What does "Family Life" mean to you?|
Family Life means time spent with our family - our children, parents, siblings, etc. It means dinners together around the kitchen table, going to church, helping with homework, teaching our children how to ride a bike, seeing little eyes light up on Christmas morning, reading bedtime stories, playing games, coaching their little league team. It means being there for each other through tough times and joyful times.
Describe your childhood:
Adoptive Mom? There was never a dull moment! Coming from a blended family with 6 brothers & 4 sisters (1 is my twin sister!) we had so much fun growing up. We all played baseball/softball at the local park. We spent hours swimming in our backyard pool, and so did all of the neighborhood kids. I also spent a lot of time exploring the woods behind our house, putting on "shows" for our parents & playing games. Mom was always home after we got off the bus and we ate dinner as a family each night. Holidays were full of fun traditions and we were fortunate enough to take great vacations each year. Adoptive Dad? Fun, adventurous and nurturing. I had a huge back yard with woods in back where I played all kinds of sports, explored and made secret forts. I could see Lions Park from my backyard which my mom would let me walk/ride my bike to and let me spend every summer day in the parks program playing games, doing crafts and eating snow cones at the end of the day. My mom and dad would always take us up to our lake cottage where I'd spend weekends learning how to swim fish and explore for frogs and lightning bugs till the sun went down. I was lucky to be able to walk to a parochial Lutheran grade school from first through eighth grade which afforded me a wonderful school experience and friends that went on to the same high school I went to that I'm still close friends with to this day.
Tell us about your home?
We live in a beautiful two story home with 4-bedrooms on an acre lot with more than enough room for another child. We have a large kitchen where Kristin loves to cook big meals and a sun room that looks out onto our large backyard. From here in the winter you can see snowflakes fall and in the summer see the flowers blooming. We have a great deck off the kitchen and we eat outside whenever it is nice. The backyard is huge with beautiful gardens and lots of grassy space for games of tag and baseball, squirt gun fights and snowball fights and Easter egg hunts, and a fire pit for roasting hotdogs and s'mores.
When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
In the summer we love to go to our lake cottage with Mark's family where we swim, take rides on the pontoon boat and Jet-ski, grill, play cards and games, and watch sunsets over the water. Other times of the year a 3-day weekend would include a trip to our local coffee shop in the morning to visit friends and their kids. Then we would play tennis or go to the park. We would get together with family and cook a big dinner and play cards or games.
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have both had pets at different times in our lives, but currently do not have any.
What is your favorite food?
How to pick one?! We love food! We love sushi, Mexican, and Italian. We put everything on the grill from meat to veggies to pizza. We also love our sweets and Kristin bakes a mean pie and Mark makes the best milkshake ever. Oh yeah, Mark loves barbeque ribs!
What do you hope to teach your children?
We hope to teach our children by our example of having an unselfish attitude and to respect others. We will encourage them to explore their interests and use their talents wisely as well as the importance of an education. We will instill in our children faith in God and family and pray that they will grow to be caring, generous and kind people.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Kristin played the flute in middle school and currently sings in our church choir. Mark also used to sing when he was in school.
Describe your neighborhood?
Our neighborhood is in a small town and is full of children of all ages. We can walk from our house to the neighborhood pool, tennis courts, playground and picnic area. Our neighborhood hosts swimming parties, Easter egg hunts, a Christmas light competition and more. It is common to see kids riding their bikes, people mowing the grass and working in the garden, and families taking walks.
Share something about your spouse that only you know:
Adoptive Mom? Mark loves candy more than anyone I know - the kids call him the "Candy Man" and he always has a treat for nieces and nephews. Adoptive Dad? Kristin loves to eat any kind of pie (preferably the ones she makes) for breakfast with a tall glass of cold milk.
Describe the last romantic thing you did together?
We took an amazing trip to Hawaii. It was so nice to have time together in such a beautiful place. We spent a lot of time on the beaches snorkeling and swimming. We went hiking to a waterfall and tubing down a mountain. We ate lots of yummy local cuisine at restaurants and listened to live music in the evening. It felt like a second honeymoon!
What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
Our child will know the very difficult decision their birthmother had to make and that they were loved so much by their birthmother who made the selfless decision to give her baby a life with us. They will also know that this decision was brave and full of love and a gift to us. Each night when we say our prayers with our daughter Kate we tell her she is loved by her Mom and Dad, God, her birthmom and so many others. You will be in our nightly prayers with your child as well.
It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
I can not wait to take them to their first baseball, basketball or football game, ride a roller coaster/amusement park ride for the first time with them or take them fishing for the first time. Any first time experiences that I remember experiencing are what I'd like my Daddy's day to be spent doing with my child.
Do you plan on sharing with your child what their birth parents were like?
We will honor the wishes of the birth parents and share as much as they are comfortable with, and as much as is appropriate for the child's age. Although Kate's birthmother wanted a closed adoption, she will always know of the love that her birthmom had for her.
