encourage their creativity through crafts, to read together and develop their love of books, and to be silly when we all need to unwind!
To the degree you are comfortable, we think it would be wonderful to have an open adoption relationship - sharing photos, having conversations, and even visits when the time is right - so that your child will know you and you can see him or her growing up. We pledge that he or she will always know your love, your strength, and your story.
Thank you for letting us share a little bit of ourselves with you. It’s hard to imagine the challenge you are facing and we admire your strength during this time. Whatever decision you make, we know it will be the right one, because it will be made out of love and concern for your child. Know that, no matter what, your child will be loved unconditionally, valued as a unique person, and supported through all the ups and downs of life.
Matt & Sarah