S: Matt, Jodi, and Amber
FC: Matt, Jodi, and Amber
1: Your love O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness stretches to the skies. | ~Psalm 36:5
2: Dear Birthparent: We are so excited to share a little bit of our life with you in this album. Throughout these pages we hope you get a glimpse of who we are and the importance of faith and family in our lives. ~ Matt and Jodi | Matt and Jodi love being a family together and parents to their beautiful daughter Amber. They feel God's urging to grow their family with a second child through adoption. They met at college through mutual friends and began dating Matt's senior year. He graduated in 2003 and got a job teaching in the Twin Cities. Jodi graduated a year later and also found a teaching job. They were married in August of 2004 and have a solid and committed marriage with Christ at the center. They both love kids and have always known they wanted children. After trying to have biological children for several years, Matt and Jodi felt God's calling to adopt. Amber came into their hearts and home in May of 2010 and has brought so much joy to their lives. They feel extremely blessed to be parents, and look forward to how God will expand their family!
3: Life as a Couple | Matt & Jodi
4: Matt is a loving husband and father. He looks out for other people and has a compassionate heart. He truly has a gift with kids, and wherever he goes they seem to gravitate to him. Matt is sensitive to the needs of others and has a servant's heart in our marriage and his interactions with others. He is very creative and comes up with thoughtful ways to show he loves me. Matt is a wonderful father to Amber. He is always willing to get down on her level and play with her. He is patient with her and encourages her in her new skills. Matt will be a great teacher to Amber on how to live your life for Christ. Matt isn't ashamed of the gospel of Christ and is open to sharing his beliefs with others. A man of integrity, he doesn't compromise in his beliefs and is daily committed to growing in our marriage and his relationship with Christ. ~By Jodi | All About Matt | Matt's Hobbies: *Playing with Amber *Playing strategy games *Biking and hiking *Tent camping *Playing guitar or listening to music *Watching movies *Reading
5: I am proud to call Jodi my wife. Right when I met her I knew she would be a wonderful wife and loving mother. Jodi has the gifts of love, joy, hospitality, and a true sense of nurturing care for children. She is an extremely dedicated, loving, and joyful mother. I love watching her interact with Amber and seeing how each one is being filled by the other. It is evident that Amber loves her mommy very much. Jodi has a strong relationship with her family and sees family as one of the most important things in her life. She shows such incredible love to me by sharing support, wisdom, and respect in our marriage. She is extremely supportive of me in anything I do. It is evident that Jodi takes her faith seriously and truly lives out the Christian life. She is continuously looking to grow in our marriage as well as in her relationship with Jesus Christ. ~ By Matt | Activities Jodi Enjoys *Anything music related: playing violin & guitar and singing. *Camping and sight-seeing. *Baking and scrap-booking. *Cozying up with a good book. *Hanging out with friends/family. *Being a mom! | All About Jodi
6: Our beautiful daughter, Amber | *Born in April 2010 *Compassionate, curious, bright, loving, sweet, and imaginative. *Loves reading books, playing outside, baths, playing with dolls, chasing Mama and Daddy around the house, coloring, giggling, and learning new things.
7: Having Amber in our lives has been an incredible blessing. She lights up our day with her bright smile and melts our hearts when she sees us in the morning and says "Mama," or "Dada." God has given us this incredible gift, and our lives are forever changed and enhanced by having her for our daughter. As we feel and acknowledge our deep love for her, we are mindful of how Christ has adopted us as his children and we are members of his family. We thank and praise him for ALL of his blessings.
8: Life as a Family of Three
9: We all love family time! Our favorite things to do with each other are going for walks, playing at the park, playing pretend with stuffed animals, and making each other giggle! | We love being able to take trips together. In 2010 we all headed to North Carolina for a wedding and Montana for a reunion. In 2011 we enjoyed taking Amber on her first camping trip to Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Matt and Jodi plan to make tent camping an annual event.
10: Matt taught first grade at a Christian school in the Twin Cities for eight years. In 2011, he moved up to teaching middle school and is enjoying the new challenge. He has seventh grade homeroom and teaches science, history, technology, and literature. His students love his creativity, sense of humor, and the class movies they get to make each year. Matt loves being at a Christian school where he can express his faith, worship with students, and teach his students to see Christ's Lordship over all aspects of creation.
11: Daycare Jodi also taught for six years, but now loves staying home with Amber. She provides daycare for Caden, a young boy who is two months older than Amber. They all love walking to the park near their house, reading books, and playing with toys.
