Jon and Leah

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Hello & Welcome! We are Leah and Jon a mixed-race couple from Illinois.

 

We know we’ve not met, but we honestly can’t describe what we feel inside writing this; just thinking about how you could change our lives if you decide we are the family who is meant to raise your child! And not just this decision, but everything about you. Your child’s eyes might be the eyes that peer into ours as we say “We love you.” every night. Your child’s laugh might be the laugh that fills our home and hearts with joy. A piece of you will forever hold our hearts.  We also want to introduce our 3-year-old daughter, Gemma. We hope that the fact that we have a biological child won’t deter you from considering us as an adoptive family.  We want you to know two things:  First, your baby will be loved.  But more than that, he or she will know our love and feel our love each and every minute of the day.  Second, we have thought long and hard about our family, and we chose to adopt because we simply know our family is incomplete without this beautiful process.

 

About Us

 

We were young when we fell in love; just 16 and 17. A lot of people say that you change too much from that age to have a lasting relationship, and maybe that’s true for some, but we knew our love was a forever love and were married in our early twenties, celebrating ten years in May.  We spent our first few married years in Minnesota, but decided to move back home to Illinois to be near family as we put down roots and started a family.

 

Introducing Leah, written by Jon

 

  • Leah works as a post-partum nurse at a hospital where she gets to care for new moms and babies. When Gemma was born, Leah decided that she wanted to put her time and effort into our family. She works one day a week, allowing her to spend most days with Gemma, and will be home with our new little one.

 

  • I think one of the greatest things about Leah is this hidden side of her that not many people get to see—she is secretly one of the silliest people you will ever know. She loves laughing out loud, and she doesn’t just dance to the beat of her own drum, she makes up the dance as she goes (literally).

 

  • On the other hand, the thing that everyone knows about Leah is that she is such a people person—outgoing, bubbly, and social. Learning and remembering people’s names is like some kind of hobby for her (which is good because I can’t remember anyone’s name).

 

  • She also absolutely loves Christmas. We actually have a tradition of putting up our tree on her birthday (which is at the end of October), complete with hot chocolate and Christmas music.
  • Leah is without a doubt the most caring and giving person you will ever know. She shows compassion and hospitality to everyone and is a thoughtful, intentional friend. She will never forget a big moment in your life, and she’s always there when you need her, being eternally optimistic and cheery, but never shying away from the moments that call for a dose of realism

 

  • If you can’t tell based on everything else, Leah is the most amazing mother. Gemma adores her. She has managed to perfectly balance being loving, caring, patient and nurturing with structure and boundaries.

 

Introducing Jon, written by Leah

 

  • Jon has always been a “numbers guy” and works as a senior financial leader for one of the largest restaurant companies in the world. His work/home balance is really great, and he is so happy with his job. He can figure out almost any problem and is definitely going to be an incredible homework-helper.

 

  • He is proud of his Hispanic heritage. Although he did not grow up in a Spanish-speaking home, his culture is important to him. He’s not the kind of person that can sit by quietly when he sees all the injustice in the world around us. He makes me better. However, finding Mexican restaurants he actually enjoys is hard, because no one can make tamales or tacos like his grandmother used to.

 

  • Jon really loves music. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not just music or words to him—he doesn’t just listen to it, he feels it. He loves listening to basically everything.

 

  • He has a huge imagination and is extremely creative; watching him make up games with Gemma and our nephew is priceless.

 

  • He loves fiercely and protects those he loves. He keeps his circle small, being quiet at first, but once you’re in you’ve found no better friend than him. He is generous, gentle and kind. He’s always wanting to help others however he can. He randomly sends gifts to our nephew through the mail because he knows how much our nephew loves mail.

 

  • Jon didn’t have the easiest childhood, but it has made him the most amazing dad. He treasures and values Gemma and me, and makes sure that we know we are his life, and his pride and joy. I can’t wait to watch him love another baby. He is so excited to add another perfect little bundle to our life!

 

Meet Big Sister

 

Gemma is generous with her compliments—“Oh, I like your shirt. Is that new?”—or, to offer her sleeve to a friend to wipe their face if they were crying, and a big hug. She’s a little shy, but once she warms up she lights up the room. Mondays are her favorite because she has dance class, and she loooves to dance. She’s maybe not the most graceful person, but we just love that dance makes her so happy and support her in developing her passions. Other than dancing, Gemma’s favorite thing to do is our crazy family playtime right before we settle in for the night. She’s such a caring little girl, playing “check-up” as a nurse (like mommy) and taking care of “Dooner,” her baby doll (we have no idea where that name came from). She is so excited to be a big sister, and we know she is going to be a wonderful big sister at that.

 

Home Sweet Home

 

We live in Illinois, close enough to a major city that we spend almost every weekend there, but we also benefit from the space and pace of a metropolitan suburb. We love the fact that we get to enjoy all four seasons to their fullest—Christmases are white, and summers are hot.  We spend a lot of time outdoors, just taking it all in!

 

But most importantly, we live where we do because of family.  They’re not perfect, but we sure do love the joy that our family adds to our lives, and all of our immediate family lives in the area.

 

Meet Our Furry Friend

 

Meet our dog, Wrigley. He’s an extra-special guy—so sweet and patient, and a big part of our family.

 

Our Faith

 

Our faith is more than just a thing we do on Sunday, it’s more like a journey of discovering who God has called us to be and how He has called us to live.  Honestly it’s not as complicated as people make it. Really there are only two things that matter: loving God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and truly caring for and loving other people. One day, when we look back on our lives, we simply want to know that we served God with everything we had, and that we were generous, humble, gracious, and kind—that we loved people well.

 

A Few Favorites

 

Favorite Food

  • Leah: Tiramisu
  • Jon: Tamales
  • Gemma: Noodles

 

Favorite kids’ movie

  • Leah: Moana
  • Jon: Mulan
  • Gemma: Wall-E

 

Favorite animal

  • Leah: Polar Bear
  • Jon: Red Panda
  • Gemma: Butterflies

 

Favorite vacation spot

  • Leah: Maui
  • Jon: Maui
  • Gemma: The Sand (Beach)

 

These Are Our People: Folks we love and cherish

 

We’re very close to both of our families. Leah is two years apart from both of her siblings, falling in the middle of an older sister and younger brother. Jon, too, is in the middle — he has two sisters, three stepsisters and a stepbrother. We have four nieces and four nephews, and we love spending time with them. Our parents are incredibly supportive, and they love being grandparents. Our holidays and events are loud and crazy, but are full of laughter and joy. Our families are all so excited to be welcoming another person to our family.

 

If You Choose Us

 

  • We promise to honor you and your story, to whatever extent you desire; and we will allow your baby’s story to be theirs, encouraging them to share it with whomever they choose, whenever they are ready.

 

  • Since Jon has a Hispanic background, we understand how important cultural heritage can be, so we promise to honor your culture as well (no matter what culture that is)—in language, music, and experience.

 

  • We promise to provide stability, to support and encourage your child in their dreams and passions; we will walk with them down whatever paths life may hold so they’re never alone, and we will be there to wipe their tears when life gets hard and brings sadness.

 

  • But most importantly, we will teach them to love deeply and without reservation or fear.

 

In Closing

 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. We want you to know that what you are doing is incredibly courageous and your strength is truly admirable. We have been praying for you and your baby for months—for your health, for your safety, and for your peace and comfort through all of this. If you would like, we promise to share photos and updates with you throughout the years so you can see your child grow and flourish!

 

We Would Love To Hear From You!

 

If you have additional questions for us or would like to speak to us, please contact The Adoption Alliance by calling 1-800-626-4324.

 

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