Sometimes we feel as though we’re driving down a winding country road searching for a sign that might read, “Welcome, Adoptive Parents.” At the same time, we realize that you, too, are in the midst of a journey. You might be looking for a sign that reads, “Here Is Your Child’s Adoptive Family” or “Here is Reassurance.” We appreciate that you are searching for a path that leads you to a family who feels right for your child –a family who can provide a safe, happy and loving home. You’d like to choose a home that you will be proud to say you have chosen for your child. You want to be reassured that your child will be loved and well cared for. We hope that this letter serves as the sign that leads you to travel down our road to explore what life would be like for your child in our loving family. We long to share our love with a child and to raise him or her to have a wonderful life.
With this letter, we welcome you into our lives. We both grew up with adoption as a natural and regular part of our families — Greg’s brother was adopted two years before Greg was born – this was always acknowledged and each of the boys were loved equally and without question. One of Lisa’s closest childhood friends was raised by her adoptive family since she was an infant. We have seen firsthand the unconditional love and support that adoptive parents can provide a child. As a result, when we learned that we would be unable to have a child, adoption was a logical, natural and comfortable path for us to follow.
Although Lisa currently works full-time at a regional New England bank, when a child joins our family, she intends to be a full-time at home parent. Greg is a lawyer and will continue his work – he works for a company that strongly supports a healthy work and home-life balance and even encourages working from home at least one day a week. Greg looks forward to being a very active dad.
We’d like to share some of our impressions of each other and why we feel we’d make great parents for your child.
I love Lisa because she is my best friend. She makes me laugh every day and provides a tender shoulder when I am down. When I first met Lisa, I thought she was serious and quiet, but, once I was around her, I learned that she also can be delightfully silly and fun and has a sense of humor that gets you when you are least expecting it. Lisa calls me every night on my way home from work and gives me a hug and a kiss when I leave in the morning and again when I get home.
I imagine that our child always feel reassured if they’re concerned about something and will feel safe to confide in her. At the same time, a child would also feel free to be silly and play.
[[A MORE POSITIVE STORY PERHAPS? SOMETHING YOU DID AROUND THE HOUSE THAT WAS VERY USEFUL/HELPFUL? She enjoys teasing me, especially when I spend the entire weekend working on the lawn, just to have it all turn brown the next week. She also enjoys watching me put together a bookcase and laughing hysterically when I finish up and have a handful of remaining parts.]]
I love witnessing the joy that Lisa has when she has the opportunity to spend time with her childhood friends’ children or when her niece blows bubbles in her direction or beats her at a game of Chutes and Ladders. Although she has fun with everything she does, there is a different degree of happiness that I see in her when she is playing with children or just being in their company.
Our child will know the love and respect of a circle of friends Lisa has developed over many years. Lisa is passionate about her friends. Lisa has maintained a large circle of friends that she established through elementary and high school and has become somewhat of a second mother to many of her friend’s children. Lisa enjoys inviting her friends over frequently to catch-up and especially to see all of the kids play together. Lisa always looks forward to catching up with her friends’ children and learning about what’s happening in their lives. The whole group gets together on a regular basis and provides a support system for each other and each other’s children. In fact, one of these friends lives directly across the street from us with her husband and two sons. Our child will experience a lot of loving attention and caring from her friends.
I can easily imagine Lisa, as a mother, sharing the same love for games that she has shown to her niece and childhood friends’ children, including basketball, board games, kick ball, bean bag toss and her favorite, whiffle ball! I picture Lisa teaching a child how to bake chocolate chip cookies, pot plants and flowers and spend quality time in the garden. When it’s time to relax and get ready for bed, I can easily imagine Lisa reading bed time stories until they both fall asleep, glasses on and book in hand.
Another thing that I appreciate more and more the longer that we are together is Lisa’s natural comfort with caring for others. On a daily basis, she gets up a few minutes before me to make the coffee so that it is ready when I come downstairs. She enjoys making sure that my clothes are ironed by the time I get out of the shower. She takes pride in keeping the house clean and decorated for the holidays. When the child is of school age, I can already see that Lisa will have all our child’s school supplies packed neatly in their child’s sized back-pack, a fresh packed lunch and giving a goodbye hug and kiss each morning.
Greg is a very gentle person and I know he will make a wonderful father. What I love about Greg is his thoughtfulness. When he first learned that I really enjoyed Easter and missed receiving Easter baskets, he went to the store and bought a basket and fake grass and all types of candy-filled eggs and chocolate flavored bunnies. On Easter morning, I woke up to a huge overflowing Easter basket and felt like a child all over again. I can only imagine the Easter Baskets our child will receive!
