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Justin & Andrea
We are humbled to be considered to be invited into this adoption journey. We want to thank you for looking at our profile and for opening your heart and mind to us as potential parents for your precious child. We honor you and your experience and this huge decision you're making. We approach this with lots of love and empathy, and are so grateful for the opportunity to grow our family in this way.
Our Individual Strengths
We balance each other out quite well. While sharing many common interests and similar backgrounds, our personalities diverge in ways that complement one another. We've seen this play out time and time again throughout our relationship.
Justin tends to be careful, detailed, thorough and by-the-book. Andrea tends to be more loose, pave-your-own-path, and focused on the big picture. We often joke that Andrea is the idea person in the relationship and Justin is the execution person. If you want something done correctly and in the best way possible, go to Justin. If you want a cool idea that's outside of the box, go to Andrea.
We anticipate this balanced approach helping us greatly in our parenting. Justin's focus on details and best practices helps Andrea slow down her excitement and do things the right way the first time, and Andrea's creativity and enthusiasm help Justin live in the moment and let go of the little things.
Our Leisure Time
In our leisure time, we like to enjoy a good meal (whether at home or out at a fun restaurant), watch movies, listen to music, and play board games together. We also enjoy getting out for walks when the weather is nice, and spending time in our backyard having bonfires, grilling, and reading books or watching movies on our deck. We both also love to travel and hope to do more of it in the future.
Independently, Andrea enjoys music, gardening, cooking, fashion, history, design and culture. She enjoys staying up-to-speed on current events. She also enjoys meeting up for coffee or drinks with her close friends. For exercise, she enjoys yoga, pilates and long walks in nature.
Justin enjoys listening to, playing, and recording music; playing basketball and watching NBA games. He enjoys meeting up with his friends and his former bandmates to go rucking/hiking, golfing, or just hanging out. Justin likes to keep active with strength training, boxing/kickboxing, and HIIT workouts.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
We believe it's vital to listen to people from other racial and cultural backgrounds than our own and to learn from their stories and experiences. To read books written by people that aren't of our own racial or cultural background, and to do our best to surround ourselves with diverse voices. If we adopted a child of another race, we would make an effort to attend a church with people of that same race, join groups, seek out mentorship friendships, learn about cuisines and history and be sure to teach them about their background as they grow up. We would seek out help from adults in the same racial group to help us understand what's most important as we raise the child.
Justin's sister Hilma was adopted from Guatemala at age 4 and our niece London is biracial. We know that they are going to be excellent resources for us in this area, and will hopefully develop a special relationship with this child, regardless of their racial background.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a three bedroom, two bath, single family house just outside of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). Minnesota is extremely family friendly with festivals and activities available year-round. There are several community parks and playgrounds within walking distance of our home, zoos, museums, children's concerts, libraries, the state fair; really an endless list of fun activities for families with kids!
We live in a quiet neighborhood with a mixture of families with varied cultural backgrounds. Several families have young kids. We also have to mention the fact that your child would have a built-in friend and cousin in our 4-year-old niece London, who lives just a mile away. We love the lot that our house is on, because one side of our house faces a dead end. So there's lots of space to play in our yard or play basketball in the driveway without worrying about car traffic.
Andrea has a vegetable garden in the yard that has proven to be a fun activity to share with our niece, and we anticipate your child might enjoy watching veggies grow and getting to pick and eat them, too!
We both have a wide circle of friends with young kids as well. We look forward to having them over to watch movies outside and have bonfires in our backyard, and watch the kids run around together.
Justin has a space in our basement with musical instruments and recording equipment. We also have a large board game area, a fireplace and a big couch for watching movies on a big screen.
Our Extended Families
Justin's parents, Susan and Thomas, live a short drive from us in the house that Justin grew up in. Justin's younger sister, Hilma, and her 4-year-old daughter, London, also live with them. Justin's older brother, Jeff, lives in Los Angeles, and we really love having that reason to get out there and visit. We've loved watching Justin's parents get to be grandparents to London over these past few years, and can't wait to see the same happen for Andrea's parents!
Andrea's parents, Julie and Todd, live about an hour north of us on a lake. Summers there are really fun, with pontoon rides, bonfires and music, yard games, fishing and grilling. Andrea's younger brother, Chad and his wife Laura live about 20 minutes away from us and we enjoy getting together with them whenever possible.
Both of our families get together for holidays and birthday celebrations, sometimes meeting at a restaurant to celebrate or at someone's house for a special meal.
Both of our families are really excited for us to adopt. Justin's parents adopted his sister in 1997 so they've been through this process. Family members have already been buying us nursery furniture, a stroller, clothing and baby books! We are all very much looking forward to growing our family.
From Us to You
First and foremost, we have so much empathy for the situation you are in and the decisions that lie ahead for you. We admire your courage and strength and hold you in the highest regard. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for considering inviting us into this journey with you.
We met in 2014 through a mutual friend. She thought we'd hit it off because Justin was in a band and Andrea really loves music -- our friend was right! We met over coffee and realized we share a lot of common interests (good music, good food, and laughter) and life experiences (loss of friends to serious illness), our Christian faith (we were both raised Lutheran and have spent time in non-denominational churches), as well as a heart for animals and serving others. We had a magical wedding in September 2016 at a 1920s movie theater where we had one of our first dates, and have loved settling into our little family -- just us and our 12-year-old Yorkie, Louis -- for the past several years.
After a couple years of marriage, Andrea had to undergo a hysterectomy due to a medical condition, which would end our chances of having biological children. Although this was scary and absolutely gut-wrenching news for us, it solidified the plan for our future family.
Justin's sister, Hilma, was adopted from Guatemala when Justin was a teen and inspired his interest in adoption. Andrea has friends who are adult adoptees and she is friends with several adoptive parents, as well. Because of our close proximity to adoption, we had previously discussed this as a possible way of building our future family. When it became clear that this was how it would happen for us, we felt peace and joy.
We want you to know that this child is wanted and already so deeply loved by us and by our extended families. There's a crib and rocking chair waiting in their bedroom in our home, placed there by our families as they excitedly await the day with us that we all get to meet this child. We've also started collecting children's books and look forward to reading to them and rocking them before bed.
We hope to foster imagination and creativity in this child. We hope to expose them to all kinds of music and art and cultures. We hope to introduce them to a wide range of world cuisines. We plan to take them on fun trips and adventures. Justin hopes to play basketball and make music with them and Andrea hopes to take them on bike rides, do art projects, and have fun with them in the kitchen. We also love Christmas around here, and can't wait to share that special season with a little one.
We will always honor you and speak highly of you and your family with this child. We commit to continually reinforcing the importance of their family of origin alongside the family they're adopted into. We are absolutely open to sending letters via American Adoptions and sharing photos with you. We'd also be happy to schedule occasional visits. We're very approachable and easy to talk to and we want you to feel free to have open conversations with us as years go by.
We want the best for you and your child, above all else. Thank you again for considering us. You're in our hearts.
Justin & Andrea