Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: We live in the rolling hills of West Virginia where mountaineers are always free. We reside in a small town that is surrounded by beautiful scenic areas, majestic lakes and trails. Our home is comprised by family and friends. We are very much ingrained in both community and our families lives. Our family immediate and extended are a large ingredient of what makes our home so special. We constructed our dream home where our family lives. Our home is right next door to future grandma and grandpa. The elementary school is a recently constructed facility that is less than a mile from our home. The middle school which is also located less than a mile is a blue ribbon school which Chad attended in his youth. The high school is often ranked within the first three rankings of the state for excellence. This neighborhood has a playground within walking distance and is filled with children of all ages. During Halloween the streets are flooded with the costumes and the pitter patter of feet on the hunt for candy so much so cars cannot access the streets. It is an ideal place for memories, laughter and a future.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: On our three-day weekend we can be found spending time with our son and families. Both Chad and I come from large Italian families that were built on love and lots of pasta. The activities we do on a weekend could range from trips to the park, ice cream, trips to the local toy store, crafting, visiting local museums, baking cookies and much more. We often have family dinners and events. During the summer months we can be found visiting the lake with cook outs, corn horn tournaments and boat rides. In the fall we often visit our family farm in the mountains. During these trips we fish, hike, and enjoy nature. Our family is the heart of who we are as individuals. Grandparents, parents, aunt, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews are always present. So, our perfect three-day weekend would be spent with our son and family.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: Our family has one dog. Our dog is a male golden doodle. He is now eight years old (which breaks his mommy’s heart.) Beau was born in May of 2011. I’m sure people say this often but he is the best dog. He is extremely lazy but loveable. His favorite thing to do is eat his treats (which we are trying to cut back on.) Beau is wonderful with our son Givanni. Givanni is now at the age where is tries to feed Beau from his high chair. (Dropping anything he can for Beau to snack on). Beau is a gentle giant with a kind demeanor.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: We would invest into our child’s development physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Education is critical to the foundation of a child’s development. As an educator time, dedication and consistency have to be on the forefront of language development, motor skills and comprehension. This time and concepts begins as early as day 1. This could be singing to your infant as you rock them to sleep or reading to your baby as they are swinging in the swing. We would invest both time and resources into their development from the early onset.
Now, the characteristics and values we would want to teach our children . . .
We would teach our children integrity. Regardless of hardship honesty and the ability to be forthcoming is essential. We would teach them this by example.
Hard work and persistence would be instilled in them through the completion of tasks (school work, chores, etc.) Anything can be accomplished with relentless effort. We would want them to understand that the ability to persist can change their life and lives of others.
Compassion and a heart for people would be another value Chad and I would want our children to obtain. The understanding that there is no perfect individual and it is important to look at each person with a perspective as you do not know what hardships or journey they are living through. Being able to view people with eyes of grace is extremely important in every walk of life.
We would want to embed in our children that failure occurs. It’s how you choose to deal with the setback, the bump in the road and the off course detour. Life is comprised of choices when they falter (which everyone has or will) learn from it and continue to move forward. We would want them to understand that regardless of the hardship the will to continue is vital.
We would teach them how to love and receive love. As infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and adults they would know that regardless of any situation they would be loved. The kind of love that knew no boundaries. The type of love that was unwavering and always present. This type of exposure and consistency in an environment that shaped their experiences and home would teach them that they were loved and demonstrate how to love in return. Patience and purpose would be another intangible quality that we would teach our children. We would want our children to know they have a purpose and whatever their journey will become they need to pursue that road with patience and passion. Life is not formed on instant gratification. Anything worth pursuing will take time and hunger. As parents we would want our children to thrive in each and every endeavor they pursue. We want them to have a hunger and a love for life. Faith which is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of those unseen is at the core of who Chad and I are as a couple. We would instill a faith built on the foundation of God. We would want our children to understand that faith is critical especially in times of trial. Believing, praying and forging ahead regardless of the insurmountable odds is necessary in life.
This question was so challenging because there are so many moments that will revolve around these concepts. We have thought and prayed for little moments of teaching them how to hold a spoon. The moment where they mimic the ABC’s after hearing the song sung to them. The times when they falter and will require a “keep going . . . you can do this talk”. We have thought about what we would want to develop in our child and all of those moments we have witnessed other experience. This is but the tip of the ice berg of what we hope them to achieve as individuals. You see becoming their mommy and daddy will remain our greatest blessing, largest responsibility and largest moment.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birthmom?
