Dear Birthmother,

Thanks for reading our letter. For years it has been our dream to be adoptive parents. We are so excited to welcome a child into our family. Kathleen’s family adopted her. This was a great experience for her and has given us a deep appreciation for adoption. The loving decision you are considering is the same choice that Kathleen’s birthparents made. She had a wonderful childhood with her adoptive family and, as an adult; she’s come to know her birth family as well. We’ll share more about her experience later in this letter. For now, we want you to know that we understand a child’s experience of adoption first hand, and can easily help a child feel a consistent sense of security and belonging. If chosen to be the adoptive parents of your child, we will give your child the best life possible. Your child will be fully loved and cared for and raised to respect and understand the choice you made.

As we’ve prepared for the adoption process, we’ve often found ourselves talking about what we hope to experience as parents. We have known from the beginning that we wanted to adopt since it was such a positive experience for Kathleen. It has also been important to us to arrange our lives so that one of us will be at home with our child during their growing up years. This was a gift our families gave us and we want to give this to our child as well. We have a wonderfully diverse community in our neighborhood, as well as in the warm circles of family and our church. Thanks for giving us the chance to tell you more about our family and the chance to be considered as a possible adoptive family for your expected child.

Our Life Together

 The story of how we came to know each other is an unlikely one, given that we are both fairly private people. We sit back and smile whenever we remember it. When we were both single, Kathleen had a friend who encouraged her to post a profile on an on-line dating site. This happened at the same time that Lou Ann was preparing to move from the mid-west to the east coast to accept a promotion within the same department and employer that she’d work for many years; she was looking for new friends. Our profiles were up just long enough for us to connect – first by email, then by phone. We found that we ‘clicked’ in a compelling way and noticed that we couldn’t stop talking with each other.

Lou Ann: As part of my travels east, I picked up my two sisters who volunteered to join me on the trek to DC.  Throughout our entire drive to the east coast, Kathleen kept in contact with us. Since I was driving, she often spoke on the cell and texted with my sisters about our cross-country adventures. We were all looking forward to the chance to meet each other in person. It was striking to Kathleen and me to realize we had so much in common and such an easy connection. While traveling, we joked with Kathleen about how it would be nice to be greeted with a care package of goodies to mark the end of our trip. It was so amusing to find, when we arrived, that Kathleen had indeed left a welcoming package right on my front door step! Though not yet perfectly in season, yellow roses were in bloom nearby. A rose adorned our special care package.

Kathleen: Lou Ann’s sisters immediately invited me to dinner within hours of their arrival. It was the first of many lovely times together; over the course of the next few days, I took Lou Ann and her sisters to a theatre performance about mothers and daughters which was very moving for everyone. I also introduced them to the local farmer’s market which has become our delightful (and delicious) weekly ritual. After Lou Ann’s sisters returned to their homes and families, my connection with Lou Ann grew, very naturally, into a strong friendship. Soon thereafter, we realized we were in love with each other and wanted to build our lives together.  Neither of us liked the public, on-line dating site experience in and of itself, but getting past this meant that we had a chance to find each other. It was a moment in time. It was meant to be. Lou Ann and I have been together ever since!

We have many similarities and our differences balance each other nicely. Our relationship is based on our mutual respect for each other and our feelings of devotion towards each other. No matter how busy we are with daily life, we always remember the importance of encouraging words and that small kindnesses are actually not very small at all.  Lou Ann thoughtfully draws warm baths for me after I’ve had a particularly challenging day and never fails to put a glass of cold water at my bed side at night.  Kathleen shows her love in so many thoughtful ways, like brewing my first cup of morning coffee and baking my favorite cookies on weekends.

For both of us, our love and commitment to family is our number one priority! Interestingly, we are both logical and careful thinkers about important decisions we need to make. We’re sensitive towards others as well as compassionate, and respectful. We were raised to think of others and still live this way in our day to day lives. It’s comforting that we both value good communication as a core value in our relationship and that we’re both able to comfortably share our feelings with each other. Lou Ann is confident and reserved, big-picture oriented and steady while Kathleen is outgoing, direct, and organized. Our personalities are a good balance and our relationship is one of equals.  We find ways, everyday, to show how much we matter to each other. A day doesn’t go by when there’s not affection, so we can easily imagine our child feeling cared for and encouraged to embrace each day with confidence.  Early on in our relationship, we began to seriously discuss our future together and our strong, mutual desire to grow our family through adoption.

