FC: OUR FAMILY
1: Hello | We're Colleen (left) and Lindsey (right), a young Northwest couple who have been together over 12 years and we are excited to grow our family through open adoption! Thank you for wanting to learn more about our family and our desires to become parents. We met working as camp counselors when we were in our early 20s. Now in our early 30s, our marriage is strong and we're still learning new things about each other all the time. We can't wait to become parents. Our children will grow up in a family where we will encourage and nurture all of their passions. We look forward to sharing our common interests with our kids, like reading bedtime stories, exploring the vast wonders of nature and our city, and cheering on our local baseball team! We hope you enjoy our story and photos. Warmly, Colleen and Lindsey
2: Our Story | 2001 Met as camp counselors | 2009 Married on the same island where we met | 2005 Moved to Virginia | 2003 Got our first apartment together | 2006 Kittens Gigi and Fauster join our family | 2010 Moved back to the Pacific Northwest | 2012 Bernie the puppy joins our family | 2008 Moved to Washington, D.C.
3: Our Relationship | We met working as summer camp counselors. At the end of the summer, even though we attended colleges on opposite sides of the country, we knew our relationship was worth the time and energy that comes with long-distance relationships. A year later, Colleen moved back to the Pacific Northwest to finish school (only 300 miles away from Lindsey) and after graduating, we have been inseparable. We attribute our amazing 12 years to our ability to talk about anything, as well as encouraging each other to pursue their dreams. We enjoy traveling together. Our favorite vacation (so far) was in Hawaii and we've driven cross-country twice. We're planning a month-long trip to Europe in a couple years. Attending baseball games is a big tradition for our family. We also love going on hikes with our dog Bernie, and just snuggling up on the couch to read or watch a movie together.
4: About Colleen By Lindsey | I first noticed Colleen's eyes. They are an amazing sharp blue, but I could also see that they were filled with both passion for her life and art, as well as compassion for her friends and family. Colleen is always looking for ways to reinvent everyday life into something amazing. Instead of just putting books in a bookcase, she created a piece of art in our living room by sorting our books by color, creating a rainbow within the bookcase. She's always available to listen and help. Our friends often confide in her when they have troubles, and Colleen is there to listen and offer support. Colleen's an amazing cook. Our kitchen is filled with countless spices and cookbooks she's collected from across the country. I love it when she says "I'm trying out this new recipe -- come taste this and tell me what you think!" I can't wait to become parents with Colleen and watch her teach our children to trust their passions, love with compassion, and always try to find ways to make the ordinary extraordinary! | Photos: Above: Colleen in Central Park, NY Below: Colleen and Hudson, son of good friends. Opposite page: Above: Lindsey and Christine Gregoire, former Governor of WA Below: Lindsey with Danny, godson
5: About Lindsey By Colleen | One of the first things I noticed about Lindsey was her pure zest for life. I met her when we both worked at summer camp, and I was immediately struck by her playful, yet protective, approach she took with her young campers. She has a tendency to turn chores into games and encourages those around her to explore the world as well as their own passions. Lindsey has a strong moral compass and is extremely loyal. She drops everything to help out a friend or family member when they ask, and supports those she loves in all their endeavors while still lending practical advice. She places a lot of value in spending time together as a family, whether it be taking walks around parks together with our dog, planning out fun and varied activities for our standing date nights, or playing card games together in the evening. I am excited to become parents with Lindsey, and can't wait to see what fun adventures she plans for our family. I know she will use her humor, patience, and strong sense of commitment in ways I can not yet even imagine.
6: About Colleen | Colleen works full time as a print coordinator for an international animal-rights organization, and also runs a very small publishing company. She enjoys photography, knitting, cooking, writing, painting and lots of other crafty endeavors. She also loves just hanging out with her family and friends, especially when hosting small dinner parties. | Fun Facts About Colleen I have an extensive working camera collection, including my great-grandmother's camera from 1911, which I now use. Over the years, my hair has been dyed every color under the sun, though now it pretty much stays various shades of red. I have friends and family all over the US and the world, and I love traveling! We almost always have a place to stay wherever we go. I organize our books by color, making a true reading rainbow.
