Blake and David

Married Since: 2019

Pets: No

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

We have long dreamed of you and this precious child you carry. We did not know your name or your face, but we knew one day the universe would connect us.

Blake and David

from California

Blake

Ancestry: Polish, Dutch, English, Scots-Irish

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Priest

Education: M.A., M.Div

Hobbies: Hiking, Cooking, Woodworking, Literature, History, Theology, Music

David

Ancestry: Welsh, German, Swedish, English

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Web Designer

Education: B.F.A.

Hobbies: Hiking, Running, Sketching, Fine Art, Singing, Outdoors

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: All Races / Ethnicities

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Christian

Favorites

Blake

Animal
Sea Lions
Book
The Brothers Karamazov
Childhood Memory
Putting up the Christmas tree and singing carols together
Family Activity
Long walks exploring our neighborhood and city
Food
A good, hearty stew
Hobby
Woodworking
Leisure Activity
Reading, both fiction and non-fiction
Personal Hero
Tony Jarvis - a teacher who believed in me, who taught by his own example
Quote
"For new we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
Thing to cook
Baking bread
Music
Everything from Bach to Broadway, Renaissance, polyphony to early American folk and many others!
Vacation Spot
The mountains in Colorado

David

Animal
Elephant
Book
The Lord of the Rings
Childhood Memory
Building forts and putting on living room plays with my 7 siblings
Family Activity
Pizza night! Making pizza together and watching a movie
Food
Thai street food
Hobby
Keeping up my sketch journal
Leisure Activity
Picnic in our local park
Personal Hero
My grandfather, "Whole Hog Harvey." He was a photographer and a joyful student of life
Quote
"Things might have been different, but they could not have been better." JRR Tolkien
Thing to cook
Breakfast for dinner!
Music
Top 40, classical, classic jazz, Scandinavian Indie
Vacation Spot
Hiking across England along Hadrian's Wall
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From Us to You

Dear Expectant Mom,

We can’t tell you how excited we are to be writing this letter to you. Growing up, we didn’t dare envision a world where we could be in love, let alone where we could be married and build a family. We feel unbelievably fortunate to have found one another, and we couldn’t be happier or more humbled by the amazing privilege of adopting a baby together. We can’t begin to guess what you might be experiencing as you read this, but to us, you represent everything that is possible in a world full of unexpected blessings. We are beyond thrilled at the prospect of partnering with you through this process, and full of respect for the profound act of love you are making.

We are David and Blake. Three years ago we moved to a new state and town, engaged to be married after two years of long-distance dating between Chicago (David) and St. Louis (Blake). We made the move in order to be together, and to start our lives as a family in a place where there were good work opportunities for us both and where relatives would be near, too. Blake’s parents and sister had moved to California years ago, and two of David’s siblings had recently moved there as well. Since then, we have thoroughly enjoyed how much there is to discover here, and to celebrate: whether that’s a long walk across the city, a bike ride up the redwood coast, local street fairs and farmers markets, hiking in the Sierra Nevada’s only a short drive away, or innumerable holidays and festivities with friends, family, and our church community. We can’t wait to introduce your child to all these people and activities who give us so much joy, and to share with them this place that has become our home.

David grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, until he moved to the United States for college, spending time in rural Missouri, Kansas City, and then Chicago. He is an artist by training, and works now as a designer focused on making digital and web experiences a bit more human-friendly. Blake grew up in northern Wisconsin before going to school in Chicago and embarking on an archaeological career in the ancient Mediterranean world. That experience led to seminary training, and he is now a priest in the Episcopal Church. He has served communities in Colorado, Rhode Island, and Missouri, and is currently the senior pastor (“rector”) of a parish here. In addition to outdoor adventure, we both love creative hobbies, including bread baking and woodworking (Blake), sketching, painting, and printmaking (David). We love stories as well — whether in music, novels, poetry, history, or the people we meet in our daily life and work. We both sing, and Blake plays the piano.

Over the years we have enjoyed a wide variety of experiences, a lot of travel, and many, many people. We have been guests at least as often as we have been hosts, we have been students at least as often as we have been teachers, and we have been helped at least as often as we have helped someone else. We are humbled by the many undeserved kindnesses we have benefited from, and we want to be part of a world where those kindnesses grow — till they are no longer the exception but just the way things are.

That’s why, more than anything, we want you to know that your child will be raised with unconditional love and affection — the same unconditional love and affection we have for one another. We are so looking forward to the long adventure of helping them discover who they are, of building a home where their imagination can grow in creative and life-giving ways, where they can find their place in the world to do good and live well, according to their own gifts, interests, and loves. Together with our large extended family of friends, relatives, neighbors, and church members, your child will be surrounded by a wide variety of people who love them. The unique experiences and perspectives of each person contribute to a broader family where trust is nurtured, injuries are forgiven, and the future is unknown but always full of possibility.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. We don’t know you yet, or what it’s like to be you right now, or to have to make the decisions you have to make, but we are full of respect for you and the love you have for your child. Whatever you might be feeling as you read this, we hope getting to know a little about us, and seeing a glimpse of what your child’s life would be like with us can give you assurance, confidence, and hope.

