Nickname: Bri and Marvin

Married Since: 2014

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

We can’t begin to thank you enough for such a selfless gift and we admire your courage and unconditional love. Please know you’re not alone; we are here to support you, encourage you, and provide the most loving home to your child.

Brianna and Melissa

from Maine

Brianna

Ancestry: French, British, Irish

Religion: Nondenominational

Occupation: Operations Manager

Education: BS

Hobbies: Reading, Crocheting, Fishing, Crafting, Football

Melissa

Ancestry: French, Irish, Scandinavian

Religion: Nondenominational

Occupation: Strategic Portfolio Analyst

Education: High School

Hobbies: Fishing, Board and card games, Tinkering

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: All Races / Ethnicities

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Spiritual

Favorites

Brianna

Animal
Dogs and dolphins
Book
House Rules
Color
Purple
Family Activity
Cruise vacations
Hobby
Crocheting, puzzles, crafts, and reading
Food
Steak
Holiday
Christmas and 4th of July
Movie
Titanic
Sport
Football - Go Patriots!
Vacation Spot
Bermuda

Melissa

Animal
Dogs and monkeys
Book
Harry Potter series
Color
Gray (it goes with everything!)
Family Activity
Cruising and weekends at camp
Hobby
Fishing, cooking, and coffee art
Food
Pho and fresh spring rolls
Holiday
Christmas
Movie
Titanic
Sport
Football - Go Patriots!
Vacation Spot
Bermuda
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From Us to You

To Expectant Mom,

As we sit here writing this letter we can’t even imagine what emotional and difficult decisions you’re having to conquer right now. We hope this letter will provide you some comfort and help to ease your mind surrounding the future of your beautiful baby. While we haven’t met yet we think about who you are often and how you’ll soon become an important part of our lives by helping us achieve our dream of starting a family. We can’t begin to thank you enough for such a selfless gift you’d be providing us and we admire your courage and unconditional love. Though we don’t fully understand what you are going through please know you’re not alone; we are here to support you, encourage you, and provide the most loving home to your child.

We met in the fall of 2003 when we began taking clogging classes at the same dance studio. We were teenagers at the time and became instantly inseparable spending as much time together as our school and extracurricular activities would allow. In 2005, we made our relationship official and began our lifelong journey together. As one could imagine, growing up and coming out wasn’t easy. We live in a small, French, Catholic New England, town where the views were still a little dated back in 2005 and not everyone was supportive of our lifestyle. As with most young love, people challenged our relationship stating it would never last. We faced those challenges and adversity through our teenage years into our early twenties and together prevailed stronger and more connected than ever.

On February 1, 2014 we got married on our nine year anniversary in front of a hundred of our closest family and friends. It was at this point when we started getting the question of when we would have children. We knew early on in our relationship that we always wanted to have children and had talked about starting our family after we got married. Soon after the wedding we started planning for our family, but after multiple setbacks with infertility, and being told by multiple doctors that Brianna likely would never get pregnant, our journey to become parents lead us to you.

Life for us is simple but full of adventure. We live in New England and have the ability to experience all four seasons each year; a true gift that not every state in the US can experience. Our favorite season is definitely summer where you can catch us at the family lake house every weekend fishing, boating, swimming, playing games or just lying on the dock after sunset watching the starry sky. In the fall you will always catch us watching football, cheering for the New England Patriots, but on non-game days we are outside with the dog or hitting the road for a day trip to the mountains to check out the fall foliage. Winter is typically when we go on our yearly vacations because winters here can be long, cold and extremely snowy. While we do get out and enjoy the snow, we try to visit somewhere tropical every couple of years or take road trips to visit Melissa’s sister, brother-in-law and nephews who live out of state.

Family is extremely important to both of us and is a value we hope to instill in your child. We have weekly family dinners with Brianna’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and new niece and we FaceTime with Melissa’s sister and nephews multiple times a week. We also have monthly dinner visits with Melissa’s parents. Our close bond with our family is something your child will be a part of as well. Whether it is spending time at the family lake house, spending time with his/her cousins, family dinners, or our yearly tradition of cutting down our Christmas tree, he or she will be loved not only by us but by everyone in our family.

Our goals as parents are to raise your child in a happy, healthy, and nurturing home. A home where your child is free to express who they are, a home where they will feel unconditional love and guidance, where they have an opportunity to grow and explore, and an opportunity to know where they came from.