What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
We are open to both. Kristin attended public school in the same town where we now live. They are rated some of the top in the state. Mark attended Lutheran parochial school and valued his experience. We are fortunate to have a choice in our area.
How did you come to the decision of adoption?
We both knew we wanted to be parents, even before we met each other. We wanted to start our family as soon as we were married. We struggled with infertility but always knew there are many ways to become a parent. We embraced the adoption journey and had a wonderful experience with the adoption of our daughter. We are so excited to start the adventure again to bring even more joy into our family!
What faith will you raise your child?
As children, we were both brought up in the Lutheran faith. Mark attended Lutheran parochial school through high school. Kristin's grandfather was a Lutheran preacher. Currently we are attending a Presbyterian church in our town. We love our minister and plan to raise our children in this church.
How will you help your child accomplish their dreams?
We will encourage them to explore their interests to see where their talents lie and what they love to do. We will give them confidence to try new things and set goals. We will provide tools to accomplish their dreams like a good education, travel, exposure to arts and sports. We will praise them and love them through their successes and failures.
What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We will be open to the desires of the birthmother and what she is open to. We would be thrilled to get to know her as a person, learn of her dreams for her future and find out what she wants us to share about her in the future. We want to support her in her pregnancy and be there for her however possible.
How did you meet?
We met through Kristin's mom and soon after went on a blind date. We talked so long during dinner that first night we hardly ate anything and the staff was closing down around us. After that we were inseparable. We spent a lot of time together over the next two years. Mark romantically proposed while on vacation in New Orleans and we were married seven weeks later. We couldn't wait to be married and start our life and family together!
What was your relationship with your parents like?
Kristin: Coming from a blended family, I was so blessed to have 2 dads & 2 moms! They all got along and have each been there for me in different ways. They are supportive, encouraging and fun. We still go on vacations with our parents and love it. Mark: My fatherís example of being the provider growing up allowed me to learn a strong work ethic and a strong sense of humbleness and class. My motherís example of being the caregiver and nurturing role allowed me to be independent yet obedient to her and my fatherís expectations as their son. I thank my father and mother to this day for all that they have allowed me to experience and I cherish the close relationship that I have with them. I love spending time with them in Florida whenever we can and the lake cottage any weekend we can get up there. They are fun loving and would do anything to help our family.
What attracted you to each other?
Kristin: Initially Mark's good looks! I quickly learned he is so much more than this. I was (and still am) attracted to his sense of humor and zest for life, his kindness, sensitivity and generosity towards others and his ability to make me feel comfortable with who I am. Mark: Her dreamy eyes and a smile that would knock anyone's socks off! I finally learned that what's on the outside isn't as important as what's on the inside. Although Kristin is a beautiful woman on the outside, she has a heart of gold and a selfless attitude that rivals anyone I know. I often kid her that she should think about herself first sometimes and not me. We share a lot of the same interests and always take time to listen to one another and understand how one another feels so we can be as supportive as possible.
Please describe your personalities:
Adoptive Mom? Positive, nurturing, optimistic, fun-loving, active, and patient. Adoptive Dad? Outgoing, caring, confident, active, and organized.
What are your hobbies (please share those you enjoy as individuals and those you enjoy as a couple):
Adoptive Mom? Photography, tennis, swimming, cooking, reading, and anything outdoors. Adoptive Dad? Listening to music, boating, golf and tennis, attending and watching all kinds of sports events, grilling, and gardening.
Couple? Playing with our daughter, travel, tennis, boating, cooking/grilling, gardening, biking, and camping.
When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
I have an unending gratitude to our birthmother for making our dream of having a family a reality. I am overwhelmed with admiration for the selfless decision to put the needs of this child ahead of her own and I have hope for our birthmother and her future - hope that she may always be at peace that her decision was one based on love and hope that her life will be richly blessed. Amazing thanks for the incredible gift she has given us!
How will a child enrich your life?
We have such a deep love for each other that it seems only natural that we want to extend our family to include children to share in our love and joy. Another child will bring so much joy and will bring even more love into our home and lives.
Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Adoptive Mom? I studied art in college because I had always had an interest in photography. I got my first 35mm camera when I was 10 years old and have never stopped taking pictures! That led to my degree and a wonderful job in an art museum coordinating the education programs. I am now blessed to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom and love it! Adoptive Dad? Although I graduated with a degree in political science, I had worked in our family's title insurance business since I was fourteen during my summer and winter breaks and always had an interest in the real estate field. When I graduated from college, I knew working in a business I could someday buy into and own was a dream of mine. Through hard work, a little luck and perseverance I bought into the company and learned more about running a business than I could have ever have imagined. My love for real estate and working within an industry that helps people accomplish the dream of owning a home or real estate is rewarding and has allowed me to accomplish a number of personal and professional goals.
What makes a birthmom special?
A birthmom is special because she bravely puts the needs of her baby above anything else. She has so much love for this child that she has made the selfless decision to give him/her life. This is such a wonderful gift to adoptive parents like us who are unable to biologically have children and want to grow our family.