We will be praying for you as you seek the best path for you and your child. Please pray for us as well!

David & Blake

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About David

David is full of life — one of the most fully alive people I know. His readiness to laugh, his bursting creativity, his tangible joy in the people and things around him is like a continuous stream of fresh air, breathing life into every day. At the same time, his sensitivity to human vulnerability, and his willingness to have hard conversations with honesty, patience, and gentleness, reveals a depth of emotional maturity and wisdom that always make me feel safe and valued. To everyone he knows he is a faithful friend and a fearless advocate.

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About Blake

Getting to know Blake is very much like the feeling of “coming home.” He has a calm steadiness and presence about him that helps other people feel safe and valued. He approaches the world with genuine curiosity, always taking time to listen deeply in order to understand people and various topics. He can be quite the force in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and loves any excuse to make the people around him feel special and loved.

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Our Home

Our home is a 1920’s Craftsman bungalow, with an easy-to-spot, sky blue, checkerboard front door and a vibrant flower garden on either side of the walk. Stepping inside, you are met by the scent of whatever Blake is cooking for dinner, or perhaps the cookies David made for dessert last night, or perhaps the bread in the oven for tomorrow’s breakfast. The living room is cozy and warm, with shelves full of books containing the stories we love best, along with guides, maps, and references opening up for us things we haven’t encountered yet. The dining room is made for family dinners, and we eat there ourselves most nights, inviting friends and neighbors as often as we can (when not in pandemic). The kitchen opens onto the fenced-in back garden, which is truly an oasis: full of flowers, trees, birds, a mossy brick patio, and a vegetable patch, all lovingly maintained by our landlady herself.

Across the street is a grandmother whose grandson visits every Sunday, rain or shine. Two doors down is a stay-at-home dad who loves to bake bread, and with his school-age son looks after the single retiree next door — who in turn looks after half the gardens on the block. On the other side is a little girl whose birthday parties and family celebrations are a draw for the whole neighborhood. Ten doors down are dear friends who moved here shortly after we did, and within a mile radius are several other close friends from work, church, and school. Within easy walking distance are parks, playgrounds, ice cream shops, the library, schools, bike paths, and buses that go anywhere we want to explore.

We love the sense of place and community we find where we live, a real village in the midst of a wonderfully diverse city — the best of both worlds.

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Our Families

Grandma Debbi and Grandpa Jay live up the road in the foothills. They are champions of the great outdoors and of hiking as high as they can reach. They love a house full of family, and can’t wait to set another place at the table.

Aunt Laura is an ICU nurse and lives a little further up the road from Grandma and Grandpa; she just bought her own house, with a big backyard and a pool on a quiet street shaded by redwoods and sycamores. She is another champion of the outdoors, and can’t wait to be a doting aunt.

Katie & Andy: our closest friends and neighbors. David officiated their wedding, and we joke about building cabins together in the woods someday. During the pandemic, we’ve been taking turns making dishes to bring over for backyard dinners.

Our Church: a community of loving, supportive people who have quickly become an extension of our own family. There are several new parents in the younger generation, and in the older generation there are already a dozen or more volunteer babysitters and other helpers all organizing themselves to help look after the new arrivals.

Further flung friends and family: our extended family includes 3 nieces born this year alone, with more kids on the way. In total there are 15 aunts and uncles, 4 grandparents, and 4 great-grandparents, in places as far afield as Thailand, Oregon, Los Angeles, Nevada, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas City, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and even Kuwait, where Aunt RuthAnne is currently deployed with the National Guard. We are also fortunate to have a wide network of dear friends and chosen family across the country, from the Mountain West to the Midwest to New England and the South.

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Our Lifestyle

We love being at home, and we love adventure too. So whenever we’re at home we approach it as an adventure — as an occasion to learn, explore, try new things, and expand our imaginations. And whenever we’re out in the world we approach it as if it were an extension of our home, with hospitality and appreciation for the things and people we encounter.

A typical day starts with David getting up early to go for a run, while Blake reads the news and has his morning quiet time. When David gets back we make coffee and have a small breakfast together in the back garden before work. Usually there are leftovers for lunch from dinner the night before, and now that we’re both working from home we look forward to an afternoon break for tea and a walk to the park after work. We whip up something for dinner, and if we’re low on bread Blake will get started on a fresh loaf we can put in the oven tomorrow morning. In off hours we’ll work on a puzzle together, spend time in the books we’re reading, or work on our other creative projects and hobbies.

