JASON AND MELISSA
We are Jason and Melissa. We met in high school (thanks, marching band!) and were married seven years later in 2006. Jason is a music professor at IU and Melissa is the assistant director of a continuing education program on the IU campus. We love being outdoors, Netflix marathons, good food, gatherings with our family and friends, quality time, and exploring new places. We share our home with two sweet fur-babies, our cat, Chloe and dog, Kobe. They keep us laughing with their fun personalities and antics!
Life hasn’t always been easy but through it all, we have found strength and comfort in each other. We lean on one another and do our best to count our blessings, even when the road is long and hard. We find great joy in giving back to our community and have learned that laughter truly can be the best medicine, especially if you can learn to laugh at yourself…and maybe even a little bit at each other, too! Being goofy with each other is one of our very favorite things and keeps us close and our marriage fresh.
Our marriage is based off of 18 years of best friendship. Jason loves watching football and basketball, listening to, reading about and playing music, going to concerts, and tackling projects around the house. Melissa loves to cook and bake (especially during the holidays!), take photographs, garden, and getting lost in a good book.
While it has been a long journey for us through infertility, adoption has always been a part of our family-building plan. This journey includes the loss of our daughter, Evelyn, in 2016. We are forever grateful for the time we spent together, and will love and honor her, always.
We are excited for what lies ahead and for growing our family with the addition of another precious child to love.
MELISSA ABOUT JASON
I know it may sound cliché but Jason is truly my best friend. He has been my one true North in this life, through all of life’s joys and trials, the one who keeps me grounded and who can put a smile on my face when no one and nothing else can. Watching him prepare to become a daddy and then watching him become a father when our daughter was born was magic. And I am so excited to see him become a daddy once again! He is a gifted educator and that gift for teaching shines through whenever he is around children. We affectionately call him “the pied piper of kids” – he is just so good with them and so silly and playful. He knows how to meet them at their level and it is so special to witness.
JASON ABOUT MELISSA
I am so proud to be Melissa’s husband and partner-in-crime through life. She is my best friend, the mother of our little girl, and is kind, compassionate and weird in all the best and funny ways, and she wears her heart on her sleeve. Melissa is also very creative—she is a very talented landscape photographer (she loves to capture the beautiful Fall colors of Southern Indiana every year) and is a gifted writer. She is a fiercely loyal friend, and is always ready to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. I joke that she could have been a therapist in another lifetime, because of the good advice she gives! I love how much she enjoys animals; particularly, how much of a kick she gets out of a certain famous pig named Esther on social media. I love that we can be silly and laugh together, and also have interesting conversations with one another, too. Melissa always tries to see the good in people, and shows such kindness and love to everyone she meets.
We live in Bloomington and appreciate its diverse community and small-town feel. Our house sits on a large corner lot, with a large front yard – and a tree perfect for a small swing – and a fully fenced backyard. Our home is spacious and welcoming, with 4 bedrooms, including a sweet little nursery directly across the hall from our room. One of our favorite parts of the house is the large playroom downstairs – plenty of space for our family to spread out and have some fun! Our neighborhood is centrally located and has two nearby playgrounds. We love that we live less than 4 minutes away from our closest friends and their two young girls. The school system is one of the most coveted in town and is a big reason we chose our neighborhood.
OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Melissa’s family lives in California. Her mom lives in the small, scenic coastal community where Melissa and Jason grew up, and her dad lives a bit south of there with his partner of 20+ years. Thanks to the gifts of social media and technology, Melissa communicates with her family every day. Thursday evenings are extra special as they are reserved for chatting with her grandmother, who will turn 90 in 2018!
Jason’s parents are semi-retired and live in Nevada, while his brother and his family live in Hawaii – a wonderful place to visit! His brother has three children and we’ve enjoyed developing relationships and making memories with our young nieces and nephew. Jason traveled to Hawaii this summer to spend a week with his brother’s family and celebrate one of our niece’s birthdays – each child had their own special day with Uncle and even when we Skype with them now, they still excitedly talk about their time together.
