Daniel and Gretchen

Married Since: 2015

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

We will raise your child in a home where caring and kindness are expressed, where exploration and curiosity are encouraged, and where diversity and new ideas are celebrated. He or she will never have to be afraid to be exactly who they want to be and will always be encouraged to follow their heart.

Daniel and Gretchen

from Pennsylvania

Daniel

Ancestry: German, Irish

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Senior Veterinary Technician

Education: AS

Hobbies: Computers, Gaming, Biking, Camping

Gretchen

Ancestry: Scotch-Irish, Italian, English, German

Religion: Spiritual

Occupation: Medical Laboratory Technologist

Education: BS

Hobbies: Hiking, Camping, Music, Yoga

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: Caucasian, Caucasian / Hispanic, Caucasian / Indian, Caucasian / Middle Eastern, Caucasian / Native American, Caucasian / Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Hispanic / Middle Eastern, Hispanic / Native American, Hispanic / Pacific Islander, Indian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, Native American Indian

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Spiritual

Favorites

Daniel

Animal
Penguin
Color
Green
Family Activity
Camping or any outdoor activity
Food
Pizza
Leisure Activity
Biking
Movie
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Subject in School
Music
Early Bird or Night Owl
Night Owl
TV Show
Star Trek (all series)
Music
Classic Rock

Gretchen

Animal
Komodo Dragon
Color
Purple
Family Activity
Camping
Food
Pizza
Leisure Activity
Hiking
Movie
Ghostbusters
Subject in School
Biology
Early Bird or Night Owl
Early Bird
TV Show
His Dark Materials
Music
Arcade Fire, R.E.M., David Bowie
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From Us to You

Dear Expectant Mother,

Hello! Our names are Gretchen and Daniel, and we’re from beautiful Pennsylvania.  We’re very happy that you’re reading our letter and are beyond grateful for the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you.  We can’t pretend to understand just what you are going through, but can only imagine how difficult and painful this decision must be for you.

We have been together for nine years and love spending time together sharing experiences and making each other laugh. We have always known that we wanted to have a family, and we are now ready to begin building that family through adoption. If you choose us as parents, please know that your sweet baby will be unconditionally loved. We will raise your child in a home where caring and kindness are expressed, where exploration and curiosity are encouraged, and where diversity and new ideas are celebrated.  He or she will never have to be afraid to be exactly who they want to be and will always be encouraged to follow their heart.

We both love spending time outdoors and exploring nature. Going on camping trips is one of our favorite things to do together. To us, there’s something so special and refreshing about getting away to the woods for a few days. We also enjoy taking local hiking and biking trips, and exploring Pittsburgh together. We are members of the Pittsburgh Zoo and can often be found there visiting our favorite animals. A shared passion of ours is music, and we love introducing each other to different bands and seeing live shows together. We share our home with two darling little dogs, Nina and Ciri. They are both such sweethearts and are very gentle and patient with kids. We also have five cats that are always looking for a warm lap to curl up on.

In the past we have opened our home to children in the foster care system. This has had a major impact on our lives and perceptions of the world. We have had the privilege of fostering two siblings, ages six and eight, and a three-month old and a newborn. Together we have shared the joys and challenges of sharing our lives with children who come from incredibly difficult circumstances. These experiences have strengthened our relationship immensely and shown us that we always have each other to lean on when things get difficult. It is our hope that we have made a difference, even if it is a small one, in the lives of these children. The heartbreak of having to say goodbye to these kids when they leave our home has led our path to private adoption.

We are both so excited to welcome a son or daughter into our home! We are looking forward to the pitter patter of tiny toddler feet, cozy nights on the couch, family dance parties in the living room, and bedtime stories. We can’t wait to show them the wonders of nature through camping and hiking trips, spending time at our local park that is right down the street, and discovering all of the crazy creatures at the zoo. We’re also very excited to help them explore their interests and become who they want to be. Our families are very eager to welcome the newest member of the pack. Our nieces and nephew are thrilled that they will be able to introduce their favorite games to their new cousin.

