LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan


Josh and Colleen

For more information on this family, contact Brittany Bembnister by email:

Family Information

Josh & Colleen

Years Married: 10 years

Children: No children

Religion: Evangelical Free Christian

Child Care Plans: Colleen will be a stay at home mom. She will keep her 6 hour a week part-time church secretary position with Josh staying with baby or Colleen taking the baby with her while she works. Josh will continue to teach but have summers off to be home with our family.

Ethnicity: Swedish/German/Polish – Josh,  English/German/Irish/Polish - Colleen

Pets:  Dog, Goldendoodle named Callie, 4 months old


City Type: Rural

Years lived here: 3 years

Describe the community/Neighborhood: Just outside of town on a big lot with several friendly neighbors nearby. Woods and bluffs around with lots of wildlife. Very active, outdoorsy community with lots of family friendly events.


Josh, 31 years old

Education: Bachelor’s in Secondary Mathematics Education, Masters in Educational Leadership/Principalship

Occupation:  High School Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher

Colleen, 31 years old

Education:  Bachelor’s in Secondary Political Science and English Education

Occupation:  High School English Teacher, Part-time Church Secretary


Family Traditions


  • Birthdays: We often plan a surprise outing for one another and go to our favorite restaurant for dinner. 
  • For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we share time with our families traveling to their homes for gatherings that include lots of food, football watching, church services, gift exchange, late night conversation, and hours of board games. Sometimes these gatherings are with extended family likes aunts and uncles, or sometimes they are small with just our immediate family.
  • Easter we stay close to home and invite friends over to our home after church for a meal and an Easter Egg Hunt for their children in our backyard.
  • Fourth of July we typically spend with friends and their children doing a grill out, sparklers, and then attend the local fireworks.

Vacations: Being teachers, we’re able to do a longer road trip each summer.  We’ve traveled all over the U.S. Some of our favorite trips were to California to see family and to Boston to see important American Revolutionary sites. We always include in our trips something historical, something outside in God’s creation, and time with friends or family we can see along the way. Last year we were able to go to Europe and travel to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.  We really value these vacations as important time to connect, have new shared experiences, learn something new, and create lasting memories. 

Family Gatherings:

  • Josh’s parents live about 45 minutes away and visit once or twice a month for an afternoon or meal. They readily come to help with projects, too.  Each summer we spend some extended time together in our home with Josh’s family including his brother and sister-in-law and nephews and nieces.  We play lots of yard games, go swimming, have bonfires with s’mores, and stay up way too late! Josh’s side of the family has a reunion every other summer as well.
  • Colleen’s family lives three hours away; however, visits happen every month or so with some extended visits in the summer when we have time off. Colleen’s brother is often present for these visits. Central to anytime we’re together is lots of talking, walks, gardening, and community outings.

Friend & Church Community:

  • Church Fall Conference at a local Bible Camp with fun kid and family friendly games. 
  • Ethnic Food Club with two other couples and their kids; we meet quarterly at each other’s homes to try food from all around the world and learn about different cultures. 
  • Small Group Bible Study that meets three times a month for studying and other times for BBQs, Apple Picking, and Christmas parties. 
  • Each year we attend a pancake breakfast, run a 5k, attend a June Dairy Days Farm Breakfast, and do a group camping trip with various friend groups – and their children are always happily included!


Family Favorites 





The Bible, various history books

The Bible, Pride & Prejudice, Make Way for Ducklings






Chips & Guacamole

TV Show: 

The Office

The Office


Woodworking, backpacking, hiking, and fishing

Reading, cooking, baking, hiking, and running





Settlers of Catan





Sports Team: 

Packers & Badgers



Adoption Preferences

 Issues We Are Open to Discussing: 

  • Alcohol use prior to knowledge of pregnancy
  • Drug use prior to knowledge of pregnancy
  • Drug use during pregnancy
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy
  • Clinical depression in birthparents
  • Mental health issues in birthparents
  • Developmental disabilities in birthparents
  • Conceived through forced intercourse
  • Limited or no information about birthfather
  • Assist birthparents with expenses (as allowed by WI state law)
  • Ethnicity:  Caucasian
  • Ongoing contact: Open to all forms of contact/Letter and Photos/In-Person Visits
  • Are you open to states other than Wisconsin? Yes

Birth Parent Letter

Dear Birth Parent(s),

Thank you for choosing to love and care for your child by making an open adoption plan. We are strong believers that through this process God will work out the best for your child, you, and us too. We promise to honor you and your adoption plan in our family always.

We were fortunate to grow up in very loving homes with happy, close families, and for many years, we have desired to provide that for a child of our own. After struggling with infertility for many years, we decided to begin our family through open adoption.

Married for over 10 years, we complement and love each other well. We love to have fun together and share many hobbies and a wonderful community of friends, family, and a caring, local church. Josh is a devoted husband and caring friend who is kind, funny, and patient. He will make a wonderful, hands-on dad teaching a child to garden, woodwork, play guitar, cheer for the Packers, and enjoy the grandness of the outdoors. Colleen is a compassionate, witty, outgoing woman who is a loyal and giving friend and wife. Colleen cannot wait to be a mom; a natural nurturer, she is quickly loved by children.  

Josh teaches Mathematics and Computer Science to high school students. Colleen teaches high school English - in fact, it’s at the same school as Josh. Being teachers affords us summers off together to be home enjoying our big backyard with lots of room to play or working in our flower and vegetable gardens. We also spend time improving our home, enjoying the great outdoors camping or hiking, traveling to see friends and family, and making memories closer to home at community events.

We are praying for you and for your child(ren).  We excitedly anticipate meeting you and learning more about you and your story.  We promise to share who you are with our child and honor the difficult, loving choice you are making through adoption.  We look forward to meeting you!

With Gratitude,

Josh & Colleen




647 W. Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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© 2016 Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan