S: Brian and Jenny
BC: The End
FC: We should not ask who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child Jim Gritter | Jenny and Brian
1: We can't wait to meet you...come on in so we can tell you a little about ourselves...
2: "We should not ask to whom this child belongs, but who belongs to this child" Jim Gritter | Hello! We are Brian and Jenny. Our greatest hope is that your child will have all kinds of people who belong to him or her, you and your family, the two of us and our family, friends of wide diversity and hopefully siblings too! | We look forward to finding all the ways we will “belong” to one another in a lifelong connection. Words cannot describe how much we long to be parents—the joy, excitement, hope and love have waiting to welcome a child. | Let us tell you more about us!
4: Jenny with her high school youth group on retreat | Jenny with friends in the Dominican Republic | Jenny was born on an Army base in Missouri, but grew up in Racine, WI—she can’t imagine not living close to Lake Michigan! Her parents (married 35 years!) and her sister, Mary, still live there. Both of her parents are teachers—so school was always very important in her family. We spent the summers at the beach or in Michigan or visiting family. Jenny’s folks have a house with a pool, so it is still a great summer getaway! Jenny grew up baking with her mom—especially chocolate chip cookies which are famous to generations of her mom’s students. Jenny loves singing and theater-her first role was as a singing mermaid! She came to the Chicago area to attend Northwestern and study voice. She fell in love with the city and has been here ever since! | Jenny's favorite color is blue
5: Oliver the dog | Henry, our nephew | Jenny loves to travel and lived in Florence Italy for a summer | Some of our most famous: Ice box cake Fudge Chocolate chip cookies Apple Stuffing Twice baked potatoes Chess Pies
6: Brian grew up in and around Detroit. In high school he was captain of the football team and valedictorian too! Jenny always says she got the best of both worlds—a jock and a nerd! He went to Michigan State University to become a teacher of physics and math. His parents and his older sister and her family still live in Detroit, while his younger sister and her family lives here in Chicago. We see them often and love playing with our niece and 2 nephews and having them come for sleepovers. Brian even built them a tree-house a few summers ago. | Brian's favorite color is orange | Brian has run 5 marathons and is training for more. | Favorite food: Chicago Pizza
7: Brian getting ready to run the Chicago marathon | Brian in the tree house he built for our niece and nephew | Brian bee-keeping with our niece and nephew | Brian with high school students going out to do service | Brian is a bee-keeper so we always have fresh honey!
8: Sunset on Lake Michigan | Just married | In Prague | In Vienna | Prague- favorite city | At a wedding | Our reception | Dinner out together
9: We met in graduate school. Jenny remembers when she saw Brian she thought he was the cutest guy she’d ever seen. Jenny gave a presentation to the first year students and Brian thought she was poised and confident. In short, we knew it was true love and we got engaged after a year and married 6 months after that! On our wedding day, Brian threw Jenny into the pool at her parents house - thankfully she'd taken off her wedding dress! Now it’s been 6 years of a happy marriage!
10: Our Jobs | Brian teaches in a great, small, holistic private school in Rogers Park. He teaches math and physics in the high school. We look forward to having our child attend this great school! | After seminary, Jenny became a pastor. She serves in a community church in the north suburbs. She loves that it is open to people from many different religious backgrounds. She especially likes the time she spends with kids and youth.
11: We adopted Oliver from PAWS when he was 2 years old. We named him Oliver after Oliver Twist because he is always looking for more...more food, more fun, more cuddling! He is great with kids and we love to walk him to all the different parks near our house every day! | Oliver the dog | Oliver is always ready to play! Loves Kids!
12: All our family gathered at our wedding | Jenny and Mary in Florence | Brian with his mom and Jenny's | We spend a lot of time with Jenny's family because they are so close. We go to Racine to swim and BBQ in the backyard, or they come to Chicago to go to the theater or we just enjoy catching up or seeing a movie together. Jenny's best friend is her sister Mary. They've traveled a lot together - Spain, Italy, England, Dominican Republic and more.
