Where we live - Rockvale, Tn
How long we’ve been married - 14 years
How we met - At a church youth camp in 2004
Faith - Christian
Our Family - Daughter - Julianne, age 4. Dog - Betty. Jessica’s parents nearby, Jimmy’s parents in Kentucky, lots of supportive extended family and friends.
Why we are adopting - We had a desire to adopt, but thought we would have biological children first. After having 3 ectopic pregnancies, we decided that growing our family through adoption was the right thing for our family. We adopted our daughter, Julianne in 2015. And we are ready to welcome another child to our family to love. Julianne is so excited to become a big sister!
I’m Jessica. My husband is Jimmy. We are from the Bluegrass State. I’m from Louisville, KY, home of the Kentucky Derby. My husband is from Eastern KY - a city called Ashland, right on the border of Southern Ohio and West Virginia. We now call Tennessee home. We live in Middle Tennessee, about 25 minutes south of Nashville.
We met at a church youth camp the summer after I graduated from high school. It was my last year as a camper. Jimmy was a worker that year. (He’s 2 years older than me.) Funny story… The summer before Jimmy and I met, there was a guy who looked me up in the camp directory and called me. I had no idea who he was, but apparently he had his eye on me. So the following year (the year that Jimmy and I met), I was hanging out on the bleachers by the basketball court. This guy came over and sat by me. Jimmy, observing that I wasn’t interested, came to my rescue and sat on the other side and pretended to be my boyfriend. The other guy left and mine and Jimmy’s friendship began.
We lived about three hours apart and decided to keep in touch after camp. I moved to Lexington to go to college at the University of Kentucky. This brought us about an hour closer. We visited each other a couple of times before school started and at the beginning of the semester - went to a Cincinnati Reds game and went to a church lock-in. At the Reds game, Jimmy told me that he had feelings for me, but I wasn’t ready to admit that I did. Because we were two hours apart, we talked constantly over the phone; however, I insisted that we were just friends. As the semester carried on and we started to get busy, we hadn’t gotten to talk much, and after a short conversation one night, I simply told Jimmy that I missed him. It was the first time that I admitted that I had feelings for him. A few weeks later, we went with another couple to a West Virginia football game. I took Jimmy’s hand for the first time. We consider this our first date.
By the end of my freshman year, we knew that we were going to get married. I decided to move to Ashland, where Jimmy lived. He proposed in June. And we were married October 1st.
We moved to West Virginia, right across the border from Ashland, so that I could go to Marshall University. But we soon realized that we wanted to make a change, and Jimmy, who is a musician, had always dreamed of moving to Music City - Nashville, TN. We had a couple of friends in the Nashville area, so we visited, loved it, and I was able to transfer easily to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. We are now getting ready to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and our 14th year living in Middle Tennessee.
We live in Rockvale, a suburb of Murfreesboro which is a suburb of Nashville. This area is the perfect mix for us because it has somewhat of a small town feel that Jimmy was used to, but has everything you need in a city like I was used to, and Nashville is just about 25 minutes away. Rutherford County has an incredible public school system, the largest university in the state, and our county is consistently among the fastest growing counties in the nation. The Middle Tennessee area has a vibrant music and arts scene as well as a professional football and hockey team, a minor league baseball team, and much more. It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
We have a daughter, Julianne (4), who we adopted in 2015 and have had since birth. Julianne is the sweetest daughter we could ask for. She is very smart, enjoys learning, can almost write her whole alphabet. She talks very well, even with adults. She is most definitely an extrovert. She likes to sing and has told us she wants to be on stage when she’s older. She LOVES animals and babies. She wants to be an animal doctor when she grows up. She enjoys playing board games, watching movies and being outdoors in the summer, swimming, go to the zoo and going to the playground - she loves to swing.
In addition to myself, Jimmy, and Julianne, our family also consists of a confident, independent black lab mix named Betty. (We lost our light-hearted, playful yellow lab named Charlie in 2018.) Julianne loves animals and Betty is very good with her.
