A + Jay

Hey there, welcome to our little corner of the internet.  

Our life is an open book – so jump in and take a good look around. But most importantly, enjoy the ride because we sure are. Just remember to keep your hands and feet in the cart at all times. We are Proud and happy in the life that we share together and want so much to grow our family. We are excited about our decision to adopt. For us the choice was an easy one as love knows no bounds. We believe it is a huge honor and privilege to become adoptive parents and we accept our responsibilities to you and your child with the utmost respect and commitment.  

How We Met:

On Veteran’s Day 2014 I got an email response to my dating profile from a Marine. That one email led to multiple text messages which led to the obligatory voice verify call that turned into a four hour discussion about anything and everything. That weekend on a cold snowy Saturday night we met in person for a pizza date. There were egg shells in our meat balls, laughter was a plenty and as corny as it sounds I knew I had found the “ONE.” In 2015 Jay asked me to be his wife in the middle of a motel pool in the Wisconsin Dells, of course I said yes and never looked back.

We both knew that we wanted to be parents so we started trying right away. We are the 1 in 8 who struggle with infertility and have undergone several treatments that did not result in a full term pregnancy. We are a member of the 1 in 4 club as well, our IVF miracle Emmett James was born sleeping on March 5, 2018. He made us parents and we cannot wait for the day we get to hold a earth side baby in our arms.

About AmandaJean (AJ):

AJ is about as midwestern as you can get, she grew up in a farming town on the Minnesota/Wisconsin boarder and has a mad love for all things dairy. She is honest to a fault, loves with everything she has and she has more patience than a saint. AJ always looks for the good in every situation and manages to find the beauty in the mundane. AJ is kind, witty, funny, and a terrible dancer, yet she still choses to dance in public. She has a soft spot for people in need and recognized at a young age that not everyone has the same things in life.  

On Christmas Eve when AJ was about five years-old she overheard her parents talking about how a family down the street could not afford to buy Christmas for their daughter who was the same age as her. So when her parents weren’t looking, she pulled her wagon on to the porch and started loading it up with her Christmas presents that were under the tree. Her dad heard the commotion (she dropped one of the presents) and asked her what she was doing. With tears in her eyes she said; “Daddy I heard you say Santa wasn’t going to come to Tiffany’s house and that would make her sad, so I am going to bring her my presents because I don’t need them.” All her Dad could do to keep himself from crying was smile and rub her little curly head. He explained “Mannie you can’t do it during day light Tiffany will know it was you and not Santa, so why don’t we go up to Kmart and get a few more things and wait until its dark.” That night after Church AJ pulled her wagon down the street with her dad by her side and unloaded the gifts on Tiffany’s doorstep. On the way home she said “making people happy is the best gift!” In that moment her Dad knew she was born with an old soul and a servants heart.

Experience with children: AJ is a loving Auntie and God Mama who loves encouraging each child to learn through imaginative play. It’s very rare for her to gift a toy that needs a battery or plugged in for use. For many years AJ enjoyed serving as a supervised visitation monitor for children and their families. She is a former Methodist Camp Counselor where she got to share her love of God and canoeing with her campers each summer. AJ is the shoulder her friends can lean on when they need some help or advice with parenting. She is no stranger to driving to her friend’s houses in the middle of the night to walk the floor with a colicky baby so the parents can get some sleep.

Work: Operational Risk Consultant

Education: University of Wisconsin Superior and The Minnesota Paralegal Institute  

Favorite Color: Pink, Orange, and Yellow 

Favorite food: ummmm BBQ and of course cheese  

Favorite show: anything on Bravo or true crime documentaries  

Favorite Animal: Cullen, my rescue pup and Dinosaurs 

Favorite Travel Destination: I can’t pick one, I have to many favorites.

Hobbies: cooking, traveling, decorating, hanging out on a patio at sunset, hiking with my best friend and Cullen, collecting costume jewelry, collecting Pyrex, visiting flea markets and antique stores, strolling through the farmers market and watching Jason’s not so cool magic tricks………

About Jason:

Jason is the complete opposite of a Midwesterner as he was born in upstate New York and raised in Memphis Tennessee. He does however love cheese almost as much as AJ does, he is currently on a mission to find the world’s best pepper jack cheese. Jason is the calm to AJ’s storms. He is kind, funny, loving, resourceful, witty, and creative. Jason served in the United States Marine Core and went on to college to obtain his degree in computer science. He has a soft spot for helping others and a love for our cross-eyed cat named Dexter.

Experience with children: Jason is a loving uncle and enjoys spending time with children. Jason has experience with the day to day tasks of taking care of a child. He enjoys helping kids explore technology and robotics. Jason is the one who puts together the gifts AJ buys for the kiddos in their life, he is an expert at it now. He leaves the wrapping to AJ, he’s terrible at it.

