Dear Birthmother,

Thank you for taking the time to consider us as a possible adoptive family. We imagine that the decision you are considering could very well involve similar emotions to the ones we have known as we’ve grappled with infertility. While we have no idea what it is like to choose a loving family who will care for a beloved child, we are familiar with having to make difficult decisions and with having to put our dreams on hold. We thank you for offering hope that the dream of becoming parents might be possible. We hope that by sharing some of our lives with you, we will help you feel more comfortable making this difficult decision.  We feel sadness in our hearts for the struggles you have had and hope that we may be a part of giving you comfort and reassurance as you contemplate this difficult decision.

We know we will love the child we are blessed to parent whether we adopt the child or give birth. We’ve had years of loving and fun times with nieces and nephews as well as the children of friends. We look forward to knowing these joys and responsibilities on a daily basis. We can’t wait to be parents.  Since the beginning of our relationship we knew we would one day want to begin our own family, and this feeling only deepened after spending more time with our nieces and nephews.  The oldest nephew on Mike’s side of the family is Robbie, he’s 13 years old and we have watched him grow up into a wonderful young man.  Mike is the youngest in his family and he still regards Robbie as his younger brother.  When Robbie had his first loose tooth, Julie helped him to “lose it” and told him all about the tooth fairy and how he should put it under his pillow and hope the tooth fairy has something more than a dust-bunny in their pocket!  In the morning he was so amazed to have a note and some coins from the tooth fairy.  We often took Robbie to the movies with us or to the mall.  Mike would always play with him in his little pool and Julie taught him how to ride a bike.  Our relationship with Robbie has always been very special.

Our Struggles

Over the last three years, we have tried almost a dozen in-vitro fertilization cycles without success.  Yes, many times we were able to get pregnant, however, every time ended in a miscarriage.  In some ways we were fortunate, because we knew before we were married that there were likely to be some difficulties with conceiving a child. We have had 8 miscarriages.  We have seen a heartbeat on the screen to only have it not beat about a week later.  The last cycle however was the most productive.  In the summer of 2004 we found out that we each had conditions which would cause recurrent miscarriages.  The question was, is it possible for us to have any embryo without abnormalities.  When we had our last cycle, we had 9 embryos biopsied and all but one came back abnormal.  Our doctors warned that even the “normal” one could be abnormal since the technology only exists to test 10 out of 23 pairs of chromosomes.  Knowing our risks, we moved forward.  We did get pregnant and we had one last miscarriage.  Our doctors explained to us that we are just incapable of having a biological child.  This information was difficult at first but it has allowed us to close this door without feeling like “maybe next time.” While we have known sadness and struggle on our path to parenthood, we also feel enriched in that we know how dearly we will appreciate the opportunity to be parents when that day arrives.

Our Love

Our love story began long before our infertility struggles.

In September 1995 we attended the same college; we met one night at a small club off campus and really hit it off.  We spent the whole night dancing, not really talking much since the music was so loud.  When the club closed, we walked in the pouring rain a couple miles back to the dorms since we missed the last bus.

Julie: On the walk to school Mike told me how much fun he had that night.  I thought this was wonderfully rare, this man who is this open about his feelings, and that he was handsome, too.  We stayed up until 5:30 A.M. talking about our lives and families.  And so it began.

Mike: Early in our relationship we made many promises that we continue to live by.  We never go to bed angry, we always discuss our feelings, no matter how big or seemingly insignificant, we make all of our decisions together as a team, we put each other first and are always united, we tell each other every morning and every night, “I love you,” and we check in with each other many times throughout the day.

We know how fragile life really is and how important it is not to wait for tomorrow to fulfill today’s dreams. The challenges we’ve faced together have made our bond with each other stronger than ever; we realize that we are so blessed to have each other and we recognize how rare true love is.  We are best friends and we support and nurture each other like no one else we know.

