Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: Yes

Other Biological Children at Home: No

Some families grow through blood and luck, and others are grown through love and faith. The peace and joy my daughter, Harper, and I feel as a family outshines the smaller chaos of day-to-day obstacles.  We want to open our family again to another child – son or daughter, brother or sister. 

Courtney

from North Carolina

Courtney

Ancestry: German, Scotch-Irish

Religion: Christian

Occupation: Family Physician

Education: MD

Hobbies: Gardening, Music

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: African American / Asian, African American / Caucasian, African American / Hispanic, Biracial (African American + any other)

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Christian

Favorites

Courtney

Animal
Bear
Childhood Memory
Canning green beans
Color
Purple
Food
Indian food
Scripture
Isaiah 55:8-13
Thing to Cook
Enchiladas
Early Bird or Night Owl
Early Bird
TV Show
Dr. Who
Music
Led Zeppelin and Sam Cooke
Vacation Spot
The beach

Harper, my daughter

Animal
Today she says "cow"
Childhood Memory
Reading in the sunroom
Color
Pink
Food
Mac and cheese
Scripture
I'm still learning!
Thing to Cook
Eggs
Early Bird or Night Owl
Night Owl
TV Show
World World
Music
Toots and the Maytals
Vacation spot
Mountain cabin and the beach
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From Me to You

It’s strange to write to someone who is going to be so important in my life, who I haven’t yet met.  The fact that you’re reading these words tells me a lot about your character already.  You have strong love in your heart.  You are open to doing things the harder way.  You are not afraid to sit with difficult choices, and take them as they come.  You are not afraid to lean on others for help.  Those are some of the qualities I most admire in people, so I feel like we’d have a friendship, even if we met casually. Some families grow through blood and luck, and others are grown through love and faith.  I still don’t understand a lot about this world, but have learned to trust in God on connections like this.

My daughter and I came together through adoption 2 years ago, but our family REALLY started many months prior to that.  It started with a choice from her birth mother, Amber.  Prior to her search, she made the choice to open her heart and family to an outsider.  Families like ours are a little different, but no less beautiful.  Amber later told me that she recognized me immediately as family, and I have faith that God will bring the woman to my profile that is destined to read it.

I grew up in a small town in NC, in a happy family of 6.  My family is critically important in my life.  Dad worked in the furniture factories and Mom was a teacher.  They taught us a love of learning and gave a solid example of true Christian love, servant love.  They didn’t try to keep up with the Joneses and our most fun adventures were absolutely free.  I was a “super nerd”—placing 1st in my state for Rock and Mineral identification and going to nationals in Science Olympiad.  My dating life was not spectacular.

I loved science and studied Physics and then Medicine.  I now work as a Physician in Urgent Care, and lived in a library or hospital for much of my 20’s.  Unfortunately, Dad passed away during residency, after 5 months of ICU struggle.  After that, I moved back home to live near family.  I dated several good men, but never found someone I wanted to father my child.  Most of the men wanting to start a family had already built one while I was away at school.

I eventually gave up the “goat-rodeo” of dating and became a single mom.  I attempted IVF, but could never conceive.  The process was very difficult, physically and emotionally; but like all the best surprises, I now realize that my plan wasn’t God’s plan.  My child’s life was never intended to start within my own body.  I was supposed to trust another woman to start her life, and for me to continue her love and care.

Amber reached out to me through ANLC in 2019, and later that year, our daughter, Harper, was born.  The last 2 years have been the happiest of my life.  The peace and joy we feel as a family outshines the smaller chaos of day-to-day obstacles.  We want to open our family now again, to another child – son or daughter, brother or sister.

My parents taught me the parent I want to be.  They loved nothing more than spending time with our family.  Mom is steadfast, hardworking, and loving.  Dad was easy to laugh.  When he talked with you, you knew he just loved spending time with you.  You didn’t have to work to earn their love, and they didn’t love with an “agenda.”  You could trust them even when you failed at something or were embarrassed about a mistake.  You could confide in them.  I think that was largely because our family shared so much time together.  Those many meals together, evenings at home, work projects, and vacation adventures built this beautiful security.  When I grew up and realized how chaotic this world is—I would draw upon every bit of that security.

I will love my children the way my parents loved me and teach my children the importance of finding both JOY and PURPOSE in their lives.