Work: IT 

Education: Metro State University  

Favorite Color: Purple 

Favorite food: Chinese Food and Sushi  

Favorite show: The Office, Breaking Bad, and Star Trek 

Favorite Animal: Dexter, the cross-eyed cat  

Favorite Travel Destination: wherever AJ drags me to, I’m the one who does the driving.

Hobbies: video/computer games, tinkering around the house, magic tricks, card games, anything to do with technology, traveling, hiking, trying to cook, hanging out by the campfire looking up at the stars, and walking through whatever flea market/antique store AJ drags me to so I can spot the Pyrex that’s above her sight line and pull it down for her to inspect.

Meet Our Pets: 

Cullen: is a rescue pup from a puppy mill in Norther Minnesota. He is a mini golden doodle and is 12 years old. He is very spunky for his age and is gentle around children. Cullen is obsessed with our hamster named mouse.  

Dexter: is an orange and white cross-eyed cat with a voice. If Dexter is not happy or needs something he will truly let you know it as you will hear him meowing throughout the house. Dexter is gentle around children and mildly tolerates Cullen.

Stiffy: is our little gray cat with big eyes and no voice. No matter how hard he tries he cannot meow, the only thing that comes out of him is air and a tiny little shriek. He is a lone wolf but loves attention when it is on his terms. 

Mouse: is our hamster. He is the newest addition to our little family and we think he is the cutest little hamster that ever did live.  

Funny story about how mouse came to be. AJ loves field mice and if she could she would take them all home and treat them like Mouse Kings. It just so happened one day Jay found a mouse in the garage (it’s spring in Minnesota they are looking for food) and he called AJ to tell her about this discovery. She told Jay not to let him go and proceeded to stop at Pet Smart to buy a mouse house, mouse food, and mouse treats, she was going to make the little mouse a king. When she got home Jay very carefully (with gloves on) tried to transfer the mouse from its holding container into the cage AJ just purchased. That little field mouse could have been living like a king, but he chose freedom instead. AJ was heartbroken and even though the mouse was long gone Jay knew he had to fix it. So on his lunch he took AJ to Petco where she chose a hamster that she named Mouse. And that little hamster named Mouse is living like a king.

Our Home:

Jay and I enjoy townhome living and live in an end unit townhome next to a large green space. Our neighborhood is connected to all major freeways, close to schools, hospitals, shopping, and city/county parks. And yes that is a T-Rex on our doorstep, his name is Steve and he is very good at greeting folks and accepting packages.

Our Families

AJ is very close to her parents and calls her dad multiple times a day just to talk. She’d call her mom, but she’s either working or listening to some Elvis documentary (she’s obsessed). Greg and Sharon grew up in large farm families and met while working at a factory. AJ has an older sister named Jammie who has Sophia and Jack. Greg and Sharon love being grandparents and have huge hearts. When someone in the community is in hard times and cannot provide Christmas/Birthday presents for their child, they head to Walmart and grab gifts for the family. Sharon is a nurse turned Chef and she’s always cooking up something in her kitchen or tending to her garden. Greg has been retired for many years and loves being outdoors with his trusty Brittany Spaniel Ruby. Greg and Sharon have a cabin in Southwestern Wisconsin that is the perfect place for little ones to grow and play. They are so excited that we are adopting and understand the sacrifice you are making, they promise to spoil your child and to love him or her like their own.

Jason is very close with his parents Mark and Patti who live in sunny California, which by the way is the perfect escape from the cold Minnesota Winters. Mark is from Minnesota and Patti is from upstate New York, they met in Memphis Tennessee. Mark adopted Jason and his brother Chris when they were little. Chris is actively serving in the United States Navy and looks forward to being an uncle. Patti loves loving on the people around her and looks forward to when people can come out to visit her again. Mark works from home full time and actually likes to run when no one is chasing him. Mark and Patti have a very spoiled dog named Buster, who spends his days patrolling the yard. Mark and Patti are looking forward to being grandparents and cannot wait to spoil him or her.

Our Faith:

Jason and AJ are Christians and attend River Valley Church in Shakopee MN. We have a wonderful church family who will offer encouragement and support us in our parenting journey. River Valley has a Go Kids program where children have fun while learning about Jesus.

Where do you fit in?

You are and will always be apart of our little family. Because without you we wouldn’t get to be parents. Your story matters to us as it is our child’s story too. We would like to have an open adoption that includes; visits, being invited to milestone events, communication between the birth mom and siblings (letters/cards/phone calls) and sharing photos with you.