Kara and Elaine


Hi there! We are Kara and Elaine and we live in Portland, Oregon with our 4-yr old son and our dog, Rayleigh. We are so grateful to be part of this process and to share with you a little about our family.

A little bit about us as parents: We strive to provide unconditional love and to help our kids explore and embrace the things that make them uniquely themselves. We’re both lifelong learners and we try to help promote our child’s curiosity and confidence through play, exploration, free expression, and through trying, falling down, dusting yourself off (with snuggles when needed), and trying again. These days our kiddo absolutely loves gardening and baking with Mommy (Kara), fixing things and doing projects with Mama (Elaine), jam sessions and dance parties, hiking in Forest Park, and riding his big kid bike.

We adopted our son after being his foster parents for his first three years. Through that experience, we learned firsthand how important it is for kids to know where they came from and to have the opportunity to accept love, in whatever form that takes, from biological, adoptive, and chosen family. Our parenting experience so far has completely redefined what family means to us – we fully embrace the beauty and messiness of extending love and welcoming new people into our family, however that looks, and we are excited and curious to do it again. The sibling relationship is also really important to us and it’s our biggest motivation for expanding our family. We want our kids to be able to learn from and support each other throughout their childhoods and when they grow into adults.

A little more about us: We met playing ultimate frisbee in grad school back in 2010. We immediately bonded over our shared love of sports, science, and excellent music. In 2011, Elaine adopted our dog, Rayleigh, who convinced Kara it was time to get serious! We spent the next 4 years together in the Bay Area before marrying in 2015 and settling down in Portland. Elaine loved an excuse to get closer to home after many years away for school and Kara quickly fell in love with the trees, the cloudiness, and the whole PNW vibe.

Kara grew up in Upland, CA. Her favorite memories as a kid were eating vegetables out of their garden and going on adventures with her family. She studied engineering and now works as an environmental consultant, helping to clean up polluted waterways. In her free time, Kara can be found gardening, baking, or training for a triathlon. Elaine grew up in Burien, WA. As a kid, she loved math, the Mariners, and classic rock. She studied energy systems engineering and is very lucky these days to have her own consultancy focused on clean energy planning. In her free time, Elaine nourishes her soul through writing, trail running, going to epic concerts, and learning the guitar.

We appreciate you getting to know us a little bit! For more about us, please take a look at our digital photobook. We’ve blurred out our son’s identifying information from the online version, but you can request our unedited digital photobook by emailing OA&FS.

Much love,

Elaine and Kara