Dear Expectant Parent(s),
We are Joe and Alisa (and our son, Julian) and we are so excited that you have chosen to learn more about us. We are high-school sweethearts who have truly grown up together. Over the past 17 years, we have built a beautiful life and are excited to continue to grow our family through a second adoption.
We actually began our journey to start a family in 2015. After struggles with infertility and losses in the form of miscarriages, we sat down and discussed what a family really meant to us. It became clear that our long-term goal was to be parents and that goal could be realized in many different ways. For us, adoption felt like the best next step in our journey to parenthood.
We adopted our son, Julian, in 2018. He is a charismatic, empathetic, and funny child who loves to laugh and play. He loves to play outside and climb on his swing set, but he can also be found cuddling up on the couch reading a book all about trucks. Julian loves other children and we know he will adore his future brother or sister.
Adding Julian to our family has allowed us to experience parenting and confirmed our desire to have a family with multiple children, which is why we are pursuing adoption for a second time. We hope by reading our story you will understand the values we hold and those we hope to pass on to our future child.
We met during our sophomore year of high school in science class. Joe was exceptionally good at science and Alisa was exceptionally bad at science. During this class, Joe had no problem showing off his science skills, all the while picking on Alisa for her lack of them. The dynamic in this class led to a hate-hate relationship (the love came later).
Throughout the next several years of high school, we shared mutual friends and often found ourselves at the same events together. Looking back on our relationship, we can’t remember when exactly our feelings toward each other shifted, but eventually we became best friends. We officially began dating in February of 2004, when we were just 18-years-old.
From that point on, we made a commitment to one another that we could make it work and we did. Together, we navigated our paths to adulthood. Throughout the years, we have shared some of the best and worst moments of our lives together, always being there to support one another. Our relationship is built on our foundation of friendship, making our love for each other truly authentic.
We got engaged in August of 2012 when we were visiting friends in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Joe had bought the engagement ring seven months prior to this vacation and was patiently waiting for the “perfect” moment to pop the question. After a number of sabotaged attempts at the perfect proposal, Joe nudged Alisa awake from a nap, and without an ounce of hesitation said, “I have been waiting for the perfect moment, but I just need to do this. Will you marry me?” It was just a simple moment between the two of us, one friend asking another to marry them, but as Alisa said “yes,” it became one of the best moments of our lives.
We were married a year later in August of 2013. Our wedding was filled with so much love and laughter. Our main goals that evening were to dance the night away, take a few moments for just the two of us, eat some delicious cake, and get married. We are happy to say we reached all of these goals and had an amazing time in general! It was a beautiful wedding and to this day our friends and family still describe it as, “the best wedding ever.”
We both knew we wanted to start a family soon after getting married. Unfortunately, we suffered two miscarriages, which led us to think more about how we were going to build our family. Throughout these experiences, we were also parenting our foster daughter. Having her in our home reinforced our desire to be parents and made us appreciate the different ways of starting a family. Holding Julian in our arms for the first time made us recognize how grateful we were for the journey that led us to him.
Adding Julian to our family was seamless. We have a large and wonderful village of family and friends surrounding us, including our employers. Both of us work for companies that whole-heartedly supported our decision to adopt and are just as excited to see us add to our family through a second adoption. Our employers are willing to be flexible with our schedules as we prepare for a second baby to enter our home and both of us have the opportunity to work from home as needed. Alisa intends to take twenty weeks of maternity leave once a child is placed with us. Joe’s company also allows him to take paternity leave – eight weeks at any point in the first year of a child’s life. We are both very excited to spend lots of time together as a family when our adoptive child comes home with us.
As a family, we love just “doing life together,” as we put it. During the week, our routine is pretty typical. We both work 9 to 5 jobs – Alisa as a social worker and Joe as an engineer. Alisa works four days a week and both of us have the ability to work from home as needed. Julian spends his days with his grandparents or at home with us. He has also attended daycare in the past, as needed. Our evenings are spent getting in a family activity – whether it is a walk around the neighborhood or a quick trip to the park. After Julian goes to bed, we usually cook dinner together and curl up on the couch watching television.
Fun is a priority in our lives (especially on the weekends). We are very proud of our large circle of friends, most of whom we have known for over 20 years. We enjoy being outdoors, going to the beach, going out dancing, and, most importantly, watching Patriots football. We (along with our family and friends) have many traditions surrounding football. Our love of football, and the traditions we hold close to our heart surrounding this sport, include sharing season tickets with Alisa’s family and attending at least one away game a year. Julian, even at a young age, has traveled for away games and enjoyed seeing the stadium. We look forward to continuing this tradition with another child, too.
