Hi! We are Jess and Andy, and we are so excited to share our story with you!
We met in 2008 while attending graduate school. Although we were both in the same theatre program, we quickly discovered we had more in common than just theatre. We began dating and soon found ourselves building a life together in Philadelphia. In 2011, we adopted our first dog from a local pet rescue. We were married in 2016 and made the move to northern Virginia, where we are both high school theatre teachers.
We have always known we wanted children, and in 2021, we decided the time was right to grow our family. We began to explore many options for adding a new member to our team, and the more we learned about adoption, the more we knew that adoption was the right path for us.
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.
October was full of fun celebrations for us! Andy acted in another local production, this time with NOVA Nightsky Theater Company. Meanwhile, Jess planned and hosted her sister's baby shower, often thinking about how much fun it will be to plan themed birthday parties for their future child!
We love going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival every year in the late summer and early fall. We love people watching, playing the different games, and watching all of the different performances! Jess also has a lot of fun dressing up in costume, and she looks forward to creating fun costumes for our future child!
On a recent trip to Mount Pocono, we went on a nice easy hike and got to take in some breathtaking views! We read that you can see over 150 miles into the distance. It was so much fun, and seeing so many families there, we know this will be a place we want to bring our future child to as well!
This summer, Andy was cast as Amos in the City of Fairfax Theatre Company's musical, Big Fish! We love this community of artists. They are so welcoming and inclusive, and their summer productions are so family-oriented! They even shared publicity photos of families who were all participating in the show together. We cannot wait to introduce the child we adopt to theatre and communities like this one!
We are both big supporters of civic engagement. Part of that includes voting in local, state, and national elections, and Andy often volunteers to work at the polls. Jess remembers going with her parents as a child when they voted, and she looks forward to bringing a child of their own some day. Hopefully they will still have those "future voter" stickers!
We spent this year's Father's Day at Jess's Uncle Mike's home up in Pennsylvania, getting to celebrate the day honoring her dad, her uncle, and her grandpa. We wish more of the cousins could make it in person this year, but phone calls and Facetime let everyone catch up anyways. It was such a nice time with family, and a great way to start our summer break from school!
Our spring break was this first week of April. Andy's cousin was getting married up in Philadelphia, so we decided to pair that trip with a trip up to New York City to take in some Broadway shows. We had such a fun time seeing the INCREDIBLE play Fat Ham and the fun new musical Some Like It Hot. It was extra sweet getting to see so many families at these shows too. Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. with children so excited to see the shows. Andy's Aunt used to take him and his siblings to see Broadway shows when they were little - they always got to pick the shows they wanted to see - and he has such fond memories. We can't wait to share trips like this with a child.
Final 2022 wrap-up post: At Christmas, we were able to celebrate Jess's sister and her husband's first time hosting as a married couple!
Continuing our 2022 wrap-up posts: In the fall, we were able to honor Andy's Babci at her 90th birthday by getting the whole family together!
Continuing our 2022 wrap-up posts: We love going on trips to the mountains, both with friends and as a family with our dogs: hiking and other outdoor activities, campfires, various games, and lots of quality time together. In August 2022, we went on our annual Poconos trip with friends. It was so much fun and they surprised us with books and other gifts for the child we adopt! Here's a photo of all of us on a hike.
This is our first blog post. We meant to be posting since summer when we started our profile, but blogs aren't really our thing. We (mostly Jess...) take photos all of the time and share with family and friends, so please don't be worried about or read anything into the lack of blog posts. To get us started, Andy played Donkey in the City of Fairfax Theatre's summer 2022 production of Shrek The Musical and helped with the lighting, sometimes at the same time, haha! Whether the child we adopt wants to perform on stage, help backstage on the crew, or just be a supportive audience member, CFTC is a fantastic and welcoming community of theatre artists who we can't wait to introduce to the child we will adopt.
We love to cook! We're always looking for new recipes and cuisines to check out, but we also love cooking old favorites and family recipes, especially around the holidays. Cooking together, for each other, and for family and friends has got to be one of our favorite hobbies, one we look forward to sharing with a child!
The below form is not a contract or promise of financial assistance. It is merely used to articulate your past due debts and monthly expenses and income.