Welcome! Meet:

Andy + Jen

Scientist / Scientist

North Carolina

Caucasian

Christian

All About Andy & Jen

We are loving, hardworking and down-to-earth people looking to build our family. We have a lovely home full of pets, chickens (OK, more pets) with beautiful vegetable and flower gardens in a spacious, kid-friendly neighborhood. As both of us have advanced degrees in the Sciences, we greatly value formal education, but we also recognize that learning is a life-long pursuit and there are many paths one can take on the journey through life. We value life experiences and diversity of all kinds and engage with many friends and family as a community. We fill our days with hobbies and joyful pursuits, and would like to share our world and experiences with a child we adopt.

Why Adoption?

We always assumed that we would have children, but for a variety of reasons we waited until our mid-30s to try for kids. Fertility treatments didn’t work and at that point, we realized it was too late for us to have biological children. And although we were sad that we could not have biological children, the decision to build our family through adoption was not hard. Early on, when we decided to try for kids the “old-fashioned” way, we had the what-if conversation. What if we can’t have kids, what will we do? Andy simply said, “well, we’ll adopt.” It was never an issue for him. Jen was nervous that she might find it difficult to love an adopted child as much as she would a biological one. But, Andy reminded her of how fiercely she loves her pets and friends’ children and how much easier it will be to love a child that she cares for daily. After reflection, she realized that Andy was right and that her nerves, while normal, were actually misplaced fear of the process. Now, we both are ready and eager to accept a child into our home and lives.

Family & Home

Family is very important to us. Over the last few years, we have both lost our fathers. These were sad and hard times for us, but losing our dads really emphasized how important it is to grow our family. Most of our family lives within a day’s drive and we try to see them as often as possible, especially during the holidays. 

We have a large home and yard in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of a city. Even though we are only 10 miles from downtown our neighborhood feels like it is much farther away. We get the convenience and amenities of the city, while we have the space and quiet of a rural area. Our home is adjacent to a nature trail that has a large blackberry patch and a creek full of frogs and minnows. We also have access to a large neighborhood swimming pool with a water slide. Nearby are several parks, playgrounds, and nature preserves. We think a child would love growing up here just as much as we love living here.

Our house has three bedrooms and two and a half baths with a library and third-floor bonus space (perfect for a playroom). Our backyard is fenced-in and we have the perfect spot for a swing set already picked out. When the weather is nice, we spend as much time outside as possible. We enjoy gardening, cooking out, and sitting around our fire pit with friends enjoying good food and conversation. Our friends’ and neighbors’ children love to come and check out our 7 chickens!

How others describe me

What Jen says about Andy: Andy is an amazing and unique person. We have been married for almost 13 years and I think he is one of the most interesting people I know. One reason I love Andy is because he takes really good care of me. He shows his love for people by doing things for them. One of the major ways he does this is through food. He is an excellent cook and he makes delicious dinners for us almost every single night. Often, these dinners include veggies from our garden. Andy is a man of many hobbies. He likes to garden and build things. Some of his recent building projects include a chicken coop, greenhouse, outdoor kitchen, and bookshelf. He is also a writer and painter. He has published a novel and his dad was a professional artist who taught Andy how to paint and draw at a young age. Over the years, he has dabbled in many different hobbies including cutting and polishing gemstones. He even had some of his gemstones set into a ring for me for our 10th wedding anniversary. Andy is loving and devoted and can’t wait to share his hobbies and interests with his child. He is an animal lover. He is gentle. He is kind. He is diligent. He is smart. He is not funny, but he tries to be (he has ALL the dad jokes ready). He is talented. He inspires me to do more and be better. He is my love. He is my partner. He will be an excellent father.

What Andy says about Jen: Jen is a strong, brilliant, and amazing woman who I am happy to share my life with. She is kind but can be tough when she needs to be. She’s very independent, and has a competitive streak (she’s a natural leader), and yet she is also kind and gentle. In our home, all our pets seek her out and they often pile on top of her from head to toe. She’s calming to them. Jen works hard, both in her professional life, but also in her many hobbies, which include stained glass, yoga, gardening, and reading and collecting all the books she can. As such, she keeps me busy building garden planters and bookshelves to house her ever growing collections. Jen’s strengths compliment my own, and she definitely makes up for my deficits, which makes us a great team. Whether it’s remembering to take it easy once in a while, go on an adventurous trek in the woods, or getting away on vacation, she keeps my homebody instincts in check - in other words, she reminds me to put down the work and tasks and try and have some fun. I don’t know what I’d do without her. We try to make a secure and lasting partnership for each other, being there when needed. We will do the same for our children. I think we each have support roles to play, she teaches us all to reach for the stars, and I remind her to keep one foot grounded in the here and now, and this balance keeps our lives running smoothly. Jen is kind and thoughtful. She works hard and is proud of what she does and the career she has chosen. She knows how to have fun, to work hard but play hard, and she makes those around her, like me, all the better for it. I could not imagine a better Mom.

how we met

How We Met

We met through a group of mutual friends. We both made an impression on each other immediately, although Jen’s impression of Andy may not have been the best! Fortunately, several months later, we met again at a monthly Art Walk event and through careful finagling, our friend Dave, convinced Andy to ask Jen out. She accepted. Over the next few months, our relationship developed slowly. Each of us were starting new professional endeavors and we weren’t sure what would happen. Andy was moving away to pursue a PhD in a different state and Jen was buckling down to focus on her Master’s work. We remained in a long distance relationship over the next three years. We spent a lot of time talking on the phone (pre-video chat) and driving up and down the interstate for monthly visits. After about 2.5 years, Andy decided that he better propose to Jen before she moved even further away. We got engaged on a beach at night in Maine after eating a delicious, but too-expensive lobster dinner. We were married in the spring of 2009 and have been happily living together ever since.

Advice to Future Child

The best advice that Jen ever received from her father was, “You have to do what is best for your life.” We may want you to do one thing, but realize that what you want is more important than our fantasies for you. Remember, that parents often have dreams about the type of life they want for their children. But, it’s important to realize that the specific vision a parent has is actually a proxy for something else. So, we hope that you will be patient with us and realize that when we have ideas about what you should or shouldn’t do, we actually just want you to be mentally and physically healthy. We want you to be able to give and receive love easily. And, we want you to feel secure in life. Please choose the path that is best for you to achieve these things.

Perspectives on Open Adoption

Our perspective is that a child can not have too many people who care for and love them. We want to celebrate their origin story and we would like for our child to know their birth family. Therefore, we hope to have an open adoption and are willing to consider any amount of contact that you feel comfortable with. Above all, we want what is best for our child.

Favorites

Jen

  • Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
  • Favorite Holiday/Tradition: Thanksgiving. I love spending time with family, eating all of the traditional foods, and taking a nap while football plays on the TV.
  • Hobbies/Interests: reading, gardening, mushroom foraging, making stained glass, making soaps and lotions, and pets- just to name a few
  • Dream Vacation: sailing to Antarctica to see penguins
  • If I Could Choose a Superpower: flying

Andy

  • Favorite Movie: Nobody’s Fool
  • Favorite Holiday/Tradition: Thanksgiving because it is low key. It’s just a nice meal with family and friends (as long as no one talks politics!)
  • Hobbies/Interests: too many to count: gardening, oil & water color painting, woodworking, writing, gem faceting, gourmet mushroom foraging
  • Dream Vacation: sailing “down island” in the Caribbean, stopping at many ports of call along the way. St. Croix, St. Thomas, Bequia
  • If I Could Choose a Superpower: mind reading