Our love began in 2009 when our retail careers led us to work together in the opening of a new Target store. We would often spend our days driving to other stores together to check in on the training of our new team. We quickly became very close and began spending all our time together. We fell in love and learned that we still have plenty more love to give. After four years of dating, we married in 2013.
We have always dreamed of having children. Our infertility journey has been difficult but has also made us stronger. With Brooke having two adopted siblings, we realized that God's plan for us to become adoptive parents was right in front of us all along. In the fall of 2020, we were blessed to adopt our daughter, Mika. Mika has brought so much joy and love to our family. We are excited about welcoming another member into the family circle.
Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.
Navigating a pregnancy alone is never easy. Depending on your situation and location, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of basic living expenses, such as food and groceries.
Receiving quality medical care during your pregnancy is vital to both your health and the health of your baby. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
Women who choose to place their baby for adoption may receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. If you feel that you’ll need some help with these costs, it’s important to talk to your adoption social worker about it early in the process. Each expectant mother’s situation is different, and eligibility may vary.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important that you have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Like food and groceries, the cost of some household items - like feminine and dental care items, along with prenatal supplements - may be covered during your pregnancy.
Placing a baby for adoption is a loving, but incredibly challenging decision to make. Many women experience an array of emotions during this time and find that counseling is very helpful in navigating those feelings. If you would like to receive counseling during or after your pregnancy, that can be arranged by your adoption social worker. The cost of counseling will be covered by the adoptive family or adoption organization.
If you need assistance with transportation, your adoption social worker can work with you to find the best solution. You may eligible for assistance with transportation costs or be connected with a transportation service to utilize during your pregnancy.
It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.
Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.
You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.
As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.
We had an awesome family vacation to San Diego to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary. It was Mika's first trip on an airplane and she did great! We went to the beach, Sea World, the zoo, and more. Mika even got to meet "Harvey", the sea lion, up close and personal. She was scared at first, but now she talks about him all the time. LOL
Mika was mesmerized by all of the animals at Sea World.
So many great memories from our vacation to San Diego!
Mika looked so cute in her Halloween skirt, to go to the pumpkin patch with Nana and Papi. Mika loved the tractor and didn't want to get down. She said she was going to drive it to Iowa. LOL
Our neighbor's had a birthday party for their one-year-old. Mika had a blast with the other kids jumping in the bounce house, playing instruments, and painting her own pumpkin. It's really cool to have such great people in the neighborhood with lots of young kids for Mika to play with.
We had a great time having family dinner at our house. The girls were being silly and having fun. The guys were watching football. LOL
Mika's school celebrated Halloween at school. She dressed up as Skye, from Paw Patrol, her favorite! So cute! After school, we got to join the kids for a pumpkin drop. The fire department came out and dropped the pumpkins that each class had decorated from high up on the ladder of the firetruck. Splat!!!
We went out and celebrated a birthday for one of our friends. It was at the golf simulator, so perfect for Justin. Their daughter is one of Mika's good friends and they are almost exactly the same age, so perfect for Mika. Brooke loves to chat with the girls, so it was perfect for Brooke. Fun for all!
We went Trick-or-Treating with friends in our neighborhood. Mika was a flamingo and her friend was Elmo. They got lots of great candy that Mom and Dad may have to help them with later! LOL
So exciting to have Brooke's brother, Jeremy, and his family move to town. They recently moved here from Texas and we were able to go over for dinner to see their new house. It's great to have Mika's aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins here nearby!
Can't believe Mika is already 3! We had a great time with family and friends at her party in our backyard. So funny watching Mika and all of her friends trying to break open the pinata. It took a while. LOL
We are gearing up for what will hopefully be a better season for the Denver Broncos. Brooke and Justin were able to make it out to the last preseason game and do a little date night, while Mika got to hang out at home with Nana and Papi! None of the Broncos starters played, and we were in the "nosebleed" seats, but it was still fun to get out and go to the game.
Justin and friends had an amazing week at the Prairie Club Golf Resort in Valentine, Nebraska. They played 6 rounds of golf in 4 days! They are already counting down the days until they go to Bandon Dunes, Oregon next year.
