BC: Thank You
FC: Heidi | Duane | &
1: Please enjoy this book that we made for you to get a feel for who we are, what we like to do and what we have to provide. We hope that as you get to know more about us, you can picture your baby in our loving family. | - Heidi and Duane -
2: Best friends | Together we enjoy fishing, camping, traveling, playing games and spending time with family and friends.
3: Our | Story | W | we met through one of Heidi's best friends, who worked with Duane at the time, and have been glued at the hip ever since. What attracted us to each other (beside our good looks...haha!) were all the things we had in common, from our love of the outdoors and animals to how close we were to our families. If our family and friends were to describe us they would say that we are usually the life of the party, light hearted and fun-loving. We'd agree and also add that we are a loving, stable and happy couple with so much to give. We dated for a number of years before we got married in 2007. It was a beautiful October day spent with all of our family and friends. Has it really been 4 years already?! We feel blessed with the option to adopt and couldn't be more excited about the journey ahead of us. It feels like a very natural next step in our lives. We were both raised in loving families with supportive parents who sacrificed for our future and successes. We look forward to providing that same kind of love and support for our child. | Thank you for considering us as adoptive parents for your child. We hope that getting to know us may give you peace and comfort as you plan for their future.
4: Meet | Duane | B | Born and raised in Walworth, WI, I am the youngest of 4. Growing up in a small town, I learned to really appreciate nature and farming. I helped out at a family friends cattle farm for many years and even showed cattle through 4H. My dad was a Boy Scout leader so it was only natural that I become a Boy Scout myself. I had a very happy childhood and my parents were always there for me to support and nurture me. We were a very typical American family. | I have my dad to thank for many of the life-skills he taught me. Unfortunately he passed away when I was 19 and I miss him dearly. I pride myself on helping others and staying active and fit. Friends and family often call upon me to help with home repairs and remodeling projects. We visit my mom quite a bit so I can help her with upkeep of our family home. For the last 12 years I have worked as an account representative for a local organization providing administrative services to UW faculty physicians. They treat me well and I enjoy what I do. Previous to that I was a security guard and an EMT.
5: I am an avid sports fan and participate in softball, darts and kickball leagues and golf any chance I get. I've been playing with many of the people on my teams for over 10 years and have become close friends with many of them. I'm also a big fan of fantasy football and have even gotten Heidi into it. I try to workout about 4 to 5 days a week at a local health club lifting weights and doing cardio. It gives me energy and something fun to do. I can't wait to toss a ball around with our child and teach him or her everything I've learned. Over the years I've become a jack of all trades doing lots of home repair and remodeling projects for family and friends. A few times a year I like to go to the metal studio and make new things for our outdoor holiday displays. | For the last 20 years I have been a volunteer ski patroller at a nearby ski hill. I really enjoy the opportunity to ski and use my medical training to its fullest potential. Once a year I re-certify in infant and adult CPR and attend a ski patrol refresher course to stay up on the latest life saving techniques.
6: In my free time I enjoy cooking, gardening, photography, home decorating, reading and doing crafts. This past fall I made a piggy bank for our future child. | My best friends of 25 years, their daughters and our moms. | Many of my younger cousins enjoy spending time with me and find me to be lots of fun and easy to talk to. I'm truly still a kid at heart. My cousin Kendra and I are pictured here at her recent birthday party.
7: B | Born and raised in Madison, WI, I grew up with a younger brother. Mike and I were good buddies for the most part, but argued like most siblings do. While my dad held a job outside of the home, my mom babysat a number of the neighbor kids at our home. It was great always having so many kids around to play with. We had a pool, sandbox, swing set and lots of toys. There was never a dull moment at our house! I played softball from elementary school up until high school. Our team name was Happy Hitters and my mom was our coach. I was also a Girl Scout for a number of years. I had a very happy childhood and was a good kid. | I attended college at UW-Madison and earned my bachelors degree. I lived in the dorms and made some new lifelong friends because of it. College was challenging, but I learned so much and am very appreciative of the experience it provided me. During college I worked with my dad at the UW's computer center. I've continued to work for the UW since then, in a birth to 3 program and for the last 12 years with an Alzheimer's program. I have my hands in just about everything at work, but my main role is coordinating a clinical externship program for medical students and creating marketing material for other projects we have going on. I know quite a bit about computers, so I also serve as our IT person administering our network and providing computer support for staff. What I cherish most is spending time with Duane and our dogs, family and friends. I've known my closest girlfriends since middle school and we are still the best of friends. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share all the things I've learned, my family and friends, and my love with a child. | Heidi | Meet
8: Family | Our | D | Duane has 2 older sisters, 1 older brother and 6 nieces and nephews. His brother and 1 of his sisters live in Madison, within a few miles of our house. His other sister lives in Illinois and his mom lives in Walworth which is about an hour from Madison. We keep in touch with his family by phone and email and get together on holidays and other special occasions. We see Duane's mom as often as we can and help her with household chores and yard work. Duane's dad passed a number of years ago and his mom has been living on her own in the family home since then. She's very close to her grandkids and comes to visit a number of times a year, attending swim meets, ballet recitals and birthday parties. She's still quite the mover and shaker. We can only hope to be that energetic and full of life at her age. | Us with Duane's mom. She's a veteran grandma eager for a new grandbaby to spoil.
