Christopher and Shannon

Married Since: 2013

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: Yes

Other Biological Children at Home: No

With us, you will have peace of mind that you put the life you brought into the world in good, honest, loving hands. We know this choice will affect you for the rest of your life, and we want you to have comfort in making this monumental decision.

Christopher and Shannon

from Wisconsin

Christopher

Ancestry: German, French

Religion: Spiritual

Occupation: Archaeologist

Education: BS

Hobbies: Baking, Running, Kayaking, Writing, Music

Shannon

Ancestry: Irish, European, Unknown

Religion: Lutheran

Occupation: Wildlife Biologist Manager

Education: PhD

Hobbies: Hiking, Gardening, Canning, Fishing, Kayaking

Baby

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

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Lutheran

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From Us to You

We think about you often.

We can envision you studying profiles of smiling people eager to love a child they cannot conceive themselves. We can imagine you feel heavy with the weight of responsibility for the life growing inside you. You may have sleepless nights. To consider putting the life growing in your womb in the arms of others may cause stress and so many questions. How will you choose the right parents from pictures and words? What do your friends and family think of this decision? While we do not yet know you, we admire your selflessness for considering such an option.

We are Christopher and Shannon, and we have experienced sleepless nights. Several years of trying to conceive only resulted in miscarriages. We didn’t come to the decision of adoption lightly. But, once we made the decision, peace filled our hearts. We adopted our son, Winston, and are ready to continue growing our family. So, here we are, one of the hopeful, smiling couples waiting for the phone to ring with good news.

What can we offer the child that grows within you?

We can offer a loving, safe environment. We can offer the stability of a two parent home with a loving extended family eager to accept your child unconditionally. We can offer camping trips, hikes in the woods, kayaking, frogs to catch, dog kisses, hugs, healthy home-cooked meals, bed-time stories, swim lessons, bike rides, and vacations to see aunts, uncles, and grandparents. We can offer our love for knowledge and our passion for curiosity. And, we will provide your child lessons in how to have respect for himself or herself, for others, and for life and the world as a whole.

We know that the adoption process will be tough for all involved. All of us may experience doubt regarding this decision. We want to gain your trust and want to trust you in return.

What can we offer you?

With us, you will have peace of mind that you put the life you brought into the world in good, honest, loving hands. We know this choice will affect you for the rest of your life, and we want you to have comfort in making this monumental decision. We hope that this choice provides you with the ability to pursue a life you may not have thought was possible otherwise.

We cannot share your experience, whatever that may be. We can only be eternally grateful for a chance to be a part of it in this way. We value life and love, above all else, and yearn for the privilege to provide that for a child. We do not know you, but we think of you often and we are humbled.

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Why We Are Choosing to Adopt

While we have the gift of love for each other as a couple, we have not been able to create a child out of this love. Because we want to share this love so much with children, we’ve chosen to adopt. In some ways, this is a complicated decision, but to know that we may have a chance to not only raise a family but to provide a family where one is needed, makes those complications seem abstract. In the end, the chance to share in such love makes the decision for us.

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Our Lifestyle

We are co-equals as a married couple with different talents. We share chores equally and we parent as a team. We value kindness. We want our children to respect themselves and others more than we want them to be any other way by which society might measure success.

We enjoy spending time together as a family. Our photos reveal our love for the outdoors. Something we have been lucky to incorporate into our work lives. We hike, bike, camp, and kayak frequently in summers. Winters bring snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, and frolicking on the frozen lake. Prior to Covid, we would spend time at a nearby indoor water park and children’s museum. Now, we spend even more time outside or find something to do at home. We try to involve our son in daily activities such as cooking and chores. We also read to him often.

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About Shannon

One of the first things many people notice about Shannon is her eyes; large, bright, silvery blue eyes that shine when you look into them. Certainly, I could not help but notice and be caught up in her gaze the first time we met. The truth though, is that it is the world that I see through those eyes that amazes me the most. Shannon sees the good in people and the world. She looks to help others see the goodness in themselves and to envision their dreams and all they can be. Her work is important to her and she is highly valued by both her superiors and her staff. Her views on life are simple and pure; we are at our best when we are honest and true, to ourselves and others. She works hard to instill this in our son. She is a great mother and even though we might approach things in different ways we parent equally and consistently. We frequently discuss parenting and our hopes for the future.

