Kris (with glasses, age 37) and Jeff (age 36) met online 12 years ago. At the time, Jeff was living in Lawrence, KS while Kris lived and worked in Kansas City, MO. Shortly after our first in-person introduction, we realized how much we had in common. We are both nerdy guys: we like to play video/board/card games together, make dumb science fiction references, watch movies, and read (lots of) books. Jeff loves biking, is a certified SCUBA diver, and played volleyball as a kid — sometimes he plays as an adult too! Kris was a swimmer in high school and enjoys running in half marathons and 5Ks. We both enjoy camping, hiking, and traveling to new places. You could say that science and technology are strong parts of our personalities - they permeate through many aspects of our lives: how we think, work, and play. Today, we, along with our good friend, run an IT consulting firm specializing in IT operations, custom software, and information security.
We were married in Iowa during the summer of 2010. Kris asked Jeff to marry him while we were visiting California for Kris’ best friend’s wedding. Kris knew that Jeff loves tiramisu (he is obsessed with the dessert). So he took Jeff to an Italian restaurant and had the wait staff put the ring on top of a piece of tiramisu. The plan was working without a hitch but everything rested on Jeff ordering dessert ... and he almost didn't order tiramisu ... leaving both the wait staff and Kris in a brief panic moment! But, true to form, Jeff did order the dessert after all. When the dessert arrived and was placed on the table in front of Jeff, he looked puzzled and said to Kris "I think they gave us dessert intended for someone else!" It took Jeff a few takes before he heard Kris ask if he would marry him. Naturally, Jeff said "yes" and we started planning to be married in June 2010. The Iowa Justice of the Peace wed us with two of our closest friends as witnesses. That September, we had a marriage ceremony and reception where our family and friends could be a part of the occasion. We have been married for seven years and were overjoyed when we adopted our daughter Ryleigh in 2014. She was born (early!) in Louisiana and we both remember dropping everything to make it down to the hospital in time to see her. She came home with us, was formally adopted 6 months later, and has enriched our lives far beyond our expectations ever since. Both of us have wanted two children; Kris was an only child and feels its important for children to have siblings. Jeff has a strong relationship with his sister — and both want that for Ryleigh and another child.
Kris grew up in a small town in Kansas until the age of 12. His family moved to Kansas City where he graduated high school. Kris attended college at the University of Missouri - Columbia where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. After college, he has worked for several companies writing computer software. Kris now works with his husband at their company leading the software development division. Kris likes to be busy with a wide range of activities. He has volunteered for a non-profit as an executive director and board member for a community concert band, worked on raising awareness for uniting American children trapped/stuck overseas with their American families, volunteering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, singing with the Heartland Men's Chorus, and working with teenagers to invent a product funded by a grant from MIT. Kris loves kids and wants to raise two; he is an only child and feels that the sibling experience is important to kids growing up. Kris's parents retired to Benson, Arizona. Most of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents live in the Kansas City area. Kris favorite things to do include going to the movies, being a foodie, developing and tinkering with software, traveling, and trying something/learning something new. Of these things, he enjoys most being a Papa.
Jeff is tall, impish and playful, and in many ways just a grown-up kid. He grew up most of his life in the Kansas City metro area, but he lived in several places during his childhood including Florida, Wisconsin, and a very short stint in California. His mom worked as a registered nurse and presently lives in town. He also has a younger sister who lives in St. Louis where she works as a wine specialist sales manager. Ever since a young age, Jeff has shown a precocious talent for computers and technology. He was well known to help kids and teachers alike with computers throughout most of the elementary school and by high school, he was teaching programming to his peers. Jeff went on to earn a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the KU. Shortly thereafter, he started his own consulting company and continues to run it with his husband, 11 years later. As he loves to learn, he holds numerous industry certifications in IT and computer security. Jeff has volunteered throughout high school and college, including several years working as a crisis counselor. Today he dedicates some time as a technical mentor for kids participating in the FIRST Lego League robotics and as part of Safe and Secure Online; a program by security professionals aiming at teaching kids how to be safe in the online world. He absolutely loves being a parent and is excited to add to the family.
Ryleigh is a tall-for-her-age, active, chatty, and assertive three-year-old. She loves to chase her parents through the house or sing songs in the car. Other favorite activities include going to the park, playing with cats, molding play-doh into various shapes, ogling at babies, and pretending she's a big sister. She regularly attends daycare and gets along well with kids regardless of their age. Her best friend, Lila, started daycare at the same time and they've both spent nearly every day together. She likes to eat a variety of foods but has to be reminded to eat other foods than her favorites, french fries, and noodles of all kinds. Ryleigh has told her parents that she's excited to have a sibling and the prospect of being a big sister.
Loki was adopted when he was 4 years old and has been a part of the family for 6 years. He was named for the Norse God of Mischief by his foster mom prior to his adoption. When he came to live with the family, Kris and Jeff were unsure his name fit him but would quickly learn it fit him perfectly. Loki once discovered a roll of toilet paper while the family was away from home. True to his name, he tore the stuff to shreds and was still laying in the middle of it just as the family arrived home. Both of us are sure he was laughing about it. His other pass-times are going for walks and finding very warm places to sleep. Loki loves being doted on and acts like he always wants to go home with our friends and family.
About Our Home
We live in a two-story, custom built house in the northern part of Kansas City, Missouri. It stands atop a large, flat space that is slightly elevated from the other homes in the subdivision. The exterior is grey with large windows facing the western sky to light our living room and numerous windows in the front entrance way. The interior is comprised of a kitchen space, dining space, vaulted living room, three bedrooms on the second floor, an office on the first floor, an area in the unfinished basement for another bedroom and entertainment space. The house is surrounded by a large yard and a three-car garage. The neighborhood is part of a great school district (Park Hill School District) and many of the families in the subdivision have young kids. The area is safe with numerous opportunities for family activities. Just down the street is an interconnected, 21-mile path that is used for walking, running, and cycling and connects to several parks and play areas. A short drive away is the Zona Rosa shopping district where the family often goes to see movies and other activities.
You might say that two categories make up values we hold dear: we value learning, knowledge, and wisdom in one hand; and value empathy, compassion, and love in the other. Both of us held these values long before either of us met. It was quickly apparent after we had been together that these shared beliefs are one reason our relationship continues to grow today. We consider ourselves spiritual beings - able to learn, love and appreciate both sacred and mundane aspects of ourselves, our surroundings, nature, and in other people.
We believe it is important to ask questions about the world around us, to ask questions of each other, and of ourselves. We want our kids to be curious about the world and to be unafraid to seek out answers for themselves. Both of us feel it is important to learn constantly, not only as children but throughout our lives. We value hard work and smart work - and that dedication to both can help one be successful in life. We feel it’s important to try to understand other people rather than judge them and that all living things have a responsibility to be compassionate towards all life. We feel it is important that we treat others with respect and kindness … especially if we disagree. Last but not least, we strive to enjoy our precious lives with our family and friends.
We hope for three things: to have your child become a part of our family; that you will feel free to choose the extent of your own involvement with our child through an open adoption; and that you enjoyed what you have learned about us. Thank you again for taking the time. We promise whatever child we are blessed with that we will provide a warm, caring, and safe environment. It is important for us to give every opportunity to our children to allow them to grow up and reach their potential.
Kris & Jeff