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A Quick Update

We have been quiet lately and it's because life has kept us incredibly busy! Daniel has been volunteering with our church and Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and I am in my second semester back in school working on finishing my degree. However, this doesn't mean we have lost sight of our goal at becoming parents and this year has some exciting opportunities ahead. We will provide more timely updates as we go along but in the meantime, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Daniel and I are eternally grateful for all of the support you have shown us on this journey. In the eight years we have been together, we could never have imagined that we would be here now,  about to see this dream become a reality. There is still a road ahead. It will not be short or easy, but the best things in life rarely are. 

 

Thank you, again! Stay tuned. 

x Patrick

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A Time & Place For Everything

Dearest you,

I could start this brief letter (indulge me a bit here) out by talking about how wonderful and amazing Patrick and Daniel are. Let me not lead you astray. They are in fact both wonderful and amazing friends, brothers, uncles, godfathers and countless other things to many people in their lives. However, this letter will not be about them. This letter is just a bit about me and a lot about you.

My father told me once (and many times over when I was in a hurry to grow up) that there is a time and a place for everything. Stop and think on those words for a moment. Consider the most important moments in your life and it’s almost as if all those moments were predetermined. As if someone, somewhere, with divine timing said, “This is what I want for you.” This always comforts me. As a person who lives in a constant hurry, I find peace in knowing that there is a time and a place for everything, even if I cannot always understand why.

Maybe you are like me and children were never really part of your plan. You have hopes and dreams of things you sought to achieve in your life and, although they are in no way out of reach with children, it just seemed like an added hurdle you were never quite ready to jump. Having children has never felt like the right thing for me. I think maybe at a younger age I thought so. It just seemed like “what came next.” With age came wisdom and I very quickly learned that although I have all the equipment, (and the unequivocal burden of cultural and social ideals of what women are destined to be) it just never felt like my destiny. I feel I was called to be many things in my lifetime, but a mother was just not one of them. But maybe you are not like me and children are part of your destiny. Maybe “divine timing” just came flying at you and threw a ton of bricks right on top of your heart. Maybe you are just hoping you can find the right path out. You might even be thinking, “How could this be the right time or place in my life? Why would this happen now?” And while I don’t have answers, I do think that maybe your time and place, as uncertain as it might seem, was meant to find someone else. I can’t foresee when God will choose to make Patrick and Daniel fathers, but I have no doubt that it is in His plan. You see, it’s just one of those things you feel. Just as I feel that I was not destined for motherhood, I feel that they are destined for fatherhood. Maybe this time and place just seems to miss the mark. But maybe, just maybe, the mark is spot on. And while this still might feel impossible, maybe your time and place was meant to coincide with Patrick and Daniel. Your baby was meant to find his or her place in their home, to help complete their destiny.

I work in a hospital with newborns and small children. I see people who want nothing more than to have children every day. Sometimes they find themselves in these scary situations which bring them to us but they wouldn’t trade any of it, good or bad, for those little babies. We have a lot of happy endings when we get to send these parents home with their child. Sometimes we don’t. Sending parents home empty handed is absolutely the worst thing we have to do. I often get angry and sad and filled with doubt. How this could happen to people? How could this be divine timing or the right place for them? I have not found those answers either, but I know they are out there. We just are not always given the comfort of knowing the plan ahead of time.

In some of those happy endings, a baby, through the course of adoption is going home with a new family. I am no less overjoyed to see that baby make it home with those parents; however, I often find myself thinking of the birth mother and how she must be feeling. She will undoubtedly be going home empty handed. It’s a feeling that no woman could comprehend unless she too has given her child with trust and good intention to complete strangers. I commend those women for their bravery. I commend you. It might ease those feelings ever so slightly if those mothers could only see that this one act, as terrifying and heart wrenching as it might feel, comes with joyous rewards for those on the receiving end. And while my words may not heal that hurt that may inevitably come, I urge you to trust me, another complete stranger, when I say that your fear and angst is not felt in vain. You have the ability to give people who want nothing more than to have children the opportunity to become parents. Your current time and place, as untimely as it might feel, has the ability to take on a new meaning and make another parent’s life unequivocally wonderful.

