Craig and I met 10 years ago while working on a fairytale play. Craig played the roll of Rip Van Winkle [he slept on the side of the stage the entire time – definetely not a role that showcased his talents, but he came to the play late and it was the only role available]. I played multiple roles: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella’s evil stepmother & Gretel [of Hansel & Gretel]. It was from shortly after here that we decided to date – for one whole weird week.
Then we took a break to date other people.
Then, we worked together at a hotel for the summer. Craig managed the hotel and I was the assistant manager on his days off. He was living onsite so even when he wasn’t working, he was working. I was working two other jobs to boot putting me at about 90 hours a week, so between the two of us we were enough hours for 6 full-time jobs! It was a stressful time but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The quickest way to get to know some really well is to work with them under stressful situations or on very little sleep. You see what kind of work ethic they have, how they treat people – both friends and strangers … In short, after seeing the best and worst side of Craig [seriously, his worst day was some peole’s best] I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man! It took him a little bit longer to figure it out. He said he wanted to be sure, but by July 4 we started dating again. This time we dated for two weeks!
One morning we were talking about marriage and families. There are moments in everyones life that are permanently etched in their mind forever. I have many of those moments, but this was one of the first with Craig. He was holding my hand and as he looked into my eyes he told me he wanted to marry me. There was truth and happiness there and no doubt in my mind that I would say yes. We decided to keep it just to ourselves though until we could purchase a ring and work out a date.
A few days later I was getting the breakfast bar ready for the hotel guests [no makeup on my face and my hair pulled back into a ponytail – truely glamorous! hehe]. Again Craig took my hand and had me sit down. I was really in a hurry so thought it a little weird that he then started pulling things out from under his bed. Finally, he pulled out a box, and in that box was another box – a blue velvet one with the most beautiful engagement ring I had ever seen. He was already down on one knee and he asked me to marry him officially this time. So I said yes, for the second time. And then of course we called our mothers to tell them the wonderful news. We were married a few months later in the Bountiful, Utah LDS Temple for all eternity. Being married to my best friend is the greatest thing in my life!
Over the years Craig and I have worked for the same employer on many an occasion and I have loved every experience. We have had many adventures with family and friends and together [remind me to tell you about the time we were almost eaten by mountain people when we got lost in the woods looking for a shortcut! Talk about over the river and thru the woods!]. We have shared joyful times and sad times and continue to nurture our relationship, looking forward to many more adventures together.
Working, religion & other responsibilities
Craig recently finished his bachelors in Information Technology. He has an amazing aptitude for computers and enjoys his job working as a Systems Engineer in I.T.
Karalene started working for an airline and is now working from home as a part-time Reservations Specialist. She loves the flexibility of her job so that she can work it around family life.
We were both raised with religious backgrounds and have choosen to continue on with making that a part of our life. We love the good and honest values that are a core part of our lives and are thankful to God everyday for all we have been blessed with. We genuinely love people and respect others beliefs’. Right now we are currently serving within our church working with families and youth.
Infertility & Family
We both come from fairly large families. Craig has 4 brothers and 1 sister and I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. We both have a desire to have a large family, to teach them everything that we have learned, to share adventures with them and to help them become good people in our community.
We have been trying to have children of our own for eight years now. The first time we found out we were expecting we were so excited! We went to the doctor and had an ultrasound and things seemed to be good. Karalene has negative RH factor blood and knew she would need shots eventually – but then they wanted us to come back for another ultrasound. And another. It was determined at about 2 1/2 months things were not proceeding as they were supposed to and Karalene had a miscarriage. It was heartbreaking for both of us. We had a strong relationship and were able to be a great support to each other at this time. The doctor assured us that miscarriages were more common than most people think and we could still try again.
