Hello! We are Brandon and Rachel. We appreciate that you are here learning more about our family. We admire your strength and selflessness in considering adoption.
Our story started in 2010. We were both out with our friends on a Friday night when a mutual acquaintance introduced us. We exchanged phone numbers and went on our first date a couple of weeks later. We hit it off immediately and both had a sense that we had found “the one”. In June of 2014, we were married. Our relationship is built on honesty, patience, and humor. We enjoy making each other laugh, going on adventures near and far, and spending time together as a family.
Early in our marriage, we started to try to grow our family. After several miscarriages and fertility treatments, we received a diagnosis of unknown infertility, which means doctors do not know why we cannot have biological children. We both really love kids and wanted to experience everything that comes with parenting, so we decided to pursue adoption to grow our family. We adopted Olivia in 2019, and with loving hearts, cannot wait to welcome another child into our family.
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.
Our local zoo had a Halloween party for their animals. It was so much fun watching the animals react to the pumpkins in their enclosures. Olivia loves taking pictures with our phones, and after we watched the bear eat her pumpkin, she wanted to take a picture of us in front of the bear exhibit. This one was too good not to share 😊
Olivia had so much fun being Ghost Spider from Spidey and Hos Amazing Friends. Although it was a little chilly, we all bundled up and went trick or treating. She had a blast!
We are on the move a lot between work, school, gymnastics, and all our fun adventures. We sure appreciate slowing down and enjoying the simple moments whenever we can!
We took a mid-week trip up north to Lake Superior, which is the second largest fresh water lake in the world and the largest lake in the U.S. We went hiking, rode the gondola to see the awesome fall colors of the trees across the mountains, and even made a day trip to Canada to see Minnesota's highest waterfall (from the Canadian side of the river). After our busy days of adventures, we of course spent all our time relaxing in the pool. It was a great mini vacation!
On Saturday our hometown had a fall festival to celebrate the changing of the seasons. We decorated pumpkins, went on a tractor-wagon ride, and bought some of our favorite dried apples and flavored popcorn from our local vendors. Olivia played in the bounce houses and also went on a little train ride. The weather was perfect and fun was had by all!
Brandon is working this evening so Olivia and I decided to have some fun baking some cookies. In the process of helping, she found the food coloring and asked if we could use some in the cookies. I thought since we were making chocolate chip cookies, and being that we are getting closer to Halloween, we would make the cookies orange. They didn't turn out too bad 😁
Bluey is one of Olivia's favorite shows to watch right now, and honestly we enjoy watching it too! There are plenty of moments we can relate to Bluey's parents. When we heard a Bluey play was coming to the Twin Cities, we decided to get tickets and invite Rachel's sister and niece to come too. The girls had a blast going to the fancy theater to see their favorite characters in action! It was so much fun watching them light up, interact, and sing and dance along throughout the show!
We have had a couple of busy weekends. Last weekend, we went camping with Rachel's brother and sister and their families. We highly value family time, and it was so much fun hanging out together in some great camping weather. Friday was Brandon's birthday so we celebrated with a great home cooked meal, chocolate cake, and singing "Happy Birthday". On Saturday we met Rachel's dad for lunch to celebrate his upcoming birthday. Olivia loves getting to spend time with Grandpa. After a busy weekend, we are looking forward to a nice, relaxing Labor Day before we start another busy week.
Last Saturday we met Olivia's birth family at a nearby water park and afterward went to eat at a restaurant. We had a blast spending time together! Olivia's birthmom gave her a new toy, and Olivia has not stopped playing with it since. 😊
We have a busy end to our summer planned with fun activities on the weekends and bike rides to the park and playing "restaurant" during the week. The cooler weather we have been having is a reminder that fall is right around the corner. We love fall for the cooler temperatures, the start of football season, and the fun fall activities. We are ready for everything pumpkin spiced! 😁
We spent some time at the county fair riding the fair rides, seeing the animals and of course enjoying some of our favorite fair food- mini donuts. We don't know who had the most fun!
Today, we went hiking at our favorite state park, and afterward we spent some time at the beach. Even Josie, our pug, joined in the fun. It was a perfect day to enjoy being out in nature and have some quality family time.
The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays. We love grilling with friends and family, and going to the parade, carnival, and fireworks our town puts on to celebrate. This year, Brandon's parents came to stay with us for a few days and join in the festivities of the holiday. Rachel's mom came for the parade. Olivia was on cloud nine having both grandmas in the same place at the same time! Olivia was also very excited that she got to stay up late to see the fireworks. A good time celebrating was had by all.
With the storms in the forecast, we have had a few good and windy days. It was perfect weather for flying a kite. We had so much fun getting the kite in the air and watching it sail through the wind. We all agree that it would be so cool to have the ability to fly!
It has been a busy couple of weeks at our house. Olivia completed and passed her first level of swimming lessons. We think it is important for kids to know how to swim, especially living in the land of 10,000 lakes. 😁 We took Olivia fishing at our nearby lake, and she got to use her new fishing pole grandpa gave her. It was so much fun to see the excitement on her face when she caught her first fish! Finally, we celebrated our nephew's first birthday. Olivia loved spending time with her cousins and grandma and grandpa, and Rachel loved the snuggles with the birthday boy!
Our friends came to visit this past weekend with their two girls who are Olivia's age. We have so much fun when we get together. We went to our community pool, grilled some good food and ended the night with a fire with s'mores. We make our s'mores a little differently at our house. Instead of graham crackers and chocolate, we use fudge striped cookies 🍪. Oh so yummy! How do you like your s'mores?
