We met 17 years ago and were immediately drawn to each other’s shared interests in science, nature and love of the outdoors. That first night we met, we talked for hours and learned that both of us had traveled and lived in another country when we were young. Ellen’s family lived in Ireland and Dave's family lived in Malaysia. This experience shaped some of the values we hold as adults, including an appreciation and respect for other cultures and for the natural world. This experience also shaped our academic passions as young adults influencing Ellen’s decision to pursue a degree in anthropology and Dave’s in biology.
The first 8 years of our marriage were spent growing as a couple; going camping, backpacking, skiing, hiking, traveling and getting together with close friends and family. Throughout this time, we were also dealing with fertility challenges and endured some personal losses involving Ellen’s mom who was diagnosed with dementia and Dave’s dad who was diagnosed with cancer. After several years of trying to conceive, our lives were beautifully changed by the arrival of our son in 2011. Over the past 5 years, our focus has been about spending time as a family discovering new things about ourselves and each other as parents. We always hoped to have more children and are excited by adoption and would be blessed to be able to love and cherish another child.
Work/life balance is very important to us. We are fortunate to be able to work part-time so we can spend more time with our son and hopefully with another child if we are chosen to be adoptive parents.
We are dedicated to building a solid foundation and creating a strong family bond, by lovingly and gently teaching by example, nurturing developing emotions, and by just having fun and being silly! We cherish the adventures we all have together whether we are singing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, pretending we are Winnie the Pooh in the 100-Acre Wood, making smoothies or play-dough at home, creating music by jamming on the guitar, piano, and bongos, going to the park and swimming in the river, or simply reading books together. We also enjoy going on camping trips, canoeing, vacationing at the beach and spending time with Grandmas in Seattle and Virginia and aunts, uncles and cousins in New York and Virginia.
We strongly believe in providing a loving and nurturing environment for our family. We believe in teaching emotional development, lovingness and respect for each other and others. We also believe in giving our children opportunities to become their best and true selves. Our greatest hope for our children is that they are able to pursue their passions, have fun, and develop the emotional tools they need to have love and compassion for themselves and others.
We have a close relationship with our large extended family who live in Virginia, Seattle, New York and California and who provide us with support and love. We stay in frequent contact with Grandma in Virginia and siblings by texting, e-mailing often and visiting a couple times a year. Being closer, we see Grandma in Seattle several times a year and often vacation together at the beach or go camping in the mountains.
We live in Eastern Washington State near two rivers. The community we live in is familyfriendly
and within driving distance to major metropolitan areas (Portland, Seattle, Spokane),
and to the Cascade and Blue Mountains. Community events make it easy for parents and
children to make connections with other families and to enjoy time with each other. The
weather is sunny throughout most of the year, offering children plenty of opportunity for
outdoor play and exploration. We live in a 3 bedroom house on 2.5 acres located within ½ mile
of town, the library, swimming pool and parks. We are also located within 10 minutes of the
river and desert hiking trails.
Ellen is warm, thoughtful, and intuitive. She loves to play outdoors, read books and do yoga. In
her professional life, Ellen enjoys working as an anthropologist/archaeologist and is passionate
about understanding and protecting the past and other cultures.
Ellen grew up in Virginia and comes from a large blended family consisting of siblings, nieces, nephews and step-family that mostly live in Virginia with a few in California.
Ellen's family life has been touched by adoption as her "younger older" brother was adopted as a newborn. Ellen's siblings are very close and are very supportive of each other and Ellen and Dave's adoption hopes.
A few words from Dave on Ellen:
When I first met Ellen I felt a deep connection. Being compassionate and empathetic,
Ellen truly understands and cares about other people’s perspectives. As a mother, she is kind, gentle
and playful with our son. She seeks out information on stages of childhood development
and finds opportunities for our son to grow such as going to “Mommy and me” music classes,
going on adventures at the park or to story time at the library. Ellen is also very social and is
good at reaching out to other moms and dads to schedule play times and field trips for groups
of kids and parents. We enjoy each other's company and have a lot of fun together.
Dave is easy-going, gentle and
intellectually curious. He enjoys the outdoors, gardening, skiing, and playing guitar. In his
professional life, Dave enjoys working in a field and laboratory setting as an environmental
Dave grew up in Seattle and his mom and siblings live in Seattle and New York. Being close to the Cascade Mountains, Dave's family spent time skiing, hiking and camping in the mountains. Dave also grew up with a love for water sports such as wind surfing and water skiing. Dave remembers having to carry his own pack at the age of 4. Dave is close to his Mom and siblings and texts and talks to them often. Dave's mom and brother's family are a big part of our family life, and try to visit and/or vacation together often.
A few words from Ellen on Dave:
When I first met Dave, I was drawn to his love for the natural world and knowledge of science.
But I was most attracted to his gentle nature and easy-going manner. I love watching Dave
parent. He is a silly, creative, imaginative, and patient dad who takes time to explain things, yet
he is at the ready to wrestle, or pretend to be Tigger. I also appreciate the music Dave brings
into our lives, improvising with “Run from the Monster” and “Mr. Potato Head” songs for Miles.
These days, the things I enjoy most about our couple time include talking about social and
current issues, reading books and watching movies or documentaries together.