Zachary and Stephanie

Married Since: 2012

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: Yes

We cannot put into words how hopeful we are for the future of your child. We can only make you the promise that we will give them every opportunity possible to live a life they love and deserve.

Zachary and Stephanie

from Iowa

Zachary

Ancestry: Greek, Danish, German, English

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Teacher

Education: BA

Hobbies: Fathering, Reading, Gardening, Exercising

Stephanie

Ancestry: Norwegian, Irish, Melanesian

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Economic Developer

Education: MA

Hobbies: Mothering, Gardening, Running, Guitar

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: African American, African American / Asian, African American / Caucasian, African American / Hispanic, Biracial (African American + any other)

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Christian

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From Us to You

Dear Expecting Mother,

This will be, quite possibly, the hardest decision you will ever have to make, but as you embark on this new journey of placing your child for adoption, please know that your consideration of our family is humbling. Our own three kiddos are excited to meet their new brother or sister and shower them with the love they deserve.

As a couple, we had a lot of fun and did a lot of traveling and spending time with friends and family before we decided to have kids a few years into our marriage. Since having Wally (5), our oldest, we have taken it upon ourselves to spend as much time with our children as possible. Time, we feel, is the greatest gift you can give to your children, so we maximize it. With the addition of Marcella (3) and Piper (1) our lives have gotten busier, crazier, quite a bit louder, and full of so much joy and laughter it is hard to put into words. We make a point to have dinner around the table every night where a short “Grace” sets the stage for our meals together. Time in the backyard racing around the apple tree or throwing a ball to our dog Daisy always makes a summer night full of special memories. Then, splashes in the tub, pajamas, toothbrushing, and many books consume the rest of our evenings together. Studies have shown that kids who are read to often, along with eating dinner around a table as a family, become well suited for a productive, joyful life. That’s our goal for all of our children!

A note from Zach: Stephanie is the best mother and wife. Her patience is something to be admired and her love for her children is second to none. She works hard at her job, but she makes being a mother her priority. One of her strongest assets in both her personal and professional lives is how good of a listener she is. She does not listen to respond, rather, she listens to learn more about the person. She is always coming up with ideas on how to make our lives more fun, exciting, and filled with laughter. She is tender, patient, and literally gets down on the ground with her children every chance she has. I’m so glad I found the greatest mother and wife on the planet as it makes it that much easier to raise awesome kids!

A note from Steph: Zach is the most dedicated father I could have ever hoped for. As an educator, he is consistently teaching our children life lessons. Even the simple things most adults take for granted. Zach’s patience radiates when he’s able to teach our children something new, even the simplest tasks that we often overlook as adults, Zach gets the kids excited about learning (washing hair, wiping up crumbs off the countertop, or even turning off the shower). When I ask them “How did you know how to do that?” they proudly respond “Daddy taught me”. Families from the community are often pulling me aside to inform me about how much of a positive influence he had been on their child as an educator. Bringing confidence to the surface, excelling in a subject they never realized they even liked, or even teaching them a life-task of how to tie a tie (both the girls and the boys!). As a lifelong learner, Zach is always reading books, articles, or listening to podcasts about becoming a better father, husband, and person. He’s the most enthusiastic person in most rooms and he’s not afraid to have tough conversations. Talking to our children about mistakes and why they are necessary for growth and understanding the world around us is something he finds essential.

Your child will be filled with so much love. We operate best amidst the chaos of having three young children and our jobs afford us the luxury to be home by mid-afternoon so we can enjoy time with them while we prepare dinner together in the kitchen. Baking cookies on the weekends is a favorite family activity as well! As a couple, we have explored our hearts and keep coming back to bringing diversity into our family and community. Enrichening our family’s nucleus, while honoring what makes all of us different, is something we look forward to celebrating. Thus, our openness to children whose backgrounds may be different than our own. We look forward to exploring this further with you when we have the chance to meet! We do our best to model and instill values in our children that we adhere to and live by. Joy and love make the top of the list and we do our best to teach our kids to “Choose Kind” every chance we get. Respect and honesty are paramount and we take the time to discuss right from wrong with our kids often. Finally, hard work and humbleness are shown to our children as owners of two vacation rental properties, on top of our day jobs. Having financial security is important, but does not bring us our happiness – our experiences and memories do.

Since we met in 2010, we’ve lived in a few different cities. What brought us back “home” is the small-town friendliness of our community and it’s progressive nature. The community welcomes diversity and that’s what excited us about moving back in 2015. We have a great network of diverse families, including those with adopted minority children.

We cannot put into words how hopeful we are for the future of your child. We promise to do our best to instill the same love that you would. We would even go so far as to make it known that your love for your child was so deep that you made a necessary sacrifice to provide the future you envision for your child. We commit to you that we will give them every opportunity possible to live the life they love and deserve.

