Cate and Ryan

Dear Birth Mother,

You probably never imagined you’d be reading a letter like this. You might not have even thought letters like this existed–but thankfully they do! You deserve to know what kind of life you are giving to your child– to know that your baby will be loved, protected, and given the most joyful childhood possible.

We are Cate and Ryan (31 & 32) and we have wanted to adopt since before we were even married! Because of a medical problem, having biological children was never in the cards for us. We’ve been happily married seven years, and are thrilled to be taking this first step toward parenthood. Our friends and family are also eager to welcome a new addition to our large, loving community.

About Us
We share a lot of similarities (that might make us sound like nerdy librarians): we both like to read; we enjoy smaller get togethers; and we would rather travel to a homey place on vacation instead of an exotic one (we spent our honeymoon in a cabin in Vermont!). We’re both good humored and know how to make each other laugh (sometimes other people think we’re funny, too).

We both like getting outdoors and walking or hiking when the weather is nice. We enjoy going to the Art Institute, seeing a movie in the park, driving out of the city to shop thrift stores and antique malls. And of course we really like spending time with our friends, playing games, cooking meals, or going down to the lakefront in the summer. We are both transplants to Chicago and love living here.

Cate works in marketing for a commercial real estate company and Ryan is a training manager at a company that helps home health workers find jobs.

Our Families
I (Cate) grew up in a small town in Ohio, the youngest of four siblings. My family has always been spread out, so summer vacations were spent traveling around the country visiting cousins, grandparents, etc. Some of my best childhood memories are of playing outside in the summer, building forts in the woods with my brother, and begging my mom to let us sleep in them overnight (Never happened. Sad story!).

Sadly, my dad passed away when I was in high school. My mom eventually remarried, adding three more siblings to the mix! When you throw in nieces and nephews (and even a couple great-nephews!), it’s a big crew, one that already includes some adoptees. When we get together we love playing cards and board games, and eating ALL the food.

I (Ryan) come from beautiful Southwest Virginia. Although my immediate family has fanned out to different parts of the country, my extended family still lives there today. My mom and dad couldn’t possibly be more excited to be grandparents! They recently retired to North Carolina and they’re perfectly poised to shower their new grandbaby with love. I’m the oldest of three siblings. Way back when, you’d often find me and my sisters singing along in the car with one of our favorite vocal groups or acting out scenes from a beloved movie. Get us together today and things can still get pretty goofy!

Things Ryan loves about Cate
 She’s a truly attentive listener and a warm spirit, which really draws others to her.
 She’s playful! Maybe it comes from growing up in a family of jokesters…
 She’s sharp as a tack. Easy answers and narrow-mindedness don’t fly with this one.
 She loves people as they are, where they’re at.

hings Cate loves about Ryan:
 He’s hilarious! He keeps everyone laughing at his jokes and silly impressions.
 He’s easy to talk to, and a great listener who is always eager to learn about others.
 He’s easy-going, agreeable, and sees the best in everyone.
 He’s a talented musician, and can lead a trivia team to victory (and look good doing it)!

Our Home and Community
Our home is in a diverse Chicago neighborhood that’s full of families. We share a building with close friends we’ve known for over ten years, who have an 18 month old daughter and a little boy on the way. We spend lots of time together sharing meals, doing projects, gardening, and just chatting in each others’ kitchens. Our church is a vibrant community and it plays a big part in our life. Cate’s best friend from high school also lives nearby with her family, and we have a lot of other old friends in the area as well.

As a matter of fact, our friends brought us together in the first place! In college a dear mutual friend introduced us and in short order we came to run in the same circles. Ultimately, we didn’t get together over a series of big romantic gestures. Rather, the more we were around each other– talking, cooking, cleaning, joking, studying, traveling– the more convinced we were that we had to stay together.

Our Faith
We love the life that we’ve built together and can’t wait to share it with a child. Our faith is important to us and guides the way we make decisions and treat others. These values will be a part of our home:
 Loving and understanding other people.
 Looking for ways to be grateful.
 Finding purpose and ways of serving others.
 Seeking truth and intellectual integrity.
 Approaching others with respect.

A Love Story
Maybe you never imagined that your adoption journey would be a love story, but it is. It starts with the selfless love you have for your child, and continues with the lifetime of love that we promise to give to your son or daughter. If you are comfortable, we would welcome a future where you are a continuing part of this story, so that our child will always know where he or she came from, and how fully he or she is loved.

We hope we’ve given you a glimpse into who we are, and we would love to talk with you about your hopes for your child.

Please contact us directly at
You can also talk to our adoption counselor Maggie Benz:
Toll-free: 1-800-869-1005
Text: 1-847-366-6343

Much love,
Cate and Ryan