So after a time of healing, we started again. It took about 1 1/2 years but we found out Karalene was pregnant again. We were still so excited but memories of our miscarriage were still with us. At about 5-6 weeks we experienced our second miscarriage. Still the doctors said two miscarriages didn’t mean that we were completely broken, and we could try again. So a few years had gone by with no signs of getting pregnant and we decided to go seek specialist attention to see what was going on with our fertility. Karalene was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Her doctor said that even with that and medication to help regulate everything that there was still a chance that she could get pregnant and carry to term. Forward three years and still nothing had changed. We still had not been blessed with a child and had very little medical answers as to why.
We were faced with a couple of choices. We could continue on our search for answers and visit fertility doctors, but there was still the possibility that even after going into debt and spending thousands and thousands of dollars on treatments [we have known people who have spent 10’s of thousands of dollars] that the treatments wouldn’t work and we would be still without children and have a huge debt. The other option was adoption. After much prayer and contemplation we felt strongly that we should look into adoption as our number one option. We felt great hope that God had not left us alone and that he did have a plan for us to have the family we desired.
It has been six months now since we originally started the whole adoption process of educating ourselves and filling out paperwork to be approved. After attending a two day seminar on infertility and adoption, listening to stories of parents who had adopted and birth mothers and fathers who had placed their children with families we were certain that we had made the right choice. It was an emotional time and we were completely drained after the seminar, but felt good that this was the right path for us. Since then we have filled out background checks, turned in pages and pages of informational history on our backgrounds, upbringing, goals, values and had multiple recommendation letters written on our behalf from friends, family and church leadership – we also had interviews together with caseworkers and individual interviews and an inhome inspection to name a few. We never imagined the adoption process could be so emotionally draining and time consuming but we still feel hope that this is the right path for us to increasing our family.
Adoption has come a long way through the years. Now it seems more common to have an open adoption with more contact with the birth parents. We feel that it takes many people to help a child grow into who they are supposed to be and so we welcome an open adoption if that is the relationship you would like to have.
We have always felt that however children were supposed to come to our home we were open to. It has helped us through these difficult times of waiting for our baby to arrive. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to open doors through adoption.
Life With Us Now-a-days
We love going on adventures. We like to hike, camp, attend family BBQ’s and outings, Laser Tag, Mini Golf, go bowling, go to the movies and try new restaurants to name a few. One of our favorite places to be is our home and we strive to make it a place that we can truely feel peace and happiness. On a typical day at home you could find us doing any of the following: gardening, cooking or baking, reading a good book, chores & paperwork [because filing paperwork is in a catagory all by itself!], playing card & board games, talking, feeding the mysterious cat who has adopted us, writing or watching a favorite TV show or movie or spending time with family. We feel that communication is key to having a good relationship and love that there isn’t anything we can’t talk about.
Some fun things about us
1. We worked on a touring passenger train for six months. Yep, we ate, bathed and slept on the tracks. Some of the hardest work, but we learned so much about ourselves, our marriage and people.
2. We are probably the first people to ever buy a home that came with its very own 17 year old black cat. We like to joke that we purchased our very first black cat and it came with a home.
3. In our 9+ years of marriage, not a single day has gone by that Craig hasn’t made Karalene laugh in some capacity. She never wants him to stop making her laugh.
4. We have set a goal for ourselves to play miniature golf in all 50 states. So far we have mini-golfed in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Virginia, Vermont & Texas.
5. We had never played real Laser Tag until the fall of 2011. Boy, were we missing out! We love it!
6. Between the two of us we have collectively traveled to the following states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, California, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, New York,Vermont and California … so far. We also have been to Canada. We also just traveled to the US Territory – Puerto Rico!
7. We look forward to visiting every state. Internationally we look forward to visiting England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, Prince Edward Island and The Caribbean, to name a few.
8. We own all seven seasons of MacGuyver on DVD. Go ahead, it’s ok to laugh. But nobody pulls off a mullet like MacGuyver!
Well dear reader, we hope that gives you a little taste of who we are as a couple. Remember that reading the teaser on the back of the book is good, but not as good as experiencing the whole book. We look forward to meeting and getting to know you too and sharing more about ourselves! Please feel free to email us with any questions or to set up a time to get better aquainted to see if we are a good fit for you and your baby at: firstname.lastname@example.org .