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Why I'm Choosing to Adopt

I am adopting to grow our little family even more.  Although Harper and I spend a lot of time with our extended family, the majority of our family life is spent with just the two of us.  I cherish the time I was blessed with Harper during the pandemic.  I want Harper to have a sibling, brother or sister, who they’ll bond to for a lifetime.  We want to grow that close relationship with another child: a son or daughter that I will nurture the same way as Harper.  Similarly, Harper will watch over her younger brother or sister.  Especially after my Dad passed away, my siblings have been central in my life.  Even though we can argue occasionally, we understand each other’s perspectives.  Harper and her brother or sister would be able to confide in each other, separate from me.  They can support each other throughout their entire lives.  They can watch their own families grow someday, like I enjoy with my siblings and their families.

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About Me

I can be reserved around people until I get a read on them; I read people’s emotions fairly well.  Since residency, I did 6 years of Primary care and 8 years now of Urgent Care.  I keep calm in emergencies or when emotions are heightened.  I determine choices that are healthy or unhealthy in the long run, and this extends to relationship red flags.  I don’t enjoy conflict, but if there’s an issue, I’m not afraid to name it in order to work on improving it.  I get frustrated by technology, but use it when I have to.  I can be sarcastic, especially when I’m tired.  I like to be goofy and silly with people I trust.  I prefer keeping my family and friend circle small and recharge with them often.  My faith in God is the most important thing in my life.  I rely on Him daily, to guide my path and support me.

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My Relationship with You

I actually know little about Amber’s history or her current life.  I don’t need to know those details to know Harper and I love her.  Our texts are usually brief: “We miss you and are thinking of you!” or “Look how much she’s talking!” (When I share video).  Our relationship has worked well for Harper, her, and I…but isn’t the only type of healthy relationship.

The relationship between you and I would be completely different, in a good and beautiful way, not a comparison-way.  You have an entirely unique life, personality, and story coming into this, and I would respect if you want tighter boundaries.  If you need space and distance, I will still tell your child the same message.  I will explain that their birth mother had and has immense love for them.  When they’re younger, I will explain that their birth mother chose me to become their mama.  There are many different types of healthy families out there, and in ours, they actually have TWO mamas: their birth mother and me.  As they’re older, I’ll explain some of the reasons that may have contributed to the difficult choice you are making, if you are comfortable with it. I’ll explain things like how it takes a lot of resources for mamas to spend lots of one-on-one time with their children, to provide doctor’s appointments, clothes, toys, or education. I’ll describe you carefully choosing the mom you wanted for them to grow up with, and making an intentional plan for them.  As they’re older, I could explain the physical challenges of pregnancy, and the option of abortion that could’ve been chosen.  I will highlight the love you held for them to carry and grow them during pregnancy.  I will explain that unplanned events happen to anyone and everyone, no matter how cautious you are; that what is important is how you act as you go through them.

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Lifestyle

I enjoy travel and new experiences and will share big travel with the kids when they’re older.  However, I’ve learned that toddlers require a balance of new experiences and quiet daily routines.  The pandemic actually taught me that balance.  During that time, our travel was limited.  Harper and I learned to find fascination and joy in the simple things.  For the first 6 months, your baby will want to be held almost constantly.  I’ll have maternity leave for 3 months, then return to part-time work to allow plenty of family time.

Like Harper, I’ll use a baby wrap to hold baby close while we move through our day.  We will enjoy walks outside, preparing meals, and even laundry together.  Harper and I will describe what we’re seeing and doing, so that baby always hears our voices and learns vocabulary.  We will read together a lot.  When we take care of Harper’s 4-month old cousin, she enjoys being a part of his rocking chair cuddles, putting her hand softly on his shoulder.  She enjoys helping to bottle feed him and change his diaper.  When baby naps, I’ll have one-on-one time with Harper.  I’ll have one-on-one time with baby when Harper wants to play independently or nap.  When baby is strong enough to sit, we will take their stroller to the greenway.  Their daycare is a 5-star program; the highest rating in our state.  Harper has been in the same daycare since birth, and the newborn teachers there are fantastic.  The children get a lot of one-on-one attention, with good child-teacher ratios.  Teachers and students cover a beautiful mix of racial and ethnic diversity, and the classes have age-appropriate activities and toys.  Students are given a gradual orientation to new classes and teachers as they change classes each year.

