Jennifer and Derek are waiting to welcome a child into their heart and home through open adoption. Learn more about them!


Thank you for taking time to look at our profile and learn a little about us.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we do have faith and hope that there is beauty around the horizon for all of us.  Additionally, our hope is that you feel loved and supported during this time and everyday ahead.  Listen to your heart, it is the most beautiful and true compass you have.

Please know our hearts are open to providing a lifetime of love, support, safety, and compassion for a child and building a staircase together with you, one step at a time.

Love, Derek & Jen

Our Story

We met on New Year’s Day 2004 at a mutual friend’s party.  Our friends had set us up and their match-making was a success! From there, our journey together began.

We discovered we had many things in common from enjoying the outdoors to travel to spending time with family and friends.  We got married in 2013 on a beautiful October day surrounded by family and friends.

We always knew we wanted to have a family.  After years of trying and multiple losses, our hearts are now focused on the adoption journey to build our family.

Jen In Derek’s Words

Jen has a natural way of taking care of people she loves, whether it is through sharing a meal, sending a card, or just spending time listening and laughing together.

It is common to find her creating something.  She always has a knitting project in the works and loves to take pictures.  For most birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends, she will hand make them something.

Jen wears her heart on her sleeve and is loved by many.  She is that Aunt that the nieces and nephews swarm to.  I know that she will be a wonderful mother.

She is my best friend. I know together we make a great partnership in all we do.

Derek In Jen’s Words

It’s hard to sum up Derek is a few short words.  But, what I can say is that Derek is the most wonderful person I know, I am honored to call him my husband and best friend.

He is the type of guy that you can always rely on and he is always there when you need a lending hand or help.

Derek is a great cook and it is common for him to have dinner ready for us when I get home from work.  It is just one of the many ways that he shows his care for me.

He puts his whole heart into everything that he does from being a firefighter to running marathons to fishing to being an Uncle.  I know he will bring that same love and compassion to being a father and I cannot wait for that journey to begin.

Our Home

We live in a neighborhood that has many children, parks in walking distance, and good schools.  We have lived in our home for eight years and are excited to raise a family here.  One of our favorite things is hosting our families for the holidays and creating memories in our home.


Jackson came into our lives on 15 years ago.  We adopted him from a shelter and he has been our friend ever since.  He enjoys watching the birds at the bird feeder, catnip, and taking naps.  He doesn’t enjoy family holiday hats!


Jen was born and raised in central Illinois where her parents still live.  She has one younger brother.  We have the joy of having two nephews on Jen’s side of the family.

Holidays, especially Christmas Eve are very special in Jen’s family.  Around the holidays they enjoy traditions of advent calendars, holiday baking and dinner at Grandma’s house.  In the summer her family doesn’t miss sweet corn season.

Jen and her Mom enjoy crafting together any chance they get.  They have been to quilting and knitting classes and are always looking forward to their next craft project together. They look forward to being crafty and creating with our future child!

Derek was born and raised on the south suburbs of Chicago.  Derek’s parents are Filipino and he was raised in a household where the Catholic faith was a strong part of their foundation.  He has four siblings, two sisters and two brothers.

We have six nieces and nephews on Derek’s side of the family, three of which we have the additional honor of being their Godparents.  They light up our world and we enjoy spending time with them.

Family gatherings are fun, loud, and always include lots of Mom’s cooking.  Celebrating birthdays and holidays are very important traditions in Derek’s family and many memories have been and will be created together.  Our future child will be surrounded by lots of love from aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma!


Our first vacation together was to San Francisco in 2004.  Since then, we have been able to visit many other places including 6 different countries. We look forward to traveling with our child and seeing these special adventures through their eyes.  We feel that creating memories and exploring together is educational and priceless!

Our favorite place for adventure is Quetico Provincial Park in Canada where we camp, fish, and portage.  We have been on 7 week-long trips there together and it is where we got engaged!  We hope to share this, our favorite place, with our child and show them the beauty of the wilderness and how important it is to get outside and explore.

We have been to 35 National Park Service sites.  Anytime we travel somewhere we get a patch as a souvenir and we have them displayed in a shadow box in our home. We hope to share this traditional with our child and start a patch collection for them!


Thank You!

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt in the heart.” – Helen Keller

We thank you for taking time to learn a little about us.  If it is in your heart to take the next step, know our hearts are open to learning more about you.


Derek & Jen

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