Dear Expectant Parent(s),
We are Ryan and Heather and we have made the choice to grow our family through the incredible journey of adoption. We have been together for almost ten years and happily married for seven. We also have a twelve-year-old daughter named Lily. Heather is Lily’s biological mom and Ryan is her “Super Stepdad.” Lily still sees both of us as her parents though, as, in our home, we don’t believe being biologically related is the only way to be a family. Though we love our life as a family of three, we are so looking forward to bringing another child into our lives soon. When we do welcome our future adoptive child into our lives, Ryan will work from home whenever he can, Heather will leave her current career to become a stay-at-home parent, and Lily will undoubtedly become a doting big sister. We all can’t wait to welcome a fourth member to our already blended family and we hope that you will be the one to help us do this.
When we started our relationship, we knew pretty quickly that we were in it forever. We share the same laid-back approach to life, sense of humor, and family goals. We also just love spending time together. Some of our most memorable dates include going to a car show followed by a cigar bar, a fourteen-hour road trip to rural Canada where we went on the most incredible whale watch, and a day where we meandered around the city before getting matching tattoos on our wrists (Ryan is embarrassed to show people his because Heather designed it and he thinks it looks “girly”). Even after being together for as long as we have, we really do still spend all of our free time together. Whether it’s waking up on Sunday to take a road trip or being lazy and binge-watching television shows all day, we both just like to live life together.
Parenting Lily has truly been our greatest life adventure and gift thus far. It has included wonderful moments, like when she came home with straight As her first year in middle school and watching her dance at her recitals. Of course, it has also included the challenges of guiding her through dealing with “mean girls” and realizing that the social media world is not reality. Heather tends to be the parent who helps Lily work through any of her personal problems and the challenges of becoming a young woman. Ryan tends to be the parent who teaches Lily how to be successful as a student and how important it is to always do the right thing. We are always on the same page when it comes to Lily’s consequences for misbehaving. Without Lily present, we discuss what her consequences will be and then we both stick to our plan, so Lily never feels like one of us is being unfair. Most importantly, we approach Lily as a unified team at all times, just as we will do when parenting our future adoptive child together.
Upon getting married, we tried to get pregnant naturally for a few years to no avail. We then embarked on four years of fertility treatments. After four unsuccessful IVF attempts, it was discovered that Heather’s fallopian tubes were swollen and therefore had to be taken out, which meant there was no longer a possibility of us ever conceiving a child naturally. After her surgery, we went through two more unsuccessful rounds of IVF. At this point, we had a very important decision to make, try embryo donation, surrogacy, or adoption, or just count our blessings that we were fortunate enough to have Lily and move on.
We both decided to take some time to think separately about what we wanted to do. Heather knew immediately in her heart that adopting was the right choice for her. Ryan is more methodical in his thinking, so it took him a little longer to make a decision. We planned a weekend getaway to New York City, just the two of us, and decided that we would discuss what we wanted to do regarding growing our family at dinner. We walked all around the city together that day, stopping in little shops and restaurants. We ended up going to a restaurant on the Hudson River for dinner and when it came time to discuss the future of our family we both said, at the same time, that adoption was the path for us.
We are so looking forward to sharing our lives with another child. We can’t wait to watch them grow and to guide them in the various aspects of their life. Ryan is especially excited to parent from day one; Lily was three years old when she became a part of his life, so he is looking forward to experiencing parenting an infant/toddler. Heather is really excited to be able to use what she has learned from parenting Lily to parent another child, continuing what has worked and changing some of the things that haven’t. We also can’t wait to introduce our future adoptive child to our various family holiday traditions, like frosting Christmas cookies and playing Santa by handing out the presents on Christmas morning or carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating for Halloween! Lily is also excited to be a big sister and guide her future sibling through, as she says it, “being a kid.” We know that Lily is going to be a great role model, as she is so great with her young cousins, (she has loved helping feed, change, and hold the babies in our family).
