Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: Our home is in a large, wooded community that is shared amongst close knit neighbors and friends. We have 5 acres with plenty of space for your child to explore, within a shared property of 50 acres. We regularly have bonfires and tell stories while we roast marshmallows for s'mores. We have built a swing-set and a teeter-totter, and are currently building a tree-house. In the summertime, we pop popcorn and watch movies on the large screened-in porch with our projector. Our previous foster kids would play outside for hours and we could only coax them back inside with homemade cookies. At night, the stars are so bright that your child will be able to see the Milky-way and can learn all about the constellations. We have a fishing pond on the property with lots of hungry fish. Your child will have fun catching frogs and salamanders in the the nearby creek, spending lazy afternoons fishing, and watching the fireflies at night.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: If we have extra time, we often like to plan little get-aways. Sometimes we will pick up our things last minute and head to a beach or find a good campsite in the mountains. Now that we have the cabin, we’ve loved getting to explore our new home and the surrounding area. Near our cabin, there are ski resorts, national and state parks, and many waterfalls, places to rock climb, and rivers to raft.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: We have two miniature Schnauzers named Besh (8 years old) and Petey (1 year). Besh thinks he is a human. He loves to be cozy, sleeps on his back in our bed, and snores just like an old man. He loves babies and is very protective of them. Once babies start crawling, he likes to follow them around wherever they crawl. Petey is a lover and likes to give kisses to anyone that will take them. He is very sweet and cuddly and is just a big bundle of fluff.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: We hope to teach our child the love of learning and exploring. We both grew up on farms where we spent a lot of time exploring and spending time with animals. While we had hobbies, such as track and field, choir, and volunteer activities, our parents did not allow for our days to become over-scheduled so we could enjoy being a child. This is something we want for our child.
We want to instill in our child the value of hard work and working to achieve his/her dreams. We grew up in poor homes, however our parents taught us the values needed to succeed in life. We've achieved many of our dreams of living outside of the US, graduating with Bachelors and Masters Degrees, owning our own home, and having successful careers. We want the same for your child and will support them throughout their life in order for them to achieve their greatest dreams.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birth mom?
A: We hope that our child will have a relationship with his/her birth mom. We think it is important for the child to know where he/she came from. But if this is not possible, we hope we could keep in touch with the birth mother via letters or some other type of communication at least at some point in the child’s life. We have tried to put ourselves in your shoes and your child’s shoes and think both of you would benefit from knowing one another as the years go by.
Q: Are you active in your church? Tell us about your activities.
A: We are active in our church and attend services weekly. We both serve in leadership roles, caring for the youth and women of our congregation. Our congregation in Virginia is rather large with many children, while our congregation in West Virginia is smaller with more grandparent-types. We both teach in our various roles and plan activities for the youth and older members. Jesse has organized many camp outs and hikes, and Danielle has organized service projects and taught young girls new skills, such as making homemade lip balm. We recently made a trip with our church to North Carolina to help with the hurricane clean-up in New Bern.
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: We have had children come into our home, sometimes for as long as a year. Watching a child take on the world every day with such wonder is a joy! Helping the children to discover new things every day is such a treat. One of the boys we fostered for a long time would come running for us every day we picked him up from daycare. He would scream “Mommy!” or “Daddy!” and we would scoop him up and we would squeeze each other as tight as we could. We were best friends! We still see him and his brother as often as we can, now that they have returned to live with their mom. For us, having kids and babies in our home is just freaking awesome!
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or day trip.
A: On our last vacation, we went on a two-week Mediterranean cruise with Danielle’s parents, brothers, and uncle. We first flew to Spain where we met up with Danielle’s former foreign exchange student brother and his parents. We visited famous sites and enjoyed each other’s company. After a couple days in Spain, we left the port from Barcelona. We visited several places in Italy, including Rome and Pompeii. We also visited Greece, Malta, and Croatia. We swam in the Mediterranean Sea in Greece, ate a lot of gelato in Italy, walked the ramparts of the city in Croatia, and visited the oldest civilization we’ve encountered in Malta dated to 3600BC. On the cruise, we played volleyball, Foosball (which is interesting on a rocking boat), went to magic shows, dance parties, movies by the pool, and ate amazing local foods. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but so much fun making memories with Danielle’s family.
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: During the first months, we plan to work part-time in order for at least one of us to be home during the newborn stage. We are so excited to have a child in the home and want to be home as much as possible. We both have very flexible jobs and have the ability to work from home whenever we need.
Q: Will you be returning to work? If so, describe your day-care plans.
A: Unless one of us decides that we need to be a stay-at-home parent, we both plan to return to work after a few months. We have a daycare close by that we have gotten to know through our foster children experiences. This particular daycare is a fantastic learning center. The kids go on fun and inspirational trips and are truly loved by the staff. They even have a video camera in the various rooms of the center so you can check on your child at any time during the day. They monitor the child’s growth and areas to work on at home. While more expensive, they would be our daycare of choice in this area!
Q: 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?
A: What a gift you are in our lives! While your journey has likely been difficult, we couldn’t be prouder of your decision. We hope you continue to be a part of your child’s life and in our family’s life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!