Rachel & JP

Hoping to Adopt (Texas)

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Meet Rachel

"Rachel is a loyal friend, godly woman, loving wife, and whole-hearted mother. She loves me, Noah, friends, and family with passion and devotion. Noah thinks the world of her (and so do I)! When he sees her his eyes light up, he smiles his biggest smile, and yells with joy, "Mama!" as he runs to her, arms raised, wanting to be held close. I really can't exaggerate when I say that Rachel was made to be a mom. She has an innate instinct and can immediately recognize what Noah needs. I think the best moms know intuitively what their child needs even before they do and Rachel has that ability. She's always one step ahead, packing him snacks, doing laundry, finding the perfect toy. Anytime Rachel is in the room Noah wants to hug her and cuddle with her and you can tell that he feels completely safe and secure in her arms. Not only does Noah love her, but every one of our nieces and nephews run right to her when they see her. Every child feels valued and heard by her. Rachel is also the best at giving healthy boundaries and discipline. I think it comes from her work in schools with kids with severe disabilities and behavioral issues. She is able to be authoritative, but also kind and loving at the same time. I think that children feel safe with her because of that. One of the qualities that I love most about Rachel is her authenticity. She is never fake and is always honest and vulnerable. She is servant-hearted and generous. Every time a friend, family member, coworker, or even complete stranger needs help Rachel is the first to volunteer her time, energy, and money. I also love how funny and silly she is. She has an amazing sense of humor, and at least once a day she makes me laugh so hard that I can't help but cry. As a husband, I feel so blessed to have Rachel as my wife, best friend, and partner." -JP I grew up in a diverse suburban community in North Texas. My parents specifically moved us into a neighborhood full of many different types of people. They believed that learning to live with and love people who were different from us should be a main priority in growing up. Because of this upbringing, I continue to seek out and deeply value diversity in my own life. I received my Master's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Since then, I have worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a school district where I primarily work with under-served populations. My favorite part of my job is getting to educate families on their child's speech difficulties to help their kiddos learn how to effectively communicate! I only work 2.5 days a week, and I love my schedule. I work a little bit and get to stay home with Noah the majority of the week. I know this is such a privilege, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to stay home most of the week with him. One of my other passions is hosting people in our home, whether it be an annual "Friendsgiving" celebration, or celebrating a major life event. I love cooking for people and making them feel loved and appreciated. I have a close group of friends, and they would describe me as a great listener, giver of my time, and (hopefully haha) someone that keeps them laughing. However, my absolute favorite title in the world is "mom." I love Noah so much it hurts sometimes. I love to comfort him if he falls and love to make him giggle when I tickle him. I am fiercely protective, and I am not afraid to ruffle feathers when it comes to what is best for my family! - Rachel

Meet JP

"To put it simply, JP is magnetic. It doesn't matter where you are in your walk of life, to be around JP is to feel known, cared for, and seen. It's honestly one of my greatest privileges to observe this as a wife and partner because people are just drawn to him! He asks the most intentional questions and is always genuinely interested in your answer. He is a natural leader, but so humble and servant hearted. He is the first to lend a hand when someone is in need, and he does everything with excellence. His best role, however, is being Noah's dad. My goodness. JP was MADE to be a father. Noah absolutely adores JP and gets so sad when JP leaves for work in the morning. They have an amazing bond that I am so thankful to bear witness to. JP makes Noah belly laugh on a daily basis, and they enjoy spending time together playing JP's bass, reading books over and over again, and eating all the snacks in the house. JP is an equal partner in parenthood, and he is so gentle and kind with both me and Noah. Every day it feels like I have won the lottery having him as my husband. JP is a provider and a protector, and I always feel safe when I'm around him." - Rachel My favorite thing in life is spending family time with Rachel and Noah. There's nothing I'd rather do more than make pancakes on a Saturday morning, go for a walk in the neighborhood, play at the park, and cuddle up reading books together (I know, I'm a softie LOL). I believe that God has entrusted Rachel and Noah to me and that he has called me to love and care for them as best I can all the days of my life. I love playing sports, reading, and playing guitar in our church's worship band. Professionally, I worked as a youth pastor and then a firefighter and paramedic. As a paramedic, I really found my calling in medicine and decided to go back to school four years ago. Now, I am graduating from the Yale School of Medicine soon and will start working as a psychiatrist at that time. During school I really fell in love with psychiatry and helping people manage mental health needs such as anxiety and depression. I enjoy treating people to help them live a more whole and fulfilling life. - JP

