Dear Expectant Parent(s),
As we, Jesse and David, sit here thinking about how hard it is to start this letter, we can’t help but imagine how hard it must be for you to start reading this letter as well. You are making such a huge decision that will impact a number of people, possibly even us, so we want to start by thanking you for putting so much love and thought into considering placing your child for adoption. No matter what you decide to do, we know you will be making the best choice for your child, and we just hope that reading our profile book will help make your decision easier for you.
As for us, there aren’t a lot of things we do that fit exactly into normal expectations – we have a tendency to take things that are standardized and make them our own.
Growing our family is an example of this. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with turning to adoption after trying to have a biological child, that isn’t our story. We both grew up surrounded by friends that were adopted and Jesse has known that she wanted to start her family by adopting for many years now. It didn’t take much convincing for David to agree that it felt “right” for us, especially with our long shared belief that family isn’t about biology, it’s about loving and supporting each other unconditionally.
There is so much I could tell you about David, but I’d like to describe him by telling you a story that happened about six months into our relationship.
I was just finishing up my master’s degree, I had a stable job, I saw a direct career path ahead of me, but, frankly, I was bored and underpaid. When I saw David working on interesting projects and writing code (something I had done as a kid and dabbled with as a hobby still), I voiced regret that I hadn’t gone into computer programming in college. Without missing a beat, David said I should quit my job and go into programming; he even told me about a three-month bootcamp that would help me gain the skills I needed to become a programmer. Sounds easy, right? I laughed off the outrageous idea of quitting my stable job and spending thousands of dollars with the mere hope that someone would hire me after.
David didn’t let me laugh it off though. He saw more potential in me than I saw in myself. After pushing me to question all my assumptions and fears about the process, his confidence in me was contagious, and I eventually decided to take the plunge. Six months later, after applying to and completing the program, I started a new job earning double what I was making before. It even had better benefits, more flexibility, and was also more intellectually engaging than anything I had worked on previously. He pushed me out of my comfort zone, supported me by making me dinners or just spending time next to me while I studied late, and, as a result, I was able to launch a career that literally changed my life.
That’s what David does. He approaches impossible, scary opportunities with confidence and has the unfaltering belief that people can accomplish great things if given the right support. Then, if he’s able to, he provides that support. I am so excited to watch David encourage our future adoptive child to follow their dreams and seek out opportunities for them to grow and thrive.
This story is also an example of how amazing David is as a partner. We share all of our chores and all of our triumphs. We support each other in our relationships with our extended families and our careers. Our ability to work as a team indicates to me that we will both be present, involved parents – taking turns making our future child healthy lunches and helping them with their homework.
One of the most important values we share is making the world a better place whenever possible, no matter how big or small a change we make. David embodies this by being a natural motivator to those around him. While working as a Senior Engineering Manager in an industry that has historically been unfair to women and people of color, he’s been a voice for change in advocating for equitable hiring practices and building an inclusive environment in which his team can work. We will make sure to instill the value of helping the world into our future adoptive child.
One of the greatest strengths of our relationship is that we listen to each other. When something is wrong (because, let’s face it, things aren’t always perfect), we talk about it and are always able to figure out a solution that works for us. When one of us has an idea, we always take the other seriously and we never brush each other off. We give everyone we interact with that same respect, which means we will be a sounding board for our child as they approach all life has to throw at them.
I consider myself so lucky to have David in my life. He expresses his love through his words and actions, always being my biggest cheerleader. I know he will love and support our future adoptive child with all of his heart and soul because that’s how he already treats me.
In contrast to myself, the oldest of six, Jesse is an only child. I have often heard the story from her parents about how they thought they would not be able to have children, but were pleasantly surprised when they learned her mother was pregnant with Jesse. In this way, as with many others, the old adage that “opposites attract” holds true for Jesse and myself.
Growing up, Jesse excelled at her studies, in contrast to me who struggled. She was often surrounded by friends in social settings, while I would be more likely to spend hours building Lego creations or designing games. The list of our differences goes on, but what I want to share with you now is what makes Jesse the amazing person she is.
