Dear Expectant Parent(s),
We are Kim and Matt (and our daughter, Isabelle). Family has always been one of the most important aspects of our lives. We both grew up with the hope that we would have the opportunity one day to share our love and family experiences with our own children. After struggling with multiple rounds of infertility treatments, we were blessed to have Isabelle, Izzy as we call her. She is a loving child, with an infectious laugh, who spends time in imaginative play with her dolls and talking about her future brother or sister. Although we both work, family comes first for the two of us and our schedules are quite flexible. Weekends are often spent doing some sort of activity, whether it be going to the beach or just going to our town center in the summer on Sunday nights (with a blanket and snacks of course) to listen to live music and watch Izzy dance. Even though we try to always be present in these wonderful moments, we have both realized something, or we should say someone, has been missing from our lives for a little while. Therefore, we are writing to you now.
After having Izzy, we tried to conceive a second child, knowing that we wanted to parent another child, and that Izzy would be such a great big sister. But, after a miscarriage, followed by other rounds of IVF that did not result in a pregnancy, we realized it was not meant to be. We both took time to mourn our loss, but soon began preparing for the future, deciding adoption was the right path for us as a family. We strongly believe family is a state of mind and feeling in the heart, not biology. We also know that if you are reading this letter you are probably making one of the most difficult decisions of your life. Words cannot express how appreciative we are to even be considered by you. We want you to know that we have so much love to give and that we are so grateful to you for considering us as adoptive parents to your child.
We met over 15 years ago, while both working in mental health programs at a children’s hospital. Matt was the day supervisor in one program, and Kim was the evening supervisor in another. Though we did not work in the same unit, our paths somehow crossed from time to time – either because we needed to work together on something or help the other’s program out in a crisis. We also had a mutual friend that we both spent time with, but, over time, the three of us began hanging out together. That friend ended up playing a large role in getting us together and even married us later on.
After all the time we spent together, it was Matt who fell for Kim first. Kim, on the other hand, kept saying she saw Matt as just a brother. Thankfully, Matt thought Kim’s eyes told a different story, so he initiated having us spend more and more time together, eventually without our other friend. We were “dating” for around two years before we made it official in 2007. Kim had known how Matt felt the whole time we were “just friends” and finally agreed to a real date. We went to a seafood restaurant for our first date, though neither one of us eat seafood, because it was beautiful outside and because we were just happy to be together. At the end of the date, after holding hands the whole time, we shared our first kiss before saying goodnight, and both of us knew our love was solidified at that very moment.
We continued to date, before eventually moving in together and getting engaged in December of 2009. The night of our engagement, Matt cooked us a beautiful dinner and then we cuddled by the light of the Christmas tree. Kim saw the ring box under the tree and was shocked, continually saying, “No, no, no!” but not in a bad way, more of an “Oh my God!” way. We were married by the mutual friend in 2010, in a small town on the Massachusetts coastline, with the lights of boats on the water, surrounded by friends and family. The following morning, we cuddled together as we looked over the water and watched the sunrise. Our wedding was followed by our wonderful honeymoon in Europe. We went to Europe, starting in Paris (where Matt always wanted to go), then to Ireland (where Kim always wanted to go), and then ending in London. Once back, we began our search for a home of our own, as we knew that the next step in our lives together was growing our family.
Family was always something the two of us wanted, but, just as it took us a while to finally become a couple, it took us a little while to start our family as well. As we mentioned previously, after trying unsuccessfully for over a year to conceive naturally, we pursued infertility treatments. It was difficult, both emotionally and mentally, and after multiple failed attempts, we began asking ourselves if we would ever have a child. Then the day finally came that we learned Kim was pregnant. Matt had sensed that good news was coming, so he had already bought flowers for Kim. When we got the news that we were pregnant, we cried in each other’s arms. Months later, when we were finally able to hold Izzy in our arms, we realized that our struggle was all worth it. We only hope now to have the chance to hold another baby in our arms again, as we dream about what comes next for our family.