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Racial & Cultural Diversity

Harper’s initial home study asked what type of child I was open to adopting – boy or girl, ethnicity, etc.  Due to fear, I almost made the mistake of being open to Caucasian only and am not proud of that.  There was still a part of me that wanted to pretend my body could create life.  I thought the pretense would be easier the more similar we looked.  I also had fears about my own ability to teach someone a cultural heritage that wasn’t mine.  Fortunately, God helped me through those selfish desires and fears.  That could’ve been my final test before becoming a mom.  Great moms love their children more than any selfish desires they might have.  They love them beyond fear as well.  God led me to the perfect child for me, one intended for me from the moment of my own creation.  Harper has given me a joy I can’t measure.  I trust God will lead us there again, to the boy or girl we are intended for.  He helps me navigate those fears when I reach out for support.  Before school starts, our self-image and knowledge of society are taught by our families.  I use books, stories, and media that show a variety of heroes/ heroines.  If our heroes and heroines lack diversity, it creates an unconscious bias as an adult.  Heroes and heroines of color teach that powerful change comes from a variety of sources.  Her books showcase a variety of healthy families, including single-parent, adoptive and transracial families.  Our community unfortunately has a Confederate monument still in town.  We have joined a Coalition for Reconciliation that attempts to remove it.  Harper has attended several peaceful protests and we’re blessed by growing friendships there.  My friend Tammy has biracial children and grandkids and the daycare encompasses diversity in both teachers and children.

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Faith

I do love science and studied physics, chemistry and biology quite extensively.  The more I learn, the more I see evidence that God must exist.  The probability of this universe occurring by chance would be zero.  I’ve enjoyed introducing Harper to my faith.  We discuss the beauty and diversity of God’s creation during our nature walks.  We pray together.  Our children’s bibles and Nativity scenes showcase characters and Jesus Christ with brown skin.  We go to church every Sunday we’re in town, and she recently started attending children’s worship with the older preschool kids.  I was recently ordained as a deacon in our church.  The older I get, the less I understand this expression…. “God only gives what you can handle.”  I’ve read the entire bible now, and that sentiment is nowhere in there.  There are actually many passages that directly contradict it.  My life has had many challenges that were DEFINITELY more than I could handle.  Similarly, my loved ones and patients have approached me when their own challenges overwhelm them.  When we attempt to understand “Why would God let this happen?”, we overestimate our own importance.  There are many things about this life that we are never meant to understand.  We don’t need to focus on “Why,” but the question of “Where.”  When we ask “Where is God?” the answer is “He is with us–always.”  When life inevitably gives us what we can’t handle, we need to surrender that worry to God.  The biggest mistakes I’ve made happened when I tried to control everything myself.  Harper (and this adoption journey I’m on) teach that I can always trust God to have something better planned for me.  His thoughts are not my thoughts.   They are so much better.

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Career

Before I became a mom, I immersed myself in work.  I am the only physician in 2 rural health urgent care clinics.  I supervise and teach 13 Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners.  I used to be in a leadership role for the health system I work in and was the Medical Director for a network of 5 urgent cares.  I am proud of the network we built and the leaders we hired for each site.  I am no longer needed in the day-to-day administrative work and now do patient care and teaching only.  I enjoy a mix of Primary Care patients and Urgent Care patients.  I’ve treated most of my Primary care patients for >10years.  I do enjoy teaching and watching our providers grow in skills.  I currently work 30hrs a week but will be shifting down to 24 when baby arrives.  When I am not at work, the providers have a different physician they call if they have questions.  I am looking forward to continuing to cut back at work, to devote more time to the kids.

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Home & Neighborhood

Our house is brick, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Baby’s bassinet will initially be downstairs with me, to make nighttime bottles and rocking easier.  When baby sleeps through the night, they will share a bedroom upstairs with Harper.  Sharing will give the kids a separate room completely devoted to a playroom.  When they’re school-aged and no longer afraid of the dark, they will have separate bedrooms upstairs.

We have a large front porch with a metal glider that was my grandfather’s.  Our back patio looks out over the garden and has a view of the mountains.  We like sitting on the front porch when it rains and on the back patio steps for sunsets.  A national forest abuts the property and there are plenty of deer and wild turkeys.  We’re blessed to have a view of the mountain that should never be developed for houses.  The house is surrounded by 49 wooded acres, with a fun creek to play in down the hill.  The creek is surrounded by flowers.  Most summer weekends, we take the dogs to the creek to picnic, read and play in the water.  There is a large fence surrounding the backyard to protect the garden from wildlife.