Greg’s thoughtfulness can also be romantic. The first year we were dating, Greg organized a weekend in Boston at the Omni Parker House, a historic hotel that opened in the 1800’s and lays claim to inventing the Boston Cream Pie. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, but told me to pack an overnight bag. We arrived at the hotel and Greg had thought of everything – he decorated our room with roses and gave me the sweetest card. My eyes filled with tears as I read the words. We spent the day strolling around the Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden nibbling on calamari. We spent our night enjoying a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant, where I was treated like a queen. To top it off, our room had a view of the Boston Common and when we opened the blinds the next morning, it had been snowing for a few hours and we were rewarded with a beautiful snow-covered view of the Boston Common. Although I know each year that we will spend a weekend in Boston, I am still impressed with the amount of detailed preparation that Greg puts into each of these getaways. Whether it is time alone for us as parents or a family trip, Greg’s attention to detail and what each of us treasures in time away will be felt.
I also love the fact that Greg is willing to try just about anything, at least once. We recently made a trip to New Mexico to visit Greg’s mother and Greg agreed to attend the famous Santa Fe Opera with me and his mom. Although this is one of those experiences that Greg says he will only try once, I love the fact that he was willing to give it a try, even if he wasn’t able to stay awake for the entire show. On the other hand, I introduced Greg to my love of the theatre (especially Christmas plays) and this has now become one of our favorite things to do during the fall and winter seasons. The fact that we both are willing to stretch and try new things is a wonderful example for our child – whether encouraging them to try new things on their own or with us, they’re sure to have opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Greg is very passionate about the things that he loves and looks forward to sharing these passions with a child. Your child will be fully exposed to sports, whether it’s watching the Patriots, Red Sox or Bruins on television, listening to them on the radio, or going to the game in person, there will be plenty of opportunities to become a loyal Boston sports fan. Every week, Greg looks forward to the calls from his nephew to get firsthand updates of his baseball games from the prior week and how he plans to pitch to the team he will be facing this week. Greg is able to follow Shelton’s statistics online through a website that now keeps statistics and writes articles about the kids. I also know Greg to be open-minded and flexible. If our child doesn’t enjoy sports, but, instead wants to build with Legos, Greg will be on the floor with him or her building up a storm.
Our families are important to us and we spend as much time with them as we can.
Greg’s mother can hardly contain her excitement during this waiting period. She looks forward to being an active grandmother to our child. She loves sharing her love of water-related activities. She taught Greg’s nephew to swim at an early age and has taken him on a water-themed vacation every year since, including trips to a handful of water parks such as Sea World, and Six Flags, water skiing, tubing and most recently, Hawaii. As she prepares to shower a child with gifts and toys, she can’t wait to hear the words “I love you grandma!”
Greg grew up in New Mexico, moved to New England to attend law school and never left. Greg’s family consists of his mother Neta and step-father Joel, who live in New Mexico; his brother Glen and 13-year old nephew, who live in Oklahoma; a step-brother who lives in Colorado and several cousins who live in Oklahoma. Despite the distance between Greg and his family, we take frequent trips to New Mexico, which serves as the central location for the family get-togethers. As both Greg’s mother and step-father are retiring over the next few months, we have been told to plan for them to make many more visits our way, especially when there is a baby to visit!
Lisa grew up in a suburb of Boston in a home that her parents still live in today. Lisa’s immediate family consists of her mother Virginia and father Sebastian, who have been married for 52 years, two sisters (Liana who is younger and Linda who is older), a brother-in-law, a niece, a nephew-in-law, a nephew, and a great-niece. Literally, as we were writing this letter, a newborn great-nephew has just been added to the family! Lisa’s family looks forward to baby-sitting and being a regular presence in our child’s life – holidays will be particularly special with Lisa’s family so close by.
We were introduced by mutual friends at a Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, where a friendship was sparked that eventually developed into a romantic relationship. A few months later, our paths crossed again while we were separately visiting the same mutual friends in Maine. We found ourselves sitting across from each other at breakfast talking and laughing as if we had been friends for years. As Lisa recalled later, she had these unexplainable feelings of comfort and familiarity at breakfast that morning as if we had been married for years.
After 8 months of emails, text messages and conversations, Greg invited Lisa to attend a Patriots football game with him and his friends on Halloween. Although neither of us would admit to it at the time, that day solidified a connection that we knew would soon lead us to a serious relationship. A few months later, on Christmas night, we returned to the home of the friends who had introduced us 10 months earlier to celebrate Christmas with them and their three daughters and extended family. From this night on, “Greg” and “Lisa” were known as “Greg and Lisa.”
During our courtship, we began to share our personal interests with each other, including our mutual love of sports and good food. During one particular Bruins game, after a nice Italian dinner in the North End of Boston, Greg leaned over to Lisa and said “I think I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Lisa smiled and repeated Greg’s words and gave him a kiss. From that point forward, we both knew that we were in a committed relationship and that going forward, we would be working together as a team to achieve our goals and dreams.
