To someone incredibly special to us,
Most mornings, we wake up to sun streaming in our windows and we feel blessed to live in our cozy home with our yellow lab, Milo, who greets us with a yawn and a wagging tail. We relax as Milo snuggles in with us for a few minutes. We each look forward to the day – both of us work in fields that include children. Melissa works part-time as a school nurse and Steffen owns a successful bike and snowboard store. Whether we are tending to the health needs of children (school nursing) or fulfilling their dreams (a bike, yahoo!), we know many of the precious moments of childhood. Our life is full of love, great jobs and loving extended families…. but our hearts ache because we’d like to be parents and share our love with a child.
We are younger than most prospective adoptive families because we learned, when Melissa was in her 20’s, that she would not be able to have a child. We have been together for many wonderful years and have known each other ever since we were kids. Having children means the world to us, but we cannot become parents without the gift of adoption. While adoption is the most precious gift imaginable to us, we recognize that it is also the greatest sacrifice a mother or father can make. Making an adoption plan is the most incredible act of love possible. We don’t take that lightly. We really hope you find the family, whoever that is, that feels right and best for you. We hope you have friends or family who support your choices, no matter what you choose. We respect you so much and we are grateful to you for considering helping us to realize our dreams of a family.
Nothing is more important to us than becoming parents, and we have built our lives so that our children will always know that they come first. Between the two of us (with very flexible jobs) and both of our moms (who live close by and can’t wait to help out), our child will be cared for at home, full time, with family until they are ready for school. Even after school begins for our child, mom, dad or grandma, are available for pickups/drop offs, and afternoons of fun.
When the owner of the local bike and ski shop prepared to retire, he asked Steffen if he wanted to have the store. Steffen was just out of college, but, owning such a shop was a dream for him and he said yes. He has never regretted this decision. He loves seeing the expression of joy on the faces of kids as they ride away on their first bicycles, and we can’t wait for our child to experience that joy too. Because Steffen owns the shop, his schedule is really flexible and hewill beable to leave the shop easily for our child’s school assemblies or doctor’s appointments.
Melissa works part time as a school nurse, where she loves taking care of kids, and she has a way of making them laugh or feel comforted even when they don’t feel well. She is completely off during the summers and school vacations, and has flexible hours during the school year, so she will be home with our child playing or exploring a lot of the time. When school is in session, Melissa works in a very family friendly environment, where family visits are regular and where everyone understands that being a mom comes first. Her work is also flexible and she’d be able to come to assemblies and bring our child to doctor’s appointments.
In our area, we have excellent schools, from pre-school through college. Our local public school has great academics, sports and arts, and we also have a community-funded garden including a child-friendly green house. We have already put aside a college fund so that our child can follow their educational dreams or the training they’d like to pursue without worrying about money. Through Melissa’s workplace, we also receive tuition assistance to over 500 schools across the country. Even if they don’t elect those schools, our child will have college funds waiting for them and many options available.
Education is very important in both of our families and we will raise our child to value learning and exploration through education. We will also teach them the value of an education in today’s society.
Although we grew up in the same community and we grew up playing with many of the same friends, we didn’t know each other well, until we were grown up. One day, Melissa’s car broke down in town and Steffen happened to be walking by. Seeing that Melissa needed help, he stopped to see what was wrong. She explained that the car wouldn’t start, so he asked if she had tapped on the starter. When she said no, Steffen smiled and then grabbed an old wrench from the back seat and crawled under the car. After tapping around for a bit, he crawled out and when we gave the car a second try, it started right up. We had a sweet conversation that eventually led to us dating for a number of years.
We were married in a stunning fall wedding surrounded by friends and family. We feel blessed to have a wonderful marriage, where we really know how to listen to each other and how to consider each other’s needs. We make a great team because we balance each other and work together and make each other laugh.
Steffen always says that he got lucky that day when he tapped on the starter, because instead of just starting a car, he also started Melissa’s heart. We feel lucky to have always known each other, but to finally discover each other as adults, after we had both had time to see the world, travel, have experiences and then finally come together to find real and lasting love.
Melissa writes about Steffen: “Steffen is the kindest gentlest man I know. He will always wait to help me up a hill, or to stop and take the time to check in and see how my day went. If I am feeling worried about something, he always finds a way to make me laugh until my worries fade. He reminds me to play and have fun and his lightness really fills me with joy. With our nieces and nephews he is patient and kind and he teaches them things while making them laugh. They love spending time with him. I cannot imagine a better husband or anyone who will make a better father.”
Steffen writes about Melissa: “Melissa is the most loving amazing person I know. She is a true care-giver. Whether she’s cooking amazing meals for our whole family or staying up late to talk me through a hard day, she always thinks about the needs of others. She is my best friend and true love– I can tell her anything and she always listens and has great advice and a sense of humor. Our siblings and our nieces and nephews know they can count on her for advice or just as a friend to talk to. Even our dog Milo runs to Melissa with a “boo-boo”, because he knows she will patiently and sweetly care for him. Our child will have a mom who not only hasa nurturing soul and a huge heart, but also the expert hands of a nurse.”
