Q: What kind of relationship are you open to with your child's birthmother?
A: We are hoping to have an open relationship with you, to share in the growth and development of your child, if you are comfortable with it. We think it's important for your child to know their heritage and their culture, and when your daughter is older, any questions she may have you can be a part of answering those questions. We believe family is very important no matter how it came about. We believe having an open relationship with you will help your daughter grow into a confident individual because she will have no doubt that her birthmother and her adoptive parents made choices for her out of love.
Q: Please describe your personality - Adoptive Dad
A: I am a self-proclaimed nerd as I like to accumulate non-important facts and always like to learn something new every day. I have an adventurous and social spirit as I seek out more about how to live life better daily with a get-better mindset. I am patient and like to share/coach/teach with all who welcome the knowledge. However, will not impose it on anyone who does not wish to. I can also be a creature of habit to a fault as I like things to be neat and orderly in my professional life. I grew up being athletic and it has allowed me to have a great appreciation for the outdoors and nature. I tend to see things optimistically and try to find the good in any situation. Life can be tough at times, however I believe so long as I have the breath, will, and physical capacity, I find a way to make it work.
Q: Please describe your personality - Adoptive Mom
A: I have to admit my personality has changed a bit now that I have Blake in my life. I used to be a Type A personality (high strung, organized, impatient, workaholic). Now, I would say I have adopted some Type B personality traits which is basically just the opposite of Type A. Blake and Tim have taught me how to be more patient. Having Blake in my life has taught me that a little disorganization is perfectly okay. Having toys all over the floor overnight is a small price to pay for the extra time I gain to actually participate with our daughter during that play time instead of worrying about cleaning up. I’ve cut back on my work schedule so I can spend more time with Blake and, while she’s only 2 years old, I already feel like she is growing up too fast. I also want to make sure I balance work with having fun too. This fun is not always about me doing something myself. For example, not too long ago, Tim and I decided to take Blake to the pool one weekend. Blake was swimming in the pool with Tim and I was sitting in the lounge chair nearby. Just seeing how fearless she was and how she figured out how to stay afloat by herself put a smile on my face. I got this warm feeling inside. It was such a fun and joyous moment for me. I guess I’ve learned to slow my life down a bit so I can “stop and smell the roses.”
Q: Why did you each choose the career path you decided on? Adoptive Dad
A: When I was growing up, my family did not have much as immigrants coming from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. Seeing how hard my parents had to work to create a living wage for the family gave me an appreciation of money early on. I learned to sell goodies from the back of Boys Life magazines and earn my first dollars as an eight-year-old. From there, finance and math came naturally and it led to a passion for a career in finance. In my current management role, this allows me to teach others how to better their lives with the knowledge of proper financial health. I am fortunate l have choices in life and the choices I have made so far have worked in my favor so that I can pay it forward with others who wish to learn.
Q: Why did you each choose the career path you decided on? Adoptive Mom
A: When I was in middle school and high school, I was always more interested in classes like biology and human anatomy. Early on, I knew I wanted a career in healthcare because it combined my interest in human biological sciences and my desire to help others. My parents also encouraged going into healthcare because that was what they knew as a career path that was stable and somewhat recession-proof. During my second year of college, I got my first job working for a local optometrist as a doctor’s assistant. Soon, I was assisting in optical sales. I had a great store manager who helped me learn about the whole optical industry which allowed me to envision this as a career path.
Q: What attracted you to each other? Adoptive Dad
A: When I first met Hong, she demonstrated an innocent, fun-loving spirit. As I spent more time with her over the years, I recognized her caring and thoughtful nature that attracted me even more. In many ways, she is my opposite and this helps me to be a better person as she sees things differently. This actually helps to compliment my mindset. Though we may not always see eye to eye, I know that she's not only trying to make the best decisions for the family but for me personally as well due to her caring and nurturing ways.
Q: What attracted you to each other? Adoptive Mom
A: What initially attracted me to Tim was his fun outlook on life and how different he was from me. He encouraged me to experience new things. He invited me to go to a new restaurant, try out a new sport like skiing (my favorite now), and travel to a new destination. I’ve always used the excuse of studying for school, working, or finance as an excuse for not doing things, but Tim helped me understand how important it was to have these experiences. He had a very different outlook on living life. I grew up in a very conservative home so Tim was a breath of fresh air. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of patience to be with someone who grew up very different than you. My parents were not thrilled with Tim initially. As we got to know each other more, I (and my parents) found that Tim is a genuinely kind person. Early on and to this day, I have never seen Tim be verbally or physically abusive. Sure, we have arguments and disagreements like any other couple, but I have been blessed to have a husband that has always handled the situation with patience and kindness.
Q: Describe your childhood: Adoptive Dad
A: My parents had to work long hours so it left me and my older sister alone to fend for ourselves. I was fortunate to have her only 2-years-older than me, so we spent a lot of time together. Looking back now, this is where I learned my independence and adventurous ways. I used to roam the neighborhood from dawn to dusk exploring and probably getting into trouble more than my parents would appreciate. I was a very shy child early on and over time learned to speak and interact with others in a way that allowed me to experience life many may not have had the opportunity to. My mom was a social butterfly and I see that I picked the social aspect up from her as I spent a lot of time with her. Spending most of my time with my sister and mom as a child probably influenced me to appreciate the more feminine aspects of life as well. My little brother came 6 years after me, so by this age I was able to help care for him along with my sister while my mom and dad worked. We were fortunate my parents had some family and many friends that also help support us during my childhood. I realize now that when I was growing up there was a sense of a village helping each other and now in today's world that isn't as common unless you have the means. I'm grateful for the childhood I had as I truly believe it shaped me into the person I am today even if I could not appreciate it growing up.
Q: Describe your childhood: Adoptive Dad
A: I grew up in a very conservative, Catholic home. I have two older brothers and four older sisters. My parents are 1st generation immigrants who worked very long hours to make ends meet. My parents stressed a love for God and the importance of education. Although I didn’t see my parents much during the day, they always made sure we all sat down for dinner together at the end of the day. By the time we finished cleaning up after dinner, it would be past 10 pm and we all sat down in the living room for our nightly ~30 minutes of prayer. I remember falling asleep during prayer most of the time, but now as an adult, I have to thank my parents for being so vigilant at making sure we all had dinner and prayer together. My parents were strict and had a lot of structure in their methods of raising their children. With 7 kids, I could see why this was necessary. Although I don’t remember my parents or siblings ever hugging or kissing me when I was growing up, I would undoubtedly describe my childhood as loving. I can’t pinpoint exactly what my parents did but I know they loved me and all my siblings. I just know that I can’t be who I am or have what I have if my parents did not love me.