Wherever you might find yourself when this letter reaches you, I pray, ever so quietly, that it would also be God’s time and place for Patrick and Daniel. Whatever is next for you, I pray too that it is as joyous and fulfilling as this will be for them.

With love,

x Carolyn

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I Love You Before I Know You

 

My mother wanted to write a note to her future grandchild. She thinks about us often and can't wait for Daniel and I to become parents. The sentiment brought a tear to my eye. Sometimes it's easy to get tunnel vision and think that our journey affects only the two of us. In reality, there is an army of love that is just as anxious and excited as we are. I know that when our child does arrive that they will know how much they were wanted and loved before they even came in to our lives.

x P

Baby Donalson, where are you?

Your Grandmom is looking for you. I am ready to cuddle with you as I do your cousins. Wonderful parents are waiting for you as well as a lot of family and friends. We are hoping and praying your Birthmom will find us. Be safe and come to us as soon as you can. We have so much love to wrap you in. We want to watch you grow and guide you to a full and happy future.

I love you before I know you.

x Grandmom Sue
Patrick and his mom Sue (aka Grandmom)

Patrick and his mom Sue (aka Grandmom)

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Adventures in Babysitting

As Daniel and I began our search to start an adoptive family over the last year, I've heard this phrase a lot: “If you wait until you're ready, it will never happen.” The assertion is that no one can ever be truly prepared for how parenthood will change their life. If you want a start a family, there's no time like the present and you will learn as you go.

Daniel and I have written many times on this blog about our best friends Adam and Shawn and their twin boys Ethan & Skyler. They recently entrusted us to babysit these two rowdy toddlers overnight in our home and it was a real eye-opener and hopefully good practice.

The day went a little something like this:

1:00PM: Arrived at Adam & Shawn’s and assisted in packing up the necessities and feeding Ethan & Skyler some lunch before heading out for the day.

2:20PM: Made a quick stop at our trusted local big box retailer for a few essentials. No, Ethan. We are not picking up new toys right now.

3:30PM: Back home and settled in for some play time before naps.

4:30PM: Naps interrupted by our lawn service. Skyler is NOT having it. Can you blame him?

6:00PM: With naps aborted and our little buddies getting grumpy, it's time for dinner. We jump in the car and head to a local Mexican joint. The boys enjoy some rice, beans, and chicken. Skyler starts the post-food-no-nap-sleepy-time-head-bob.

7:30PM: Time for milk and some play time before bed.

8:00PM: PJs are on and the boys are put down for the night. High fives all around.

8:05PM: Ethan is not ready for bed.

8:10PM: Ethan and I watch cartoons until snoozing starts… Oh and then he got sleepy too.

8:45PM: Bedtime success!

10:00PM: All is quiet. Time for Dan and I to head to bed.

1:00AM:   Ethan: “WHAAAAAAAAAAA”

                   Dan: “I'm coming little buddy!”

                   Me: Zzzzzz

5:00AM:   Skyler: “WHAAAAAAAAAAA”

                   Dan: “Patty… It's your turn.”

                   Me: “Zuh? OH! On it!”

7:30AM: Everyone is awake, alive, and enthusiastic.

9:00AM: After breakfast and morning play time, we attempt naps. Ethan and Skyler have decided they don't care for that idea. We consider skipping naps and getting everyone out the door to church. Dan and I start getting ready.

9:30AM: The twins have changed their mind. It's definitely nap time and no one is going anywhere.

11:30AM: Everyone is up again and it's time to pack up and head back home! Mission: Complete.

Now I know what you're thinking: “That's an easy day.” My response: Zzzzzz

When we were asked to be the Godparents of Ethan and Skyler, Dan and I were so overjoyed and honored. We have taken the role as seriously as if these boys were our own and have done our best to support Adam and Shawn in their upbringing. They haven't had an instruction booklet at being Dads, they have just taken it a day at a time.

