Dear Expectant Parent(s),Brian and Jen

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Sometimes “life” seems to throw us a curve ball. We’re faced with major decisions that we never thought would even be an option. We would like to start out this letter by encouraging you. You are very courageous. The Lord has found great favor in you, and you are not alone. May his perfect love cast out all fear as you read through this letter, and may the Holy Spirit guide you and protect you through the decisions you are making right now. God is for you and is with you right now in this very divine moment.

Let us introduce ourselves. We are “the Deans,” as most call us… We have been married now for 8 years. Let’s start out by sharing our story…How the Deans became the Deans.

We met in high school, believe it or not! We both graduated high school in 2000, and it was here that we made our first connection. We were attending the same high school and youth group through our church in Rolling Hills Estates, CA. We ended up both moving on to the same junior college. I (Jen) immediately knew he was “the one.” When I first met him, he was this goofy dressed guy, stinking cute, and loved Jesus passionately. It took Brian a bit longer to figure out that I was “the one.” We became best friends over the next two years, to the point where we were doing absolutely everything together, but when asked if we were dating, we always replied, “NO! What are you talking about?” It’s called denial. Well…two years later Brian finally asked me to be his girlfriend. We were officially dating and had a lot to figure out.

We dated for a year and a half before Brian decided to go away for college. He started attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in the fall of 2003. Here is where our long distance relationship began. We dated three years long distance, as I was attending school at Long Beach State University to become a teacher. Really, this was the most shaping time for our marriage. Being long distance, we talked…A LOT! We had the amazing opportunity to build a strong foundation of communication and trust for our marriage.

Four and a half years of dating went by, and we tied the knot. We got married in a beautiful chapel on the cliffs of Palos Verdes. We married two weeks after Brian graduated from Cal Poly. We were most definitely ready! It was an incredible day and the beginning of our life as “the Deans.”

Here’s the part where I get to brag to you about the incredible husband I have. Like I said earlier, I knew this man was meant to be my husband almost seven years before I actually married him. Brian is a passionate person. He loves Jesus and is devoted to his relationship with the Lord, like no one I have ever seen before. This truly is the most important thing you need to know about him because his love for Jesus spills into every area of his life. He is definitely a man’s man. He loves being outdoors, climbing mountains, shooting bows and arrows, telling people about Jesus on the streets, and eating hearty food (chili and corn bread is a favorite), yet he is extremely tender hearted.

I have watched God grow a father’s heart in him. Watching Brian become a daddy to Eliana has been incredible. He is the best Father a child could ask for. Eliana adores him, and she waits with excitement daily for the moment her daddy walks through the door. She knows he is all hers then, and she eats up every moment. He loves to play with her in her room, take her on hikes and bike rides, dance with her, and steal snuggles and kisses whenever he can.

My husband is extremely silly…. When it comes to this, we are definitely two peas in a pod. Laughing would most definitely have to be one of our favorite past times. Brian is a born leader and is an incredible leader for this family. He leads us in all areas with integrity and daily leads me towards the Lord.

Now I (Brian) get to do a little boasting about my Jen. It is impossible to describe my wife adequately in words. She is a radiant gem with a rare and beautiful heart. Jen has a great sense of humor and enjoys laughing and being silly. She is very generous and loves to give thoughtful gifts. My wife is sensitive to the needs of others and quick to show compassion. As a teacher she is also very firm and disciplined. She is not afraid of confrontation and able to speak the truth in love.

No matter what she does, she always stands out. She has God’s favor written all over her. This is most apparent with children. Children are drawn to my wife. I have seen even the most timid children break out of their shell after spending a few minutes with her. Rather than trying to love them from a distance, she relates to them on their level. Sometimes this looks like singing a silly song, running around playing a game, or holding the child in a motherly embrace. She is an incredible mother. She devotes her whole life and being to Eliana, and I love watching her come alive in the role of mother. She nurtures Eliana and provides a safe environment for her to flourish into the young woman God designed her to be.

I love how open and honest my wife is. To those who will listen, she is quick to share how she is really doing… the good the bad and the ugly. Over the years, I have seen the Lord shape her character. Even in the midst of heartbreak, I have watched my wife hold onto faith, hope, and love.