Our woodstove has many fires in the winter.  Harper enjoys gathering kindling for the upcoming week.  She hands me sticks as I make the fire.  There’s a safety gate surrounding the fire and stairs.  Our sunroom works as a reading room as well as a greenhouse. Stargazing is the best!  We camp in the backyard, safe from wildlife.  Our neighbors live a short walk away.  Town is a 15-minute drive, with great parks, schools, and good restaurants.

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My Family & Friends

Our family is very close.  Prior to adopting Harper, I experienced two decades of living for myself.  I had the opportunity to learn, travel, have fun and focus on my career.  By the time life brought us together, I craved living my life for someone else.  I now enjoy focusing on her needs–her nutrition, development, and entertainment.  We still do activities I used to enjoy, but we do them less often and at a much slower pace.  I prefer finding activities Harper enjoys and watching her personality develop.

My mom lives 10 minutes away, closer to town.  My brother Stuart and his wife Katherine with their 3 kids (Henry, Garland, and Monroe – 7 and 5 years old and 18 months) live 30 minutes away.  My older sister, Shelley, is my best friend and we talk daily.  She lives an hour away and frequently comes to visit on the weekends.  My little sister Cammie and her husband Nate with their 2 kids (Emerie and Zeke –   2 years old and 4 months) live 45 minutes away.  Harper’s great-grandmother Ruth is 95 years old.  We love to get together on the weekends whenever we can.

I have several close friends with older children and a friend Tammy with younger grandchildren.  Tammy is a pediatric nurse for kids with high-risk medical issues.  Harper has grown a friendship with her client, Nikita, who has special needs.  Especially given the pandemic, we consider her daycare teachers and classmates as friends.  One of Harper’s previous daycare teachers, Miss Lizzie, will help us as an Au-pair with baby’s night feeds 1-2 nights a week.  Our family is so excited we’re adopting again.

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Family Traditions

My parents purchased a plot of land in the mountains when I was a kid that they planned for a vacation property someday.  Several years after Dad’s death, our family pooled resources to build a 3 bedroom cabin on it.  We now enjoy staying there on long weekends and a few other weeks out of the year.  The kids play together while the adults catch up.  There’s hiking nearby and a large indoor pool (with kid-zone) that we use year-round.

Birthdays are a big deal at our house.  We typically celebrate them for the entire week of the event and finish them with a party or sleepover. Harper’s second birthday was a Sesame street dance party in our garage.  We celebrate the dogs’ birthdays too (dog hats, dog music, bubble machine, and bones).

For holidays, we mix outdoor and indoor decorations, and the kids are involved in the process.  We hang their holiday crafts around the kitchen table, and display cards people send us on the kitchen windows.  Our extended family enjoys a trip to the beach each summer.  We rent a house and share plenty of beach trips, cooking, walks, and bike rides.  The beach house has a pool where we swim each day.  When baby grows older, they will join Harper and I for bike rides at the greenway.  I will change Harper’s current carrier to a two-child trailer I pull behind.  We will pack lunches and bike the river greenway.  They will learn to ride their own bikes as they grow.

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Harper's Birth Mother

My relationship with Harper’s birth mother Amber has remained positive and I love her very much.  Harper and I both miss her and plan to see her again in a few years.  I met her face-to-face before Harper was born, then returned to North Carolina until her labor started.  She called me on her way to the hospital, but I couldn’t make it in time.  It was a 7-hour drive, 2 states away.  When I arrived, Amber invited me to stay in her hospital room with her and Harper.  The hospital did not have an additional room for adoptive parents.  She included me in her hospital plan, asking me to be present at all times with her newborn.  We shared in Harper’s first moments… holding, feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes.  It was one of the most powerful 36 hours of my life.  During that experience, I learned a little about Amber’s personality and learned that we like the same cartoons.  Harper and I both benefit from growing a relationship with Amber.  We text each other almost monthly, especially around big occasions.  Harper understands the basics of her birth story.  When she began to notice her Aunt Cammie’s pregnancy, I used that as an opportunity to teach her about adoption and her personal story.  Harper understands that I cannot make babies in my tummy, but that I can still be a great mama.  She understands that Amber loved and loves her very much, and thinks of her often.  When we text Amber, or when she lets us know she misses us, I make sure to include Harper in the conversation.  Harper can recognize Amber and her half-brother Aasir when I show her their pictures.  I am grateful that Amber wanted an open adoption, but would have respected if she needed closed or semi-open boundaries as well.