Ryan works very close to home at a small construction-related company as a project manager. He has a lot of work schedule flexibility and can work at home when he needs to. He enjoys what he does and has had a successful career in his industry thus far. Heather also works nearby in the beauty industry. She loves her job because it involves working with and helping people. Though Heather loves her job, when an adoptive child joins our family, Heather plans on leaving her position in order to become a stay-at-home mom and can focus on being the primary caregiver for our children.
We live in a warm, clean, and welcoming home in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Our home has an open floor plan that is good for entertaining family and, although we like nice things, we want our home to feel like the kind of place where it is ok to put your feet on the furniture. Our backyard is also perfect for having friends and family over. We love to have our nieces and nephews over for summer cookouts where they can swim in the pool or just run around. In addition to a pool, we have a nice back deck and a spacious yard, around which our dog loves to run about. Our neighborhood is the perfect place to raise a child: there is not a lot of traffic on our street, several of our neighbors are young families with kids, and everyone in the area is super friendly. Our town itself is conveniently located in the suburbs, so it is relatively close to the city, but only a short drive away from the country. The school system in our town is also very good. Lily is currently in the 7th grade and we are very pleased with the education that she has received thus far. Finally, our town also has great sports and recreation programs. We look forward to seeing which neighborhood kids our future adoptive child will become friends with, which subjects/teachers they will like in school, and what types of activities they will enjoy.
Heather is the oldest child of three daughters. She has a wonderful relationship with each of her parents and sisters. Although Heather’s parents divorced when she was 20, her family came through it stronger and everyone still makes family time a huge priority. Both of Heather’s sisters have three children – four energetic boys and two sweet little girls. Ever since the kids, our future adoptive child’s cousins and Lily, were little, Heather and Ryan have taken each of them out individually on special birthday weekends every year, where we give them 100% of our attention and make sure they leave with some awesome memories. We like to take them to water parks, amusement parks, or just on short weekends away where they can have fun. We can’t wait to welcome another child into this super fun tradition. In addition, we often get together with Heather’s siblings and their kids for family gatherings. It is really wonderful to see all of the nieces and nephews playing with each other and we know that they will welcome a new cousin with open arms. Heather’s parents and step-mother have also been very involved in their grandchildren’s lives; they are constantly babysitting and cheering the kids on at their sporting events or performances. The kids call Heather’s mom “Nana” and they call her dad, “Pa.” Pa is remarried to a really sweet woman who the kids call “Nan.” The three of them can’t wait to welcome another grandchild into the family.
Ryan is the middle child of three boys. Ryan’s parents were married for over 40 years, up until his mother passed away a few years ago. Both of Ryan’s brothers are happily married and have two children each. Ryan’s older brother has a daughter and a son; Ryan’s younger brother has two daughters. Ryan’s brothers are looking forward to having another niece or nephew to tease and make laugh. We see Ryan’s older brother and his family often, since they live in the same town as us. We are always available to babysit for them and they are always available to help us out. It is really nice to have them so close by and they are particularly excited to have another little one join in on our family get-togethers. Ryan’s father also lives nearby and is very excited to welcome another grandchild to the family. The kids call him “Papa.” Papa recently got re-married to a very nice woman named Debbie and the two of them can’t wait to meet our future adoptive child.
When the time comes to tell our future child about their adoption, we will be very open and honest with them. We plan to explain to them that they were loved by their birth parent(s) and that they entered our family because their birthparents knew we would be able to give them the best life possible. We believe that if we can tell our child about where they came from, along with what an incredible journey it was for us to become a family, they will understand how important their birth family’s role in our family is so they can grow up having the utmost respect and love for them.
We are incredibly grateful for the life and family we have built together thus far, but we have a huge space ready in our hearts just waiting for another child to fill it. We want you to know how much respect and admiration we have for the decision you are considering making. We know that it can’t be easy to consider placing your child for adoption, but we are truly humbled that you are considered us as prospective adoptive parents for your child. We would love the opportunity to meet you and we hope you take comfort in the fact that we will support you in whatever decision you make in this process. Please call Full Circle Adoptions at 1-800-452-3678 if you would like to learn more about us or speak with us.