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We have been excited about, and preparing to be, parents for most of our adult lives! When we were married, there was never a question of “do we want children” but rather the questions were “when should we start” and “what should we be doing now to prepare.” From the beginning, we both envisioned adoption as part of our plan to expand our family. Since we have been unable to become pregnant, we knew it was God’s way of saying, “Adoption is right for you, and you get to start your family this way!” We are extremely grateful for this opportunity.
Our Beginning: We met at a church singles event in Los Angeles where we were both living at the time, Shannon for school and Justin for work. Shannon was immediately drawn to Justin’s sense of humor, his confidence, and how easy it was to talk to him; Justin first noticed how easy it was talking to Shannon, the similarities in how they thought about things, her cuteness, and how she seemed to really get his sense of humor. He ended up inviting Shannon to go hiking the next weekend. The date ended up being almost 14 hours – hiking in the morning, lunch, and hanging out with Justin’s friends till late at night! We were happily married a year and a half later.
Shannon (Written By Justin): Shannon is one of the most incredible people I have ever known. She radiates sincerity and is overflowing with love. I am completely and totally in love with her; she makes me incredibly happy, and brings joy to everyone who gets to know her. She will be an incredible mother: she is caring, sensitive, sacrificing, nurturing – and she is smart, determined, energetic, and fun. I can just imagine the outings she will plan locally with our child – visits to the Liberty Science Center, play-dates with other kids in the park, children’s museums, picnics in Central Park, trips to the Bronx Zoo, strolls through The High Line (an artsy park built on top of parts of NYC), delicious field trips to our favorite Creamery in Brooklyn and a gourmet doughnut shop, splashes and fun at the local water park … the list goes on and on. I can’t imagine a better wife or mother anywhere, and I know her excitement about adoption will make the experience of parenthood even better.
Justin (Written By Shannon): I truly believe I am the most blessed woman in the world because I have Justin in my life. I know it sounds cliché but he really is my best friend and the love of my life. As a husband, he is very loving, thoughtful, and loyal. He is strongly devoted to becoming the best man, husband, son, brother, and future father that he can be. He has a way of making me laugh even when I don’t feel like it and reminding me what is really important in life. He is extremely devoted to his family. Watching him with our nieces and nephews, I know he will be a very involved, patient, fun, and loving dad. Whenever we visit family, you will likely find him spinning our nieces and nephews around in turn with each one yelling, “I’m next!”, giving one of his siblings or in-laws a break by helping to get a cranky baby to sleep, or just patiently answering a thousand questions from a curious toddler. For example, I remember this one occasion where we went on a hike with some of the family. One of our nieces, who was three-years-old at the time, was at the stage of asking a thousand questions about everything. What are clouds? Why is the sky blue? What is gravity? Justin spent the entire hike carrying her on his shoulders and answering every question she had—he loved it!
We both feel it is important for a child to be home with a stay-at-home parent during their early years, if possible. Shannon has transitioned to consulting and will be home full-time with the baby. She looks forward to taking strolls to the park to see the flowers or feed the ducks, curling up together in a comfy chair to read books, visiting story time at the local library, singing songs to them, outings to NYC, and coming up with activities to help them explore their world, just to name a few fun things.
Favorite Things We Do Together
- Cook and host dinner parties and game nights
- Explore NYC: bikes, parks, bridges, museums, everything!
- Play games with friends and family (favorites include nerts, bananagrams, or Rock Band)
- We love sci-fi shows even though it probably sounds nerdy 🙂
- Serve together in our church and community – Both of us are Christian, specifically we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and are deeply committed to our faith.
- Travel and explore new and far-off places – we look forward to taking our children on exciting new adventures!
About Shannon … My Southern Roots: I am the middle child in a family of three children. Born and raised in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, I consider myself a Southerner— biscuits and gravy, BBQ, and enjoying the great outdoors. Most of my family is still in Kentucky and we visit them a few times a year. I am very close to my siblings; a brother who is autistic, and a younger sister who works at a boating company in Florida taking tourists out to see dolphins. I can’t wait to hop aboard with our child on these dolphin tours and have Aunt Misty give us the royal treatment and show us how the wild dolphins jump and play in the boat’s wake just a few feet away!
About Justin: I grew up in a large family; the oldest of nine siblings (five sisters and three brothers). Being the oldest in a family so large has given me special opportunities to help my parents out and take care of my younger brothers and sisters. That role has continued even into my adulthood as siblings grow up and pass through the difficult teenage years. We are all very close and get together as often as possible. We always look forward to the annual, weeklong summer trip with the family to the lakes in Michigan. Getting together for Christmas with nine kids, seven spouses, my parents, and their ten grandchildren, is always great fun—lots of family games, singing, a reenactment of the Christmas story by the grandchildren, and delicious treats courtesy of my mom. My family is very excited to welcome another baby into our family and join in the fun, and I cannot wait to expand my role of helping to take care of my siblings to taking care of a son or daughter.
Our Home and Community
We live in a two-bedroom brownstone in a tree-lined block in Jersey City, one block away from a small but quaint park where we can go on walks to see the trees, flowers, and wildlife. Two houses down, we have a small park with a playground, and a short distance uptown we have a large park with a “fun in the water” area for kids. We are also walking distance from LibertyPark – the amazing wide open space with a great boardwalk, places to BBQ, kite flying, and amazing views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Our Message to You
We believe that it is important for children to feel safe, to have parents actively engaged in their lives and tutoring, and most importantly, to be raised in a home full of love and laughter and support. We are committed to providing our future child with this type of environment. He/She will be cherished, celebrated, surrounded by family and friends, and always loved unconditionally. We plan to do everything in our power to help our future children to grow up to become individuals who are happy, successful, and at peace internally, with God, and with the world.
Thank you for taking time to view our profile. We hope it provides you a glimpse into who we are and what life would be like for a child who is placed in our home.
Justin and Shannon