Rachel and Brandon
Hi there! We are Rachel and Brandon.
We live in a small, ethnically diverse community north of Seattle with our two dogs Oscar and Willow. Brandon grew up on the Olympic Peninsula, and Rachel grew up in the Seattle area until moving to Alaska for seven years with her family. Rachel returned to Washington for college where she met her best friend who later introduced her to Brandon. We both have deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, including having our families living close by, and we make it a priority to spend time together with them regularly. We also have a strong community of friends that we have known for 20+ years and consider our chosen family. Many of them have children that we adore and love to cheer on at their sporting events.
On our first date over 11 years ago, we went to dinner and talked for hours about the importance of family and friends, and how we both really wanted a family of our own. We spent the first few years of our relationship focused on sharing adventures and experiences together. Shortly after we got engaged, Brandon’s work relocated us to California where we spent the next three years exploring new places and growing together as a couple. Being far from our friends and family we relied on and supported one another which helped us build a solid foundation of trust and communication. We are each other’s best friend, making each other laugh and sharing our goals and passions.
When we returned to the Seattle area, we felt ready to start our family. We tried for many months to get pregnant without success, which was disappointing and scary, but we continued to share a strong desire to become parents. After taking some time to learn about other ways to build our family we completed the training to become foster parents and fostered two siblings for 18 months. We cherished our time with them doing all the things we had dreamed of doing as parents: playing at the park, camping, building sandcastles at the beach, sharing family dinners, exploring museums, participating in sports, and spending time with our family and friends. We also valued having contact with their extended family members, coming together around our shared goals of celebrating and supporting the kids. From this experience, we learned a lot about ourselves and the true joys and challenges of parenting. Although our role did not continue as their forever parents, they left an imprint in our hearts, and we gained a deep appreciation for the importance of children having an ongoing connection to their birth family.
From this experience, shifting to grow our family through an open adoption felt like a natural next step for us. We do not believe that family is defined by blood, but rather by the people that are there for you through thick and thin, no matter what. We hope to welcome our child’s birth family as an extension of our own.
Thank you for taking the time to read our letter and we invite you to learn more about us by reading our story.
Rachel and Brandon