Katie & Ben

Our Story

Hi! We are Ben and Katie. We live in Bloomington, Indiana with our 3 year old daughter Ilse. Ben is a scientist at Eli Lily, and Katie is a stay-at-home mom with Ilse. We love spending time together as a family, around our house and outside, playing games, and having friends and family into our home. Ilse especially loves her two cats, Maddie and Otis. We all enjoy music, and Katie plays the piano and Ukulele. We are very involved with our church and this is where Ilse has also made many friends!

We were introduced by Ben’s brother and Katie’s good friend, who were dating at the time. The four of us would get together to play cards. Soon, Katie was invited to join the family in Michigan for Thanksgiving. It was there on a cold hike Ben asked Katie out. On our first date we went to a brewery for dinner and then took a seven mile hike. That was nine years ago and we’ve been together ever since!

Ben says about Katie: I always joke I married Katie for her common sense. I admire her ability to see things clearly, her strong work ethic, and her enjoyment of beautifying our home. .Her general cheerfulness brightens our home.

She is well liked by the kids at church. Her gentle and personable spirit is very endearing and has proven invaluable when working with children especially the shy or those with separation anxiety. Katie loves people. She is invested in those who come into her life and is able to genuinely cry or laugh with them. I know she will love our future children and be a good mother to them, as she is to our daughter.

Katie says about Ben: One of the things that drew me to Ben was his thoughtful care of others. He takes time to process through decisions with me and others he is close with. He strengthens me with his gentle and steady spirit.  He works hard at his job and does well, but time and again I see him put family first when he is needed at home. When my dad was dying, Ben took two weeks off work to come be with me and my family in Lafayette.

He also has a fun and playful side. One of the things I love most is watching he and Ilse interact. They love to tease each other and he can make her laugh like no one else! He is creative in play with her; they build fortes, fly paper airplanes, pretend to be animals, make up silly songs, and he makes up games that match her energy level! Her favorite part of the day is Papa coming home from work.


We both come from big families who we have good relationships with, so there are a lot of supportive people in our lives! Ben was born in Germany and has nine siblings. Katie was born in Indiana and has four siblings. We both have several nieces and nephews we love seeing.

Another huge support system in our lives is through our church, where are both very involved. We are youth group leaders in the Senior High group and often spend time with the kids at events or one on one. We host a few families in our home on Sundays for dinner most weeks, and are close with many other friends we have met through worship. Several families in our church have also adopted and so we have a common bond with them. One thing we’re grateful for is the diversity and other multi-racial families we have in the congregation. 


We live on a private gravel lane in what feels somewhat like we’re in the country, but we have neighbors. The yards are each fairly large and surrounded by woods which gives it that country feel, but we’re close enough to neighbors that we’ve gotten to know each other and keep an eye out for one another. The other great thing about where we live is that we’re close to town. There are stores and restaurants just a few minutes away, a walking trail across the street from our house, a playground close by, and a library only a two minute drive away!


As we have been unable to have biological children we chose the path of adoption. Having already adopted once, we could not be more grateful for the way God has led our family and look forward to welcoming another child into our family through adoption!


Our daughter Ilse is currently 3 years old and fully into playing dolls, tea parties, and smothering her cats in love. She loves to tease and be silly, but one of the things we love most about Ilse is her compassionate and sensitive spirit. Whenever someone is hurt or sad, she is so concerned and wants to help them feel better. On her birthday recently, we were coming home from buying her birthday balloons when she heard that the neighbor boy had just had surgery. She asked how he was doing, then wanted to take him one of her balloons! She is so affectionate; loves to cuddle and give kisses. She can’t wait to have a baby brother or sister and will make such a sweet and fun big sister.


We are committed to raising our children to know their adoption stories, and your strength in choosing what you believed would be the best life for your child is a beautiful part of that story.

Open adoption is important to us. We hope to have contact with you so that you will know how your child is doing, and to give them the opportunity to know you as well. We look forward to deciding together with you how that will look and what you hope for.

  • I lived in Romania for a couple years while growing up.
  • I used to eat oxtail soup at Christmas every year.
  • I grew up playing the clarinet.
  • I home-schooled my youngest sister.
  • I used to have pet turtles.
  • I’m a Dutch and American citizen.
  • German is my first language.
  • I moved to America when I was 17 years old.
  • I played the piano growing up and just recently started learning the ukulele.
  • I enjoy sewing and quilting.
  • I spent most family vacations growing up at the beach.
  • I want to raise lambs in the near future.
  • I traveled to Scotland and Ireland after high school..
  • I worked at a radio station in college.
  • I trained my first dog to run next to me without a leash while I rollerbladed.
  • I love old black and white movies and old music.
  • I like to pretend my two cats are my babies.
  • I know a few German words and want to speak German like Papa.
  • Peppa Pig is my favorite TV show.
  • My blankie and two baby dolls are the only things I’ll let in my bed.
  • I know how to swing myself by pumping my legs.
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