Middle School Counselor / Registered Nurse
Hi, we’re Anyssa and DJ Caldwell. We’re a married couple, ages 31 and 32, and incredibly grateful to have you view our profile. This whole situation can’t be easy, but we’re praying for you often. We got married in 2014 and have two biological children: Aza Felicity, age 3, and Soren Rollins, age 1. They’re the light of our world, and we’re so incredibly lucky to be their parents. Aza has a spunky personality and loves to be outside. Soren is very easygoing and loves to be around his mom. They’re both in crazy phases, but we wouldn’t trade this time for the world.
We’re similar but different at the same time. We are both Christians and try to take that seriously. We want you to know those beliefs dictate how we try to live our lives. We’re nowhere near perfect, but we try to do everything we do in love, treating people with kindness and respect. Anyssa loves crafting, singing and has a passion for seeing new places. She is a Disney lover and has wanted to be a mother for as long as she can remember. DJ can often be found curled up with a book or playing drums with his band or guitar with the singer-songwriter project we have together. He loves to be in nature, enjoys backpacking and hopes to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in his lifetime.
We recently relocated back to our hometown in central Pennsylvania to live close to both our families. We’re grateful to have a good support system of friends and family here. We know we’re not perfect parents, but love children and love adoption. Our jobs require us to work with kids daily, and we’ve had experience through foster care earlier in our marriage and with our biological children. We care immensely about people that experience infertility as we’ve been through it ourselves. We know the heartache with every negative test and the bittersweet emotions when your friends tell you they’re expecting. We pray for the people we see on websites like these, who are hoping for their miracle every day. That’s not everything but is perhaps a snapshot of us. We hope you will consider us as you explore making an adoption plan and would love to answer any questions you have!
Adoption is something that has been on our hearts from the start, even prior to our marriage. When we were dating, Anyssa’s brother and his wife adopted two boys from Ethiopia. They’re both ten now, and even though they don’t look like us, we see them as nothing less than family we love so dearly. We thought we would eventually follow suit and adopt after having biological children.
Unfortunately, after marrying, we found we both were experiencing infertility issues. This was heartbreaking and discouraging, as we both went through many tests and procedures/surgeries. During this time, we fostered and also thought hard about pursuing adoption versus continuing with infertility treatments. Finally, in 2018, we had our first child, Aza Felicity. We honestly see it as a miracle and a testament to good doctors. A little under two years later, our son, Soren Rollins, was born. We didn’t expect to become pregnant once, let alone twice. After Soren, we knew it was time to pursue adoption. We felt like God had always wanted us to do this. We love kids; love the fact that adoption is something we don’t have to do but something we deeply want to do. We so want to show love for a child that may not be biologically ours but will be treated like our third miracle, someone we will love and cherish for the rest of our lives.
The place we call home is a small town in Pennsylvania. We live in a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home, and we plan to do an addition of another bedroom and bathroom within the next year. We are thankful to live in a safe and quaint neighborhood with a large backyard with a spacious back deck for having friends and family gatherings. Our town and surrounding areas have many parks and a lake to go on adventures outdoors. We are thankful to have moved back to our hometown about two years ago to be close to our family and have our children near their grandparents.
We both are very close with our families. DJ is an only child but is close with his cousin, who is also an only child, and we call her children our nieces and nephew. We see DJ's parents often as they live about five minutes from our home. Barb and Dave, DJ’s parents, are the primary childcare for our children as well. DJ's cousin, Shana, who he is close with, also lives five minutes down the road, so Aza and Soren are very close with her kids. They love to swim together.
Anyssa is the youngest of three children, two older brothers, JT and Brennan. Anyssa has always had a very tight-knit relationship with her family and brothers. We are about 25 to 30 minutes from Anyssa’s parents, Jim and Sydney. We have eight nieces and nephews on this side of the family. We are thankful to be very close with each of them. Aza and Soren love swimming and going on vacations with our family almost every summer. Aza constantly talks about our recent trip to Disney World with “Meme”, “Pappy”, Uncle Brennan, Aunt Mandi, Stella, Aurora, Leia, and Electra.
What Anyssa says:
Where do I even begin with DJ? He is a Godly man with a big heart, a goofball, he's musically talented, and a punk rocker all in one. He is the type of man that you can always rely on to be there for you no matter what it may take from him. He is selfless and loves bigger than anyone I know. As a husband, he is endlessly forgiving and can never settle an argument without immediately wanting to hug and make up. He is constantly supportive and loves without condition. As a father, he is amazing. He is always making sure our children know how much he loves them and telling them how special they are. I know he will be such a great influence as they grow and is a role model of what a humble and kind person should be. His grandma always said, "Be kind, be fair, be honest." and he represents that beautifully.
What DJ says:
Anyssa is the person who I never thought I'd marry but has turned out to be the person I need most. She balances me out well and is great at slowing me down. As a wife, she has put so much before herself. I know we're writing these things to show the best of us, but I'm so serious here. There have been so many times when she has stayed home so I could go have fun. When she has allowed me to have my way when I didn't deserve it; Anyssa is selfless in our marriage. I'm so grateful for her, and she makes me want to be better each day I spend with her. When we were still dating, I remember asking her, "Who she wanted to be?" Her first response was, "I want to be a mom." I'll never forget that night because it has shown me that this goal of motherhood is something she's thought about since she was a little girl. She is so good with our kids. Insanely good. When I didn't have a clue what to do, she somehow did. She loves them big, whether it's a good day or through a tantrum. Our kids are her dream, and it's apparent every day.
We actually have known each other almost our entire lives! We grew up in a small town, and our families were friends. DJ was actually brought home from the hospital in Anyssa’s older brother’s bassinet. We were friends through elementary school and high school, participating in band and drama together. We never dated but were a part of similar friend groups. But after DJ graduated college and moved back home for the summer, he started to go to Anyssa’s church. Also, at the same time, we were both working in a warehouse-type job. By spending this time together, after we had matured (a little, we were only 21 and 22), we began to see each other romantically. A year later, we were engaged, and nine months after that, we were married. We are so grateful for our story and that we found each other that summer.
“There is so much that we want you to know. First know that we love you. There is nothing that you could do that would make us stop loving you. Our situation is unique, as we’re not your birth parents. But we will try our best every day to meet you where you are, to answer any questions you have, and if we don’t have the answers, we will find them. We want you to be yourself, your own person. Anything we can do to help you with that, we will. But that’s important. Find your own way with our help. Make good friends, be kind, and find out what you make of God. We believe in God a lot; and we hope you will too. Work hard, but remember not to do it just for the sake of it. Find purpose in life, and live for that every day. Make memories. Appreciate moments. Read books, explore nature, and see new cities. Do everything you do in love.
We both work in mental health, and have fostered a child (Ethan) prior to having our own kids. We both feel that open adoption may be the least traumatic route to best help a child cope. We love kids so much and would never want them to wonder about where they came from. We think with every adoption, they will grow to have questions about their birth parents and family. We would love for them to have an understanding of how we love them so much, but their birth mother loves them so much too, and that’s why she made a plan for adoption. We’re open to letters, phone calls, and visits. We’re willing to send texts and pictures as often as asked.