Jeffrey and Tara

Married Since: 2009

Pets: No

Stay at Home Parent: Part-Time

Other Adopted Children at Home: Yes

Other Biological Children at Home: Yes

We would be honored to welcome your child to our family and to help fulfill the dreams you hold for your child. Please know that you would be fulfilling our dreams as well. Our prayers include you and your baby every day.

Jeffrey and Tara

from Illinois

Jeffrey

Ancestry: English, German

Religion: Methodist

Occupation: Director of Equity Research

Education: MBA

Hobbies: Travel, Watching Notre Dame sports, Tennis

Tara

Ancestry: Irish, German

Religion: Catholic

Occupation: Senior Tax Manager

Education: BBA

Hobbies: Family trips, Cooking, Playing sports with our daughters

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: Caucasian

Preferred Gender of Baby: Male

Religion Child To Be Raised: Catholic

Favorites

Jeffrey

Book
Liar's Poker
Childhood Memory
Family trips to Disneyland
Early Bird or Night Owl?
Night Owl
Food
Steak
Holiday
Christmas
Music
Dave Matthews Band
Sport
College Football
Thing to Cook
Pancakes
TV Show
Seinfeld
Vacation Spot
Hawaii

Tara

Book
Little Women
Childhood Memory
Family trips to Disneyland
Early Bird or Night Owl?
Early Bird
Food
Donuts
Holiday
Christmas
Music
Ed Sheeran
Sport
College Football
Thing to Cook
Cupcakes
TV Show
This is Us
Vacation Spot
Hawaii
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From Us to You

Dear Expectant Mother,

Like you, we have gone through periods in our lives when things have not gone as expected. Your decision to give birth to your baby and make an adoption plan is the most selfless, loving, courageous choice one can imagine. You are not only choosing life, you are fulfilling the hopes and dreams of people who are unable to grow families without adoption. You are making the world a better place.

Our names are Tara and Jeff. We met in college and have been married for eleven years. Being parents is something we dreamed about, even before our wedding. Our path to becoming parents was not a straight line. We went through two years of unsuccessful IVF cycles before making the choice to pursue adoption. We can undoubtedly say that was the best decision we have made as a couple. We welcomed our daughter Samantha through adoption as well as two more daughters, Gwendolyn and Josephine, through IVF. We recently found ourselves at a similar crossroads. We tried IVF again and were unsuccessful in our last three tries. We’ve closed the book on having children biologically and are solely focused on completing our family through adoption.

We promise your baby will be cherished and loved in our family. We love all three of our daughters with no thought as to how they came into our lives. We’d be thrilled to add a boy to our family. A boy would enrich our family experiences and perspectives while enabling him to make his own unique impact on our family. While we all want to be unique, we also want to fit in. As he grows up, he will understand he has an older sister who is adopted, too.

Samantha is seven and loves learning about space. She is fascinated by the moon, planets, and stars, and we hope she one day reaches her goal of traveling to space. Gwendolyn is six, and her ideal day would be full of arts and crafts, and probably eating watermelon. The girls are only seven months apart and are both in first grade. They truly are each other’s best friend. Josephine is two and has been such a joyful addition to our family. She is happiest with her sisters while still being fiercely independent.

Adoption is discussed openly in our home. Samantha is proud to be adopted and enjoys sharing this fact with others. We understand those sentiments may evolve as Samantha grows, but we are committed to providing love and guidance throughout her life, as we would be with your baby. Samantha’s birth mom, Kim, is mentioned around our home with love and admiration.

Now, onto us! Tara has a warm heart and a knack for taking care of others. Transitioning from a full-time job to her ultimate goal of being a mother is fulfilling and her proudest accomplishment. Jeff has accomplished several professional feats in his career in finance, and his curiosity and constant desire to learn will undoubtedly rub off on your child. Education is very important to both of us, and we will do whatever it takes to provide your child with the best opportunities life has to offer. Jeff is devoted to his wife and family and loves his sports teams – especially The University of Notre Dame. While he’s learned a lot about putting in ponytails and the Disney princesses, he, and Tara too, are really excited to welcome a boy into their family. The biggest driver might be the three older brothers Tara grew up with, and the strong bond she still has with all of them.

