JoAnna

Pets: No

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: Yes

Other Biological Children at Home: No

I tell my son all the time that love is amazing, it never runs out, and there is always room for more. He can’t wait to play with his new brother or sister and teach them everything. Having a new child in our lives will add to our family and our joy. I can’t wait.

JoAnna

from Virginia

JoAnna

Ancestry: Swiss, English

Religion: Presbyterian

Occupation: Operations Planning Specialist

Education: M.S.

Hobbies: Skiing, Swimming, Travel, Hiking, Reading, Scuba, Kayaking, Volleyball, Biking

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: Caucasian, Caucasian / Hispanic, Caucasian / Indian, Caucasian / Middle Eastern, Caucasian / Native American, Hispanic

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Presbyterian

Photos

Dear Expectant Mom,

I am so grateful to you and appreciate your courage and strength very much. The challenges you face as you carry and nurture your baby are incredible. Although I cannot put myself in your shoes, I can tell you about my life and how much I would like to raise the child you carry and love them each and every day. I adopted a little boy 5 years ago and he has been my joy and heart ever since. I want to add to our family and adopt a second child to double our love and joy. Family means so much to me and I appreciate my parents and brothers (and families) so very much. I have realized that I want that for my children. I want them to have siblings to play with and lean on, not just parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… more cousins… and more family. We are looking forward to this journey and thank you so much for considering us for your new baby. He or she would add even more light, love and joy into our lives and hearts.

So, I’d like to share our lives with you. We live in a 2-story, colonial home with a large back yard on a quiet cul-de-sac. Our front and back yards are grassy and filled with trees. We have a fenced-in, ½ acre back yard with a swing set and lots of space to run and play. My son, Nicholas, loves to be pushed on the swings and has just learned how to swing himself. He prefers being pushed. We have a toddler basketball net on the patio and we take turns shooting baskets. We have set up a t-ball stand and we are working on hitting and fielding the balls. He has a terrific throw and loves to toss the ball, catching however is a skill we work on as more often than not the ball just falls or bounces right out of his hands. He loves to swim, so in the summer, in addition to swim lessons, we fill an inflatable pool in the grass and he plays in the water with toys or blows bubbles or pretends to be an underwater mer-man.

Our weekends are filled with activities, sometimes involving a picnic lunch and bike trip at the nearby state park. Eating outdoors is the best part, and enjoying the woods and bugs (his favorite, not mine). Other times we plan trips to the beach, which is a short 15-minute drive from the house. Beach days or evenings are so much fun for both of us. I put Nicholas in a swim vest for added buoyancy and we play in the waves. He pretends to surf on his boogie board, and we body surf into the sand. He loves the water and a short dip can turn into two hours of the two of us playing in the water before its time to build a sandcastle. (Mostly me hauling water to create a mud pile with a moat and corner turrets). On rainy days the Aquarium is fun and just 15 minutes from the house. Nicholas loves the sharks and the kids’ submarine set up with all sorts of controls. He pretends to do missions and hits all the buttons and sets off the alarms while watching the sharks and other fish swim past the windows. He refuses to leave until the mission is complete.

At the moment we have a beta fish. He’s a brilliant, royal blue and has massive billowing fins. My son is learning how to take care of him with daily feedings and cleaning the tank (with help). We’ve talked about a dog for him in another year as he learns the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner. I know he can’t wait to have one to snuggle and plans to sneak him into his bed at night. I had a Collie and a cat growing up and cats as an adult; I really want to pass along the love of having pets in the home and family.

I hope to teach my children about love, laughter, joy, friendship, compassion, God, and family. There are so many things to teach them. I love to read and travel, swim and ski, bike and hike-I want to share it all. I believe in church and family as well as being productive in life and society. I want my children to grow up knowing they are loved and having the capacity to love themselves, their family and others. I served in the USAF for 20 years because I believe in standing up for what is right and being strong when others cannot. There are so many values I want to share with my children and help them grow. But most of all, it’s about love and joy and family.