I don't know if they realize this, but they have given us the greatest gift anyone ever could. The gift of experience. We have been able to observe and learn from their triumphs and mistakes. With their blessing we've even been able to have a 24 hour test run of our own parenting abilities. I can't think of anything more generous a gift than the affirmation we have in the path that we are taking. 

x P

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Mother's Day

Did you know that Mother’s Day holiday was founded in West Virginia?  St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, WV (about 45 minutes from where I grew up) hosted the memorial event by Anna Jarvis to honor her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis in 1908.  Anna campaigned for years to make a national holiday but after being rejected by Congress that same year she worked state-by-state and by 1911 every state was holding some version of the holiday. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Proclamation establishing the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day” as a National Holiday to honor mothers.

 

Being raised by a single mother had a profound impact on my outlook on life. My Mom showed me what courage, sacrifice, sheer force of will, and love could accomplish when you have no other choice. Patrick and I now consider ourselves lucky to have five wonderful women we call Mom (or Step-Mom or Bonus-Mom).  Let me explain:

Ruth (Daniel’s Mom): offers unwavering support and encouragement as we proceed down this adoption path. Being the force behind the adoption of his little sister she knows the ins-and-outs of the so many requirements set forth by the State.  This being her first grandchild, it’s easy to understand her eagerness.

Sue (Patrick’s Mom): witnessed first-hand the work his Aunt Kristi went through to adopt her two sweet girls. Having retired completely several years ago and living quite close to all of her current grandchildren she’s what I’d term a “Professional Grandmom.” She loves taking them to her cousin’s farm, teaching them arts and crafts and attending all of their school events.

Lysa (Patrick’s Step-Mom): Nana as she’s affectionately known also loves to attend the school events and host any and all of the kids/grandkids for sleepovers anytime we can make it happen.

Terry (Bonus Mom, our best friend Adam’s Mom) & Kathy (Bonus Mom, our best friend Shawn’s Mom): Terry and Kathy have graciously and lovingly welcomed us into their families over the years. We always know where we’ll be spending a holiday when we can’t make it our respective hometowns. In fact, this Mother’s Day we’ll be spending the day with them at Terry’s house for a family cookout.

 

We hope that one day soon we can introduce our child to these wonderful women they’ll be able to call Grandma. 

 

As Patrick and I are completely agreeable to open adoption, we would also love to send the birthmother of our child a Mother’s Day update letter every year to let her know how this wonderful child entrusted to us is growing and thriving. 


Happy Mother's Day to every Mother everywhere!! 

 

x D

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The Pursuit of Happiness

The pursuit of happiness can be our savior or our undoing. I believe we are all born naturally curious and driven to explore the endless possibilities of the universe in search of a fulfilled life. Last year I wrote about this idea in a post about the story of 'Pippin' and how his search for an extraordinary life lead him to the realization that what he wanted most was right in front of him. I have been thinking on this again quite a bit lately.

A year into our pursuit of a family, we find ourselves having to make some significant decisions about our lives as individuals and together. Things that used to be a priority are now on the back burner as we learn to accept new challenges and realize what really matters when it comes to achieving the goals we've set for ourselves.

Personally, I have had an uphill battle to fight in the journey to complete my Bachelor's degree. However difficult it has been, I know that the sacrifices I am making will be worth it. I have never been more certain that this pursuit is not just one for my own happiness but is vital for the future of my marriage and my coming family. I want to be able to provide the best possible home for my child and to be able to prove that hard work and perseverance can make all the difference in the world. The added benefits to myself as an individual are just a bonus.

I have also had to learn that sometimes I have to put aside my own pride in order to do what is right for myself and my family. I want to teach my child that opportunity doesn’t always come calling when you’re ready for it. You have to step back and see the larger picture and be willing to take the leap if it aligns with your ultimate goal. In doing so you may fail, but it will be a chance to learn something.

Daniel and I are at a crossroads in our lives. We are both coming of age in a way that doesn’t really happen until you are past the chaotic nature of your teens and your 20s. You have the advantage of decades of knowledge and experience about life. We have been lucky enough to find each other so the journey doesn’t feel so lonely. I want to teach my child that relationships aren’t easy. Friendships and marriage can be hard worktimes, you have to learn to aim for what benefits the union over what benefits the individual. If you learn to listen to each other, anything is possible.

