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Dear Birthmother Letter / Profile
Ken and Anita

Dear Birthmother,

Dear Birthmother,

As we write this letter to you, someone we have not met, we are most struck my how much we admire and respect you. We do not know you. We have no idea what it is like to be in your position and imagine that it must be difficult for you. But, you are reading this letter and trying to decide whether we could be the loving family that you are seeking for your child. You are thinking not only of your future but of your child’s future. And for this, we admire you. We thank you for taking the time to read our letter and for giving us the hope that we might grow our family. We hope that we can assure you that we will follow in your footsteps by making your child’s future our highest priority.

Even before we were married six years ago, we knew that we wanted to have children. When we decided to get married, we starting looking for a place to live that would provide a great place for a child to grow up. When we went house shopping, our first, and by far highest priority was to find a great school district in a family oriented community and then to find a house we liked and could afford.

We started trying to get pregnant after being married for about a year and a half. Since we were both healthy and fit, we never thought that we would have any trouble. After trying for about nine months, we decided that it was time to consult a doctor. The doctors put us both though more tests than we care to remember. The results showed no reason why we should not be able to get pregnant. And yet we didn’t. So we went to a fertility specialist who told us about the options in assisted reproductive technology (ART). We tried three different methods of ART a total of nine times (including 3 cycles of in-vitro fertilizations) and never got pregnant. Each time we started an ART cycle, we were told that we were good candidates and each time we ended a cycle, we were crushed. After our last cycle, our doctor told us that we were not likely to ever get pregnant and that we should consider alternate ways to become parents. We thought about trying another IVF cycle using a donated egg, but in the end, it did not feel right to us. We realized that the whole infertility process had made us miserable. All of the tests made us feel like science experiments and all the drugs made Anita feel uncomfortable. Our lives had been so dominated by the process that we didn’t know who we were anymore. We spent a lot of time thinking and discussing what we were trying to do. In the end, we realized that the important thing was that we had so much love for each other and so much love that we wanted to share with a child. All the hassle and unpleasantness of IVF did not feel like a loving way to start a family. Because Anita has an adopted cousin, and we belong to a church with a large number of adoptive families, we decided that we were much more comfortable with adoption.

Long before our struggles with infertility, we fell in love over pancakes. We were introduced by mutual friends at a Saturday morning brunch. Two weeks later we went on our first date, which was very comical and taught us how much we simply enjoyed being together. We planned on going to a movie and then out to dinner. The movie turned out to be terrible and the restaurant turned out to be closed. So we wandered around the city looking for a place for dinner and the only place we could find was rented out for the evening for a bachelor party. And yet, we had had such a good time being together, we couldn’t wait to do it again.

What we both appreciate about each other is that we could have a good time doing simple things and we don’t let minor setbacks ruin an event. Once, when we were dating, we planned a romantic trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. We were going to see the beautiful fall leaves changing colors and go hiking. It poured buckets the whole six hour trip up. We finally arrived at our inn, and collapsed into bed hoping that the next day would be sunny so that we could go hiking. The next morning it was foggy and raining off and on. We could go hiking, but we wouldn’t be able to see much and we would get soaked. Instead, we found a local inn, and spent a wonderful afternoon having a lunch and watching football with everyone else who couldn’t go hiking. Another great event for us is an annual architectural tour of Boston by bike. The unusual thing about this tour is that it runs from midnight to 7AM. It seems that this is one of the safest times to be on a bike in the city. There weren’t many couples who went on these tours together and after several of them, we realized that we were meant for each other. The only upside we discovered to infertility was that it made us a stronger and better couple because of going through it together. When we went through each of our cycles, we would go to the clinic almost daily, early in the morning for Anita’s blood and ultrasound tests. We went together and were surprised because the nurses always mentioned to us how unusual it was to see both of us.

Usually, only the woman would go for these tests. It never occurred to us that we would not go together.

We realize that one key to being good parents is to have a good marriage. We naturally ask each other, “what was new and good for you today?” when we first see each other after work. It is our habit to have our first words to each other be about checking in with our joys of the day.