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About Christopher

After years of dating, finding Christopher was like finding shade in the desert or the water’s surface when your lungs feel like they’ll burst. He makes me feel so loved, and he builds me up. Christopher thinks of our son and me first. If there’s a bigger slice of cake and he’s serving, I get it (our son will just eat the icing usually). He shares in household chores and child raising responsibilities. He usually makes breakfast. He’s a talented baker and makes great bread from scratch, including cinnamon rolls! Christopher usually does daycare drop off and pick up and puts our son to bed, patiently (re)reading favorite stories. He loves our dogs and likes to make them happy. Christopher has a low key sense of humor and enjoys spending quality time with close friends and family. He’s a deep thinker, and he skillfully shares his thoughts through writing and musical tastes through volunteer DJing on a public radio station. He’s in good physical shape and runs marathons. He’s kind and quick to say he’s sorry when he’s in the wrong. I love being around him and cannot wait until the evening to discuss our day. Our son loves his Daddy, and I expect all future children will as well!

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How We Met

We met on a dating website — in Alaska. We exchanged emails for a couple of weeks to get to know each other a bit, then met for Thai food for our first date. In the following weeks, we went for hikes (in the snow) and cooked meals together, activities that we both enjoy and that allow for good conversation. We dated for four months, were engaged, and married four months after that.

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What Attracted Us to Each Other

We were both very up front in our online dating profiles regarding what we wanted, and this made it easy to communicate. Besides having similar interests, we communicate well. Christopher is respectful and loving like no other man I had dated. And, he had my heart the first time he made me cinnamon rolls! Shannon is confident and secure in herself and being around her I felt no inclination to be anyone but myself. We had and still have mutual respect for each other and continue to have genuine interest in really understanding each other. Being in this relationship is like being in your favorite outfit; one that’s comfortable and confidence boosting. We’re not saying life is always smooth sailing or that we always agree, but we can work though the difficult times.

We have been married just over seven years and we had a simple wedding. In many ways that day says all that there is about us. In that day we brought together our individual personalities; we met each other in the middle. In that day we looked to each other for guidance and direction; we sought to understand and support each other’s wishes. We worked together and did not expect others to provide for us, yet we also asked those important to us to participate and relied on them to be a part of that day. This is the way we live our lives. We live with each other as ourselves and live for each other in support and unquestioning love. We look to each other for guidance and give ourselves without hesitation. We hold to each other but welcome and treasure the gift of others. This is our nature and the foundation of our relationship. This is the foundation upon which we will build our family; love, support, individuality, trust, and faith.

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Home and Neighborhood

Our home is in a quiet rural neighborhood on a small lake. The house has two levels – the upper level, where we spend most of our time, and the lower which has make-shift home offices in spare bedrooms and a den where we occasionally watch TV. From our basement, we can walk out and down through our wooded backyard to the small lake we share with a handful of neighbors. Upstairs we have a deck, off the kitchen, that faces the lake where we grill and sit in the evenings when the weather is accommodating.

This year, we set up a small garden in the back and installed a hand-me-down dock on the lake that our neighbors gave us when they upgraded. There is a neighborhood beach where we occasionally meet up with other families. We are close with one family and have very good relationships with the others on our cul-de-sac road. We fish, swim, and kayak on the lake in summers, and fly kites, ski, snowshoe (and maybe fish?), and run our two dogs on it in winter after it freezes. Dogs and humans both enjoy living here!