Friday nights are pizza night! We make fresh pizza from scratch, and watch a movie or TV show. On weekends we love to go for long walks — through the city to parks and museums, around nearby neighborhoods, or else in any of the gorgeous state parks, beaches, and wildlife preserves all around us. We love game nights with friends and neighbors, making dinner and hosting family gatherings, trips to nearby festivals, farms, and historic towns, and drives in the mountains and forests.

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Why We are Choosing to Adopt

We believe strongly in adoption and that it is love that makes a family. We’ve both known that we’d one day want to have kids even in our early years of dating. As we’ve grown in love, gotten married, and have built a life together, we are excited to open our home to the joy of children by becoming dads.

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What We will Tell Your Child about You

Our hope would be for this question to be answered in conversation with you: we don’t want to speak for you, or make assumptions about your reasons for adoption — we want to tell your child what you want them to know about yourself. We believe you are an important part of your child’s story, and the more they know of you and your love for them, the happier and healthier they will be. But your story is yours to tell, and we respect your wishes about how it gets told.

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What We will Teach Your Child

We will teach your child that they are beautifully and wonderfully made, and that there is nothing they can do to make us stop loving them. We will teach your child to know God’s love for them and to share that love with others around them. We will help them to discover and celebrate their own unique gifts, and to learn to advocate for themselves and for others. We will support them as they pursue their dreams. We will teach them to respect those who are different from themselves and how to share their toys, their ideas, their resources, and their hopes. We will teach your child that curiosity and imagination are wonderful things, and that life is endlessly full of so much to discover, to learn, and to celebrate.

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Family Traditions

Specific traditions include: getting the Christmas tree soon after Thanksgiving, and decorating first with the new ornament we give one another every year. These ornaments are a tradition we’ve carried on from Blake’s parents, who have been doing the same thing every year since they started dating in 1980. David’s family always holds a Secret Santa exchange, which Blake has been thoroughly incorporated into. For Thanksgiving we always have a big “Friendsgiving” gathering with whatever friends and family are local, and then we take some additional time off work to be together just on our own. Comfort foods for us include ice cream or cookies (especially chocolate chip!) as well as fresh salads, hearty stews, and curries of all kinds. For major life celebrations, like when a friend recently passed a big Accounting exam, we make a big batch of homemade macaroni & cheese. For Blake’s birthday in particular, we’re in the tradition of cooking a new dish we’ve never made before. We love to read out loud to one another, everything from poetry to novels and plays, and we take any occasion as an excuse, from our anniversary to Valentine’s Day to Veteran’s Day and Halloween.

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Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is important to us, as part of our commitment to the ever-widening awareness by which we try to navigate the world. Partly, that commitment comes from David’s experience growing up in Thailand as one of the only white families in their overwhelmingly Thai community. Partly, it comes from Blake’s experience as a pastor helping many newcomers, of all backgrounds, who did not grow up in his tradition to find a home and a place there.

But mostly it comes from our conviction that we are all children of God, made in God’s image — and that our specific ethnicities, cultures, languages, economic contexts, and experiences are all central to the way that Image is revealed in us. The more we see, learn, and appreciate of that diversity, and the better we love those who carry it, the more clearly (and the more richly!) we can see, learn, and appreciate the God whom humanity reveals.

If we are blessed with a child of a different ethnicity than our own, we will make it our mission to learn and to understand all we can of their heritage; to make sure they have a wide variety of adults and role models in their lives, including ones who look like them; to help them understand there are a lot of different ways to be in this world, a lot of different ways to imagine being and dreaming and growing.

We are fortunate to have a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual families on both David’s and Blake’s sides, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church community, a diverse neighborhood and city, and a genuine interest coupled with real experience in cultures not our own. But we still have a lot to learn, and we would look forward to learning and growing together as a family.

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Our Passions and Callings

David has always found joy in noticing the world around him and the people who inhabit it, and from childhood he has delighted in finding creative ways to capture the beauty he sees in them. His college degree is in fine art, and he is an artist first and foremost — whether sketching, drawing, painting, photography, or print-making. Our home is full of pieces he made himself or collected from others, and he is happiest when let loose with a sketchbook and a free afternoon. For the past ten years he has worked as a designer, using his creative skills and his attentiveness to human life to help make better connections between digital products and the people they are intended to serve. Some days that involves interviewing people and listening to them talk about what excites them or what frustrates them about a particular task or process. Other days it involves sketching up ideas and papering walls with post-its. He loves being able to use his love of art and his skill in design to help people accomplish what they need to do.