Great Wolf Lodge is a really cool hotel with indoor waterpark, arcade, Build-a-Bear store, ropes climbing course, nightly dance parties, and more. Mika has now been there twice and loves it. This time, Brooke took Mika on her own, along with one of her friends and her small son that is about Mika's age. Here, Mika stopped for a photo op with the wolf, on her way to the water park.
Mom and Mika are going on a mother/daughter road trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs while Dad is on his annual golf trip. Mika has her headphones on and her tablet ready for the car ride. So cute!
PNC had some fun free activities in the parking lot of the Children's Museum today. Mika had to choose what she wanted to be when she grows up and she chose doctor! She'll be able to do anything she wants to do. She's growing into such an amazing little girl.
The Children's Museum is another favorite for Mika. She especially loves the "light wall". Better get there early, though, because that place gets BUSY!
Mika LOVES animals so, of course, she loves to go to the Denver Zoo. We bought an annual pass and the zoo is super convenient for us. It makes for a great fun thing to do for a few hours on the weekend. Mika has a blast every time and a different favorite animal every time, too. LOL
Brooke and Mika went to lunch to meet this awesome little guy for the first time. This is the first child for Brooke's goddaughter and grandchild of Brooke's best friend. Wow!
Justin's mother and stepfather came to visit from Arizona, for his mother's 70th birthday. Brooke made an amazing dinner as she always does. As always, the trip was too short, but Mika had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa!
We're not scared! We saw this baby bear just walking down the streets of Breckenridge. The first thing Mika said is, "Where's is his mommy?" Too cute!
Of course, we can never get everybody to look at the camera at the same time...but we had an excellent time in Breck with Justin's brother, Jason, their Dad, Kim, and Jason's daugher, McKenzie.
Mom, Dad, and Mika being silly as we get ready for family vacation to Breckenridge!
Mom and Mika had a blast at our neighbor's 4th of July party. Glowsticks, sparklers, fireworks, and fun!
Big cousin, Kenzie, is teaching Mika how to play Lacrosse over at Uncle Jason's new house!
We had some family and friends over for Justin's Birthday. I think Mika may have had more fun in her bounce house, with her friends, than Justin did at his party. 🤣
This little girl is strong! Justin had no idea when he was filming Mika hitting her ball off the tee that she was about to smoke one right into his stomach. She even sticks her tongue out when she's concentrating, just like her Dad! LOL
Mika is already building away at age 2. We are amazed at how fast she learns new things and how quickly she's already growing up!
...and warm weather means golf for Justin and attending the annual Hope House charity golf event at the amazing Sanctuary golf course. The Hope House helps to aid teen moms in achieving self-sufficiency, with a wide range of great programs. It's a truly wonderful organization. Justin, his brother, and a couple friends had an outstanding time. They even won 3rd place!
So awesome for summer to be here. Warm weather and Mika can get outside and play! Plus, Mika looks pretty cool in her shades. LOL
Justin went to his first ever NBA Finals game, a first for the Denver Nuggets, too. It was Game 5 of the Finals and the Nuggets were able to win the NBA Championship with Justin at the game! Pretty awesome and big thanks to Justin's brother and friend for securing the tickets. Absolute dream for a huge Nuggets fan!
We went to the Denver Zoo with Justin's brother and our niece. Here, Brooke helped Mika feed the birds.
Mika is going to grow up to be a gardener just like her Mom! So great to have warm weather and be outside again.
Brooke took Mika to get her very first hair cut at the salon. Even better, Mika's older cousin did the cut!
Justin got to Game 2 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals early with his brother and friend. It was a great game and, most importantly, the Nuggets beat the Lakers!
Justin had Mika geared up for gymnastics with her Denver Nuggets jersey. Justin is hoping the Nuggets can win it all this year. Mika may be less excited, but still likes to say "Go Nuggets!". LOL
Justin, his brother, and their girls posing at Easter. Brooke made another exceptional meal at home and the girls went Easter egg hunting outside.
Another B-Day party! This time, we were at the Gaylord Rockies hotel for our niece's Birthday. Wow, that place is huge! As usual, Mika had so much fun with her cousin and the "Big girls".
Mika goes to gymnastics every Saturday morning. Her favorite things to do are swinging on the rope and jumping on the trampoline!
We took a short trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs for a few days. What a cool place for kids! They have a water park, Build-a-Bear, arcade, candy store, nightly dance parties, story time, and more. Mika loved it!