Meet Noah

It is really difficult to capture how amazing Noah is in a short-written paragraph, but we will try! Noah came into our family 23 months ago through a Gladney infant adoption. We believe that Noah's story is his to share, but here are a few glimpses. His amazing birth mom gave birth to Noah in July of 2020, and she selflessly allowed Rachel to be in the delivery room. It was a sacred, gut-wrenching, awe-inspiring experience. Since that time, our family has been in an open adoption with Noah's birth family. Noah has a few birth siblings, and it has been the honor of our lives to facilitate a continued connection between them. Open adoption can mean totally different things to different people, but for us it has simply looked like a relationship. We don't just send pictures and updates; we actually have a real-life relationship. Our adoption is far from perfect, but we can say wholeheartedly that it is raw and that it is real. We know that we are just a short way into this journey, and we can never know what lies ahead, but we are so ready to continue into a lifetime of memories. Noah is almost 2 years old, and he is in the 99th percentile for height and weight-- we call him our gentle giant. He loves going down the slide, kicking the soccer ball and running through the sprinklers. He sings pretty much nonstop all day, and he also loves playing with his tiny guitar, piano, and drum set. Music and movement are two words we would use to describe him. Always singing, dancing, and playing an instrument. Always moving, investigating, and exploring everything around him. He is an extrovert through and through and genuinely loves everyone he sees. He makes you work hard for a smile, but once he knows you, he will be your best buddy. He is snuggly and strong, sweet and independent. Noah is also a biracial Black child. We do not take it lightly, at all, that Noah has been placed as a child of color in a family with White parents. We will make so many mistakes throughout his life with regards to race, but we are diligently committed to strengthening Noah's (and any other child of color's) racial and cultural identity. For us, that has looked like going to a church that is predominantly Black and Hispanic. We are planning to build a home in an amazingly diverse suburb of Dallas where Noah and any other child could feel welcome and represented. Noah has a regular appointment at his Black barbershop, and loves to go see Mr. Blade every 2 weeks. We actively build relationships with people that look like Noah. We believe that we cannot raise him without the help of Black people in the community. We are not too proud to admit that there's a reason why the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" is so popular. We couldn't do it alone, nor would we want to.

Racism

JP and I have been very outspoken about where we stand on racial issues in our families, our communities, our Instagram, and our Facebook pages, but the one place we realized that we hadn't made that clear is on this adoption profile. For any expectant parent reading this, we both want you to know that we are actively becoming anti-racist, and we are committed to continuing to uproot the biases we hold in our own hearts, whether they be intentional or not. We also want you to know that microaggressions are not tolerated in our social circles. JP and I are both committed to speaking up when we see or hear something that is not right, and we both promise to be humble when we get called out ourselves. If you are a Person of Color reading this, we want you to know that we are fully aware that we are not perfect. We are both White, and we have a TON of work to do in the anti-racism arena. But what we think is important to know is that we are committed to doing the work. If you are considering us as adoptive parents for your child, we will humbly and respectfully teach them about and help them foster a good and healthy racial identify. We live in a neighborhood where we are in the minority as White people because we specifically wanted any child that would come to our home to feel represented in their school and community. That is just one small step that we have taken, but we hope it conveys that we are not scared to learn and to grow. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post. We hope it helps you get to know us a little bit better.  

Life During Quarantine

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." -Mr. Rogers  As I read that quote, I think about all the things that people around us have lost during this unprecedented time. Some losses are relatively small, like not getting to have a birthday party, and some are catastrophic, like losing a job, or a loved one losing their life. I do not have much to say today, but if you find yourself struggling to take one more step forward, just remember that there is good still happening around the world. I hope that we all come out of this situation with more compassion, understanding, and love for our neighbors than ever before. Let's look for the helpers. Better yet, let's be the helpers. 

JP's Family

If I had to pick one word to describe my family, it would be fun! When we are together, we seem to constantly laugh. My parents have been married for 35 years and are an amazing example of what a loving marriage looks like. They are seriously such phenomenal grandparents! They can’t get enough of Noah and have him over for sleepovers almost every week. They live on a really pretty golf course and have filled their house with toys, books, snacks, and every other thing a kid might want - Noah LOVES going to his Gigi and Papi’s house. My younger sister, Julianne, and her husband live in Oklahoma City. Julianne is an assistant principal for an elementary school and Casey, her husband, also works in public education. They love having a nephew and drive down as much as possible to visit Noah for the weekend. We get together to eat good food, play games, and go on silly adventures. My extended family lives in the Boston area and usually all make a big family trip to visit cousins, aunts, and uncles about once a year. My grandpa was a pastor, and I grew up playing in his church and being mesmerized by his old, old bibles. But, from a young age I was taught that your faith was not just about going to church, but about living out the way of Jesus in the nitty gritty of everyday life. My grandpa marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, and he spent his life fighting for racial and gender equality in Boston. He taught me that your faith has to have hands and feet and has to actually make a difference in the real world to real people. Because of that, we have always been deeply involved in our local church and community.

