FC: Aaron & Kristen
1: Hello! Our names are Aaron and Kristen, and we want to thank you for taking the time to catch a glimpse into our lives and family through viewing this book. We hope that this letter and our pictures will give you an idea of the loving and secure home that we can provide for your child. We want you to know that we admire the courage it took to give your child the gift of life and your selflessness in committing to make an adoption plan. Your baby is so blessed to have a mother who loves him or her so much. We want you to know that we will honor you and respect your decisions surrounding this adoption, so that together we can attain our dreams for your baby. We hope that we can help fulfill your desire to find a loving family, giving your child every opportunity to succeed in life. We have been married for ten years, but friends for seventeen, having met our sophomore year in high school. In those years we have weathered storms and shared in lifes greatest blessings, coming through all of it a stronger and more committed couple. We feel our life circumstances, both good and bad, have enabled us to learn and grow together, giving us stability and deepening our love for one another. We truly are each others best friends. We have two biological daughters, Ava and Charlotte. We know the joy that parenting has brought to our marriage already, and cannot wait to welcome a new life into our family through the miracle of adoption. Again, thank you for considering our family while you make your adoption plans. | dear expectant parents | Sincerely, | Aaron & Kristen Ava & Charlotte
2: We attended a small Christian high school together, but did not start dating until we ended up at the same college. After four years of dating, we celebrated our love for each other on June 9th of 2001. We were married in the same church that Aaron's parents, siblings, and grandparents had all been married. Followed by a beautiful outdoor reception at Kristen's parents' home. We can still remember the thrill of the day as we ran out through a tunnel of sparklers to our waiting car to begin our life together as husband and wife. There was so much anticipation over what our future held for us as a married couple, and we still feel that same anticipation and gratitude over the journey we've been able to share together over the past ten years. We can't wait to see what the next ten years hold! We longed to start a family of our own, and after three years of trying to do just that, we welcomed our first daughter, Ava, into our lives. Two years later our second daughter, Charlotte, made Ava a big sister. Since then our struggles with infertility and loss have only brought us closer and strengthened our desire to expand our family. We have so much love to offer to our children, and are anxiously anticipating the arrival of our third blessing through the miracle of adoption. When we have a minute of free time together, we enjoy spending nights on our patio watching the red and yellow glow of the sun setting as it reflects off our pool. On the weekends we enjoy curling up on the couch to watch the latest Redbox movie. We plan several date nights throughout the year so we can enjoy some of our favorite down town restaurants while our children have a fun evening with their grandparents. As a family we enjoy bike rides and walks around our neighborhood in the evening to greet and play with all our friends. We enjoy traveling, and have been to over fifteen countries between the two of us. Whether we're riding camels in the dessert in front of the pyramids of Giza, exploring Jerusalem, swimming in the dead sea, climbing the Eiffel tower, visiting castles in England, riding zip lines in Nicaragua, or enjoying a relaxing family vacation in Mexico- we love to be adventurous and try new things. We dream of doing more family travels as our children grow because we love to give them the opportunity to experience different customs and cultures. | the story of us...
3: June 9, 2001 | November 2000 | October 2010 | April 2011
4: What Kristen has to say about Aaron... | Aaron | The very things that attracted me to Aaron 17 years ago are the things that I still love and admire about him today. Aaron is so patient and tender hearted, as evidenced in how he relates to our children. He is always laughing and never takes himself, or life, too seriously. He is a faithful, Christian man with a solid foundation. Aaron finds great joy in his work and strives to do his best each and every day. His dedication and work ethic have enabled me to be a stay at home mother, which was always my deepest desire when it came to raising children. He truly is the piece of the puzzle that completes me and I'm so blessed to walk through this life with him as my partner. I think we make a great team! | About Myself... | I am the third born to my parents, Dave & Gail. My brother, Matt, is six years older than me. He is married to Kelly and they have three children. My sister, Rachel, is three years older, married to Jon, and they also have three children. We are a very close family and all live with in 20 minutes of each other in the same town of Pennsylvania where we were born and raised. I grew up very involved in athletics, especially soccer. I played from the age of 10 through graduating from college. I graduated from a small Christian liberal arts college in Virginia with a Business Administration degree and a minor in marketing. Since graduating I have had a chance to experience selling in different jobs and environments. I have been a salesman for a local heating and air conditioning company for the past six years and love the flexibility my job enables me to have.