Unlike Pippin, we aren't aimlessly wandering in pursuit of self-fulfillment. We are creating our own path brick by brick, thoughtfully planned to negotiate the sinkholes that this life may set before us. The light on that path may be far off in the distance, but it is visible. So forgive us as we may struggle and complain from time to time. It’s all in pursuit of happiness. Our beautiful child, it’s all for you.

x P

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Patience

It has been an insanely busy couple of months. Daniel and I moved in to our new home in November and had just a few quick weeks to get settled before we found ourselves wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season like Christmas gifts under the tree. Spending time with all of our family and friends is always an incredible way to book end the year. We were blessed with time away from our daily lives to reflect on where we are in this journey together. It also reminded us of how much love and support surround us as we seek to bring another beautiful human being into our family. Our child will have so many aunts, uncles, and grandparents (both honorary and literally) and so many cousins and friends to teach them, love them, and help guide them through life.

Daniel and I have also been able to spend an enormous amount of time with our newly Christened Godsons.  They were baptized in the presence of all their family and friends in January and we couldn't be more honored and thrilled to be a part of these boys lives and to be entrusted with the task of being a guiding hand in their faith. It's a huge responsibility and the weight of that is unlike anything I have ever felt. Of course I am fully aware that it's just a taste of what is to come for us. I have never been given the opportunity to be so present though the first months of a child's life. Daniel and I have many nieces and nephews whom we adore, but distance and circumstance have kept us from physically being there for them as much as we would like. It has been a blessing for us to have the ability to see Ethan and Skyler grow up before our eyes. We've had a chance to babysit, change diapers, feed them dinner, and even take them on outings with their Dads. All of the initial nervousness of caring for them has started to melt away in to instinct. At the end of the day, Daniel and I get to go home and leave the hard part, the day-to-day parenting, to Adam & Shawn. On that drive home though, I look over at my husband and grab his hand, and we both know how ready we are to be parents. The most difficult thing to remember now is patience. When the time is right, we will be ready. 

x P

Waiting is a sign of true love... Anyone can say ‘I love you’, but not everyone can wait and prove it.
— Unknown

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Family

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
— Mark 10:14

When I found out I would be a parent, I started keeping a journal in hopes that I could somehow put into words the feelings that began that day. Hope, Fear, Apprehension, Love, Family… no single word could describe what many have had the opportunity to experience. I wish those same feelings for my dear friends Dan and Patrick. Again, the word friend is inadequate. It isn’t only through blood that we are tied to our families. There are some that we choose and these two men have shown unparalleled love to mine and I’m happy to consider them part of my chosen family. So it’s no surprise we have asked them to be Godparents to our kids. Only after our twin boys came into our lives did I realize how much I truly rely on Dan and Patrick. I don't think our family would function without their generosity and compassion.

I’ve never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve. Showing emotion doesn’t come easy to me – so writing this letter had me at a standstill for weeks (or more accurately, months). It really wasn't until Thanksgiving when I found myself speechless while offering a prayer before dinner. I looked around the room at a sea of loving, supportive, heartfelt, and challenging faces which brought tears to my eyes. I've been blessed in so many unintelligible ways.

It’s been said before how Dan and Patrick are God-fearing men. Asking them to be Godparents was not an easy decision, but one that I know will continuously lead our boys to the Lord. Just as Jesus calls the children to his side, I truly believe he has placed certain people on this earth to safeguard His children. It’s up to us to guide these young minds and it’s up to Dan and Patrick, alongside us, to help them grow into the full stature of Christ.

So, all that said, I don’t address this to the mother questioning the future, I write this to the child. The child God is sending into this world; the child entrusted to lucky parents; the child meant for Dan and Patrick… The Lord has a plan for you and there is no better plan than beginning your journey in the care of these strong, intelligent, and passionate men. You are already loved so have no fear.