There are many things that we enjoy doing together that we can’t wait to share with a child. Both of our families are happily waiting for an addition to our family. Ken is the youngest of three children and grew up in New Jersey. He is very close to his brother and sister. His brother Art lives with his wife in Washington State. His sister Suzanne lives with her children, Marie and Dylan only two towns away from us, allowing us to go to their school and sporting events. Recently, Ken’s parents, moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts to be nearer to us and to Ken’s sister. This year we had a big family reunion, bringing everyone together to celebrate Ken’s parents’ 50th anniversary.

As a child, Ken was active in the Boy Scouts. He was happiest going camping and participating in other outdoors activities. We both look forward to seeing our own child have the same fun. We would volunteer as leaders to help the group and to share more time with our child. This summer Ken played “Dad” for Dylan at his “Father-Son” weekend at a YMCA camp because his brother-in-law was unable to attend. Sharing the activities such as swimming in the camp lake was great fun and we hope to one day perform the same role with our own child.

Anita is also the youngest of three children and grew up on
Long Island, New York. Her older brother John lives with his wife and two children, Gina and Mark, near Detroit, MI. Her oldest brother Marco lives with his wife, son and soon to be new baby girl due around Christmas of 2005, near Philadelphia, PA. Anita’s parents, still live on Long Island. Anita’s mother is from Switzerland and all of her family lives there. We travel regularly to see everyone.

We are especially close to Gina and Mark who visit us every summer and enjoy cooking outside on the grill with and touring the historic sites of Boston with us. A year ago, Gina and Mark gave us matching pens that said, “Number 1 Aunt” and “Number 1 Uncle”. These are among our most prized possessions. We cannot wait to include our child in our family. Perhaps we’ll give those same pens to our brothers and sisters someday, as a tender reminder of how important we all are to each other.

We both grew up near the ocean, Anita in New York and Ken in New Jersey. Anita’s favorite memories are of going to the beach as a child. We played in the sand and in the waves, threw frisbees and beach balls, ate picnics and read books. Then, at the end of the day, we would be so exhausted that we would fall asleep in the car on the way home. Anita’s parents live within five miles of the ocean in New York, and each year our family gathers together for a reunion, so that we can catch up and so that our nieces and nephews can get reacquainted.

We enjoy hearing our brothers, sisters and friends tell us details about their children’s accomplishments in school and sports. We look forward to being able to share the same delightful news. Our future dreams are of giving our child the opportunity for swimming lessons, or soccer or football practice, or piano lessons. We smile thinking of being in the audience clapping as our child appears in the school play. And, we look forward to seeing what interests and activities light up our child’s eyes and doing whatever we can to help them take those interests as far as they’d like to go.

We celebrate Christmas with great joy every year. We enjoy shopping for a real, pine-aroma’d tree and decorating it with ornaments we have been collecting for years. We top the tree with Finnegan, the lucky leprechaun. We decided he was fun to have on the top of a tree and he spends the rest of the year sitting on our dining room lamp. Anita remembers baking dozens of butter cookies with Marisa when she was a child. When we were married, Marisa gave us the old mixer and cookie gun that she used, and we are looking forward to teaching a new generation how to bake and decorate delicious butter cookies.

We live in a beautiful historic town just west of Boston, Massachusetts. There are many museums, homes and battlefields in our town that date from the Revolutionary War. It is always a treat for us to have guests to our house so that we can take them sightseeing and learn more about our country’s founding.

We are also within twelve miles of Boston and we go into Boston to visit the many museums and also to go to concerts. Boston has many attractions for children, such as a Children’s Museum, Science Museum, Aquarium and many historical sites. Our town also has a great school system ranked in the top ten in Massachusetts.

Our house is in a wonderful neighborhood for children. Our street is small and quiet, with only two houses on it, so we don’t have a lot of traffic. But our larger neighborhood has a whirlwind of fun possibilities: there is a park with swings and slides for young children, a softball field for older children, a large hill where all of the neighborhood families go sledding in winter, a bike path, where we can stroll, run, or ride our bikes away from any traffic and both a town pool and reservoir for summer swimming. We are friendly with many of our neighbors and share news of our families and updates regarding our hopes and dreams. The only other people who live on our street are a retired couple who act as grandparents for all of the neighborhood kids. They watch our house when we are gone and we feed their dog when they are away. They have four grandchildren who love to visit and they are close to the other families in our area as well. Most of our other neighbors are families and there are many small children in our area.