We want your child to know their adoption story and to understand what you sacrificed because of the incredible love that you have for them. One of our favorite family quotes is “To our children we give two things. One is roots and the other is wings.” You are forever the deepest part of your child’s roots, and we will remember that always.

You are strong. You are brave. You are a beautiful human being. No matter what you decide, we wish you peace and happiness.

With Love,
Gretchen and Daniel

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Why We Are Choosing to Adopt

We have always known that we wanted to have a family, but our path towards having children has been a little different than we first anticipated. When we first began talking about having a family, we discovered that we both had a strong interest in adopting from foster care. We wanted to provide a permanent sense of love and security for children who had not had much of either in their lives. A few years after we were married, we became certified foster care parents, and during our time of fostering, we have shared our home with several children. Although the experience was both challenging and rewarding, we found it especially difficult to say goodbye to each child when they left our home. Eventually, it seemed that our chances of adopting from foster care were not favorable, and we decided to try having biological children. Unfortunately, we then discovered that we suffered from fertility issues that would make pregnancy impossible. Of course, this news was a setback, but it led us to private adoption. We are excited to begin this new phase of our journey and would consider it an honor and a gift to be chosen by you to raise your child.

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What I Love About Daniel, by Gretchen

I’ll admit that it sounds very cheesy, but I had a pretty good idea from our first date that I wanted to marry Daniel. We shared a day at the zoo together, and I can still remember walking around and sharing laughs, stories and our love of nature. Later we went to a place with a spectacular view of the city and then to dinner. It was probably one of the best days of my life, getting to know him a little bit better and sharing parts of myself as well. Nine years later, I love being married to Daniel and living with him. We have a shared sense of humor and he’s always making me laugh with his weird little stories. We both have biology-based careers, so we’re constantly sharing interesting things that happened at our respective jobs or science related current events. One of the things that I love most about Daniel is that he always treats people with kindness, and he inspires me to do the same. He especially has a soft spot for senior citizens, as he lived with and cared for both of his grandparents when they developed health problems. He sacrificed a lot to take care of them as a young man, and I think that it says a lot about his character. I’ve also fallen even more in love with Daniel while watching him share special moments with our past foster children. I love the life that we share together, and I am so excited for us to take this next step into the future with him.

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What I Love About Gretchen, by Daniel

Like Gretchen, I knew early on in our relationship that she was someone very special that I wanted to build a life with.  We had similar interests and senses of humor, which of course made the conversations easy.  But there was so much more.  I knew she was someone that I could trust, and it was her deep compassion that hooked me.  She is also someone who is very much connected to her family.  I’ll admit that it isn’t easy to articulate exactly how and why you love someone.  You just know that you do.  It’s more about how I feel when I’m with her.  Have you ever been driving along the highway in the middle of a massive rainstorm?  As you’re driving along there’s the sound of the rain pounding on your car, the pulsing of your wipers, your vision is reduced, and it feels very stressful.  Then when you go underneath an overpass you have that moment where all of the noise and stress stops.  It is a moment of respite during the chaos.  That’s the way Gretchen makes me feel.  She makes me feel peaceful and calm.  She makes me feel good about who I am and helps me be the best version of myself.

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Lifestyle

We enjoy spending time outdoors by camping, hiking, biking, or simply taking a walk with the dogs around the neighborhood, which is a very quiet area with friendly neighbors and many children. Our private and fenced-in backyard is a place where we like to either relax or run around with our dogs.  There is a park near our home that we walk to that has a large playground, basketball and tennis courts, a hiking trail, and a dog park. Some of our other favorite activities include listening to music together, taking trips to the local zoo, museums, going to a concert or theater show, or catching an occasional Pittsburgh Penguins game (Let’s go Pens!). We have a very close-knit and loving extended family that we visit with often. We are always getting together for birthdays, holidays, cookouts, bonfires, and pool parties. We have nieces and nephews that we adore, and we happily babysit anytime we get the chance.

