Monica & Jared

 

Dear Expectant Parent,

576-monica-jared-profilePeople never expect to spend the rest of their lives with someone they met on the first day of school, but, luckily for us, that’s exactly what happened. We met on the first day of college. Despite our young age, after a year of friendship, we knew we had found our future in one another. Now, we’ve been married for almost 10 years and the only thing that would make our lives more perfect would be the sound of a child’s laughter, the small pitter patter of happy feet running through our house, the carefree moments we will spend tumbling in the grass with them, and the joy of loving and being loved by a child of our own.

We are Monica and Jared, and we are both honored and excited for the opportunity to be considered as adoptive parents to your child. Thank you for being so brave, so courageous, and so selfless and for giving life to this child. It may be frightening, and certainly one of the biggest decisions you will ever face, but, we hope you will find strength and encouragement in the fact that choosing us would be the most precious gift we could ever hope to receive.

Over the years, we’ve seen examples of adoption that have changed the lives of our various friends and acquaintances, we’ve seen how beauty can arise from sorrow, and we’ve seen incredible healing and happiness. Their examples have given us the opportunity to learn from their experiences and have given us the hope we’ve needed to be patient, as we wait for our child to come to us through adoption someday.

Although it seems like not long ago, we met on our first day of college, 16 years ago. We developed an instant friendship and over the course of our first year as friends spent a lot of time together. During this year, we often listened to a David Gray album while driving. The song “Sail Away” was one of our favorites and we would listen to it in silence, each time wondering what the other person was thinking. The following year, Jared won Monica over when he finally took the leap and decided to express his deeper feelings for Monica; his grand gesture involved hanging a huge banner outside her dorm room asking her to the Winter Ball. Once things changed between us, we were finally able to admit how much that David Gray song had meant to us and how much we secretly loved one another. Fast forward four years later and we found ourselves on a sailboat in the Hyannis harbor at sunset. The sky was bright orange, there were seals popping out of the water, and it was there that Jared proposed we sail away together. We were married a year later and we can hardly believe that so much time has passed. Soon we will celebrate our ten year anniversary and we can’t think of a more joyful or meaningful way to celebrate the milestone than by realizing our dream of starting a family.

After getting married, we purchased a typical New England style house and spent a few years renovating almost every room, putting in a patio, and landscaping. Because of our hard work, we had a beautiful place to call home, in which we could enjoy making memories and hosting family and friends on a number of occasions. As we made preparations for our growing family, the time came to move to a bigger home that we could grow into over time as we raise our family. The home we live in now is large enough to host both sides of our family during the holidays and boasts a big, beautiful, and private backyard, with plenty of room for a swing-set, and a game of chase, catch, or wiffle ball. There is a long driveway to learn to ride a bike, along with woods to explore and to someday build a tree house. Our new home is in a beautiful, historic seaside community with good schools, and it is just minutes from our favorite beach, state parks for hiking, and local farms for berry picking and corn mazes. We are so excited to have found a place where we are still able to enjoy everything we love doing together locally, and also give our children a place to run, play, and explore at home, just as we did when we were growing up.

The two of us come from similar families; we each have a younger brother and we grew up in similar households with Christian values, good manners, and encouraging, loving parents. Our faith has not only enabled us to handle our challenges with grace, but, from a young age, has also shaped us into the people we are today. We find strength in our church community and hope that our child may benefit from the same loving support system that we had growing up, as a result. We are warm and inviting, not quick to judge, empathic, and positive people. We are always willing to lend a hand, provide encouragement and help those in need, all traits that speak to our character, which we hope will inspire our child’s actions as he or she grows older.

Our families can’t wait to help guide and love our child as well. Because we are the oldest in both of our families and the first to hopefully welcome a child, everyone is beyond excited to meet this little one once he or she arrives. Jared’s family currently lives in Pennsylvania, but is eager to move closer to us upon retirement to be near their new grandchild. His brother has special needs, which gives us experience with his set of challenges and has made us sensitive to him and the needs of others with similar difficulties. We feel we’ll be prepared to parent a child with a disability or another special need given our and our family’s experience embracing and meeting the daily challenges firsthand.

Monica’s family lives in New Hampshire, with extended relatives in Spain (which is where her mother is originally from). We see her younger brother and parents frequently, as the distance between us is close enough to spend weekends together or meet each other halfway for dinners. Monica grew up in a bilingual household, and we plan to also educate our child in both English and Spanish. We would like our child to have the benefit of speaking another language and plan to encourage the same cultural exposure and awareness that Monica has always experienced. Because we are fortunate to be able to visit her family in Spain from time to time, our child will be able to take advantage of this exposure to another culture, history, and way of life. We would welcome and love a child of any race or heritage; we also look forward to celebrating the richness of their personal history with them and helping them explore and learn more about their own cultural background.