Rachel's Family

One word I would use to describe my family is intentional. My family makes mundane tasks magical and finds any reason to celebrate! My mom and dad (or Gram and Pop as they are known these days) live about 15 minutes away, and we love to spend time together. Noah can be found reaching his arms up to his Pop to carry him. They have such a special bond. My parents have been married 41 years this year and are such an example to us of a loving and committed couple. I also have two older brothers who, despite being 6 and 8 years older than me, I am really close to. My oldest brother, Jeremy, is married to Michelle, and they have 4 little girls. My other brother, Zack, is married to Omayra, and they have 3 kiddos: 2 sons and one daughter. We are also very close to my grandparents, Granny and Papa. They live in Oklahoma but drive down to visit about once a month. They just turned 80 in October, but you would never know it- they are so vibrant and love spending time with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. JP and I also love being an aunt and uncle to our 5 nieces and 2 nephews. Noah and all of his cousins get along so well, and genuinely love spending time together. Time with my family is never boring, and the kids certainly keep everyone entertained. One thing that makes our family unique is that we have become multi-racial through marriage and through adoption. My sister-in-law is from El Salvador, which means my niece and nephews are biracial. We love the richness that her Hispanic heritage brings to our family, and we actively embrace the cultural and linguistic differences. And as we stated throughout this profile, Noah is also biracial. My family is extremely supportive of adoption and have been some of Noah’s greatest advocates in life already. They are quick to learn and will ask questions if they aren’t sure. They are on the same page as me and JP with regards to caring for Noah’s hair and skin, and it has been very special to add our families into those care routines.

Serving Our Community

Rachel and I love to serve in our communities! When we took some time early on in our marriage to evaluate each of our skill sets, it was clear that we had some training that not everyone has.  With that, we wanted to make sure that we were using our abilities to help others that may not have access to the things in life they need to be happy and healthy. I am a Licensed Paramedic and have a passion for using my medical skills for under-served populations. There is a local church in our area that provides free medical care for people without health insurance, and I serve as a medical provider there. It has been amazing to be able to use my medical training to provide quality care to people that really need it. The thing I have loved the most is being able to talk someone through a scary diagnosis, or train them on how to do an insulin shot for the first time for their diabetes. Everyone needs someone to really care for them in a time of need, and these experiences have blessed me tremendously. Rachel has tons of training in child development through her work as a Speech Pathologist, and wanted to be able to use that expertise in some way that would help people that may not have access to her services otherwise. Because of that, Rachel decided to receive training to become a CASA Advocate. CASA stands for court appointed special advocate, and her role as a volunteer is to be a voice for children in foster care. Children in foster care so much of the time go from one case worker to the next and from one foster home to the next without anyone staying consistent in their lives to watch out for them. Rachel wanted use her gifts with children to be advocate to vulnerable children in foster care, as well as do as much as possible to reunite those children with their rehabilitated family members.  We truly have compassionate hearts for people in our community that just need a little help. We hope to pass on this same empathy and compassion to our future children. It is of utmost importance to us to raise our kids to have respect for people. All people. We were both raised with the notion that, if you see a need around you and you can help, you should always help. We are excited to raise another generation through our children that put others' needs above their own and to always look out for the how to serve the people in their lives.  -JP

Family Vacation

Family vacation is something JP and I look forward to every year. It is a time where every person in the family takes off from work to be together for usually 5-7 days. This extended time together is so special because all of us (grandparents, great-grandparents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and moms and dads) pile in a vacation home together to catch up and have fun! For the past several years, our vacations have taken place at a beach house right on the water in California. Talk about dreamy! All of the little cousins build sand castles together while taking turns boogie boarding with one of the adults. Last year we also all went to Legoland, which was a blast, but this year we are going to Disneyland! I can't wait to see my nieces' and nephews' eyes light up as they see their favorite character, or get to ride their favorite ride. It is so fun to be their Aunt and Uncle, but we can't wait to take a kiddo of our own on these vacations someday! 

Our Home

Before JP went back to school and we adopted Noah, we had a home that we loved, but just wasn’t right for a growing family. Now, we’re renting a townhome and making plans to build a home that will have space for each child to have their own room, a game room for them to play in, a home office for JP’s work, and a yard for a future dog (Noah is obsessed with dogs lol!). We are planning to build in a really diverse community in Texas that has a great school system and in which we plan to raise our kids for the long term.

Why We're Unique

We're unique because we have known each other for 18 years. When we met, we were just kids. Our friendship blossomed into love and has grown into a bond that can weather any storm. We have had mountain-top joys and valley lows, but through it all, we have stuck together and always will. That is the type of family we are-one that sticks together no matter what life throws at us. Your baby will know that from the earliest age. They will know that they will never be on their own in this life. They will always have a family who will stick by their side no matter what comes.

Our Hobbies

We are both very into fitness. We both know that exercising positively contributes to our mental health, so we make it a point to be active. Our family loves going on walks, and JP and Rachel love to play tennis. We aren't very good, but we sure do try! JP is a musician and plays the bass, while Rachel loves hosting and event planning for friends and family.

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