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Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read our profile and give us an opportunity to share a bit about ourselves and our family, with you. We know our family is not yet complete and we are looking forward to expanding our love to another child.
Our story starts way back in middle school! We only knew each other by roll call until senior year when we developed a friendship through mutual friends. It didn’t take long for that friendship to transform into a dating relationship and eventually love. We dated long-distance for two years, driving back and forth between DE and VA, while in college. Although the distance was never a strain on our relationship, we knew we wanted to spend more time together than apart. Two years after finishing college, we were engaged and seven months later, we married in the fall of 2012.
After getting married, we decided to spend some time traveling before starting a family. We had always wanted children, and adoption had always been discussed - even before marriage. Over the next five years, we were fortunate to travel to many wonderful places. A few of our favorites included: London, Paris, California, Colorado, Chicago, Nashville, Mexico and Canada. Then, in 2017, we had our first son, Miles, and a year later, we had our second son, Cole. We’ve been blessed with two wonderful and healthy boys, and after two stressful pregnancies and some minor complications, we knew that now was the time to grow our family through adoption.
Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.
Navigating a pregnancy alone is never easy. Depending on your situation and location, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of basic living expenses, such as food and groceries.
Receiving quality medical care during your pregnancy is vital to both your health and the health of your baby. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
Women who choose to place their baby for adoption may receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. If you feel that you’ll need some help with these costs, it’s important to talk to your adoption social worker about it early in the process. Each expectant mother’s situation is different, and eligibility may vary.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important that you have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Like food and groceries, the cost of some household items - like feminine and dental care items, along with prenatal supplements - may be covered during your pregnancy.
Placing a baby for adoption is a loving, but incredibly challenging decision to make. Many women experience an array of emotions during this time and find that counseling is very helpful in navigating those feelings. If you would like to receive counseling during or after your pregnancy, that can be arranged by your adoption social worker. The cost of counseling will be covered by the adoptive family or adoption organization.
If you need assistance with transportation, your adoption social worker can work with you to find the best solution. You may eligible for assistance with transportation costs or be connected with a transportation service to utilize during your pregnancy.
It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.
Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.
You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.
As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.
Prior to kids, we would get together for game nights, almost weekly, with 3 other couples. We love spending time with friends and we are also competitive, when it comes to games. It didn't take long for us to find our game crew and the crew has remained faithful, even after kids. Obviously, we had to plan a bit more, take turns alternating houses, setting up pack & plays and starting games much later, after the kids go to bed but it has always been something we look forward to, monthly now! This was our first, hopefully annual, game crew beach trip and it was one for the books! Our kids have grown up together and they have such great friendships that we work hard to foster. We spent the days playing on the beach and the evening playing games til late. Although we sometimes need a vacation from our vacation it is always worth the time we get to spend with friends and the memories we make! The friends pictured are some of our dearest friends who have supported and inspired us through this process.
Every year for as long as I can remember(& even before) my family has taken a week long beach vacation. For the past 3 years we have gone to the Outer Banks and this year didn't disappoint! We had a beautiful house on the beach and the weather was perfect. A house full of 5 boys, under the age of 10, is a recipe for fun! We enjoy cooking big meals, catching ghost crabs at night, making beach obstacle courses for the kids(& adults) and spending quality time together! Paul always put together some sort of video at the end of the trip and this year he surprised us with a funny music video to recap the week. The whole family is excited for our family to grow and they cannot wait for him/her to be a part of our fun vacations together.
The lettuce garden has been planted!! 🥬Last year was our first year with a garden, so we called it our 'trial year.' It was a great trial and we learned a lot. We had over 10 foot tall tomato plants so we learned quickly that they needed there own space. This year we built 2 additional beds so that the tomatoes could grow without blocking sun from other plants! We decided that lettuce was our next big vegetable, that we consume, so we dedicated almost a whole bed to lettuce. Nights have still been chilly here so we are holding off on planting tomatoes but the lettuce is a bit more resilient so Miles helped me plant all the seeds. Both boys love to play/'work' in the garden. It is a fun activity to do together and also a great way to teach kids patience and hard work as they wait for their seeds to grow!
Paul has decided to build a new swing set!! We hope to grow into a bigger one very soon. One of the best parts of our home is our back yard with the woods, the chickens, the garden, the sand box and water toys and now the brand new play set. When the weather finally gets warmer we will be living outside, so the swings and slide will get much use. We look forward to the day the swing set is filled with 3 kiddos!
Our family really enjoys Easter! We look forward to our church service in the morning and than family time in the afternoon. This Easter didn't disappoint!! After church we gathered for a large family lunch/egg hunt at Markie's parents house. The boys and all their cousins energetically ran around the yard finding/collecting eggs AND many other fun prizes. It brings us such joy watching their faces as they find eggs and open them. Most are filled with coins and candy but there is always ONE egg that has a $20 bill in it! We all anticipate who will be the lucky winner.The rest of the day was spent outside playing yard games, eating more food and relaxing with our loved ones. HAPPY EASTER!
