We appreciate you taking your time to learn about our family. We believe things happen for a reason and we are very thankful for your courage and strength as you consider us to be the blessed parents to your child.
As parents, our daughter Jocelyn has brought us such joy! It has been an amazing experience to raise a child and we’re excited for her to have a sibling to share her childhood with. We have so much love to give and look forward to expanding our family and watching them grow up together.
We met almost 13 years ago while attending college at Michigan Technological University in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Both of us were Resident Assistants in student housing and began to bond soon after meeting. We quickly discovered we were both very energetic, organized, and enjoy learning new things and taking on challenges.
Married for 10 years now, we have enjoyed trips all over the world, including Alaska, Italy and Australia. Growing up in Michigan, we love any place near the water. A few years ago we took lessons to become certified in scuba diving and have even been lucky enough to see the Great Barrier Reef! We enjoy most things outdoors like hiking, broomball (a winter sport similar to ice hockey), and doing triathlons. When the weather is too wet or cold, we like playing cards or board games with our friends.
Our friends describe us as very active, and would use our love of travel or the outdoors as evidence of that. We are both heavily involved in volunteering with our church and local community and often during our free time we can be found working on a project for someone we know.
Our home resides in a small Wisconsin town and we love our community. There are fantastic schools, parks and lots of events for young families. While both of our large extended families live a few hours away in Michigan, we typically see someone from our family once a month over a long weekend, summer trip or during the holidays.
We recently bought a house on a small lake. It’s been like living in a vacation home having the water in our backyard! Having grown up near Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, and gone to school on Lake Superior, it has been our dream to be able to live near the water. When we come home, it feels like our own oasis. Around the lake there are other lake homes and cottages, but to the south of our house are some woods, including a hiking and biking nature trail and several fantastic parks.
Fortunately for us, we have a very strong network of friends. Many of our good friends from Michigan Tech live in the same general area and some of them are so close we see them twice a week. In addition to our college friends, we’ve also become connected to a great church in our area. As a relatively new church, we’ve become close with the pastor and his family, as well as new friends that all want to see the church succeed and grow. We’ve bonded with families and shared dinners, volunteered in the community, and even spent time doing construction at the new church building.
In October, 2010 our daughter Jocelyn was born. We have been blessed to experience the pregnancy, childbirth, middle of the night feedings, “terrific twos” and watching her personality develop. As she has grown, we have packed away all of her clothes, furniture, books, and little accessories in anticipation that she’ll have a little brother or sister someday.
While it wasn’t easy conceiving Jocelyn, it has proven even more difficult to become pregnant a second time. After three years of fertility treatments and heartbreak, we decided to start a new adventure in adoption. We both loved growing up in big families and are excited to grow our family and for our kids to have siblings.
We are proud that we have been able to keep our marriage and family strong through the struggles we have experienced. Jocelyn will be five this fall and is VERY excited to be a big sister. She has been practicing changing diapers, reading to and setting up play areas for all her dolls and stuffed animals. Our home has a third bedroom that Jocelyn has already started to help decorate. We are excited to be able to bring another child into our home and look forward to experiencing all of the joys that come with a new baby!
Jocelyn loves to spend time with her grandparents and cousins. She and her closest cousin love to send videos to each other and are always very excited to play together when we visit!
About Jana, by Josh
Jana is the best person I know. That makes sense, considering we’re married, but I don’t feel like I’m on the only person that thinks that. She is very giving of her time and energy, and helps our friends, family and church plan projects and organize events together.
When I first met Jana, I was drawn to her lightheartedness and positive energy. She’s someone who is a joy to be around, and gives of a sense of possibility and optimism. As we have grown in our relationship, I’ve never felt like her passion for helping people or making the most of opportunities has diminished in the slightest, and if it’s possible, she has only grown through the years. Simply, she makes me a better person, and makes me want to BE a better person.
We currently own a mid-sized childcare of 20 staff and about 100 children. It has been a fun and exciting adventure as it has grown from just three children when we first opened. Jana works there 2-3 days each week, and loves playing and teaching children from 6 weeks old up to 4 years old. Her favorite room is definitely the infant room, where she gets to hold the new babies.
Jana has a few ways of relaxing. One of her favorite activities is “crafting” with Jocelyn. They have a little area set up where they can work on projects together, so they can send our families little gifts that they make. She also enjoys knitting hats for Jocelyn and all our friend’s brand new babies.
