Meet John & Leslie
A video message from John & Leslie
A Letter from John & Leslie
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us! We are a fun-loving, world-traveling, prior-military couple (Leslie was in the Marine Corps and John was an Air Force test pilot) and today we are both high school physics teachers. We absolutely love kids and can’t wait to be parents someday. We met on a deployment 8 years ago (it’s a really funny story!) and talked about our desire to adopt even before we were married. We dream of raising a family together and feel we have so much love and life experience to give to a child. God bless you on your journey – we are praying for you!
It all started with a civil war in Yemen.
Yes, you read that correctly! We met in 2015 when we were both deployed to the Middle East…the full story involves a lot of twists and turns, and it’s actually quite amusing…but we’ll just jump to the end for now and say that through the experience we became best friends and have been ever since!
We have been together for the past 8 years and married for the past 4 years. Along the way to building our family, we’ve been through pregnancy loss and fertility challenges. Through it all our desire to raise children together has only deepened. We pray every day for God to grant us a family, and we are so excited to someday bring home a baby through adoption.
We love doing everything together and can’t wait to include children in our many adventures. Among these include:
- Traveling the world! We have been to over 50 countries! Some highlights include a safari in South Africa, digging up dinosaur fossils in Mongolia, and hiking a glacier in Iceland!
- Making wine from our vineyard
- Hockey! (and basically all forms of physical fitness)
- Reading…everything! (classics, mysteries, and anything by Tolkien!!)
- Creating games and puzzles for each other and our students 🙂
How John sees Leslie: “Leslie pours herself into everything she does, and she has a heart FULL of love! Her goal in life is to serve others, and I admire how she interacts with her students and really helps them in all areas of their lives, not just academically. I love her intelligence and her sense of humor, her sincerity and her courageous faith.”
Background: Leslie was active duty in the Marine Corps for 8 years (including deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq), and today she is a physics teacher at an all-girls Catholic high school. She absolutely loves her students and loves to learn!
Leslie says: “I am so grateful to the Marine Corps for shaping me into a stronger, more empathetic person, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to serve our country after 9/11. I decided to leave active-duty service in order to have the stability to raise a family, and today teaching and mentoring kids brings me so much joy. I’m so excited to become a mother someday and pass on everything I’ve learned to my family too!”
Hobbies: Coaching field hockey * CrossFit * Reading the classics * Playing piano * Solving different kinds of puzzles (and making my own) * Writing themed physics problems so my students don’t hate taking tests 😉
How Leslie sees John: “John loves giving of himself. He is light-hearted and generous, and has devoted a lot of his life to helping others. I admire him for persevering through so much in life and not becoming cynical. I see the way he interacts with his students (and even with mine!) – with such attentive care, humor, and respect – and it is no wonder they love him too.”
Background: John was a test pilot in the Air Force before taking on his current job as a defense contractor. He has flown over 30 different kinds of airplanes and helicopters! John also took on a part-time side gig as a high school physics teacher because, just like Leslie, he loves mentoring kids and wants to continue helping others pursue their dreams.
John says: “Although becoming a fighter pilot was a life-long dream of mine, my favorite memory was becoming a flight instructor and helping young pilots pursue their own dreams. Now that I’m out of the Air Force, I want to pass along all the lessons I’ve learned in life to my students and my future family, to help others become the best versions of themselves.”
Hobbies: Making mead and wine from our vineyard * Board games and puzzles with Leslie * Learning guitar * CrossFit and rowing * Coaching my school’s “Mad Scientists Club” * Electronics and building models * Cooking
Our Home: We live on 3 acres in a 4-bedroom colonial-style house in a beautiful neighborhood in the Virginia countryside, only about an hour outside Washington, DC! We are close to pretty much anything you could think of – mountains, ski resorts, beaches, museums, parks, great schools, theaters, rivers, lakes…you name it! We dream of filling our home with children and giving them a peaceful and nurturing place to grow up. We live in the middle of Virginia horse and wine country and just down the street from us are a variety of horse barns, cows and sheep galore, wineries, and even an alpaca farm.
Our Vineyard: We planted a small vineyard and a vegetable garden in our backyard as a sign of “putting down roots” (literally) and we bring our community of loved ones together for our “harvest festivals” every fall. Even our former students and their parents have come over to help us plant! We are grateful to still have lots of space left over for playing yard games and sports.
Our Pets: We also love animals! We have 1 adorable rescue dog named Argo and 2 hilarious cats named Lisa and Mazda (sisters!). We can’t wait to share our love of animals with our children, and we hope to expand to chickens, ducks, and llamas too!
Our Family: Leslie has one younger sister who also lives in Virginia. She and her husband are expecting their first child, and we cannot wait to be an aunt and uncle! We are grateful that they are so close to us! And just down the street from her sister is Leslie’s mom too! Leslie’s dad lives in Maine, and we see him often as well.
John is the youngest of three, and he has a teenage son who lives with his mom in Nevada. John’s parents still live in Michigan where he grew up, but his brother is also in Virginia. John also has a sister who lives in Florida. We drive up to Michigan every year to see John’s parents, and John’s dad himself was adopted. Adoption has always been special in our family.