Our Home

Our home has become a gathering place for friends, neighbors, and family over the years and this has only fueled our love of cooking.  Our community of friends includes families of varied backgrounds and cultural traditions and we love to spend warm times together in our home.  When we are parents, our child will grow up surrounded by a delightfully diverse group of close friends and neighbors with whom we share meals and fun times. We can’t wait for our child to invite their friends over for sleepovers and play dates. We look forward to birthday parties– with fun cakes, magic tricks, and lots of games, just like we enjoyed when we were kids!

We share our home with our adorable old Jack Russell terrier – “JJ” – who is great with kids. She will be playful and tender with a little one around the house; we can already imagine her sharing her love and affection.

We are enthusiastic about adopting a child of any race or ethnicity and, thanks to a racially and ethnically diverse community in D.C., we know that we can provide strong role models and a sense of pride in their heritage. Our friends and family as well as our larger community will help our child grow up identifying proudly with their heritage.

Our Community

There is always something fun and exciting to do where we live. Our house is located in a family-friendly, historic neighborhood in Washington D.C, with parks and playgrounds nearby — perfect for swinging, climbing, and laughing.  Within walking distance of our house are many activities that children tend to enjoy again and again – this area of DC is one that many people choose as vacation destinations — there are tours of the White House, changing exhibits at the Smithsonian museums, shows and concerts at area theatres, and world-famous art in  galleries. There are uncountable numbers of restaurants serving food from every different country imaginable and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts regularly has performances tailored for children. We can’t wait to take our child to see the pandas and giraffes at the National Zoo, paddle boat on the Tidal Basin surrounded by sweet cherry blossoms, and stroll around the National Mall where we can have picnics in front of the monuments. We look forward to romping through the National Children’s Museum!

Each Sunday we walk to the local Farmer’s Market where we listen to live music and purchase our week’s fresh produce, herbs, eggs, meats, and cheeses.  Kathleen especially enjoys shopping for fresh flowers to brighten our home and Lou Ann especially loves the fresh Maryland crab cakes!

We both enjoy packing a picnic lunch and taking JJ to a nearby large and well loved park where we enjoy an afternoon of soccer in a beautiful field or hiking in the woods. We also love to bicycle in and around the DC area…especially to Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s historic residence on the Potomac River.

We enjoy day and weekend trips hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains, exploring, kayaking, and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean only a couple of hours away.

Our visits with Kathleen’s grandmother, Christina-whom we call Gramma- –are another focal point of many weekends. At her house nearby, we cook Greek meals together and bask in the beauty of her back yard full of trees, roses, birds, and fish ponds.  JJ and Jazz (Gramma’s beloved puppy) love to romp and play with all the neighborhood children in the park next to Gramma’s house. We are both looking forward to the day to day joys with our child, like sitting down to family meals, playing with toys at bath time and reading bedtime stories.

We’re blessed to live in a diverse community where our child will have contact with friends and neighbors whose interests span from government service to the arts. Our friends’ ethnic and cultural origins include a number of different countries and our shared appreciation of varied art, music and culture will continue to enrich our lives. We love our location because it’s close to our jobs, accessible to great schools, and surrounded by friends, family, and fabulous neighbors.

Our Choice to Adopt

When we considered how we might grow our family, adoption was the passionate and natural choice for us because Kathleen was adopted as an infant. Kathleen has always known that both she and her older brother were adopted. She feels nothing but gratitude towards her birthparents for making an adoption plan with her best interests at heart. She is equally grateful to her adoptive parents for raising her in a nurturing home and providing her with the many opportunities that have shaped her into the person that she is today.

Over the years, Kathleen has been interested in knowing her birth family, and if this is a possible option for our child, we’ll be pleased. And, at the same time, we understand that every woman’s and man’s experience is different – we’ll respect whatever requests you make and whatever boundaries you’d like to establish. If you don’t want contact, we’ll understand and respect that as well.

In Kathleen’s experience, she is grateful that she and her birthmother, Eileen, have had a chance to get to know each other and develop a warm relationship. We’ve also had the chance to get to know Eileen’s husband Norm, and their son (Kathleen’s half brother), Bjorn. We were touched when Eileen wrote a strong letter to our agency in support of our plans to adopt in which she described us both as “accomplished, compassionate, and centered… highly motivated, supported, and ready to adopt!” We both look forward to providing a life for our child filled with honesty, opportunity and joy. If chosen, we will raise our child to understand that your plan was to give her/him the very best life possible.