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Our Dogs, Bella and Dora

We have two dogs: Bella, a blue heeler mix and Dora who is “of mixed heritage.” Both are smart, love to swim in our lake, and play with each other. They both love to play fetch, but Bella’s enthusiasm for this activity makes her quite competitive. But, that’s where the similarity ends. Bella loves to please. She wags her tail enthusiastically while performing tricks for treats. But, she’s sensitive and gets sad sometimes. Fireworks scare her! Dora is less rattled by life’s struggles (like fireworks) but is also less enthusiastic about doing tricks. She’ll do them because there are treats involved, but we think she feels it’s beneath her!

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Our Families

Our extended families are quite different from each other. Shannon’s family, originally from Texas, is big and loud. Shannon is the oldest of five kids, now all grown and spread across Texas, Missouri, and Colorado. Her parents live in Tennessee. Her sisters love being aunts! Her cousins, aunts, and uncles are spread out even farther; she even has an aunt in Australia! Shannon’s family has had a wedding almost every year, and when they all get together, a lovely chaos ensues.

Christopher’s family is smaller and quieter but no less influential in his life. He’s the baby of the family and grew up in Illinois. His sister runs a family farm in Maine with her husband and two kids. His brother is a long-haul truck driver based in Idaho. Christopher’s mom passed away shortly after our wedding. Shannon feels blessed to have met her, and her spirit lives on because we think of her often

Regardless of distance and differing ideologies, both our extended families fully support us on our adoption journey. Our son is loved and adored and any addition will receive a joyous welcome. We visit as often as we can.

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Our Traditions

We are still developing traditions as a family. Like many other families, we put up a Christmas tree and celebrate family-oriented holidays like Easter and Mother’s and Father’s Day. We attend community events such as the Fourth of July parade. As our family grows, we expect to adapt our traditions to make all children feel loved.

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Cultural Diversity

We both grew up in culturally diverse areas and attended colleges where we had diverse friends ethnically and spiritually. We will honor the cultural diversity of your child. We will teach acceptance of all. Our son is biracial and we want him to feel comfortable in that, and know how it makes him unique.

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How A Child Will Enrich Our Lives

With the adoption of our son, our lives completely changed. And yet, many things stayed the same. Perhaps our favorite thing about our style of parenting is that, for the most part, we keep doing the things we like, but now we get to share them with our son. That to us is how children can enrich our lives; by giving us new ways of experiencing and appreciating the things we know and love, and maybe even take for granted. We love seeing the world “through” our son’s eyes. We love learning new ways of seeing. We love what he teaches us about each other. We look forward to seeing all those things again through the eyes and experience of another child.

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What We Will Share with Our Child

What we specifically will tell our children about his or her birthmother will likely depend on the situation and the birthmother that chooses us. Regardless, however, we will tell our child that his or her birthmother had a very hard decision to make. Deciding to place your child with someone else is an act of love and trust and requires an enormous leap of faith. Choosing us as adoptive parents required her to trust us. We’d tell our child that we have a lot of respect for her and feel very grateful that she gave us the gift of parenthood, something we could not do on our own.

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Our Relationship with Winston's Birth Parents

We became parents in 2016 to a beautiful baby boy, Winston, when a loving birth family placed him with us. We spent time with both birth parents in the hospital for a few days because he was born early. Our drive home was surreal – we could hardly believe we were parents! We also wondered after the birth parents because we knew they were likely experiencing something other than our joy.

Winston is learning his birth story from us. We originally agreed to an open adoption with frequent picture sharing and yearly visits. We would like him to have a personal connection with his birth family, but they have chosen to be distant for now. Our connection to his birth family is through picture sharing. We share photos at least monthly on a website and can see who has viewed and “liked” them. Our hope is we will video chat and visit when the birth family is ready. We think of them often.

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Our Promise to You

Our family will experience life, and sometimes life is hard. However, we can promise that as long as we are living, we will be together as a couple. We promise that we will approach problems with maturity. If anything happens to us as parents, we already have plans for who will take care of our children. We promise that the life you brought into the world will experience love and acceptance. We promise to teach kindness. We will honor our commitment to you to keep you in your child’s life to the extent possible and desired. We promise that your child will always know who you are and that you loved them first. They will always have access to you if that is your wish for your adoption plan.

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