Greg proposed a few days before Christmas. Although he tried to write “will you marry me” on the Christmas tree with lights, it didn’t work very well, so he ended up simply dropping to a knee and after several tries, finally got the words out. We decided to skip the traditional wedding and travel to the Caribbean beaches of Turks and Caicos for an informal wedding on the white sandy beaches. Although we planned to have a quiet, relaxing week in the sun and on the beach, we had mentioned to our friends and family that they were welcome to join us and to make a vacation out of it. As it turned out, we had a crowd of 30 of our closest friends and family join us on the island. Not only did our friends and family start arriving in Turks and Caicos before us, they stayed the entire time we were there! We spent every day of our trip with our friends and family and although it didn’t make for a terribly romantic honeymoon, it sure made for a very entertaining and enjoyable week.
On the day of the wedding, Greg and our friends and family were standing on the beach awaiting the bride. NOT SURE ABOUT THE RAIN AND WAVE-WASH STORY – IS THERE SOMETHING ROMANTIC OR GENEROUS OR TOUCHING….STORY TO TELL? As soon as Lisa stepped out to begin her short walk to the beach and the waiting groom, the sky opened up and dumped buckets and buckets of rain… Lisa took cover under an umbrella and then ran to the hotel lobby, but for Greg and the guests, it was too late, they were soaked. The rain stopped after half an hour and the bride was able to resume her procession down the beach. As it turned out, we were rewarded with an amazing sunset as the backdrop for our ceremony. During our first set of post-wedding pictures at the beach, a wave came along and soaked us, which made for a wet, but fun, photo shoot. After the photos were finished, we walked a few steps down the beach to our beach barbecue and bonfire and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying the karaoke skills of our friends and family. Turks and Caicos holds a very special place in our hearts and we can’t wait to someday share this beautiful island with a child.
We entered our relationship as two quite different people with two rather different backgrounds. Although we have held on to our separate interests, many of these have now become mutual interests. We have each opened the other’s minds to new and exciting interests and have created a fun life together. No matter how hectic work may be, we make sure to have dinner together each night, whether it’s at home or at a restaurant. This is our time to catch up on our day and talk about any plans for the remainder of the week or for the weekend. During the week, we usually unwind from the workday by catching up on television shows that we have recorded, mostly in the one-hour drama variety.
During the weekend, we spend almost all of our time together, whether it is working in the yard, running errands, playing a game of pool or a game of bean bag toss in the yard. We spend a lot of time attending sporting events, trying new restaurants or going to the movies. We enjoy visiting the local farms for apple picking, strawberry picking and blueberry and blackberry picking. During our last berry picking experience, we sweated our way through 100 degree New England heat to pick the perfect berries. Although hot and exhausted from the day, we spent the afternoon together in the kitchen, Greg making fresh berry ice cream and Lisa baking up a batch of fresh blueberry crisp – it was worth the effort!
We also enjoy walking around Boston and visiting the Public Garden, the Boston Common, Faneuil Hall (a downtown Boston marketplace) and the historical sites from the American Revolution. During a recent trip to Faneuil Hall, we split up to separately shop for sporting regalia for ourselves. When we came back together, Greg had purchased a Red Sox shirt for Lisa and Lisa had purchased a Bruins jacket for Greg. Even when we are apart, we are always thinking of the other.
We really just enjoy spending time together and having fun, no matter what the day brings. For our second Christmas together, we travelled to New Mexico to spend time with Greg’s family. Our flight home left on Christmas day and took us to Chicago, where we had a 2-hour layover before continuing on to Boston to spend the evening with Lisa’s family. We grabbed lunch and then waited around the airport, reading our books and monitoring our upcoming flight to Boston. A few minutes before boarding, we looked at our tickets and had a revelation…we had booked our return flight to Manchester, New Hampshire this trip, not to Boston! The Manchester flight had left a half hour earlier and there were no further flights that evening…Merry Christmas Chicago! We laughed at ourselves all the way back to the airport hotel, booked a room and made our way down to the only restaurant open in the hotel on Christmas night. We ended up having a nice dinner and catching a flight out the next morning. It was a Christmas we will never forget!
Between my baking and Greg’s breakfast off the grille, smoked ribs, pulled pork or Mexican recipes he brought with him from his childhood in New Mexico (he even has boxes and boxes of green chile peppers shipped from New Mexico each year), your child will be presented with the opportunity to enjoy the experience of cooking and trying different types of foods.
A child in our home will also be exposed to books, lots and lots of books. Although Greg is primarily focused on non-fiction books at this time in his life, he has promised to switch back to the Cat in the Hat and Dora the Explorer once a child enters our life. However, we do plan to introduce your child to historical sites and museums, which is another favorite weekend hobby of ours and which New England provides plenty of opportunity for.
