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Steven & Amanda
Long before we got married, we always knew we were going to go down the path of adoption to build our family. Adoption has never been our back-up plan - it's been part of our plans all along. Today, we are taking the first step on that path, and we are so glad you are reading our story.
We have both been blessed with many dear friends. We feel it's important to try and connect on a deep level with those we care about. We tend to gravitate to small groups of close friends so we can talk and connect more meaningfully.
We try and see our friends each week. Some of our favorite things to do with our friends and their kids are making dinner together, game nights, and going for walks. We will often be found playing toys with the kids, matchbox cars for Steven and legos for Amanda. On weekends we like to travel with friends to take advantage of all the wonderful things that are within a short distance of us - going to the beach, visiting the zoo, or exploring the museum.
We believe in celebrating our friends - and in supporting them when times are tough. We love to drop off small gifts to celebrate a promotion or new home. Amanda is a champion note writer with beautiful penmanship who often drops thank-yous and other just-because notes in the mail to friends.
Our Leisure Time
We love to do a variety of things together. One thing that we do on a daily basis is cook lots of yummy meals! For example, Steven recently learned how to make his own beef jerky.
On most Sunday's we will prepare our lunches and snacks for the work week. We might make a big batch of taco salad and cut up vegetables. Amanda has a chicken salad recipe that is our favorite lunch. We like to "food prep" because it helps us eat healthy during the busy work week.
Another activity central to our leisure time is exercising. We belong to a health club and exercise together because it gives us energy and revitalizes our mood. Exercising can also be a spontaneous activity like playing tennis or going for a walk together. Amanda is an expert at thinking of unique exercise plans, and Steven is always a willing participant.
In the evenings our leisure time is spent reading books or watching movies. Amanda has inspired Steven to read more. She recommends great books for him to read. We both participate in book clubs with our friends. We like a variety of movies and sometimes it takes a long time to pick which movie to watch. We envision lots of fun evenings with our child reading books and letting him/her pick the movie we get to watch!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Amanda About Steven: Steven is thoughtful, steady, reliable, and hard-working. He always strives to be his best self. Steven will teach our child to be considerate of others and grateful for the gifts we have been given. He will share his can-do attitude by working on projects together. Planting our garden and fixing things around the house will be activities they can do together as our child grows up.
Steven About Amanda: Amanda is energetic, enthusiastic, independent, and fun to be around. She's a giver, sharing all the good things that come her way. Amanda will teach our child to be generous, doing small acts of kindness for others. She will instill a curiosity for learning through reading and treating everything as an opportunity to learn something new.
We both strive to make our daily life as meaningful and fun as it can be. We see life as an adventure and try to make every day special. We will share this mindset with our child, making common activities like trips to the grocery store into fun excursions.
Our House and Neighborhood
We have tried to create a warm, welcoming home that makes people feel relaxed and comfortable. Our house is designed to promote interaction and conversation. Our kitchen is roomy and encourages friends to linger while we are preparing for a dinner party.
We are fortunate to live within walking distance of many things we love – Amanda's work is a block away, our church is across the street, we are near parks and restaurants and ice cream and often walk to enjoy all three. Every weekend we walk to the farmers market for fresh, healthy food.
Our home has a large, fenced-in backyard that is perfect for late-night summer suppers under the patio lights, a vegetable garden and relaxing outdoors with friends. We have room for touch football games, a sandbox and swing set. We hope one day to be a place where all the neighborhood kids land after school or in the evenings or on weekends.
Our Extended Families
We are so fortunate to have our parents and siblings live near us so we can see them frequently. We each have a sister and both are married. We enjoy sibling game nights (the girls always win!) and outdoor activities together – golfing, kayaking and hiking.
Our sisters each also have a son. We love spending time with our two nephews, reading books, stacking blocks and rocking them to sleep. Our parents are excellent grandparents and are excited to help us with childcare.
Steven describes his parents as hard-working, relaxed and non judgmental. They gave him the space to make his own decisions, providing support when needed and room to learn from his own mistakes.
Amanda says she inherited her determined spirit from her mom and her generous heart from her dad. Both her parents love to work and have taught her the importance of making your work meaningful and enjoying it.
From Us to You
Our promise to you,
The first and foremost thing you need to know about us is that we will love your child as our own, with our entire hearts and souls surrounded and supported by our family and friends.
We will raise your child to be the best person they can be and help them find their calling.
We will be playful and have fun - and that means going outside and playing and "doing life" with your child.
Playfulness has defined our relationship from the beginning. We were introduced by a mutual friend. Steven thought the set-up was a professional networking opportunity but Amanda knew better. Our first date was at a coffee shop that was a little too crowded, so we decided to take a walk on that mild January afternoon. As we exited the coffee shop, Steven was struck by how Amanda started talking to - and then playing with - a little boy and his new light saber.
Amanda immediately saw in Steven many things she appreciated - thoughtful conversation, a caring attitude, a commitment to exercise and to being healthy. And Steven admired Amanda for her friendly and outgoing nature, her willingness to try new things and her love of play.
By our third date, Steven realized this wasn't a networking connection but something deeper and far more meaningful. Over the next 18 months, our lives became more entwined. Steven was finishing his master's degree in preparation to take on a leadership role within a distribution business. Amanda was nurturing a new non-profit year-round recreation center she had launched in 2015 dedicated to providing a safe, clean place where children with health issues and their families could have fun and form friendships.
Together, we jumped into one another's lives - and hearts. We rode bikes, played tennis, took long walks, shopped at the farmers' market, cooked together and enjoyed long dinners and meaningful conversation with one another or with friends.
We discovered we are both readers. We both value education. We both prioritize time with family and friends. We both exercise regularly. We love gardening - flowers for Amanda, vegetables for Steven. And our faith is at the center of both our lives, a compass that guides us in all that we do.
Three months before our engagement, we received news that Amanda would need a medical procedure that would leave her unable to have children. Steven was by her side every step of the way, caring for her at home after surgery - and Amanda knew, without a doubt, he could handle tough situations.
Amanda found that same inner strength in herself when she launched a new non-profit. She noticed the harmful effects isolation had on sick kids and their families and decided to do something about it. After five years of gathering community support, she opened the first-of-its-kind center as a safe, clean environment for kids with weak immune systems. She is now the director and still focused on helping make lives better through her center.
Steven proposed on the summer solstice in 2018, purposefully choosing the longest day of the year to pop the question. We married in March 2019, intentionally selecting a winter date so we could have something to look forward to and to celebrate at a time of the year that can be quiet and grey.
We know from our experience life isn't always easy. Life can be hard. We all weathered tough times to get where we are today. The hard times sharpen us into better people. We're both committed to making the best of every day.
We will also be committed to your child, guiding them through the ups and downs of life, supporting them every step of the way.
We will share these milestones from your child's life through photos, letters, emails and a visit if desired.
This we promise.
Steven & Amanda