Hi! We are Chris and Amanda. Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about us and our story!
We met online in 2008. Chris is a chef and at that time Amanda was a pastry chef, so we quickly bonded over delicious food! We were married in 2011, in an eclectic wedding with our closest loved ones. Our ceremony was held in a local historic church where multiple generations of Amanda's family have been married, then we hosted a vintage garden party reception at a historic inn. It was a magical day!
Our road to parenthood began shortly after our wedding. After countless rounds of fertility treatments, an ectopic pregnancy, and loss, we eventually came to realize that we might not be able to have biological children. After fostering, we realized that private adoption was the best option for our family. We want so badly to share our lives with a child, showing them unconditional love and guidance, and helping them grow into the amazing person they are meant to become.
Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.
Navigating a pregnancy alone is never easy. Depending on your situation and location, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of basic living expenses, such as food and groceries.
Receiving quality medical care during your pregnancy is vital to both your health and the health of your baby. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
Women who choose to place their baby for adoption may receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. If you feel that you’ll need some help with these costs, it’s important to talk to your adoption social worker about it early in the process. Each expectant mother’s situation is different, and eligibility may vary.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important that you have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Like food and groceries, the cost of some household items - like feminine and dental care items, along with prenatal supplements - may be covered during your pregnancy.
Placing a baby for adoption is a loving, but incredibly challenging decision to make. Many women experience an array of emotions during this time and find that counseling is very helpful in navigating those feelings. If you would like to receive counseling during or after your pregnancy, that can be arranged by your adoption social worker. The cost of counseling will be covered by the adoptive family or adoption organization.
If you need assistance with transportation, your adoption social worker can work with you to find the best solution. You may eligible for assistance with transportation costs or be connected with a transportation service to utilize during your pregnancy.
It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.
Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.
You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.
As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.
We have a tradition of making Irish Potato Candies with our niece every St. Patrick's Day, as well as baking fresh Irish soda bread. This year our neighbor's son joined in the fun as well. Looking forward to teaching our future adopted child all these fun traditions!
Whenever we have time off, we always find a way to spend some time in the fresh air and near water- oceans, bays, lakes, creeks, rivers, or streams. Looking forward to teaching a child how to swim, boat, kayak, and simply appreciate our natural world.
Chris' family loves boating, so pretty much any trip with his family involves a fun boatride! Can't wait to introduce a little one to the adventures of boating! Our recent trip to the Keys to visit Chris' parents was no exception.
Always up for something fun, we seem to be fitting kayaking adventures into most of our trips lately. It's a fun, active way to explore the waters without distrurbing any of the wildlife. Here we're kayaking through the canals of the Florida Keys.
We strive to try new things whever we can. Continuous life learning is important to us and keeps life fun. This winter we tried driving motorized scooters in Key West. It was so amazing to zip around the beautiful city in the sunshine.
Winter beach days are the best! We love the charm of the 4 changing seasons in Pennsylvania, but we also love soaking up a week of warm, sunny beach days while visiting Chris' parents in the Florida Keys each winter.
On our recent trip to the Florida Keys we took the ferry to visit the beautiful Dry Tortugas National Park. Once there, we explored the crystal blue-green waters snorkeling. It was such a fun, beautiful day! There are so many amazing adventures in this world, we can't wait to introduce a child to it all.
This weekend we attended the Navy Ball at the Philadelphia Union League. We got to meet the charming Chef Robert Irvine and enjoy a special evening out on the town dancing and dining.
We recently made our annual winter voyage to the Florida Keys to visit Chris' parents while they winter there. Such a wonderful, warm treat to visit with them and take a break from winter in the Northeast. We all are so excited to share this annual trip with a little one.
Our pup Ginger doesn't like the cold. At all. She's always snuggling up to us or under blankets this time of year. So we decided to try buying her pajamas. To our surprise, she loves them!
