I recently had the opportunity to chat with hopeful adoptive parents Jerry and Vanessa from Tennessee. Expectant mothers have the opportunity to speak with waiting families before they make their decision, but sometimes it’s nice to just get a little more info to understand who they are.
I asked them some fun questions that you won’t find in their adoption profile, and I learned that they are a happy Christian family of three and are excited to become a family of four or more through adoption. As Jerry and Vanessa put it, “When we experienced infertility, we felt led to adoption to expand our family. We were blessed in 2017 to adopt our wonderful daughter, Mia. She is very sweet, a little sassy and an absolute joy!…We can hardly wait to expand our family.”
1. What is your favorite holiday?
We both love Christmas. Who can go wrong with a holiday that has songs ranging from “Mary, Did You Know?” (one of Vanessa’s favorites) to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (Jerry’s favorite)?
We like to cook and have friends and family over to celebrate together. It truly isn’t about gifts for us; our six-year-old would disagree.
Our parents have made Christmas special for us growing up, and we want to do the same for our kids. We love seeing our daughter Mia’s eyes light up as we decorate the tree, turn on the lights, and of course, open presents.
2. What is your favorite sport to watch or play?
If we’re playing, we both like volleyball. If we’re watching a sport, Jerry will have on football, and Vanessa likes baseball.
Vanessa’s family would drive to St. Louis to attend Cardinals games when she was a child, and she remembers knowing they were close when the interstate went from two lanes to three or more. She cheered so loud that her mom would usually warn the people around them. She still gets pretty excited to see the Cardinals have a good season.
Jerry loves his University of Tennessee Volunteers. Growing up, he went to games with his papaw, and then he and his dad went to games while Jerry was a student at the school. He introduced Vanessa to SEC football by taking her to a Tennessee vs. Alabama game. The stadium was so loud and full of energy!
In pro football, just don’t ask Jerry to root for the Dallas Cowboys. His papaw tried to make him a Cowboys fan with no success. So instead, the Steelers are his team.
3. What is the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Our greatest gift is our daughter.
Second to her, we’ve both received gifts that are part of our family’s history. A pocket watch sits on our shelf that comes from Jerry’s papaw. The watch was in a fire and found in the ashes. His aunt refinished it and gave it to him.
Vanessa’s dad stayed at an auction all day to bring home her grandpa’s family Bible which lists births and deaths on the inside cover, and she has her great-grandparents’ cross necklaces that they gave each other as wedding presents.
Vanessa also remembers a surprise birthday party her friends threw for her. She wanted to go to a concert, and only one friend agreed to go. She was a little disappointed until they pulled into the parking lot, and all her other friends were hollering, “Surprise! Happy birthday!”
4. What is your favorite TV show or series?
Bad guys and horses. No, we aren’t watching old westerns, but we watch NCIS, Heartland, and Yellowstone.
Jerry likes to watch NCIS, which our daughter Mia calls “bad guys,” because it has a bit of adventure, a bit of mystery, and a bit of humor.
Vanessa likes Heartland and Yellowstone – perhaps the modern-day western – because they feature horses, cows, and ranch life. Admittedly, our farm life really isn’t anything like either show. However, both have a little adventure, a little romance, and a little humor.
We like shows that have a little bit of everything!
5. As parents, what is something specific you want to teach your child?
Jerry wants to instill a good work ethic in our children and encourage them not to be afraid to take risks. As they get older, they can set themselves apart if they know how to work and work well with others. By putting in the effort, they can choose any career they want and succeed.
Vanessa wants to teach them to be kind to others without being taken advantage of and to respect our land and animals. As farmers, we make our living by caring for the land around us and the animals we raise. Whether our kids continue farming or not, the respect shown to the things in our care can translate to whatever they do in life.
Curious to know more about Jerry and Vanessa? You can check out their adoptive family profile online.
If you’re interested in talking to them as potential adoptive parents to your baby, just text or call Lifetime at
1-800-923-6784 and we can connect you with them.
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.