Our Faith: Our Catholic faith is at the center of our lives. We attend Mass every Sunday as a couple, and we participate in a Bible Study every Wednesday. We also start and end every day together with prayer. Our desire is to raise our children to love Jesus and lead sincerely Christian lives.
Our Values: Faith * Authenticity * Empathy * Integrity * Kindness * Humor * Resilience * Courage * Grit * Love * Reliability * Creativity * Patriotism * Humility * Generosity * Service *
Our heartfelt hope is to someday raise children to be people of character who are ready to face the challenges of this world with perseverance and compassion. We know through Scripture that we are adopted sons and daughters of God, and we are grateful for the opportunity to adopt a child. We believe with all our hearts that every person is utterly irreplaceable and has a role in meeting the great needs of our world. Our love is not only for our adopted child, but also for you.
- to love your child unconditionally
- to raise your child to love God and neighbors
- to respect, love, and honor you
- to encourage your child to embrace his or her special gifts, heritage, and unique place in this world
We promise that you will remain a special and important part of your child’s life. You can count on us to give you regular updates and plan occasional visits based on your comfort level. We’d love to talk or answer any of your questions. Please call or text Lifetime at 1.800.923.6784.
Learn More About John & Leslie
|M.S. Aviation Systems; B.S. Aerospace Engineering
|M.S. Strategic Studies; B.S. Physics and B.S. English
|Defense Contractor (Full-time) & High School Physics Teacher (Part-time)
|High School Physics Teacher
|Yes! Once our child arrives, John plans to stop teaching and maintain his work as a defense contractor from home.
|Leslie plans to teach part-time once our child arrives.
|Our Racial Background
|Caucasian (Polish, Hungarian)
|Some of John & Leslie's Favorites
|Top Gun: Maverick
|The Princess Bride
|Monk and Psych
|The Office, Chuck, and Downton Abbey
|The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
|The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
|"Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
|"If" by Rudyard Kipling
|80s and 90s
|80s and 90s
|Disney or Pixar Character
|"God is love, and he that dwell in love dwell in God, and God in him." (1 Jn 4:16)
|"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (Jn 16:33)
|More About Our Family
About Leslie: I write Murder Mystery games for my students every year around Halloween - I weave in their personalities and inside jokes from the school year and host a Reveal Party at school where they dress up as their characters!
About John: I started my own charity called "Just One Blanket" where I hand-delivered over 10,000 items (blankets, socks, shoes, etc) to the homeless. I loved interacting with them one-on-one, getting to know them as people and learning their stories.
|Adoption in Our Family
Adoption has always been a special part of our family! John’s own father was adopted, and it taught John from an early age that family is first and foremost defined by love, not blood. Leslie has also dreamed of adopting children since she was a kid, and she even wrote a paper about it in high school 🙂
Each of our families is very supportive of our desire to adopt and they are just as excited as we are to welcome a child! We also have a wide circle of supportive friends, some of whom have also adopted children.
|Family Traditions We Can't Wait to Share!
SPRING: Traditional Polish meal at Easter
SUMMER: School’s out! Time for world travel 🙂
FALL: “Harvest Fest” at our vineyard * Themed Halloween costumes...last year we (Leslie, John, and the pets) went as the characters from Top Gun 🙂
WINTER: Traditional Italian "Seven Fishes" dinner on Christmas Eve * Washington Capitals hockey games * Board games on New Year’s Eve
YEAR-ROUND: Finding new anniversaries to celebrate the blessings in our lives, like "Friendship Day" and all our pets' birthdays!
|Q&A with John & Leslie
Q: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING TOGETHER WITH YOUR NEW BABY?
A: We will definitely be singing made-up songs to our children, just like we do to our dog and cats! We will be cherishing every moment, reading classic bedtime stories and making up several of our own. We can't wait to teach our children that the world is a wonderful place - full of hardship and challenge, yes, but still wonderful.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION?
A: We value education and character formation. We plan to send our children to great Catholic schools in our area, and we both believe in life-long learning. We can't wait to engage our children in hands-on activities as soon as possible to foster their curiosity about the world around them, and we want to show them that - indeed - math is fun and hard things are worth doing!
Q: WHO DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO BECOME?
A: We want to inspire them to give generously of themselves, accompany others in their struggles, and recognize the opportunity that comes with every hardship. "Success" for us is raising kids to know, love, and serve God...seek out who He is calling them to be...and to love your neighbor as yourself even when it's hard.
|We Prefer a Child Who Is...
|Age of Child
Newborn - 12 months
Thank you so much for reading our website. We know that discerning the right path for you and your child is a big decision, and we thank you so sincerely for bringing this new life into the world. We are so excited to one day be parents and to share the love we have for God and for each other with a child. We are praying for you to have peace not just throughout this process but throughout your entire life, and we will be true to our promise to love and cherish your child unconditionally and to teach him or her to love and cherish you also. Thank you again for considering our family. Sincerely, Leslie and John