As we take our boat across the harbor on a beautiful summer afternoon, one spot is always empty. We look forward to our explorations of sand and sea, birds and shells, but we know that it is not complete. Someone is always missing. And when our niece flings her arms around our neck with, “I love you, Auntie Jaye!” I love you, Uncle Eric!” what we are missing is made all the more sorrowful.
It has been a difficult journey – our desire to have children is so powerful. And we have such a wonderful family and a beautiful place we call home to share. A little hand in each of ours as we walk the beach or splash in the water is something that we have longed for over such a very long time.
As our hearts long for a child, you, for your personal reasons, are considering an adoption plan. Day and night you wonder what will be best for a child you love and for whom you want the best in the world. The world of adoption has so many wonderful options these days – there is the opportunity, if you want this, for your child to grow up knowing you and having the base and stability of knowing how much both their birth family and adoptive family care. Please know we are open to being known by you and having an open adoption so that your child always feels loved and completely understands your brave choices.
We live in a small, tight-knit coastal community where one knows just about everyone. We live on Nantucket Island – a unique and beautiful place that everyone should be able to have in their lives. This sweet island home boasts many wonderful things for a child to explore – from an aquarium and observatory to theater and arts activities, all for young and old alike. Every year our town hosts numerous festivals from film to maritime to a celebration of spring with an antique car parade. The main streets are decorated for the fall and winter holidays and all of our children and their parents parade through town in costume on Halloween night. And then there are our pristine beaches – open to all. Thousands of acres of open land are protected from development and thus open for parents with their children in tow to explore. Miles and miles of beaches are open to all. There are beaches on the north shore which are especially child-friendly and hundreds of boats spend the summer moored in our harbors – from small boats to fishing boats, sailboats to racing boats. In the summers, sailboats are raced every Saturday and Sunday and on Saturdays, Eric is out racing in the harbor among them. Nantucket is a special place and a wonderful one on which to raise children. Besides being tight-knit, it’s safe and child friendly.
Jaye’s family has been a part of this community for four generations and we moved here permanently over a dozen years ago. Jaye is a museum curator – running a museum, giving tours, teaching children’s classes and visiting the schools. She also taught in a local private school for several years. Eric is a naval architect who maintains a fleet of wooden sailboats here, as well as others, and designs boats as well. He owns his own business.
We are active in our community and many see us out and about walking our Siberian Husky, Zevna. Our child will be a part of all sorts of activities with us. We look forward to sailing together or taking the power boat out to a small spit of beach only accessible by boat and exploring the beach. Long picnics and swims at the beach, cookouts, visits to the aquarium and observatory and hiking in the woods and along the shore, as well as biking the paths stretching across our town. A rainy day might find us at the library for books to read all snuggled up or a day of creating things from Legos and play dough – our own family recipe from Jaye’s childhood nursery school! – to creating something new or creating experiments. We live in a quiet neighborhood on a quiet road out in the moors where there is lots of room to play and ride bikes. Our neighborhood is a mix of young and old, teenagers and children and not far away is the beach where we can ride our bikes to go and play in the sand or at the great new playground where there are also baseball fields and basketball courts.
Jaye grew up in Connecticut in a small town just over from where her grandparents lived. She has one brother, Jarrod, who is 3 years younger. Her parents and brother and Jaye have always been very close – doing everything together. Now, we have a niece – Elise who is 6 and her brother Holden, aged 3. We all get together often.
Eric grew up in upstate New York. An only child, Eric has many aunts and uncles with whom he is very close – and a few of his cousins are more like siblings to him. Sadly, both of Eric’s parents have passed away.
We have a wonderful group of friends here on the island from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences and they range in age from their early twenties to their late 90s! We have, surrounding us, dear friends who offer our child a wealth of love, stories, experiences, and languages. Our friends and community include people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. We are still close to some of our college and childhood friends and they come to visit us with their families in the summer. A child whom we are lucky enough to welcome into our family, would enjoy a childhood filled with many different experiences of cultures, foods, nature experiences, the arts, and outdoor activities.
Adoption has already enriched the lives of our immediate family and the lives of a number of our close friends. Eric’s mother was adopted as an infant, as was her brother. They had great experiences. Eric’s paternal uncle – with whom Eric is very close- was also adopted as an infant. Eric grew up understanding adoption as a positive and loving experience and one that involves respecting the birthparents, first and foremost. Several of our friends have adopted children and one of Eric’s closest friends from college was adopted from Korea at age 8. Their experiences have been a natural part of all our lives. Since we are unable to have children, we are particularly grateful for the opportunity to adopt. Adoption is our hope for growing our family. Adoption has been and will continue to be an integral part of what makes our family, our family.
We met in college in 1993. Eric was picking up a friend of his who was dating a dorm floor mate of Jaye’s. Jaye was diligently typing up a final paper in the common area – where she did not normally work – chocolate ice cream smeared all over her shirt (a shirt she still has – it’s now her gardening shirt). Believe it or not – Eric was smitten! Our first date was a group date with several friends who were seeing each other together with some extra folks who tagged along. We finally had our own date a week or so later. In the midst of exams and at colleges far apart, it was a bit difficult. But Eric would later come to visit Jaye on Nantucket several times over that summer and the rest is history! We were married on Nantucket on a beautiful October day surrounded by our family and friends. Our wedding was more of a giant party with everyone having fun together, all of our friends and family blending together into one big group and lots of dancing and good food – a must for Jaye’s family where long conversations continue around the dinner table long after everyone has finished eating.