9: Us with Duane's mom, sisters, brother, nieces and nephews. Everyone is very supportive of our decision to adopt and are looking forward to sharing their love with the new baby.
10: Heidi's brother and future sister in law. They live in Milwaukee and are avid cyclists and travelers. | Heidi's parents couldn't be more excited about having their first grandbaby. Heidi's dad's side of the family celebrate Christmas eve together every year. Most of the family lives in the Madison area.
11: Family | Our | H | Heidi is very close to her family. Her parents live less than 3 miles from our house. We talk to them and see them a number of times each week for dinners and shopping trips together. Heidi's parents have been married for 42 years. Heidi has 1 younger brother who will be marrying his fiancé, Megan, in June 2012. Heidi spent a lot of time with her 10 sets of aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents growing up. Her grandparents belonged to a camping group and took her and her brother camping all the time as kids. This is where she learned how to fish, build a campfire and appreciate the outdoors as much as she does. Her extended family continues to be close, seeing each other whenever they can. Heidi's grandfathers have passed on. One of her grandmothers still lives on her own in northern WI. We visit her a few times a year, especially for the annual family reunion. Her other grandmother lives in a nursing home just outside of Madison. Everyone on both sides of the family are very supportive and eager to meet the new addition to our family! | Heidi's parents have been married for 42 years and live within walking distance to our house. | Heidi's mom, her grandma and Kassie. Grandma fostered babies while raising 8 kids of her own. Heidi's mom plans on babysitting our child for us during the workday.
12: Benny and Kassie's vet recently said to us, "If the love and care you provide your dogs is any indication of what kind of parents you will be to a child, you will be the very best parents." He even offered to write us a letter of recommendation. How sweet! | Duane, Heidi's dad and our dogs at small dog playgroup. We try to go each Saturday. The dogs love it and so do we!
13: Furkids | Our | O | Our "furkids", as we like to call them, bring such joy to our lives. Benny, our little guy, is a Papillon and is 4 years old. Kassie, our Sheltie, is 3 years old. Heidi always had pets growing up...dogs, fish, gerbils and even a duck. Duane never had pets in the house growing up due to family members having allergy issues. Instead, he helped out on a farm and showed cattle at county fairs. So although he had been around animals plenty, he never had any of his own until he met Heidi. | Benny and Kassie are the best of friends. Both dogs are very sweet and good natured around all people, young and old. We took them to puppy school when we first got them and since then we have been taking them to a small dog play group on Saturday mornings. We celebrate their birthdays and holidays just like they are kids. Heidi likes to dress them up for the holidays. Both have won costume contests at Pet Smart.
14: Our | Friends | Packer & Badger parties, camping & tubing trips, game nights & dinners together... Our friends mean the world to us!
15: We like to spoil our goddaughter as much as we can. She's such a cutie! | In the last few years our friends have been having lots of babies. Nights out on the town are few and far between now and that's great! We're finding it's just as fun getting together at one another's houses and letting the kids play. We look forward to having playmates for our little one and watching old and new friendships flourish.
16: At Halloween, the neighborhood kids can't wait for us to put up our outdoor Halloween decorations. We both carve pumpkins and dress up in costumes to add to the ambiance. We truly go all out! We're known for being the "spooky house" with good candy. | Our Christmas Tradition | We bake cookies and Chex mix. We make a point to watch every holiday show and movie on TV even though we have seen most 100 times or more. We buy an advent calendar and take turns opening its doors. We go to church. We spend Christmas eve and day with family and enjoy every minute of it. We can't wait to play Santa Claus for our child, share our traditions and create new ones together as a family.
