We met while we were on vacation at the same time in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We noticed each other right away because we are both so tall! Over dinner on our first date, we discovered that we were both from New York City, the same age, and our workplaces were on the same block. It kind of felt meant to be. As the evening went on, we discovered even more similarities: we both grew up with one sister, our parents were teachers, and we both one day wanted to settle down and raise a family.
Since that night, we have been in a loving, supportive relationship. Karsten won over Lee’s friends with his quick wit and great sense of humor. Lee won over Karsten’s friends with his kindness and incredible cooking. (Karsten washes the dishes.) It was clear to us - and everyone around us - that we’d each found the right person. We got married in New York City exactly two years to the day from when we met in Provincetown: July 31. Getting married at our church, surrounded by our family and friends, was such a special day for us. After the party, we walked home hand in hand under a full moon.
We adopted our daughter, Josephine, in the fall of 2016. She was born in Los Angeles and calls herself a “California Girl.” We named her after Karsten’s Grandma, who we know is watching down on our family. Now that Josephine is older and spends all of her time changing the imaginary diapers of her stuffed animals and pushing them in her stroller, it’s pretty clear we are all ready to grow our family one more time. We both grew up in families of four, and our dream is to have two children.
Josephine has always known she was adopted. We made her a book similar to this page that tells the story of how we came to be a family. It is filled with photos of “Baby Josephine,” and it is her most treasured possession. She understands that her birth mother wanted her to have a life full of opportunities, and she is very proud to tell everyone she meets that she was adopted from California.
We own our home in a historic landmark neighborhood in New York City. Our home overlooks a park and the Hudson River, and every night we get to watch the sunset from our living room.
We chose to live in this neighborhood because it is like living in a small town inside of a big city. We live across the street from a park with lots of trees, flowers, and hiking paths. Josephine likes collecting sticks and leaves that we turn into art projects at home, and riding her big girl bike.
We live on the same block as our favorite bookstore and around the corner from the public library, which we visit a few times per week. All of the librarians know us, the lady behind the counter at the hardware store always gives Josephine a balloon, the man at the shoe store draws pictures for Josephine, and everyone at the neighborhood Chinese restaurant knows our weekly order.
Our neighborhood is safe, beautiful, and kind of feels like Sesame Street.
I was adopted from Bogotá, Colombia and grew up outside of New York City with my parents, Joanne and Karl, and younger sister, Vanesa, who was also adopted from Colombia. I am passionate about adoption because I know firsthand what an incredible gift it is.
Because of the choice my birth mother made, I was given amazing opportunities in life. I went to college in New York City, I've traveled the world and lived in England and Japan, and I've built a great career in the technology industry where I am an executive at a healthcare company. A few years ago, I decided to find my birth mother in Colombia to thank her.
I will never forget the moment Lee and I landed at the airport in Bogotá. She ran to me at the gate and gave me the biggest hug. I owe my whole life to her and the choices she made.
When I found my birth mother, Myriam, in Colombia, I also discovered I have a very large Colombian family. I have 3 brothers (Daniel, Edwin, and Luis Miguel), 3 sisters (Erika, Christina, and Lia), and 11 Colombian nieces and nephews. It was incredible meeting them, and we have all become quite close.
While some of my siblings live in Colombia, my biological brothers Edwin and Daniel live in Canada with their families, and my biological sister Christina lives in Denmark with hers. It’s been amazing getting to know them all and being welcomed into their families.
These days I have another birth mother to be thankful for, too: Josephine's birth mother. Josephine has two dads who love her very much, and she also has one mother. My parents raised me to be grateful and always remember that our family wouldn't exist without the gift of love my birth mother gave us all. I am proud to raise Josephine the same way.
I grew up in South Florida with my parents, Jeff and Sue, and older sister, Jennifer. All of my immediate family lived nearby, and we spent a lot of time at the beach. It was paradise!
I’ve always loved working with children so I became a teacher. I teach 5th grade at an international school in New York City and have been teaching for 15 years. My parents and my grandparents were teachers, too! Education is very important in our family. I went to college in North Carolina and graduate school in Spain. During the summers, I have traveled and led student trips all over Europe and Latin America. To date, I've visited 40 countries, and I can't wait to continue exploring the world with our children!
Every morning, Josephine and I pack our lunchboxes and backpacks and go to school together. She gives me a kiss and heads off to PreK, and I head to my fifth grade classroom. I’m so grateful that she’s at the same school where I teach.
While most of my family is in Florida, I am closest with my sister Jennifer, her husband Ric, and their two kids. They live in Switzerland, and we see each other either in the US or in Switzerland at least once a year. Our niece and nephew, Sadie and Sebastian, like to send videos to Josephine telling her about their day, and Josephine loves to make videos for them, too.
My favorite hobby is cooking. My family has recipes that have been passed down for generations, and my favorite thing to make is my Gran's cornbread. I can't wait to share those recipes with the next generation of our family.
I made Josephine's baby food myself, and I loved watching her try new things and experience new flavors! I’m certain that Josephine will be in the kitchen with me making meals for her baby brother or sister.