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Mike & Jamie
Love and support anchor our family. Through ten years of marriage and seven years of parenting, we've been on quite a few adventures and we are incredibly excited for what's to come. We love being parents and all it entails - learning and playing together, adventuring and celebrating together, and falling in love with the world over and over again. Thank you for considering us.
How Adoption Has Affected Us Personally
Adoption has always been close to our hearts, as Jamie's mom is adopted, her brother has adopted twice, and Mike's cousin has adopted. For the fifteen years we've known each other, we've seen adoption as a potential way to build our family.
When we were told we couldn't have a second biological child after years of trying, we knew that adoption was our path. We're so fortunate to have our family members to talk to about the process, the challenges, and the beauty. And this child would have loved ones in their life who understand the experience.
We're also incredibly thankful for the stories and guidance of one of Jamie's friends from college, who is herself a birthmother. She has been such a source of insight into what adoption might look like and feel like from another angle, so that we might better understand how to support you.
Seeing the world and sharing those experiences with our loved ones has been, and will continue to be, such a source of awe and joy in our lives. We both grew up loving to travel - Jamie, with camping trips and family road trips down to Florida; and Mike, with family vacations to national parks and beaches galore with family friends.
In our decade of marriage, we've hiked in Peru, snorkeled in the Caribbean, cruised the coast of Italy, and driven every which way across this beautiful country. Sharing and nurturing a love of travel with our kids is one of our highest priorities. At seven, our son Ethan has hiked with us in the Canadian Rockies, played on the beaches in Maui, seen waterfalls and glaciers in Alaska, wandered with us around museums in London, and seen the Eiffel Tower light up in Paris.
For us, travel is about appreciating the world. It's about having fun and exploring new cultures, trying new things, being engulfed in the beauty of it all, and feeling a responsibility to protect it - all things we'll continue to model and pass along to our children.
Our Life Priorities
Our biggest priority in life is our family. It's why we choose to live near grandparents, siblings, and cousins, as well as why Jamie is a stay-at-home mom and Michael works primarily from home. It's why family meals and traditions are so important to us. And in our family, there are three other priorities that guide us: education, travel, and service.
Education has always been important to us. We met in college, and before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Jamie worked in education. We believe that a good education helps us recognize and build our strengths so that we can bring our best selves to the world. We're so grateful to have a wonderful school community for Ethan and our future child, with loving teachers and a diverse group of families, where all three of us have found friendships and support.
Travel is also one of our highest priorities. We travel to admire the world and experience new things. We travel to connect with each other, with each of us taking one-on-one trips with our kid, in addition to family vacations, travel with grandparents, and trips to see friends and family around the country. And we'll continue adventuring together, making memories, taking in the beauty of it all, and learning how to leave things better than we found them.
Living in service and love, every day, is integral to our family. We believe that we're all connected and part of something bigger than ourselves. To us, service means acting with compassion and giving of ourselves, and our resources, what we can to support the things we believe in - from leading fundraisers, to collecting goods throughout the neighborhood to donate to local charities.
Our House and Neighborhood
We built our house in a beautiful neighborhood with lots of trees, ponds, and young families. The community pool and playground are a two-minute walk from our front door, and the running trails zigzag through greenspaces and gardens. Our neighbors are the sweetest, trading their homegrown veggies for our freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Along the main street in town are a ton of shops and some of our favorite local restaurants, as well as our favorite coffee shop. We love to grab coffeehouse treats and then take a family stroll on the wooded trails nearby. Within ten minutes from our home, we're at the library and grandparents. Within thirty we're in the city, with access to museums, stadiums, and Broadway shows. And within forty-five, we're at the family lakehouse!
We love this home we've built, settled at the end of our long driveway, tucked away from the road with its sunny rooms and stone fireplace, and dedicated space for Mike to work from home. We love watching the fawns and goslings from our big windows, running around the backyard with our dogs, and making s'mores in the firepit.
Our Extended Families
We adore our extended family. Our parents absolutely love being grandparents, and our children will make memories exploring beaches, mountains, and Disney Parks with them. And having them so close means we see each other nearly every week! They love helping Ethan learn to ride his bike, experiment with new recipes, and grow things in the garden.
Our grandparents, and many of our aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins (and their families!) also live nearby, so there's always something to celebrate and always plenty of people to celebrate with. Whether it's a birthday, a holiday, an award, or an engagement, we love to gather together. We're incredibly lucky that some of our closest friends are also our family, and we hope for the same for our kids.
Some of our favorite memories with extended family over the last few years include boating and splashing around at the family lake house, Christmas dinners together, hiking through the Canadian Rockies, biking to the beaches of Hilton Head, and board games around the kitchen table.
We recognize how fortunate we are that our big extended family is filled with loved ones of different backgrounds and ethnicities, as well as families built through adoption. It's an amazing thing to be a part of, and so many hearts are ready to open to this child.
From Us to You
Dear Birth Parent,
We've grown together in our ten years of marriage, loving and supporting each other through each chapter. We've been able to travel around the world, do fulfilling work, have fun, and most importantly - start building our family.
We met in college, friends of friends. The first time Jamie saw Mike, he was playing guitar, and later the piano! We bonded over board games and dancing, and soon enough we were on our first date. A few years later, we were married in a beautiful old museum in our hometown.
Mike currently works for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, in the music division. He's been able to combine his skills in technology and business with his lifelong love of music. Though his office is located on the west coast, he is able to work from home in the Midwest, allowing him to be here for family breakfasts, bath nights, bedtimes, movie nights, and the moments in between. His work also presents him with opportunities to travel each year, both back west and around the world.
Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jamie worked in education, teaching at a university, training teens at a summer camp during her breaks, and then working alongside community leaders nationwide for education reform. She became a stay-at-home mom when Ethan was born, allowing her to be there for all of his moments, to teach and guide him. Her love of knowledge has been passed to our son, who loves to read and learn. Through her availability as a stay-at-home parent, his early days have been filled with cuddles on the couch, daily doses of nature, homemade meals, and lessons in whatever interests him - from tennis, to Spanish, to cooking, to art.
Family is our top priority, and we were over the moon when we welcomed Ethan into the world - as were our two dogs, who instantly fell in love with their new person. After years of trying to have a second child, we were told that we couldn't have another biological baby. As adoption had always been close to our hearts, we knew it was our path.
We are so excited for the future, and we're happily anticipating the opportunity to grow our family. This child will be surrounded by a community of people who love them, including a big brother who has already picked out the baby's first stuffed animal (a sloth!) and can't wait to read them his favorite storybooks. We promise to nurture, support, and celebrate this child for who they are, and to provide them opportunities and experiences to see the world and make it better.
We want you to know how important you are to us, and that you will always be respected and loved. As the child grows, we would love to provide photos, letters, emails, updates and possible visits in the future. We want to respect your wishes for contact and would be happy to discuss the level of openness that you would like. This child will always know their adoption story, and that it's a story of love. Thank you for considering us, and opening your heart to ours.
Mike & Jamie
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