Luke and Summer

Married Since: 2006

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: Part-Time

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: Yes

We cannot promise that life will always be perfect, but we can promise that your child will always have a safe place to call home, a place filled with unconditional love and acceptance.

Luke and Summer

from California

Luke

Ancestry: Greek, Turkish

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Software Engineer

Education: High School

Hobbies: Music, Legos, Hiking, Swimming, Travel

Summer

Ancestry: Polish, Irish, Honduran

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Education: BSN

Hobbies: Hiking, Swimming, Travel, Reading

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: All Races / Ethnicities

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Christian

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From Us to You

Dear Expectant Mother,

There are no words to express how much love, admiration, respect, and value we hold for you. While we do not know all the circumstances of your journey, we have been through pregnancy and childbirth before. We recognize and respect the incredible weight you are carrying on your shoulders and in your heart. We want you to know that we share in this experience with you and desire to help carry the load. We have been praying for you and your child for the last 13 years and will continue to pray for the rest of our lives. I, Summer, work as a Labor and Delivery Nurse watching mothers every shift go through the inspiring journey of birth. Often times, I cry with the mother as she transitions through the delivery. I watch as everyone gathers around the newborn, holds them, and delights in them. Many times, the mother is overlooked by the joy of the newborn. I see her, I hold her, and I delight in her. I want you to know that while we may not be able to be by your side, we see you, and we are holding you in prayer and love through this adventure. We do not view this as an individual journey. We are and must share in this journey together. There is a very famous saying that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We believe this, and while not everyone has direct care in a child, there are decisions made that will have a vast impact in that child’s life and them reaching their full potential.

Families are built in many different ways. We believe that adoption was how our family was meant to be built. We are not in this because we could not have a child of our own, we are on this path because we care as much about you as much as we do your child. We believe so much in what God has planned for you and your life. We want to be a part of His work in your life and we believe that your child was meant for our family. We have already fully embraced your child in our hearts and in our home even before we are lucky enough to be chosen by you. We are so eager to hold, love, cherish, and raise this incredible individual with everything that we have.

Your baby will be loved and fully embraced not only by us, but by a large extended family of grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even great-grandmothers. He or she will have uncles, aunts, and great-grandparents that were also adopted to support them. They will always know that they were chosen, loved, and valued. They will have a big brother who has been asking and waiting patiently for them for five years. He is so eager to share his heart and his toys and has been praying nightly for God to send him this little brother or sister.

We cannot promise that life will always be perfect, but we can promise that your child will always have a safe place to call home, a place filled with unconditional love and acceptance. Your child will be raised as an equal member of a loving family and given the space and support needed to grow into their full potential. The will be hugged, celebrated, and cherished daily. They will be given the support and love needed to pursue their dreams and interests. They will grow in the knowledge of their unique story of who they are and how much they were and are loved and desired by so many.

With all our love,
Luke, Summer and Ocean

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About Luke

Luke is my best friend. He is a very quirky guy. He is definitely one of a kind. He is very outgoing and enjoys talking to anyone and everyone. Kids are drawn to his fun nature. He is a very talented musician and has been playing guitar and singing since he was a kid. He seems to be able to pick up any instrument and start playing it as if he has always played it. Ironically, he can never seem to memorize lyrics and Ocean and I often laugh at the lyrics he makes up for songs. He has an impeccable sense of direction and always seems to know which way to go even if he has never been there before! Luke is very gentle and kind-hearted. He is what you would call a “softy” and has no problem showing his emotions. His unique laugh is what made me first fall in love with him. His laugh still makes me laugh even after 13 years of marriage. He almost always puts others first. He would eat poison if it meant not hurting someone’s feelings. I’m reminded of a time we were working in a shanty town in Costa Rica helping build an adobe brick oven. We had no idea truly how to build it, but Luke just started working as if he had been making them his whole life. We had roaches crawling up our legs while building in the dirt and he just laughed and kept going. That is a perfect picture of who Luke is. He is steadfast, reliable, and always able to laugh at himself. He is a peacekeeper and people pleaser. He enjoys cooking almost all of our meals and finding fun and new recipes to try.