7: Colleen's Story I grew up on a small island in the Pacific Northwest, and am still friends with many of the people I grew up with. My folks are two of the most giving people I have ever met, and the importance and value of family was stressed in my childhood. Together, we took trips, went camping, and generally just spent a lot of time together, resulting in the close knit relationships I currently have with each of my parents. My mother is a nurse, who also worked as a social worker, and spent most of my childhood working in the public school system. I credit her with my passion for social justice, as well as my strong beliefs in open communication and compassion. My father, a civil engineer, hails from Brooklyn, and I credit him for my streaks of dry humor and fierce loyalty. In school, I often focused on art, theater and English classes, involved myself with social justice groups and art activities, but I still found time for softball in the spring. I formed close friendships, and still maintain a good amount of close friends from when I was younger. I received scholarships for my art and graduated college with a degree in photography. I am proud of my professional accomplishments (running my own company and working in a creative field for a charity), and my personal relationships. I pride myself on my close knit group of friends and family that make up my support system. I am especially proud of my marriage. Lindsey is my biggest advocate and supports all my endeavors. She makes me laugh constantly and always offers me a hug when I am feeling down. I am so lucky to share my life with such an amazing woman. Photos: Opposite page: a close friend (and fellow 'zine author) and Colleen tabling at the L.A. Zine Fest. Vegan "mac 'n' cheeze," one of the many dishes Colleen is known for;. Part of Colleen's camera collection--she can always be found taking photos. This page: Colleen when she was little.
8: Fun Facts About Lindsey Lindsey has more than 10,000 baseball cards, a collection she started when she was 7 years old. Lindsey got her first driver's license when she was 9 years old -- from the driving school at Legoland theme park in Denmark. As a kid, Lindsey's idol was Cyndi Lauper and she knew all the words to every one of her songs. Lindsey met Cyndi in 2008 and now volunteers with Cyndi's charity for disadvantaged youth. | About Lindsey | Lindsey is in her early thirties and manages the social media activism program for a national equal rights non-profit. She loves all things baseball, brainteasers & puzzles, reading mystery novels, and playing guitar. When the weather is beautiful, Lindsey likes to head to the beach -- when the water is warm, she loves to swim, snorkel, and body-board.
9: Lindsey's Story My childhood was a fun-filled adventure full of travel, amazing moments, and awesome family and friends. I'm the oldest of two daughters and my parents were soldiers in the US Army during my entire childhood. As a military family, we lived in many places across the USA and world, including 10 years in Europe. Growing up, my family was extremely close. My parents attended every spelling bee, basketball game, and band concert my sister and I were in. And no matter how busy the day was, we always had a family dinner every evening. Even though my sister and I are now grown and living our own lives, we are still always planning family dinners and vacations together. In school, while I often involved myself in various sports and clubs, I was very focused on academics. I graduated in the top of my high school class and was able to graduate college with several scholarships for math and science paving the way. I love to laugh and make people laugh. When I was little, I was always telling corny jokes -- and not much as changed as an adult. I also am very dedicated to the things close to my heart. I'm very proud of my career, working to make the world a more equal place for all. The thing I'm most proud of in my life is my marriage. Colleen is my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and the first one to tell me if my clothes don't match. When I first met Colleen, I knew there was something special about her, and 12 years later, she still amazes me each and every day. Photos: Opposite page: On vacation in Hawaii, Lindsey shows off her hula skills; Lindsey loves to support her local baseball team up close & personal on the first baseline; on a tour in Boston, Lindsey stands in front of the 'Green Monster' in Fenway Park. This page: Little Lindsey kicking up her heels in Holland.
10: Our Home and Neighborhood | Our home is located in the heart of a major Pacific Northwest city, in one of the oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. Colleen's photographs and memorabilia from her favorite concerts fill our home, along with Lindsey's autographed baseball collection and squashed pennies from all the places we have visited. Books, movies, and knitting projects fill the living room, while aromas of Colleen's cooking waft from the kitchen, welcoming anyone who happens to wander through. In the warm months, Colleen can be found working on her flower gardens while Lindsey mows the lawn and tends to the rose bushes. We also take lots of walks around the neighborhood, usually stopping by the corner coffee shop, where everyone knows Bernie and happily feed him treats. | Going to neighborhood parks with friends is a favorite way to spend time, especially in the spring! | Our living room | Our house
11: Our Animals | We share our home and hearts with two older rescued cats, Gigi (gray) and Fauster (black) and a mixed-breed puppy, Bernard Pickles (aka Bernie). Bernie is very sweet and loves children, playing in the yard and "helping" with the gardening. Gigi is very social, chatty, snuggly and patient. Fauster is well-behaved but ignores most everyone but Colleen.
12: Where We Play | We spend a lot of time in our neighborhood and great city, and love traveling around the state. There are playgrounds nearby where we spend time with Danny, our godson, and beautiful parks where we walk with Bernie daily. There are museums to visit, fun and diverse neighborhoods to explore and cafés to enjoy, all within arms reach. We live close to the mountains, which offer great skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. Colleen's extended family even has a cabin in the middle of a state park which makes a great little getaway! We also love visiting the surrounding islands where we spend time on the rocky beaches, taking a quiet break from our busy city lives. In the spring and summer, we love visiting farmers markets to stock up with fresh fruits and vegetables.
