Mark & Jenni

Our Story

Hello! We are Mark and Jenni, and this is our little girl, Emerson. We are honored to be in this space with you. Thank you for taking the time to meet us and learn more about who we are. We don’t know what brought you here or the sacrifices you are making, but we do know that you are trying to decide what is right for your future and the future of your child. Our heart for you, especially in the midst of the most difficult moments, is for you to feel empowered and supported. What a privilege to be considered by you. We are humbled by your strength and are praying for you to find security, confidence, and peace no matter what you decide. We are thinking about you.

Our Love Story: In It For The Long Haul

We met at Lincoln Christian College in the fall of 2003.  Initially, “Mark was immediately drawn to me (Jenni)…and I was immediately annoyed by him!”, enjoying being single. As time went by, our lives kept intersecting and Jenni’s heart began to open toward Mark. A deep trust for each other just naturally grew, and we know we had found our person. A year after we met, we started dating, and a year after that, we were engaged.

In our 16 years of marriage, we have seen lots of ups and downs. We have walked through the grief of losing both of our mothers, changing jobs, and navigating loss in adoption, but we have also learned to listen to each other, offer grace, and give space when needed. We’re not perfect, but we do believe we’re better together. We both want to create a safe place within our home and family. We make a great team, but that doesn’t just happen. It has taken a lot of hard work, and it’s hard work we’re dedicated to for the rest of our lives.

 

Jenni: In Mark’s Words

My wife is loving, loyal and full of life. There are many things I love about Jenni, but I especially love watching her be a mom. She’s present and engaging, always inviting Emerson to do things together like cook, bake, or decorate the house.  She’s so good about creating memories – at the pumpkin patch, the zoo, the beach, children’s museum, a carnival, even building a garden together. She teaches Emerson to stand up for others in the midst of injustice. And maybe more than anything, she is a safe place for our child, not only a shoulder to cry on, but also someone who will kiss away boo boos and talk through hard things. Watching her encourages me, and I am so grateful to do life (and parenthood) alongside her.

 

Mark: In Jenni’s Words

Can I tell you about my best friend…Mark is encouraging and kind and loves us so well. He works hard and is steadfast and has always been the best teammate for me. Mark has always been able to keep a child-like spirit. You will often find him playing human dinosaurs, building forts, jumping on the trampoline, playing dress up, having tea parties, and taking dance classes (led by our 5-year-old of course). He is the kind of dad that does different voices when reading a book, quotes movies, and always has a joke ready. He keeps us laughing with his made-up songs, random facts, and funny faces. He has never let a challenge stand in his way – whether his hearing (Mark is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in another), difficult life circumstances like losing his mom, or changing careers. He is constant and we are so grateful for him

 

Our Home and Community

We have worked hard to make a home that is welcoming, comfy, and perfect for us. We love that our kids will always have a special space (the basement) to jump on the mini-trampoline, flip on the gymnastics bar, and even ride their bikes and scooters indoors. We want our home to be a place where our children want to be with their friends and that has the space to welcome their birth families. We love that our home will allow us to meet the unique needs of our growing family.

We live near Indy and love that its a city, but not a “big” city. We love experiencing all 4 seasons and having the opportunity to walk our dog, Pepper, and ride bikes through our neighborhood. We love that our neighborhood offers diversity, and that we are close to the zoo, children’s museum and several parks.

 

Thank you for letting us be here. More than anything, we want you to know that you are loved. Whatever decision you make, we hope you feel supported and seen.

 

Fun Facts

Mark

  • Easy Going, Loyal, Funny
  • Enneagram 9. Like to go with the flow
  • Network Engineer (I enjoy solving problems & finding solutions)
  • Big fan of Marvel Universe. Spider-Man is my favorite
  • Enjoys cheering on the Indianapolis Colts
  • Going boating & swimming with friends
  • Loves playing board games and video games
  • Taught English in China for a month in college
  • Enjoys taking Emerson and Pepper to the dog park
  • Loves going to the beach and building sandcastles

Jenni

  • Generous, Thoughtful, Creative
  • Mental Health Therapist & Photographer
  • Enneagram 8. Call things like I see them, love fiercely + am protective of my people
  • Love to watch Christmas Hallmark movies year round. I like that they are hope filled + predictable
  • Enjoys cheering on the Indianapolis Colts
  • I have 4 tattoos with plans to get more
  • Pretzels dipped in icing is one of my favorite snacks
  • I am intentional with relationships and enjoy meeting friends for coffee
  • I have never been able to blow up a balloon (Emerson has recently learned how to though)
  • The beach is always my choice for vacation

Emerson

  • Energetic, Empathic & Brave
  • Loves all things fancy + sparkly
  • Always creating, whether a craft, piecing together an outfit or making up a dance
  • She is a fish and enjoys playing/swimming in water
  • Talks often about having a sibling who will live with us. She has two older birth siblings, but can’t wait to be the “big sister” in our home!

Pepper

  • 8 year old German Shepherd & best friend to Emerson
  • Loves to greet you at the door with a stuffed animal
  • Likes to sleep with her head on pillows
  • Enjoys walks
  • Favorite place is anywhere we are

Photos