Our house is warm and cozy. We have a large kitchen where we spend a lot of time cooking and being together, a porch for enjoying the summer in, two bedrooms available for a child to choose which he or she likes better and a large private back yard for playing in.

We both work close to home. Ken is a software engineer and specifically chose his current job because it is only one town away and because he has the option of sometimes working at home. He’s looking forward to being able to attend the school plays and spend time playing with our child that others might spend commuting to work. Anita used to work in financial services but has recently left this career to pursue a new career teaching mathematics in our town. She made this choice to minimize the amount of time our child would spend in day-care, especially during holidays and summer vacation and because it will make it easier to attend to participate in our child’s school experience. She enjoys children and has noticed a natural ability to explain complex ideas in both a fun and clear way for children.

We know that we will take an active and encouraging role in our child’s education. We also want to know those special conversation moments when driving from school to softball practice, the handholding moments, the “look at me” moments.

We know you can’t predict when those moments will happen, so we’ve structured our lives so that we can have a lot of relaxed time with our child. We see ourselves lingering at our kitchen table after dinner so that we can giggle about milk with food coloring mixed in, the potential for sliding peas around a plate and also to be available to answer questions about homework.

Music has always been important to us both. We each had the gift of music lessons as children. Ken was in the school band and Anita studied the piano and singing; she still sings in our church choir. Anita’s piano sits proudly in our house and awaits the next set of hands testing the keys, loud and soft; like an old family dog, it will put up with the not so soft touch of a child learning to explore. We plan to carry on the music tradition to our child and offer lessons on piano or any another instrument that our child might want.

We both have families that sacrificed and saved so that we could go to college. It made going to college so much easier for both of us knowing that we would not start out our adult lives with a huge debt incurred for four years of school. We have already started saving for our child’s college education. We want to be able to tell our child what our parents told us, namely that it was our job to get into college, and their job to figure out how to pay for it. We are active members of our church, which is a relatively small but vibrant community. This community has shown its strength by supporting members in need through illnesses, financial difficulties and family crisis. We also have a large and supportive group of adoptive families. Each year there are several events for adoptive families designed so that children can know that they’re not the only child who joined their family through adoption. We were included in this group’s last pot-luck dinner and there were 60 people there, laughing and playing games. One favorite story told by the leader of the group was of two children who knew each other from school, upon seeing each other at a dinner both looked at each other and said, “what are you doing here, you’re not adopted?” Of course, they both answered, “Yes, I am”. They had known each other from school for several years and neither knew that the other was adopted. We look forward to our child knowing the many joys of being in a warm and welcoming community.

We love to travel. In the past few years, we have started spending our vacations touring National Parks. We have been to Acadia in Maine, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and most recently, we have been to Grand Teton and Yellowstone in Wyoming. On this trip we were joined by Anita’s parents from New York, her Aunt and Uncle from California and Ken’s brother and sister-in-law from Washington State. We enjoy these trips so much because they allow us to get away from our daily routine, spend time with each other and family and go hiking or rafting in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. On our most recent trip we both kept noticing the number of families hiking together and we talked about how much we would love to show a child all these wonders.

As we said at the outset, we understand that becoming parents means that we have to think of the needs of our child above all else. If you would consider giving us the gift of a family, we would assure you that your child would grow up to honor and respect you. You would have given two of the greatest gifts possible - the gift of life to your child, and the gift of a family to us. We would never forget that.

We would teach your child that he or she is so lucky to have had two families who love and care for him/her. We would want him or her to grow knowing his or her history, who you are, where you come from, what made you make the decision to make these awesome gifts and why you chose use to be your child’s parents. We would be very open to keeping you informed about your child’s progress. If you would like to learn more about us or talk with us or meet us, please contact Full Circle at 1-800-452-
3678.

With admiration and respect,
Anita and Ken


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