With Love and Respect,
Brianna and Melissa

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Why We Are Choosing to Adopt

We knew immediately after we got married that we wanted to start the process of beginning our family. We took all the necessary steps of tracking Brianna’s fertility windows and preemptively picking out a sperm donor. To our surprise we were having difficulties finding the peaks in her ovulation window even though we were testing two times a day every day, taking temperatures in the morning and tracking everything on a giant wall calendar in our bedroom. It was around this time we discovered what Brianna’s PCOS diagnosis really meant and the reality of her becoming pregnant without invasive medical treatment wasn’t going to happen. At this time we stepped back, and reflected a lot in our faith and mourned the loss of something that would never be. We knew somehow we would be Mommies but a natural traditional birth for either of us wasn’t an option and that’s when we began our journey of adoption. We had lots of discussions about the other methods of having a child (surrogate mother, adoption, or foster care) and always came back to adoption. Melissa’s second oldest sister is not actually her biological sister. Her sister had been in and out of the foster care system when she came to Melissa’s family at the age of 16. She instantly became part of the family. We saw firsthand how people don’t have to be biologically related to be family. So when we started to discuss adoption in more detail, it became the obvious choice for us.

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About Brianna, by Melissa

I could say a million wonderful things about Brianna but I’ll be sure to keep it sweet and simple for you. From the first moment I met Brianna I knew she was someone special, she had the warmest smile and showed her kind heart right away. Brianna is strong in her faith and dedicated to her family who she loves strongly and unconditionally. She is very smart but would never turn down the opportunity to learn more which is why she is very well respected and absolutely committed to her career but also maintains a healthy work/home/family balance. If you need a cheerleader, Brianna is your girl. She is always 100% in my corner, no questions, and if there is ever a time I’m feeling unsure, I look to her for some of that Brianna confidence that she just exudes everywhere she goes. With Brianna and me being high school sweethearts, she has learned how to compromise without struggle, love unconditionally, and finds joy in the happiness she gives me. She is also extremely silly and a bit of an entertainer. She loves making up new lyrics to existing songs and coordinating goofy dances to go along with them. She always makes me smile and keeps any situation light hearted.

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About Melissa, by Brianna

When I first met Melissa she was the polar opposite of me. She had a tough outer shell, hung out with a different crowd than I, and she listened to alternative metal music while I was more of the pop/boy band kind of girl. Despite some of our obvious differences, we connected on a deep level and I knew almost instantly that she was someone who I would have in my life forever.

Melissa is typically more quiet and reserved than I am. She doesn’t just let anyone into her life but when she does, she loves and cares for that person fiercely and wholeheartedly.  Melissa is also such a thoughtful person and she does whatever it takes to make me feel special on daily basis. It could be something as simple as bringing home “just-because” flowers, making my favorite dinner, or doing more of the household chores after I’ve had a long day. With Melissa, chivalry is definitely not dead. She holds the door for me everywhere we go, she opens and closes the car door for me when we leave, and she waits to eat until everyone is sitting at the dining room table.

She is extremely laid back and is a go-with-the-flow type of person. She entertains all of my ideas and when I recently told her I wanted to peel the wallpaper off the wall in our hallway she smiled and said, “Sure.” knowing full and well that she’d likely be the one to finish it.

Having been with Melissa since high school, I have been lucky to grow up with her and see firsthand the type of person she truly is. Her once tough outer shell is no more and she really is such a genuine, loving person. I am so lucky and thankful that our paths crossed so many years ago. Anyone who has the opportunity to know her and have her in their life will be better off because of her.

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How We Met

We first met in 2003 when Brianna began taking dance classes (clogging) at the same studio where Melissa danced. Brianna was 16 at the time and Melissa was about to turn 15 a couple of months later. We hit it off instantly and quickly became best friends spending every extra minute hanging out together. We made our relationship official on February 1, 2005.  Our relationship took our family by surprise and many said our young love wouldn’t last especially since Brianna was headed to college in the fall. We were more confident than ever that our love was different and even though young, we would make it through what trials and tribulations life had in store for us. We had exchanged promise rings to one another that year as well.

After several years of being together, it finally became apparent to everyone that we were serious and we were truly soulmates.  At that time, same-sex marriage was not legal in Maine and in many other states so we lived life as domestic partners. In 2012 the US Supreme court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same-sex couples to finally marry. In December 2012, Melissa proposed to Brianna at one of our favorite beach spots; a local marina that has a jetty, boat docks for fishing and a small beach area. Brianna of course said yes and we began planning a big wedding.