We’d like you to know that we’ve taken time to study what is current in the adoption field in addition to what we’ve learned through our own family’s experiences. To even better prepare ourselves, we have participated in numerous adoption seminars, trainings, workshops, and conferences which have addressed a variety of parenting and adoption related topics. We’ve read a lot and have also met with many adoptive families to learn about their experiences. This has helped us be aware of how children develop in their understanding of adoption as they grow up. Because of all these experiences, we feel more prepared than ever to help a child feel comfortable and loved.

Commitment to Active Parenting

We both enjoy our professions and have worked hard over the years to secure a level of success that has allowed us to live comfortably.  We now have the freedom to work from home, with the ability to work part-time or stay at home full time. When our child arrives in our lives, one of us will be home at any given time; we both want this opportunity to be at-home moms and will adjust our work lives to make this dream a reality.

Through time spent with nieces and nephews and our two year old God-daughter, we’ve learned that we agree on how to respond to children’s needs…sharing meals, playing games and music, and our very favorite…reading in bed until little ones quietly fall asleep. Many of our friends and neighbors have adopted children. Our child will be one of many adopted children around our immediate neighborhood.  We’re also actively involved in a church that prides itself on being both multi-cultural, diverse in ethnicity and being inclusive of families who have also adopted children.

We will raise our child with unconditional love, affection, support, appropriate limits, and consistency. We will establish a daily routine and we will be flexible as appropriate.  We will provide ongoing opportunities for our child to explore their interests and skills and we will be involved with our child’s interests and education. We will teach our child how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner and foster independence in our child, while encouraging our child to be their own unique person.

Family Support

Our friends and extended family members are so excited about our adoption plans.  They are already stockpiling toys and telling us all the different way they hope to be special in our child’s life. Our parents can’t wait to be active and involved grandparents and our siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins are absolutely ecstatic!  Lou Ann’s sister, Glenna–who is a master gardener and accomplished artist–looks forward to spending time digging, planting, drawing and coloring with her niece/nephew.  Lou Ann’s sister, Susan, looks forward to taking her niece/nephew for boat rides on the lake where she lives.  Kathleen’s father, Pete, is an avid bicyclist and can’t wait to teach his grandchild how to ride a bike!  And Kathleen’s mother, Bonnie, is seriously excited to pass down the family cherry pie making secrets. There is no doubt that our families will be a large and important part of our child’s life.

Lou Ann about Kathleen:

 I am blessed to have a partner who makes me feel special to her every day. During the week, I generally wake up a lot earlier than she does. For this reason, on the weekends, Kathleen makes a point of getting up earlier than me to walk JJ so that I can sleep in. When I wake up, I find a cup of coffee, newspaper and pastry waiting for me to enjoy. This never fails to put a smile on my face. At other times, when I find my clothes clean, fresh and folded, I am not at a loss for appreciation. It’s just one of the many ways Kathleen shows her affection.

Since I tend to be a quieter person, I treasure that Kathleen is more social. Life with her is a blast, an adventure; she encourages me to get outside myself. She’s always thinking of fun things for us to do, so it’s very easy to imagine all the fun we’d have being parents with our child. If we go out to eat, we always meet people; Kathleen easily engages people in conversation. She has a special way of making new friends and nurturing those already in our lives. Kathleen has never met a ‘stranger’ – she’s one of those people who can establish a warm connection with anyone she meets!  People are drawn to her love of life and “can do” spirit.

Kathleen is devoted to helping keep our environment clean and safe as a career environmental scientist with the government. Kathleen also enjoys volunteering with the American Red Cross and was a part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. It will be a joy to see Kathleen teach our child an appreciation for helping people, communities, and the environment for generations to come. Kathleen always encourages me to feel confident of growing in my own career field. I never hesitate to ask her thoughts and always receive very helpful feedback.

Kathleen is fiercely loyal to family and friends.  She has always made time to help her grandmother, Christina, who lives nearby.  Recently, when her grandmother was in need of major surgery, Kathleen was with her every step of the way, seeing to it that she received the best treatment and care. When I needed to help my parents with some matters related to growing old gracefully, Kathleen was able to help me prepare for the trip back home, based on her own experiences with parents and grandmother. Armed with her wisdom, I was prepared to meet with the attorney, to go over the dense paperwork and be responsive to important family questions. I appreciate that we’re truly a family. When we realized we were in love with each other, Kathleen was the first to advocate for the importance of making sure to celebrate the holidays together. Wherever we go, we’re together; she comes with me when I visit my family and I go with her to visit her family.

