|Stopping to smell the lavender|
Family: Parents Harry and Jane, brother Ben
Alma mater: Eastern University (St. Davids, PA), theology major and Spanish minor; John Paul II Institute (Washington, DC), masters of theological studies
Employment: Works for the Catholic Church in the area of marriage and family.
Hobbies: Singing, gardening, canning, hiking, travelling, quilting, board games
Favorite TV shows: Downton Abbey and The Office
Favorite Songs: "House of Tom Bombadil" by Nickel Creek, "Blessings" by Laura Story, and "Every Storm Runs Out of Rain" by Gary Allan
Favorite Quote: "Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full." - Fr. Jacques Philippe
Favorite Saint: St. Anne
Fun fact: I visited every state in the U.S. at least once before I went to college, thanks to my road-trip-loving parents
What I am looking forward to most about being a mother: snuggling, reading together, introducing my son or daughter to "firsts" of everything, hearing a little voice say "Mama"
|Sipping espresso in Rome|
Family: Parents Dan and Kathy, brothers Dave and Rob, sister-in-law Amy, nephews Andrew, Brandon, Xavier, Josh, Roman; nieces Angelina, Desiree, Jasmine
Alma mater: Catholic University (Washington, DC), theology and psychology major, philosophy minor; John Paul II Institute, masters of theological studies, PhD candidate
Employment: Works at a Catholic Shrine, creating and coordinating events, running retreats, and writing publications, etc.
Hobbies: Coffee roasting, hiking, travelling, enjoying music of all types, reading great books, board games
Favorite TV show: Notre Dame football (other than that I don't usually watch tv)
Favorite Songs: Currently, "All of the People Said Amen" by Matt Maher, "Homegrown" by the Zac Brown Band, "Paradise" by Coldplay, and "Flaws" by Bastille.
Favorite Quote: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good." - Romans 12:21
Favorite Saint: St. John Paul II; Close second- St. Josemaria Escriva.
Fun fact: I led a group of 35 young adults and high school students to Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day in 2008. World Youth Days are incredible events. I recommend everyone going at least once!
What I am looking forward to most about being a father: This is hard to answer. So much. It will be giving the child secure love together with my wife, again and again, and watching him or her delight in that love. Giving him or her a single home in which they can stand upon to confront all of life's difficulties. It will be mediating God's abundant love and seeing him or her grow in the faith. It will be encouraging his or her gifts to unfold mysteriously before our eyes. It will be my child's baptism. It will by my child's birthday parties. It will be taking my child to Church, tossing him or her up in the air and making them giggle, telling him or her stories from life and made-up ones (of course!), and introducing my son or daughter to nature, hiking, forgiveness and humility, thinking deeply about life's great questions, Notre Dame football, animals (especially corgi dogs), watching one's own food grow in a garden, music, praying, being creative, reading fun and exciting stories, working hard, travel to new places, etc.
|Living in Maryland = crab feast|
|Hiking in Colorado on our second anniversary vacation|
Our wedding date and place: May 28, 2011, St. Bernadette Church, Silver Spring MD
Our honeymoon: We visited Rome for two and a half weeks and loved every minute! We had our marriage blessed by the Pope (then Benedict XVI), prayed at St. John Paul II's grave, climbed St. Peter's dome, toured ancient catacombs, visited Assisi and the Mediterranean Sea, prayed in more churches than we can remember, and delighted in the pizza, pasta and gelato at every corner. It was a blessed way to start our married life together!
|After receiving the blessing for newlyweds, in our wedding attire|
Our Journey To Adoption
We have wanted to have children since the day we got married. As part of our marriage preparation, we took a class in Natural Family Planning (NFP) so we could be more knowledgeable about our bodies and our fertility. We felt well-prepared to know the time each month most likely to get pregnant. During our NFP class, we did not see anything abnormal in our charts (that track the woman's monthly cycle) nor did we have any reason to think that we wouldn't be able to conceive.
|Dan with our goddaughter|
In the Spring of 2012, we decided to try a different NFP method, the Creighton model, which is more widely used by doctors in determining causes of infertility. We also began pursuing medical advice and treatment. Thankfully in the DC area there are several doctors who have training in what's called Naprotechnology, a branch of reproductive medicine that aims at uncovering the root cause of a couple's infertility and correcting it so they can conceive naturally. This approach appealed to us both because of our disinterest in any method that would separate our marital union from a child's coming-to-be (e.g., IVF), and also because we sincerely wanted to be healed from whatever ailed us.
|Pumpkin picking in the Fall|
Either way, this conclusion put us at a crossroads. Should we continue to pursue medical treatment? Or accept that we may not get answers and move on to adoption as a way to grow our family? Since you're reading this, you probably know the answer! While we are still 100% open to conceiving, we realize that after five years of trying, that possibility seems very unlikely.
|Making pancakes with our little buddy / dinosaur (rawr)|
|With our nephew Xavier after his basketball game|
|Smiles with another little buddy|
|Pray for us!|