12: Matt's Family | Family Traditions: *Making homemade pizza every Saturday night. *Cutting down a real Christmas tree and decorating it. *Having Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house with the extended family and exchanging grab bags.
13: Matt enjoyed growing up in a very loving and supportive family in Iowa. Some of his favorite memories include camping, fishing with his dad, playing games, visiting relatives in Chicago, and watching old slide-shows of family pictures while sharing a big bowl of popcorn. Matt enjoys weekly conversations with his parents and getting together with the whole family for holidays and summer break. Matt appreciates that he was raised in a Christian home where he learned the importance of faith and family. | Matt's Family: *Parents: Rich and Elaine *Older Sister: Carla, married to Tim, they have three daughters and a son. *Younger Sister: Laura, married to George. *Younger Brother: David, married to Rachel, expecting their first in January of 2012.
14: She is the middle of five kids, and loved growing up in a big family. She was three years old when her parents adopted David from South Korea, and in high school when they adopted Danny from Colombia. She cherishes her diverse family and the way her parents exposed her and their family to many other cultures. Jodi remains close to her whole family and loves holidays/summer when all of her family can get together. God has blessed her with their love, encouragement, support, and prayers. | Jodi's Family | Jodi has fond memories of growing up in Michigan and hanging out with her family. Her family took camping trips every summer, as well as weekends spent biking, hiking, playing games, going out for ice-cream, or heading to the beach at Lake Michigan.
15: Jodi's Family: *Parents: C.J and Kay *Older Brother: Matt, married to Julia, they have two daughters. *Older Sister: Kim, married to Kevin, they have two daughters. *Younger Brothers: David and Danny. | Family Traditions: *Blueberry picking on the way to the beach. *Driving around to look at Christmas lights. *Carving pumpkins and baking the seeds. *Going on breakfast "dates" with her mom or dad. *Caroling around the neighborhood. *Putting up the Christmas tree and Nativity Scene.
16: Church Activities: Matt and Jodi are active members of their church. They enjoy fellowship with other young couples and they each enjoy Bible studies- Matt with a men's group, and Jodi with Coffee Break and Beth Moore. Matt volunteers as a small group leader for youth group, and Jodi sings in the choir. They both have a heart for missions and have been blessed to travel to Ecuador and Kentucky where they served in a variety of ways.
17: Our Home: *Four bedroom, ranch style home. *Newly finished basement with large family room and play room. *Finished nursery for 2nd child. *Large backyard. *Located at the end of a dead-end street. *Quiet, suburban neighborhood. *Culturally diverse with a mixture of retired couples and young families with children. *Within walking distance of groceries. *Biking distance to parks and the library. *Ten minute drive to church and school.
18: Profile Quick Facts | As a Couple *Joined in marriage in August of 2004. *Members of a Christian Reformed Church. *Neighborhood: Suburb of a large city; ethnically diverse; quiet neighborhood near parks, school, and church. *Activities they enjoy: Being parents; walking/hiking/biking; playing games; spending time with friends and family; participating and serving in church ministries; and having summers free to vacation as a family. | Matt *Occupation: Teacher *Degree: B.A in Elementary Education *Age: 31 *Fun fact #1: Makes a movie with his class each year. *Fun fact #2: Enjoyed cliff jumping 50 feet into a lake. *Fun fact #3: Spent a summer in New Jersey as a missions intern. | Jodi *Occupation: Stay at home Mom, plus in home daycare for one child. *Degree: B.A in Elementary Education *Age: 30 *Fun fact #1: Played violin since age four. Now gives lessons. *Fun fact #2: Biked 200 miles in a 24-hour bike challenge. *Fun fact #3: Studied in the Netherlands for one semester.
19: Plans and Hopes for Our Family *Jodi desires to continue staying at home with our children. *We plan for our children to attend Christian schools. *It is our desire and hope to have several children. *If desired by the birthparents, we are open to maintaining contact and fostering an ongoing relationship through letters/photos and 3-4 yearly visits. | Amber's Adoption Journey *Amber was born in April of 2010. We met her when she was three weeks old and brought her home into our hearts and lives a few days later. *We have an open adoption with Amber's birthmom (pictured on right), and have also met her birthfather once. We stay in contact through letters, phone, facebook, and visits about four times a year. We feel so privileged to have an ongoing relationship with her. | A Favorite Family Verse: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." ~Zephaniah 3:17
20: You are in our prayers | Matt, Jodi, and Amber