Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Journey to Adoption

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this, whether you be a friend or family member, a birth mother, adoptive parent or just a casual pursuer.  It is our hope that through this post we can help spread the word about our decision to adopt and find the baby out there that is meant to be a part of our family.  We are so excited to begin this journey and even though we know there is the possibility of many ups and downs, we hope that in the end we will be blessed with what we have been so earnestly seeking, which is to grow our family.
It has been a journey to come to the decision to adopt.  Like many couples, we decided to “casually” try to become pregnant about four years ago.  After about a year of “just seeing what would happen” we got a little more serious about trying to become pregnant.  After two years of trying to conceive we began the process of seeing a fertility specialist, which lead us down a road that entailed, numerous tests, one surgery, multiple fertility treatments and many tears.  Each time we tried something new and it was unsuccessful it felt like having a precious baby of our own was becoming farther and farther out of reach. After a second failed attempt at in vitro fertilization, fertility treatments no longer felt like the right path to grow our family.  We have always been open to the possibility of adoption, but now it has become our reality and we couldn’t be more excited about it!  We truly feel as though the baby that finds its way into our home is meant to be with us and the love we will feel for this child will be no different had we conceived a baby with our own DNA.  Although we are still only in the beginning stages of the adoption process, people have already reached out to us about their beautiful adoption stories and it is my hope that we may one day join their ranks.
So, now for a little bit about Jake and I.  We have been married for almost six years and in that time we have lived in two different states and two countries!  We are both from Utah and moved to Buffalo, NY where Jake attended dental school.  After school Jake commissioned as a captain in the U.S Army, which brought us to Lawton, OK where Jake completed a one-year residency program at Ft. Sill.   During this time Jake got orders to work in the clinic at Grafenwohr, Germany and we couldn’t be more excited to be here!  Although this year has been possibly the hardest year of our lives due to the disappointments of failed fertility treatments, we know that we are so blessed to live out our dream of living in and traveling around Europe. One of our favorite things about travel is to experience a new culture and enjoy trying different things and foods.  In addition to traveling there are many things that we enjoy doing together.  We love the outdoors and any opportunity we have to be outside together.  We love to go hiking, camping, stand up paddle boarding, and snowshoeing.   We can’t wait to share these experiences with a little one.  We know that we will love whatever child we adopt unconditionally.  Our thoughts on parenting are that we wish to provide our child with every opportunity to progress and grow in this life in order to reach his or her full potential.
We are a U.S military family living overseas in Germany.  We plan to pursue a domestic adoption from the states, which would work just the same way as if we lived in the states, it just requires a bit more traveling on our part. :-).  Please pass this along to anyone that you think may be interested in learning about us further and please feel free to browse around our blog to get to know us a little better.  Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


In March Jake and I went on a chilly four-day weekend excursion to the charming city of Heidelberg in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in Southwest Germany.

Walking on the streets of the historic city center.

One of the main attractions in Heidelberg is the castle ruins.  Here is a view of the ruins before we headed up the hill.

I wish I could find a condensed version of the history of the castle, but it's been through quite a bit.  The earliest structure was before 1214 and it had been expanded by 1650.  This castle was a player in numerous wars and attacks including the Thirty Years War and underwent major destruction at the hands of enemies.  After peace finally came to the region the castle was left unoccupied for many years and craftsmen and builders began using materials from the castle.  In 1764 a German ruler entertained the idea of establishing his court there, however, a lightening bolt hit the court building twice starting a fire.  He took this as a sign and moved his court elsewhere.  The castle remained empty and was in danger of being demolished by the Grand Duke of Baden until a French count took an interest in the building and served as a voluntary castle warden until 1822.  He put together a tour guide of the ruins which brought many tourists to the area and has helped make Heidelberg the tourists attraction it is today.

A view of the city from the castle grounds.