We recently went to a wonderful, intimate performance by the Dali Quartet, an international string quartet known for their beautiful classical music with Latin roots. We so look forward to teaching a child about the wonders of the arts.
We are fortunate to live near so many amazing Pennsylvania woodlands filled with parks and trails. We love to get out and enjoy the fresh air, surrounding nature, and awaiting adventures throughout the changing seasons in the NE.
We recently visited Reading Terminal Market for some amazing food. A Philly staple since 1892, the indoor market/food hall features amazing foods from a multitude of cultures and cuisines. Fascinating and delicious adventures.
Since Chris taught Amanda to start canning, she can't stop! We recently whipped up a yummy batch of pumpkin butter. (Culinary tip: Hubbard squash (pictured) make the best pumpkins for baking/cooking!)
We recently took a daytrip to Bethlehem, PA. Such a charming little town with a fascinating history. The historic Steel Stacks pictured were quite impressive! Can't wait to explore the world and learn with a little one!
Chris usually does the canning in our house for his amazing sauces and pickles, but he gave Amanda a canning lesson when she decided to try making homemade grape jelly. Fun time together and now we lots of delicious grape jelly!
Our wish for 2023 (and always) is to be blessed with the opportunity to raise a child. We threw a couple coins on New Year's Day into a lucky wishing well outside a favorite local vintage diner. A little luck can't hurt! Hoping everyone has a happy and healthy new year!
We had some leftover chocolate ganache from holiday desserts, so our niece came over to have a truffle making party. Lots of delicious, messy fun!
We bundled up and took an evening trip into Philadelphia to explore the wonder of Christmastime in the city. The city hall tree and lights, Love Park German Christmas Village, and S. Philly's artsy Magic Gardens did not disappoint!
Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! We were fortunate to be surrounded by family who voyaged out to enjoy Christmas dinner at our home despite the harsh cold weather in PA this Christmas.
You can tell it is the holidays at our house! Aromas of Amanda's baked goods are wafting through the air nonstop!
This weekend we attended our family Christmas party with Chris' extended family. It was so nice to catch up with all his aunts, uncles, and cousins. (Chris comes from a very large extended family!) We even went home with the best (most unique!) "white elephant" gift- a banana dog (also pictured in the family photo!)
We love hand making gifts for loved ones- food, pottery, and other assorted crafty endeavors! Amanda recently began learning hand felting in a workshop at the local arts center. A new pillow for grandma this Xmas!
In our home we always get a freshly cut Christmas tree every holiday season. The smell of fresh pine wafting throughout the house makes it really feel like the magical season of Christmas is upon us.
We have the best neighbors. Everyone is so caring and really looks out for eachother. One of our neighbors gives us a gorgeous fresh evergreen wreath each December to kick-start our holiday decorating.
We host Thanksgiving dinner every year at our house (our family thinks it's kinda mandatory with a chef and a former pastry chef in the house). We are very grateful to be able to have all of our parents and some of our siblings' families join us for this special meal.
Last night we attended a beautiful Interfaith Thanksgiving service in our neighborhood. People from Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Jewish, Muslim, and Roman Catholic faiths gathered together to promote understanding, cooperation, and give thanks together. It was so touching to experience everyone joining together in unity to really appreciate eachother and all that we have.
Last night we had our niece over for an autumn crafts night. We collected colorful fall leaves and stray acorns for various crafts including these cute leaf bowls made with layers of tissue paper, leaves, and a homemade version of "Mod Podge".
We love watching the wild birds and local wildlife that inhabit our neighborhood. Amanda hand-built a pottery bird feeder (one of a few in our yard) for our winged friends. She loves making pottery, but this pottery really is for the birds!
The house smells amazing each Fall when Chris brews up his giant pot of homemade tomato sauce with the garden tomatoes. It's a lot of work to get it canned, but then we get to enjoy delicious chef-made sauce all year long!
