Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
Our neighborhood is peaceful and friendly with a beautiful view of the city below. We live walking distance to so many beautiful parks. Take your pick: we have a waterfront lake park, a river walk that leads to the public library, a dog park (James thinks he owns it), and a local Parks and Rec Center with baseball and soccer fields and jungle gyms galore. It is an ideal neighborhood to raise a child.
We live in a condo with two bedrooms. Right now, our second bedroom is used as an office while it waits for our family to grow. We’ve worked hard to improve and decorate our place. A few years ago, we unintentionally started a tradition of buying a piece of art while on one of our summer trips. The first art we got was a cute painting of gummy bears kissing. Since then, gummy bears have become our inside joke — we have multiple gummy bear paintings in our home and a jar of gummy bears on the counter in the kitchen. Gummy bears are too cute and tasty to resist.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: First of all, three-day weekends are the best!!! We love to go on weekend get-a-ways. Our favorite trips are usually to the ocean or to visit Danielle’s family in Idaho. We’ve gone five times this year!
When we aren’t visiting family, our other favorite way to spend a long weekend is to have a “staycation.” We LOVE watching movies, cuddling together on the couch, reading, and visiting family and friends. Danielle loves baking and decorating cakes for parties or trying new recipes; Steven loves jamming on his guitar.
And, last but not least, for long weekends there are few things we love more than to have our nephew Mason over. He is six going on seven. We keep a box of toys for him at our house, and as soon as he walks in the door, his first question is always whether we can get into his toys!?!? Mason especially loves baking with Danielle. Together, they make bread or cookies. He even has his own little step ladder so he can measure and pour everything.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: If you haven’t picked up on it yet, we LOVE James! We are obsessed with him, to an inappropriate degree. Our adorable puppy loves babies, kids, cuddles, wrestling, playing fetch, and going on walks. And he loves to eat whatever you’re eating.
James is a local celebrity — everyone wants to meet him. Wherever we take him, we get stopped constantly by people who want to meet him, pet him, and take pictures. He is a very sweet pup who loves everyone he meets, especially kids.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vince.
We love to learn and teach. Steven is relentlessly curious and is constantly reading and learning about new subjects. He is a lifelong leaner and he loves discussing and explaining the things he has learned to anyone who will listen. Danielle, similarly, is a quick study — she can learn how to do anything just from a quick article or YouTube video. She is also a natural teacher, particularly for small children, with whom she is incredibly patient and nurturing.
We are excited to teach our child(ren) to read, to love and play music, to appreciate art, to play sports and stay active. We want to teach our child(ren) to work hard, to be loyal and honest, to be funny, smart and kind. We are so excited to introduce them to new things, cultures, and places. Most of all we are excited to foster whatever unique qualities and interests your child develops. We want to create a supportive and loving home for them to flourish.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birth mom?
A: There are so many wonderful ways to form a family, and adoption is one of them. We look forward to sharing our child’s adoption story with them from the time he/she is placed in our arms. Ultimately, every birth mother’s decision to place a child for adoption is personal and unique. We hope to talk with the birth parent(s), so we can understand their motivation for creating an adoption plan and know what they would want their child to know about them. We will incorporate these answers into our story. We will try to take the lead from them, and remain open to questions and talk however much or little (maybe some of both at different life stages) that our child desires about their birth parent(s).
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: We both have so much enthusiasm for life’s adventures and we have so much love to share. We both came from incredible families who spent time teaching us, reading to us, taking us on trips to experience new things. We want to provide these experiences to a child of our own. We are excited to be proud of our child, to encourage them to do great things. We want nothing more than to watch your child learn and flourish.
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.
A: We try to stay active, especially during the summer when the weather is great. This past summer, we went on three weekend trips in a row.
For the first weekend, we took our nephew, Mason, to the rodeo. Danielle had been many times before, but for Steven and Mason, it was literally their first rodeo. In no time, all three of us were laughing, cheering, and looking for 8 when they opened that gate, all while eating elephant ears and corn dogs.
The next weekend, we rented an oceanfront condo with Steven’s parents, who have our puppy’s bigger brother. To put it simply, this weekend was all about the puppies. We played with them, took them on walks on the beach, and watched them wrestle. At the end of the weekend, we bought fresh crabs right off the boat, boiled them, and feasted. It was a buttery good time!
The weekend after that, we flew to Boise, Idaho to visit Danielle’s family. We went to visit our new-born nephew, who at the time was only one month old. We spent the whole weekend cuddling our chubby, lovable new family member.
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: We have the greatest childcare plan! Danielle plans to work part-time. On the days Danielle is home, the day will start with the family having breakfast with Steven before he heads to work. Then Danielle and “baby” will head off to the YCMA or the Parks and Rec to exercise and participate in kid-centric activities. Together, they’ll read stories, take afternoon naps, walk James, and visit friends and family (we have lots of friends and family members with little kiddos). At the end of each day, we will make dinner and eat, at the table, as a family.
Additionally, Steven’s brother Mark works the weekend shift, so he’s home four days a week. He is a terrific father to our six-year-old nephew, Mason. He loves fishing, reading, hiking, and football. Mark is excited to be an uncle and a “manny” while Danielle works part-time.
Q: When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms, what are your thoughts regarding his or her birth mother?
A: When we imagine holding our baby for the first time, our hearts skip a beat and goofy grins form on our faces. We feel like we could burst with excitement. We are grateful you chose life; we are grateful you chose adoption; we are grateful you picked us. We want to hug you and promise to dedicate our lives and love to your precious baby and thank you for making us Mom and Dad. There is nothing more precious to us than this dream.