What does "Family Life" mean to you?|
Family Life for us is based on unconditional love, loyalty and mutual respect. Itís a life where we support each otherís ambitions and stand together during the difficult times knowing that everything will turn out okay because we have each other. It is also a time of cherishing the moments we spend together and laughing until our bellies hurt.
Describe your childhood:
Adoptive Mom? I had a very happy childhood and was well cared for and loved by both of my parents. My mom stayed at home and my father had his own business that afforded my mom the opportunity to stay at home with us. We were always encouraged to do our best and that "we could do whatever we wanted in life if we put our minds to it". I have many wonderful memories of family beach vacations, summer camp adventures, family birthday and holiday celebrations and numerous shopping trips with my mom. My father teaching me to drive was a definite highlight for me. We had a bunch of pets - dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, you name it. We thoroughly enjoyed playing and taking care of all of them!
Adoptive Dad? I grew up in a small town in Missouri with my parents and two brothers. My fondest memories of childhood range from spending virtually every summer day playing baseball or basketball in the cul-de-sac with my brothers and friends, family road trips to Branson, South Carolina, and California, and fishing with my grandfather. My dad built a pool in our backyard and our family spent countless hours having relay races, playing marco polo, or just lounging around in the sun. My family was exceptionally close and my parents always involved in our activities. Iím making sure my boys are able to enjoy childhood as much as I did and canít wait to do the same with our daughter.
Tell us about your home?
We live in a spacious yet cozy 4-bedroom home in a fun and social neighborhood. Both of our boys were born in this home - which makes it all the more special. Our sons have their own rooms, which we struggle to keep organized - lots of Legos everywhere! We have decorated a bedroom in pink and white, fit for a little princess, waiting to fill those walls with love and joy. Our sunny and warm sunroom is a favorite place for us to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while watching the kids play outside. We all love our "movie" room in the lower level of our home. It has become a popular spot for our family on Friday "movie night". Our large fenced in backyard welcomes neighborhood children of all ages to play tag, flag football or in the summer enjoy the sprinklers or our waterslide. Making símores over our fire pit is also a favorite thing to do when the weather gets cooler.
When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
If we are not entertaining friends or having our family in from out of town, we thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. We also enjoy shopping trips followed with lunch or dinner out and then movies or bowling. We love playing sports and riding bikes as well. We do try to balance the weekend with a good mix of fun activities with friends and family as well as just spending quiet time around our home.
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We absolutely love our pets - they are like family to us. We have two dogs - Cockapoos named Prince Charming and Lola. They truly have the best dispositions and love kids and people in general. They enjoy family walks around our neighborhood and rides in the car. Our boys love putting football jerseys on them on game days - itís pretty funny to see - and the dogs love it too. We also have a cat named Chase. He is a very sweet cat that we bought after we got engaged. He gets along with our dogs wonderfully and the boys love taking turns having him sleep in their beds at night. Having pets adds fun to our lives and gives our children another way to demonstrate responsibility. They are important members of our family!
What is your favorite food?
Our favorite food by far is sushi but we are also known to enjoy a good dessert. Christianís "go to" is Haagen Dazís Coffee ice cream - has to be that brand though, he has tried others and they just arenít as good. My favorite dessert is cupcakes. I absolutely LOVE cupcakes! Whenever we travel, I purposely look to see if there is a cupcake store nearby because I love to sample them and see who truly has the best cupcake out there.
What do you hope to teach your children?
We want our children to cherish life and to believe in themselves. We encourage them to reach for the stars in everything they want to try or experience. Another important lesson is that love is paramount and without it, life is dull and meaningless. We believe that establishing true friendships early in life is important. We push our children to be themselves and to surround themselves with people that bring out the best in them.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Adoptive Mom? When I was a child I played piano in elementary school. I can still play the piano a little bit and would love to have a baby grand piano one day so that our children could also learn.
Adoptive Dad? I can play the radio, and that is about it!
Describe your neighborhood?