13: Like father, like son | Getting a hug from niece Ella | Brian and his mom | Brian's family is split between Chicago and Detroit. We have a niece and 2 nephews and we love having them come to our house for sleepovers, sledding, trips to the park, watching the Muppets or reading Little House on the Prairie together, making cookies or going to a museum. Brian is very close to his brothers-in-law. He and Dave even rode from Chicago to the UP on their bikes together!
14: We both feel lucky to call our siblings and their partners our best friends. But we are so blessed to have a wide diversity of other friends. Whether they are from childhood, college, grad school, jobs or just from around Chicago, we have friends as close as here in Chicago to Michigan, California, Alabama, DC, and even Columbia, South America. We love trying new restaurants with friends or just having people over for a game night. We have a tradition of celebrating New Year's with friends Jason and Sharla. We have been in lots of weddings and Jenny's even gotten to officiate the wedding of her childhood best friend.
16: Playing with Brian's godson Zachary - all wrapped up in a blanket
17: Cuddling with our nephews Henry and Anderson just after they were each born.
18: Brian after a marathon | Whether its kayaking, biking, skiing, swimming, running or cuddling up to read or watch a movie, we have lots of hobbies!
19: Caring for the world We both volunteer in many ways. We have chosen careers which are all about helping people and making the world a better place. In our work with youth and adults, we want to make a difference. We value justice and equality for all people and are committed to working hard towards that vision. | A few of the agencies we work with: Interfaith House; Family Promise; Chicago North Shore; A Just Harvest; Community Garden; The Night Ministry | Service Trips we've taken: Dominican Republic; Juarez, Mexico; Oaxaca, Mexico; US/Mexico border; New Orleans, LA; Cuba, and more... | Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can. --John Wesley
20: We live in a bungalow with a sunny backyard, brightly painted rooms and fantastic neighbors. The neighborhood is the most diverse in Chicago and we love being in the city! Nearby there are parks with sledding, ice skating, awesome jungle gyms, a great YMCA, and lots of kids. We also love to get away to our house up north where our whole family comes to vacation. There is lots to do outdoors there so its a great city escape. | Our house in Chicago | Coming into our house for the first time! | Our house in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan | There's no place like home!
21: Childcare Our jobs are quite flexible. Brian is going to be working part-time and Jenny makes much of her own schedule, so we don't plan to use formal childcare. We have many neighbors and friends who will eagerly step in to babysit when needed. | We know you are in the midst of making one of the hardest decisions of your life. We can never fully understand what you are going through, but we hope to be supportive and helpful. We want you to find peace knowing your child will be loved, cared for, cherished and offered every opportunity we can make possible. We are completely committed to open adoption and we want you to be a part of this child's life in the way you feel most comfortable. We will always share with this child the great love you have for them which we know you have by making this adoption plan. We can't wait to meet you!
22: First Name Years Married Race Ethnicity Religion Occupation Education Hair/Eyes Height/Weight Health Age Child Care Plans | Children - None Pets - Oliver, black lab Smoking - no Alcohol - no No previous marriages Location: city Interests: Brian - running, outdoors, science, sustainability, bee-keeping Jenny - music, theater, reading, yoga, baking | Jenny doesn't like lobsters... | Adoptive Family Profile | Brian 6 Caucasian German/English Christian Teacher Master's Degree Brown/Brown 6'2''/225 Good 35 shared parenting with minimal childcare, mostly offered by family or neighbors | Jenny 6 Caucasian English Christian Pastor Master's Degree Brown/Green 5'6''/175 Good 32
23: Brian found an orange tunnel! | New Year's Eve in Vienna | Child's Medical Background | Race - African American, African American/Caucasian, Asian, Caucasian, E. Indian, Hispanic/Latin American, Native American, Middle Eastern, Other Bi-racial Chemical Use - Marijuana use by birth mother during pregnancy, Cocaine/Heroin/other drug during pregnancy, alcohol dependency in birth father, Heavy smoking during pregnancy, alcohol use by birth mother during pregnancy, drug abuse/alcoholism in family background Mental Illness - in birth parents, in family background of birth parents | Diagnosed Depression - in birth parents, in family background of birth parents Mental Retardation - in birth parents, in family background of birth parents Learning Disabilities - diagnosed learning disability in birth parents, diagnosed ADHD or ADD in birth parents Other concerns - diabetes in family background, rape situation