A: Your daddy and I prayed for you years before we met. You were born with such love and selflessness. Your birth mom was pregnant with you and loved you so very much. She wanted you to have a life filled with possibilities and wanted to give your every opportunity to succeed. She was in a place in her life where she couldn’t provide you these opportunities. So, she made the most self-less decision. She carried you with her making sure you were growing strong every day. She knew what type of life she wanted you to have so she chose mommy and daddy. This choice was not easy because she was giving the love of her life (you) to someone else so you could have a chance for opportunity. Your birth mom was so strong and sacrificed so you could have a different life. Your mommy and daddy are so grateful because she chose us to be your parents. Your birth mom is a hero. Heroes are individuals of courage and outstanding achievements. She had courage for you and you were her outstanding accomplishment.
Q: Are you active in your church? Tell us about your activities.
A: As a couple we are active in our church, but more importantly we are actively engaged in our relationship with God. Having been raised in families grounded in faith, those values were established at an early age, and provided a foundation from which we grew to become and remain missionaries of God. Brittany’s uncle started a church several years ago which has grown to one of the largest churches in the state having nearly 6,000 members. What we love most about the church is it’s focus on children. It provides a way for children to follow God in a way that they understand and are able to best connect. Aside from attending a church, we have built our home on a foundation of God. Whether it be evening prayers before bed, morning devotionals, or even prayers before meals, our home only feels like home if it’s filled with the spirit of God.
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: There is no greater moment in life than becoming a mommy or daddy. As adoptive parents who struggled with conception you view the simple moments as monumental. When our son goes with us to the grocery store and is babbling and laughing . . . you relish in the experience. When we rock our son to sleep each night, “I close my eyes to hold on to that moment at long as possible.” We believe that enrichment in each moment is our strength. We will be present in every capacity of these milestones regardless of how big or small they maybe. Your son or daughter will have every ounce of who we are. Our child (your child) will be loved. The type of all encompassing, never ending, knowing no boundaries type of love. We will instill values of integrity, patience, work ethic, respect, faith and family into our son or daughter. They will be surrounded with an immediate and extended support system that will love, adore, and care for your little one as much as Chad and I do. They will be entering into a family that was constructed with unreserved love and family values. Your child will be exposed to a family unit that will ALWAYS love them.
Our resources (financial and time) will be devote to our child. We want them to be exposed to the world through travel, activities and experience. When they reach the age to become involved in activities whether it be t-ball or dance we want them to be engaged and interact with other children. We will foster their passion through confirmation, encouragement, and the reinforcement of hard work.
As an educator we realize the importance of education within a child’s life. We will work diligently with our child throughout their educational career. We will collaborate with the teachers and school district to ensure our child is progressing and gaining a solid education. We will continue to foster this love of learning with higher education (when the time comes). We will want our child to pursue their career and their passion through college, grad school, etc.
Regardless of the experience, need, or desire Chad and I will be up front and center for your child. They will always be the center of our life, our greatest work, and love of our life. We want them to be fulfilled in every way possible. We can guarantee with every fiber of our being they will have 100% of our energy, heart, thoughts and love.
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: Our profession and positions afford both Chad and myself extreme flexibility. During the first twelve weeks of bringing our son or daughter home Chad or myself will be with the baby full time. We will modify our schedules so one of us if not both are with our new precious addition.
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: The moment we would meet our son or our daughter and hold them is a moment we’ve thought, prayed and dreamed about. We would be humbled and honored that an individual choose us to be witness to this precious child’s life. This self-less woman entrusted us to shape this small individual’s existence. The appreciation and love we would have for her would be unparalleled.
We would want her to know that because of her (he or she) will live a fulfilled life surrounded by love. We would want her to know that we would think of her daily because she transformed our life. The love, respect and admiration we would have at that moment and every day following would never dull. Chad and I would want her to know that she will be thought of, she will be remembered, and she will be loved. She is a piece of her child and that will never change or fade. She will be in our hearts and prayers. She will continue to be seen through her son or daughter. Her existence, sacrifice and choice will be evident in each step they take, word they speak and accomplishment they create.