Our neighborhood is chock full of families with children of all ages. We have a very active "social committee" in our community and they schedule many fun filled events for children. Some absolute favorites include the Easter egg hunt, the Fourth of July parade and bike/wagon decorating contest and the Halloween haunted path and costume contest. Our neighborhood sponsors an annual Childrenís triathlon which has become a huge hit. We also have several ice cream socials at our neighborhood pool and participate in Christmas caroling in the winter. We feel truly blessed to be around so many wonderful people and have cultivated friendships that will last a lifetime. Having been here for 11 years has allowed us the chance to watch these children grow up with the same friends and grow some pretty amazing memories - we always enjoy going through our family photo albums and looking at life here over the years.
Share something about your spouse that only you know:
Adoptive Mom? Christianís iPod contains only songs from one artist. Heís clearly a huge fan!
Adoptive Dad? If I share it, then I wonít be the only one to know! Thatís no fun.
Describe the last romantic thing you did together?
This summer, Christian and I and the boys went on a trip to California for over a week. It was a family reunion and wedding trip that was planned by his family and full of things to do as his entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins etc) were all getting together again after a few years. Christian secretly arranged for a special day/night out to celebrate our anniversary and just to get time alone. We took a boat to Catalina Island and he made reservations at a restaurant (incredible sushi) and we reminisced about our Honeymoon in Hawaii and how wonderful our lives have been since then. We talked about our journey to adopt and how excited we are to add a daughter to our lives. We walked around, I took a zillion pictures and we shopped some and enjoyed the beauty of the island. It reminded us a lot of Lanai, which we visited during our Honeymoon. It was a wonderful time for us to reconnect.
What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
Absolutely everything we can! She is doing something so incredible, so selfless - we would love to share with our child everything about their adoption journey and the courage and love exhibited by her birthmother. It is our desire for an open or semi-open adoption with a caring and honest relationship with our childís birthmother. It is our plan to share with this child from an early age how they came to become ours.
It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
I plan on spending the day with my daughter doing all of the favorite things she might like to do. Maybe we will have a tea party, play with dolls or dress up. If she wants to play flag football like her brothers we will do that. I firmly believe that every child needs to be encouraged to do what they enjoy. I want to be a part of that with my daughter - no matter what it is she loves to do.
Do you plan on sharing with your child what their birth parents were like?
We feel that it is important that our child know where they came from and who their first parents are. I am sure that any child would want to know who they share their smile with and which parent gave them their blue eyes or brown. We would love to be able to share whatever it is that the birth parents want this child to know about them and this incredible act of love they chose. There truly is no greater love.
What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
The public schools in our area are absolutely fantastic. The philosophy of our school is "to be a culturally responsive and student-centered environment where staff, parents, students, and community work together to ensure the success of all learners". And from our experience thus far we have witnessed this and are quite thankful. Both of our boys have had wonderful and positive experiences at the school and take great pride in being a "Comet". We also love that the school is less than 2 miles away from our home.
How did you come to the decision of adoption?
We always dreamed of having many children, and after several miscarriages and attempts to conceive via IVF, we researched adoption and truly felt that was how we were going to achieve our dreams of having additional children.
What faith will you raise your child?
How will you help your child accomplish their dreams?
Like our parents did with us, we will support and encourage our children in whatever endeavors they may wish. It is also very important to us that our child have the educational opportunities to enable her to become the person she wants to be.
What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We would love to get to know her well and help her in any way that we are able. We would love to meet her before she gives birth and would welcome a friendship if she is open to it. We are very sensitive to the possible fear and emotions that come with adoption including making the best choice for your child - especially when it isnít necessarily aligned with what a birthmom would want. It is our desire to be there for her as much or as little as she wants. We want her to feel like she can count on us before, during and after to help her and show her that we consider her part of our family and this journey will not end at the birth. Communication is key at all stages and we feel that we will be able to comfort her and demonstrate true love and kindness. Her pure act of love will never be lost on us.
How did you meet?
Christian and I met at a political event in Washington, D.C. We had immediate chemistry and clicked in so many ways.
What was your relationship with your parents like?
