Intro

“Family is not always blood. It is the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.” This is what we believe makes up a family and what excites us about pursing adoption. Our family is made up of one of the strongest and loving moms in the world (Chante), a life of the party dad (Jesse), a two-year old tornado (Kai) and one dog (Solo) that would rather sleep all day in his blanket then do anything else. We are excited to share our story with you and truly feel honored to be considered as potential adopted parents. We are an active family that let’s just say has had an interesting start. Between fighting and beating cancer to living apart as we completed our academic endeavors, we have a greater appreciation for the little things in life and the importance of making each day count. We believe families do not have to match. You do not have to look like someone else to love them. We hope you will find our story of interest and look forward to learning more about you.

Our Story / Why Adoption

That age-old adage that you will marry your neighbor, actually happened with us.  Ok, the term neighbor may be a stretch but none the less in the same community!  We are one grade level apart, went to the same junior high and high school with similar friends and never crossed paths.   It actually took a mutual friend from graduate school to introduce us on a blind date.  We instantly connected over our love for animals and similar pasts (too many, it was weird).  It has been an adventure since that date.

Some of those adventures have been good and some have been challenging.  After a year of being married we relocated to Denver, CO. to complete Jesse’s education.   We had our son, Kai, there so he is a Colorado native and spent 3 years there before moving home to Salt Lake City, UT.  During this time, Chantè was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer about 4 months out of giving birth to Kai.  This was a very challenging time, as Chantè spend nearly two years undergoing medical treatment at Huntsman Cancer. Fortunately, she has completed her treatment and is a cancer survivor!  Unfortunately, the aftermath of treatment meant Chantè is not able to carry another pregnancy.

So, this lands us here to the amazing opportunity of adoption.  We want to provide Kai with the opportunity to grow up with a sibling.  We both feel like there is so much to be said about family and this bond is absolutely something we want to foster.  It would be a blessing to care for another child and complete our dream of having two children.  We greatly appreciate your interest in our post and thank you for taking the time to read a little about us.

About Chantè (written by Jesse)

Chantè is one of the most compassionate, intellectual, beautiful and caring individuals you will ever have the privilege of meeting. As a Utah native, she grew up riding, caring for and competing with horses. This is where her passion for life and love of animals started and continues to this day. You will likely find Chantè volunteering at the Humane Society, walking our dog Solo, dancing to Justin Timberlake or singing in the car. Chantè also loves music, travel, fashion, learning new skills and enjoying the great outdoors. She has spent the last decade managing her family’s local business, while earning her master’s degree in business administration from Westminster College.

Although Chantè has so many endearing qualities, being a patient, loving and fun mother must be some of her best traits. Chantè has had a very challenging past with a life-threating cancer diagnosis but through this experience she has revealed her true character as she fought through chemotherapy, countless surgeries, multiple complications and radiation. Through all these challenges, she never lost her beautiful smile, love of life and her strong will. Although there were times, we did not see the end, she fought her way through the adversity and can proudly say she has beaten cancer. Now, Chantè is healthy and eager to continue her dream of developing a loving family.

About Jesse (written by Chantè)

Jesse is one of those people that make you a better person by knowing him.   He strives to squeeze the most out of life in every facet.  Wither it’s a spontaneous hike in the mountains or a day hanging around the house, his passion is always at the forefront.  Jesse has been the pillar of strength for our family during the hard times.  In the moments where life can lead you astray, he is the person to steer you back on track.  Although his thoughts are calculated and rational, he is charismatic in his delivery.

Jesse is a Utah native and it shows.   He enjoys all things Utah like skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing, mountain biking and hiking to name a few.  He is an avid outdoorsman and finds peace hanging out in nature.  When Jess isn’t outside or hanging with Kai he is an incredibly focused professional.  Many years of education have yielded a very successful career as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah and Director of the Gait Lab at the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Medical Center.

Jesse loves kids.  Often times I can just find him hanging out with Kai in his playroom, wrestling around and playing pretend.  It has been so inspiring watching him grow into the role of a father. Witnessing the bond Kai and him has been heartwarming.