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Our Furry Friends

We both love animals and share our home with some amazing creatures! We have two adorable little dogs, Nina and Ciri, that we adopted together several years ago. Nina is a Pomeranian mix and Ciri is a Cairn Terrier mix. They are both couch potatoes who love to snuggle and are great with kids! Everyone enjoys our daily evening walk around the neighborhood. We also have five wonderful cats. Aiden and Susan were Gretchen’s cats and Oliver and Simba belonged to Daniel before we met. You could say that we created the Brady Bunch of cats when we moved in together! Several years later we inherited another cat, Rosie, from Gretchen’s great aunt. Incredibly, all of our furry friends get along, with the exception of a friendly spat here and there! Daniel also enjoys taking care of his two aquariums of fish.

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Home & Neighborhood

Our home is located in a suburb of Pennsylvania. It is a multilevel house with a large rec room in the finished basement and plenty of space for raising a family. Our mostly private and fenced-in backyard is a place where we like to either relax or run around with our dogs. The neighborhood is a very quiet area with friendly neighbors and many children. There is a nearby park that we walk to that has a large playground, basketball and tennis courts, a hiking trail, and a dog park. It’s is a wonderful city that has many different experiences to offer. We love to explore the city together. We are members of the zoo and often visit our favorite creatures there. We are also members of several museums! In addition, our city has many kid-oriented festivals and activities, such as The Children’s Museum.

 

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Our Families & Friends

If you choose us as parents for your precious baby, you are also choosing an extended family who will love and be deeply involved in your baby’s life. We are always getting together for birthdays, holidays, cookouts, bonfires, and pool parties. We have nieces and nephews that we adore and we happily babysit anytime we get the chance. Our family is beyond excited to welcome our newest family member. We know that we will have so much support from them and can turn to them for help or advice when needed. Gretchen’s parents have generously volunteered to take care of the little one two days a week during the day and are very much looking forward to spending this time with their grandchild.

 

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Our Faith

Daniel is Christian and Gretchen was raised as Christian, but now considers herself to be a spiritual person. Gretchen believes that there is a spiritual element to our world and that there is some kind of higher power. Daniel’s main Christian belief is to live your life according to the example set by Jesus. We both believe in living with kindness and compassion towards others and this is the common ground between our two faiths. We plan on raising our children based on those foundations, and they will be free and encouraged to explore and develop their own religious beliefs if they choose.

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Traditions

For our wedding anniversary, we take a camping trip to a different state park each year.  We always look forward to exploring each new park and learning about its wildlife, habitats, and history.

We also take a vacation each year to Florida where we stay at a condo owned by Gretchen’s parents just outside of Tampa Bay.  We spend a lot of our time there relaxing at the beach, but always make time to visit the local primate sanctuary and marine life rescue center.  We also go kayaking through the mangrove swamp where we get to see the tiny mangrove crabs scurry all over the trees!

We love to celebrate Christmas as well and always have a blast decorating the house, both inside and out.  It feels so nice to make our home festive and every house on the street is always lit up too.  We bought a living Christmas tree a few years ago and it has made a great addition to our living room even when we take the lights off after the holidays.  It has been great to see how it has grown and to know it will be our Christmas tree for years to come. In addition to the traditions that we share just between the two of us, we celebrate holidays and birthdays throughout the year with our families. We always look forward to spending time with everyone!

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What We Will Teach

We will teach our children to treat everyone with kindness and to be brave and speak up for those who cannot.  Honesty and empathy are foundations we hope to encourage.  We want them to know that the world is a wonderfully diverse place and what makes everyone different should be celebrated and embraced.  We want to help them explore and find the wonder and marvels in everyday life. We are also excited to help them discover and develop their interests and talents.

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Our Promise to You

We will do all that we can to help your baby grow into a kind and caring person that you would be proud of.  We want you to know that your child will be unconditionally loved no matter what life throws at them and will have every opportunity to follow their dreams. Your child will know their adoption story and know of the incredible sacrifice that you made for them. We will support an open relationship between you and your child, and would be happy to share updates, photos and videos with you, if that’s what you would want. We will also always be thinking of you and hoping that you in a place where you are surrounded by love.

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