We met through mutual friends at a local festival. We both had a pretty good idea of who we were and what we wanted out of a relationship, but being with each other exceeded our expectations. We not only learned about each other, but also about ourselves - we were better together.
After dating for about 1.5 years, we talked about getting engaged. We got married about 10 months later, on January 13, 2018 in a great celebration with all our friends and family!
We have one cat (Po) and one dog (Gunner). We love them both dearly and they bring a lot of joy into our lives. In our free time we like to try new recipes, work on projects on the house or yard, go camping, spend time with friends and family, and watch movies or shows together. We try to live simply, stay productive, and appreciate the things that really matter.
We value eating local, humane, and sustainable food when we can and go to the farmer's market throughout the year. Although we do go out sometimes because Madison has excellent restaurants, the large majority of the time we cook at home and eat at the table together. As we've learned more about environmental concerns, we have tried to make some simple lifestyle changes, which has been really fun! We started composting, using reusable napkins and bags, and shopping in bulk. We think it will be good for our children to learn to value nature and do what they can for the greater good.
We talked about all the different options of having children, whether through birth, adoption, or fostering, before we were even engaged. We decided that we were interested in all these options and would pursue whichever opportunities opened to us. We first started the process to be foster parents, then learned that our community already had more foster parents waiting than children being placed (which I think says something good about our community!). After experiencing two failed (ectopic) pregnancies, we started the homestudy process to adopt. During that time, we found out that getting pregnant would never be an option for us due to a uterine abnormality. We were happy that we had already started the homestudy process, and were excited to move forward with adoption!
You may be getting these same lines from everyone on here, but we never really saw adoption as a “plan B.” We always viewed it as one of many options – we were open to having both biological and adoptive children if we could. Many people experience grief through infertility, but we are very thankful for a lot of things. We are thankful we were able to find out our infertility cause earlier than most. We are thankful that we live in a time and place that has access to the medical care we needed. And we are thankful for our lives in general - that we have a solid marriage, a cozy home, a great circle of family and friends, wonderful pets, and overall good health. We don’t see this as a road block, rather as a fork in the road.
If you choose us to be the adoptive parents of your baby, he or she will become a part of a fun, loving, and stable family. You will always be an important part of our lives. As your baby grows up, we will encourage his or her inquisitiveness, embracing both biological and adoptive backgrounds. If your baby will be a different race than us, we look forward to having open and honest conversations with you about race and topics that may affect our future multi-racial family. We are open to seeking out new connections and opportunities in our community that are more racially diverse.
Our main values that we hope to pass down to our children are being humble, honest, and respectful. We strongly believe in leading by example.
We live in a 1930's home that has a lot of historic charm. We have done many improvements over the years, and we love the unique historic features like the curved walls and original fireplaces.
Our neighborhood is full of charm, mature trees, and quaint homes. There are many families with children. Derrick has started a vegetable garden and Amanda has been working on adding different flowers and landscaping. We have a fenced in backyard.
We live in the city of Monona, which is a small, safe neighborhood within Madison. Monona has a lot of local community resources, including a library, a pool, a bilingual elementary school, and it's own local radio station, which we love!
We live about 5 blocks from a lake for swimming and stunning city views. There are many things to do within walking distance. Downtown Madison is just across the lake and offers a variety of fun activities.
Amanda is 30 years old and she is the impulsive, proactive, and adventurous half of the relationship. She wanted to be a million different things growing up, but mostly an archaeologist like Indiana Jones. She grew up in a small town outside of Madison, WI. Amanda's family had an ever-changing collection of animals (dogs, cats, goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, even a peacock!), which Amanda helped take care of. She always wanted to learn another language. She decided to pursue a degree in French with a focus on African studies. After her freshman year of college, she spent 2 months living in Senegal (Western Africa). After college, she volunteered in Haiti for 3 months after the earthquake. After working at a few jobs in non-profits, she started her own freelance business as a translator and non-profit consultant. She currently translates documents from French to English and provides administration for a healthcare non-profit that works in Haiti. She works from home and can always change her schedule depending on family needs.
Amanda is always pursuing new projects. She enjoys working with her hands, and wants to continue doing hands-on activities with her children so they can see the benefits of learning new skills and creativity.
Amanda's mom, Brenda, lives in Chicago. Her older sister, Laura, lives in downtown Madison. Her dad, Tony, is remarried to Vicki, and she has another younger sister, Josie, who is 12 years old, who all live in Madison. She sees all of her family often.
Her guilty pleasures are Chick Fil A, pizza, Bravo reality shows, and anything related to the Bachelor.
Derrick is 33 years old and is the generous, understanding, and patient half of the relationship. Always interested in science, he wanted to be a weatherman when he was a kid. He grew up in a small town about 30 minutes north of Madison, which is where his parents still live. He played many sports growing up, including baseball, basketball, and football. He went to college in the beautiful town of Lacrosse, WI, majoring in chemistry with a concentration in business. He's worked for the same pharmaceutical testing company (he doesn't do animal testing!) for the past ten years. He has excelled in his career, working his way up from his first entry level job to his current research position.
In his spare time, Derrick likes to stay active. He is on softball and ultimate frisbee teams, and sometimes plays in kickball and bowling leagues. He enjoys gardening and yard work, and has made tons of marinara from the many tomatoes he harvests.
Derrick has one younger brother, Jarred. He sees his parents, Jim and Teresa, often for football games, golfing, or family meals.
His guilty pleasures are Taco Bell, 90s music, and going down YouTube rabbit holes.