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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Made with love

The+Coopers+are+hoping+that+the+Mac+and+Cheese+Cook+Off+will+bring+them+one+step+closer+to+finding+and+adopting+Mini+Cooper.
Photo by Provided

The Coopers are hoping that the Mac and Cheese Cook Off will bring them one step closer to finding and adopting “Mini Cooper”.

When Kaylee Cooper’s grandmother gifted an ornament to her and husband Patrick, it was adorned with a noodle and a caption that read: “I love mac and cheese.” Now, with a love for mac and cheese and an even stronger love for each other, the Coopers are taking their beloved dish’s purpose to the next level by hosting a Mac and Cheese Cook Off fundraiser. The fundraiser will help the Coopers achieve their dream of becoming adopted parents.
The couple is searching for “Mini Cooper” and hopes to earn enough funds to cover adoption costs. With a goal of $20,000, the entry fee for the contest is $5 a dish and it will cost $1 to taste the mac and cheese for the day. The event will also include games, activities and a silent auction, and the winner of the contest will receive a trophy and a prize. The deadline to enter the competition is Saturday and the competition will be held Saturday, April 29.
Married four years, the Coopers decided a few years ago they were ready to start a family. This was when difficulties arose, Kaylee said. The couple struggled to become pregnant and decided to seek a medical opinion.
“We’ve had trouble with infertility for several years,” Kaylee said. “We’ve had two miscarriages and have gone through nine months of infertility treatments and they finally worked once. The first time I got pregnant was an accident. We decided in December that if our February treatment didn’t work we would go ahead and adopt.”
Kaylee’s infertility is due in part to polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, a condition that affects the body’s hormone levels and can result in future health problems and complications with conception.
“[The fertility treatment] was very stressful, emotionally and on my body,” Kaylee said. “The doctor told us that even for healthy people, there’s only a 15 percent chance each time to conceive a child. When you throw in PCOS, it takes the chances way down. We’re looking at a one percent chance, and every month is a gamble. That’s what makes it difficult.”
Patrick is serving his ninth year with the National Guard as a Logistics Non-Commissioned Officer and said people often assume he’s a parent because of his time spent in the military. Patrick said the process of accepting their infertility caused some issues within their relationship, yet the two ultimately learned to grow from the ordeal. Embracing adoption, however, was always a part of the plan.
“Even before we knew about the infertility we talked about adopting,” Patrick said. “It was always something we wanted to do, but we’re at the point now that we want to start a family and that’s where it weighs on us, because we want to have that joy in our life and give the joy to someone else too and having a child to give that experience to. It’s not that we’re not happy as is, but there’s something missing.”
In addition to helping the Cooper family find their missing piece, the Mac and Cheese Cook Off will also fill empty stomachs and bring the community together for the cause. Kaylee said she can “live, eat and breathe mac and cheese,” so integrating the cherished dish into their fundraiser was no accident and it made the event even more personal.
The cook off, which will take place at the Texas National Guard in Downtown Bryan on April 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will showcase vendors, music, games and a silent auction. General admission is free. The Coopers welcome interested competitors, vendors and live bands to inquire at [email protected].

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