13: Photos: Opposite page: Celebrating Chinese New Year. This page (top to bottom, left to right):) Showing our out-of-town friends the public market. Lindsey in a corn maze, a favorite Halloween tradition. Taking our godson to a friend's farm on one of the islands to meet chickens. Waiting for the ferry boat to one of the islands.
14: Keeping traditions passed down from our family and starting new traditions is something we strongly value as a family. Many of our traditions are centered around sharing and building a strong community. From the large annual Thanksgiving feast, to making Lutefisk for Colleen's grandmother on Christmas, to game nights with friends, to going to see a theater show on our anniversary, we value the traditions we both bring to our relationship and the new traditions we are making as a family. | Traditions | Thanksgiving was always a buzz when we lived on the east coast, with many friends gathering at our house and helping with cooking (and eating!) the big feast. | On the west coast, we continue a family Thanksgiving tradition started over 25 years ago. It originally began with Colleen's family and close friends. The tradition has grown to include Lindsey's family and friends of Colleen & Lindsey's as well, and it's a day we always look forward to, with wonderful food, conversations, and post-meal board games.
15: Snow-tubing the day after Christmas is one of our favorite traditions with Lindsey's family. | Disneyland trips with friends are fast becoming a tradition when we find ourselves in California. | We often go on urban scavenger hunts, a great way to explore cities! | In the springtime, we plant our garden with the help of our godson and cool off afterwards with popsicles. | One of our favorite annual traditions is bowling with friends and family to raise money for equal rights organizations.
16: Our Families | Colleen's Family Colleen's parents have always been supportive of her artistic passions. Her dad lives 10 minutes away and her mom lives 30 minutes away by ferry. Colleen's extended family lives across the Pacific Northwest, and her favorite cousin lives in San Francisco. Lindsey's Family Lindsey's parents have been married over 30 years. They both were distinguished soldiers in the U.S. Army and can't wait to become first-time grandparents. Lindsey's younger sister is an avid snow-boarder, an amazing cook, and loves to tease her big sister about being the 'short' one in the family. Both Lindsey's sister and parents live only an hour away. Lindsey's extended family lives in Colorado and Southeast Texas, right on the Gulf of Mexico. Photos First Row (Left to Right): Colleen's parents with Colleen & Lindsey, on their wedding day Fun times in New Orleans. Hanging out with close friends at a community picnic. Second Row (Left to Right): Colleen with high school friends Lindsey taking east coast friends on a tour of our city. Third Row (Left to Right) Lindsey's parents and sister. Lindsey and Colleen out to lunch with a group of friends.
17: In addition to our immediate and extended families, we have close friends we consider family. Some are close friends of our parents. Others are friends we have had since childhood, and some are friends since early adulthood and who have become like siblings to us. | And Close Friends
18: Dreams for Our Child | We've always known that we wanted to be parents together, and that our parenting styles would be similar to how we approach our marriage, focusing on communication and teamwork. We will encourage our children to explore the things in life that make them smile and laugh. We will help them reach for whatever dreams they have in their hearts, whether it be attending college or traveling around the world. Colleen will help our children harness any artistic, culinary, or literary abilities. Lindsey will challenge our children to find the value in science, math, and history. Lindsey is excited to take walks with our children (and Bernie) around the park, pointing out different types of birds and trees. Colleen can't wait to share her love of museums and independent bookstores. Lindsey is ready to be the best soccer or baseball or ballet mom in all of the Pacific Northwest. Colleen is excited to take our children to mommy-and-me yoga classes. Together, we will help our children know and share their emotions, thoughts, and feelings. We will teach them about responsibility to themselves, others, and their community. We will encourage them to find ways to give back through volunteering. Most importantly, we will always be ready to snuggle together on the couch and read a story.
19: Adoption Aspirations | It was very easy for us to choose open adoption as a way to start our family. Not only does open adoption allow for the birth family to remain a vital part of a child's life, and gives adoptive families the chance to be amazing parents, but it also allows countless benefits for the child. They never have to wonder who they look like or what makes up their background. And most importantly they are surrounded by many people who love them and want nothing but the best for them! While our immediate families are small, our lives are filled with friends we hold dear in our hearts. With open adoption, we hope to continue growing our family with the addition of a beautiful child, and an amazing birth family.