...and here we are making our way across the river.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Flossenburg Castle Ruins and Concentration Camp

So, we are pretty behind on our blogging, so it's time to get caught up.  Back in March we went on a short little hiking excursion to the Flossenburg Castle Ruins about 40 minutes from us.  In the town of Flossenburg there also was a concentration camp, but unfortunately we didn't get any photos of the camp.  Maybe the atmosphere just felt too somber to take any pictures.  The camp was interesting to see however, as Flossenburg is located in a rocky region.  The camp was primarily a labor camp where prisoners worked in the quarry.  Here is some info about the camp.  After having just spent a winter in Germany, I can imagine how harsh the conditions would have been for the prisoners.  It is always an enlightening experience to learn about some of the harsh realities of history.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Austria Sledding Over Valentines Day!!

So for Valentines Day we had a long weekend!! I love being stationed in Europe!!  We went to Goldegg, Austria and visited the ski town of Bad Gastein.  My Goal was to surprise Whitney with a little get away, but she found out and ended up helping me book the hotel (Thanks Babe, love you).  We stayed at this amazing Guest house in Goldegg,  Hotel Zur Post Goldegg.  The first night we ate at the hotel and I had a local dish of venison stew with spaetzle.  Amazing!  

We did a small sledding hill and tried the traditional sleds for the first time.  They were actually hard to steer, but it was fun.  I would have really pushed to ski, but winter has not really given us a ton of snow here and I just can't justify spending the money to go now slush and ice. 

Oh what did we find at the top of the chair lift?? 

We took the Gondola up to the top of the Gastein Ski resort and walked around on the top of the mountain. 

We then decided that we should try the Alpine Therme.  It was our first time in a European spa, this means co-ed and clothing free.  I think one time is good enough us two Americans.

 Bad Gastein Waterfall and Goldegg Castle

Wien (Vienna) Austria

So we had a long weekend at the end of January!  Yes, my work schedule here in Grafenwoehr has been so nice! With no further ado, here are the highlights of Vienna, Austria and  little bit of the history!
We stayed at the Falkensteiner Hotel.  It was decorated so cute that Whitney took a photo to remember it.  It also had a really nice breakfast smorgasbord!!

St. Stephen's Cathedral.  It is right down town Vienna.  We did a tour of the catacombs.  It was interesting because they had the royalty tums here.  In Vienna, they removed the organs from the bodies and placed the heart in one urn and the other organs in another and then sealed the bodies in their coffin.  The organs were then taken to another church's catacomb and the heart was taken to a third church.  In that way, royalty could be remembered at three churches in the city. 

Hofburg palace home to the Habsburg family.  It is now converted into museums and classical concert halls.
The Palace in the background as we walked the shopping area!

The World Famous Demel Chocolate shop.
A little bit of America here in Europe!!!

Figlmuller- the best Schnitzel I have ever had!!!
An Almdudler is a soda that is made here in Vienna.  Tastes like a ginger-ale with a herbal after taste.  Not Bad, but not amazing!

Sacher Tort: World Famous and really good.  It has a chocolate apricot flavor.  Me saying it is good says a lot because I (Jake) do not like apricot anything.
These chocolate hazelnut wafer cookies are amazing and addicting!! A must try in Vienna!
Whitney using the guide book to figure out where to go next!!  I love that she loves guide books and helps me discover a new city!!
Um... So we are definitely a couple.  You know those couples that dress the same but you know they didn't coordinate their outfits, well after 5 years of marriage that is Whitney and me!!  And if you couldn't pick out the tourist traveling through your city,  just look for the bright red couple in the midst of all the other people wearing black!! lol
The sign says "Freedom!" It is made out of the tubing that is on the industrial car vacuum cleaners at the car wash.  Traveling for me is freedom!!

The pictures above are in the Austrian Parliament building.  It was completed in 1883 the neo-Greek style popular during that time.  The fountain in front of the building is the Athene Fountain, or the Athena Fountain.
The monument to Empress Maria Theresia in Maria-Theresien-Platz.
 Another view of the monument with the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Art) in the background, which was built in the neo-Renassiance style.
Some statues we spotted along the Ringstrasse.
Oh what did I find Whitney standing by?  A Defender 90!! Still my dream car!!
Just a sticker that was stuck to a bench, but I love the saying.  So many times we get stuck behind the camera that we forget where we are, and why we are at that place and time.  This just reminded me to follow my passion!!  Love, life, family, travel, and good times!