Describe your childhood: |
Amy: My childhood was full of love and wonderment. I grew up the youngest of 6 children in a historical, antebellum home that was built in the early 1800's. It was surrounded by lots of farmland filled with both domestic and exotic animals ranging from horses and cows to ostriches and peacocks. As a little girl, I was able to experience things that most children could only read or dream about. I watched farm animals come into the world and learned the responsibility of taking care of them at an early age. Needless to say, my childhood was always full of adventure and gave me a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Dave: I grew up in an apartment complex that was filled with lots of children. We used to ride our bikes on the sidewalks near the complex, swam as often as we could and played baseball, football, soccer and about any sport that involved a ball. We even taught ourselves how to break dance at the laundromatÖ donít ask how, but we did. I was an active child and was content playing with my friends or entertaining myself with my collection of Matchbox cars. Growing up in a neighborhood gave me the opportunity to make friends with different kids on the block and created memories that I will never forget.
Tell us about your home?
Our home is a cozy bungalow located in a wonderful neighborhood full of children. We come home every day to our own sanctuary and love spending time playing outdoors as much as we can. There are walking trails inside and around our neighborhood and the streets are never empty as there are always children playing outside. On our way to work, we enjoy seeing parents walking their children to the elementary school nearby. In addition, there are multiple parks in the area we like to visit and neighborhood festivities throughout the year in which we enjoy taking part.
When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
Whenever we have a long weekend, we either like to take a short vacation to a nearby location or spend the weekend swimming, grilling out and playing outdoors. We live within minutes from a family resort and can always stop by for some down time or to just take it the wonders of nature. In addition, the community we live in always has some kind of festival or happening that we can enjoy, so we do not necessarily need a 3-day weekend to stir up some fun as there is always a lot going on right around the corner.
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have a lovable Yorkie named Sir McCartney (Mac for short) and like us, he canít wait to welcome another child into our family. Mac is almost 9-years-old and was named after none other than the singer, Sir Paul McCartney. He loves to play inside or outside with our son and is such a cuddle bug. Even though he is all of 8 lbs, he is quite protective of our son and stays right by his side anytime he is around.
What do you hope to teach your children?
Our memories from childhood are very special and we want our children to be able to experience many of the same things we did such as learning to ride a bike, a horse, raising up a small farm animal and the liberating feeling of running through an open field. We also want to share the adventurous stories from the bible to help guide them through the different phases and challenges they will face in life. Another valuable tool we would like to instill in our children is the importance of good manners and having respect for others. More than anything, we want them be able to enjoy their childhood and not be pressured into growing up too soon.
Describe your neighborhood?
Our neighborhood is very safe and family friendly with lots of children. There are walking trails inside and around our neighborhood and the streets are never empty as there are always children playing outside. On our way to work, we enjoy seeing parents walking their children to the elementary school nearby. In addition, there are multiple parks in the area and neighborhood festivities throughout the year in which we enjoy taking part. We could not ask for a nicer neighborhood and enjoy coming home to our cozy bungalow each day and spending time sprucing up our yard and relaxing outdoors.
What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
When talking to our children about their birth mother, we want them to first know how much she loves them. We also want to have pictures of her either around the house or in their room so that they can make that connection when we share stories about her. It is important for us to have an open line of communication regarding adoption so that our children can grow up being confident in who they are and as people. We want our children to know how special their birth mother is and how her selfless actions allowed us to become a family.
It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
The first thing would be to make Daddy breakfast in bed and then help him enjoy every last bite. After that, Daddy would probably want to go for a stroll and picnic in the park and then a ride around the farm on the E-Z-GO while admiring the beautiful landscape and animals. Camping would be another fun outing on Daddy's day and would probably involve lots of fishing and swimming and then sitting around the campfire roasting weenies and marshmallows while talking about the fun things they did together that day.
What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
After seeing how much of an impact a Christian education has made on our nieces and nephews, we would like to follow in our family's footsteps and send our children to a Christian school where God is the foundation. We feel that God should be the center of everything in our lives and a child needs to understand and know that at an early age so that the proper seeds can be planted and the foundation can be laid for an unyielding faith in and relationship with the Lord. This basic principle will help provide our children with a strong foundation and give them the security they need throughout life to excel in everything they do in and outside of the classroom.
How did you come to the decision of adoption?
We have always had a common desire to start a family, regardless of the way in which it occurred. When we were friends, we would often talk about adoption in passing and have always been open to it and know without a doubt that was God preparing us for what was to come. Parenthood has come naturally as we have big hearts for children as they do for us. We cannot imagine life without children and want to provide a loving, nurturing and stable family environment for them so that they can grow up, knowing without a doubt, that they are the apples of our eye. We are 100% committed to being a family and know that God has another precious child just waiting for us.
What faith will you raise your child?
We are both Christians, so Christianity is the religion in which our children will be raised. We want our children to establish a relationship with the Lord so that they have the reinforcement needed to grow into a strong individual who has a heart for helping others. Without our personal relationship with the Lord, we would have not been able to get through the challenges we have faced in our lives, especially during our struggles with infertility. Being a Christian is so much more than just going to church every Sunday; it is about helping others and also about having an extended family who is there to pick you up during the difficult times and to celebrate with you during the good times.