Olivia is so excited to be a big sister! She can't wait to help us with feeding, diaper changes, and of course playing with her baby sibling. As we wait, Olivia is practicing with her doll who often joins us on our daily family adventures. 😊
This year for Memorial Day, we made the trek "up north" to visit Brandon's family in lake country. We love lake life- just the peace, serenity, and of course the recreational activities the lake offers. Olivia had a blast playing with all of her cousins and the adults had fun relaxing, grilling good food, and enjoying the beautiful weather. The cousins can't wait to welcome another cousin to the family 😊
We love being outside enjoying the nice weather. We go to the park A LOT to run and have fun. We receny discovered a new park that we enjoy visiting. It may even be the best park we have ever seen. It is huge and has so much fun equipment.
We have had a lot of rain in our area lately so with such a nice forecast, Rachel took advantage of the good weather by taking today off from work to have a special family day at the zoo. Some of our favorites were the dolphins, penguins, and monkeys. It was a perfect day- great weather, spending time with each other, and seeing all the different animals at the zoo. We especially loved seeing all the baby animals! 🥰
We love to spend time with family. Our niece is just a couple of months younger than Olivia so they always have a great time playing, giggling, and having fun when they get together. Here's the girls enjoying a Dairy Queen treat. Cheers! 😊
What are some of your favorite springtime activities? We love being able to get outside and enjoy the spring weather. We go to our community's playgrounds, hike at our local state parks, and visit the animals at the zoo.
Easter egg dying is one of Rachel's favorite holiday traditions. She loved seeing how much Olivia enjoyed the activity this year!
It's officially spring! What is your favorite thing about spring? We love that the sun is getting warmer, the snow is starting to go away, and we can start visiting our favorite parks in our neighborhood, even if we still have to wear our winter coats 😄
What a busy couple of weeks we have had here at our house! We had a Spidey and His Amazing Friends themed party with fun and games with our family and friends. Everyone had a great time!
After Olivia's birthday party, we took a trip to Las Vegas to get out of the cold weather and some sunshine and pool time. It was a little chilly, but thankfully the outdoor pool was very warm!
The last week, we have just been getting back into our usual routine after getting home from our vacation. We had a lot of fun playing with our babies again. Here you can our babies hanging out at daycare together 🥰😄
Olivia turns 4 years old on Sunday, and she received a special birthday gift from her birthmother today! She was so excited to hear it was from her birthmom. We have an open relationship with Olivia's birthmom. We send pictures, visit a few times a year, and exchange gifts on special occasions. We love having an open relationship with Olivia's birthmom. We hope we can develop some level of open relationship with you, but we will understand if you prefer a closed relationship.
After supper tonight, we decided to go to our basement to play with Olivia's toys. One thing led to another and here we are with Squigz on our heads! Just another silly night of playing with Olivia!
Brandon's brother and his family came to visit for the weekend. Olivia had so much fun playing with her 4 cousins! We went to a pool to do some swimming, played many games, and just enjoyed each other's company. After they left today, we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and 40 degree weather at one of our neighborhood parks. We are all looking forward to spring!
Winters do get long here in Minnesota, especially by the end of January, but we get creative in finding things to do to get out of the house and have fun. Over the weekend, we took Olivia to the local Children's Museum on Saturday to explore her senses. On Sunday, we went to our local trampoline park where we all were able to burn a little energy and get some exercise all while having fun.
On Monday, we celebrated our dog, Josie's, birthday. She turned 8 years old. We celebrated with a peanut butter and banana "cake" that Olivia helped make. Olivia was so excited to take a break from taking her hair out of her twist out to celebrate Josie's special day by singing Happy Birthday and watching Josie enjoy her cake.
Well, we did not win the Mega Millions big jackpot last Friday. We generally only play the lottery when the jackpot gets big. When we do play, Brandon and I enjoy dreaming about what we would do with the money if we won. If we won the lottery, we would share some of the winnings with our family members. We would donate some to our favorite charities like St. Jude's Children's Hospital, the Make a Wish Foundation, and our local food shelf. Finally, we would invest the money into real estate. We love traveling, and we both agree that if we won the lottery, we would buy houses in some of our favorite places to visit. Our top three locations would be Colorado, Florida, and a Minnesota lake home.
For New Year's Eve, Olivia had some friends over to ring in the new year. Rachel made lasagna and many other preschooler snacks. Although the girls didn't make it to midnight, a good time was had by all! Happy New Year!
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and holiday season! Olivia was so excited for Santa to come, that we were up to open presents at 5:30 on Christmas morning.
Today, Olivia received a Christmas package from her birthmom. We love having an open adoption with Olivia's birthmom! We text each other often and visit her every few months. It is a very special relationship that we are so grateful for. Finding a level of openness everyone can be comfortable with is something we look forward to in our next adoption.
On Saturday we took the day to drive to an awesome Children's Museum where we spent several hours playing and exploring with Olivia. After the museum, we went to the huge Christmas lights display in the park where there are over 1 million Christmas lights! We had a great time admiring the beautiful lights! Bonus- we got to see the Disney princesses in the heated igloo and Olivia got a princess crown!
This past weekend, Olivia visited Santa! He came to visit our town during our winterfest celebration. She was a little starstruck, but she was all smiles when she saw Anna and Elsa and friends!
It was time to rake the leaves in our yard so we took some time enjoying the beautiful fall weather to get that chore done. There is something about a leaf pile that just makes you want to jump in it. We were able to get a few shots of Olivia in action. ☺️
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