Our Hobbies

For fun we like to do anything outside.  In the winter, we will play out in the snow, we love to go snow tubing.  Typically we take our vacations in the summer when we can go camping or on our annual canoe trip.  We also enjoy vacationing at Hampton Beach.  Our vacations always include Mike’s family and our friends.  At the ocean we enjoy “boogie boarding,” building sand castles, and playing catch.  When we’re camping we go to campgrounds that have playgrounds, miniature golf, volleyball, and ball parks.  Usually we are able to get a softball game going with other campers and our friends and family that have come with us.  These games are open to all ages, from the very old to the very young.  On the occasions when we have planned an outdoor vacation and it rains, we play cribbage, board games, and make our own concerts with the cds we’ve brought.  Even in the less than perfect weather, we make happy memories.

Our Families

Our families are very supportive of our decision to adopt.  Julie’s parents are happily married and cannot wait to be Nana and Grampy to our child.  They are looking forward to an adopted grandchild and will love our child the same as they do the grandchildren they already have.  Mike’s mom is a new widow, and she is ecstatic at having a new baby in the family to love.  She is also looking forward to being a Nana again.  We have, on Julie’s side of the family, 4 nephews and 1 niece, all between 2 weeks and 6 years old.  On Mike’s side, we have 3 nephews and 4 nieces, ranging in ages between 5 and 18 years old.  Family is very important to us and we spend as much time with both sides as we can.  We usually split the holidays between the two families since they live in different parts of the same state, and we look forward to Christmas with both families every year.  About two weeks before Christmas, Julie’s family has their annual Christmas party at Aunt Flo and Uncle Vasil’s house; all of the Aunt’s, Uncle’s, and cousins attend.  We get together and sing Christmas carols while Julie’s cousins play guitars, we also put on our reindeer antlers, flashing red noses, and jingle bells.  Aunt Flo adds a new touch every year, this year she started a trivia section where the kids were much more knowledgeable than the adults!  We really just let loose and have a great time.  On Christmas Eve we spend the night with Mike’s family at his Aunt Bunnie and Uncle Richard’s house for their annual Christmas Eve dinner.  This is an opportunity the whole family has once a year to get together to catch up on everything.  You can count on a different memory that Mike’s Nana Hogan shares each year regarding Mike’s mom and aunt’s in their youth.  It is a great way to paint a picture of these women when they were children.  Both family events are the highlight of the year.  We cannot wait to bring our baby to our family Christmas gatherings and know they will be welcomed and loved along with all of their cousins.

Our Careers

Julie: I work in sales for a company that manufactures products for medical research.  I plan to take at least three months off when we bring our baby home.  After the first three months, I will be opening an in-home daycare so I can provide great care to my own child and a few others and still earn an income to help contribute to our finances. I love children and feel this will be a wonderful way to harmonize all our needs at this time. I look forward to enjoying and nurturing the child we are blessed to adopt directly and every day.

Mike: I work for a city in the suburbs of Boston in their Information Technology department.  They have wonderful benefits and a flexible 32-hour work week.  As a City employee, I will be able to provide medical benefits to Julie and our baby and, because I can “flex” my hours, I will be able to be home more than many new dads.  I look forward to hearing my son or daughter call me “daddy” and to listen to his or her “news” through beautiful baby sounds at the dinner table.

Our Faith and Values

Mike and I were both raised Catholic and still feel strongly about our faith and the values we were raised by, and we plan to raise our children Christian.  While we value our faith and have leaned on it heavily during difficult times, we are not practicing Catholics, rather, we are getting to know different Christian churches in our area.

Julie:  I look forward to teaching our child about the different kinds of people he or she will meet in their lifetime and that it is so important to not ever judge other people.  I feel very strongly about allowing yourself mistakes, we all make them and sometimes we tend to forgive everyone else easier than we forgive ourselves.  I truly want our child to feel peace with him or herself even when a mistake may happen.  It is so important for me to let our child know that he or she will always have a strong family and the ability to communicate openly and honestly with Mike and I, without any shame or blame.  I want to know everything about our child, so I want him or her to be comfortable with talking with me the way I have always been able to talk with my own mom.  I look forward to teaching our child to take the time to enjoy his or her life, as a young child to play and learn as much as he or she can, and over time to continue to make time for play.