If you've noticed, we love to be outside! :) One of our favorite things, last spring, was planting a vegetable garden as a family! Last year was our trial run and since it was such a big hit we decided to expand it a bit, this year! Today we spend our afternoon building a new fence around the garden and also building 2 additional raised bed. We look forward to growing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, mint, basil and FLOWERS! Who doesn't like a pretty bouquet of flowers?!?! We haven't done a flower garden before so this will be the trial year for that; fingers crossed it does well! Gardening has been a great family activity. I think most kids enjoy digging in the soil, getting dirty and learning how to grow their own food. COME ON SPRING!!!
We love to find creative toys to play with, especially in the winter months. Our neighbor passed forward an entire marble set which the boys LOVED! I actually think Paul enjoyed it more than the little ones.
It's been a cold January but we really try to get outside and explore as much as possible. Some days that looks like a quick walk to the chicken coop to collect eggs or on nicer days it may be a playground date with friends or days like today, it was a family hike to play a little 'soccer' and stretch our legs! We are grateful to live across the street from a wonderful state park with playgrounds, pavilions, hiking paths, sports fields, creeks and a nature center. No matter the season there are always activities for us to do with the kids in our surrounding area!
Christmas was well spend this year! We had a lazy morning in our pjs making pancakes, opening presents and enjoying company from both sets of grandparents! We are grateful that our parents are right down the road. We then got some time with just the boys, opening a few special gifts and later spent the evening at Markie's parents with her sister, brother-in-law and their 3 boys! As you can imagine it is an eventful night of gift giving, a nice dinner, laughter, and just special family time! Although this years gathering didn't included the typical extended family we made the best of the situation and the Christmas spirit never disappoints. We have much to be thankful for and we hope and pray next year we will have another child to shower with love and some special gifts!
Today is the day we look forward to all year- The TREE CUTTING!!! Normally, we bundle up and head out to the tree farm but today was a beautiful, sunny 55 which made it even better- no bundling needed! We met the same family that we tagged with except this time kids were included. The boys love watching Paul saw the tree until it falls & I love watching them, watch him. :) We enjoyed some play time at the playground and soaked in their Christmas festivities. The rest of the day was designated to decorating the tree and the house. As I sit here writing this blog all three boys are laying on the floor watching the toy train go around and around! It's been another great day celebrating the Christmas season and building the anticipation for Christmas Day!
The first Saturday in November is opening day for Christmas Tree tagging! We wake at 4:45am, grab coffee, flashlights and out the door we go...the hunt for our 'perfectly imperfect' Christmas tree begins at 5:30am. Another adoptive family, that we have been friends with for a long time have also become part of this fun family tradition. We eagerly search for our tree as the parking lot fills up with more and more crazy families, like ours. This year we were 'tagged' by 6:15am and headed to breakfast w/ friends. We look forward to Part 2, when we venture out again to cut down the flashlight-picked-tree and hope that it's still as pretty in the daylight! :)
There is no denying it's fall around here!! We love this time of year, but it does require quite a bit of raking! The leaves never end when you live near the wood and for the boys that means jumping in leaf piles and helping daddy burn leaves after! Kali also loves this time of year & especially loves to lay in the cool leaves for a long afternoon nap! We have spent the past several weeks enjoying the non-humid weather, pumpkin picking and Halloween costume planning! We look forward to hosting a small kids Halloween party since trick-or-treating isn't an option for us this year, due to some of the COVID restrictions. We still wanted to make sure that all the kiddos got a chance to dress up and have a little fun that night!
We recently celebrated Coles 2nd birthday! We enjoy getting family and friends together to celebrate each other's special day! Cole especially loved being celebrated and spoiled by his grandparents and buddies. Although he loved his gifts, he thoroughly enjoyed playing with the balloons and eating cake. Birthdays are certainly celebrated around here and we all look forward to the next family/friend birthday to get together!
We are always up to something when it comes to home improvements! This year has had a few more updates than anticipated, partly because of COVID and being home more and the other part just because we really enjoy home projects. In April, we decided it was time to paint our kitchen. We have wanted to do this since we moved in so we were excited to get started(& finished)! The kitchen has a lot of cabinets so it did take some time to get everything painted, but we are thrilled with the outcome and we love how the white cabinets really brightens up the area! In August, the decision for Paul to work from home was dedcided, however, the space in our den was not ideal for as a long-term work space. We took to the unfinished basement! It was a daughting task to clean out the corner that we wanted to become an office, but after a couple days of moving storage bins and removing a large workbench/table, the area was ready for construction. Did we mention that Paul decided to build the room himself!?! Paul is handy but this was his first time finishing a room, start-to-finish....
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