We moved, together, to two different cities between 1996 and 2000 for Eric’s work in the military and then we returned to Nantucket to settle down. But living far from our families allowed us a chance to bond even more strongly, relying on one another for help, advice, and support. We are best friends – have just about been best friends from the time we started dating. We do everything together and share everything with each other.
Eric is a strong, compassionate, intelligent, and caring person. I remember long ago when a friend called. She asked what Eric was up to and I said, “Ironing,” and her response was “Ironing?! How did you get him to do that?!” I never had to get him to do anything – he is always helpful and we work together to get things done whether it be the laundry or washing the car. We do it together and we have fun with it. We love to plan meals together and cook together and we love walking our dog on long walks in the moors or along the beach or along the country roads where my family lives.
Eric is the beloved uncle to my brother’s children. They always want to know what Uncle Eric is doing or where he is if I show up without him. He is most famous for his elephant call that he makes and Uncle Eric’s special ice cream sundaes that Elise gets once her brother goes to bed. Her fondness for maraschino cherry juice is legend and Eric makes sure her ice cream is swimming in it. While they root for different baseball teams they have found themselves agreeing on some of the “Sprout” shows that Elise enjoys.
Jaye is probably one of the most loving persons I have ever met. She loves everything and everyone, from nature to animals to children. Nothing goes unnoticed by her. Her attention to detail and willingness to help all is unmatched. As of late, she has been assisting one of her mentors (she’s a 97 year old ornithologist) compile her professional notes into a book. Her energy and compassion to assist, care and look out for others is unmatched.
Jaye is unbelievable with her niece and nephew. She is always trying to find new ways of surprising and finding fun activities for the kids. Whether it is a new beach to go to, blowing up the inflatable pool for the deck, or making a special “treat” for them, Auntie JJ is always there for them. A favorite activity for the kids is to jump in bed with Auntie JJ and having her read them a story, morning or night or both. Jaye has also baked bread with her niece and mother recently, teaching her how to knead dough, put the bread into the pan and how to add ample filling!
While we both work, Eric has his own business which provides flexibility to be home and Jaye only works part-time much of the year. Jaye intends to take a normal parenting leave and spend as much time at home with the child as possible. Her workplace is also flexible enough that she can do some work from home and, also, can bring her child to work with her on occasion – her workplace is small and tight-knit. Jaye taught in a local private school for several years and is still involved with the public schools through her work in the museum. She knows what is happening in the schools, knows the teachers, and knows the students. She keeps in touch with her former students as well – some of them are even graduating from college now. The school system on the island is a very good one, with a fairly diverse student body for such a small population. Students have a wide variety of sports programs and teams, both through the schools and the town as well as music and language programs. With such a tight-knit and diverse community, the schools are always utilizing the island’s wealth of resources – from art and theater groups to history museums, the Boys and Girls Club, Boy and Girl Scouts to the local astronomy observatory. We have a wealth of talent here with people and organizations on Nantucket who are always willing to share with our children.
Both of us were given the opportunities for education, including college, and this is a gift we would also give our child. Whatever their interests might be – music, gymnastics, sports and whatever vocation or profession they wish to pursue, we’ll be happy to make that possible. We have already set aside an education fund to pay for a vocational or college education and want to help our child fulfill their personal dreams and wishes. Our families gave that gift to us and we are grateful. This is how we get to say thank you – by giving that same gift to our child.
We are close to Jaye’s parents and our child will enjoy sleepovers with Nana and Grandpa, gardening and cooking with Nana and sledding and riding bikes with Grandpa. Trips to the ice cream shop and the country market for lunch are a regular occurrence as is playing with the family dogs or dragging out all the toys that Jaye and her brother used to play with. A closet full of old costumes is another favorite pastime as are hikes along the beach or through the woods looking for interesting birds, turkeys, deer or even foxes! Nana was also a teacher so she always has something fun to do and Grandpa is good at read aloud – especially with his funny voices.
Our community has numerous religions and houses of worship. Eric was raised as a Lutheran and Jaye as a Methodist though we think that we might seek out a different church such as the Congregational or Unitarian Church. Christmas and other holidays are a gathering time for family and Christmas Eve and morning are typically spent at Jaye’s parents and then Christmas Day and dinner at Jaye’s brother’s house so that Elise and Holden can play with some of their new gifts from Santa. Jaye’s parents live in an old house so the fire is going and dogs and kids are playing and everyone is eating. Holidays focus around food and being together as a family with some long walks with the dogs even if it means bundling up for the cold. One Christmas we all decided to slog through the neighboring farmer’s corn field – he has a large dairy. While it was bitter cold, the field was still a bit muddy and dogs and people were covered in ice, snow and mud. We grumbled but we had fun – and we still look back on it with fondness. So, nature definitely plays a role in our religious observances.
We have so much love to give – it is very obvious that someone is missing from our life. We have so much to give – love, support, compassion, safety. We welcome a child who will grow with us, learn with us, and be surrounded by a family that already loves this child without yet knowing them. We know that this is a difficult time for you and we want you to know how grateful we are that you might consider us to be the adoptive parents of your child. We feel so blessed that you would consider us as possible adoptive parents for your child. Our hope is for an open relationship in which your child would continue to know and love you. As you child grows up, they would know you as a full person and, with maturity, would also understand and appreciate the courageous choices you made for their well being. However you might want to stay in contact via, visits, phone/skype and photograph/letter updates, we will work with you to make sure that you are comfortable with us and with your decision. This is such a gift – a precious one. We will protect and support your child forever and give him or her the best opportunities to so that this child can be whatever she or he wants to be in the future.
If you would like to speak directly or learn more about us, please feel free to call Full Circle toll-free at 800.452.3678. We hope to hear from you and we wish you all the best as you make this journey.
With our best,