We both had wonderful relationships with our parents and feel truly blessed to be able to say that is still true to this day. They have taught us such valuable life lessons and have just been there for us unconditionally and seamlessly across the miles. They are excited about our adoption plans and inquire almost daily as to how things are coming along.
What attracted you to each other?
Adoptive Mom? For me, I found Christian absolutely handsome and loved his sweet smile, it warmed me. His sense of humor and witty charm made me want to get to know him better immediately and just be around him nonstop. He was incredibly thoughtful and caring and I just knew within a few weeks that we would eventually marry.
Adoptive Dad? Dawnís beauty instantly caught my eye. But it was getting to know how strong, fun-loving, and caring that she is that made me fall in love with her.
Please describe your personalities:
Adoptive Mom? I am a sensitive, compassionate and caring person who cherishes her family and holds good friends just as close. I am outgoing and very social and l love to make others laugh. Iím a neat freak when it comes to my house (and even my car). I absolutely love learning new things.
Adoptive Dad? Iíd describe myself as inquisitive, loyal, and fun-seeking. I love a good joke and avoid drama.
What are your hobbies (please share those you enjoy as individuals and those you enjoy as a couple):
Adoptive Mom? I enjoy tennis, running and working out regularly. Tennis is a new sport for me and I cannot get enough of it. I compete actively at our country club and in the community. Christian and I play together on Sundays and it is a weekly tradition for us that we look forward to (we are both competitive). I am an avid photographer and absolutely love photographing just about anything - my preference is children though as you truly never know what you are going to get - love that challenge. A good beach day is a must for me. Having grown up only 2 hours from the ocean - we visited often. Nothing more tranquil than the sound of the waves...Sharing time with my husband and children are top on my list as is enjoying a coffee date or shopping trip with my girlfriends.
Adoptive Dad? My primary hobby is playing basketball. But I also enjoy reading, watching movies, and watching sports.
Together we enjoy laughing at just about anything. Since we are both quite competitive - we love and welcome a tennis mate or even a game on Wii. We also love playing Words with Friends or Scramble with Friends. We both thoroughly enjoy traveling and feel blessed to be able to do that several times a year with our family and occasionally with our good friends and their children too.
When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
What an incredible selfless act of pure love. We can only imagine her journey and what got her to this decision and hope that with us being by her side and knowing that we will be a part of each otherís lives forever, that she will have the peace and calm and know that she is making the best decision for her baby as hard as it may be. We already love her so much and highly esteem her for being so incredibly brave and to think first about what is best for her child.
How will a child enrich your life?
Our lives will be enriched by having a daughter that we have always dreamed of. To say it would be a dream come true sounds so cliche - but it is! Not a day goes by where we arenít talking about what things will be like when she is finally with us. Our boys are super excited to become big "protective" brothers and cannot wait to have a sister to love on and help out with.
Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Adoptive Mom? Christian and I decided to start a family shortly after we were married. So, I hung up my professional suits and became a mom. Itís by far the best job Iíve ever had - full of challenges and rewards. About 6 years ago, I decided to start my own business as a Photographer. It is very "part time" and I absolutely love what I do when I am not with my kids. I absolutely love the art of it and the challenge of the perfect capture. My clients are mainly babies, children and families. I most enjoy getting the perfect shot of a child - one that a mother has not been able to on her own. Itís incredibly rewarding and honestly just downright fun!
Adoptive Dad? For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an attorney. Iím not sure why I got that idea in my head. It was probably something I picked up from watching lawyer shows on TV. Anyway, I never thought of doing anything else and it turns out Iím pretty good at this job.
What makes a birthmom special?
Any woman who could carry a child and then selflessly give a child to another family is the mark of a woman who is more than special. She is a woman that can see past an adorable baby and see that where she is at in her life is not the right time for a baby but realizes that the family she is selecting is one that will be able to offer her baby more than she will and she embraces that as best as she can. She is special because she bonds and cares for that baby for 9 months and loves that baby so much that she entrusts someone else. There could be no greater love.