UPDATE: Annie and Ben are matched with a child!
We’re Ben and Annie and want to start out by thanking you for taking the time to look at our online profile!
We believe that making an adoption plan is an act of love for a child and that it’s not a decision anyone takes lightly. We truly appreciate that you’re going through this difficult process and considering us as adoptive parents.
We are best friends who started dating in high school and got married shortly after graduation from college. Annie is an elementary school teacher and Ben is the Director of Operations for a software development company. We are an active couple who enjoy participating in charity run/walks and exploring zoos. We also like to relax by watching television and building jigsaw puzzles. We’re looking forward to doing all of these things with a child someday soon! We don’t have any children yet, but we do have two cats that we sometimes treat like our babies.
In case you are wondering why we made the decision to adopt a child, here’s the story. We had always considered adoption as a way to parent a child together. After learning that a biological child would not be an option for us, we made the decision to continue with this plan to parent through adoption.
Thank you, again, for considering adoption and us as adoptive parents. We look forward to (hopefully) meeting you soon and beginning to build our relationship with you!
TV SHOW: Survivor
MOVIE: The Shawshank Redemption
BOOK: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
FAST FOOD: Chipotle
PIZZA: Sausage, Black Olives, and Mushrooms
MUSICIAN/GROUP: Boyz II Men
BOARD GAME: Sagrada
SPORTS TEAM: Wisconsin Badgers
FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Katniss Everdeen
CANDY BAR: Charleston Chew
DESSERT: Banana Spring Rolls
VACATION SPOT: Atlanta, GA
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Math
NUMBER: 21 or 97
COMIC STRIP: Garfield
SODA: Cherry Coke
SALTY SNACK: Funyuns
TV SHOW: Survivor
MOVIE: Die Hard
BOOK: Ender’s Game
FAST FOOD: Chipotle
MUSICIAN/GROUP: Maceo Parker
GAME: Settlers of Catan
SPORTS TEAM: Wisconsin Badgers
FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Fred Weasley
CANDY BAR: Whatchamacallit
DESSERT: French Silk Pie
VACATION SPOT: Seattle, WA
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Physics
COMIC STRIP: Calvin & Hobbes
SODA: Mountain Dew
SALTY SNACK: Sour Cream & Onion Pringles
We got married during a small ceremony at Annie’s Parents’ house in January, then had a reception at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee for our extended family and friends in May when the weather got nicer.
Then and Now
1997: Our first photo together as boyfriend and girlfriend.
2004: Our University of Wisconsin Graduation Day.
2019: Selfie from our summer Colorado Zoo & Aquarium Trip.
As you can see, I am an only child. My parents are both retired. Mom taught Art, while Dad worked in dislocated worker outreach.
My parents, Russ & Sandy, are both retired elementary school teachers. I have one brother, Chris. Chris and his wife, Jen, have three children, Max, Penny, and Vivi (not pictured).
We met and started dating while in high school. Since we were also both born and raised in Milwaukee, it made sense to us to return home and continue to put down our own roots once we completed college. Additionally, the majority of our large extended families live within 30 minutes of us, which is nice, too.
Jasper and Preakness
We adopted both of our “boys” from the WI Humane Society. Jasper in fall 2004 and Preakness in spring 2005.
We live in Milwaukee’s Enderis Park neighborhood, just inside the border with Wauwatosa. There are 3 public parks within a mile of our home.
Ben is the Director of Operations for a Milwaukee-based software development company, whose primary focus is working with non-profits and schools. He has worked at the same company since graduating from college. Luckily, his office is only three blocks from home!
In fall of 2012, after spending her early career teaching K5 as well as infants and toddlers in a preschool setting, Annie put her degree to full use and began working part-time as a Learning Assistant Teacher at a large school in a suburb of Milwaukee. Although the grades she teaches vary from year to year depending on student needs, she has taught every grade from K5-5th – no, she doesn’t have a favorite, they’re all great for their own unique reasons!
We attended the University of Wisconsin together and graduated in 2004. Ben earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, while Annie earned a BS in Elementary Education. As UW alumni, we cheer heartily for all of the Badger Sports teams and believe that no time is a bad time to wear Badger Red.
For Ben, “staying active” means running. He started running in middle school as a part of his school’s Cross Country team. He continued running CC in high school, but stopped running competitively while in college. Ben has completed a few marathons, but found them to be a lot more training than he cares to do. These days, he sticks to the 5K and half-marathon distances and usually does five to ten charity runs each year.
Annie values her health and realizes the role that physical activity and exercise play in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As such, for Annie, “staying active” means walking and recumbent biking multiple times per week during the colder, winter months and swimming at a local pool during the summer months. Annie greatly enjoy participating as a walker in organized run/walks with Ben, other family members, and friends, which she does multiple times throughout the year.