If you are open to this, we feel that it would benefit your child to stay in connection with you at whatever level with which you would be most comfortable. At the very least, when you are ready, we would love to be able to share information about you, speak of you fondly, and let them know about the incredibly selfless gift you gave us by placing them with us. If your child has or might someday have biological half or full siblings, we would certainly encourage contact with his or her brother(s) or sister(s), as kinship is a special bond we believe should be nurtured as well.

We enjoy looking back upon the activities of our childhoods and our experiences with our parents and siblings. Jared grew up playing multiple sports, while Monica enjoyed the arts. Jared excelled at swimming and swam competitively from the age of eight all the way through college, including multiple years participating in national competitions. Although he was a talented swimmer, he favored basketball and his other favorite team sport, water polo. Monica on the other hand, enjoyed dance. She participated in tap, jazz, and ballet for 11 years and also participated in musical activities, including playing the bass clarinet. Jared grew up in Florida, where he spent his time at Disney, boating with friends and family, and playing AAU basketball. Much farther north, Monica, grew up in New Hampshire, where summers were usually spent climbing a tree, reading a book, and enjoying the lake. Though we sometimes picture our future child twirling around in a tutu or backstroking through a pool, we can’t wait to see and support whatever types of activities our child will discover they personally love.

As we’ve grown older and time and circumstances have changed, our pastimes have also changed and merged, but our general interests are still rooted in the activities we enjoyed in our youth. Together, we enjoy watching football, spending summer days at the beach, and enjoying critically acclaimed films, music, and theater. But, most of all, we love being outdoors. We often remark at how we are looking forward to watching our child grow and become interested in their own set of skills and abilities. We are interested in educating him or her based on our own strengths and experiences, but also learning new things alongside them so that we can participate in things together. Much like our own parents were there for us growing up, we, too, plan to attend every soccer game, debate meet, and school play and can’t wait to be proud parents cheering loudly and beaming from ear to ear.

Because of our love for the outdoors, we can often be found in the woods on weekends with our sweet, comical, and affectionate six-year-old English Bull Terrier, Penny. We invite our friends and their little ones to join us sometimes and it’s a beautiful thing to see their children exploring the trail with Penny. The kids get such a kick out of watching her racing through the woods, sailing over fallen logs, running around trees, and racing up hills. It’s easy to imagine our own child someday laughing with them, learning to catch their footing, climbing over rocks, and marveling at nature.

Our favorite place to take in the beauty of the outdoors is at Jared’s family vacation home in Maine, near Acadia National Park. For many years, it has been one of our favorite places to visit, as it is on the ocean and has a beautiful beach for swimming, kayaking, digging for clams, and simply soaking up the sun. We live close enough to Acadia that we have thoroughly explored all the beauty that it has to offer, including miles upon miles of carriage roads, hiking trails, and incredible views. Between the comforts of having the home in such an idyllic location and having Acadia so close by, the house is the perfect family getaway. We are looking forward to watching our child grow and enjoy this vacation spot with us. It would fill us with so much joy to see them waddling across the front lawn for the first time, and, before we know it, skipping rocks and collecting shells on the beach.

Camping is another one of our favorite activities, something we love to do as a couple or with friends. One particular highlight was our trip to Hawaii where we camped on the beach and woke up to a gorgeous Hawaiian sunrise every morning. Most of our other camping adventures have been with dear friends and those stories include some hilarious misfortunes, which we reflect back on as some of the best times we can remember. We also love to travel, with trips including getaways as short as long weekend trips to Vermont, Montreal or Niagara Falls and as long as weeks in Spain, California, or the Caribbean. One of our favorite trips was a Caribbean cruise we went on last year that included snorkeling off the Honduras island of Roatan, exploring the Mayan caves in Belize, and lounging on the beach in Cozumel. The more we reflect back upon past travel, the more we can’t help but think about the memorable vacations we went on with our families when we were younger and the trips we hope to one day take with our child. We are so excited to share the world with our child and create beautiful memories with them.

Vacations and family time is possible for us, because we are both blessed to have stable jobs in which we are appreciated in our positions. Monica works in the brokerage industry and has worked closely with the same colleagues for over ten years. We often spend time outside of the office with them and are involved in each other’s families, getting together for dinner or celebrating their children’s milestones. Jared works as a Senior Financial Analyst at the corporate headquarters for a large national retailer and also has wonderful co-workers, who are close in age to us with similar interests. He enjoys spending time with them over dinner meetings, company bowling outings, or fantasy football drafts. We are both fortunate to work only a few miles from home, which gives us the flexibility to stop at home during lunch and to be available within a few minutes’ notice if our child should need us. Jared can also work from home if he needs to and Monica’s job is very flexible and considerate of families, including paid maternity leave upon the arrival of the child, which will give us quality time to bond with our child for the first several months. Both of us enjoy our careers and are appreciative that our employers are generous, understanding, and excited for us in our plans to adopt. It is a blessing to know that we have their support and the flexibility to make our family a priority. We are also fortunate that our careers have given us the financial wisdom to make sound decisions and because of this, we are responsible with our spending and will place our child’s health and education before all else.