I will tell your child that you had the strength to love life and give life and share the joy of raising your child and family with me. I will tell them that God helped you make a decision that united us as a family and that God chose us to build that family. When Nicholas and I talk about family and a brother or sister, I tell him God chose him for me, and God chose me for him. When we talk about his birth mom, we talk about her story, her strength and determination and how blessed we are that it led to us becoming a family. We will share this journey with your child too, and how much we are looking forward to growing our family. We will share your courage and how happy and grateful we are to you each and every day.

I love being a mom and every day I have the joy of my son and hope to add the joy of a daughter or another son to grow our family. The hugs and smiles are amazing. The tears and boo-boos are much harder, but being a family together and growing together is incredible. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and wasn’t able to carry a child myself. After my son was born and his birth mom entrusted him to me, it was daunting and amazing and so wonderful. I am very excited to grow our family. I tell my son all the time that love is amazing, it never runs out, and there is always room for more. He is excited to be a big brother and is an excellent helper; he can’t wait to play with his new brother or sister and teach them everything. Having a new child in our lives will add to our family and our joy. I can’t wait.

I am so blessed and so grateful that you are considering us for your precious gift. Thank you for taking care of yourself and your child, nurturing them and loving them enough to give them life and into my care. Love grows the more we give it and as we bring a new baby and his or her birth mom into our lives it will grow even more. I will thank God every day for you and for our precious baby.

JoAnna

Q&A

Tell us about your home and neighborhood.

We live in a 2-story colonial home with a large back yard on a quiet cul-de-sac. Our front and back yards are grassy and filled with trees. We have a fenced-in, ½ acre back yard with a swing set and lots of space to run and play. My son loves to be pushed on the swings. We have a toddler basketball net on the patio and we take turns shooting baskets. We have set up a t-ball stand and we are working on hitting and fielding the balls. My son has got a terrific throw and loves to toss the ball. Catching, however, is a skill we work on as more often than not the ball just “fall’s or bounces right out of his hands. He loves to swim, so in addition to swim lessons in the summer, we fill an inflatable pool in the grass and he plays in the water with toys, blows bubbles or is an underwater mer-man. Our neighborhood is a community that looks out for each other and is filled with families. We often see children on bikes heading to the park ½ a block away that has a grassy areas for sports or picnics and a fun play yard –swings, jungle gym, and monkey bars—for toddlers up to about 7 or 8 years old. His favorite is a step swing that requires balance and a little daring as he maneuvers from tall swinging step to another. We are big fans of the American Ninja Warrior show and he considers this as close as he can get for now.

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

Our weekends are filled with activities; sometimes involving a picnic lunch and bike trip at the nearby state park. Eating outdoors is the best part, and enjoying the woods and bugs (his favorite, not mine). Other times we plan trips to the beach, which is a short 15 minute drive from the house. Beach days or evenings are so much fun for both of us. I put him in a swim vest for added buoyancy and we play in the waves, he pretends to surf on his boogie board, and we body surf into the sand. He loves the water and a short dip can turn into two hours of the two of us playing in the water before its time to build a sandcastle. (Mostly me hauling water to create a mud pile with a moat and corner turrets. On rainy days the Aquarium is a fun half day trip, and is also a short 15 minute drive from the house. He loves the sharks and the kids' submarine set up with all sorts of controls. He pretends to do missions and hits all the buttons and sets off the alarms while watching the sharks and other fish swim past the windows. He refuses to leave until the mission is complete. For our most recent-three-day weekend we traveled to see one of my brothers and his family and enjoyed barbecues and a bike ride. My-five-year old learned how to ride his first “2-wheel bike.” … Ok it has training wheels too; and we wound up with only one spill into the weeds on the side of the trail (thank goodness for helmets, knee, and elbow pads). On our next three-day-weekend we are going on a family reunion up near Niagara Falls. It’ll be two days at the Falls, with me, Gram, and my son walking around and exploring both sides. And then it's Family Reunion time with aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, and slews of cousins everywhere. We have a lodge booked at the state park for the event and it will be hiking, climbing, games, sports, and just hanging out at the park and catching up with each other. Our most recent activity has involved the Adventure Park at the Aquarium; it is a series of tree top challenges with zip lines and ropes. My son has been in awe of it since he first saw it by the Aquarium, but you have to be five to do it. So for his birthday, the two of us had a special outing just to try it out. He was amazing! We took the starter course 3 feet off the ground and learned how to be safe and use the equipment with me doing safety checks at every point, then set off for the first course. He took his time, thought out each step and we were off… on the “Caterpillar Trail” stepping on logs and ropes and swinging down zip lines. My toddler is growing so fast… but not without saying how he can’t wait to teach his new brother or sister how to do it next.