Blake trained as an archaeologist and an historian, undertaking several underwater and land-based field projects on ancient Greek shipwrecks and Canaanite cities in the Eastern Mediterranean while earning an advanced degree. He grew up in a Christian household, but discovered the Episcopal/Anglican tradition in college. During his last archaeological projects, his love for God in the life of the church and the hearts of its people had begun to grow into a calling, and he changed course towards seminary training and ordained ministry. On the surface, archaeology is very different from ministry — but the perspective it gave him on the world of the Bible strongly enriched his faith, and he found the two fields surprisingly similar in at least one respect: they are both involved in uncovering what lies hidden in plain sight. For archaeology, that is the record of past human experience, and for ministry, that is the grace of God in the lives of individuals and communities. He has now been a pastor for ten years, and finds it a beautiful and deeply rewarding life.

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Our Vacations

We both love journeys, and discovering what makes places what they are. When moving to St. Louis, Blake made sure to stop first at the place where the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi, and when we moved to California one of our first stops was the place (now an intersection) where the first trans-continental railroad ended.

We especially love walking, and the unique perspective it offers. Our first date was a long walk, six hours on a snowy day through Chicago’s beautiful downtown and riverfront, punctuated by lunch at a diner and several stops for coffee and hot chocolate. One of our favorite big vacations was a long backpacking journey across Great Britain along the remains of Hadrian’s Wall, and someday we hope to attempt a long walking route like the Appalachian Trail or the old pilgrimage road from Canterbury in England to Rome — whenever kid(s) are big enough to enjoy coming along with us! We also love hiking, whether that’s in the many wonderful parks nearby, or further afield like our climb to the summit of Mt. Whitney in 2018.

Closer to home, when we’re not out walking or otherwise exploring, we love to read — to each other as much as to ourselves — to play board games, watch TV/movies, sing, play the piano, attend concerts and shows, work on our creative hobbies, make something delicious for dinner, or else simply enjoy a lazy weekend.

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A Typical 3-Day Weekend

Blake works on Sundays, so a three-day weekend looks slightly different for us — but our last 3-day weekend was fairly typical: Friday night we made pizza and watched a movie together, and then on Saturday we got up early to head to the trailhead for Mt. Diablo, the highest peak in our area and one we hadn’t climbed yet. The trail was long but beautiful, and we got back down about 4pm. We celebrated our victory by ordering an early dinner from our favorite burger spot, and then we spent the evening working together on our adoption profile. Sunday morning we live-streamed church, and then we made a dish to bring over to our friends’ backyard for an outdoor dinner and a board game. Monday we took it slow and worked on chores around the house. That evening we read from a baby book together about some milestones in a child’s first year of development, and finished with a few Mom blogs reviewing different kinds of cribs and strollers — until our heads were spinning but our hearts were full!

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Our Hobbies

We enjoy walking, hiking, biking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving, skiing, snow shoeing, and anything else that gets us outside and exploring the world around us. Inside, we enjoy reading, puzzles, games, films, and TV shows. For creative hobbies, we both love listening to and making music (we both sing, and Blake plays the piano). Blake also enjoys cooking, baking bread, writing, and woodworking; and David also enjoys cooking, sketching, painting, and print-making.

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What Kind of Parents We will Be

We aspire to be like the parents and parental-type figures who have been influential and inspirational in our own lives: parents who love their children deeply, who trust and respect them, who are equally ready to laugh with their kids as cry with them, who believe in them even when they’re not quite sure they can believe in themselves. We can’t wait to share with them everything we love about the world, from our faith to our extended families to our hobbies to the big and small things which we care about and fill our lives with delight; and we can’t wait to learn what they have to teach us, to hear what they’re passionate about, curious about, wondering about. We’re looking forward to impromptu dance parties in the living room after a good day of school, playing “hunt the dust bunnies” with the vacuum, making a mess in the kitchen decorating Christmas cookies, and building forts out of couch cushions in the living room. We never want our kids to be afraid of us, or to fear rejection in any way; rather we will support them, empower them, and encourage them to discover who they are and the many ways they can reflect God’s love in the world

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Our Promise to You

We will treasure your child as we treasure each other — beyond all measure of thought or reason. We will do everything in our power to create a safe place for them to discover who they are and to realize their dreams. They will be surrounded by loving family, supportive friends, and a doting church community, and we will introduce them to the rich constellation of stories, places, characters, heroes, heroines, and other occasions of wonder and delight which make life such an adventure for us. We will celebrate the courageous choice their birth mom made and make sure your child knows their adoption was born of your love, nothing more and nothing less. We will teach them to aspire to the same kind of selfless love, for God and their neighbor, and to stand up for themselves and for those who don’t have a voice. In short, we will raise your child with all the love in our hearts, and we will count it the greatest blessing we could hope to receive.

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