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QUICK FACTS

Phone: 515-428-1156
Years together: 11
Where we live: Osceola, Iowa
Our neighborhood: Rural
Other children: 4-year old daughter, Zaylee
Pets: none

Dear Expectant Parent(s),

Thank you for getting to know us and considering us as an adoptive family for your child.

We are Brian, Janelle, and Zaylee, and we are excited to share our story with you. We met on eHarmony and quickly fell in love. We found that we shared the same values and dreams for our future and have now been married for 10 years, so we know that enduring matches can be made online. When we decided we were ready to start a family, we discovered that we were unable to conceive on our own. We underwent fertility testing and treatment unsuccessfully. Throughout the process we experienced many emotions as we grieved for the child who was in our hearts and the pregnancy we would not experience. While the grief we endured is different from the loss you are considering facing, we do have a sense of what it’s like to go through a big heartache and we don’t take that lightly. Like others wished for us, we wish for you resilience in whatever comes.

Throughout everything, we continued to trust that God had a plan for our family and became excited about growing our family through adoption. In March 2011, Zaylee was born and chosen by her birth mother, Tasha, to join our family. Zaylee has brought tremendous joy to our family, and we are hopeful that we can share our love with another child and that Zaylee will have a brother or sister to grow up with.

Brian is a wonderful husband and father. Watching him with Zaylee is a joy. He loves to play with her and is patient when she wants to help him. Brian is self­employed as a machinist and has his own shop on an acreage a few miles outside of town. He is very creative and a great problem­solver and likes to take on projects that other people don’t think can be done. He has also worked in construction, building and remodeling houses. We are currently building a new house on the acreage next to his shop.

Janelle is a very special mom who always has time for Zaylee. She is a dedicated and hard­working teacher who cares about her students, but she always puts our family first. Janelle teaches 6th grade math in a school district not far from Des Moines. In addition to being a busy mom, she is also involved at church and in an organization called TTT (Tri-T) which sends deserving young girls to summer camp. She enjoys sports and playing the piano and occasionally fills in for the pianist at church.

Zaylee is in preschool and is full of energy and loves to learn. She is always busy and enjoys a wide range of activities. She loves to be outside – playing at the park, drawing with sidewalk chalk, going swimming. She also enjoys reading books and playing games and she has a great imagination. And she is just as happy dressing up or playing princess as she is digging in the dirt or using tools at Brian’s shop. She is very excited about becoming a big sister. She has been praying for a baby sister (or brother) that can share the clothes and toys she has outgrown and even drew a picture one day that she wanted to hang on the wall by the crib for her baby sister or brother to look at. She is looking forward to being able to give the baby a bottle and toys to play with and to help get him or her to sleep.

Our extended families have also been very supportive of us as an adoptive family. Zaylee has lots of cousins who love to play together, and she gets to spend a lot of time with her grandparents. Before going to preschool full­time, she went to day care two days a week and her grandparents alternated caring for her the other days. This arrangement worked great to give her time to make and play with friends as well as give her individualized time and build close relationships with her grandparents.

Our home is a place filled with happiness, love, and giggles. Picture your child riding a big wheel up and down the sidewalk. Or “driving” the excavator and helping fix things with Dad. Helping Mom decorate Easter eggs and Christmas cookies wearing the little apron that Grandma made. Building with blocks and drawing pictures with Zaylee. Sharing bedtime books and stories of how we became a family. These sorts of scenes will be common in our home.

Adoption has truly been an amazing experience. Dealing with infertility, adoption paperwork, and lots of waiting hasn’t always been easy, but it has taught us how to lean on and support each other and has made our marriage stronger. And it brought us a special daughter that we cannot imagine life without. We continue to have an open relationship with her birth family that includes visits and we are glad that she can know how much they love her too.

Thank you again for getting to know our family. We look forward to writing the next chapter of our story, and we would be honored to include you and this child as part of it. We invite you to create a relationship together if that’s something you are open to and hope to meet you when you are ready. When we started this journey, we had no idea where it would lead us. But we continue to trust that God has a plan for our family and our future. We know that he has a plan for you too and pray for his guidance in your life.

Brian, Janelle, and Zaylee