Thank you for reading our letter. We can’t imagine all that you are feeling right now. We respect and admire your courage and strength in considering an adoption plan.
Our names are Chloé Leisure and Ralf Kracke-Berndorff. (You can see why Chloé kept her last name!) When we first met at a Halloween party, we had no idea what life held in store for us. Before we got married, we’d often daydream about a house full of kids. “Let’s have five!” Ralf would say. “Whoa, how about three?!” Chloé would respond. Whatever the magic number, adoption was always part of the discussion.
While the road to parenthood wasn’t quite what we imagined, we not only survived, but also grew in our love and commitment to having a family. We are so grateful and excited to be able to share our lives, home, big backyard, dogs, and families with a child. And should it work out, we are open to future adoptions, because while they’re sometimes trouble, brothers and sisters can also be pretty great.
Ralf is from Cologne, Germany, where his family still lives. He has worked as a biologist, documentary filmmaker, indigenous rights activist, and brewer. (He’s never bored!) He spends his free time fishing the Poudre, pheasant-hunting with Pancho (more about him later), and gardening. Not only does he speak fluent German, Spanish, and Italian, he loves to cook a good German or Italian meal. He’s always the one kids are drawn to, whether he’s teaching them German words, helping them rig up science experiments with water balloons, or teaching filmmaking to elementary students.
Chloé comes from a close-knit family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a kid, if she wasn’t climbing a tree or taking her sweet banana-seat bike out for a ride, she was reading or writing in her diary. Her love of reading and writing led her to a career as a teacher and published poet. She loves teaching both kids and adults how to use their voice on the page, and believes everyone’s story deserves to be told. She also teaches after-school creativity classes with young children. There’s no shortage of paint, gluesticks, or glitter in our house!
Our family values kindness, a love of learning, artistic expression, tolerance, and a sense of humor. We love to hike, go camping, and play in the woods with our dogs, Franny and Pancho, two sweet, silly pups who love kids and other dogs.
We vow to nurture your child’s dreams and to teach them to speak up for themselves. We will show them how to take care of others and encourage them to honor their roots. They will be welcomed with open hearts and open arms by a big, beautiful, supportive community of good friends and loving families.
Thank you for reading our letter and considering our family. We’d love to meet you and get to know more about you.
With love and gratitude,
Chloé & Ralf