The Kids

In order of arrival into our family, not in order of age. The two aren’t the same. How confusing, right?

Cam joined our family at 5 months old. He is now 18-years-old and just graduated from high school. He is headed to University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall to the School of Education where he hopes to become a middle school or high school teacher, or maybe a School Counselor? He’s not sure. He’s got time to figure it out. And while he does, you can find him on the Track where he burns up the 100 meter dash.

Brady joined our family at 10 days old. He is now 17-years-old. Brady is an amazing musician. He started playing the drums at age 4 and quickly found his passion. He taught himself to play the piano and the guitar. He sings too. You can find his music here.

Jax joined our family at 14 days old. He is now 15 years old. Jax is a renaissance man. He loves manga and anime. He enjoys studying history. He is especially fascinated by Ancient Greece. Jax joined the Track team with his brothers this year and found a love for shot-put and discus. He dives on the dive team at our pool. As soon as Jax joined our family, I dubbed him “my little buddy.” At 6’2″ tall he’s not so little anymore, but he is definitely still my buddy. He is the first kid to come and ask “how was your day, mom?” or if I’m sad, “are you okay, mom?” I adore him for that.

Sofia, who prefers to be called Fox, joined our family at 7 days old. They 13 years old now and are figuring out exactly who they are and how they identify as they move through the world. We always honor that in our home, and will expect you to as well. When Fox was born, I had the pleasure of meeting them first, but FullPlateDad and Fox share a really special bond. Fox was our first kid to have a sibling join our family and become their older sibling. They paved the way for many adoptions out of age order. While not always easy, Fox always leads the way with such empathy. Fox is an artist. They create some of the most amazing sculptures and sketches.

Juliana was almost 3 years old when she joined our family. She is now 14-years-old. She was born in Ghana in West Africa. Our first international adoption and our first toddler adoption, I had no clue how to best support Juliana. I made so many mistakes. Luckily, Juliana is forgiving. She is an absolutely brilliant student, but more important to the world, she is a fierce advocate. Are you a member of a marginalized identity group? You will find an ally in Juliana.

AJ came home from Ghana on the same trip as Ally, but AJ’s adoption paperwork was processed first. So, much to Ally’s dismay, we always say he was adopted first. Ally likes being first, while AJ has always been quietly waiting in the wings. We have an open adoption with both AJ and Ally’s first mom. They definitely have two moms, which makes me so happy. AJ was 6 years old when we met him, he is 16 years old now. He loves running, but like FullPlateDad, he is a distance runner. AJ talks about college a lot, and running when he gets there is definitely one of his goals.

Ally joined our family at age 10 with AJ. She is now 20 years old and just finished her first year of college at UW Madison. A quiet, introvert in this loud family, you will often find Ally sitting quietly in a corner with a book as chaos happens around her. She lived through a lot before she came to us. It has left her completely unbothered by the little things. She adores her baby sisters, and as much as we try not to put too much of a burden on Ally, we couldn’t manage without her. During surgeries, and pandemics, and Advanced degrees for her parents, she comes home to help manage the chaos.

Tess. Oh, Tess. Tess was adopted from China at 21 months old. Tess was born with a heart defect that China had declared inoperable. But, have you ever looked at someone and thought “I need you in my life.” That was how I felt the second I saw Tess’s picture. I needed to be her mom so badly. We flew all across the country trying to find someone who could fix her heart. Ultimately, we did. After a cardiac arrest and a stroke, Tess recovered and her hear heart is brave and strong. Tess is an average pre-teen who enjoys playing Animal Crossing on the Switch and watching Tik-Toks with her roommates, Juliana and Fox.

Bowen, adopted at age 5, is now 11 years old. Bowen has a diagnosis of Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism. He is our healthiest child, which people are usually shocked to hear. Outside of a broken leg that occurred during a hard core capture the flag game with his brothers, he has never needed any medical intervention. Bowen is also our most decorated athlete. He is a Junior National Paralympic Swimming Champion.

Cate, aka Goose, was our fastest adoption. Start to finish her adoption was done in 5 months. She had a medical condition that needed to be addressed quickly. We moved heaven and earth to get her here. She arrived with a bang and has kept us on our toys ever since. At age 8, she will be entering 3rd grade next year. She paves her own way and suffers no fools.

What People Say

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

J. K. Rowling

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Let’s build something together.

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