progress — By christian peper
While parenthood has been the happiest adventure of their lives, growing their family wasn’t the easiest process. Meet Christian Peper, mountain biker extraordinaire and father of Jonas, who he and his wife Cara adopted. Adoption can be a long process—it involves extensive government background checks, days of classes, dozens of forms, and more. But adoption also gave them the gift of being parents. We caught up with Christian to hear more about their adoption journey and their current efforts to adopt baby number two. Here’s what he had to say.
Did you and your wife always know adoption would be part of your family plan?
We did, yes. We talked about it while we were dating and always planned to adopt. When Cara was diagnosed with PCOS after a few years of trying to have kids, we realized it was a great opportunity to adopt sooner than later.
You and your wife Cara are adopting your second child in January. Congrats! What are you most looking forward to?
Our son, Jonas, being an older brother. He loves his little play baby toys. I think it’s also special to me because I’m an oldest brother and have fond memories of watching out for my younger sisters.
I think it’s fairly well-known that adoption is expensive, but beyond that, people may not know much. What is one thing about the adoption process you want people to know?
How important it is to learn from adoptees and birth moms. There is so much to learn from these other members of the “adoption triad” that has really shaped how we plan to parent our son.
How has fatherhood changed your perspective on life?
I always wanted to be a dad, due to the close relationship I had/have with my own dad. I don’t think fatherhood has changed anything, it’s just given me the chance to experience it for myself. Grateful for that and excited to watch my kids grow up.
If you could sum up the adoption process/adoption in general in one word, what would it be?
Difficult. Between the effort and cost and the joy and grief felt by the various parties. It’s complicated but we’re grateful for the opportunity.
If you had to leave your kids with one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t second guess yourself—go get it. We will always support you in what you want to do. We will be there next to you.
You are quite the mountain bike enthusiast. How have you (if you have) involved Jonas in that hobby?
Jonas has a little strider bike that he loves riding around. I’m hopeful that he’ll fall in love with riding from a young age like I did. We also have some fun attachments that allow him to sit on my bike while I ride—he laughs and laughs when we ride out in nature on easier trails.
If someone is thinking about looking into adoption, where would you recommend starting?
You probably know an adoptive couple or have a friend of a friend—I would start by learning about their experience. Just hearing someone’s story is usually enough to feel whether it’s the right fit for you. After that it’s great to get into some of the Facebook groups—you can get answers to so many questions and find support from people who were in your same shoes.
In an effort to bring awareness and raise funds for your adoption and just adoption and birth mothers in general, you are hosting a giveaway! Can you tell us a little about it/how people can enter?
I am lucky enough to work with some amazing brands (Rhone being one of them), who have donated some incredible prizes. You can donate and view the prizes at RideSpicy.com/fundraiser — For each $5 donated towards our adoption fund we are giving an entry towards the following:
Grand Prize: A fully customized Yeti Cycles SB115 mountain bike with carbon fiber cockpit and wheels provided by ENVE, and hubs/headset provided by Chris King. The winner will also get to design custom paint and decals for the bike, provided by TecGnar custom paint and Stikrd decals. Here is a picture of the last bike I built with help from these companies:
Second Prize: $400 gift card towards any VelociRAX bike rack, $250 gift card towards Rhone.com, and a free pair of shoes of your choice from Etnies.com
Any final words?
Just thank you. The outpouring of support means so much to us. Every dollar is sacred and will go a long way for our little family.