Though our families do not live locally, we are grateful for the varied ways we all stay in touch. We have found that distance means very little when you can stay connected and present in one another’s lives by planned visits, regular phone calls, and daily exchanges via text and social media. Melissa’s mom plans to move to Indiana in the not-so-distant future and we are excited for the prospect of having her nearby and taking a more active, daily role in her grandchild’s life.
We have also been blessed with friends who are more like family. Some of our very closest friends in this world live just a few minutes away from us – their two young daughters (ages 1 and 4) are like nieces to us. Their extended families live locally and have welcomed us with open arms. We spend holidays together, and celebrate birthdays and milestones. We are so lucky to have them in our lives!
Over the years, we have spent a great deal of time thinking about how we would like to raise a child. Kindness and compassion, integrity and confidence, a strong sense of self and of right and wrong, and pride in their special and unique skillsets, are just a few values we hope will empower your child to become who they truly are and who they are meant to be. A supportive, loving home environment will provide opportunities to try new things and encourage a sense of curiosity and wonder. We believe in a strong foundation of mutual trust, open communication and honesty. We will encourage your child to ask questions, and to be curious and open-minded. The Golden Rule of treating others as you wish to be treated will be followed in our home and will hopefully inspire a giving spirit and kind heart.
OPENNESS IN ADOPTION
Our hearts are filled with compassion for you as we understand what it is like to leave the hospital without your child in your arms. We value and welcome your role in your child’s life and look forward to the opportunity to get to know you! Your child will always know who you are and how much you love them. We believe that there is no such thing as too much love, especially when it comes to loving a child, and ensuring that they feel the power of that love throughout their life. We embrace this journey that lies ahead and look forward to navigating it together!
Ten Fun Facts About Melissa:
- I love cooking, baking and decorating for the holidays!
- I can often predict what Jason will order off of a menu at any given restaurant.
- I am a freelance photographer and have an Etsy shop.
- I am a big Harry Potter fan and have read the whole series (and watched the movies!) several times – Ravenclaw and proud!
- I twirled baton from the age of 5 until I was 13.
- I have an extensive scarf collection. Seriously, it’s kind of a problem. But in a good way.
- I taught kindergarteners and 2nd graders how to read during my freshman year of college. I also collect children’s books!
- I like all different kinds of music, so my Pandora radio station is very varied: Florence + the Machine, Enya, Ella Fitzgerald, Coldplay, film scores, classical piano, 90s pop, Lana Del Rey, Queen, 70s and 80s favorites, etc.
- I am very particular about picking out pumpkins and Christmas trees. It can take hours to find just the right one and I take it very seriously. Thankfully, Jason considers it a lovable quality of mine!
- Jason and I send Instagram posts back and forth throughout the day to stay connected during working hours. Animal ones are our favorite!
Ten Fun Facts About Jason
- I once performed for an audience of around 21,000 people in a football stadium.
- I am a huge NFL and NBA fan – we follow the LA Lakers and the New Orleans Saints!
- I really do think it’s cute that it takes Melissa hours to find the right Christmas tree or pumpkin.
- I’m pretty sure I have a “Snapchat” account somewhere, but I have no idea how to use it.
- I once toured Europe playing trumpet in a drum and bugle corps (basically, a professional marching band).
- I have a large record collection that I’ve been adding to for years!
- I love doing projects around the house. I built our nursery shelves from scratch, and built Melissa her own raised vegetable garden bed last summer.
- We enjoy exploring new cities and towns and one thing I like to do is try the local craft beer. A favorite is Pliny the Elder from Santa Rosa, CA.
- My main musical instrument that I play is trumpet, but I’ve learned the basics on at least 15 other instruments!
- If I could only eat one thing everyday for the rest of my life, it would be Mexican food!