We would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to introduce ourselves and share with you a little bit about our family. We realize that this must be a very difficult time for you. We truly admire the courage it takes for you to consider an adoption plan for your child.
Our first child, Kaileigh, was born almost 12 years ago. We always dreamed of having a large family, but we have been physically unable to have more children. Since Al was adopted as an infant, it seemed very natural for us to consider adoption. Al has always known that both he and his sister were adopted. He is forever grateful to his birthparents for their unselfish decision, made with his best interests at heart. He is equally grateful to his parents for raising him in a loving home and providing him with the many opportunities that have shaped him into the person that he is today.
Adoption enriched our lives in February of 1998 when we were blessed
with the arrival of our second daughter, Madison Rose. Words cannot
express the joy she has brought to our family. Madison is starting to
understand her beginnings and we actually have "adopted" a
tradition from when Al was younger, called "Maddie's Special Day."
Al's parents set aside a "special day" - the day that he officially
became a part of their family - and each year this day was celebrated
with a cake and a small gift, much like a birthday or anniversary. We
believe that this is a great way to have our child become aware of her
roots, know how loved she was by her birthparents, and understand that
they were doing what was best for her.
We have been married for almost fifteen years and have known each other for over eighteen years. We met in college and married two years after graduation in 1987. We are not only a couple; we are best friends. Our strengths as a couple include our shared vision for our goals and priorities in life, including the importance of family and helping others. Like all good marriages, it has taken hard work, compromise, and commitment from both of us to make it work. Our goals are to enjoy each other's company through life's journey and to raise several children who will share our ideals and go on to have happy, healthy lives. I think that we both knew from the start that we were meant to be together. From the beginning, we talked about children and became excited about the prospect of having a family together. We both understand how fortunate we are to have our families' unconditional love and support. It has been the foundation that we have used to nurture our own family. We both feel that our children are the most important people in our lives. We enjoy spending time as a family. We are extremely supportive of each other and believe that the difficult times in our lives have only made us stronger as a couple.
Sue: I come from what I consider to be a large family. I am the second
of five children. I have three sisters and one brother. My parents and
siblings are an extremely important part of my life. My parents have
been married for 42 years and will both be 65 years old this year. They
enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. I have a very close relationship
with both of my parents and I feel that watching their relationship
over the years has served as an excellent example for what I want in
We feel our best strength as parents is the extreme joy that we get from watching our children grow and mature. We are both "hands on" parents - we share in our responsibilities 50-50. Our greatest hope is that our children grow up knowing that we love them more than anything else in the world and that they have a lifetime of good memories to bring with them when they head into the world and start families of their own.
I, Sue, work for a mutual fund company overseeing operations and finance of one of the divisions. I have been with the company for almost 10 years. It is a great company that is willing to provide me with the flexibility to care for my family and yet still provides me with opportunities to have a fulfilling career. I, Al, work as a consultant in an engineering firm. The office is ten minutes from home so I am able to be home at a moments notice if the kids need me.
We built our home almost ten years ago and were one of the first families to move into this new cul-de-sac in the same town in which Sue finished high school and college. We live in a four bedroom colonial with over two acres of land. Our house has a very warm and country-like feel to it. It is set far back on the lot - we did this so we didn't have to worry (too much) about any little ones running into the street. We have a good size front and backyard. In the backyard, we set up a small area with a swing set, a small pool, and a cottage. Kaileigh and Madison love having their friends over in the summer so that they can play in the backyard.
Our neighborhood has eleven families and is next to another neighborhood with even more young families. On our street, there are twenty-one children, and most are between 2 and 12 years old. Kaileigh and Madison have many friends in the neighborhood. We both feel very fortunate to live in such a close-knit community. It truly resembles the places in which we both grew up. The children go from house to house on the weekends, leaving a trail of toys and bikes behind them.
Alan: I was raised on the South Shore in a working-class suburb. My parents were both raised during the depression, which left an indelible mark on their outlook on family and what is truly important. My parents were and continue to be active in their local church, which also played a significant role in my upbringing. Of all the valuable lessons that my parents taught me regarding hard work and honesty, the one that stands out to me is the golden rule: do unto others what you would have done to you. One of the special people in my life growing up was my grandmother, who lived in an apartment above us. She lived to be 98 and taught me much about life and the value of laughter. My parents are both 75-years-old and have been married for almost 52 years. I have one sister, Laurel, who is also adopted. She and my brother-in-law, Tommy, have one daughter, Jessica. The girls love spending time with their older cousin. We get together as frequently as possible, despite the distance, and my folks often come up and spend time with Kaileigh and Madison during weekends and school vacations.
Family and traditions are valued, especially around the holidays. Christmas is our favorite. The month of December is always filled with fun activities preparing for the big day. Kaileigh and Madison love to help Sue put up all the decorations. Al sets up the tree, puts on the lights, and then the girls decorate the tree with their favorite ornaments! It normally turns into an all day event. Christmas Eve is spent with Al's family. We attend Church and then come home to Grammy and Papa's house to open gifts. We like to reserve Christmas morning for just the four of us, and we eagerly look forward to including a new child in this tradition. We all wait to go downstairs together and no one is allowed to peek first. We all love to watch each other open gifts. Christmas Day is spent with Sue's extended family and boy, what a wild ride that normally is - nine kids opening presents from Nana and Gramps and their aunts and uncles. The girls spend the rest of the day playing new games and hanging out with their cousins. We all believe in the magic of Christmas. It will sure be nice to have someone else who believes in Santa in our family.
Vacations are also a very special time for our family. It is our quiet time to be together, learn, have fun, and explore. We try and take a few vacations as a family each year. This past year we went to Florida in February and on a Caribbean cruise in April. The cruise was the first for all of us and beyond a doubt the biggest hit. We all had such a great and relaxing time and there was something for everyone to do. Florida was also very memorable, since it was Maddie's first visit to Disney World. We remember her anticipation, as the trip got closer. She was so excited!
The truly special times we share with our children are often just the everyday moments. First thing in the morning, Madison yells from her bedroom, "I'm up!!!" and Al and I usually fight about who gets to go get her from her crib. Even though Kaileigh is almost a teenager, she enjoys family time as well. We all love sitting down at the end of the day to read each other books. Kaileigh loves to read to Madison, a tradition I am sure we will keep with our new baby. We are looking forward to enjoying everyday life with a new baby.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We want you to know that if you choose us, we will love your baby with all of our hearts. We understand the commitment and responsibility involved in raising children and we know we have room in our lives and our hearts for more children.
We look forward to speaking with you. If you would like to speak with us directly or learn more about us, please feel free to call 1-888-452-3678.
Our thoughts are with you,
Sue and Al
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