My parents moved to Middle Tennessee the year before we adopted Julianne to be closer to us, especially as we started a family of our own. They absolutely love being grandparents and getting to be close to their granddaughter and future grandkids. Jimmy’s parents are still in Ashland, Kentucky along with his sister and her husband and their two sons (Julianne’s cousins). They are about 6 hours away, but we see them about 5-6 times a year. My sister lives in Los Angeles and we usually just get to see her around the holidays, but face time keeps her connected as she loves being an aunt.
We also feel very blessed to have many friends, especially through church, that we consider our extended family.
US AND KIDS
We have enjoyed being around kids since before we knew each other. I grew up babysitting and working in the nursery in various churches. Jimmy was a lifeguard and taught swim lessons to kids 3 and up. We both served as workers at the same church camp where we met - myself as a camp counselor for younger girls and Jimmy on the recreation staff. Later, we both worked with the youth at church and still stay in touch with many of those kids as they have grown to become adults themselves.
Early in our marriage, many of our friends had children and we have adored being in their lives as their children grow up. And we love being aunt and uncle to Jimmy’s sister’s kids - Gavin (7) and Owen (5).
And of course, we can’t imagine our life without our own daughter, sweet Julianne. She is so smart and funny and sweet and sassy and beautiful inside and out. We have so enjoyed every stage of raising her.
Jimmy and I are both financial advisors with Edward Jones Investments, a financial services firm with more than 13,000 offices nationwide. We run independent offices. This is my 10th year and Jimmy’s 4th year. Jimmy was a realtor prior to joining Edward Jones. Because we both run our own businesses, we are able to have very flexible schedules. This has been good for our family. And I have been able to take off and stay home with Julianne on Fridays (in addition to the weekend) since Julianne was born.
We both love the outdoors. Jimmy likes to hunt and fish. We used to have a boat and love the lake, hope to get one again one day. We both love to travel. We were able to visit Hawaii this past year through a bonus program with my work. Our two favorite places we’ve visited are Rome, Italy and Aruba. Jimmy is also a singer/songwriter and plays guitar. I have recently gotten into furniture painting. We also like playing board games, cooking, watching movies, and just spending quality time with family and friends.
OUR JOURNEY TO ADOPTION
You may be wondering what led us to adoption. I always had a desire to adopt. I’m not sure why. I guess I just always felt that there were so many children without homes and that one day I might be able to provide a good home for a couple of them. But, I thought I would have biological children first.
Jimmy and I started trying to have a biological child October 2013. I then had 3 ectopic pregnancies. We did all kinds of tests and the doctors couldn’t seem to find anything wrong or any cause for why it kept happening.
Prior to our fertility issues, Jimmy hadn’t really thought much about adoption. He didn’t necessarily have an instinctive desire to adopt, but he knew that I did and so he was open to the idea. Again, we just thought this would be much later in the future.
As we explored our options with our fertility doctor, we just kept coming back to adoption. And as we prayed, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the right thing for us to do.
We got approved to adopt and started searching for birth parents who wanted to choose adoption for their child in February of 2015. We also didn’t do anything to prevent having a biological child. I went on to have two miscarriages in 2015.
Julianne’s birth mom contacted us in September of 2015 and Julianne was born in November. We had finally become a family of 3 and our lives were changed forever! We have a very good open relationship with Julianne’s birth mom. She allowed me to be in the delivery room when Julianne was born, and Jimmy and I were able to have Julianne in the hospital and have her with us since birth.
I was able to induce breastfeeding and breastfed Julianne. (I would like to do this with our next child if a newborn as well.)
I got pregnant again in February of 2017 and miscarried again and then in July of 2017 had another ectopic pregnancy. We have made the decision at this point to continue not doing anything to prevent having a biological child; however, I have not become pregnant again since July of 2017 with no known reason.
We are more than ready to welcome a new child into our family to love on. Julianne is so ready to become a big sister! And we would like to do this through adoption.
We’ve had an emotional journey growing our family but it has been so rewarding. I’m sure your journey making the decision to place your child for adoption has been emotional as well. We hope to make the process as rewarding for you as we know it will be for us.
Lastly, but really most importantly, we are believers in Jesus Christ. We are actively involved in a church in Murfreesboro called Experience Community Church (www.experiencecc.com). Our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives and is central to our relationship with each other. If you place your child with us, your child will be raised in a Christian home, learning Christian values, and be actively involved in a church community.