We are Tricia and Matt and we appreciate your taking the time to look at our profile. We understand that this is not an easy time for you and we want you to know how much we value your considering us as parents.
Matt: To look at us, Tricia and I make a somewhat unusual couple. She is quite tall and I am very short. I use leg braces and a cane in order to walk. Despite the differences in our appearance and physical abilities, our hearts are in the same place. We love each other very much and want very much to grow a family.
Tricia: Matt and I have a multiracial home. I am white and Matt is black. We are very open to a black child or a child of multiracial heritage. In fact, we feel that a black or multiracial child would flourish in our family, seeing relatives of almost every shade of brown. We believe that any child raised by us will learn that what matters is what is beneath the skin.
Matt: If you saw the film "You've Got Mail", you might have an idea of how Tricia and I met. We "met" while playing a computer game, she in Illinois and me in Connecticut. After playing the game, we struck up an online chat friendship that grew deeper and deeper until we decided to meet in person. It was like we had known each other for years. A little bit more than a year after we "met" online, I asked Tricia to marry me and three months later we did just that.
Tricia: I grew up in Illinois in a farming community. My mom was primarily a homemaker and my dad was the road commissioner for our town. I was the last child born in my family, with three brothers much older. As a girl, I used to like to play with dolls, do arts and crafts with my mom and play pretend games with my friends.
Matt: I grew up in and around New York City. My dad was a junior high school administrator and my mom took a break from teaching to stay home and take care of me. My sister arrived when I was 11 years old. As a boy, I used to like to watch TV and pretend a lot (cops and robbers with friends). Over the years, I've had opportunities to work with young people, first as a volunteer camp counselor while I was in high school and, later, as an adult mentor to a local high school junior. I also interviewed prospective college students for college admissions. In all these instances, my genuine regard and respect for children, made these experiences both fun and enriching.
From our parents, we both understood the importance of a loving two parent home and we knew before we got married how much we wanted to have a family. Finding out about our infertility from our doctor has not changed our feelings. We still very much want to nurture a little baby into a happy child and then into a self-confident and joyful adult.
Tricia: Our extended families are very excited that we are planning to grow our family through adoption. Matt's parents live about two hours away and we visit them several times a year. We often see a movie together or just have fun out at a restaurant talking about all the latest news. I know his dad will be a doting grandpa and his mom will be a source of great wisdom to her grandchild. My mom passed away in 2001, but I have a big family in Illinois, including my dad, who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first child. I have five young nieces and nephews in my family from ages 14 all the way to newborn twins. So our child's visits to Illinois will be full of attention and fun.
Matt: Tricia and I both believe very strongly in the importance of education. We both excelled in school. Tricia attended North Central College in Illinois and I attended Harvard University in Massachusetts. We believe that a good education opens so many doors later on. We will give our child all the support and encouragement they need to do the very best that they can in whatever they wish to do. Tricia is very soft-spoken and I am very talkative. We often comment on how I will teach our children to be articulate and Tricia will teach them to think before they speak.
We live in a suburban town in Connecticut in a one year old French Colonial home that we love dearly. We moved here because the school system is good and there are nearby parks and recreation facilities. We have a pretty simple life. We're not constantly running around, and outside of visits with friends, we don't have an over-scheduled social calendar. One of our favorite "events" is inviting a group of our close friends for a pizza party and of course we spend major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) with our extended families.
Once our baby comes home, we will no longer commute daily into the office. Because our co-workers are usually spread across the country, our meetings are usually done over the telephone. So it is very easy for us to attend a meeting and never leave our home. Because Tricia's job is different from mine, we don't tend to get very busy at the same time. When my work day gets tough, she is often less stressed and when her workday picks up, I usually have more free time. We are both at stages in our careers where we have control of our work hours, can work from our home office, and can share in the care of our child during the day with no problem. We think this will make our adjustment to parenthood that much easier.
Tricia: We look forward to warm family times with our child. We imagine teaching our child all sorts of games. I look forward to doing arts and crafts and singing songs, playing hopscotch, riding bikes and running through the sprinklers. Matt looks forward to reading our child stories and watching fun TV shows together, doing puzzles and, later, helping with home work. But most of all, we are so looking forward to finding out what interests and passions our child shows as he or she gets older. Everyone is great at something! It's just a matter of being patient and giving encouragement to what a child shows an interest in.
Matt: We have thought about how my disability might affect the activities our child can share with us and we look at it this way. Neither of us plays the violin (Tricia plays piano and clarinet and I like the drums), but if our child learns how to play the violin, we'll be their biggest fan and we will be at every recital. Similarly, if our child likes to toss a baseball around, then we'll make sure they get all the support they need to build that talent. I might not be playing ball with our child, but I'll be at every game, and I'll be their number 1 fan and supportive coach! While I am not athletic, I have no problem playing on the floor with a toddler, hugging a two year old who is afraid of the dark or teaching a five year old how to tie his or her shoes. As they get older, I look forward to teaching them about computers, building a model train set or exploring whatever interests they develop.
We have also talked about how our child will adjust to having a disabled father. I'd like to share something with you. When you grow up from infancy with a family member who has a disability, they do not seem unusual to you. In fact, many children who grow up with disabled siblings or parents wonder why other kids don't have a brother or father with a cane! My sister is 11 years younger than I and, growing up, she never had any difficulty having a disabled brother. For her, it was perfectly natural, and if anyone asked her rude questions or behaved poorly, she found them strange ... not herself. One reason Tricia was able to accept me as someone she wanted to build a life and family with was that her own father does not have the full use of his hands and yet he was the perfect father for her. Much like my sister, Tricia grew up viewing disability as something quite natural. I think the parent in the home sets the tone for this. Since Tricia and I never really worry about my disability (it is a fact of our life, not a big drama), we expect this attitude will be absorbed by our child.
Tricia: Of course, the most important thing is that anyone in our family grows up to be a kind, thoughtful, caring person. We feel that the best way to raise a loving child is to show that child lots of love and respect. A part of our value system is a fundamental belief in the importance of self-respect and empathy for others. We both understand what it means to succeed in the presence of challenges. Our parents always taught us that we were people of worth with a lot to offer. As a result, growing up, we looked at certain goals that some people felt we could not attain, and we pursued them until we attained them. We could not have done this if our parents had not respected us as individuals. They taught us that everything about us, from our smile, to our smarts, to our sense of humor, makes us who we are ... special human beings. Our parents taught us that we are all special, and worthy. Our child will learn that same lesson from us.
Matt and Tricia: We cannot think of any greater purpose than to share our life with a child. We know that all the love we have to give will come back to us a million times over as we see our child go through life's triumphs and trials and come out on top. We will be happy to share those moments with you in photos and letters, directly or through the agency, if you wish to see them. We cannot thank you enough for having the courage to consider adoption. It is by considering that choice, that you are helping a loving couple grow a family and in turn giving a baby the warmth of a family which he or she so richly deserves. Our child will know about your courage because we will tell him or her what a loving and giving choice you made.
We really want you to have a chance to know us better and to share with us the hopes and dreams you have for your baby. To speak with us directly or learn more about us, please call Full Circle at 1-888-452-3678.
Tricia and Matt
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