Dear Expectant Parent(s),
We are Courtney and Chris. We’ve known each other for over 12 years, having begun to date when we met in college in upstate New York and having been married for over four years now. We recently moved to our “forever” home in the suburbs just outside of Boston after living in the city for the past several years. We do not currently have any children, although Courtney would argue that our beloved black lab Koda counts, and we are excited to start the next chapter of our lives by adding to our family.
We both come from families with three kids. Courtney has an older brother and a younger sister, while Chris has two older brothers. We are both blessed that our siblings, parents, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles mostly live in the North East with us, so we have chances to see them regularly.
Neither of us can remember exactly when we discussed raising a family together for the first time, but we know it was some time at the end of college, and adoption has always been something we both felt passionately about pursuing one day. Thinking back on those early conversations, we are excited that the future we always talked about together is here now and that we have selected adoption as our first choice for how we will grow our family.
We met in college on the pool deck. We were both competitive swimmers and continue to swim to this date (although not nearly as often or as fast!). We began dating a few months later. As we got to know each other more, we realized that we shared many of the same values – a sense of adventure, a love for humor, humility, respect for others, and a passion to put the needs of others ahead of our own. These are many of the same values with which we will raise our family as well!
After graduating from college, Courtney and I spent three and a half years in a long-distance relationship. Courtney had a job with an electric company that required her to move every six months, while Chris began his career back in Boston for a home décor retail company in 2010. While the long-distance years were tough, we never wavered in our belief that we would eventually reunite and settle down together. Our time apart ultimately gave us a great appreciation for what we enjoy most about each other’s company and taught us to value the most important things in life – being together, enjoying each moment, and having fun.
After coming together again in 2013, we got married in 2015 in Lake George, New York. In the same week that we got married, we purchased a cabin in New Hampshire along a river. The cabin has become a big part of our life together in the years since – we often host family reunions and spend much of our time outdoors – hiking, fishing, and skiing in the winter. Our nieces and nephews love the cabin as well; it is a kid’s paradise, with a river in which they can play and lots of woods for forts and treehouses. Courtney and I can’t wait to have our own kids to bring to the cabin and with whom we can explore the outdoors.
The two of us are both very fortunate in that we had supporting and loving families growing up. Our family also continues to play a pivotal role in our lives today. It has been amazing to see both sets of our parents act as grandparents for our older siblings’ children and they are thrilled at the prospect of us adopting. We will also have a great support network as we begin this journey together, with over seven siblings, parents, aunts, and uncles within 30 minutes of our house.
While we had great families growing up, we were like many families in that we had our moments of tension and disagreements. When we reflect back on how our parents raised us and their styles of parenting, there are many things we want to emulate in our own parenting styles. They raised us to work hard, respect everyone, and not forget to have fun. We like to think that we will instill many of the values that our parents taught us into our child(ren), but we will also learn new ways of parenting as we go. We also look forward to meeting you and learning about how you would like to be involved in our family. We are open and willing to have however much contact with you as you feel comfortable having.
1. Courtney’s sense of adventure and appreciation for fun – Courtney has pushed me in more ways than I ever would have imagined possible, from skydiving to encouraging me to take risks at work, she has made me a much better person by showing me how to relax and have a good time.
2. Courtney’s natural instinct to put others before herself – Courtney’s volunteer work with the Big Sister Organization of Boston started five years ago and she has become a caring mentor to her little ‘sister’ – who spends many Sunday afternoons with us and has leaned on Courtney for guidance/advice as she has navigated her way through middle school.
3. Courtney’s natural grace in interacting with children – Seeing Courtney bond and develop relationships as the “favorite Aunt” of our four nieces and nephews has been amazing. She knows how to inspire imagination and fun, while also instilling the values of fairness in them.
4. Courtney’s practical approach to problem solving and patience with my ideas – I tend to dream big and concoct crazy ideas about things to do around the house; Courtney helps to balance me and correctly point out the flaws in some of my plans.
5. Courtney’s sense of humor – Self-deprecating and never one to take herself too seriously, Courtney is always the life of the party.
1. Chris’ eternal inner child – Chris is part man, part four-year-old and has this amazing ability to be as excited as a little kid whenever he wants. He even has the imagination of a child when playing pretend with our nieces and nephews – it would not surprise me if he told me he prefers hanging out with them over adults. His excitement and zest are contagious to everyone around him.
2. Chris’ sense of humor – Chris knows how to look for humor in every situation, even if it’s a situation where I’m angry or upset. He never takes life too seriously, always making sure he can make someone else laugh when they need it.
3. Chris’ blend of impulsiveness and rationality –Chris has the perfect balance of practicality in large life decisions (he only looked for houses in towns with strong school systems), but also spontaneity in little decisions (like buying an over-the-top T-Rex costume for our nephew’s themed birthday party).
4. Chris’ ability to listen to others – Chris may not always listen to me, his wife (haha), but he always listens to others. He makes sure everyone he’s with feels heard and understood, even if they don’t see eye-to-eye
5. Chris’ curiosity and introversion – Chris is a book worm and I think he may be the world’s fastest reader. He’s particularly interested in history, but also loves the thrill of reading to learn something new. He is inquisitive and thoughtful, which definitely provides balance to my exhausting extroverted personality.
We’ve struggled with answering why we’ve chosen adoption throughout the entire process so far. We are not usually at a loss of words to describe things, but this has been a difficult question for us to answer. Unlike some families who choose to adopt because of infertility issues, we have not tried to have kids of our own yet. We plan to, and hope we will, have biological children someday, but when we think of parenting and unconditional love, we do not think we could do anything more special and meaningful than adopt a baby. We also cannot imagine any more unselfish or loving gesture than birth parent(s) who consider an adoption plan for their baby. Having so many caring people focused on one child just seems like such a great way to start a family. Regardless of the level of contact that you are interested in having with your child, and us, we will honor your role in your child’s life. They will know that their story began with you and with a very courageous form of love. Finally, we want you to know that we are committed to doing everything in our power to provide your child with the kind of life that you wish for them. Your child will know unconditional love, patience, zest for adventure, how to have fun, and how to live life to the fullest.