We have each worked in the mental health field for over 15 years. Kim has her Master’s degree in Child and Family Studies, and works at a community agency as an intensive care coordinator. She works with families in need of significant support and helps them manage their children’s’ mental health needs. Matt has his doctorate in clinical psychology and is a psychologist at a private practice. He works with children and teenagers with mental health challenges. His love of sports and school has led him to also focus on helping athletes and students with performance and confidence. Both of us work hard and love what we do. It’s also fitting that we are pursuing adoption as a means to grow our family, given the child and family-based nature of our careers.
We do want to note, however, that as much as we love our jobs, we work hard to balance work and family life. Because Matt works full-time and Kim works part-time, Izzy attends daycare (as would our future adoptive child). Daycare has been wonderful for Izzy both socially and academically, as it has allowed her to be with other children and exposed her to lots of new experiences. While she is only in pre-kindergarten, she is already teaching us Spanish! Though we have chosen daycare for Izzy, our jobs are flexible enough that Kim can primarily work from home if needed, and we live close enough to work that Matt goes in late so he can spend part of the morning with Izzy almost every day. When our adoptive child is placed with us, Kim will have three months of maternity leave and will work from home a lot in the months after her leave. Matt will also be home for two weeks initially after placement and has a relatively flexible schedule in general so he can be home as often as needed after that.
We live in a small suburban town north of Boston. When searching for a house, we intentionally set out to find one in a child-friendly neighborhood, as we both enjoyed living in this type of neighborhood while we were growing up. Our home is on a cul-de-sac, surrounded by great neighbors with a lot of children who can often be spotted running around the neighborhood playing games. On the 4th of July, we watch the town fireworks without even having to leave our yard. On Halloween, we always need to buy lots of candy, as kids from all over town pick our street to trick or treat on. It is a quiet, but fun, neighborhood in which you can find kids jumping in leave piles in the fall and building snow forts in the winter. Additionally, there are multiple schools and playgrounds within walking distance of our home, as well as an amazing apple orchard that hosts fun activities year-round. In terms of our actual home, it is set up with space for everyone to stretch out and play. Izzy and our future adoptive child can both have their own space, but if they want to play together they can do that too. Izzy loves to run around what we refer to as “the circle,” as our living room, den, dining room, and Kitchen are all connected by one hallway. Izzy loves us to chase her, or to chase us, but we can easily picture this being the kids chasing each other or both of them chasing us.
1. Matt and I have a lot in common (similar family lives growing up, shared values, and thoughts on education), so he is easy to talk to. I love hearing about the projects he is working on, his goals for the future, and sharing the highs and lows of my day with him.
2. Matt makes me happy and pushes me to be my best. He can drive me crazy, like when he leaves stuff lying around, gets so engrossed in projects he forgets things I tell him, or makes jokes like my father used to, but he is always there for me and these things just remind me how much I love him.
3. I love Matt’s vulnerability; he cares about others, including his family and friends, but also about people in general. We both lost our mothers when we were younger and it was hard for both of us, but I think this shared experience helped us connect with each other initially and talk about difficult things in our relationship later on.
4. Matt is incredibly supportive and patient. I learned just how patient he can be when we were going through infertility treatments. During the years of our fertility treatments, a big part of Matt’s job was to wait, watch, and then wait some more. Sadly, there were more downs than ups throughout this process, but Matt was patient and was always ready to find ways to distract me or make me smile during the hard times. That’s just how Matt is. In the face of uncertainty, Matt is solid and gives me the strength to face things head on.
5. Finally, as a father, Matt is super fun to watch. He loves Izzy so much and, despite what he may say, is wrapped around her finger. Prior to conceiving Izzy, he let me know he would be alright if we did not have children. I knew he was just being strong for me and that he really did want kids. When Izzy was born, he was so in love with her that he talked to her and held her constantly. He is great with Izzy – loving and fun, firm when he needs to be, and then silly and cuddly to make her smile after that, often conspiring with her to tease me in a loving way. I know he will be just as wonderful with our future adoptive child.
