We first met the first week of our freshmen year at Wake Forest University and began dating shortly thereafter. Early on Adam knew he would ask Sarai to marry him. Sarai’s personality was conscientious, kind, incredibly smart and a committed Christian. We began attending church together and spending much of our free time together. Sarai appreciated Adam's integrity, fun loving nature, and drive to achieve his goals. We got engaged in the middle of our junior year and married shortly after we graduated. We have been married for over 16 years now, and we have found that marriage only gets more fun with each passing year.
Our relationship is a strong one because we put our faith commitments first. Other ways we keep our marriage strong include prioritizing time each morning for conversation before the kids wake up and making time for shared activities like hiking. We value hospitality and welcoming others from our community into our home.
Even before we tried to get pregnant, we agreed that someday we would seek to adopt. After years of infertility we got licensed as foster and adoptive parents. Soon after this we were surprised to find that Sarai had become pregnant with our daughter Aurora. When she reached the age of two we looked again to fostering and adoption and were thrilled to have our son Ezekiel placed with us through Virginia DSS when he was two days old. His adoption was finalized shortly before his second birthday. For now, his parents have chosen not to maintain contact, but there is some contact with his paternal grandmother and his older brother. For future adoptions we are open to whatever level of contact is desired.
Aurora and Zeke are full of joy, energy, and noise. Current favorite activities include pillow fort construction, story time, and family walks. They are outgoing kids and love to greet passing neighbors and college students (we live close to a University) on our walks. We have flexible jobs so we can be with the kids a lot. Everyday we sit down together for breakfast and dinner. Our children also spend time each week at their grandparents’ nearby alpaca farm, where they have responsibilities like feeding the animals, and (Zeke’s favorite) scooping poop.
Our kids have come to know and appreciate a routine that involves sitting down to meals together each day, praying together as a family over breakfast, playing together, helping to cook dinner, taking walks to visit friends, welcoming others to our home for fun and feasting, and watching the occasional Mr. Roger's episode with a home baked treat.
Our home is also the site of many traditions that combine our life of faith with fun, hospitality and food. For example, the kids help to pick out a tree to cut down from the grandparents' farm and decorate it on Christmas eve. And on his Adoption Day anniversary, we tell Zeke's adoption story over his choice of dinner.
We greatly value family and know that as it grows there is only more love and joy to share. The kids have been asking when we might add a new sister or brother to our home. We are excited to pursue this through adoption.
We are fortunate to own a large house in a quiet neighborhood with a sizeable yard to play in. It is located in Farmville VA, a small town in south central VA, about 1 to 1.5 hours from the larger cities of Richmond, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville. We live within walking distance of church, the college campus where we work and main street.
The finished attic is a favorite spot for fort building and craft projects. As a family we spend a lot of time in the library (our favorite room in the house), especially on cold winter days in front of the fire. Another important family space is the front porch which is in full view of the street. The kids enjoy greeting people as they pass. The backyard is fenced in, with lots of grassy space, a swingset, and a firepit. The kids love making "soups" from all the yard greenery.
We also spend a good deal of time at the grandparents' alpaca farm just outside of town. The kids enjoy time with the alpacas and dogs, and in the summer we go swimming in their pool. Sundays we head to the grandparents after church where we have dinner, and watch football when in season. Bill and Cindy (the grandparents) are a big part of our lives and a great help in raising our children. We greatly value our relationship with them and our extended family in general.
Farmville is a small town with a lot to offer. We are frequently on the University campus for music performances, plays, and other events like the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Aurora and Zeke also love to play in the fountains on campus when the weather gets warm. Walks to the Farmer's Market are a favorite summer activity. As a family we also maintain a community garden that produces vegetables for our church’s food pantry; the kids are learning how to help our community by pulling weeds and growing food.
Farmville is a special place. It is a small close knit community. The kids are known when we walk around town and we value the relationships we can form in this especially friendly place.
It has been a great joy to form a common life with Sarai over the years. She has a heart for others which has led her to start a community garden for a local food bank, a book club for young mothers, and to open our home frequently in hospitality. Nowhere is her heart for others more evident than in the patient loving way she mothers our children. She attends to each as an individual and manages to find a way to help them flourish, given their particular needs. She is attentive and organized in a way that keeps our home running and allows us to prioritize what we value most, like our faith practices, sharing meals each day, and having plenty of fun. She has a real gift for creating joy in everyday occasions.
This heart for others comes from Sarai’s strong faith and the discipline she has to make time for prayer. I look forward to those precious moments in the morning before the kids wake or in the evening when they go to sleep, when I can sit in a quiet room and talk with my wife, especially about what she is reading. I value her opinion, admire her intellect, and am simply fascinated by her as a person.
Sarai loves to bake, and has a particular weakness for chocolate. She enjoys getting out in nature to hike and has a goal to visit all of the Virginia state parks. Sarai was an impressive sight on the rugby field in college and grad school, and continues to keep fit as her time allows. She does lack enthusiasm for bad 80’s movies, but I am trying to get her to come around in time.
Adam is a man of commitments. There is no question about him keeping his word. One of the very first things that attracted me to him as a first-year in college was how he honored commitments, by always going to class, by showing up for rugby team practice, by learning more about his fairly new found faith. He thrives on opportunities to embrace a new challenge and regularly creates challenges for himself, in reading, lifting weights, or even baking bread for the family for a whole year. It is this commitment that makes it so easy for me to hand over to Adam things that I know many other women and mothers struggle to turn over to their husbands. I thoroughly embrace Adam as my complete partner in raising our children and running our home. Mop the kitchen floor, no problem (he cleaned professionally to make money in college). Keep the children growing strong by putting him in charge of handling medical appointments, I trust him completely. And when the kids are home with dad I can expect they will have lots to tell me about adventures near and far.
I love sharing my life with Adam. There is no one I would rather talk to about the joys and challenges of my day or the things I am reading about. In fact, we usually have so many book recommendations for each other we will never get through the list, though we try to read at least a few in common each year. Sharing a life has also meant learning to love or admire the things he cares about, like road trips, philosophy, and bad 80’s movies. I haven’t yet come around to his love of hot sauce, but maybe in marriage year 50!