Yours in Christ,

x Adam

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Safe If We Don't Look Down

Hide away your fears and take my arm. Hold your balance. Rest assured we’re right where we belong with our chances.
Flying over seas of unknown ground, we won’t ever drown.
We’re safe if we don’t look down.
— "Safe If We Don't Look Down" by Mutemath

Change is a fundamental part of the human experience. We all face it every day. We are constantly growing and evolving, but we still get caught off guard when something unexpected happens. For parents, the unexpected is usually the norm. You aren’t usually given time to plan and prepare ahead of having a child. For Daniel and I, the road to adoption dictates that we take our time and have a plan and are well prepared to become fathers.

The words “well prepared” seem to be kind of an oxymoron though. How can one really be completely prepared for the responsibility of raising a child? We are taking carefully planned steps towards adoption and we recently moved from our cozy condo to a new home in a nearby neighborhood in order to make room for a nursery when the time comes. However, no matter the preparation, I can’t help feel a sense of worry and fear of what is to come. Our lives are going to completely change. Will we be ready to juggle parenthood and marriage, our jobs and friendships, and our individual selves?

We are lovers of good music and I have always been a regular concert attendee. It was one of the first things we bonded over when we met and a large component of our relationship has been built around these wonderful experiences of sharing live music together. We recently had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta to see the incredible group Mutemath in concert and during our flight, I started thinking about the possibility that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy experiences like this once we become parents. That we would need to stay home, be responsible, and live quiet family lives.

When we arrived at the venue, it was a cold and rainy afternoon in midtown Atlanta. Darren King, the drummer of Mutemath happened to pop his head out the front door and chat with us for a moment. He kindly offered to let us wait out the time before the show indoors, in the dry and comfortable bar area while the band and their families spent some down time before sound check. All four of the members of the group are married and three of them have children. It was a wonder to see their girls running around and enjoying some time with their fathers before they went to “work”. Darren and fellow band mate Todd even had a rousing game of “kick-the-soda-bottle” with the kids. It was inspiring to watch. These artists that I have long admired for their musical genius have spent many hard years on the road, away from their families and friends, doing what they love. Literally living the dream. And yet, they have found ways to make it all work. They have made time to be fathers despite all the adversity that comes with being a musician these days and you can tell that is something that definitely comes first in their lives. It hit me that our lives are about to change, but in the best way possible. You have more opportunity to share your passions with people you love. To raise little artists and dreamers of your own.

When someone is afraid of heights, they are usually told to keep their eyes focused straight ahead because when you look beyond what you fear, it doesn’t get to take a hold of you. We are safe if we don’t look down. It’s normal to be afraid of change, but it can be extraordinary when you embrace it. Hand in hand, We are making the most of the time we have to be prepared and learning to accept that life will throw you curve balls. We intend to make the most of it. 

x P

Please take a moment to share our story and help connect us with a birthmother. If you would like to hear the music that served as my inspiration, please see the link below.

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Moving

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  -- Walt Disney

 

Moving forward isn’t always fun, but our next step in moving forward is a literal move. While we’re staying here in Dallas, and really not going far from our condo, it’s time for us to get back into a house. We need the space (a third bedroom for visiting grandparents is a must when they all live far away), and a yard so the dogs can start “walking themselves” again.

Moving allows for a reassessment of things many of us should do more often. Do you really need that old shirt or pair of pants that you hope you’ll fit into again one day? Do you really need whatever this knick or knack is that’s been in the closet for the entire three years since your last move? It also allows for a personal reassessment; am I really ready to be a Dad? Am I certain Patrick is ready? Are we confident enough in our relationship to handle a baby?  I know the answers are yes to all of these.

The new house will give us all the things we need to pass the home inspection, which is our next big step in this process. In the State of Texas you have to prove to a social worker that not only are both of you ready for an adoption but that your home is ready also.

I know we’re ready. I hope you’ll share our story and help us connect to the baby God has planned for us.

 

x D

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The Highest Heights

When you send it flying up there
All at once you’re lighter than air
You can dance on the breeze over houses and trees
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite
— Disney's 'Mary Poppins'

Daniel and I have the great honor of being Godparents to the twin boys of our dear friends Adam and Shawn.  We were blessed with an incredible opportunity to be on the inside of the process from the start. We have been able to share in the joy and excitement of parenthood with this aspirational family by proxy. Every time we get to spend a few hours with them, it is full of revelations about myself and my marriage, and affirmations that building a family of our own is the pinnacle of our joint aspirations.

