Helen and Jan

Thank you for taking the courage to choose adoption, and for considering us as an adoptive family.

Helen Jan
Job: Biologist and Librarian Job: Professor
Education: PhD Education: PhD
Family Info
Pets (and type of pets): None
Other Children (yes or no): No
Fun fact about your family: Jan proposed to Helen under a beautiful waterfall halfway up a scenic hike – the plan was to propose at the summit but he couldn’t wait
As parents, we can’t wait to: experience all the first-time moments in the baby’s life

Our Story

We met in Connecticut in 2011, where we both worked as researchers at Yale University. Helen is from Canada and has no siblings, and Jan is from Germany and grew up with two siblings.  Perhaps by fate, we both decided to move to the US in 2011. Despite coming from different cultural backgrounds, we have much in common and were attracted to each other like magnets. We have both been the first in our families to go to college and are grateful for the opportunities that we have. We value honesty, tolerance, hard work, and kindness. Our relationship with our families is very close and we try to see our siblings, parents, and cousins as often as possible.

We got married in 2015 in a beautiful small town in Vermont, near our very first ski trip together, with our family and close friends. In the same year, we both got offers for our dream jobs in Pittsburgh and settled here. We fell in love with the city immediately because of the down-to-earth people who welcomed us with open arms.

Our Life in Pittsburgh

We live in a cute house next to a park that we bought a couple of years ago and are good friends with our next door neighbors. We both work at a local university here in Pittsburgh. Helen is a biologist and Jan is a professor. We are both passionate about our work and particularly enjoy our interactions with students. While we could afford a more luxurious lifestyle, we find it more enjoyable to keep things simple and focus on things that are important to us, such as the connections to our family, friends, neighbors, and students.

We love the outdoors and are spending as much time outside as possible. We bike to work on most days. We enjoy camping, hiking, and rock climbing. We travel a lot during the summer months and our favorite trips are camping vacations in National Parks. Even though we arrived in Pittsburgh only a few years ago, we already have a circle of very close friends who we spend a lot of time with; many of them already have small babies. We also like to cook and often have our friends over for dinner and BBQs. We were quick to become Steelers and Penguins fans and enjoy watching hockey and football games. We also enjoy working on our house to make it prettier and cozier.

Welcoming a Baby

We always dreamed of having a baby together because we want to share our love and lives with a child, provide him/her happiness, and pass on experiences. After many unsuccessful years of trying to conceive and failed fertility treatments, we decided that our baby will come to us in a different way.

Our university is very supportive of parents and we both have flexibility in our jobs to give our full attention to the baby. When the baby arrives, Helen will take one semester paid time off to take care of the baby and Jan will take the following semester off. So one of us we will be able to spend full time with the baby for at least 8 months. When we both work, we plan to use the fantastic daycare center of our university and also have the flexibility to work from home as needed.

We will provide a safe, healthy and happy home for the child. We are close with our family and many friends in Pittsburgh who have newborns. So the baby will be loved by many around us, and have plenty of pals to play and make friends with. We will take him/her to see nature and travel around the world with us. We value education and are financially well equipped to send our child to the best daycares and schools. The most important thing for us is to see our child happy and we will support him/her unconditionally and forever.

We understand how difficult it must be for you to go through the adoption process.  We value openness and will be happy to share the coming-of-age of the child with you.


Thanks for reading our letter and for considering us. Please feel free to reach out to us at helenjanpgh@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.