Our two sides of the family are exact opposites. Alisa is part of a blended family, while Joe is part of a more traditional family. Alisa is part of a very large extended family – almost half of which are children under the age of 10 – and Joe comes from a very small extended family. Our families are very different, but because we have been together for so long, our families have also blended into one joint unit throughout the years, allowing us to spend holidays with both sides of the family.
Currently, our parents provide childcare for Julian and are very excited to provide child care to another child, too. We are extremely thankful that we have the opportunity to spend important family time together when they are young. Joe’s parents can’t wait to show another child their favorite beach during the summer and Alisa’s dad is excited to bring another child to sporting events. More than anything, all of our parents are thrilled to help care for the kids.
Birthdays, holidays, and football games are just some of the events that bring us all together on a regular basis. During the holiday season, we engage in “Secret Pals” – all of the members of Alisa’s extended family secretly leaving gifts for one another from Halloween until our family Christmas party in December. One of the most exciting parts of having a family of our own is introducing the children to these family traditions.
We live in a quiet, small town in southeast Massachusetts. Our home is set on two acres of land and is located on a cul-de-sac. Our neighborhood is charming and safe and our town is full of farms, lakes, and beautiful scenery. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone.
Along with going out into town to see people we know, we love spending time outdoors on our land. Behind our home are trails in the woods that we often explore with Julian and our dog, Mila. Within walking distance of our home is a river where we kayak or sit on a nearby bench and read a book while Julian plays in the sand and the dog swims. There are also many state parks and forests within a few miles of our home, where we can be found hiking on nice days.
We often entertain and we work hard to maintain our yard and living area. We hope that when others enter our home they can feel the love and warmth we’ve put into making it. We have a swing set, sandbox, water games, and lots of toys to entertain Julian and the other children in our lives.
I have loved Joe since I was 17-years-old. I have spent almost half of my life with him by my side and it has made for a wonderful life. Joe is honest and open in all situations. He wears his heart and thoughts on his sleeve and this is one of the main reasons I love him.
Another one of my favorite qualities that Joe possesses is his sense of adventure. He can make anything fun. If we are home, he’s outside exploring with Julian and our dog. If we are on vacation, he plans every minute so that we are having the best time of our lives. If the weather isn’t great, he has been known to set up a tent in the living room for indoor camping. Joe is also very technically minded, meaning he can fix almost anything. He is smart and ambitious and our home and life benefit from these qualities.
More than anything, I love Joe’s enormous heart. In the short time that we were able to be foster parents together, I watched Joe be a role model, adventure seeker, and supporter for the little girl placed into our home. Since becoming a father, I have watched Joe extend the same love he has for me to Julian. Julian looks to Joe to be chased and tickled but can also be found asking to “snuggle Dada.” Julian and any child who joins our family will be lucky to have Joe in their life, and to get to experience his unconditional love, fun activities, and kind-hearted nature!
I cannot imagine my life without Alisa in it. One of my favorite qualities about her is her sense of humor; she can make almost anyone laugh. Along with this, she can make anyone feel comfortable around her. She has a way of making others feel like they can tell her anything, making her a great shoulder to cry on or source of advice to family and friends.
Alisa is also very compassionate. She is always willing to go above and beyond when it comes to helping others. From big gestures like volunteering with our local schools (despite not having children who attend them yet) to small gestures like making sure Julian has his favorite toy before leaving the house, Alisa is always showing love and support to those around her.
Since adding Julian to our family, I have been able to watch Alisa be the loving and supportive mom I knew she’d be. She dedicates her time to ensuring that his mind is always occupied and entertained, and works hard to teach Julian the importance of kindness and love towards others. She also makes sure that he understands his worth and abilities. Alisa has Julian say a mantra every day where she has him repeat how strong and brave he is. She ends it by having him say, “I can do anything!”
Above all else, Alisa is truly a genuinely good person. We are so lucky that we get to share our lives with her and any child who joins our family will be so lucky to have her in his or her life as well.
We cannot begin to understand the range of emotions you must be feeling throughout this process, but we want you to know we support you in whatever decision you make. As we prepare to adopt, we have spent so much time discussing what we feel is most important for this child. The very first item on our list is that the child feels loved. In our minds, you are another person to love this child. We want to give the child a strong sense of identity; we want them to know where they came from. We cannot do this without you. If you choose to have contact with us and your child, please know that we will respect and cherish your decision. However, if you prefer less contact, we will ensure that our child hears what a selfless decision you made in choosing this path for their life. Adoption is not and will never be a secret in our home.
If you choose us to be your child’s adoptive parents, please know that they will be surrounded by love, fairness, honesty, laughter, and kindness. We want nothing more than for our children to feel as though they can become whoever they want to be. We also truly believe it is our job to guide them, to allow them to make mistakes, to help them explore the world around them, and to ultimately help them become the best version of themselves they can be.
We cannot thank you enough for considering us as adoptive parents for your child.