We have very close relationships with our families and have the support and love of four grandparents, more than a few aunts and uncles, and seven cousins in our extended family. Both of us share a tight-knit group of friends who, through prayer and support, are pulling for our chances of expanding our family.

We would be honored to welcome your child to our family and to help fulfill the dreams you hold for him. Please know that you would be fulfilling our dreams as well. Our prayers include you and your baby every day. We are so very grateful that you are making the courageous decision to bless a family with the gift of your precious baby.

Yours Truly,
Tara and Jeff

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About Us

We have found our best friend, most honest critic, and greatest support system in each other. Our love for travel, education, music, and sports not only brought us together but has helped us enjoy life together. Jeff supported Tara’s dream of living and working overseas when they lived in Switzerland together after getting married. Tara supported Jeff when he pursued his master’s degree and continues to support him as he progresses in his career. We love to play and watch sports and often enjoy games and concerts with friends and family. As parents, we have found that we complement each other in balancing compassion with discipline, seriousness with silliness. We don’t always play the same role though; it seems to shift smoothly and seamlessly to keep us balanced as a couple and as a family.

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Our Families

To us, family means support. This support is truly a blessing and something we are grateful for every day. As we pursue our goal of adoption to complete our family, we continue to remain close with our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and extended family. Our extended family has welcomed all of our children with love and excitement. Each child is treasured for being the unique individual she is. Each holds a special place in our family that no one else could ever fill. Each is loved and accepted by all the others, unconditionally.

As retired college professors, Jeff’s parents are sources of educational ideas, books, games, toys, and activities that entertain and challenge our girls. Being three hours away, they are always ready to help us or celebrate with us. One of our fondest family memories was a trip to Disneyland with Jeff’s parents. We were fortunate to visit Jeff’s extended family during the trip as well. Continued trips to Disneyland are in our future plans.

Tara’s parents and siblings live further away, but the fact that her father was a pilot has helped the family consider no distance too great to visit each other. We also look forward to more trips to Tara’s parents’ cabin. We have celebrated birthdays, baptisms, Christmas, and Fourth of July at the cabin with our extended family. Our family loves tubing on the lake, bonfires with s’mores and cousins, and reading books with Grandma. These simple moments tend to be the most memorable for Tara and Jeff, as well as our girls. Our family means the world to us!

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Why We Are Choosing to Adopt

We were led to adoption because of the struggles we faced with having children biologically. When we chose adoption and welcomed Samantha, we can definitively say it was the best decision we’ve ever made. While years of IVF have led to adding two beautiful daughters to our family, it’s come with a lot of heartache and pain. We have never viewed adoption as a “second choice” to having children biologically. Tara’s sister-in-law’s voice saying, “we are all God’s children” often runs through her mind when she steps back to watch the girls play together. We are comfortable and confident in welcoming and raising children, whether adopted or biological. We very much want to welcome a fourth child to our family, and we believe a boy will help create more balance, diverse thoughts, and even more fun! Tara grew up with three older brothers and knows the special relationships sisters and brothers can have. Being an only child, Jeff brings the focus of giving each child in the family devoted attention. Having siblings doesn’t mean children don’t need one-on-one love and support. Raising both adopted and biological children doesn’t cross our minds most days, and we are hopeful our unique family dynamic of two biological children and two adopted children will encourage openness, honesty, and lifelong bonds for all of our children.

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Our Traditions

While many traditions revolve around holidays for us, we have created some new traditions with our daughters as they grow. Most of these are simple, like family movie nights on Saturday, family games on Sunday, and visiting our local ice cream shop every Father’s Day (and many days in between!). One of Tara’s favorite traditions is having pancakes on Sundays. She grew up with her dad making pancakes for the family after church on Sundays, and now Jeff has assumed the role of making pancakes for the family. Tara is still usually on clean-up duty! We are fortunate to continue to celebrate holidays like the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with our parents and extended family. Jeff’s dad has started making pizza from scratch on Christmas Eve, and we enjoy it together when we celebrate Christmas with them. Tara’s extended family is large, and when we travel to spend Christmas with Tara’s extended family, a crowd of 40-50 gathers to celebrate. It brings Tara so much joy to see her daughters enjoy time with their cousins and other extended family members, just as she did growing up.