5: The Top Ten Things I Enjoy Doing: | 1. Spending time with my family. 2. I enjoy the sport of bicycling and try to get out for a ride whenever I can. 3. Cooking anything on the grill. 4. Golfing, when I have the time. 5. Spending summer evenings in the pool with the girls. 6. Watching movies with my wife. 7. Sitting outside on a calm evening and relaxing in a lounge chair by the pool. 8. Hanging out with our friends. 9. Entertaining at our home for family and friends. 10. I really enjoy my job, and the chance to get to meet new people everyday. | Coming home from a morning bicycle ride. | Playing in our church softball league.
6: What Aaron has to say about Kristen... I would describe Kristen as being selfless and patient. Kristen will continue to give of herself even when there is nothing left to give. I see this evidenced in the activities she takes on at church, in our home, and our community. She is always thinking of other people's needs first before her own. When It comes to the children, it is obvious that God has blessed her with great patience. She can sit for hours with them explaining how things work and showing them how to cook, clean, sew, swim, and read just to name a few. | Kristen | About Myself... I was an only child for ten years after my birth father passed away rescuing a young boy while on duty as a paramedic. My mother, Sharon, remarried my now step-father, Gerald, and I am fortunate to have two younger half brothers, Daniel and Peter. I was like a second mommy to them growing up, whether they liked it or not! It made me realize at a young age that I desired to have a family of my own when the time was right. I graduated from a small liberal arts college in Virginia, with a major in Psychology. After graduation, Aaron and I were married, moved back to Pennsylvania where we were born and raised, and I started working for a local family as a nanny to their three children. This position solidified my passion for starting a family and gave me first hand experience in caring for children all on my own. It took some time for that dream of motherhood to be realized, but I know now that God's timing was perfect. I have been a mom for almost seven years, and these have been the best years of my life!
7: Ten things to know about Kristen: | 1. Nothing brings me greater joy than hanging out with my family. 2. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love the joyous season of celebrating Christ's birth and all the fun festivities that go along with this time of the year. 3. My husband is my best friend. 4. I always dreamed of being a mother, and it is the best job I've ever had! 5. My favorite color is red. 6. I absolutely love, LOVE anything made with dark chocolate. 7. I am a night owl, and do my best work long after I should be in bed. 8. I love to sew, mostly clothing for the girls and presents for friends. I love combining colors and patterns in crazy fabrics and seeing how it all comes together in a finished piece. The dresses the girls are wearing in our family picture to the left are the ones I made for Easter this year. 9. My favorite vacation spot is the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we spend a week each summer. 10. I love to laugh, and try my hardest to spend a big part of my day doing just that! | finding the perfect Christmas tree! | "there is no sweeter sound than the laughter of a child." | Celebrating a friends upcoming wedding in Mexico.
8: Ava is our first born daughter and is six years old. She can often be found exploring the backyard swing set in a world of make believe adventure with her side kick, Charlotte. Her sweet disposition is evident in the way she interacts with her family and friends. She has the most infectious giggle, loves riding her bike around the neighborhood, playing with her American Girl Doll, swimming, dancing, singing, gymnastics, Sunday School, playing soccer and field hockey. | Ava is part of a Spanish Immersion program at the private Christian school she attends and we're excited for her to grow up with the opportunity to learn and know two languages. Charlotte and our future child will have this opportunity as well if they choose. It has been amazing to watch her grow and blossom over the years. We strive to give the children every opportunity we can to try new things and experience the world around them. We feel like children learn best through gentle leading, corrective guidance and a lot of love and hugs. | Ava | A trip to New York City at Christmas time. | Sisters and best friends! | Alice and the Queen of Hearts for Halloween. | Ava with her cousin Lillian at the American Girl store in NYC.