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About Summer

Summer is an incredible life mate. She is always challenging me to be a better person. I have never met someone with such selfless love for her family and friends. She is always supportive of me following passions, no matter how crazy she thinks they are. What attracted me the most about her is the thoughtfulness to everything she does. She will always consider the best words to use in every conversation, and always brings with it honest insightfulness. Smart is another word I would use to describe her (I mean she chose me so…). With that she is able to learn whatever skills are needed for life, job or education. If I had to think of a story to brag about Summer, I would choose the time when she decided to become a middle school Science Teacher. She just woke up one day and told me she wanted to try out teaching. That afternoon she investigated the requirements to be a public school teacher in Florida (please note her current Bachelors degree was not in education). That evening she booked her certification exam for 2 weeks out. For the prep period, she studied around 6-8 hours a day. She ended up acing her exam and scored in the 95th percentile. Then the job hunt was on. That amazed me, and to this day I bring it up every few months to remind her about how she just decided to be a teacher in 2 weeks. We met in college at a party for a brother/sister dorm event. I joined a group playing board games and Summer happened to be in that group. We started chatting and continued playing games for a few hours. We have known each other for 15 years and married for 13 of those.

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About Ocean

Our son, Ocean takes a lot after Luke. He is gentle and kind. Unlike Luke, he is quiet and reserved around strangers. You have to earn his trust and affection. He has an amazing sense of humor for a five-year-old and keeps us giggling all day. He is amazing with Legos and is able to build almost anything he puts his mind to. He loves the water and is always up for a trip to the beach or pool. Ocean loves his friends and is loyal and caring. There was a time a friend’s mom was late picking up her son from school and Ocean refused to leave until his friend’s mom came, just so that his friend would not feel sad or scared while he waited for her. He would fall to pieces if he ever thought he had hurt someone or their feelings. Ocean has an amazing imagination and can spend hours playing alone building stories in his mind with his toys. He is an avid collector of rocks. We have many rocks on our patio that he has deemed special, most of them look like very ordinary rocks but he sees magic in them.

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Our Lifestyle

Our family enjoys an active lifestyle. We love exploring different places and going on new adventures. We particularly enjoy spending time outdoors and try to get outside at least once a day. We spend much of our free time hiking, swimming, camping and going to the beach. We are constantly using our kayak and paddle board to explore the water. While we love being outside, once the sun goes down, we enjoy being home. We like to watch movies and play family games at night. We love spending time together and play all kinds of board, card, and video games.

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Our Home

We live in a two-story town-home. Our place has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. We have a garden in the back and an attached garage. Our neighborhood is quiet and filled with families. There is always a group of kids outside playing and we have a neighborhood pool that is heated year round. We live about 12 minutes from the beach but, our neighborhood has a very woodsy feel to it. We often have wild rabbits munching in our garden out back. There is a playground in our neighborhood that we often ride our bikes to. Our community has multiple tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields for open use. Our city has a few traditions each year but one unique one that comes to mind is the Festival of Whales. Every year a week is dedicated to the magnificent whales that migrate through our ocean waters each year.

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Our Families

Summer comes from a very big family. She has two brothers (one biological and one adopted), one foster brother, and one adopted sister. They are all extremely close and speak to one another nearly every day. Her oldest brother, a fight fighter and paramedic, is married to a woman that was adopted as a child from the Philippines. Together they have four beautiful boys that love to visit and play with Ocean. Her sister, an RN, is married and has two amazing and feisty daughters. Ocean has a very special bond with this aunt and will often run the phone battery down spending hours on FaceTime with his cousins. Summer’s parents got married at the young age of 17 and continue to be a great source of support and often babysit the grandkids. Summer’s mom is an elementary school teacher and is currently working on her masters in education. She also has many years of experience in counseling. Summer’s dad is an ordained minister, former counselor and probation officer, and currently spends his days babysitting the grandkids and working as a photographer. He is also a musician and drummer. Summer is also close with her father’s mother. She was adopted as a young child and is a strong female support to the family, a true matriarch. Luke has one older sister that is married and has two wonderful baby girls under the age of 3. His parents are married and retired. They spend most of their days babysitting the granddaughters and tending to their garden where they plant vegetables each summer.

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Our Cat - Maui

We currently enjoy the company of a feisty female cat named Maui. She has brought a lot of fun and furry cuddles to our family. She enjoys following us around the house wherever we go and sleeping next to us at night. While she loves us all, she has a clear favorite in Luke. They have a special bond that started the day she came home from the humane society. Maui keeps us busy with frequent escapes outside where she enjoys catching and bringing home live animals for us. We have had many laughs trying to catch and release some of her many gifts to us. We enjoy toying with the idea of more family pets as we both grew up with many different pets. I am sure the future holds a few more pets being added to our family.

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A Typical 3-Day Weekend

A 3-day weekend for us would definitely be spent on an adventure! We would look for a place we have never been before and travel there if possible. We enjoy hiking and camping in some of the many national parks in California and could easily spend the entire 3-day weekend exploring the outdoors. Ideally, we would make time for some of our favorite beaches as well. We also enjoy eating out at new places and typically reserve eating out for special occasions together. We do not usually enjoy fast food and instead try to find restaurants we have never been to before. A 3-day weekend would also include a special treat of some sort (ice cream is always a favorite with Luke and Ocean).

