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Jacob & Jenna
Adoption has been a lifelong desire for us. Our parenting is full of love and fun. We can hardly wait to bring another child into our family and provide that for them too. It takes incredible courage to birth a child and then select an adoptive family for them - thank you for considering ours. We're committed to an open adoption and the spirit of openness. We hope you consider us for the good journey ahead!
What It Means to Be Parents
Parenting is a blast and doing it as a team is even better – we love it every day. We most enjoy seeing the world through our kids' eyes and joining in their excitement in everything. Snuggling might be a close second. We genuinely enjoy helping and coaching our kids as they learn and grow.
Being loving, excellent parents is a huge part of how we know and enjoy God. We are not ultimately in control of our children's lives and God loves them even more than we do. We firmly believe we're raising future adults, not grown up children. As parents we seek to be authoritative, giving freedom to our children within boundaries. Since we want our kids to learn to solve problems, there's a lot of fun and exploratory learning.
As parents we want to live out the values we teach. We live with authenticity as we interact with others and communicate our feelings, which we hope will support our children in being their whole selves and being able to communicate their feelings too. We live with humility to admit when we make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. We value learning from mistakes and giving grace, reassurance of love, and forgiveness too. We model perseverance to keep trying and get better when something is hard. We pour love into our children with lots of hugs and kisses, speaking words of value and acceptance over them, dreaming special futures with them, and actively helping to fulfill these dreams with them.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Jacob About Jenna: Before we were married I knew Jenna was the most honest, joyous, confident, passionate, fun, and committed young lady I would ever meet. She was great at communicating, leading people, helping children, serving sacrificially, and her cooking was delicious too. Since we've been married I've seen even more of her attributes of willingness to try new things, commitment to her friends, purposeful raising of our children, and persevering and growing through uncomfortable and difficult times.
She is welcoming and authentic with all people, amazing at having conversations, super helpful when I am talking through my ideas or problems, focused and dedicated to whatever she sets her mind to, imaginative and idealistic, creative and artistic, and extremely self-reflective and desiring personal growth. Every day she wakes up and puts her best foot forward to love me well and love our children so well. I am blessed beyond words to have her as a wife and mother of our children!
Jenna About Jacob: I always said growing up that I hoped my love story would start by being best friends with a guy and one day finding out I was in love with him. My dream came true with Jacob, who I have now known for over half my life. As a young high schooler I saw remarkable qualities in him that made me proud to be his friend and completely at ease to be myself around him. Now 10 years into marriage, he still has a strength of character and lives his faith and values unlike any man I've known.
He is a remarkably gifted leader, problem-solver, and communicator who is wise, purposeful, and compassionate. Everyone knows how crazy he is about me, how thrilled he is to be a dad every day, and how much excitement he has for life. He is incredibly fun to be around with a sense of humor that can entertain a whole room of people with his wit and infectious laugh. He's the best and I'm honored to do life alongside him!
We are enthusiastic and hopeful about adopting a child of a different race, and so are our families and close friends! We recognize that many forms of racism can impact a transracially adopted child, but hope this will be less going forward as the world continues sharing conversations about racial reconciliation. We want to always listen, learn, and grow from others who have different experiences in life.
If raising a child of a different race, we will commit as a family to embrace their heritage and initiate honest conversations about race throughout our lives. We are aware that transracial adoption requires more attentive parenting, with empathy to imagine how a child feels, seeking relationships with role models and mentors of our child's race and cultural heritage, and learning skills of proper hair and skin care. We will wholeheartedly welcome the value and unique experience of a transracial adoption.
We anticipate that our lives will change if we become a multi-racial family as we become more aware of discrimination in the world. We will actively acknowledge racism and initiate conversations about race to help all of our children be prepared to cope and respond to racism. We have good friends of different races and cultures in our church, family friends, and neighborhood that are willing to help us as we go. We will press into the process of learning from friends and building new friendships as mentors to us in multi-racial parenting.
Our Extended Families
Our parents and siblings live near each other in Texas and everyone is completely thrilled to welcome a new child into our family! Jenna is the oldest of five siblings with two sisters and two brothers, and Jacob is the oldest of three brothers. Our families became good friends during our high school years. So we grew up around each other's parents and siblings and have very close relationships with each other's family. When gathered together there is a lot of laughter, lively conversation, inside jokes, and delicious food.
