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Featured Family: Matthew and Stefanie
Matt and Stefanie

Describe your childhood:
Stefanie: I grew up in a loving home with my mom, dad, brother and sister. I am the youngest of the three of us. It was fun having siblings so close in age (we were all 1 year apart). My step dad adopted my brother, sister, and me when we were young, which meant our family grew quickly. I have 4 step siblings that are older and were grown when I was a child. I feel so blessed to have grown up with 6 siblings in my life. We did a lot of family vacations, my favorite being our yearly ski trip. We always had pizza and movie night with the family on Friday nights. I played softball growing up and did tumbling as well. We were all very active in sports and school. My parents were so supportive with everything we wanted to do and taught us to never give up on our dreams. I have nothing but fond memories of my childhood. Matt: I grew up in in a busy home with my mom, dad, and 4 brothers. I spent summers on my grandparents' dairy farm and loved helping with the animals and with all of the daily chores on the farm. I still love farming to this day. My mother worked at the high school while we were growing up which allowed her to be home with us a lot. I had so much fun playing and hanging out with my brothers, 2 of which were adopted by my parents. This never mattered in our house. They were always part of the family. Regardless of how my siblings joined our family, they were all a huge part of our family. My parents always supported my brothers and me in every new adventure.

Tell us about your home?
We designed and built our dream home together in 2006. We have a beautiful open 1.33 acre yard with plenty of room for swing sets, pools, and games of kickball. We enjoy planting our garden every year and trying out different fruits and vegetables. We have wonderful neighbors and are in a neighborhood full of kids. We love block parties and BBQ's at our home. We love to take walks after work and go for runs around the neighborhood. We feel very lucky to have built our home in such a safe and fun neighborhood where everyone looks out for each other. Stefanie's favorite part of the house is the kitchen. Stefanie loves to cook and bake and luckily Matt loves to eat it all. We also have a finished basement which is part playroom and part rec area, which is Matt's favorite part of the house.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
Depending on the time of year we enjoy many different things. We love to get away for a weekend of camping or boating. We have a pontoon boat and love to take it out in the summer and also to look at all of the beautiful colors in the fall. In the winter we love to go snowmobiling and sledding in Wisconsin. Sometimes we just enjoy staying home and having everyone over for a BBQ and games. It is great to have an extra day to relax and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We do not have any pets. It's not that we donít want them, we are just waiting for the right time.

What do you hope to teach your children?
There are so many things that we want to teach our children. We hope to teach our children to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. We want to teach them to be good sports whether they win or lose. We want to teach them the value of a dollar and good work ethic. We want to teach them to be gracious and appreciate all of the wonderful things that life has to offer. We want them to enjoy learning and appreciate a good education. We want to teach them to always have good manners and to say please and thank you. We want to teach them respect, for others and themselves. Also, we want them to never underestimate what they can do or achieve. You can do anything you put your mind to with dedication and determination. And most importantly to always keep your chin up and know that you are so loved.

Describe your neighborhood?
We live in a beautiful neighborhood. All of the lots are larger so the houses are not too close but close enough that everyone keeps an eye out for each other and the children. We have lots of kids in our neighborhood and you can hear the laughter and cheer on any given night. We have neighborhood parties and love to get together for BBQ's when we can. We are a couple miles outside of the downtown area where they have lots of parks, coffee shops, bakeries and shopping. We live in an all-American small town. Everyone is so involved in the community; we love it here.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
We will tell your child that his or her birthmother loved them very much and will never forget them. We want your child to know that you made the most difficult decision of your life knowing that we would be able to provide him or her with a home full of love and a life full of opportunities to make all of his or her dreams come true.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
One of the things that I would like to do is to go to my grandparents' farm and ride the ATV's or snowmobiles in the woods. I would also love to take out the boat and go fishing and have a picnic. Some of my fondest memories growing up is fishing with my dad and I would love to pass that on to my children.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
We will provide public eduction. We live in a great town with amazing schools.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
We have had years of fertility issues, including failed IVF's and a miscarriage. We have been blessed with our beautiful daughter and would love to expand our family. She is so excited to be a big sister and we feel that adoption is the right choice for us. We have so much love to give and would feel so blessed to be able to share our love with another child through adoption.

What faith will you raise your child?
We are still exploring what is right for us and our family. We believe in God and prayer but do not actively attend any denomination church.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We are open to building a relationship with the birthmom if that is what she is open for. We would love to get to know her and how her life has been up to this point. We would be here for support whenever she needs it. If she is not comfortable with an open relationship we are ok with that too.

How did you meet?
We met when Stefanie was 17 and Matt was 18 years old. We were high school sweet hearts. We met through friends and have been together ever since. You donít expect to meet you soul mate at 17 but we were so lucky we did.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Stefanie: My mother and father where young when they had me. My father was not around growing up but my stepdad was my father. He adopted my siblings and me when I was a young child and was always my father. He was amazing; he passed away when I was 20 years old and I miss him so much and think of him every day. My mother is an amazing strong, loving, caring woman. She would do anything for her children. I have learned so much from my mother, from work ethics to life lessons, and parenting. My mother lives about 15 miles from us and is a huge part in our lives. She is the best Nana to our daughter and is so excited for more grandchildren :) Matt: I have a great relationship with my mom and dad. My biological father was not around for much of my life but my step dad jumped in and was a great dad to my 4 brothers and me. My parents live about 20 miles from us and are a big part of our lives. Our daughter is certainly spoiled by Grandma and PaPa and we love seeing them often for family dinners.

What attracted you to each other?
Stefanie: What attracted me to Matt were his eyes and smile. He has such caring eyes and a genuine smile. He is a little shy at first but he was so sweet and easy to talk to. Matt: What attracted me to Stefanie was her outgoing, fun loving personality. She always has a smile on her face and makes sure everyone around her does too.

Please describe your personalities:
Stefanie: I have a very nurturing personality. I enjoy making people smile and making sure people are taken care of. I love to joke around and have a good time. I enjoy being happy and feel like life is too short to be anything else. I love to plan things, such as parties, vacations, and day trips. I am definitely a planner but also enjoy spontaneity. Matt: I have a very relaxed personality. I enjoy life. I work hard and in return play hard. I am a caring person and I treat people as I want to be treated. I am very outgoing and enjoy socializing. I may be somewhat of a pushover when it comes to our daughter.

What are your hobbies?
Stefanie: I enjoy being outdoors. I love running, bike rides, and walks. I enjoy going to the park, festivals and museums. I love cooking, baking, and most of all doing all of these things and playing with our daughter. I am a giant kid at heart and love doing all of these fun things as a family. Matt: Dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and ATV riding. I like pretty much anything outdoors. I enjoy fishing, sports (mostly watching and playing) and going to fun family events with Stefanie and our daughter

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
Love. How thankful I am that she had the courage to make this decision and how blessed I am that she chose us to raise her child. I will protect and raise this child with so much love and make sure that they are given every opportunity to make his or her dreams come true. I will give this baby everything I can and keep every promise I made to the birthparents.

How will a child enrich your life?
A child would make our family complete. We have so much love to give and know that we could be an amazing family for another beautiful child. Our daughter absolutely loves babies and can not wait to be a big sister.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Stefanie: I am a people person and in my job I get to deal with people all day long. I love shopping and planning and at my job I get to do all of the shopping for the company and planning of meetings, events, and parties. Matt: I love to work outdoors. Being in construction allows me to be outside with new challenges every day. It keeps work exciting and I genuinly enjoy going to work every day.





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