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How We Chose Our Careers

Finding the right career for us has been an adventure in itself. We both firmly believe in taking chances and trying new things. Life is too short to be unhappy. We spent much of our 20s trying out different jobs and have a plethora of college education and certifications between the two of us. Summer has always been fascinated with the medical field as she grew up where there was no doctor and much of their medical care was provided by themselves. This sparked an early interest in medicine in her as well as her siblings as nearly all of them work within the medical field as nurses and paramedics. Initially, she loved the idea of serving the underserved and improving quality of life through health education. She still loves health education but, after having Ocean, she decided she needed something more financially stable and pursued her nursing career. Nursing has given her the space to continue to serve and empower others with education while also satisfying her love of medicine. She is actively working on her Master’s Degree in nursing and hopes to work as a Women’s Health Practitioner and Midwife. Luke has also spent a lot of time trying various jobs. Like Summer, having Ocean provided the encouragement needed to find a job that was truly satisfying while also offering financial stability. This led him to software engineering and coding. Luke has always enjoyed a good puzzle and now gets to spend his days solving puzzles as a career. He enjoys the flexibility this job has provided and everyday offers up a new challenge.

Education

We have a love/hate relationship with education. We have both worked in education off and on over the years with Luke working as a kindergarten teacher and Sunday school teacher and Summer working as a health educator for Middle Schools, High Schools, and Community Colleges. We feel that education is extremely important yet, we also have a disdain for the method of education that is popular in our culture. We do not believe in pushing college, as the financial expense is extreme and often the benefits of a college degree are no longer relevant. That being said, we believe firmly in using any and all life experiences as opportunities to learn and grow. We do not believe in pushing all children to be above and beyond their level and instead we strive to push our child to simply do his best and celebrate whatever accomplishments come his way. In the past, we have taken our child out of educational institutions that we felt were pushing too hard and not allowing children enough time to play and be loved in a safe environment. Summer has two college degrees and is working on completing her third as a master’s in nursing. Luke has several years of college and actually started college at the age of 15.

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Discipline

Ocean has given us a lot of trial and error experience with discipline. We believe that firm and consistent boundaries are important in providing a safe environment for a child. What we have found to work is at a very young age starting discipline in its most simplistic form through distraction. Whenever Ocean would get into something that was dangerous for him or others we would simply and firmly say “no” and redirect him to a different activity. As Ocean has grown, we have been able to incorporate discussion into our discipline. We enjoy being able to talk about a situation and then discuss what our expectations are and why. We do not believe in simply telling a child no without providing a reason for the no and perhaps a better alternative. We feel this will empower them with skills for future success rather than just knowing a lot of arbitrary rules. We do not believe in verbal or physical punishment under any circumstances.

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Family Traditions

Part of our adventure-loving lifestyle is our genuine curiosity about cultures and traditions. While we enjoy learning about new cultures, our travels have led to the development of some important traditions for our family. We absolutely love to celebrate. All holidays are a source of joy for our family and we feel life is too short not to stop and celebrate even the little things. We celebrate most US holidays with gusto as well as several Central American holidays, like Children’s Day and the Honduran Independence Day in September. With our son, we have developed some new family traditions like the celebration of the first lost tooth! We enjoy making holidays as fun as possible with decorations and all the famous characters (Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Leprechauns).

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Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity, respect, and honor is very important to us. Summer had a very unique childhood as she grew up as a minority in a small village in Central America. She also grew up in a multiethnic family with siblings that did not look like her. This exposed her and her family to different reactions from others and made her very sensitive to the struggle of multiethnic families. While Luke grew up in a predominantly white community, his family was also quite diverse with a cousin adopted from South Korea and multiethnic marriages. We also love and celebrate the diversity of our many nieces and nephews with six multiracial nieces and nephews in the family. Our families only continue to become more diverse over time through biracial marriages and children. We love watching how our wonderfully blended and beautiful family continues to take shape and color. We feel that diversity is an important if not crucial aspect to combating the ugly racism that plagues our world. We fight every day to educate others on shared love, cultural honor, and respect for all people regardless of ethnicity or economic standing.

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Why We are Choosing to Adopt

Adoption has always been an important part of our families. Summer has two adopted siblings from Honduras, an adopted sister-in-law from the Philippines, and an adopted grandmother. Luke has a cousin that was adopted from South Korea. Growing up in a blended family made from adoption has given us a unique perspective on family. In addition to this, we feel there is something so special about adoption and the ability to provide a loving family for a birth mother in need. It is our desire to provide an option for birth mothers that they can feel good about while also completing our family with the child that was meant for us.

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