On February 1, 2014 (9 years to the day we became a couple) we said I do in front of one hundred of our closest family and friends. It was a magical day filled with more love and support than we could have ever imagined. As we sit here writing this, we are getting ready to celebrate 7 years of marriage and 16 years together. We reflect on our relationship, all that we’ve been through and conquered and all that is still to come.

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Lifestyle

We love to travel and spend time with family but when we are not doing either of those two things you can find us at home enjoying time with each other, our dog Gwen, and two cats, Lynx and Rev. Brianna works as an operations manager and after a long day, you can catch her winding down with a good book on the couch curled up with our dog Gwen. Melissa really enjoys cooking with new ingredients prepared in various different methods and will do anything to improve or jazz up a simple dish. Together we make meals for Brianna’s grandmother that we deliver to her monthly to ensure she has healthy home-cooked meals with a delicious dessert that Brianna expertly makes. We really enjoy making puzzles together as well and in our town, we have a community puzzle exchange that helps us keep our collection refreshed.

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Three-Day Weekends

We love to take our three-day weekends to relax with one another and just take the extra day. We usually start the weekend off at our local favorite breakfast hotspot where they know us by name and by order. If the three-day weekend falls during the summertime you will find us up at the lake all three days. Anytime we get an extra day to spend at the lake is a good day! Otherwise, our three-day weekend is rather normal filled with running errands, grabbing our weekly groceries, visiting family, or doing something fun like a walk on the beach with our dog.  Our favorite part of a three-day weekend is knowing that we get an extra day to spend together instead of having to work!

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Home & Neighborhood

We live in Southern Maine in a former mill town where the abandoned mills are now turning into shops, restaurants, art studios, housing, and hotels. We used to have a big Franco-American population in the town, but with the aging population and the gaining popularity of a young and hip city, we have seen more of a diverse culture than ever before.

We live downtown in a two-bedroom, two story duplex with Brianna’s father and step-mother living right next door. We have a nice, fenced-in yard where we spend time outside with the dog, playing ball or grilling, rain, snow, or sunshine. We are centrally located to schools, a hospital, parks, walking trails, grocery stores, and restaurants.

We have begun recent plans to build our forever home on the same land that Brianna grew up on in the neighboring town. We hope to build a modest, three-bedroom, ranch home in the next year to year and a half where we will be living right next door to Brianna’s grandmother and two of her aunts. Here your child will have many opportunities to explore the outdoors, build forts, ride bicycles, or play a quick pick-up sports game with other neighborhood kids as Brianna and her cousins did growing up.

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Our Pets

Our three pets are family and life with them is full of love and entertainment. Lynx is our oldest boy, he is our laid back black and white tuxedo and we adopted him in October of 2011. The workers at the shelter were telling us how shy he was and how he’d been returned to the shelter twice. To our surprise, Brianna was able to play with him and Melissa was able to pick him up with no hesitation. The shelter staff was blown away and knew he was meant to be ours. You can catch him sunbathing every day, touting around his catnip mice, and snuggling up with us in bed every night. Brianna and Lynx have a special bond; he is such a mommy’s boy and will only snuggle with her.

Rev is our middle boy who we adopted in May of 2013. He is a cute and spunky Russian Blue kitty. During the paperwork process, we discovered his birthday is our anniversary, February 1st. It was meant to be. Initially, Rev was named Alfie but soon after adopting him we changed his name to Rev because his purring was so intense, he sounded like a rattling revved up engine. He is our needy boy who loves to snuggle, be held, and if you stop petting him he will let you know with a little squawk and a head butt.

Gwen is our last fur baby and our first dog together. She is the youngest at 3.5 years but she is also the biggest. We adopted her at six months old after Hurricane Maria swept through and destroyed Puerto Rico. She was only 14lbs and completely emaciated. The shelter staff thought she would remain small, as they assumed she was a much smaller breed of dog. So we took her home, spoiled her, loved her, and fed her well. Before we knew it, she was 50+ pounds and nowhere near done growing. At that point we got her DNA tested and discovered she was a Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix with a little bit of Labrador and would likely be 70-85 pounds full grown. Gwen is loving, loyal, and the biggest cuddle bug you’ll ever meet. She really loves to be with us all the time. She enjoys snuggling under the blankets at bedtime and spending her free time admiring her 6-month-old human cousin. We make sure she goes everywhere with us to ensure her life is full of fun and exciting experiences.

