Our story began in 2004 when we met at a friend’s BBQ in Washington, D.C. Tom was an energetic, outdoors-y guy who had just moved from California. Dana was working full time and finishing graduate school at Johns Hopkins. She was exhausted!
“Let’s do this, let’s do that,” Tom would say. A group of friends, already exhausted east coasters, dubbed this funny, energetic guy, New Guy.
But Dana still remembers how Tom’s laughter and energy were invigorating back then.
Summer was turning to autumn, and suddenly we were taking drives to corn mazes, wine festivals, and looking out at the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD. Soon enough, we realized that we loved the same things—being outdoors, exploring new places and foods, and traveling, which we did over a few years of dating. Somewhere in there we also got a puppy, too—our good boy, Milo, who just turned twelve years old! Finally, five years after meeting, we were married in Annapolis, MD, a block away from where we had our first date and got engaged.
Before getting married, we talked a lot about having kids and knew even then that we would likely pursue adoption at some point. Growing up, this was something Dana always wanted to do, and Tom loved the idea, too.
We have always believed that we’ll have the children we’re meant to have whether that’s naturally or through adoption. In 2013, we were lucky enough to have our son, Luke. As fortunate as we are to have one child already, we know that our family is not yet complete. As our son gets older, and we get older, too (!), we know this is the time to find the other child that was meant for our family. So, here we are!
We are proud of the family we’ve created so far, which is centered on love, togetherness, community, and faith. We can’t wait to bring a new little one into our family to teach them about these values. Our son, Luke, is a funny, independent kid, who has already begun making his own plans for a brother or sister, whom he loving calls, “Dory Pumpkin.” We can never get rid of anything either because “we have to save it for “brother” or “sister.” It’s a scam, we know, but wonderful to see how excited he is for a sibling. And we have an attic full of things waiting for when the time comes! When asked what he wants to do with his younger sibling, Luke loudly cheers, “Everything!”
Every night we say our prayers and pray that "brother" or "sister" finds us soon. It’s safe to say that any new child in our home will be surrounded by a lot of love and support.
We live in a historic garden community that is located outside of Washington D.C. This quant town allows us to easily walk or ride our bikes to the library, a local swimming pool, the movie theater, and restaurants.
Walks are frequently interrupted with play time at one of the many playgrounds throughout our town. We enjoy spending time on the easily accessed hiking trails in town or at nearby parks, and particularly love walking around the lake a few blocks from our house. Being outside Washington D.C., we frequently hop into the city, taking advantage of the various restaurants, museums, events, and city attractions.
We live in a three-bedroom home at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. We have a large, fenced-in backyard with mature trees that provides lots of shade for playing on the large playset or swinging in our hammock. Our large garden and deck completes our backyard oasis, where we love to play games, read books, enjoy family meals, and simply take in nature.
A woman with a kind, caring heart is the short answer to describing Dana. She is the rock of our family, with her strength in lifting us being immeasurable and her loving care being endless. I’m blessed to have her as my wife and to see her as a mother.
Dana has a big heart, putting her family first in all decisions. She has selflessly changed directions in her career in international relations to have more time at home with Luke. She is also an exceptional aunt to our niece, Presley, and waits anxiously for summer vacations where we all get together in norther Michigan where she grew up.
Spending lots of her childhood in Northern Michigan, Dana has a love for the water. She now regularly seeks out new places to go kayaking on the local rivers and the Chesapeake bay.
Dana has a strong passion for literature. She can often be found curled up reading a book. She’s an avid writer as well, having short stories published, an almost-completed novel in the works, and is a regular participant in her weekly writing group. She loves sharing this passion with Luke, surrounding him with books so that he, too, can learn the joy of reading and storytelling.
A passionate cook, Dana also loves collecting cookbooks. Many an evening I can find her thumbing through stacks of them that have made their way to our bedroom. She is always looking for a new meal to cook for the family. It’s safe to say that we don’t have the same thing to eat for dinner every week!
I always know where Tom is in any room because I can always hear his loud, effortless laugh. Sometimes I don’t even know what he’s laughing at, but there he is, laughing away playing with our son, Luke, or making jokes with friends. It’s fair to say that this is what drew me to him when we met at a Labor Day party in 2004. At first, this smiling, energetic guy from Wyoming was confusing to me—a skeptical Midwesterner—but he quickly became the person I wanted to be around all the time.
Always energized by an activity, Tom loves to be outside hiking with our dogs, biking, or camping. But nothing cuts these activities short more than if his beloved Clemson football team is playing on TV! Tom has also recently gotten into woodworking (and scouring the internet for new tools!) and has already made some lovely things for our home, including book shelves and a super hero playhouse!
Tom is also a thoughtful and creative hard-worker. As a Human Factors Engineer, Tom uses these skills to solve complex problems for government and industry. However, these abilities also come in handy building birdhouses, little libraries, and Lego sets with our son, Luke, and any other children we’re lucky to have.