Given that our relationship was formed and developed over the course of several holidays (Saint Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas), we are passionate about spending the holidays together with our family and friends. For the 4th of July, we travel less than an hour north to the coast of Maine to spend the day at the beach with a large group of friends and their children. As a guest at our friend’s cottage in Maine, everyone is required to participate in the annual 4th of July parade. The hosts hand out red, white and blue hats and flags and Uncle Sam outfits and the children decorate their bicycles and wagons. Once everyone is sufficiently decked out in patriotic paraphernalia, we march around the neighborhood continuously singing God Bless America. As the parade makes its way through the neighborhood, the neighbors come out of their houses and join in the march. It is quite a sight to see.
On Halloween, Lisa would prefer to be trick or treating with her friend’s children, but now that they say they are too old to trick or treat, Lisa exhibits her Halloween spirit by visiting local pumpkin farms to find the perfect pumpkins to carve, decorating the front yard with hay bales and pumpkins and touring the historic village of Salem, Massachusetts, which held the Salem witch trials in the 1600’s and has become a popular tourist destination on Halloween. Thanksgiving is spent at home, where we cook a large dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and host Lisa’s family. For Christmas, we alternate between travelling to New Mexico to spend time with Greg’s family or spending time with Lisa’s family in the house that she grew up in and in which her parents still live. If we go to Lisa’s parent’s house, we generally end the evening at Lisa’s childhood friend’s house for dessert.
We believe that it is important to teach a child to understand that everyone is different and to respect other people and their opinions and to be a thoughtful person that will help others. We will encourage your child to get involved in volunteer work from an early age, such as sorting food at the Greater Boston Food Bank. We believe in encouraging a child to embrace their dreams and to set goals for themselves, both short-term and long-term. We believe that a child should have the opportunity to explore different things to determine what activities he or she enjoys. We see our responsibility as providing access to these opportunities, but allowing the child to determine their ultimate path in life. We think that a child will have a fun life with us, but that child will also have enough structure to learn the lessons that will be helpful in building a successful future.
We will stress the importance of education throughout your child’s upbringing and will continue to evaluate our local school systems to ensure that your child receives a good education, whether that is through public or private school. For post-secondary school, we have opened an education fund that will ensure that your child has the opportunity to pursue education after high school. Given that we have taken different educational paths in our lives (Greg getting a law degree and Lisa entering the workforce directly after high school) and have both ended up with successful careers, we understand that higher education is not always the chosen path. If your child chooses to pursue vocational training or other paths to a career or hobby, the funds that we save between now and the child’s 18th birthday will be available to pursue their dreams.
Our cat, Bruschi “pronounced BROO-SKEE”, was named after Greg’s favorite Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi. Greg rescued Bruschi from a shelter when he was one-year old. We have a feeling that Bruschi grew up around dogs as he certainly has acted like a dog since we have had him. Bruschi always has to be in on the action and loves to rub all over any visitor that walks in the door (which doesn’t always work well with some of our friends who are allergic to cats…). His favorite things to do are to fetch balls and bring them back to you, chase lasers up and down the wall, to be constantly petted and to greet us at the door when we get home. Bruschi is happiest when children come to visit him and shower him with attention.
We live in a 3 bedroom home in a family oriented neighborhood in the outskirts of Boston Massachusetts. Our home has a large finished basement and plenty of yard space for a child to run and play. Our neighborhood is always bustling with bike-riding children and games of pick-up football. The neighborhood has quickly become a tight-knit community through the newly created tradition of an annual block party and a monthly “girls night in”, in the form of a book club meeting. Being in New England makes us conveniently located to the beaches of Massachusetts, the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, the scenic rocky oceanfront of Maine and the beauty of Newport, Rhode Island.
We have learned a lot about the different levels of openness that are available in an open adoption plan. What is most important to us is that you are comfortable with your level of involvement in your child’s life. If you would like in-person visits with your child, we are happy to make that happen. If you prefer to have update letters and pictures sent to a private online site, that is fine as well. If you prefer that we respect your privacy, but give you the opportunity to become more involved in your child’s life later on in life, we will respect those wishes as well. We are not here to convince you one way or the other regarding openness in your adoption plan, but are here to listen to what would be meaningful for you.
Thanks for traveling down the path to learn more about the home and family we would provide for your child. We hope ours is a home that would continually remind your child of the time, effort and care that you put into this decision to ensure that you chose the right family and the right life for your child. We hope that this letter has given you some insight into who we are, what we stand for and what your child’s life would be like in our family. We know that you have probably read a lot of these letters and that eventually, one will jump out to you and you will say “that is exactly how I would like my child to grow up!” We would be delighted to be your chosen family. We admire your courage for making an adoption plan and we hope that you find exactly what you are looking for in an adoptive family. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you over the phone or in-person if you would like. Please call Full Circle at 1-800-452-3678.
We wish you the best,