How we Met
We met in 2001, in our first week of freshman year at St Cloud State University in Minnesota. We were friends first but quickly grew inseparable. After classes, we would take walks together along the Mississippi river, talking about our childhoods and our dreams for the future. We bonded quickly as we discovered how many values we shared. We would study together in the library, attend movie nights and other events on campus, and Jason even colluded with Rebecca’s Mom who flew from CA to surprise her for her 18th birthday! Since then, it has been one adventure together after the next – finishing college, getting married, starting careers, traveling a lot, moving to Wisconsin, starting our businesses, designing and building our own home, and being foster parents. Through all of life’s ups and downs we have supported each other, learning to balance our strengths and weaknesses, compromising when needed, and we have grown into a great team.
What we Enjoy
NATURE: Spending time outside is important to us. We love to take long walks like we did when we met and also like to kayak, fish, bike, swim and snorkel in the summer. We love camping, especially when we find a secluded backcountry site to hike to. Jason spends a lot of time gardening. And in the winter we enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in our front yard.
TRAVEL: When we have the opportunity, we love to travel – both near and far. We have been so fortunate to be able to visit different parts of the world and experience their cultures. Some of our favorite international destinations have been Ireland, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain & Curacao. We also loved our trip to the gorgeous islands of Maui and Kauai with Rebecca’s family! Our international travel bucket list includes Iceland, Scotland & Greece. We have also explored many U.S. states, including much of our home state of Wisconsin, and look forward to visiting even more of the United States, especially our national parks.
Values we Share
SUSTAINABILITY: We see global warming as one of our most existential threats and it’s very important to us that we live as sustainably as possible to lesson our impact on the planet. We designed and constructed our home to be well-insulated and energy efficient (it warms by the sun and our wood fireplace), and elect to pay for part of our electricity to be sourced from renewable sources. There is a large garden and year-round greenhouse in our backyard so we can grow and preserve our own food. We collect rain water to use in watering the garden and filling up our pond (which gives us a place to take a dip on hot days and wildlife a home). We have chickens for eggs, several fruit trees (apples, pears, plums, cherries & more) and a small vineyard. There are many other actions we take regularly to help us lesson our impact, such as turning off unused lights, composting, and using reusable shopping bags. Jason has even started making old fashioned lye soap with ash from our wood burning fireplace and clay pottery from clay harvested in the backyard.
FAIRNESS & COMPASSION: In college, both of our minors were in Human Relations & Multicultural Education, so we took many classes together revolving around discrimination, critical-thinking, and self-awareness. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Our family values include celebrating diversity, community over competition, and treating people with compassion and respect.
LEARNING & TRYING NEW THINGS: We both like learning new things and becoming better at things that are important to us. We research online, watch & listen to public broadcasting, and rent books from our local library to seek out knowledge. We like to seek out new experiences (though Jason is a bit more of a risk taker)! In 2020 Rebecca took a 6 session wheel throwing pottery class that Jason gifted her and in 2021 we went Dog Sledding in upper Michigan. The year before Jason’s sister purchased a Curling lesson for us.
Adoption & Parenting
WHY WE ARE ADOPTING: We have talked about adoption as a way to build our family since our early days together. For us, adoption was never a question of “if”, it was just a matter of “when”. We have witnessed first hand several successful and loving adoptions. In 2020 we became foster parents and had two separate placements of siblings, for 6 months and then 1 year. We loved parenting these amazing children and having them to return to their families was one of the hardest things we’ve ever been through. We are ready to have a forever family of our own and can not wait to be parents!
THOUGHTS ON PARENTING: Nurturing and connecting with our child will always be our priority. As business owners we can create our work schedules, allowing one of us to be home providing care and eliminating the need for full time day care. We will teach our child to be compassionate and respectful, and to celebrate differences. We will encourage curiosity, creativity and trying new things. We will help make sure they laugh every single day! We will always be there to offer our guidance and encouragement. We will help foster confidence and belief in themselves. When appropriate we will allow them the space to make their own decisions so they may learn and grow from their mistakes. Most importantly, we will love them unconditionally, always.
OPPORTUNITIES WE CAN OFFER A CHILD: We are so excited to be able to share our lives with a child! Rebecca is excited to read stories and sing nursery rhymes to them, and to have a little helper in the kitchen when baking bread and cookies. And Jason can’t wait to teach them how to grow their own food and make woodworking projects like birdfeeders with them in his workshop. They will come along on our outdoor adventures – we have a backpack that we wore to take one of our foster children hiking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing with us, and can’t wait to use that again! We will provide a safe, stable home in quiet rural country setting. We will seek out quality education for them, and also provide opportunities to pursue whatever they are passionate about. They will have a loving extended family who adore children and will support them as much as we do. They will be able to learn how to swim in the pool at Jason’s parents house, and learn how to fish in the pond in Rebecca’s parents yard. Our parents are ready to completely support their grandchildren! Our siblings all love children as well, and we are hopeful our little one will grow up with cousins close to their age!
Some photos of us having fun with our friends’ girls: