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Jeff & Jo
We are Jo and Jeff from Chicago. We met as students 10 years ago and have been together ever since. As you read about us in the coming pages, we hope to show you a diverse and loving family, already formed by adoption. We greatly admire your courage in this very difficult time, and we wish you strength in whatever you decide. Thank you for taking the time to meet us here.
Our Life Priorities
We are explorers at heart! We spend every weekend walking around our city's neighborhoods and parks looking for an adventure. We love to visit new places and try new food - especially Mexican food! Jo plans out which neighborhood to visit and Jeff orders in Spanish. Recently we went to a local arboretum for "Dog Day." Our dog Hans was super excited, he couldn't resist jumping into every puddle he saw. By the time we finished, Hans was the muddiest dog in the whole park!
We are purposeful on making sure we have "family time" each day. We make it a habit to have a coffee together every morning, helping get everyone's day off to the right start. Our dog, Hans, likes to sleep in, and he won't get out of his bed until we are downstairs and dressed, seated on the couch, with a coffee in hand – and then he snuggles in our lap. Your child would start every day knowing they are loved with quality family time.
We also like to relax on the couch to unwind from the day. Recently, we've gotten into a "classic" TV show, NCIS Los Angeles. We love the friendship between the two main characters; they bicker and love each other like siblings! While it may not be most award-winning show, it helps us relax and laugh at the end of the day.
We can promise your child will have a balanced life of family time at home, lots of fun adventures, and different types of experiences.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Jo About Jeff: If I only had one word to describe Jeff, it would be "kind." Jeff is truly one of the best, most sincere people I have ever met. He rarely gets upset and is great with people from all walks of life. When Jo's sister lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic, Jeff invited her to move in with us to save money. Jeff loves learning and trying new things. One of his ongoing passions is practicing his Spanish. He's a near-fluent speaker, and he practices his Spanish with our Spanish-speaking neighbors every chance he gets.
In the same way that Jeff supports and cares for other people, he will support and care for a child through all of life's challenges. Whether it's sharing his love of tennis or helping them speak Spanish y ser bilingüe (be bilingual), Jeff is going to be an amazing dad to his children.
Jeff About Jo: Jo has a huge heart. She is very alert to the needs of those around her and is generous in her response to those needs. Jo loves giving back – she grew up on a farm in a small town and was raised with "community" as a core value. She loves being a part of our city and is very involved in volunteering.
Jo is going to be an incredible mom who is loving and attentive to her children – caring for them deeply, inspiring them with the possibilities found in books, and providing them with a strong sense of community.
Our Professional Lives
Jo works from home, doing mergers and acquisitions. Her schedule is very flexible, and she frequently work with Hans on her lap! Jo would be available at the drop of a hat for any and all school events and key life moments!
Jeff works from home in technology strategy for a bank. He has a very predictable schedule, working from home, and takes Hans for an afternoon walk each day. Your child would have Jeff at home all day, and lots of fun outside each day with he and Hans on their daily walks!
We both feel that doing well in your work in important to personal well-being – but family comes first, always. We have worked hard to get where we are, but we are proud of the balance we have as well.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Chicago! And we love our city!
Our home is a big house with a yard and a beautiful back deck where we spend every minute we can. Our favorite activity is sitting on the deck, enjoying the warm summer breeze while we grill dinner.
We live in an amazing and very safe neighborhood. Our local public school is very good, with a diverse population of students and lots of extra-curricular activities, and we are within walking distance of 7 playgrounds where the neighborhood kids play. We also live walking distance to a zoo, which is our favorite place to bring our nieces and nephews.
Another great spot that is walking distance from our house is a beautiful lake with a beach. We often walk along the lake with our dog and go to beach with friends. This summer, we organized a day of volleyball with our friends at the same court where we met. Even though it has been a few years since we first met on the volleyball court, nothing had changed. Jo was still captain of the team, and Jeff just tried to keep the ball in!
We live on a designated "Halloween street," and it's a big holiday for everyone on the block. This year, we dressed up as The Incredibles and gave out 1,500 pieces of candy in only 5 hours. It is always such an exciting evening!
Our Extended Families
We both have large, welcoming families. The child who becomes a part of our family will be immensely loved by 2 great-grandparents, 4 grandparents (with both sets still married 35+ years!), 12 aunts and uncles, and 4 cousins (so far!)!
Our family is diverse and very close, and adoption is a big part of our family. Not only does Jo have three siblings who were adopted, but our brother-in-law's father and Jeff's childhood friend were also adopted. We view adoption as making our family stronger, since each person brings a different set of talents and perspectives to the family.
Recently, we took a trip to Thailand so Jo's sister, Maita, could visit the country where she was born. She was able to find out more about her birth parents and visit the orphanage where she lived before she was adopted. We feel very grateful that the child in our home will have others who share his or her story of adoption; while these stories will be different, we hope it will also help them feel seen, understood, and belonging.
While we know adoption can carry such loss and heaviness, we have also seen the beauty. And so, when we decided to start our family, adoption was already at the top of our minds.
From Us to You
From Jo's Sister Ni:
I'm Jo's sister, and Jeff's sister-in-law, and I was adopted as an infant. I'm writing this in the hope of giving you a little first-hand perspective of what your child's life would be like in our family.
Even when I was little, I never once questioned that Jo was my sister. She never made me feel different because I was adopted. She knows that family is not just blood, it is those who are there for you, who love you unconditionally, and who support you when you need it most. I remember when I ran away as a kid; Jo was the first one to realize I was missing and came and found me at our neighbor's house. She comforted me and brought me home.
In the case of Jeff, it has been my family who has "adopted" him – and I now view him as one of my siblings. Jeff and I have spent a lot of time discussing adoption, and I have told him about my personal experience. Jeff even started supporting my mother and I with our mission work at an orphanage in Nicaragua. We often get letters in Spanish, and Jeff helps translate them for us. Recently, Jeff helped us translate a letter from a pastor Mendez, even though he has never been to a church service in Spanish, and had to look up many of the words!
My husband and I recently had a daughter who we named Sapphira Jo. When my husband and I were thinking of who we would want to take care of her if anything ever happened to us, Jeff and Jo were the clear choice. They have been like second parents to me and would make great adoptive parents to our child. At Sapphira's baptism, I teared up hearing them swear to that effect in front of the church. We are lucky to be a family.
From Jeff & Jo:
Thank you again for letting us be here. From the bottom of our hearts, we are very grateful that you have taken the time to consider us as adoptive parents for your child. We know this must be an emotional process and we have the utmost respect for you as you try to decide what is best for you and your child. We have seen from personal experience how adoption can create an amazing family, and we are hopeful to embark on that journey with you. If you choose us, your child would grow up in a loving home, and we would speak of you often to your child. We look forward to sharing regular updates and photos to your level of comfort. If you do choose adoption and our family to join you in loving this child, we are excited to get to know YOU as well over the course of the next few months and the many years to come. The gift of adoption would be the greatest joy of our life. Thank you for considering giving us this chance. May you find peace and strength as you decide.
Jeff & Jo
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