The arts play a big role in our lives. We met while attending an Arts magnet high school where we were in band together. We have continued pursuing a variety of arts throughout our relationship. Annie enjoys painting and drawing and usually has at least one project going at a time. Ben has explored woodworking and has created furniture for us and his parents. A few years ago, we took glassblowing classes together and have the products of those classes displayed in our home. We also enjoy attending musicals, listening to music, and watching dance performances together when we get the opportunity to do so.
Puzzles and Games
Ben’s family participated in jigsaw puzzle competitions when he was younger. We now enjoy building jigsaw puzzles together (for fun), typically on Sunday afternoons. We also meet up with friends and family on a regular basis to play a variety of board and card games. Some of our favorite games include Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Sagrada, Hand & Foot, and Pandemic.
In 2016, we took a trip to Atlanta for Annie’s 35th birthday. While there, we visited the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. We had such a great time exploring these two attractions that we decided we wanted to experience other zoos and aquariums across the country. We have been planning vacations and road trips around that goal ever since. At this point, we’ve visited over 20 different zoos and aquariums, including Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Denver Zoo, and the Columbus Zoo. Hopefully we’ll make it to the San Diego Zoo in CA and the Bronx Zoo in NY someday, too. We’re looking forward to sharing our love of animals with a child in the future.
Like almost everyone in the United States, we have a bunch of traditions surrounding the major holidays. We do things with both sets of our local extended families around Christmas, making the week between Christmas and New Year’s one of our busiest of the year. Over the 4th of July, we travel to southern Indiana to attend an annual family reunion on the farm where Annie’s Dad was raised.
When the TV show Survivor first aired, we were in college. It became a tradition of ours to “treat ourselves” on Thursday nights by walking to Chipotle on State Street in Madison, bringing our food back to Annie’s dorm room, and watching that week’s episode. Even though Survivor now airs on Wednesdays, we still DVR it and watch during our weekly Thursday “Date Night,” while eating Chipotle.
Annie is one of the most kind and loving people I know. Her background in education has given her an amazing set of tools that she will be able to utilize when parenting a child.
Annie is also a strong woman and an excellent role model for any child. She does not give up easily, as evidenced by how she battled back from a significant health scare that occurred more than a decade ago. During that time, I think Annie learned a lot about herself and what is important in life, specifically relationships with friends and family. She goes out of her way to strengthen connections with others by writing letters and checking in with people on social media. I have no doubt that she would be open to establishing a similar type of relationship with the birth family of the child we adopt.
For as long as Annie and I have discussed raising children, Annie has said that she wanted to adopt. I think that mentality comes from her history with teaching. We have pictures of students she has taught hung in our home office and, based on the stories she tells me every night, I can tell how much love she has for them, even if they don’t share her DNA.
In all, Annie deserves to be a mother. She knows what she’s doing when it comes to raising and teaching children. I have no doubt she’ll be an amazing parent!
Ben is a wonderful person. He is very intelligent, trustworthy, loyal, laid-back, and supportive as well. Ben is an introvert with a very generous heart.
His generosity is exemplified by the fact that he makes an effort to take time out of his weekend once every 8 weeks to travel to the downtown Milwaukee office of the Blood Center of WI to donate a pint of whole blood to help strangers in need at area hospitals. In total, he’s donated more than 10 gallons since 2006.
Ben is also extremely patient – a quality that has served him well as both a trainer and manager at his company, where he’s worked since college. In addition to being useful at work, I believe his patience will also serve him well when he becomes a father.
Ben has a LOT of love to give as well as an inquisitive mind with which he loves to learn new things. I believe these traits will also come in rather handy when he becomes a father.
Finally, though you’ll have to get to know him before you’ll see it, Ben has a quick sense of humor that he uses to relentlessly and lovingly tease those to whom he is the closest.
Our home is full of laughter thanks to Ben, and I cannot wait to add a third laughing voice to our current chorus of two. 🙂
With all seriousness, thank you for considering adoption and taking the time to look at our photo book. We hope this book has given you a better picture of who we are as individuals and as a family. We also hope you liked what you saw and are interested in meeting with us.
We’re excited about the idea of having an open adoption and plan to honor and respect your relationship with the child. We hope to do this through open discussions with you about what type of relationship you desire. We’re open to developing a life-book; talking with our child about you and your family; exchanging letters, photos, emails, and texts; occasional visits with you; and any other ideas you might have. We look forward to getting to know more about you and welcome you to join us in this journey.
Interested in learning more about Ben and Annie? Fill out the contact form below!