Kari and Jessamyn


Hello! Thanks for reading our letter. We are Kari, Jessamyn, and Maud, and we’re excited to share a little bit about our lives and family with you.

We met in 2014, when Kari moved to rural southern Oregon to teach at a local university. Looking back upon when they first met, Kari remembers being delighted that she could talk with Jessamyn about her workplace in terms of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda video game series, and Jessamyn and Maud (Jessamyn’s biological daughter) both remember being excited that Kari has the same name as a character from the Digimon anime series.

From such silly beginnings, we quickly discovered a mutual love of video and board games, animals, fantasy and sci-fi books, nature, movies, music, and learning about other cultures, along with a commitment to our community.

Over the years since that first meeting, Jessamyn and Maud have expanded Kari’s appreciation for poetry, anime (Studio Ghibli!), children’s books, and sushi, while Kari has expanded Jessamyn and Maud’s appreciation for hiking, American Girl dolls, Euro-style board games, and tater-tot casserole. Kari first fell in love with Jessamyn through Jessamyn’s dancing and poetry, while Jessamyn first fell for Kari through long talks about books and life. As a family, we continue to play a lot of video games together, and we also enjoy hiking in the beautiful forests near our home, reading bedtime stories, and building epic Lego sets. Kari remains constantly amazed by Jessamyn’s gentle spirit, sharp wit, and seemingly infinite patience (not to mention her wonderful cooking!), while Jessamyn delights in Kari’s playful nature, dedication to self-discovery, and epic ability to maintain a work-life balance that always puts her family first.

We married in 2016 in a super tiny ceremony held in our friends’ backyard, and ever since then, we’ve been trying to bring a baby into our family. From the beginning of our relationship, we talked about wanting to parent an infant together, and that hasn’t changed over the years. Maud is also excited to be a big sister and to help a little one “not have to learn things the hard way.”

After two years of unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant through artificial insemination, we started learning more about open adoption, and the more we’ve learned, the more excited we’ve become. We are excited to raise a child together and to foster that child’s connections to his or her birth family, race, and culture while also helping our child develop his or her own complicated sense of identity as an adoptive person. We’re also excited to get to know our child’s birth family, and we hope our open adoption will be like an extended-family relationship where we connect over shared interests and love for our child (Mario Kart races, hikes, board games, and/or cuddling our many pets, perhaps?).

Thanks for reading about us and considering whether we could be part of your journey!

Watch Kari and Jessamyn's Video