In 2009 our eyes met, but it was not “love at first sight”. When I first saw my rustic, small town husband, I thought, “Wow! He’s hairy.” And when he first laid eyes upon me—his quirky, big city wife—he thought, “She’s hot, but a little strange.” And so, our story began. For the next year we worked together as Resident Assistants at Evangel University and as our friendship grew, so did our love. On August 7, 2010, our official dating relationship began and on September 2, 2011 we became husband and wife. Five years later, we decided it was time to expand our family of two to a family of three. In May of 2016 we began the adoption process for the first time and just over a year later our beautiful son, Jadon, entered our world.
During our eight years of marriage, we have been able to pay off debts, travel, and renovate three houses. Paying off our debts was the first big milestone that freed us to travel and save for our future family. We’ve also been able to sell two houses and renovate three. With each new home, we have been able to gain some awesome new skills like laying flooring, painting walls like the pros, and rebuilding our deck. We are very hands-on and truly embrace the do-it-yourself mentality. For Derek, that DIY mindset is often used at work, where he has been the manager of his parents’ furniture store for seven years. He loves figuring out how to make the business better and trying out new methods to do so. For Rachel, it’s using those skills to manage our home: constantly reorganizing, decluttering, and whippin’ up all of our tasty food. Not to sound too cool or anything but we can figure out almost anything. Our son is quickly picking up on the “I can do that” attitude, too (one of his first phrases was “me do it”). Most of our family activities are centered around cooking, reading books, and playing with Jadon’s toy trucks (we do that A LOT). We also throw in some creative moments when we make our own finger paints or build cool cars using connecting toys.
We chose adoption not for health reasons or infertility concerns, but because of a deep sense that this is how our family is meant to be. Having the experience of an open adoption with Jadon’s birth mom has opened our minds and hearts to love far beyond ourselves. We understand and respect that an open adoption may not be for everyone, but having had face-to-face communication with Jadon’s birth mom and now getting to send her emails with pictures and updates on how Jadon is doing has been such a gift.
We hope that through our AdoptionBridge fundraising, we are able to receive donations that will help lessen the financial burden that comes with adoption. Thank you in advance for your support.
Derek & Rachel
We are represented by Nightlight Christian Adoptions. If you want more information about us or would like to meet us, please contact Nightlight at 866-832-3678.
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