Jesse’s childhood was not always a super easy time, but it was through these challenges at a young age that Jesse developed a strong backbone and an instinct to fight for what is right. I will illustrate this to you by sharing a story. By 2014, when our relationship started, I had adapted to living on my own for several years. Being independent in this manner, I had woefully inadequate time management skills beyond the basics needed to maintain my job. As our relationship started, Jesse made it very clear, through a couple of difficult conversations, that this would be a critical skill set I would need to build quickly, were our relationship to last. Her backbone and unwavering capacity to respectively stand up for herself impressed me then and continues to impress me today. In particular, as we set out to build a family together, these traits in her give me confidence that I could not find a stronger mother for our future child(ren).
As our relationship has matured over the past years, I have also become more closely acquainted with the organizational skills that have driven much of Jesse’s success. Again, in contrast to my life, where much of what I’ve done has been driven through practice, repetition, and instinct, Jesse takes a different approach.
I’ve seen firsthand how Jesse will start something by creating more lists than you thought possible, execute all of them, and then have time to spare when she is done. Her organizational skills have extended far enough to the point that friends have asked her to share spreadsheets with them that provide a framework for how they can structure their plans. The rigor and structure she can, and does, apply to any facet of our lives together continually reminds me that I couldn’t have found a more wonderful woman with whom to spend my life. It might sound strange to say, but I believe it is accurate to say that these organizational skills are no small part of why I love her more every day and are why I know she will create a wonderful life for our future adoptive child(ren).
Over the past year, we’ve gotten a sneak peek at what being new parents will be like. Many of our close friends are at similar stages in their lives, either with young ones at home already or waiting for the stork to arrive in the coming years. We consider many of these friends extensions of our family and are excited to have our children grow up with their children.
Not only will our child be surrounded by our chosen family, but our nuclear family is so excited to meet its newest member as well. Uncle Drew, David’s brother who is a collegiate athlete, is excited to teach our future adoptive child rowing drills. Meanwhile, we will need to be very careful that Uncle Daniel (another of David’s brothers) doesn’t spoil our child!
This will be the first grandchild for both of our parents. Although David’s parents are a couple of hours away, we see them as much as schedules allow. Jesse’s parents are a quick 20 minute drive from our home, and we see them every few days for dinner or when they come over to help with one of our many home improvement projects. We also hope that once our first child is a few years old, a younger brother or sister will join our family as well.
Between all of our friends and family, our future child will have a huge number of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to surround them with love! We will also make sure that they always feel our unconditional love.
From the very first day we met, our lives have been full of adventure. We met at a local rock climbing gym where we were both members. There was an immediate connection. Some of our first dates included going to a beach, an all-day tailgating concert, and lots more rock climbing.
As we both have careers in technology, we are able to take advantage of the flexibility the industry provides, such as working wherever we want. Three years ago, we were both working at a program that helped people without technical backgrounds get the skills to enter the tech industry, when we decided to take our jobs on the road. We got rid of most of our stuff (thanks, Marie Kondo!) and moved us and our cat into a 300 square foot fifth wheel trailer for seven months while we worked and lived full-time on the road.
While the relaxed pace and space of Texas was welcoming, and the view from a hot air balloon at sunrise in Arizona will be a sight neither of us ever forgets, it was when we were living next to the ocean in Marathon, Florida that we felt most at peace during our trailer life. So much so, that a year later, it was on Sunset Park Beach in Marathon that we shared our wedding vows in front of our closest friends and family.
After some saving up, we went on our honeymoon on our one-year anniversary of being married. It was on this trip that we experienced our latest and greatest (so far) travel adventure together. For three weeks, we visited Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in Southeast Asia. While on this trip we also ended up flying all the way around the globe getting there one way (flying west) and back again (still flying west)!
When we say our adventures will not be over when we have a child, we do so with open eyes. Things will change for us, along with our lifestyle, and we are beyond excited to tackle the new adventure of building a family together.
Thanks to our companies generous parental leave policies, one of us will be able to stay with our newborn for the first five months without either of us needing to take any unpaid time off – we also have the option to extend that even further as unpaid leave. Following that time, our jobs both encourage strong work/life balances, including flexible hours and generous time off each year. Although we don’t want to decide what to do until we have adopted and see how things go, we are fortunate to be financially able to have one of us go down to working part-time, or even staying home full-time if we feel that’s the right choice for our family in the future.