Over the Labor Day holiday, we spent a few days with Adam and Shawn and our four-month-old God-sons Skyler and Ethan. Daniel was recovering from a minor knee surgery and was spending a majority of his time resting. Therefore, I kind of became the babysitter of the weekend by default. Adam and Shawn had to run some errands on Sunday afternoon and asked if I would be able to watch the boys for a few hours. “I’ve got this, you guys!” was my immediate response. The boys were both in good a mood and were having a grand ol’ time in their bouncy chairs while I relaxed and found a movie to watch. I happened across ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ and settled in. If you aren’t familiar with the movie, it’s the story of the making of Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins’ and contains many of the musical numbers from the original film. Of course, as with any baby, the twins started to get a little restless right around the portion of the movie where the Sherman Bros. are singing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". In a moment of inspiration, I jumped up and began dancing around and singing along with the move. The twin’s frowns almost immediately turned into smiles and baby laughter (which at this point is mostly squealing and gurgling). Once I had started it, the boys would only stay content with me foolishly dancing around and singing. Skyler become decidedly more vocal over the next few hours until his dads came home. His laughs come out as a loud gasp somewhere between a burp and a growl. This is a sound that I am intimately familiar with because I’ve been making it jokingly for years. Suddenly, there was this little human speaking the same language as me. We went back and forth the rest of the night, carrying on with smiles and guttural exclamations.

This is the kind of “Ah-Ha!” moment I have had at least once with our nieces and nephews, and now with these two boys. This baby is dependent solely on your love, kindness, and knowledge of the world to survive. You have a chance to really shape the life of another human being from the ground up. It is mind-blowing to see that we can have this kind of influence without being a child’s parent or even their family by blood. It is reaffirming to me that adoption is the right choice for our family. I can’t wait to bring our future baby home and start sharing these learning moments. I want to dance around the house singing “Let’s go fly a kite!” and then head to the park to do it.

x P

Skyler & Ethan with "guard dog" Tilly.

Skyler & Ethan with "guard dog" Tilly.

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Home is where the heart is

Dear Birth Mother –

I have known Dan and Patrick for nearly 10 years now and I can assure you that these are two of the finest men you will ever get to know and I can think of no one more deserving of a child.

Making the decision to entrust your child’s life in the hands of another is quite possibly the most difficult choice one will ever make.  Will they raise them well?  Will they be kind, loving, gentle, nurturing?  Will they raise the child with discipline?  What kind home life will this child have?

Sewing curtains, stitching hems, and preparing a delicious home cooked meal... these are things that a child will learn to do in the Donalson home.  Over the years, I’ve called upon Dan many a time to hem a pair of pants and he has always done so with the skill of learned seamstress.  Many evenings have been spent in the kitchen watching him put together the most mouthwatering dishes: meatloaf and mashed potatoes, braised beef with asparagus, French onion soup and quite possible the best fried chicken I have ever tasted.

Attending music festivals and concerts, discovering up and coming artists on YouTube ad listening to LPs on a record player… these are the things that a child will experience in the Donalson home.  I’ve always been a fan of music, but it wasn’t until I met Patrick that I really FELT music and appreciated its worth. I’ve shared many nights with him listening to every genre of music from a Capella and stage productions to old school rock and pop radio.

Together, Dan and Patrick will most certainly introduce their child to a world of art and culture and educate their little one on the finer things in life.   From creating beautiful homemade wall art to decorate their home and attending a Broadway musical at a local theater, to appreciating local street art while feasting at the food trucks in the park, your child will experience a variety of sights, sounds, and events that are sure to enrich their life and heart.

Your child, their child, will have a well balanced, fun, creative, and loving environment to call home.

With love,

x Becky C

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New Eyes

New eyes. Seems like such a strange concept but one that I hope will make sense by the time I take my leave of this post.