Overall, our love for one another is rooted in friendship, and we will always be best friends first and foremost. We confide in one another, support one another, challenge one another to realize our full potential and live selflessly. We make each other laugh, are considerate of one another in things both great and small and we treat each other with honor and respect. And while we consider ourselves extremely blessed to have one another, we know our family is not yet complete. We have struggled with infertility, which have made having children of our own difficult. Despite this and through faith, we have endured the past few years with hope in our hearts and smiles on our faces, knowing someday we will be given the opportunity to become parents.

We have a close community of dear friends who began having children around the same time we also looked to start a family. They have each just recently all had their second child and we consider these precious little ones to be wonderful gifts in our lives. We’ve grown very close to their children and have had the opportunity to become more familiar with parenting. We’ve witnessed their children’s blossoming personalities, had a ball being goofy and silly with them, and felt truly blessed to earn their love and trust. Though we are very blessed to have these children in our lives, spending time with them has made us more eager to become parents ourselves.

About Monica by Jared: Simply put, Monica is an amazingly unique person, which is what originally drew me to her. It was immediately clear that she was one of the most fun and down to earth people I had ever met; it speaks volumes when spending time with someone comes so easy that talking to them feels effortless. No matter the company or function, she never fails to be charming, charismatic, and engaging, all the while having a fantastically silly sense of humor. It is breathtaking to see her silly dancing with a gang of children all playing copycat, and will be even more amazing when one of those children is ours. Monica never fails to put a smile on your face, especially when it’s most needed, and she always seems to have exactly the right words and heart for a situation. Everything from mending a kiddo’s wound, to consoling after a loss, to celebrating a success will be met with the most appropriately honest, joyful, and overall perfect response.

The joy she brings others extends far beyond her demeanor and more to the core of who she is. There is a selflessness about Monica that, those who know her, have all undoubtedly experienced firsthand. This selflessness currently manifests itself daily, whether it’s planning a surprise party, preparing meals, or taking on any other project where help is needed. This is where Monica’s love for others and her gifts of hospitality, organization, thoughtfulness and common sense come together. I can only imagine how epic our child’s birthdays will be with her at the helm. And I just know that field trips, school projects, recitals, sports, or anywhere else she can lend a hand, she will be there to help, guide, and support.

About Jared by Monica: My partner in everything and my source of daily laughter and joy, Jared is my best friend and companion above all else. A few of my favorite things about him are his constant cheery demeanor and his ability to always see the positive side of things even in tough times. He is also a wealth of knowledge and has always impressed me with random interesting facts. He is objective and practical in his thinking and considers all points of view before reacting. His versatile interests include everything from wakeboarding, golfing and cooking delicious Asian meals, to collecting vinyl records, renovating our home and reading. Jared is selfless, gentle, kind, and a true gentleman – all things I love very much about him and which will make him an amazing father and example for our child.

From early on in our relationship, we have always discussed raising children, the approaches we would take, and hypothetical examples of how we would handle future situations. We’ve always agreed on these things and more importantly, I could see how much thought he gave to all the considerations that go into parenting. In more recent years, as our friends have all had children, it’s been wonderful to see him naturally blossom right before my very eyes. One of our best friends’ daughters has a special place in his heart, and he is also one of her favorite people. It’s such a treat to see them together and my heart just melts when she runs into his arms, beckons him when she cries or gives him a sweet hug and a kiss. When with some of the other friend’s children we know, he becomes a jungle gym and loves making them laugh. It’s moments like these when I can visualize the family that we will become someday and when I know, without a doubt, that Jared will be a loving, fun, interesting and supportive father to our child.

576-monica-jared-profileWe do not take this decision you are faced with lightly, realizing that this is a great sacrifice on your part. We know that the choices you are faced with are weighing on you heavily right now. Thank you for bravely taking these first steps and we hope to have the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you further. We are anxious to tell you more about ourselves, share with you the experiences that have led us to adoption and answer any other questions you may have about us. It is our hope that we can not only meet, but exceed your expectations as adoptive parents, giving your child the home that you envision for them, the unconditional love that every child deserves, and the future that they will dream of. If you would like to learn more about us or speak with us directly, please call Full Circle Adoptions at 1-800-452-3678.

We’ll be thinking of you and praying for you.

Warmly,

Jared & Monica