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Our Families & Friends

We are fortunate to live close to Brianna’s immediate and extended family and most of Melissa’s immediate family. Brianna has a younger sister and Melissa has two older sisters, one of which lives half an hour from us and the other who lives out in Illinois. Between our siblings, we have two nieces and two nephews ranging from four months to thirteen years.

Brianna’s extended family includes her aunts and uncles, grandmother, and five cousins who we spend time with regularly, especially during the summer when we all gather at the lake house. Melissa has a small extended family that consists of her mom, dad, two sisters and aunt. Once a month we gather with Melissa’s family to have family lunches where we chat about life, bring up old funny stories from childhood and discuss our adoption journey that they are so excited for. We gather at Brianna’s parents’ house every weekend for dinner and family time. They are also super excited for us and can’t wait to share their time with a new little one.

Our friends are like family to us and they are beyond excited for us to become mommies, where they will be upgraded from best friends to best aunties and uncles.

 

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Traditions

Every 4th of July, Brianna’s entire family gathers at the lake house for our annual BBQ and celebration. Part of the celebration includes watching the boat parade that the lake association puts on every year. The adults grab their lawn chairs and head to the shoreline while the kids eagerly jump into the water awaiting the big waves from all the boats. You will typically see Brianna’s mom at the end of the dock with a food strainer on her head, banging a pot with a wooden spoon as the parade goes by; a tradition that Brianna’s great grandmother did every year until her passing in 2000. It also happens to be Brianna’s mother’s birthday so the day typically ends with birthday cake and ice cream and a firework show put on by people around the lake.

Our other favorite traditions stem around the Christmas holiday. When Brianna was little her parents started the tradition of going out to a local Christmas tree farm and cutting down their own Christmas tree. This was something that was important to both of us to continue when we got our own place and something we are so excited to share with your child. Every year for Christmas our parents get us each a special ornament commemorating the year that is ending. It’s a fun way to look back at the big milestones that happened each year. Brianna’s most favorite holiday tradition is reading The Night Before Christmas. When Brianna and her sister were little, Brianna’s mom bought a beautiful version of the book and she would read it to them every Christmas Eve along with letting them opening a gift which was always PJ’s. Brianna always expressed how she wanted to have the book someday when she had children so she could pass the tradition on. This past Christmas, Brianna’s mom surprised us with our very own copy and a sweet message inscribed on the inside cover to our someday baby.

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Cultural Diversity

We have always been extremely open and accepting to people who come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We have friends of different races, cultures and sexual orientations. Being part of the LGBT community we have experienced some of the struggles of being different first hand. Melissa works at a company where she deals with co-workers and clients who are located overseas from the UK to Singapore. She has taken part in Culture Club, a program at her company that hosts people of mainly Caucasian descent to better understand the struggles different races and cultures face today. We understand that racism and inequalities still happen today and we do not tolerate it in any form. Your child, of color or not, will be protected and educated on the importance of seeing color but not passing judgment. We will teach your child about their ethnicity through books, music, food, and other avenues. We will also teach your child to be proud of who they are and where they came from.

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Our Promise to You

Our first and foremost promise to you is that we will love your child as though they were biologically our own. We promise to raise your child to be a strong, independent, caring and loving individual. We promise to support your child through every challenge he or she will face and provide them the tools to thrive in any situation. Likewise, we also promise to be your child’s biggest cheerleader and celebrate all of their joys. We promise to always let them know where they came from and how they came to be with us. But most importantly, we will share your role in all of it and how every choice you made, while not always easy, was made out of unconditional love for them. We also promise to create an adoption plan with you and we commit to follow through with our plan in the future. Lastly, we always promise to remain grateful to you for the gift you will have given us.

Message Brianna and Melissa

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Hi, We are honored that you are considering us! Lisa, our adoption specialist at Adoption Network, will be reaching out to make sure your needs are being met and your questions about adoption are being answered. She will help us get in touch with each other. We can’t wait to connect with you!

Contact Brianna and Melissa

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Hi, We are honored that you are considering us! Lisa, our adoption specialist at Adoption Network, will be reaching out to make sure your needs are being met and your questions about adoption are being answered. She will help us get in touch with each other. We can’t wait to connect with you!