Reading is a way Jana gets to travel to a faraway place or imagine doing something exciting and different… all from the comfort of the hammock on the porch or snuggled in by the fireplace. She always has a book on the bedside table, or an audiobook ready to go in her car.
Apart from crafting or reading, Jana loves to be outside. She loves running and kayaking, both of which let her relax after a busy day. She also enjoys taking photos of nature and of our friends and family as we go for hikes through the woods or to different places.
Most of all, Jana loves spending time with family. She grew up in a big family, and we both know how much fun it is to have a big group at home all together. She has enjoyed watching Jocelyn learn and experience new things. From making homemade baby food, to teaching Jocelyn how to sit up, crawl, and most of all wobble across the living room. Now Jocelyn is learning to cook, and she’s ready for a little brother or sister. I know Jana will love teaching Jocelyn all that comes with being a big sister, just like she was while she was growing up.
About Josh, by Jana
Josh is a fantastic father, he often says that raising our daughter Jocelyn has been the best experience of his life! He loves to take her questions as teaching moments and to explain something to her when she asks “Why?” I often find the two of them “fixing” something in the garage or working on a project together. He even bought her a little pink tool set! She adores him and is constantly talking about the next project they are going to work on.
Being his wife makes me feel proud of how well he takes care of Jocelyn and I. He finds little ways to surprise me and make me feel loved. For Valentine’s Day he brought home two bouquets of flowers, one for each of his girls! At least once a week he picks up ingredients for one of our favorite meals and surprises us by having it ready when we get home!
Josh loves teaching. He went to an engineering school because math and science come naturally to him, but after being an engineer for a few years he was promoted to teach statistics to other employees at his company. As the oldest of his three dozen cousins, he has always felt comfortable explaining how something works and enjoys seeing someone do something new for the first time.
He works for a manufacturing company, and is responsible for quality at several plants throughout the US, Mexico, China and India. This means that any time something is made wrong at any of those plant locations, it’s ultimately his job to catch it before it is shipped to the customer. Working with so many locations around the world has been a dream come true for him, as it has given him a great sense of different cultures and how we can all help each other every day.
Josh loves to compete and try something that he wasn’t sure he was capable of doing. He started doing triathlons a little more than a decade ago and last year he finished his first Ironman! I am so proud of him for completing such an impressive achievement. Jocelyn and I had a great time cheering him on during his training and on race day!
He also loves to be outside, especially playing yard games, swimming, building campfires or letting the younger cousins bury him in the sand! He enjoys technology and how it keeps changing. He appreciates learning about computers and smart phones, and how they interact, and he has gotten to be a pro at replacing iPhone screens for all our friends and family.
Thoughts on Parenting
We plan on raising our second child similar to how we’re raising our daughter Jocelyn. We have taught her to help around the house and have given her small chores like clearing the dinner table encouraged with special rewards. We think it’s very important that children learn to respect others and understand how great diversity is and what a joy it can be to learn things from others that are different from us.
Jocelyn has taken swimming and gymnastics classes as well as run a few races. She has also attended an arts based preschool program two mornings per week in addition to the toddler and preschool program at the childcare we currently own. We believe that a structured environment with other children mixed in with quality time together at home has been key in her development.
We think that learning and education are very important, and allow for some of the best experiences in life. Although we both went to college, and believe it has given us many opportunities, we also believe that college is only one option for learning. Regardless of the type of learning, we believe that if someone truly wants to continue their education, they must be willing to invest in it. We will be willing to start that journey, but also expect our children to earn into it.
Thoughts on Adoption
Prior to the birth, we are open to communicating with you via phone, email or text as much as you would like. Once the baby is born and placed in our home, we are willing to talk, send updates, pictures or letters, if that is something you desire.
Growing up as an adopted child, Josh has experienced the advantage of being upfront with the adoption story. We plan on telling our child they are adopted, and explain all the benefits that come with that. We will tell our child about their birth mother, and how loving, courageous, and selfless she was.
Thank for considering adoption and taking the time to peak into our lives. We are beyond excited to welcome another child into our family. We hope as you had read about our desire for another child it has relieved you of some of the worry you must be facing during this challenging time.
If you would like to learn more about us or to arrange an initial phone call, please call Cindy (anytime) at A Loving Alternative (800) 556-5635.
Jana and Josh