Mika loves to go feed the ducks with Nana and Papi when she goes to their house. She loves animals!
Mika's friend next door just turned 2! They had an animal theme, which was perfect for Mika. She dressed up like a dog and they had a musician come and play kids songs! The kids all ran around, danced, and played their instruments along with it. Pretty cool.
Mika gets so excited to go to swimming lessons every week. She's getting really comfortable in the water now!
We always get all of our nieces and nephews together each year for "Cousin's Camp". We do this each summer. They have been able to build lifelong memories over the last few years. This year, we were able to get everybody together in Denver, at Christmas time. Here, the kids are all having a meal at the "Kid's table". We had a great time playing some games and doing some "Tik Tok challenges" after dinner. (the safe ones, of course!)
Mika was so excited to come downstairs Christmas morning and see that Santa brought her a new kitchen! She loves it. I bet Santa's elves put in a lot of work to put it all together. LOL.
Mika was so excited on Christmas morning to follow-up, with Mom, on the cookies and milk she left for Santa. She was bummed to see that her Elf on a Shelf, "Bella", left her a goodbye note, though. She had such a fun time seeing what Bella was up to every morning throughout December. It will definitely be a tradition for future years. We are just going to have to figure out how to up our game even more for "Elf on a Shelf" next year!
The Denver Zoo does an amazing job with "Zoo Lights" every Christmas. It was cold but we had a blast. We went with our friends who have a son that is Mika's age. They had a great time playing with their glow wands and looking at all the "pretty lights", as Mika says.
We are so fortunate to have our neighborhood bring Santa for pictures every year. Our neighbor's hosted, so we just had to walk next door! Mika is still a little scared of Santa, but she sure has figured out what presents are! We all had our Christmas "Grogu" sweaters on, too!
Mika loves to play with her older cousin, Kenzie. Here, Kenzie is teaching Mika how to do some arts and crafts! Brooke cooked an amazing dinner for everybody, as always, and we had a great holiday together.
Mika had so much fun "Trick or Treating" with Mom and Dad this year for the first time! She was so cute in her pig costume.
Can't believe Mika turned 2 already! She had an awesome "Two Wild" themed birthday party with family and friends. The theme was perfect because she loves animals. Here, Mom is helping Mika get ready to eat her Birthday cupcake!
8/14/2020 - Justin's Mom came to visit from Arizona for a long weekend. Justin and his Mom had a ton of fun playing with our niece, pushing her on the swing and driving her around in her remote control car!
08/16/2020 - Brooke loves to play with our niece, Kenzie, but took a quick timeout for a snack and a photo op.
09/02/2020 - Starting to run out of opportunities to get out on the lake for the year so Tiki and the two of us were able to get the peddle boat out and soak in the warm weather. So peaceful and relaxing!
09/10/2020 - Justin attempted to cook a nice dinner for Brooke's Birthday. It didn't turn out too bad for an amateur! Brooke's cooking is definitely much better, though. 🤣
09/13/2020 - Brooke and I were lucky enough to stay at the historic Broadmoor Hotel, in Colorado Springs, with a couple of friends of ours for the night. The boys played golf on Saturday while the girls went to the spa. Then we had a great dinner and night out together. Hope to do it again someday!
9/14/2020 - We had to take a second to model our new "Tiki" face masks that Justin's Mom gifted to us. Too funny, you can get a face mask customized with anything these days!
06/27/2020 - It was about 3 months after her actual 3rd birthday, but our niece was able to get a small group of kids over for an outdoor Frozen-themed birthday celebration. The weather outside was anything but frozen, so Justin and his brother were climbing in the trees to put up a huge tarp over the backyard so the kids could play in the shade. It worked out great...until a giant wind gust came through about halfway into the party. LOL.
07/26/2020 - Brooke's brother and his family stopped by for a night, while on their family vacation. We had a lot of fun playing games with our niece and nephew. The kids were playing VR games but the big kids were having some fun, too. Here, Justin is celebrating his eagle while playing some arcade golf (Golden Tee) with his brother-in-law. Look close, even Tiger Woods is celebrating Justin's shot, to the right of them on the wall. LOL
07/26/2020 - Meanwhile, Brooke was brushing up on her Ping Pong skills with our niece and nephew, after cooking everybody an amazing dinner. We had a great time, too bad they could only stay for one night!