Although we chose very similar paths, they didn't cross until we both moved to Washington, DC, twelve years ago. In 2001, while Julie was teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Europe, Ben was teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Right after Peace Corps, Julie went to graduate school in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ben went to graduate school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2006, we both moved to DC, were introduced by a mutual friend, and felt like we had known each other for years. With a shared passion for seeing the world and doing our part to help out along the way, we immediately started dating and here we are almost eleven years later!
After getting married in 2010, we couldn't wait to start building our family. We tried and tried, and after more than a year of tests, procedures, and heartbreaking news time and time again, we learned that it is very unlikely that we would be able to have children on our own.
We knew since the beginning, without a doubt, that we were meant to be parents. It just took us a little while to find out that we would become a mom and dad through adoption.
We became parents on December 30th, 2013 which still goes down as the greatest Christmas miracle ever! We were blessed by adoption when a young couple made the brave and selfless decision to place their daughter with us. Not a day goes by that we don't think about what a gift we were given and we try and cherish every moment with our incredible daughter, Caroline.
We live in a very family friendly neighborhood just outside of Washington, DC. Sometimes it feels like we are on the set of a children's book. There is a school, tennis courts, a baseball field and a public library at the end of our street and a playground on nearly every other corner. As your baby grows up in our community, we look forward to introducing them to all the things that made us want to live here. Everything we need is within walking or biking distance so we rarely use our car.
We love being able to walk to Caroline's school, the farmer's market or the local ice cream shop on a hot summer day. Soccer practice and swim lessons are a short bike ride away and we can't wait for the warm weather for our backyard garden. We love how parenting provides us the opportunity to share all the things that we love in this world with Caroline. All three of us are excited to be able to share this with your baby as they grow up in our family.
Teacher - Julie always loved school, so it was no surprise she became a teacher. She continues to work in education and makes sure to stay connected with schools in every way she can today.
"Army Brat" - She spent most of her childhood living on Army bases in Germany, exploring new places and making friends from all over the world.
Lifelong Athlete - Growing up playing soccer, field hockey and tennis, Julie stays active through boot camps, cycling, yoga and lots of outdoor activities with the family.
Singer - Although not formally trained, Julie's been known to hop on stage with any band that will let her and get the whole crowd cheering and singing along!
Miss Generosity - Julie's family always showed her how to be generous in life. She's the type of person who always has time to give, even if you're not looking for it.
WHY BEN LOVES JULIE:
Julie is smart, funny and has the prettiest smile I've ever seen. She has a charisma that is impossible to describe - you just have to meet her and you'll immediately know what I mean. She lights up a room right when she walks in and has a heart of gold. Julie's passion for education and life is contagious and she has inspired so many throughout her life. Her
openness and sense of humor help people immediately feel comfortable around her. She's confident and successful but also knows how to laugh at herself and not take things too seriously. Watching her with children, especially our daughter, would make you think she's been a mom many times over. She's a natural, and she can lead the best campfire sing-a-long I've ever seen.
The Jester - Ben can make anyone laugh, even strangers next to him at
the grocery store.
Avid Runner - He has run 6 marathons and one ultra-marathon in
"Preacher's Kid" - Ben grew up all over the midwest as his dad s
erved many churches as a preacher.
Master Chef - He calls on his Italian roots to create amazing mea
ls for everyone without ever needing a recipe!
Sports Fanatic - When he's not following the Cubs or the Cowb
oys, he's following the european soccer matches.
Musician - Classically trained on the violin, Ben has the gift of being able to play nearly any string instrument.
Encyclopedia Ben - He's constantly reading the news and stays current on world events. He knows everything!
WHY JULIE LOVES BEN:
Ben can make anyone laugh and makes it his personal mission to chat it up with strangers to brighten up their day. He really brings out the best in people and everyone loves being around him. He values practice and routine, which is why he's been able to achieve so many things he sets his sights on. He's also incredibly bright and takes the time to help others (like Caroline and me) learn and understand new things. At the same time, his spirit for adventure and spontaneity has been the source for so many incredible trips and opportunities to discover new parts of the world together. But it's when I see him with our daughter that I realize I hit the jackpot. He's a magnet for kids of all ages and even helps adults act like kids again. Whether he's helping Caroline build something with legos, a nephew work on their batting swing or a niece learn how to play the guitar, he still manages to keep them laughing the whole time.