Detective for Smyrna Police Department / Receptionist at Bone and Joint Institute
We are Andrew and De’Ana Schaefer and we live in Tennessee. We have been married for 14 years. We have a smart, funny, and joyful son who is six and a half years old named Emmett. De’Ana works as a Patient Specialist at one of the major Orthopedic clinics and Andrew as a Detective at a local Police Department.
When we first started to get serious while dating we began speaking about children as many couples do. We wanted that close connection between our children and we imagined having a larger family and our children playing and learning together and growing up together. De’Ana first brought up the desire to one day adopt as she saw the special bond between her brother and his children who are adopted. We discussed the dynamics of the family we wanted to build together and both expressed the desire to provide for and love children regardless of their biological bond to us.
It took some time for De’Ana to become pregnant with our son Emmett, but we looked with anticipation as we hoped to add to our family. Three years after having our son we decided to again grow our family. However, after several issues we sought the assistance of a fertility clinic. In the end, we found it would be difficult, if not impossible for De’Ana to safely or successfully carry another child to term. Obviously this was devastating news to us both. However, we prayed and God allowed us to find the silver lining as we began to revisit our discussion that started years ago about adoption. We believe that while God closed the window of having an additional pregnancy, he opened the door to something much greater.
We purchased our home in May of 2014. The home is two stories, approximately 2,252 sq ft and sits on 0.35 acres. It is a single-family home, including three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one half-bathroom and a bonus room. Fenced in the backyard with a child's playset and an enclosed trampoline.
The neighborhood is in a well-maintained community. We describe the neighborhood as diverse, and primarily families with children. We have easy access to public utilities, educational institutions, medical facilities, and services of local fire and police departments, major roadways and recreational and cultural activities.
We are very thankful for our local church. Our church holds strongly to the beliefs that worship begins and ends in a genuine relationship with Jesus. We feel it is important to be a part of a community dedicated to Christ’s saving grace, constant repentance, baptism as a symbol and public profession of Christ’s work, the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. We are encouraged by the community we have found at our church and are thankful to be in a place that places a high priority on authentic community and see the importance in community service.
Our family and friends are a very important part of our lives. We enjoy spending time with each of our families and taking trips with them each year. We have developed many close friends in our community and are very thankful to have so many genuine and supportive people in the life of our family.
“Andrew and De’Ana are very supportive and truly hands-on parents in every aspect. They are a great team and work well together in their marriage and parenting journey. They each work hard at their jobs to be able to provide for their family as well. They have created a stable, loving, and happy home for their son Emmett.” -Tara Duke
“They are both extremely hard working and diligent about their tasks and obligations. They have fun together as a family.”-Lori Schaefer
“ They are two wonderful people that love the Lord, love their son, and have so much to give.” -Paula Griffith
We have been married fourteen years. We met while Andrew was purchasing concert tickets. De’Ana made a quip about Andrew’s sense of style and the conversation began. De’Ana's initial intent was to setup Andrew up with a coworker of hers. Clearly you can see how that played out; and the rest is history.
Through this process we have learned a lot about our upbringings, and know that many times what we are told as children can carry with us through the rest of our lives. The advice we would give any child and especially our own would be to first follow the golden rule of treating others how they wanted to be treated. We would also want them to know that nothing good comes easy and that hard work pays off, and that there is nothing that a determined person or child cannot achieve.
We are open to considering an open adoption if it is safe and reasonable for the child. We do understand that the child may want/need to know his or her biological parents and the reason he or she came to be a part of our family. We plan to be very open with our child regarding adoption and will encourage the child to talk about his or her feelings. Further, we will support our child’s curiosity to learn about his or her birth parents, as we understand this desire to be very natural.