Amanda loves the fine arts! She is currently studying pottery at a local arts center. These hand built pottery pumpkins just made it out of the kiln in time for Thanksgiving. So excited to share creating art with a child!
We harvested our garden carrots! Another fun surprise task! You can never tell how they grew until you pluck them from the ground. Mommom's rabbit Peter will have a feast eating all these carrot tops!
It's potato harvest time! At our house we definitely aren't afraid to get messy. Digging up the garden potatoes is always a fun surprise because you have no idea how they did until you start digging. It's like a little treasure hunt!
Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! We love dressing up for the festivities and passing out candy to all the adorable kids in our neighborhood. Love seeing their creative costumes & the joy on their faces.
One of the best things about crisp autumn nights are cozy cuddles on the sofa with a throw blanket and our two loving dogs.
We took advantage of the rainy weekend to start painting the nursery. We chose a sunshiny pale yellow paint color with white trim to keep things cheery and gender neutral. Hoping to fill the room with love and joy sometime very soon!
In our garden this year we planted a little pumpkin patch. The baby-sized pumpkins did the best, with so many to harvest. They're so cute and fill our house with little doses of home-grown autumn cheer. We can't wait to teach a child about the fun of growing your own food.
This weekend Amanda visited a nearby farm with our niece and her brother's family for their Fall Festival. The best part of the day was playing with the adorably inquisitive goats!
We are fortunate to live nearby so many beautiful park systems. Yesterday we went for a walk with the dogs in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Such a gorgeous autumn day to be outside!
We recently had a fun afternoon kayaking in the bay areas of Delaware. We both love to find fun ways to stay active and look for new adventures (with safety precautions of course!). Looking forward to sharing our adventures with a child as they grow.
We had a wonderful long weekend at the shore this September with Amanda's family. Here's a photo we snapped at the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk of us, Amanda's parents, and Amanda's brother with his wife and daughter. So many great family memories were made that weekend!
We recently took a trip with Amanda's family to the shore. Beautiful weather allowed us some beachtime to build sandcastles with our niece.
We stopped for an outdoor lunch at a cute spot on our daytrip to St. Michael's, MD. Had some fun attempting to play Jenga while we waited for our food. There's always room for a little fun in daily life!
Here's another family photo we snapped with Chris' parents on our recent visit. Chris' parents live next to a nature preserve so there's always beautiful scenery and wildlife to watch and learn about when we visit.
A visit to Chris' parents in the Chesapeake region always includes a little sunshine, fresh air, sea spray, and boating!
We just got back from visiting Chris' parents who live in the beautiful Chesapeake region. We had such a lovely visit!
We had a wonderful time celebrating our niece's 7th birthday. Her party was held at a local children's amusement center. Such a fun time!
Amanda made our niece's 7th birthday cake for her mermaid themed party this weekend. It was a treat to get to bake and decorate a cake again, especially for someone so special. Looking forward to baking lots of birthday cakes.
We have sooo many tomatoes from our garden! Pretty soon Chris will be brewing up a huge batch of his tomato sauce. In the meantime, we are enjoying lots of fresh caprese salads!
The deliciously juicy grapes growing at Amanda's parents' house are ready for harvest! We can't wait to teach a child the simple joys of growing some of your own food and the amazing burst of freshness from eating just picked produce!
Chris harvested our sweet corn today. It was our biggest corn harvest ever. And it is delicious! Just had some for dinner tonight. The freshest possible corn you can get.
Last night we celebrated Pop Pop's birthday with dinner and his favorite dessert: Amanda's homemade key lime pie! We are all so eager to welcome another grandchild into the family!
We look forward to so many new adventures with a little one! We recently hiked up to the Cranny Crow Outlook on a recent vacation to rural West Virginia. What a view and so much nature to explore on the way!
We recently had an amazing trip to West Virginia with some of our oldest friends and the dogs. We found an adorable log cabin near a lake in the Blue Ridge mountains to spend a few days. We can't wait to share our family vacations with a little one.
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