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Our Relationship with Samantha's Birth Mother

Samantha’s birth mom is Kim. We still celebrate July 29, when ANLC called to share that Kim chose us. We had a phone call with Kim a few days later, and we met Kim and her mom within two weeks of our phone call. Kim was 8 months pregnant at the time. We took them to breakfast – I still remember Kim and I both ordered French toast. On the morning of Kim’s induction, we picked her up early and went with her to the hospital. Kim was living with her mom at the time, and her mom was working nights, so Kim asked us for a ride. We were committed to her, and we felt like she was committed to us, before Samantha was even welcomed into the world. Kim had two children before Samantha and made the courageous decision to give life to Samantha and make an adoption plan for her.

As agreed with Kim, for the first two years, we shared pictures and written updates every 3 months. When Samantha turned 2, we shared pictures and written updates every year on her birthday. We learned from Kim three years ago that she welcomed another baby, so she too is a busy mom to three children. We are grateful for the pictures she sent of herself with her 3 children. Those pictures, as well as the text chain we shared when we corresponded regularly during her last 6 weeks of pregnancy, are cherished possessions. We feel Kim has moved forward in her life, and we are delighted when we hear from her. We talk about Kim, we pray for Kim, and we continue to remain eternally grateful to her for choosing us.

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Our Lifestyle

While we have an active and busy lifestyle, we balance all the activity with quiet and simple things, too. Weekdays are full of packing lunches, school drop-offs, active jobs for us, and lots of hustle to keep up with the pace of our girls. We do slow down in the afternoon and evening and prioritize reading with the girls each day. Samantha and Gwendolyn are reading simple books on their own, and it is really rewarding to see them read to Josephine. Weekends typically include birthday parties, extracurriculars like soccer or ice skating, a BBQ at a friend’s or neighbor’s, and church as a family. We have found a parish in our community we really like. We enjoy seeing friends and meeting new people after Mass, sharing donuts and coffee. Our 2020 circumstances have created more opportunities for family activities like exploring new parks and baking cookies. We don’t have a lot of time to devote to our own interests like playing tennis, reading, or trying a new local restaurant, but we do work with each other to make time for ourselves independently, and as a couple.

Another part of our lifestyle is our love for hosting. We often host friends and family at our home for holidays, big football games, or just to sit outside and watch the kids ride their bikes. We look forward to hosting more, especially our families, in the future. Our daily life is busy with three kids, but it is so rewarding and built around genuine love. It gives us the energy and strength we need to be our best each day. We look forward to an even fuller house, filled with sibling laughter, lots of energy, and much love.

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Travels

We were both very fortunate to have the ability to travel with our families from a young age. However, not all vacations were fancy or expensive. Both of our parents worked hard to provide our families with the ability to travel and see the world. This has carried down to both of us, and now to our children.

Our most memorable vacations together include the numerous trips we took when we lived in Geneva, Switzerland right after our wedding. Tara took a job in Geneva, and though Jeff wasn’t working while they lived abroad, he took on the role of travel agent, organizing trips to Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Istanbul, and numerous destinations in Switzerland. While we were going through the adoption process with Samantha, we bought a travel book on Argentina and were looking forward to traveling in South America. We got a call saying we had been chosen by Samantha’s birth mom, Tara gave birth to Gwendolyn, and our Argentina book still sits on our bookshelf, seven years later! We wouldn’t exchange these last seven years of being parents for any trip in the world, but we are motivated to travel with our children, domestically and internationally, as they grow.

Our favorite trips as a family have been two trips to Hawaii with our girls and Tara’s parents, and a trip to Disneyland with our girls and Jeff’s parents. We are very diligent in the age of COVID and are protective of our parents and their health. Our hope is to continue to travel as a family, and extended family, soon. Future destinations will include places we’ve been and loved, like Disneyland and Hawaii, but also new places like Nashville, Santa Fe, Quebec, and hopefully, Argentina someday!

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Home and Neighborhood

We enjoyed living in an urban area as a young married couple and as our family grew with our adoption of Samantha and birth of Gwendolyn. Three years ago, we were fortunate to find a great community outside of the city and have enjoyed putting down roots in a home we can see ourselves in as our daughters grow and as we complete our family. Our home is a spacious white farmhouse, originally built over 100 years ago but completely rehabbed to keep our family comfortable. Jeff enjoys taking care of the yard and Tara’s favorite part of their house is the big table in the dining room. While some family dinners are in the kitchen, when grandparents or friends join for a meal, Tara enjoys setting a large table. Long conversations around the dinner table are a vivid memory of Tara’s childhood, and one she is carrying on to her family.