What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
An open relationship would be ideal because we feel it is important for a child to maintain their roots as it allows them more stability throughout life and is healthier for all involved in the adoption process. Exchanging letters and pictures would be nice, but we would also respect the birth mother's wishes and most certainly would not want to make the situation uncomfortable in any way if she wanted the adoption to be closed. If she is open to maintaining and building a relationship with us, we feel that would be best for everyone.
How did you meet?
We met through a mutual friend nearly 18 years ago while we were both in college. Dave had moved from California to Alabama to attend college and I was going to a local college pursuing a degree in music. We remained good friends for about 8 months before we made it official and started dating. From the moment we first met, we were inseparable and genuinely enjoyed each other's company and sense of humor. Our mutual taste in music and effortless ability to make each other laugh has been a constant throughout our relationship. It keeps us grounded and continually reminds us of the things that originally drew us together.
What was your relationship with your parents like?
Amy: I have always had a very close relationship and bond with my parents and felt blessed at an early age to have them in my life. They have always been wonderful parents and excellent role models who continually taught me by example and have instilled their morals and values in me so that I could grow up feeling strong and confident in my own skin. They made many sacrifices for me and my siblings growing up and would have given us the shirts off their backs if it meant keeping us safe and warm. Today, I have an even stronger relationship with them and can honestly say that they are my best friends.
Dave: Even though my parents divorced when I was a little boy, I have always had a good relationship with both of them. The connection that I had with my mom was very different than the one I had with my dad, but both were relationships full of love and respect. My parents eventually remarried other people, so I ended up with two more positive influences in my life and feel blessed to still have all four of them in my life today. Growing up, I always knew I was loved and was raised to never be afraid or ashamed of showing affection for my family in public. We have always been very open and honest about our strong family ties.
What attracted you to each other?
When I first met Dave, I immediately thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. On top of that, he had an amazing smile and sense of humor. When Dave met me, he said that my eyes were the first thing that he noticed. He quickly learned that I had a sharp wit about me and a crazy sense of humor as well. Our outgoing personalities blended well and we have been inseparable since. After being together for so long, I am still drawn to his handsomeness, but am also attracted to his honesty and gentle nature. He loves my zeal for life and genuine desire to reach out to and lift up others.
Please describe your personalities:
Amy: I am a very happy, funny and outgoing person who is full of energy. It means a lot to me to be able to share my time and talents with others while lifting them up through music. I love giving back in any way that I can and reaching out whether it be through a friendly gesture or just helping someone out during a time of need. I am ambitious, self-motivated and love living each day to the fullest.
Dave: I am a laid back person with a strong work ethic and take great pride in everything that I do. Making others laugh makes me feel good and allows me to break away from the seriousness of this world. I am a very affectionate person and have a big heart for children as they do for me. Honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability are some of other traits that I hold as they are very important to me as well as my family, friends and the people I meet.
What are your hobbies?
Amy: My favorite hobby is spending time with my family. I also enjoy gardening as well as singing and leading the worship music and the Childrenís and Adult Choirs at our church. Since I grew up on a farm with many different animals, I still love being around farm life and watching baby chickens hatch or little puppies being born. There is never a dull moment on our family farm and I cherish everything about being a part of that experience. Dave and I enjoy spending time outdoors and riding the E-Z-GO around my parent's farm with our son. We love the outdoors and have a genuine appreciation for the simple things in life.
Dave: Like Amy, I really enjoy spending time with my family. However, when time allows, I also enjoy cooking and sprucing up our yard. Amy and I share a lot of the same interests and enjoy spending time together as a family whether we're playing in our backyard or strolling through our neighborhood. We really like spending time outdoors and taking in all of the beautiful surroundings while sharing the events from our day with one another.
When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
Utmost respect, love and a deep-felt gratitude. Words cannot begin to express every thought and emotion that floods my soul when I think about the birth mother who humbled herself to ensure her child would have a loving and nurturing environment in which to grow. Her selfless actions will never be forgotten and will be celebrated each day as I'm singing lullabies and nursery rhymes to our precious miracle.
How will a child enrich your life?
We know that children are very special and give you so much purpose and meaning in life. We feel like we were put here on this earth to care for God's children and want to be able to carry out His mission and watch another precious child grow into a strong and confident young man or woman. Being able to share our lives and abounding love with children is so very special and allows us to create a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Amy: My father was in the Marine Corps, so I have always had a high regard for our military and the many sacrifices they make on a daily basis. In January 2006, I accepted a job with a marketing firm that supports the recruiting and retention efforts of the U.S. military and now work part-time from home for another company that supports the military. This allows me to contribute to a much greater cause and is very fulfilling. In addition, my music degree has led me down different paths such as American Idol, Dollywood and Nashville, but nearly 8 years ago, I was called to be the Music Director at the church where Dave and I attend. Sharing my talents with others and praising the Lord through music is extremely rewarding.
Dave: My career path has included everything from food service to home improvement to pest control. I now work with a pest control company and really enjoy the flexibility of setting my own schedule each day and managing my time and workload. The customers are really friendly and laid back and I enjoy helping them so that they can live more comfortably. Just being able to do physical labor outside each day is truly a blessing. I genuinely enjoy everything about my job and am thankful that it allows me to provide for my family.