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We would describe ourselves as laid back and easy going. We love being outside and playing with our daughter Emma and all of our nieces and nephews. We work really hard at our jobs and making improvements on our small farm and our home. Spending time with our families is very important for both of us. Jack’s parents watch Emma for us during the day so we get to see them throughout the week and on the weekends we try to visit Nikki’s parents who live just 15 minutes away. We are often found hanging out with family and friends that are like family on the weekends. Whether it’s going out for “chips and salsa” as the kids like to put it or getting together for a BBQ at someone’s house we always make an effort to stay in touch with our loved ones.
We both came from big families and both of us had always talked about having a big family of our own once we were married and felt like the time was right. We had even discussed the possibility of being foster parents when our own kids were older. In 2013 when Nikki was going into her second year of x-ray school we decided we were ready to start trying for a family. Nothing happened during the next year but we weren’t concerned because we only saw each other on the weekends and figured the timing was just off. Once Nikki graduated and got established working for a major hospital and we still hadn’t gotten pregnant we decided it was time to get checked out just in case. The doctors were stumped it seemed because we were both the picture of health physically and on paper. They did diagnose Nikki with polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism and endometriosis after multiple tests but everything still seemed like we should be able to have children. We tried multiple IUI’s but never had any luck and the doctor’s couldn’t really explain why it wouldn’t work for us they just said you can try IVF. They said with IVF our chances were maybe 30% for it to work, Nikki was at an increased risk for complications due to the PCOS and it was going to cost $15,000/try. We thought about it for a long time and decided to look into adoption instead. We didn’t want to spend so much money conceiving a baby that we couldn’t afford to give the baby the life it deserved. We ended up being chosen by a couple from Oklahoma about a year and a half into our adoption journey and that’s how we got our wonderful daughter Emma. Right after Emma was born Nikki had to have surgery to remove the endometriosis, it was causing severe pain and had spread. After it was removed we went to a different fertility specialist thinking maybe we should try again. We attempted a few more IUI’s but once again had no luck so we decided to stop. When Emma was getting ready to turn 2 we decided that we didn’t want to give up on our dreams of having more children so we started the adoption process once more.
We live outside of city limits on a small 50 acre farm where we raise cattle and chickens. Our 50 acres connects to part of Jack’s parents place on the back side and we rotate our cows together between our two properties. The town we are in is fairly small, it’s where Jack grew up so he knows just about everyone in it; or so it seems. We have neighbors on either side of us. One is a woman in her 80s who doesn’t get out much. She loves fresh tomatoes so Jack will take some over to her from our garden every now and then. Our other neighbor is a guy who grew up with Jack and we’ve remained friends. He helps us out with mechanical work or any time we need an extra set of hands.
Family is very important to us, we both grew up in large families and love to have get-togethers to visit with everyone. Emma also loves going to spend time with all of her cousins or getting to spend the night with them. Holidays and family gatherings can get a bit chaotic because there are so many of us but we love every minute of it.
I would describe Jack as a country gentleman. He is always polite, saying sir and ma’am, holding doors for people, helping them with anything he can. He laughs a bit like Woody Woodpecker and loves to tear up the dance floor from time to time. He’s the kind of person that will drop everything to help someone in need and he sticks to his morals and values. If Emma or any other kid asks him to play he doesn’t hesitate to jump in and make their day. He’s an avid outdoorsman; loves taking care of the cows and hunting for deer and turkey. His biggest passion is taking kids hunting and getting them into nature. We could fill a photo album with all of the kids he’s taken on a hunt and helped to get their first bird or their first deer and I think he’s more excited to do that than he is to get one himself. He’s just an all around good person, great husband, great father and a wonderful cook.
I would describe Nikki as a very outgoing and adventurous person. She is always up for a nice getaway vacation at any given time. She loves spending time outdoors with gardening, playing with Emma, going on walks, cutting wood and helping out on the farm. Nikki has never been one to back down from work and I love that she’s not afraid to jump in head first and help. She loves to help her sister coach little league soccer where they’ve become a very popular duo and they love helping the kids develop with soccer. She has always been the type of person to always put family first and always stay true to herself. I don't know too many people out there that work harder than Nikki, she is definitely the rock for Emma and I.
We met as teenagers at the county fair. We went to different high schools but had never met even though we had several mutual acquaintances. Once Jack tracked down my number through some of these people we started talking and were dating by the end of the summer. We’ve been together for 18 years now and married for 12 of them.
Work hard, set goals, be proud of who you are. Your identity is more than just who you were born to or who raised you. You are your own person with your own passions and your own dreams and it is up to you to pursue them. Failure is acceptable, failure to try is not. A person who has never failed has never tried. Your life is your own and you are the only one who can make it into the one you want. Choose wisely the company that you keep because they can either lift you up and support you or they can pull you down and convince you that you aren’t worthy of the life that you deserve. We will always be here to love and support you.
We have talked quite often about open adoption since we started on our first adoption journey in 2016. We definitely understand the theory behind it and see where in some cases it is the best option for everyone involved. However, our comfort level is closed to semi open. As social as we try to be, we are very protective of who/what our child/children are exposed to and we are not comfortable agreeing to an open relationship if there is a potential to put them in a situation that we wouldn’t normally allow. With Emma we agreed to a semi open adoption where we send photos and updates yearly through a designated web account. We did meet her birth parents before she was born and we were comfortable enough with them that Emma’s birth mother has our cell number, she’s actually the one to let me know that her water broke the day Emma was born. Emma’s birth mother gave us permission to contact her if there was ever a major health scare but otherwise Emma has her permission to meet her once she is an adult.
Our experience with Emma’s adoption being semi open is what we are comfortable with and it is what we are seeking for this current adoption.