We are walking distance to the K-8 school where Samantha and Gwendolyn are in first grade. The lake is a short bike ride from our home. We enjoy Saturday mornings at the beach and looking out at the horizon. Our neighborhood is full of kids biking to the ice cream shop and neighbors walking their dogs. We can also walk to the train, which is not only convenient for Jeff when he works downtown, but it also makes for fun daytrips for the family to explore a museum, a show, or a ballgame.

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About Jeff

At our wedding, Jeff’s best man Mark, his best friend from childhood through college, said that Jeff has always made good decisions. Mark was right then, and he continues to be right eleven years later. Jeff has made good decisions in his career, in his married life, and as a father. He has supported me through the worst of times, as well as the best. While he doesn’t give himself credit most times, he’s a wonderful father who exhibits the perfect balance of letting the girls have some independence while carefully watching for their safety. The attribute I admire the most in Jeff is his patience. I am so thankful Jeff made the decision to propose to me twelve years ago and for all our decisions together along the way to grow our family.

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About Tara

Tara is a fantastic and devoted wife and mother. She is our family’s north star and constantly keeps us pointed in the right direction. She’s always been there to help me make the best decisions in life, big or small. Tara takes on a lot and makes it look easy. She not only manages our house and all the people in it, but also finds enough time to excel part-time at her career. On top of that, she’s a terrific friend and truly cares for others. Tara’s at her best when she has a goal to strive for and more often than not, that goal benefits the people around her. And if that wasn’t enough, Tara’s also fun. She brings joy to our house, and there’s no one else in the world I’d rather spend time with.

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How We Met

The story of how we met brings in a few different elements of our lives, including our close family ties and our love for travel. We both attended the same university. While we later realized we had been at the same parties and even some of the same classes in large lecture halls, we actually met in the Los Angeles airport. Both of us were selected to study abroad in Australia. We chose to spend the last days before traveling across the world with family – Tara and her mom spending a few days together in Los Angeles and Jeff meeting up with his aunt, uncle, and two cousins near Anaheim. Tara’s mom came to the airport with her the day of her flight and waited in line with her to check-in. Jeff was in line behind Tara, and it was Tara’s mom who first started speaking to Jeff. Where was he from, was he looking forward to the semester, she wanted to know. When Tara turned around, her mom introduced her to Jeff. Then we were off to Australia. We became friends first and enjoyed adventures with other friends throughout the world that semester. It wasn’t until towards the end of our semester abroad did we realize that we wanted to continue our relationship back at school, and eventually forever.

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Adoption in Our Lives

Pride is the word that comes to us when we think of ourselves as adoptive parents. Truthfully, adoption wasn’t always part of our plan. When faced with fertility challenges, we are thankful we had the courage and encouragement from others to pursue adoption. The joy we have experienced welcoming a child through adoption has equaled the joy of giving birth to a baby. When we share our story of having children, many people say they thought about adoption – just thought. We are so grateful we continued our pursuit and were able to see the good adoption can bring to the world.

While pride might not be a word that comes to you right now, we hope through your experience, you can become an even stronger woman and feel proud of your decision. We can’t pretend to know the challenges you may have encountered in your life. But we can hopefully bring you some peace of mind that your baby will be loved and raised to be proud of whom he is.

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Our Promise to You

We promise to love your child unconditionally and forever. We are confident in that promise, as we have had the privilege of welcoming both adopted and biological children in our home. Life can take drastic turns, for good and for bad. While we have been so blessed in our lives with family, the means to have an education, and good health to this point, our fertility struggles, including six miscarriages, have caused us to experience some of life’s toughest blows. Our faith is important to us, but it has been shaken at times. We have no doubt you too have faced challenges, some of them far greater than we will ever know. You really are the reason we continue to have faith. We will be forever grateful that you chose life, and we respect you for such a courageous decision. We pledge to you we will be the best parents we can be to this baby and always keep you in our hearts, minds, and prayers. We promise.

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