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My Parenting Style

I forgot where I learned this, but a Family Therapist taught the qualities that build healthy relationships between parents and kids.  He explained that anytime you interact with your child, you are communicating an intent; there are 4 types.  2 of them are “Growth Promoting” and the other two are “Pruning.”  In a healthy relationship, the “intentions” result in the growth of the child, like a tree.  “Growth Promoting” includes the 1) Intent to Understand and 2) Intent to Be With.  “Pruning” includes 3) “Intent to Task” and 4) “Intent to Change.”  Asking a child why they are acting the way they are, would be an Intent to Understand.  Just enjoying spending time with your child would be Intent to Be With.  Asking a child to put their shoes on is Intent to Task.  Telling a child to stop coloring the floor is Intent to Change.  He argued that when parents spend most of their time in the “Growth Promoting” intentions, their kids will respect their Pruning intentions more.  Parents that try to only Prune and control their children will miss out on the opportunity to know and understand them.  I figure I’ve got 10, maybe 12 years to build a really strong relationship with my kids, before they start valuing their friends’ opinions more than my own!  I want to use that time to build a healthy relationship.

My strongest tool for discipline is preventative.  Kids act out more when hungry or sleepy.  We attempt a weekend schedule that coincides with the daycare schedule of meals and naps.  I attempt healthy foods whenever possible.  I discipline with Gentle parenting techniques, being both kind and firm.  If Harper is acting out in a way that’s unsafe, I hold her while explaining I have to remove her from the dangerous situation.  I go away if she is physically hitting me.  If she wants something she shouldn’t have, I gently explain how it can harm her and distract her with another activity.  If her frustration escalates despite that, I give her momentary space.  When she composes herself, I praise her for calming herself down.  When calm, I try to “Name the emotion” she just experienced and praise her again for working herself out of it.  I make sure that she knows I love her during and after the tantrum.  After the tantrum, I remind her how what she wanted could have harmed her.  If we are in public during a tantrum, we go to a quiet place for her to compose herself.  Someone taught me “If you have to give in (to a tantrum), give in early.”  Otherwise, once a tantrum starts, you can’t give in…it just teaches them to cry longer the next time.  When I catch her doing something kind, considerate, independent or selfless, I give her praise.  I try not to raise my voice or provoke fear as discipline and I do not use corporal punishment.  I do remove positive reinforcement if she is not completing a task we need (“It’s fine sweetie to not put pajamas on!  You can stay in here while I go watch Moana.  You can come when ready to put PJs on.”)

What I Will Teach
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What I Will Teach

Harper only has a few tantrums a week, but they usually happen when she wants to learn a skill, and we don’t have time for her to learn it.  When we’re home for the evening and on weekends, I try to give her all the time she needs to learn an activity she’s interested in.  I learned early on that she enjoyed whatever activity I was doing (as long as she could be a part of it).  Even if she had the option for play or TV, she frequently preferred participating in the family’s work.  Anytime we took the extra time, it improved her self-confidence.  It takes us 5 times longer when we do it together—cooking, sorting laundry, washing dishes, and pouring dog food in their bowls; but I treasure watching her learn.  As we’re sharing our day together, we talk constantly about what we’re doing.  Looking back on her development, I think that’s why her language and motor skills are so advanced.  I try to praise the effort or process, not the result.  When we add reading, music, dancing, and silliness, it makes for a simple but fun day.

When baby grows, Harper and I will use that same approach of teaching.  As the kids grow older, and master motor skills, we’ll continue to work on language, emotional intelligence, and whatever academics/ sports inspire them.  As a Christian, I will teach them it’s natural to acknowledge sins of the past.  I’ll encourage an accurate education in World and US History, acknowledging the continued effects of slavery and racism on our current society.  I will educate them on the key events and leaders in Black history and present evidence of racism in America’s legal systems and policies.  I will teach them how to cook, and how to be good swimmers.

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My Promise to You

I promise that I will love your child throughout their entire lives and beyond.  I will provide for their health, safety, nutrition, and financial stability throughout my entire life.  To the best of my power, I will continue to provide for them after I am no longer with them.  I will help teach them their own wild power and help them identify the talents God has given them.  I will teach them how to love their neighbors as themselves; and that God also wants them to love themselves.  I will teach them the skills to recognize people that would manipulate or abuse them, and how to surround themselves with stable and loving friends and family.

Message Courtney

  • 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 Courtney

  • 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!