All our Love and Gratitude,
Zach & Steph

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About Us

We met in 2010 and were married in 2012. We knew rather quickly we were a good fit for each other. Zach has a tendency to get excitable and wound up while Stephanie is the ultimate leveler. She has a great ability to stay calm in any storm. Conversely, Zach encourages Steph to be bold in her important position she holds for work in the community. Watching her have so much success in her work in such a short amount of time, and at such a young age, has been inspiring for many. We take time every night after the kids are asleep to debrief the day and get a plan for the next. We do our best to be as honest and open with our children as we can about what they can expect from us and life. We are a perfect complement to each other as a couple, which in turn, makes us pretty darn good parents as well!

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Why We Are Choosing to Adopt

This is the thing we keep coming back to most as parents. Something we look forward to most is how your child and our children will enrich each other’s lives. Our home is full of laughter, loud noises, tears, and chaos. Your child will be a blessing for our children and our families. We will shower him/her with love no different than what we have for our own biological children and believe them to be a precious gift as any child is. We try to live a life of service to our children, family, and community and hope to instill this and other values into him/her. We did not come to the conclusion to adopt quickly, rather, we discussed it over the course of years and consider it to be one of the most important decisions of our lives as parents.

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Our Home and Neighborhood

Our home is located in a small valley near a quaint river in Iowa. The beautiful and scenic bluffs make many tourists question whether they’re in Iowa or Colorado. Our family loves to go for walks, skip rocks, go for a float, and play in the sand during the summer months. With a campground in the neighborhood, we get to experience free firework shows many weeks out of the year. We are avid gardeners, with a new-found love of wildflower growing! Our family frequently visits the flower garden and surprises family, friends, and neighbors often with fresh bouquets. The park-like setting has us feeling very humble and fortunate. Our spacious home sits on about two acres.

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Our Lifestyle

Being a part of the community is important for our family. Zach is a teacher and Stephanie works in economic development. Giving back to the community is important. We work hard to instill the values of community into our children as well. We enjoy spending time outdoors, riding around in our 4-wheeler with our kiddos and dogs, gardening, and exploring the rivers and lakes. We do everything as a family. We moved home to our small hometown to be closer to family, so including our extended family – grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts is easy!

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Our Family

Family is paramount when you have a large family. Moving back to our hometowns has afforded us the luxury of spending a lot of quality time with family and friends we hold dear to our hearts. We have friends all over the community and state that we like to spend time with on occasion. Many of them have small children of their own, so it makes getting together that much easier.

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Traditions

We have many family traditions that we have begun to cultivate with our young kiddos, but what stands out most are the traditional routines we try to do every day. Dinners around the table are a must. Playing games in the yard or around the kitchen table after dinner brings a ton of joy to our home. Showers or tubs, followed up by tooth brushing and story time are something everyone in the family has come to look forward to. The echoes of “one more story” can be heard every night from our kiddos. Holidays with family, walks around our open neighborhood, popcorn and a Disney movie on a Friday night round out some of the others.

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Vacations

We just got back from a week-long trip to a lake in Wisconsin. We were able to spend some time on the big tube, wade in the sandy water, splash around with the kids, and take walks through the woods. The kids love Pa-Pa’s (grandpa’s) boat! Our recently purchased cabin in Wisconsin was our last day trip. We had a blast spending the day with the kiddos at the outdoor waterpark and staying the night, camping out in the living room with a movie and popcorn. The kids helped us paint the kitchen and loft area the next day (which was a huge help!). We also went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood, meeting the neighbors, and enjoyed ice cream on the deck. The trip home (1.5 hours) was a quiet one!

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What We Will Teach Our Children

This is a loaded question, as one of us is a teacher. The short answer is – everything. The practical answer is that we hope for our children to learn how to become good learners. The world is vast and the information we have at our fingertips anymore is instant and, often, confusing. Teaching them how to navigate all of the news, social media, and educational tools of the world will be essential to their long-term success. On a deeper level, we want to raise kids of integrity, humbleness, confidence, passion, and honesty. Respect is key. Everything pivots around and can be groomed under that one value.

We are both working parents, but our relationship with our daycare provider is awesome. Stephanie is actually the board president of the child care center and is actively involved with building and expanding the new facility. Additionally, we have decided that our children will be attending the local (small) parochial (private/Catholic) school through the second grade, so that’s exciting. The small class sizes and faith-focused school will help our children continue to practice kindness and love.

Through Stephanie’s work, she does have the ability to take a 12-week maternity leave for baby’s arrival.

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Our Promise to You

We cannot put into words how hopeful we are for the future of your child. We promise to do our best to instill the same love that you would. We would even go so far as to make it known that your love for the child was so deep that you made a necessary sacrifice to provide the future you envision for the child. We commit to you that we will give them every opportunity possible to live the life they love and deserve.

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