Jenna's parents "Grandpa" and "GiGi" have a beautiful backyard pool we love to relax in as an extended family year-round. As a family we enjoy cooking together and playing card games late into the night.
Jacob's parents "PaPa" and "Mellie" live on 10 acres of forest where we ride 4-wheelers, watch wildlife, and fish. We love to take PaPa's boat out on the nearby lake, act out hilarious plays in costume with the kids, and enjoy the outdoor activities of the large camp and retreat center where Jacob's parents work.
The past decade of Jacob's active duty military service has also allowed us to build deep friendships-like-family in all the places we've lived. Our extended families, close friends, and church community are all eagerly anticipating the arrival of this child to share life with them, support and encourage them, and love them deeply as they grow.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Maryland near a small city on the Chesapeake Bay. Our neighborhood has a waterfront park, two beaches where we take our beach chairs to watch boats, eat picnics and play in the sand. Our neighborhood is full of families and kids and our son's elementary school is a 10-minute walk from our driveway.
We have a four bedroom/three bath house, with a basement that is a complete playroom with a full-size trampoline, small climbing wall, and movie watching area. In our large backyard, Jacob designed and built a treehouse with a rope swing and a stone fire pit area. We like to roast marshmallows with friends there or pitch our tent and let the kids camp overnight with us in the yard. In the winter we have sledding races down our hill, and in the warmer months the flowerbeds are full of veggies and specialty cut flowers Jenna grows from seed. One of our favorite parts of our house is the screened porch where we drink coffee, watch wildlife, and overlook the backyard.
Our city is culturally diverse, full of phenomenal parks and public libraries, and has a large YMCA that we frequent for family workouts, swimming, rock climbing, and sports lessons. We are a short drive from a metropolitan city with Smithsonian museums, historical sites, a large zoo, and a metro system the kids love to ride with us.
From Us to You
We don't yet know your name and face but you've been in our hearts and prayers for a long time. We're joyfully awaiting the day we meet, also knowing there has been an incredible weight for you that brought you here to read our words. We already admire the person you are to pursue a hopeful and happy outcome through something so hard. We're in awe of the deep love you have to consider adoption.
Our story together began in high school when our families became friends. We grew up around each other's siblings and parents, developing deep relationships with them before marriage was on the horizon. Our families and upbringing made us who we are today. Both our parents have been married for nearly 40 years and have continued to grow in love and commitment to each other. As parents and grandparents, they've passed on a strong faith and devotion to marriage and family.
We married right out of college almost 10 years ago and Jacob joined the military to serve as a Navy Civil Engineer. So far we've lived in California, Hawaii, Texas, and Maryland. This gave us connections all over the country and grew our appreciation for different walks of life. As a couple, we have been shaped by our time in the military, although we plan to leave active duty soon to stay settled in either Maryland or in Texas near family. The past decade of the Navy has made us stronger as a couple as we have faced deployment, moves, and lived away from extended family. Leaving active duty will allow us to put down roots in one place, but we will be forever grateful for the deep, lifelong friendships we have formed throughout our moving.
Our journey to adoption has been stirring in our hearts and prayers for years and we began actively pursuing it in early 2021. Adoption was something we each had on our hearts as early as our teen years and was a mutual dream that brought us together as a couple. As we had the desire to grow our family again, we felt drawn towards adoption since our pregnancies and miscarriage were very challenging. We both have several siblings and love the fun of a larger family. In coming years we hope to become a foster family and would welcome future adoptions through that. We still feel our family is incomplete and we're eager to meet and forever love our third child through this adoption!
We're committed to the spirit of openness with you. We want you to have an open line of communication with us and your child for life. We would love for you to be a valuable part of their life into adulthood and we commit to send pictures and letters, plan phone calls, and hopefully conduct visits through the years.
We promise that you will be spoken of often with admiration in our family. Our home and extended family will always be a place you are welcomed into and cherished for your courage and love. We want you to be known and loved by all of our children and we will receive you with open arms as a friend and family member.
Even now we are praying for you. We're asking God to surround you with his peace and give you direction as you make one of the most difficult decisions of your life. We're beyond excited and doing everything we can to prepare to welcome a beautiful new life into our home. Levi and Abigail are waiting for their baby sibling with incredible excitement. We look forward to sharing joy with you over this child and creating a beautiful, loving relationship with you.
Jacob & Jenna