About Kai

Kai is a tenacious two-year-old, that loves to be involved with everything we do.  His comical demeanor and louder than life personality is infectious.  He has a very nurturing personality and is always the first to offer comfort.  His favorite things to do our: take his dog, Solo, for a walk, play at the playground up the street from us, wrestle with his Dad and help us cook dinner.  He enjoys visiting his family too!  He adores his two grandmas the most and many cousins and friends’ kids’ as well.  He is well adjusted and can handle himself with others.  We have to accredit that to our aunts’ Preschool he attends that has advanced his learning so much.

Hobbies and Traditions

This is probably the cliché answer for any Utahan, but we love the outdoors!  Any chance we get we try to escape and go for a hike, a bike ride, sledding or skiing.  In more normal settings (pre-COVID), we like to travel as well.  Experiencing other cultures is important to us.  Enriching our lives with travel experiences is something we would like to continue even with our growing family!   Some of our most favorite travels include; Maui, Riviera Maya, and New York City. Locally we have family with a cabin in Island Park, ID. near Yellowstone that we frequent a couple times a year.   These memories are something we both cherish from our childhood and would like to replicate for our kids.

Since moving away from Utah the importance of family and friends was very apparent to us.  As a result, we like to host Sunday dinners at our house for a different group each week.  Getting together in our home and cooking dinner is such quality time to deepen our relationships with a warm and welcoming community of support.  This is our opportunity to give back to those that have given so much to us.

Our Home

We live in a multi-level historic home near the University of Utah.  We moved in mid-2020 and fell in love with the charm the neighborhood offers.   With the huge Sycamore tree-lined streets, quaint playgrounds within a block and local stores around the corner, you couldn’t ask for a better environment.  The energy is palpable through the very active community filled with young families and lots of kids.  We are within walking distance to the Hogle Zoo and a short bike ride to Liberty Park.  All the University of Utah amenities, museums and parks are near as well.  The school system, especially the elementary, Uintah, is amongst the best rated in the state.  We love our home and take a lot of pride in restoring its history. We think this will be a beautiful spot to cherish many memories.

Our Families

We both have lots of family here in Salt Lake City. Jesse’s mom (Mama C) who is a big part of ours and Kai’s life, lives within 25 minutes. His aunt and family live just down the street from us which is awesome to have them that close.  Chantè’s mom and sister along with her two kids, live in Daybreak.  Ironically enough, both Jesse and Chantè’s dads live in Phoenix, AZ. (not sure how that happened?). We usually make a trip out there once a year to visit them and enjoy some sun!  In addition to family we have lots of friends near with kids that we often get together with.  Family and community are big for us.  We like to make intentional efforts in being present in each other’s lives.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that was a lot of information! BUT seriously, thanks for taking a peek into our little lives and please know that we are so beyond ready to add another kiddo to this family.   We have worked so hard to get to this point in our lives and we cannot wait to continue this crazy-beautiful journey with you.

Cheers,

Chantè, Jesse and Kai Christensen

 

To learn more about Chantè and Jesse contact CSS at richard@cssutah.org

or call/text 801-656-8527.


Quick Q & A with Chantè & Jesse:

  • What activities or interests are you excited to share with a child?

    We are an active family that enjoys traveling, music venues, cooking and cheering on the University of Utah with family and friends. You can also find us regularly exploring the Wasatch mountains while skiing, fly-fishing, mountain biking and hiking.

  • What are you looking for or open to in reference to adoption?

    We are open to many options of adoption. Ultimately, we are looking to provide a nurturing environment that will allow a child to grow up to reach their full potential. We are fortunate to have a great neighborhood with lots of young kids, great school system and supportive family that will make for an ideal environment for a little one to grow up in.

  • What qualities do you and your partner admire in one another?

    Funny, hardworking, adventurous and humble are a few of the qualities we share and admire in one another. We are ultimately best friends and have been through a lot over the course of our marriage. Though every struggle and accomplishment, we have grown closer together, which makes our family bond very strong.

  • What makes you feel happiest in life?

    Spending time together as a family is where we are the happiest. Whether that is skiing a powder day on the mountain or watching a movie on the couch together, we just enjoying spending quality time together.

  • What do you want to tell expectant/birth parents?

    “Family is not always blood. It is the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.” We know this is a challenge time as an expectant/birth parent but know we will do everything in our power to provide the best environment and opportunities for our child to be the best they can be and reach their full potential.

  • What are your core values?

    Honesty, passion, and hard work.