17: Holidays | Our | Christmas at our house is a site to behold! We typically put up 2 Christmas trees. We decorate the outside of our home with white and red twinkle lights. On both sides of the family, the grandparents and aunts and uncles buy gifts for all of the kids in the family. It's always fun watching them open their gifts and seeing the joy it brings them. Our families have been looking forward to the day when they can buy gifts for our child. We take our birthday celebrations pretty seriously as well. As kids, our parents treated us to many slumber parties with friends, parties at pizza places, etc. We can't wait to do the same for our child! | Our favorite season, other than fall, is definitely holiday season. Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of great celebration for both of our families. Traditionally, we get together with both families for holiday parties. Everyone brings a dish to pass and sometimes we go out for brunch, we play card and board games and have lots of laughs. We've even been known to create our own dance party in the middle of the living room. Kids are usually the focus of any holiday celebration. | O | Our home at Christmas, all warm and cozy and ready for Santa!
18: Our | Home | Our backyard is fenced and provides ample play space. You'll often see us playing with our dogs, grilling out and having fires in our firepit with our neighbors, who we are very close with. We take a lot of pride in how our home looks both inside and out. Duane keeps the yard meticulously groomed and together we keep the inside of home well-maintained and clean. Heidi loves to decorate! Our friends and family often "ooh" and "ah" when they visit and comment on how cozy our home feels. We couldn't agree more! We are excited to create new memories here with our child. | W | We couldn't love our home or our neighborhood any more than we do. We bought this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home on the West side of Madison in 2008. We chose this home because of the peaceful and secure neighborhood and the number of young families living in the area. From our front yard we can see children playing at the neighborhood park and also see the spot up the block where the school bus drives them to and from the brand new elementary school each day. Our home is just a few minutes drive to both of our jobs and it's within walking distance to Heidi's parent's home. We enjoy the convenience that provides.
19: Second Home | Our | Someday... | Since Heidi was a young child, her family has been vacationing in Door County. In fact, Heidi's dad has been vacationing there since he was a young child. We have been going there for long weekend getaways at least twice a year since we met, in addition to our annual week-long vacation where we rent a cottage with Heidi's parents. We are excited to continue this tradition with our child. Although we have traveled to other states and countries, Door County is our favorite. Someday we hope to have a cottage of our own and travel here even more often than we already do. | S
20: Baby Duane. | Baby Heidi. | Heidi has been collecting teddy bears for the baby room. When we saw this crib bedding, we knew we had to have it. | Heidi made mobiles and window valances for the baby room. So cute!
21: Baby | All about | A | Anyone who knows Heidi knows that she is very organized and a planner. The moment we decided on adopting a child, Heidi began planning out the nursery. She researched and talked with friends and family about which crib, mattress, bedding, dressers, changing tables to buy. Everyone had great suggestions for the nursery and more. From bottles and formula, to diapers, to carseats and strollers, we know what to buy and what to stay away from. We want only the safest items for our child. We feel like we're becoming experts on everything baby and we'll be more than set when he or she arrives. | Benny trying out the rocking horse. This is one of many toys the baby will have. Heidi's mom will be babysitting during the day. She's been busy putting together a nice collection of toys too. | Heidi recently won this baby swing. What luck! It moves up and down and sways from side to side, just like parents do when they comfort their babies. And it plays music too.
22: The baby dresser will also be a changing table. For now we have a TV and toys on top of it while we continue to get the room ready. We have a glider rocker and storage shelving ready to go as well. The baby room feels so cozy that sometimes we just sit in there and hang out together, talking about how great it will be when we're enjoying the room with our little one.
23: A shiny brand new crib for the baby. It's one of those convertible beds that converts from a crib, to a toddler bed and then to a full size bed. | Heidi is a designer at heart. She's created a floor plan for the nursery making sure that there was room for all the baby gear and furniture. | The | Baby Room | The baby room is all ready to go. So much love and thought went into each and every aspect of the room. We painted the room a pale yellow and hung shelves for toys, books and pictures. We chose vibrant colors for room decorations and toys that the baby will enjoy looking at and someday enjoy playing with. Heidi made the window valances, mobiles, crib skirt and crib sheets. The crib and mattress are highly rated for safety and comfort. We can't wait for the first time we get to enjoy the room with our baby and to see the comfort and joy it brings to them. | T
24: Promise to you | Our | We have an affectionate and very loving relationship with one another and we promise to have the same with your child. We are fully committed to being parents and are excited for all the new experiences to come our way. We have heard how life changing of an experience it will be and we welcome it all with open arms. We will treasure your child endlessly. Through our helpful guidance we will be sure that he or she grows up knowing how special and remarkable they truly are. In turn, we promise that he or she will always know how special you are. Thanks for taking the time to get to know us and for considering us as parents for your child. -Heidi and Duane