Kathleen has a great balance of being mature, patient, and very well thought out when making any important decision. She and I are already learning everything we can about parenting, with Kathleen gathering whatever books we should read. She loves children and her family; our child will benefit from a mom who is playful and energetic. Kathleen will have a lot of fun being a mom, while also knowing when it’s important to set important boundaries.  Kathleen is beautiful, articulate, curious, and caring. I know that Kathleen will unconditionally love and cherish our child and I’m excited to think about the many adventures she and our child will dream up!

Kathleen about Lou Ann:

When I first met Lou Ann, not only was I taken by her, but I was also instantly charmed and embraced by her sisters.  It was immediately evident to me that three of them came from a wonderful family. How they made each other (and me) laugh!  Within minutes of arriving from the mid-west, they invited me to dinner –and the rest is history! Lou Ann is beautiful, compassionate, sensible, and fun-loving. We have been together ever since we first met, and I look forward to living our lives together!

Anyone who meets Lou Ann soon learns that she has wonderful, mid-western common sense and is very approachable and accepting of everyone.  This, combined with her terrific sense of humor will make her a delightful mom to be around! Lou Ann and I are similar in that we place a high value on education, giving back to the community and respecting everyone.   Her parents taught her the value of perseverance, hard work, and making long-term financial plans for the family.

Lou Ann is a senior professional with the government and gets great pleasure from serving the public by providing key services. When she’s not working or having fun outdoors or at home, Lou Ann enjoys volunteering at a local school to help children improve their reading and math skills.  She has perfected my family’s traditional chili recipe and creates beautiful stain glass art! Lou Ann’s honesty and ability to get along with others will help our child know similar success in life.  One of the qualities that make Lou Ann so likeable is her ability to communicate in an open yet non-threatening way.

Lou Ann has a natural gift with little ones. When Lou Ann is in the room, children and also pets are instantly drawn to her.  She has a very special relationship with her nieces and nephews who absolutely adore her. She loves getting down on the floor to play with them.  Lou Ann will definitely share her love of the outdoors with our child. Whether it is ice skating, sledding, camping at her family’s lake home, water skiing, or swimming, our child is sure to know time outdoors and to have many treasured family memories! I have no doubt that Lou Ann will make a wonderful, nurturing mother.  I love her and can’t wait to become a parent with her!

Hopes and Dreams for Our Child

We were very lucky to have parents who gave us each great childhoods. We want to give our child the same. As children, we had the chance to participate in a wide variety of activities and experiences. As our child grows up, we look forward to camping trips, school music and theater performances, science and art projects, dressing up and carving pumpkins, holiday festivities and visits with our families throughout the country. We plan to travel as a family to Central America, so that our child can experience the amazing people and beautiful place where Kathleen served in the Peace Corps.

We will encourage our child to be true to themselves, accepting of others and to give back to the community. It will be gratifying to pass on the gift of a life-long love of learning. Our child will have a chance to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. We believe that children do well with reasonable routines and loving limits. Pets are also a fun and loving way to teach children to be caring and loyal. Most of all, we want our kid to be able to know the satisfaction of having true friends and being a true friend to others. We intend to raise our child to become a well adjusted, independent, self confident and assertive adult. We hope that they’ll be interested in learning, curious about the world around them, and enjoy a healthy and active life style.

We have already set aside sufficient resources to cover the costs of our child’s college education if that’s what they’d like to pursue. We feel strongly about civic participation, and the protection of animals and the environment.

Thinking about all the good fortune and good people in our lives has allowed us to meet life’s challenges positively, and we hope to help our child grow up to be an adult who shares these same values.

Connection over the years…

Please let us know if and how you’d like to stay in touch over the years. If you’d like to spend some time in-person, we’d be glad to plan warm times so that you can know your child growing up – we believe a child benefits from knowing all who love them. We’d be pleased to send you photographs and letter updates and/or we can post photos on a private web site, if you’d like, so you can see how your child is doing from a computer screen or even a phone. If you’re interested in considering us as adoptive parents for your child, we look forward to learning what contact and communication you might like over the years. It is important to us that you feel respected and appreciated — we’ll follow your lead. If you want more privacy, please know that we will follow your comfort level.

We promise that your child will always know that your adoption plan was created out of love.  We also promise that your child will know unconditional love and have a happy, healthy life with us.  Thank you for taking the time to consider us. We sincerely wish you peace in your journey.

If you would like to speak with us or learn more about us, please call Full Circle Adoptions at 1-800-452-3678.

Warmest Wishes,

Lou Ann & Kathleen

More About Us