Keith and Celia

Married Since: 2005

Pets: No

Stay at Home Parent: Part-Time

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

We don’t know you yet, but we love you already. We pray for a healthy pregnancy and a bright future for both you and your baby.

Keith and Celia

from Japan

Keith

Ancestry: Unknown European

Religion: Protestant

Occupation: Missionary

Education: MATS

Hobbies: Playing piano, Hiking, Woodworking

Celia

Ancestry: German, English, Swedish

Religion: Protestant

Occupation: Missionary

Education: MATS

Hobbies: Hiking, Gardening, Japanese Tea Ceremony

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: Asian, Caucasian / Asian, Caucasian, Caucasian / Native American, Caucasian / Pacific Islander

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Protestant

Photos

Dear Expectant Parent(s),

Greetings from Japan. Thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We honor you for considering adoption.

We’d like to introduce ourselves by telling you about some of the things we love and which we would love to share with your child.

We love music and art. Keith plays piano and enjoys singing baritone in choirs. He is always looking for opportunities to make our home more comfortable and beautiful with a woodworking project. Celia is a professional cellist and has also studied the Japanese instrument, shamisen since moving to Japan. She frequently performs in concerts and enjoys collaborating with artists in a wide variety of disciplines. She also studies Japanese tea ceremony and knits original pieces which she designs herself.

We love to spend time outdoors: hiking in the mountains nearby, skiing and snow-shoeing in the winter, and caring for our garden. We love spending time with people—with each other, of course, and with family and friends, if possible over a meal. We love deep conversations about important things.

We love God, and our desire to serve him with our lives has led us to Japan, where we work in a church using our music gifts and training people for church leadership.

We love Japan, and we are fluent in Japanese. We spend most of our time in Japan while staying connected with family and friends in our home states of Washington and North Dakota. We believe that there are many blessings that come with living in Japan. Your child will have opportunities most American kids don’t have, such as growing up speaking both Japanese and English and making friends with kids from all over the world. We anticipate that by growing up between two cultures, your child will develop the precious ability to see life from more than one angle and to have compassion even towards people very different than he or she is.

Being far away from our families has taught us to see “family” in a different way: as people who are committed to one another, who love each other and share life together, whether or not they are related by blood. There are many who have become family to us here in Japan—both Japanese friends and our colleagues from all over the world.

We have also seen the beauty of adoptive relationships among our family and friends. Celia gained hope through seeing the special relationships her dad’s sister and cousin had with their adoptive moms; she has been loved, in turn, by each of them. Keith’s childhood best friend’s family included an adopted brother and a steady stream of foster children. Many of our coworkers in Japan have adopted, so we can count on lots of support.

Would you and your child like to be part of our family? Are you the ones we have been waiting for? If so, we look forward to meeting you. We don’t know you yet, but we love you already. We pray for a healthy pregnancy and a bright future for both you and your baby.

Love,
Keith and Celia

Q&A

Tell us about your home and neighborhood.

We live in a cute A-frame house in Japan, with a big garden full of wildflowers, herbs, and vegetables. Our house has lots of space for friends, including a traditional Japanese tea room. Many others in the neighborhood have beautiful gardens and farms. We live close to parks and schools and a grocery store. In the winter, there is a lot of snow. It’s flat in our area (good for riding bikes), but you can see mountains all around. Beautiful sunsets are best viewed from your baby's bedroom window. We are 15 minutes from the beach.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?

We like to go to the mountains for hiking, camping, snow-shoeing, and onsen (hot springs baths). Celia hopes your baby will grow up to be her ski buddy, because Keith doesn’t ski.

Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.

No, but we have houseplants, including a bonsai who sometimes goes on vacation with us.

What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?

We want our child to know that he/she is loved. We hope to teach him/her to love God and others, to follow God, to become wholly who God made him/her to be, to be a good listener (as we also listen to him/her), and to show grace to him/herself and others.

What will you tell your child about his or her birthmom?

We will tell him/her, “Your birthmom made a very hard decision, but she made that decision for your sake, because she loves you so much.”

Are you active in your church? Tell us about your activities.

Our church is both our community and our workplace. Keith teaches church members in Bible reading and interpretation, preaches, and plays the piano. Celia plans worship services and is involved in hospitality and pastoral care.

How will a child enrich your life?

We hope that raising a child will give us more opportunities to be involved in our community, to see life with new eyes, to understand our parents (and friends with children) better, to develop patience, and to gain a deeper understanding of God’s father-love for us.

Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.

We went hiking close to home. Celia performed open-air Japanese tea ceremony at the peak of the mountain as we enjoyed the brilliant fall colors. Then we went to an onsen (hot spring). After that we went home and cooked dinner together.

Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans? Will you be returning to work? If so, describe your day-care plans.

Our organization places a high value on families. We both plan to return to work, but we do most of our work from home, and we will both reduce our workload so that we can share parenting responsibilities and enjoy family time. When our child is old enough, we plan to send him/her to a neighborhood preschool (yochien), so that s/he can make friends with local kids and develop Japanese language skills.

Describe your family.

Keith: My parents have been happily married for over 40 years and live in Iowa. My dad is a retired teacher, and my mom continues in her medical practice. I have two older brothers, one who lives in North Dakota and the other in Minnesota. I also have two younger sisters, one who lives in Indiana and the other in the DC area. At the moment I have two nephews and five nieces, and “Grampa” has become the designated babysitter traveling from state to state. When all the grandchildren get together, it can get quite hectic, but even then my parents are always glad to welcome one more into the family. Celia: My parents have been married for over 40 years and live in Washington State. Dad is a retired engineer. He has moved on to a second career building musical instruments and singing in choirs. Mom was a teacher before I was born, and continues to serve the community by tutoring children from immigrant families in English and Math. My parents love traveling, and have been to visit us in Japan many times. My brother, who also lives in Washington, is married with two children. His wife is Chinese; they speak Chinese in the home and hope their children grow up to be bilingual. Our parents and siblings are supportive and excited about our plans to adopt and they look forward to welcoming an adopted child into our family.

Describe your childhood.

Keith: Growing up with two older brothers, two younger sisters, two parents, and two dogs, our house was always a bustle of activity. In particular I remember our camping trips where all seven of us, with our dogs, piled into our black minivan for our annual two-week vacations. During these trips, my father taught me how to build a good campfire and to grill a good steak, skills that I would love to pass on to our child. In high school, I was also very much involved in choir, drama, and set building for musicals. My parents always supported me by coming to my performances and being there. The importance of “being there” is perhaps the biggest thing I learned from my parents. With five children it might seem hard to have individual time with each of us, but my parents were intentional about it. One of my favorite childhood memories was when my dad took me to have an A&W root beer iced mug while we planned about what I wanted to get my brothers and sisters for Christmas. This is the sort of father I want to be. Celia: “Creativity” and “outdoors” are the two words I would use to describe my childhood. When I was ten, my family moved into a house that we designed, in the middle of a forest. Dad had a huge wood shop, Mom had a huge garden, and there was plenty of space for our cats and horses and chickens. Dad built hiking trails through our woods, connecting up with the trails in the park nearby. The house was full of music, the mess of everyone’s art projects, and good smells coming from the kitchen. As my parents included me in their interests and supported me in my creative endeavors, I also hope to instill in our child creativity and a love of beauty as s/he discovers ways to express him/herself.

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