Hello! We are Jesse, Rachel and Claire Schroeder. We hope our letter provides you with a glimpse into our lives and who we are as a family (if that is possible to do in one letter).
Our love story began, or at least Rachel had hoped, in 2004 at a Christmas party in Victoria. We would both say it was ‘love at first sight’, but clearly neither of us was picking up on each other’s signals. As the night went on, Rachel assumed Jesse wasn’t interested in her and figured she wouldn’t see him again. Months later, once Jesse got up the nerve, he decided to join the church choir Rachel sang in (with absolutely no singing skills). In all reality, his intention was to snag a date with Rachel. Long story short, Jesse’s plan worked. He then retired from his short singing career.
Fast-forward a couple of years and we were married in 2007. We spent our honeymoon, or lack thereof, driving 18 hours up north to our new home in Terrace, BC. Jesse had just joined the RCMP and it was his first posting. The move provided a great start for our family and also allowed Rachel to establish her elementary teaching career. Terrace was full of many firsts: first careers, first home, first time living together and first baby. We have a beautiful four–year-old daughter named Claire, who can’t wait to be a big sister. She has been preparing for a sibling for a long time and often asks when we are going to provide her with one : ). In 2012, we transferred to a small ranching hamlet called Alexis Creek, where Jesse took on the role of ‘cowboy’ in his spare time. Two years later, we transferred back to Victoria where we have settled down for good.
Rachel grew up in a family of seven in Victoria. She is an extrovert who enjoys spending quality time with friends and family. She loves reliving her favorite childhood memories with Claire; teaching her everything and anything she can. Rachel also loves vegetable and flower gardening, making yummy food, eating yummy food (she lives to eat, rather than eats to live), knitting, playing sports and talking to anyone who’ll listen. Rachel also loves to sing, and even performed in a Motown, Funk and Blues band when we lived in Terrace. She now sings on our church worship team, but also hopes to perform in a band again some day. Rachel in five words: social, spunky, loveable, compassionate, and carefree.
Jesse grew up in a family of five in rural Ontario. He is an extremely patient and easy-going dad who enjoys his role as the ultimate story reader, Lego builder and bed tucker inner. Jesse is a good ole Canadian farm boy. He grew up playing street hockey, fishing for minnows in the ‘crick’, eating Grandma’s apple pies and taking trips to the family cottage up north. Jesse is an outdoors enthusiast who loves going on yearly hiking, canoeing or portaging trips with his best buddies. He talks excitedly and often of these trips and how he can’t wait to take the kids when they are older. Jesse looks forward to living out his life as a dad and friend in the years to come. Jesse in five words: patient, hard working, humble, reliable and friendly.
It is impossible not to like Jesse. Upon meeting him, I couldn’t help but be drawn to his warm, infectious smile and gentle eyes. He is a humble man whose character is comprised of honor and integrity. He is genuine, kind, and patient without end, calm, logical and always positive; not to mention, he has a heart of gold. He is passionate about life and living it to the fullest and he strives to make a difference in the lives of those around him. Jesse is the best man I could ever have imagined marrying and he has far exceeded my expectations for his role as the father of our little Claire. He never loses his temper with her and he always treats her with grace, forgiveness and compassion. Jesse is good at anything he puts his mind to: carpentry, police work, hockey, baseball, parenthood, and even cooking when he gets in the kitchen. I am truly a better person because of him. Jesse is someone who continues to surprise and impress me, even after almost ten years of marriage.
When I first met Rachel at the front door entrance of that Christmas Party, I knew right then and there that she was the one. Rachel is kind, caring and compassionate. She has an infectious personality and a sense of humor that can light up a room. She is also one that exudes empathy when others are in need. Whether a family member is in hospital, or a child is struggling in the classroom, Rachel is there for comfort and support. She loves unconditionally and wears her heart on her sleeve. I have also never been around anyone who is so natural with children. She can draw in kids of any age, which makes her a natural teacher and mother. I also see that Rachel stole my line about me making her a better person. I guess we make each other better. To put it simply, Rachel has made the last 11 years of my life fun and we are committed to having fun together for the rest of our lives.
Claire wants us to tell you in this letter, “I want to have a baby so I can take care of him and take him to the store and buy him candy with my piggy bank.” : ) These days, everything that comes out of her mouth makes us laugh. She is also maturing into a wonderful, kind and generous girl and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Four is our favorite age so far. Claire in five words: goofy, independent, determined, inquisitive (aren’t all kids?) and caring.
As a family, we enjoy the outdoors together; going on camping trips, bike rides, playing games and “family” as Claire calls it. As she is four, we currently spend a lot of days hitting up the many playgrounds and parks around our neighborhood. Recently, we have also enjoyed skating, skiing and hanging out at the pool. As for the summer, we spend a lot of days at the beach and in our backyard barbequing and hanging out with friends and family.
We live in a great neighborhood, close to schools and playgrounds. Our home is centrally located, a short drive from the city center, but also not far from the rural outskirts. Our house backs onto a treed park that Claire has named, ‘The Woods’. Rachel has family in Victoria and we see them on a frequent basis, which includes regular dinners. Claire is very close with her three cousins, who also live a short drive away. She and her cousin, Charlotte are inseparable. Currently, Claire attends a preschool and is having a lot of fun learning with her new friends. Depending on the time of year, Claire is either in swimming class or at gymnastics. Jesse is currently coaching a Bantam hockey team (13-15 year old boys) so it will only be a matter of time before Jesse teaches Claire to skate.
We hope to adopt because we love kids and have always wanted a full, loving family. We love everything that goes along with family; the community, the humor, the trips, the time spent, the memories made and the life-long bonds that are formed. Before struggling with infertility, we had talked about adopting, regardless of the number of biological children we could have. After trying for almost three years to have a second child, adoption was our first choice. We think that an open adoption is beneficial to all parties involved, but also respect your choice to keep in contact however you desire. Regardless, you will be seen as extended family, who will be loved and embraced. We believe that someone who is willing to place their child up for adoption is a selfless individual who values human life and puts others needs before their own.
As adoptive parents, we promise to cherish, nurture and love your child as deeply as is humanly possible and provide a life full of fun, laughter and opportunity. Above all, we hope to instill in your child the virtues of integrity, honesty, kindness, fairness, compassion and respect. Thank you for taking the time to consider our family. We wish you all the best in the decision you make. We hope to hear from you soon!
Jesse, Rachel and Claire