9: Charlotte is our second born daughter and is four years old. She is a ball of energy and there is never a dull moment with this little girl around! She enjoys doing anything and everything her big sister does, usually trying to do it BIGGER and BETTER! Charlotte loves to make people laugh by making up silly songs and jokes. One of her favorite things to do is play mama to her baby dolls, and often will tell us how she will care for her new baby brother or sister when they someday join our family. | Charlotte | Holding an Iguana during our trip to Mexico. | Playing at the park. | Rocking out on her blue guitar! | We love our pool! | Picking lettuce and peas from our backyard garden.
10: Aaron's family | Aaron comes from a large, yet close knit family. His father, Dave, is the oldest of five and his mother, Gail, is the oldest of ten. Almost all of them live within 20 minutes of our home in south central Pennsylvania and we enjoy a lot of family gatherings and celebrations over the holidays. Aaron works with his older brother Matt and sees him every day. People say they are a lot alike and it's easy to confuse them! Matt is married to Kelly, and they have three children, Ian, Lillian, and Ellen. His sister Rachel is married to Jon, and they also have three children, Emma, Ethan, and Faith. Aaron's father has worked as an engineer for the same company for over 40 years. And together, with his wife Gail, they operate a Bed & Breakfast out of their home. | Aaron's immediate family at Thanksgiving. | Our nieces and nephews at Aaron's parents home at Easter. | Aaron with his dad and brother after our niece was born. | Entire extended family on Aaron's dads' side. | All the children with their Great Grandparents who recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
11: Kristen's immediate family at brothers graduation. | With their second cousins at Easter. | Kristen's family | Kristen's family is relatively small in comparison to Aaron's. Her mom, Sharon, and step-father, Gerald, live five minutes down the road from us and are so helpful and involved in their grand children's lives. Her half-brothers, Daniel and Peter, are ten and fifteen years younger than Kristen respectively. Daniel lives on his own and works for their dad, Gerald, who owns his own construction company. Peter will be a senior in high school next year and still lives at home. Her mother has always been an at-home mom, and has been the inspiration for Kristen wanting to do the same. Kristen's family loves to laugh and have fun, A LOT! Whether it's on beach vacations, fishing trips, running road races, relaxing in their hot tub or working in the garden, there is always fun to be had by all. | Sharing giggles with Grammie | Grandparents Day at Kindergarten. | Kristen's grandparents carving the Thanksgiving turkey.
12: our friends
13: In Mexico with my college roommates. | All of Kristen's girlfriends welcoming her home from a semester in the Middle East our junior year of college. | Kristen's nearest and dearest "mom friends"! We keep each other laughing and encourage each other on the journey of motherhood. | In Mexico with friends from college for another friends wedding. | Aaron with his closest buddies that he's known since elementary school. They still get together every Wednesday morning for breakfast! | We absolutely love our friends and cherish the relationships that we have formed with them. We have a lot of the same friends since we went to high school and college together. The people that we spend the most time with now are friends we've known since high school and before. Four times a year we swap houses and do a dinner club with three other couples. Each meeting has a different theme and in March we hosted an Irish meal in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Our college friends are spread out all over the country, but we enjoy traveling to visit and meet up with them whenever we can. Kristen was recently in North Carolina celebrating a baby shower with her roommates. Last October a group of us traveled to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate a friends destination wedding. We think of our friends as an extension of our family of origin and can't think of anyone else that has been more supportive and excited for us as we begin this journey to bring home our third child through the miracle of adoption.
