Our story

Our story

We started dating as sophomores at Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, Illinois. When we were juniors, our journalism teacher sat us down and told us she was thinking about making us co-editors of the paper the next year, but she had one reservation: what happens if you break up? No problem, we said, and that was the beginning of a collaborative spirit that has characterized our 22 years together. We revamped the paper, then went to college in Iowa where we started an underground magazine and organized a music festival to raise money for community causes. In 2001, shortly after we were married, we started *culture is not optional, the non-profit organization that’s been our life’s work. And then in 2003—why not?—we helped start a volunteer-run, fair trade store called World Fare in Three Rivers, Michigan. Through it all, we’ve learned to depend on a community of people working together. The challenges have helped us grow in ways we could not have predicted, and the camaraderie has brought us great joy and hope.

Even when we were teenagers dreaming about what a life together might look like in the future, we talked about the possibility of adopting. As we got deeper into our 30s without any answers about why we couldn’t make a baby ourselves, we decided that adoption was a way we could contribute to the common good while starting our family. This decision makes perfect sense to us as one more chapter in our lifelong theme of community. Now, as we work toward adoption, we need family and friends who are committed to helping us find the resources we need and to supporting us while we learn how to be good parents, and we need a birth family who’s willing to trust us with the care of their little one.

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