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

At the moment we have a beta fish. He’s a brilliant, royal blue and has massive billowing fins. My son is learning how to take care of him with daily feedings and cleaning the tank (with help). We’ve talked about a dog for him in another year as he learns the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner. I know he can’t wait to have one to snuggle and plans to sneak him into his bed at night. I had a Collie and a cat growing up and cats as an adult; I really want to pass along the love of having pets in the home and family.

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

Love, laughter, joy, friendship, compassion, God, and family. There are so many things to teach my children. I love to read and travel, swim and ski, bike and hike-I want to share it all. I believe in church and family as well as being productive in life and society. I want my children to grow up knowing they are loved and having the capacity to love themselves, their family and others. I served in the USAF for 20 years because I believe in standing up for what is right and being strong when others cannot. There are so many values I want to share with my children and help them grow. But most of all, it’s about love and joy and family.

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

I will tell them that she had the strength to love life and give life and share the joy of raising a child and family with me. I will tell them that God helped her make a decision that united us as a family and that God chose us to build that family. When my son and I talk about family and a brother or sister, I tell him God chose him for me, and God chose me for him. When we talk about his birthmom, we talk about her story, her strength and determination and how blessed we are that it lead to us becoming a family.

How will a child enrich your life?

I love being a mom, and every day I have the joy of my son and hope to add the joy of a daughter or another son to grow our family. The hugs and smiles, are amazing, the tears and boo boos are much harder, but being a family, together and growing together is incredible. I knew I wanted to be a mom and wasn’t able to carry a child myself. After my son was born and his birthmom entrusted him to me, it was daunting and amazing and so wonderful. I am very excited to grow our family. I tell my son all the time that love is amazing, it never runs out, and there is always room for more. He is excited to be a big brother and is an excellent helper; he can’t wait to play with his new brother or sister and teach them everything. Having a new child in our lives will add to our family and our joy. I can’t wait.

Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.

My last Air Force assignment was in Florida and we held season passes to Disney World along with a Hilton Timeshare. So many of our weekends and three day holidays were filled with a quick trips to Orlando, and staying at the vacation resort with day trips to Disney. My son was very young, so it was perfect to do a relaxing fun weekend. We start with family breakfasts, then day trips to Disney (with a stroller) taking the fun rides (Goofy ’s Barnstormer rollercoaster for toddlers was one of his favorites) and we’d go through our fast passes and hop back in line as much as possible. He just loved jumping in the seats with me and I’d hold an arm around him really tight as we zip around the corners and yell as we dove down the rails really fast, and then go aww as it came to an end much too soon. Then we’d head back to the hotel for afternoon naps followed by swimming and dinner by the pool. Then back home on Sunday evening.

Will you be returning to work? If so, describe your day-care plans.

I will be returning to work, but I have the best option available to me. My mom, his or her Gram, lives with us and she is going to be our daily care giver while I’m at the office. She was the best mom I could have growing up, and she is a wonderful, loving and caring person who has been fantastic with my son and will be amazing with another child too. It is such a comfort to me to know my children are in her hands while I’m at the office and being loved and cared for so well. Once they are old enough, they children will be in day care part time. The social skills, play, and learning available from a good day school program are super. My son goes to a Church-based school and he has “godly play” and chapel time as well as lots of fun in the classroom and on the playground.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms, what are your thoughts regarding his or her birth mother?

I am so blessed and so grateful that you have given us this precious gift. Thank you for taking care of yourself and this child, nurturing them and loving them enough to give them life and into my care. Love grows the more we give it and as we bring a new baby and his or her birthmom into our lives it will grow even more. I will thank God every day for you and for our precious baby.

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