How it all started...

Luke: The first time I met Tina I was at a barbeque with my cousin. I don't think we actually talked, but I remember thinking to myself, "who is the cute girl".

Tina: I thought he was stuck-up because he was good-looking, wearing a tight shirt that showed off his muscles and he acted like he was too good to talk to anyone there.

Luke: It wasn't until almost a year later while fishing with my cousin that I saw Tina again. She was just as beautiful as I remembered. I went fishing a lot that summer, always with the hopes of seeing her and I often did.

Tina: I love fishing too but the main reason I went that summer was so I could see Luke.

Luke: After a couple of months I finally gathered enough courage to talk to her.

Tina: It seriously DID take months. I would start taking to him every chance I got but he wouldn’t really say anything back so I figured he didn’t like me at all.

Luke: I wasn't quit sure what to say, but somehow I managed. Later that night, we all went out to eat. I ended up sitting across from Tina when I noticed she was looking at me. I didn't know what to do. I thought to myself, should I look away, but something told me not to. As we stared at each other, I was mesmerized by her. I left that night in love.

Tina: He is so sweet.

Luke: After a week had passed I was getting desperate to have some sort of contact with Tina, so I decided to send her a text message. Knowing that Tina was majoring in horticulture I made up an excuse and asked her advice on house plants for my apartment.

Tina: He is such a dork sometimes. I thought he was asking me for advice so he could get some other girl some plants.

Luke: I was surprised to get an immediate response and we then made plans to get together. Several days later after we went 4-wheeling with my cousin, I volunteered to drive Tina home. Once we got to her house I went around the car to open the door for her and she gave me hug like I’ve never been hugged before.

Tina: The way I remember it, he hugged me first.

Luke: I walked her up to the door when I decided to kiss her.

Tina: I was definitely not expecting that. I thought he was going to hug me again. But hey, I'm not complaining.

Luke: After that we must have spent every day together up until the day she had to leave for school.

Tina: I had enrolled in a semester travel study program through the university and was flying out a month after he first kissed me. I had a great time that semester but I missed Luke so much. It was definately the longest four months of my life. I knew that he was the person I wanted to spend eternity with.

Luke: While she was gone we wrote each other and talked on the phone everyday for hours. We were married several months after she returned home and have loved every moment since.

The Things We Do...2009

We love doing things as a family. Each year we come up with a list of things that we would like to do and places to visit. So far we haven't even come close to completing the entire list but that is probably because there is so much that we want to do. Here are some of the things that were on the list (and some that were not) that we enjoyed doing during 2009.

Going on a train ride and exploring "This is the Place Heritage Park"

Going to the swimming pool

Petting the animals at the Haunted Barnyard in Gardner Village

Watching Luke run several races during the summer

Driving up the mountains to see the leaves turn color...except we were about a week too early

Annual campout with Tina's family. So to be completley honest we really didn't enjoy camping this year. We really do like to go camping....but when it is freezing outside, literally freezing, we pack up and head home.

Went to the zoo

Weekend at Bear Lake

Picnic and feeding ducks at Wheeler Farm

Draper Temple open house


Took Claire to the Living Planet Aquarium

Attend several Bees Games

Dinosaur Museum

Some other things we enjoyed doing this year include...
Going to several plays and concerts
Drive-in movies
Movie nights in the backyard
Riding bikes at Liberty Park
Demolition Derby
Camping out in the backyard
Taking Claire to the park MANY times

Claire's Adoption Story

Almost three years ago we started the adoption process for the first time. It seemed like forever before we were approved to adopt through LDS Family Services and after we were approved, it took us about four months before being selected by a birth mother. During those four months, we were contacted through email by several birth mothers and were disappointed when we never heard from them again. So when we received an email from Melody, emailed her back, and then didn’t hear back from her, we weren’t too surprised. Then a week later I received a call at work from our case worker wanting to know why we never emailed Melody back. Melody was 6 months pregnant and had been looking at our adoption profile for awhile and wanted to get to know us better. She had been waiting for a response to her email all week but for some reason the email that we sent her the previous week never went through. By the end of the day we were emailing each other back and forth. We were trying so hard not to get our hopes up….but we were so excited!! The emails continued for the next two weeks and then we received a call from our case worker saying that we needed to come in to the office. She didn’t tell us why but we were pretty sure what was going on. We went in that evening and were given a package from Melody that contained a baby blanket, a little pink teddy bear, and a card asking us if we would raise her baby girl for her since she wanted more for her little girl than she was able to give her. Luke was so excited!! So was I, but more than anything I was just filled with peace. It was a peace that had been missing for years. We knew that this baby was meant to come to our home. We knew that this was the baby that we had been praying for.
Several weeks later we met Melody for the first time and the next month we got together again so her parents could meet us. We were extremely nervous during each visit….more nervous than we have ever been in our entire lives. We were afraid that after meeting us, she would think we were weird or something and change her mind. The next couple of months were spent getting ready for our baby. Two and a half months after getting that first email, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my phone beeping from a missed phone call and a voice message from Melody saying that Claire was on her way. Although Melody didn’t want us at the hospital when Claire was born, we had exchanged phone numbers so she could call us when she went into labor. The next day was the longest day of our lives as we waited for another phone call saying that Claire was born. Each time the phone would ring, we would get so excited and my heart would start beating really fast. Finally we changed the ring tone for Melody’s phone number so we could distinguish it from the other calls we were receiving. Melody called us that evening soon after Claire was born. Luke answered it since my hands were shaking so badly. Our baby girl had finally arrived. Two days later we were able to see our little angel for the first time. No words can describe how it felt when Melody laid Claire in my arms for the first time. We were so excited, filled with peace, overcome with joy, and scared to death. That was eighteen months ago. Claire has been the highlight of our lives since then. She can make us laugh so hard with the funny things she is constantly doing, make our hearts melt when she calls for her “mommy” and “daddy”, break our hearts when she gets hurt, and occasionally drive us crazy with her stubbornness. She is everything to us and we are so grateful that we are able to be her parents.

We have what is called an open adoption and during the last eighteen months we have exchanged emails and photos with Melody and have even got together for an occasion visit. She wanted to be there for Claire's blessing and also for her first birthday. We also visited on several other occasions. We love and respect Claire’s birth mother so much. Through her selflessness we were able to finally start our family. She loved Claire so much that she was willing to set aside her own feelings and do what she felt was right for her baby even though it was a hard thing to do. She is the most courageous person that we know.