Emily + Kyle
We're Kyle and Emily (and Mustard the Goldendoodle). Life together has led us through 4 states, 2 countries, and the deep desire to build community wherever we are--including in our own household. We can't wait to welcome a child into our family and make a home of love and belonging with them.
We love the quote "Joy is the oxygen of doing hard things" (Gary Haugen). As we've stepped into hard things over the years, we've also cultivated joy along the way. A few things that bring us joy are:
- Cooking and Eating: Great things happen around full tables.
- Accents and Impersonations: We crack ourselves up doing voices pretty regularly.
- Our Faith: We're committed Christians, and our faith gives us hope and motivates us to serve others.
- Adventure and Travel: Whether trying a new bike trail in our city or hiking a crater lake across the globe, we're energized by exploring new places.
We know you're in the middle of doing some hard things right now as you consider the possibilities of adoption. Our hope is that you also have pockets of joy to sustain you. Two of our family values are courage and intentionality, and while we may or may not get to know you more, we're grateful for your courage and intentionality to get to know us here.
The year was 2008. Taylor Swift was in her Fearless era, and "Love Story" had just hit the airwaves. Around the same time, our love story was just beginning on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay where we met right after college in a program for young adults studying Christianity. For both of us, our faith was and is foundational to our sense of purpose in the world, and we knew we wanted jobs that would make a difference in people's lives. At the same time, we both loved to laugh and enjoyed a good dance party as much as a deep conversation about our favorite books. Our first date was actually a cha cha lesson! We were the perfect match of silly and serious. During this time, Kyle really encouraged Emily to pursue becoming a pastor, even though she hadn't grown up seeing many women in that role before. Emily also encouraged Kyle in one of his dreams of living in another country.
We got married in 2010, finished graduate school in North Carolina, and in 2015, we moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo for nearly three years. Emily taught Christian theology to university students, and Kyle led a university research center. Our time in Congo will forever be one of the most transformational experiences we've ever had. We built amazing friendships that continue to this day, served with an incredible team, and learned that, most of the time, the best "help" we can offer others comes through our own willingness to be vulnerable. In 2018, we moved to Minnesota where Emily serves as a pastor focused on local service and global relationships. Kyle works from home for a solar energy company that he helped start with our friends in Congo.
We have always wanted to become parents. After years of struggling with infertility, our doctors suggested more advanced interventions. This didn't feel like the next right step for us, so we decided to take forty days in the winter of 2019 to prayerfully reflect on the future of our family. The only rule: we couldn't talk about it with each other! We took time to rest, reconnect, and pray (separately) about new possibilities. At the end of the forty days, we were both 100% ready to pursue adoption.
We thought about the incredible love and welcome we have received over the years in new cultures and homes. We thought about how much we adore our nieces, nephews, and our friends' kiddos. We thought about the deep and unwavering desire in our hearts to parent a child. We felt ready for this new adventure of adoption. In particular, we were excited about the possibilities of open adoption and helping our future child stay connected to their biological family, culture, and heritage. If you were to place your child with us, know that we are eager for you to be part of their ongoing story.
We live in a cute mid-century house with bright yellow doors in an urban suburb. We love the natural light, and we for sure spend most of our time in the kitchen. We're walking distance to three parks, one of our favorite local coffee shops, and a great library. Our city is diverse, tight- knit, and inter-generational with frequent community events like farmer's markets and 4th of July fireworks. We love taking morning and evening walks around the neighborhood with Mustard, and he loves to greet all our neighbors young and old!
Favorite Color: Mustard Yellow
Favorite Sandwich topping: Pickles and... mustard
Fun Fact: I auditioned for American Idol in 2009
Best Accent: French or British Bakeoff contestant
In Kyle's words: No matter what she's doing or who she's with, Emily is caring, attentive, deep, and organized. She has a surprisingly funny side (including a number of accents and impersonations), and even though her Louisiana accent has faded, she has not lost her taste for a good crawfish boil, gumbo, or king cake. One of the things I love most about her is her commitment to taking care of herself well. Many mornings, I find her curled up on the couch with Mustard, drinking coffee and praying. I so admire the tremendous courage and compassion she's demonstrated since I've known her--whether it's leading a presentation in a foreign language, preaching a sermon, or staying hopeful through our journey to parenthood. It's this courage and compassion, combined with her strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, that will make her an excellent mother.
Job: Partnership Manager for Congolese Solar Energy Company
Favorite Team: Arsenal FC (English Premier League Soccer)
Favorite Road Trip Music: Paul Simon's Graceland
Best Impersonation: Donald Duck or Scottish Soccer announcer
Ideal Weekend Activity: Gravel Biking
In Emily's Words: Kyle has an insatiable curiosity to learn about the world and other people. He is a master researcher, sharp thinker, and a great mentor. I love his entrepreneurial spirit and the way he always asks me what I'm learning about. Kyle is the best person to have a conversation with about pretty much anything because he's likely already read three books or listened to eight podcasts about it. Kyle channels his wide-ranging interests to serve and care for others, and he's someone that other people often seek out for advice. He also puts together great playlists for roadtrips and cooking. When I imagine him as a dad, I see him encouraging learning and adventure in our child--whatever their interests may be. He'll also make up fun little diddies to sing to them (he already has dozens for Mustard and me). Kyle's patience, servant-heart, and encouraging presence is a daily gift to me.
Mustard is our sweet Goldendoodle pup who brings us so much joy! He was one of ten puppies in his litter, and the breeder named them all after spices. When we found out he had been called Mustard, we knew he was meant to be with us. (Kyle literally gave Emily a variety of fancy mustards for her birthday one year; she loves it that much.) Our favorite things about Mustard are his goofy smile, his morning snuggles, and his friendly demeanor. Mustard enjoys humans of all ages, and our niece and nephews specifically invite him over for playdates.