1. When we met years ago Kim just seemed like the geeky, shy, self-conscious girl, but underneath she has always had this underlying confidence. This confidence has only continued to grow as she has challenged herself in life and it is one of the many things I love about her.
2. Kim also has a compassionate heart and just gets me. She does not tell me what I want to hear, but instead tells me what is best for me and/or us in a helpful way.
3. I cannot lie, I love that there are times when Kim just spoils me, whether it be by asking me what I want for breakfast (then bringing it to me in bed) or helping me with outside work that I know she hates doing.
4. Kim is just a loving person, wanting to help everyone she meets. She is constantly helping family, friends, Izzy, me, and whoever else she can, just out of the goodness of her heart.
5. Finally, and not surprisingly, my favorite thing about Kim is how much she loves being a mom. It just comes so naturally to her. She sacrificed so much throughout the fertility treatments, and with our miscarriage, but she always stayed positive that we would have a family one day. Kim was originally nervous about becoming a mom, especially to a girl, as she has never been a girly girl, but she is so great with Izzy. She loves to do Izzy’s hair, spoil her on holidays (to the point that I’ve suggested she slow down on present buying a bit), color with her, and cuddle with her before bed. I love just watching her be a mom to Izzy and I cannot wait to welcome another child into our family with her.
The concept of family means everything to us. Growing up, both of us had close-knit families made up of relatives and friends who became family. Matt has two brothers, one of whom is married and has three young boys now, and the other of whom just loves being an uncle. Kim has an older brother and two younger sisters. Despite the fact that none of her siblings have children yet, her siblings are still all about family too. We frequently see both sides of our family, and they love spoiling Izzy. They all can’t wait for us to welcome another child into the family for them to love and spoil.
The holiday season is perhaps our favorite time of year, as the holidays are special on both sides of our family. Matt has a large extended family, so Christmas, in particular, is a big deal for them. Most of his family, including all 16 of his cousins, many of whom are married with their own young children now, still get together to celebrate every year. They even have a special poem about the cousins that they read as a tradition. Kim’s side of the family has also started their own unique tradition of “Thxmas” (a cross between Thanksgiving and Christmas), when we celebrate by eating a Thanksgiving feast (incorporating a new random food theme each year) and opening presents around a Christmas tree, all during the same weekend. Kim’s siblings and spouses spoil Izzy this time of year with presents, as they love being aunts and uncles. This year Izzy’s uncles even wore shirts that they had made that said “Funcles,” (short for fun uncles) as they like to call themselves. The “Funcles” can’t wait to have another niece or nephew to include in all the “Thxmas” fun.
Although spending time together is important to our family, we also truly value the concept of family itself. Melding what was instilled in us as children, our personal experiences, and our time spent together into one way of life, we’ve come to believe “family” is a mindset or a way thinking/acting that we put into action every day. Matt lost his mom when he was in his early twenties and Kim lost both of her parents in her twenties as well. From these losses, we’ve learned that being a family means supporting each other and relying on one another. We’ve also learned that family (not just biological, but those who choose to be a part of your life) can get you through the hard times in life and can help you become a better person. Family helps you grow, challenges you, helps you set goals for yourself, and makes you feel comfortable sharing yourself with the world. Family is ultimately who stands by you throughout your life, so we’ve tried to create our family with this family mindset, instill it in Izzy, and hope to introduce this same concept to our future child.
After rereading this letter, it struck us how we might make it sound as if we’re a perfect family, which was slightly embarrassing. While we love our family and everything about our lives, we have also experienced loss, sorrow, and grief. From these experiences, however, we have learned that sacrifice, love, and family can lead you to a happy and wonderful life. We can imagine you may be having many of these same experiences and emotions right now, as you try to make this difficult decision of whether to place your child for adoption and who to choose as adoptive parents if you do. If you end up choosing us, we will help your child learn from the various experiences in his or her own life and we will make sure they know that their story began with you. Thank you for taking the time to read about our family. Please call Full Circle Adoptions at 1-800-452-3678 if you would like to learn more about us or speak with us.