Mike:  I want to teach my child respect for self and others.  Respect is important to me because I feel that if there is no respect there is no love.  An important value I learned from my mother is patience.   She taught me that everyone lives at a different pace and that we are all in different stages in our lives, even if we are at the same age.  I want to share sports with our child because so much of what I learned by playing sports has helped me in my daily life.  I learned to work hard to improve my weaknesses and to be patient and wait for that hard work to pay off.  Sports taught me the value of team, hard work, and paved the way for my self-respect.

Our Home

Our home is in a country setting with many young families in our neighborhood.  We have a large, closed-in yard, where we can play with our child.  Very close to our homes are the schools, there is a section of town where the elementary, middle, and high schools are all situated.  These are all new buildings with wonderful facilities for academics and extra-curricular activities.  Even now we enjoy taking in football games and concerts at these schools, they are a short, pleasant walk from our home.  We have also established an education fund for our child’s future to use for college, if this is something he or she will desire.

When our child comes home, he or she will be welcomed by our two indoor cats, Jangle and Lilo.  Jangle is a shy, loving, 3 year old cat and Lilo is his 1 and a half year old adopted sister.  We rescued both from shelters when they were kittens and they are an important part of our family.  In the morning, Jangle will wake us up with gentle headbutts to get our attention to pet him.  And at night when we’re watching a movie Lilo will climb up onto one of our laps and purr while we pet her.  They both love to be around people.  Jangle is a little shy at first but warms up quickly, usually within a few minutes or so.  Lilo has no fear and is very social, she welcomes every one who comes in with a purr and rub against the leg hoping for a hand to pet her.  Our vet has already given us some helpful tips for assisting our cats adjust to having a baby in the house.  The main thing our vet suggested was to give the cats some time to get used to the new set up (the baby’s room and furniture) so the cat will only have to adjust to the baby when our baby comes home, and not to everything which will be changing.

What we want you to know, and feel comfortable with, is that we will provide our child with unconditional love. We will be there nurturing, loving, supporting, and teaching life’s lessons every step of the way.  We are a couple that does everything together, when it’s nice out we walk in the sun or at the beach, we fly kites, go hiking, canoeing, camping, and swimming together.  When it’s not so nice out we stay in and watch movies or play board games or card games together.  When we have a baby, we will also be doing everything with our baby together.  We look forward to going to baby playgroups, reading books, playing peek-a-boo, and as he or she grows we will help them develop their interests together.  Whether it’s reading, playing sports, solving puzzles, whatever it is our child will be interested in, they will become our interests as well.  And we will be there to cheer them on and guide them to become a person with an open, loving heart and with compassion who will respect all walks of life.

In Conclusion…

We plan to tell our child all about their loving birthparents.  Our child will grow up knowing that they were carried by one woman and loved by two, he or she will know that it was for love alone that their birthmother or birthparents made an adoption plan for him or her, and that it is the most selfless act any person could make.  Our child will know how their birthmother made our dreams come true.

Our hope is that this letter, which only touches on our spirit and strength, gives you a glimpse of the kind and caring people we are.  We hope that our letter has left you feeling more assured of your decision and that you are able to feel a bit of peace with your decision.  Regardless of what you decide, we wish the best for you and your baby.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you or meet you if this is something you would like.  We also look forward to sharing regular photos and letter updates so that you can know how your child is doing over the years. We can either send them directly to you or send them through Full Circle Adoptions. We want you to feel assured that you made the right decision, assured that your child is doing wonderfully and to know that we are thinking about you, always, and with the deepest gratitude. We also hope that you will let us know if there is more that we can do to help you feel informed, reassured and acknowledged in the days ahead. If you would like to learn more about us or to speak with us, please contact Full Circle Adoptions at:  1-800-452-3678.  Thank you for taking the time to read our letter.

Thank you for reading our letter.  We look forward to hearing from you and are sending you good thoughts.

With love and respect,

Mike and Julie

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