We’ve been joyfully married for ten years, and a decade of life together has led us through 4 states, 2 countries, and the deep desire to build community wherever we are—including in our own family.
Maryland is where we met, and we learned there about the importance of integrating our faith and our work and how building community is just as much about doing dishes as it is about good conversations.
We got married and went to seminary in North Carolina. Our years there taught us the importance of hospitality and the beauty of a Parker and Otis pimento cheese sandwich.
We then spent 2.5 years in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, teaching theology and doing community development. We loved our friends and work in DRC. In addition to friends, some of the things we miss most from that time are 12 hours of light and dark each day, the best fruit on the planet, and hearing church choirs sings through the night.
We moved back to the US and landed in Minnesota, and after years of struggling with infertility, we decided to take 40 days in spring 2019 to prayerfully reflect on the future of our family. We embraced this season to pause, rest, reconnect, and create some space for a new conversation. By Easter, we were ready to pursue adoption.
We have come to realize our desire to adopt is born of our experience of community over the last ten years. In each place we've called home--Maryland, North Carolina, DR Congo, and Minnesota--we've received the gift of true kinship beyond the bonds of genetics and biology. We have been the ones welcomed into new cultures and new homes. We have been loved like family. In light of this, adoption is our overwhelmingly clear next step.
When I (Emily) was first thinking about becoming a pastor, Kyle was the first person to tell me to go for it. He told me that he believed in me and that he would be excited for how that journey might unfold for us. When I (Kyle) began to realize I wanted us to move to Congo for a season, Emily was always willing to take the next step of discovery, partnering with me in the risks and unknowns of an overseas move. Through ups and downs, dreams and disappointments, desires and adventures, our relationship has always been about giving each other wings. Now, as we dream about becoming parents, that is what we hope to do more than anything for a child. The greatest gift we could offer would be to instill in him or her that they are lovable, capable, and worthwhile—in short, to give them wings.
We currently live in Minneapolis, MN in a walkable neighborhood near lakes and parks like this one. We love it!
In Kyle's words: No matter what she's doing or who she's with, Emily is caring, attentive, engaged, and organized. She's the kind of person people enjoy connecting with because she's deep, interesting, easy to talk to and has a surprisingly funny side. Emily does a very good job of taking care of herself, so that she can be present to others, and I've seen her demonstrate tremendous courage and compassion over the last ten years. This, combined with her strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, will make her an excellent mother.
You might be surprised to know: Emily is from Louisiana; she's mostly lost her accent but not her taste for a good crawfish boil, gumbo, or king cake.
Interests: collecting cookbooks, trying new recipes, biking, travel and exploring new places with Kyle, learning guitar, spending time with nieces and nephews, Christian theology, rich conversations
In Emily's words: Kyle has an insatiable curiosity to learn about the world and other people. He is a master researcher, sharp thinker, and a great mentor. I love his entrepreneurial spirit and the way he always asks me what I'm learning about. When I imagine him as a dad, I see him encouraging exploration and adventure in our children—whatever their interests may be. Kyle's patience, servant-heart, and encouraging presence is a daily gift to me and will be for our children as well.
Field: Theological Education and International Development
You might be surprised to know: Kyle does a pretty amazing Donald Duck impersonation.
Interests: discussing new ideas with friends, learning about and eating chocolate, reading The Economist, teaching at church, business strategies for social impact, Christian theology and ethics, working on projects with friends, and exploring the Twin Cities by bike