We were recently lucky enough to travel to Washington, D.C. to be witness to the wedding of two of our wonderful friends, Todd & Roy. Being the vacationers that we are, we made the trip into a long weekend and spent days walking around all the monuments, museums and places that are both familiar and not in our Capitol. Several other friends were also able to join and it is their perspective that gave me the idea for this post.

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” -- Marcel Proust

Nearly four years ago when Patrick and I got married in D.C. I was blessed to watch him see the city, the monuments, the White House, and the museums for the first time. Growing up in West Virginia, only about four hours away, we had numerous field trips and visits with family and friends. I had seen nearly all of it before; some things many, many times. But with Patrick, it was all new. He wondered at the scale of Lincoln in his memorial, about the closeness you could actually achieve to places like the White House, and the amazing distance you must be prepared to walk from end of the National Mall to the other.

This time around we were able to spend some time showing other friends around, friends who had also never been to the city. We re-visited all the “big spots” that we had visited just a few years ago so that they could experience that same wonder. We visited new places together and we wondered together, we talked and debated about architecture and artwork, about layouts and shared our moaning of the pain in our feet.

I know Patrick and I are ready to share these new experiences with our future baby. To take them to see the things that are familiar to us: D.C., the beach, or Disney World. But also to places that we’ve never been, like the Grand Canyon, London, or Paris. I long for seeing that wonder and excitement in their eyes. I look forward to the days when we can teach them new things and when we can experience so many of the firsts that come with a new baby.

We’re ready to see things with new eyes.

x D

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"Dear Birth mom & family"... From Daniel's Little Sister

Dear Birth mom & family,

Please consider my brothers Daniel and Patrick. I look up to them and they are forever caring and loving about anything and anyone that comes into their lives. I know, because I was also adopted. I was so excited when I got the news that I could possibly be an aunt. I'd love him or her so much, spoil them, make them laugh and smile. I love my brothers and have hopes of being as great as them eventually. My brothers have big hearts and I wish someone would trust them and our family enough to love and care for their kid. It'd be really nice. They truly would be loved without any doubt. :)

 x Asia (Daniel's little sister)

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"Dear Birthmom"... From Patrick's Aunt Kristi

Dear Birthmother,

First and foremost let me say thank YOU for making a birth plan for your baby and secondly for choosing adoption. I know that you are searching for a home that will provide love and stability and I can assure you that you would have that and more with Patrick & Daniel. As Patrick's aunt and the adoptive mother of two daughters myself, you can rest assured that our family is built on love and acceptance for every individual. I have watched them laugh and play with my daughters Emma & Abby and seen the love that they have for children and how happy they are to see them smile. My girls are always so excited to see them for every visit and even though we don't live in the same city, we see Patrick and Daniel several times a year. It's a journey long in the making that has lead them to this decision to adopt. I honestly believe with all my heart that they have a wonderful support system and will be great parents with unconditional love for a lifetime. Patrick & Daniel are very devoted to finding the baby that is perfect to complete their family. They are strong in their faith and know that you, their Birthmother is out there waiting to fulfill their dreams. Your courage and bravery in this choice is admirable and will always be honored by the father's to be! 

x Kristi (Patrick's Aunt)

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Extraordinary

So many men seem destined to settle for something small. I won’t rest until I know I have it all.
— "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin

 
Sometimes life can present inspiration in the most unlikely places. Daniel and I recently had the chance to see one of my favorite musicals on its tour stop in Dallas. Out of nowhere, I was struck by an interesting thought. In this journey we have begun, how do you know if you are where you're supposed to be and if you're making the right moves? Are we on the right track?
 
'Pippin' is a coming of age story in which the titular character is lead through all of the major cornerstones of life, seeking the grand finale, something completely fulfilling. A life that can be described in superlatives. What he finds beyond the sequins and lights, all the razzle dazzle, is that, in his quest to do something meaningful with his life, he missed the point. The seemingly mundane home life he tried to run away from was where he was meant to be. That being in love and raising a family is life's opportunity for you to leave your legacy.


The "ordinary" life is yours to make extraordinary.  