This will be our first child, so there will be a lot that we don’t know. That said, David is already a pro at changing diapers, and remembers the terrible twos that he supported his three younger brothers through. Jesse has less experience with small children, being the youngest in her extended family. However, her job during college involved working with teenagers, so she already has some tricks up her sleeve for our child’s teen years!
We are also excited for the experience of cheering on sports games or watching our child perform in a play, if that’s what they are excited to do. We were given the huge privilege of trying different hobbies and sports when we were kids, with our parents always there supporting us, so we are excited to give that same experience to our future child. We hope that our child will enjoy board games as much as we do, and we are already imagining what family game nights will be like as our child grows up.
Home has been a major theme of our lives together. Even before we moved into our first apartment together, Jesse started improving the spartan accommodations that David had become accustomed to in his bachelor days. Throughout the early years of our relationship, we have lived in four different apartments, Jesse’s parents’ house, several Air B&B’s, and, of course, the trailer together. In all of these different spaces, the shaping and home-making process for us has been an important part of our relationship.
After returning to Boston from our trailer adventure, we knew that we wanted to purchase our next home – a place where we establish a more long-term, stable base from which to build the next years of our lives together. It was thus, as many things in life end up working out like this, less than a month before our wedding date when we stumbled on the perfect new home. The greater Boston area’s housing market being what it is, we jumped at the opportunity and landed our current condo.
Among other things, one of the more prominent characteristics that drew us to our home is the way in which its location is near the city, but also gives us distance and space. All the museums, culture, and activities of Boston that we love to share with our friends and family are easily accessible. At the same time, our home is adjacent to a large park with a dog-friendly area, walking distance to a riverside playground, features easy walking access to a trail through a second park along a river, and is less than a five minute drive from the highway to head farther out for hiking or other outdoor activities. Last, but not least, our home also places us a quick 20 minute drive away from Jesse’s parents, where they have a seasonal pool in which our future adoptive child(ren) can learn to swim!
As we have settled into our home, another characteristic that we have been happy to see is that we will be in good company, with many other young children and families living in the building of our condo. On almost a daily basis, we pass other young families and children going in and out of the building for walks or to play with dogs in the park. We will definitely be in good company raising our child(ren) here.
At the same time, we are confident that when it comes time to find top notch schooling options for our child(ren), we will either move to a home in an ideal school district, or find alternative private school options for them.
Another way we want to support our child so they can be as happy and successful as possible is by providing him or her with a good education. We will assess what options will fit best with their skills and interests, and are hoping to find a good Montessori school for them that will promote their creativity from a young age. We also have already started a college fund, in case that is something they want to pursue.
Education is not just about what is learned in the classroom for us, though. We will also empower our child to learn resiliency and confidence, so they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. Exposing our child to different cultures/walks of life through meeting diverse groups of people is also very important to us, so travel will play a big role in their lives as they grow up.
Although our priority will be keeping our child happy and healthy, we have both experienced how many doors are opened by a solid education, along with the ability to understand/empathize with others. Because of this, it is important to us to give our child as many opportunities as possible, so that they may choose the path that is right for them.
Regardless of whether you choose our family, another family, or if you choose to parent, we have a massive amount of respect and admiration for the personal courage you have exhibited to make it to this point. A family, we believe, should be all about love and support. You are showing your child an exceptional amount of love by acknowledging that the best way you can support them may be letting them grow up with another family. While we don’t know what your situation is, or what your support system looks like, we know that you must be an incredibly strong person to make such a hard decision.
If you choose us to raise your child, we will make sure they know as much of your story as we are able to share with them. We are hoping to find an open adoption situation that includes some amount of communication, photo/letter sharing, and possibly even visits if you are open to this. Regardless of the amount of openness you are comfortable with, we will make sure your child knows that they were placed with us for no other reason than love, and we will love them unconditionally.
If you’ve made it this far, you have our sincere thanks and gratitude for taking the time to look through this small window into the family we are hoping to build. Please call Full Circle Adoptions as 1-800-452-3678 if you would like to learn more about us or speak with us.