14: our faith, | activities and hobbies | Our faith in Jesus Christ plays a very important role in our family, shaping who we are and how we relate to the world around us. We both grew up in Christian families with different denominational backgrounds. Aaron attended private Christian school his whole life, and Kristen for high school and college. We deeply value Christian education and have our children enrolled in the same school Aaron attended as a child. | Dyeing eggs at Easter! | We occasionally take a ride on Aaron's dads' Harley Davidson Motorcycle. | We love to travel as a couple and as a family and look forward to taking all of our children around the world some day. We feel learning about different cultures and people through traveling is an experience like no other and a gift we can give to our children. We enjoy gardening, both flowers and food, and have both right in our backyard. We love teaching the children about where our food comes from and how it grows. We feel it has helped them to be adventurous eaters too! Charlotte loves eating red peppers like an apple! | For the past six years we have found our church home at Living Hope Community Church, which is a Christian non-denominational church, located five minutes from our home. We love it there and have met some wonderful friends through our small groups. Aaron serves as a head usher and Kristen serves by teaching Sunday School and organizing womens' ministry events. The Sunday school program is fantastic and the girls will ask all week long about when it is time to go back to church on Sunday. We love that they are so enthusiastic about learning more about faith and Jesus' love for them, and we encourage them to seek to understand it in a way that makes sense to them.
15: Every Sunday evening we enjoy homemade pizza for dinner. In the afternoon we prepare the dough and add all of our favorite toppings when it's time to bake. We started this tradition for our family when we returned home from our honeymoon ten years ago! | Every summer we enjoy a week at the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Kristen's family. | Waiting to board the plane to Mexico! | Some of our garden harvest. | Ava with her cousin Lillian in the American Girl Store in NYC. Kristen and her sister-in-law Kelly took the girls there for their Christmas present this past year. | Ava & Charlotte at Halloween- we love to nurture creative expressions- even through pumpkins sometimes!
16: our home | We built our home five years ago, and absolutely love where we live. It is located in a secluded, rural neighborhood that is filled with young families and lots of children. We have four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, lots of living space and a fully finished basement that has been turned into the ultimate children's play area, with a bouncy house and all! | We love to entertain and recently just added the in-ground pool and fence to our backyard, making it even more fun and private. Everyday we are outside playing on the swing set, tending the gardens, swimming, or playing sports and games in the yard. We love inviting friends and family over to use our fire pit to roast s'mores in the summer time.
17: how we've prepared for new life | " Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." | Jeremiah 1:5 | We have had so much fun preparing for the arrival of another child into our family! Aaron had to figure out how to set up the crib again. Kristen has been busy designing and sewing everything you see in the nursery. Ava and Charlotte have been helping by setting up the toys, books, and gender neutral clothing we have from their newborn days. It has been a whirlwind of emotions as we pull all the baby gear from storage. After our pregnancy losses we weren't sure we would ever have the chance to experience the blessing of adding to our family again. But we are filled with hope and anticipation for the child that we know God has in mind for our family. Kristen's favorite place to sit and dream and pray about this baby is right here in the nursery in the comfy chair she used to rock Ava and Charlotte as babies as well.
18: We love to laugh and have fun! We can't wait to celebrate a new little life joining our family!
20: our promise to you and your child... | We believe that families created through adoption are special and should be honored. Our child will always know their adoption story and the miracle of how we became a family. You, as their birth parent, will always have a place of honor in our home and in our lives. We will never forget how you were part of fulfilling our greatest desires to grow our family. We wish you peace as you walk this journey of making very important decisions for yourself and your unborn child. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. | The first year we were married we purchased this decorative plaque for our home. We bought it then because we liked the way it looked. But as we read it now, we realize just how perfect it is for the journey we've been on that has lead us to the path of adoption, and we thank God for these subtle reminders of His love and faithfulness along the way.
21: excited for another little hand to hold... | If you are interested in learning more about our family for your adoption planning, please contact A Baby Step Adoption 1-888-323-6788