We are so thrilled to have the chance to adopt a child! Our friends and our family keep asking us excitedly when they will become aunts and uncles, grandparents or new friends. We are already lucky enough to have adoption in both our families –so we all know how important both the birth and adoptive families are to a child. When Melissa was in her 20’s she found out that she would not be able to have a biological child, so, as a couple, we have known from the beginning of our relationship that adoption was the path we would take to grow our family. We see adoption as a great honor for us. We feel lucky that we will grow our family through adoption and we are ready to love a child with our whole hearts.
Family is the heart of who we are; life, for each of us, has always been about the connections we make with others. When our families came together, it felt like the pieces of a puzzle were falling into place. But there is still an empty piece that is waiting to be filled. Our mothers are so excited to help us with their grandbaby and our fathers are excited to become grandpas again. All the grandparents will be a regular part of our lives, for school plays, family dinners, holidays and for just sharing great stories, playing music, or planning the next family adventure.
We come from families where holidays are big and open hearted. We are always home for the holidays and the smell of Melissa’s pumpkin pie or other yummy goodies fills the house, making it extra cozy and warm. We always arrange for fun activities for the kids to do too, and we love to be a part of the scavenger hunts, sledding, kick ball or crafts projects.
We live on five lush green acres amidst rolling hills and sweet mountain streams in a community where we know our local farmers. We visit Steffen’s childhood friend Sean’s farm on a regularly basis to pick up organic milk, eggs and meat. Our child will grow up wandering down those mountain streams with us as we look for crawfish on a summer’s day, or hiking the trails behind our house with our dog Milo. Our neighbors are there for us, kids are safe, the air is fresh, and friends and family are always nearby. We are really close to our parents and our siblings. Melissa’s mother and her husband James and her brother and sister, Peter and Kiki live just a few miles away. We love to get together on a regular basis. Vacations always include Steffen’s parents and siblings Illona, Alethea and Jason and their families and we have had some truly memorable travels and adventures together. We also consider our friends to be a part of our family and our child will love Abuela Rosa, who has been another grandma to Melissa all her life. Our best friends from college Angelle, and Liz, will be like another set of aunts whom we visit often. The people we count both as friends and as family are too many to list here, and we feel truly blessed to have such a close community for our child to know and love.
We have enjoyed traveling and experiencing the world, but what makes our adventures so special is that we always love coming home. We can’t wait to share our lives with a child. Steffen is already dreaming about building a tree fort in the woods and teaching our child to ride a bike on our long driveway. Melissa has already begun writing the lullabies she will sing for our child at bedtime, strumming the guitar as our child drifts into sleep, just like her dad used to do for her. We have a big vegetable garden where we grow a lot of our own delicious food and we can’t wait to help our child plant their own seeds and watch them grow.
We love the gifts that come with living in a small town, but we are also lucky to have qualities in our town that are usually found in bigger towns or cities. The schools, playgrounds and gyms that are just down the road are excellent places to just play and laugh. We have wonderful museums, fabulous world-famous theaters and dance festivals and local crafts and art fairs. We are also just a small day trip to New York City and Boston, where we both have family we can visit if we want to stay for a longer trip.
Celebration and fun is a big part of our lives, but we also know that in our own communities there are families who struggle to make ends meet; we will teach our child about the gift of giving and the importance of helping everyone to feel cared for. During the holidays we will collect toys and food for families in need. We will volunteer at the soup kitchens or the local nursing homes to spend time with people who need someone to give them something warm to eat, or to just sit and listen to them. We also have a deep love of animals and we will volunteer to help out at the local animal shelters and rescues as well as the local farms.
We can’t wait for all the joys of parenting, but we also know that parenting involves tremendous responsibility as well as constant learning and growth. We will do everything in our power to give our child the best opportunities and the healthiest environments. We know there will be late nights up with babies, teenagers and adults. We know there will be challenges we cannot imagine and we are committed to being there for the child we are lucky enough to adopt. No Matter What! We will always be there for them, any time of day or night in all the years to come. They will always be met with patience, kindness and unconditional love.
Our child will have the chance to travel and to see the world so that we can show them that the world includes different people and cultures. We will teach them that these differences are what make the world beautiful and special, just like the many different flowers and plants in a garden make a garden beautiful and special. We will teach our child honestly about prejudice and injustice, while giving tools to confront these qualities when they encounter them. We will also provide a sense of hope and will empower them to make a difference.
The road to adoption has not been an easy one for us, and we imagine that it is probably very hard for you right now. We chose Full Circle Adoptions agency, because we saw in them an agency that was truly committed to serving the birth parents first and that is important to us. We want to be sure that you find the support and the answers you need. We hope that if you choose adoption you will trust in us, and the promises we make you, because we will do everything in our power to help make adoption a positive experience for you and your child. We will always be honest and open and true to our word. Words and pictures will never be enough to show you how deeply grateful we are or how much we admire your courage and strength, but if chosen we will always show you our gratitude and respect through our actions.
Our hearts are leaping at the chance to become parents! If you would like to know more about us please call Full Circle at 1.800.452.3678 (1.800.42. ADOPT).
With all our hearts,