Eliana is our first born. She was brought into our family through the miracle of an open adoption. We waited and dreamed five years for her before we were ever able to hold her in our arms. She has a dynamic personality and loves people. Wherever she goes, she is the life of the party. She memorizes names like it’s going out of style. She loves books, letters, running, twirling, and summersaulting where ever she goes. She talks a mile-a-minute and quickly makes friends. She tells us she wants to be a doctor when she grows up, so we are saving early to be able to pay for all that schooling. She loves babies and is always tender and sweet with them. She loves to be my helper, and she is excited to be a big sister one day.

We have a incredible open adoption with Eliana’s birth mom, Krystle. She is now family to us. We chat back and forth often via text message. She gets to see pictures of Eliana often, and we have so much fun when we meet up for visits. She is our hero….the bravest, most selfless person we know. We are so thankful that Eliana will grow up knowing her birthmother and knowing how much she is loved!

Currently, we live in San Luis Obispo, CA. We live in a cute home that is walking distance to downtown. We absolutely adore our home, and we love living in such a family friendly city. Brian works as a structural engineer, and Jen stays at home with Eliana full time. We both love what we do and feel blessed to be living in San Luis Obispo.

So…I know you’re asking, “why adoption?” Well, God placed adoption in our hearts. Even before marrying we had talked about the possibility of adopting in the future. Also, we have had a long, difficult journey with infertility. At the beginning of 2009, we were told that “medically speaking,” it is impossible for us to have biological children. As we have walked through adoption, we have fallen more and more in love with the heart behind adoption. Adoption is found in the very depths of God’s heart. We rejoice that God, in his love for us, chose to adopt us and make us a permanent part of His family. We feel blessed and honored to be a part of this ministry that the Nightlight Christian Adoption provides. We are confident that God is in every step of this, and we are excited beyond belief to see how this will all unfold.

Children truly are a gift from God, and we know that parenting is a high calling. We have an amazing support team around us of family and friends that passionately love God, and we are looking forward to what the Lord has ahead. Surely, he has the best!

We are working with Nightlight Christian Adoptions. If you want more information about us or would like to meet us, please contact them at 714.693.5437.

Trusting in God’s Promises,

Brian & Jen

Adoptive Family at a Glance

Father’s Name: Brian Mother’s Name: Jen
Occupation: Structural Engineer Occupation: Stay At Home Mom (former teacher)
Education: BS in Civil Engineer (Cal Poly) Education: BA and teaching credential (CSULB)
Religion: Christian Religion: Christian
Date of Birth: September 10, 1981 Date of Birth: October 19, 1981
Ethnicity: Caucasian Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair Color: Black Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Brown Eye Color: Green
Height: 6’0” Height: 5’2”
General Health: Excellent General Health: Excellent

Date of marriage: April 8, 2006

Children: Eliana Faith Dean, Born August 23, 2011 (Adopted): Eliana has a dynamic, spunky, hysterical personality. She loves people, loves being silly, and loves to play with her family. She is going to change the world.

Interest and Hobbies: As a family, we love to go on walks, spend time at parks, read together, to be goof balls, and basically do anything as long as we are “together.” Brian loves to hike, take Eliana on bike rides, shoot bows and arrows (all things manly), read, and spend time with his family. Jen loves to write, her photography, to read, and to spend time with her family.

Home: We live in the cute, small town of San Luis Obispo. Being only blocks away from downtown, we love to go on family walk downtown and to the park. We love where we live!

Pets: Our cat’s name is Ashes, but we call her Roo Roo a lot. She is gray and white and loves Eliana and snuggling.

Finances: We have a high value for living a debt free lifestyle, and we live within our means. We know that all money given to us belong to God, and it’s an honor to use it and save it how he entrusted us to.

Why are you interested in building a family though adoption: We have always known adoption would be part of our story, and after trudging through years of infertility, God confirmed our calling to adopt. Medically speaking both Brian and I are unable to conceive biological children.

Openness to Birth parents: We have a very open relationship with Eliana’s birthmother. Eliana calls her Krystle, and she knows that she grew in Krystle’s belly in our hearts. We are open to whatever level of openness seems comfortable and most appropriate.

Childcare Plans: Jen will stay at home with our children.

We are represented by Nightlight Christian Adoptions. If you need more information about us, or would like to meet us, please contact Nightlight toll-free at 888.933.2237.