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Justin & Stephanie
We are excited to grow our family through adoption and want you to know that you are loved and supported no matter where you are at in your journey. We acknowledge and admire the courage it takes for you to consider adoption. We promise that we will respect you, cherish your child, and love you both without reservation. We are praying for you and your sweet baby and starting this journey together.
Our Leisure Time
Justin is very diligent and very numbers-minded, so in his leisure time, he can often be found working on a spreadsheet to help answer a question or solve a problem. He also enjoys reading and learning and exploring new ideas. He volunteers regularly at church, helping run the lights for weekend services and has made some good relationships with the other tech guys who help behind the scenes. He enjoys helping make dinner and using all form of kitchen gadgets to help out. He is a sports fan and enjoys watching football and basketball games, as well as riding his bike and exercising. He always looks forward to opportunities to go back to the farm where his family lives.
Stephanie really enjoys getting together one-on-one with various friends, going for walks together, grabbing coffee, or trying other fun activities together. Doing life together with friends is very important to her. She also enjoys cooking and has learned to try new recipes and is working on improving her homemaking skills. She enjoys being creative and doing arts/crafts, journaling, and dreaming about travel plans. Playing with children is one of her favorite things to do.
Together, we really enjoy going on scenic drives in our Colorado mountains, traveling with each other, and learning together in various classes or small groups. We are both "social introverts," so we tend to be quieter in large groups but are invested in building relationships with others.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Stephanie About Justin: One of the things that I first noticed about Justin was his genuine kindness. There was a gentleness about him that I had rarely observed in other guys. As I got to know him, I saw how much he truly cares for other people and he consistently makes me laugh. When I began experiencing Bell's Palsy just over a year ago, half of my face was paralyzed. Even though I don't look the same as I used to, and something as simple as smiling for a picture can be hard, I believe it's a testament to his love that his feelings toward me never wavered, even though my looks have changed. His faithfulness and consistent love, even through challenges, allow me to be free to be myself, even though there have been hard changes.
Justin About Stephanie: Stephanie has shown incredible amounts of patience and support since I have known her. As I have gotten to know her over the years, I am always blown away by the ways that she supports me in anything that I put my mind to as well as being patient with me when life gets hard. I've also noticed this patience and support as she's taught children during this stressful time of Covid. It's been difficult keeping the focus of students while school looks different but Stephanie has made the best of the situation while also supporting the students as they process through their own challenges.
Adoption in Our Family
While we have several people in our lives who have adopted children or who were adopted themselves, the closest experience we have with adoption is with Stephanie's nephew. He is 3 years old and was adopted at birth, from another state. We have seen Stephanie's sister and brother-in-law pursue a relationship with his birth mother with grace and faithfulness, visiting yearly and sending her photos, Mother's Day cards, and staying in touch. They talk to him about his adoption story and the day they were at the hospital for his birth. Both sides of his family instantly loved him wholeheartedly and there is no distinction between him and family members who are biologically related. Our families have been able to speak openly about the adoption process, which gives us confidence that that openness will continue as we navigate and learn together.
Our House and Neighborhood
We have lived in Colorado for several years. We moved into our home in July 2020. It was the first home we purchased together as a couple, and part of what we were looking for in a home was having enough space to grow a family. We love that our home has multiple bedrooms upstairs, a nice-size backyard for kids to play in, and a finished built-in tunnel in the basement designed for kids to play in!
We also love the neighborhood and how friendly everyone has been. There is a neighborhood park just a 2-minute walk down the street, with multiple playground structures, a roller rink, and some soccer fields. There is a steady stream of kids and families there playing at any given time during the day. Our neighborhood also has several walking trails that funnel down towards the K-12 school that is nearby. It's about a 10-minute walk from our home and we enjoy going over there to walk around the track. We look forward to getting to walk our children to school someday. Our neighborhood was built for families and we are excited about getting to start down that path.
Our Extended Families
Our extended families live in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Much of Justin's family farms for a living, so in addition to traveling to Kansas for holidays, we visit every June to help with wheat harvest. Justin drives large pieces of equipment during harvest and enjoys working together with his brother. It will be fun to create family memories during summer days on the farm. Justin's brother and his wife have 2 young daughters and they will be excited to teach a new cousin all about farming. Nearly all of Justin's extended family and their kids live within an hour of the farming community and getting everyone together at Christmastime has created some fun memories, including indoor snowball fights and roller-skating in his aunt and uncle's basement!
Stephanie's parents lived in Colorado and were married for 43 years. Her dad had some long-term health issues, and recently passed away. Her mom still lives in Colorado and is retired. We continue our pattern of seeing her regularly, about once a month, to spend a weekend or celebrate special events together. Stephanie's younger brother recently moved back to Colorado and lives close by. Stephanie's sister and brother-in-law live in Oklahoma along with their son, who is a toddler and is also adopted. Our family all loves him and having a cousin who is also adopted will be a great connection point for them. Playing games, going for walks, and watching movies are favorite family pastimes for us together.
From Us to You
First, we want you to know that we have been praying for you and your child since we started pursuing adoption. We acknowledge that we may not know how you're feeling right now. But you are loved, cared for, and seen. If we are chosen to be adoptive parents, we will love this child as our own. Our families are excited for us and will wholeheartedly embrace this little one as well. But not just the child… YOU will be accepted and welcomed also. We are committed to staying in touch with our child's birth parents through letters, photos, texts, email, phone calls, and multiple visits over the years. We are excited to get to know you and want to support the connection between you and your child.
We want you to know that we truly enjoy doing life with each other. We have been married for just over two years and we often choose to do even simple tasks, like grocery shopping or washing dishes, together. Raising a child will be no different - we will do it together. We are partners in life and are able to talk about decisions together and encourage one another when the other is struggling. We complement each other well and often, a situation that throws one of us for a loop has the other one feeling confident to manage it smoothly. We hold one another up and hold each other in high esteem. We both enjoy learning, and parenting, especially through adoption, will be an opportunity for us to learn together.
Currently, we both work full-time however, once we are home with the baby, the plan is for Stephanie to transition to being a stay-at-home parent while Justin works. Justin's primary job is with a company located in Kansas, so he works mostly from home in Colorado (even before the pandemic started). We believe it will be a gift for our family to experience having two parents who are located mostly at home during the day. We want our child to feel connected to both parents.
We both had stable childhoods, where we were given freedom to just be kids and that is our hope for our future children. We want them to be able to learn through play, to have fun experiences, and to introduce them to responsibilities as they grow and become ready for them. We want to be able to take family vacations, allow them to experience different cultures and teach them how to value those differences. We want to encourage them to do well in their education, support their successes, encourage extracurricular activities, and help them explore different experiences in order to find what they love doing. We want to have fun with them, play together, and enjoy who they are becoming. We will also teach them how to be responsible, thoughtful, and caring community members.
A principle that is important to us is the idea of identity and understanding who we are, where we came from, and where we fit in. Therefore, we plan to weave our child's adoption story into their understanding of their identity. There will never be a time where the child doesn't know they're adopted and they will always have access to their birth parents through letters, email, pictures, text, or phone calls. This will enable them to ask questions, understand connections, and better understand where they fit in. In-person visits will help make that relationship feel more real as well. We want our child to know their truth and will share truth with them with grace and love. The topics of adoption and identity will be an ongoing conversation, one that we are learning more about through our own education, and one that we want to be open about with our child so that we can all learn together.
You are very courageous to be considering adoption and we honor and value your bravery. Know that we will support you and your child, whatever you decide, and will continue praying for you both.
Justin & Stephanie