We get asked all of the time why we have chosen to pursue adoption instead of surrogacy in our search for a child. The reasons are numerous. First and foremost, we have been blessed enough to have positive adoption experiences in each of our extended families. We've been able to see the process from beginning to end and see the overwhelming joy that comes from the union of a child who needs a place to belong and a willing parent opening their home and heart to be the matching puzzle piece. There is something extra special about putting your life aside to be the guiding hand and warm embrace of someone who isn't related to you by blood. To that point, there will always be children that need homes and families when circumstances have made it difficult or sometimes impossible for a mother to raise a child on her own. When one finds themselves in that position, the world may start to feel like it's closing in and there are limited options. Daniel and I want to have the opportunity to take their hand and say, "Let us be your best option." This child will be our something completely fulfilling, the chance to give a child the "extra" in their extraordinary life. 
 
“Everything has its season. Everything its time. 
Show me a reason, and I'll soon show you a rhyme.”

 
We hope and pray that this is our time and that we can give a child their own corner of the sky.

x P

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Friends Forever

I considered Daniel and Patrick my best friends before they knew me well. First impression, whether it be on paper or in person, means a lot to me. How is someone supposed to sum up a person and hit every awe-inspiring point about them? Honestly, you cannot. What you can do is offer up some helpful hints to highlight their life. With this, hopefully someone will be pointed in their direction.

Daniel and Patrick are honest, caring, down-to-earth, good hearted, faithful and God fearing men. It was no surprise that we called upon them to be the Godparents of our twin boys. That very night and into the morning they were researching how to be a good Godparent.  Nothing they did before the boys were born can compare to the generous unspoken actions they do now. Weekly dinners not only for my husband and I but they feed and tend to the boys while they are at our house. Laughs and good times are still shared between us, only to be interrupted by Daniel or Patrick saying, “Don’t get up, we got this.” At first I was stunned, but only the first couple of times. I see how far both Daniel and Patrick have come to be the gentlemen they are today and how the parenting instinct has come through them. It is practically second nature to them with our boys.

If all someone gets to see is this blog and these posts to decide a child’s future; I hope I gave you some great hints about Daniel and Patrick. They are two of my best friends that deserve a chance to be fathers. I can’t see my life without Daniel and Patrick next to my husband and me as we watch our boys grow up. I pray this doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

 

As always, friends forever.

x Shawn

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“You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.” ~Author Unknown

For this, our first child, we don’t need a parachute. I know we have so many parachutes (our friends and family, whether down the street or across the country that are only a phone call away) but I want us to take that leap, together. 

On my birthday recently, Patrick and I took a literal jump out of an airplane. I’ve always wanted to go skydiving and he surprised me with it as a gift. It was such an awe-inspiring experience. I know parenthood will be an experience that’s even better. There are so many firsts with a new baby; smiles, giggles, rolling over, words and even worries about poop frequency. I know we’ll document all of these to the point people will be tired of the pictures and “new news,” but I know we’ll be great at it.

We’re ready to take this jump, expand our family and learn to grow as parents and people. To jump onto a ride that has no instruction book.

I pray you’ll bless us with the chance to take this jump. We don’t need a parachute, but we’ll be the best parachute we can possibly be for your and our baby. Much like we were strapped onto someone more knowledgeable than us about skydiving, I know we can be tandem instructors to a baby in the game of life. 

 

x D

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"Dear Prospective Birth Mother" ...from Patrick's Dad & Step-Mother

Dear Prospective Birth Mother,

We are Patrick’s father and step-mother.  

Our fear is that you will not seriously consider a same-sex couple for adoption of your child.  We’d like to tell you why this would be a mistake.  

Patrick and Dan have a steady work history, and will be able to provide for the needs of your child.  They have a strong Christian faith, and a very strong circle of friends and family that will provide support for their child.  Watching Patrick and Dan together, we have seen a strong commitment for each other as a couple, and their love has grown stronger with time.  They have recently taken on the role as God Parents for the children of a friend, and this has seemed to bring out the parental desire even stronger.  

We would urge you to allow these wonderful men to provide the love, security and spiritual base that every parent wants for their child.  We cannot think of two more perfect individuals to raise your child in a loving, caring environment. 

God bless you and your child.

Tom & Lysa

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