Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: My house is a new townhouse with a room waiting for a baby to come home to and a guest room for frequent visits from their grandparents. It has a nice open floorplan with lots of room to move around and play, as well as two porches and a patio. The neighborhood itself is a safe, quiet place in the midst of the city. It is surrounded by a large state park. You cannot tell based on the photo of the house, but the park runs along my back yard, which allows me to walk out my door and be in the woods in just a few feet. This makes taking my dog on walks really easy and relaxing. It’s not unusual wake up in the morning and see deer walking past my door. Two of the things I really like about the neighborhood are that it really is a community in the woods, despite being in the midst of a large city and that it is a community of children. The neighborhood kids run around and play everywhere, but that is a good thing. Between lots of children nearby, access to play in the park, and an amazing school district, it really is a great place to be.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: If my sister and her husband are free, I usually drive up to their house for the weekend and spend it playing with my nieces. It is hard to tell my nieces no when they are so cute and want to have dance parties or go to the zoo. Their dance skills are definitely better than mine, but if they want me to dance for hours with them in the kitchen, then I am going to do it.
If they are not free, I usually spend it taking my dog on a long walk through the park, meeting up with friends, and then curling up with a good book, usually with my dog trying to cuddle up with me.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: I have one dog, a boxer named Sawyer that I adopted last year. He is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet. When I was looking to adopt a dog, I wanted to make sure that I found one that was great with kids and the rescue had posted a picture of Sawyer playing unicorn dress up with the foster family’s young daughter and I knew he was the one for me. Over Christmas my whole family spent a week at my parent’s house and Sawyer followed my two nieces around the entire time. At one point there was a noise outside that startled my parent’s dog and Sawyer jumped up and went and stood by my nieces, ready to protect them. He is a big baby. He has a bed next to mine, but most nights he does his best to sneak into my bed without me noticing and I never have the heart to kick him off.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: I want to teach my child that there is love in the world and gifts of compassion and support so we help try to make the world a better place and so that they know that no matter what, they have a home to come back to where they are loved and appreciated. I think in the world today, that is something that we could all use more of.
I also want to teach my child to have a zest for life and encourage and foster their creative and independent sides. There are so many awesome things in the world to see, I want to make sure that they are ready to find them and appreciate them.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birthmom?
A: My sister was adopted as a baby. Although we never knew who the birth mother was, each year we had a “happy day” where we celebrated the adoption. One thing that was always said was that my sister’s birth mother was a brave, strong, and kind woman who did what she thought was best for my sister and allowed her to come live with us. In talking with my sister now, she says that the discussion of her birth mother in that was always comforting to her. I like the idea of carrying that tradition on with my own child.
Q: Are you active in your church? Tell us about your activities.
A: My parents were missionaries when I was growing up, so church has always been an active part of my life. When I moved to my city, I started attending a nearby church that had been a supporter of my parents since I was a kid. This has been great as it immediately gave me a family and set of friends nearby. I spend some of my free time each month volunteering with my church, helping to manage its finances and working to raise money for community projects in Africa that my parents are involved with. Most recently, this included a medical ministry in the Sahara where doctors treated people in the day and my father ministered at night.
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: I love children, I always have. My nieces have been the light of my world and it breaks my heart every time I have to leave them. Each and every time I leave I think “I want one.” Children bring adventure and joy into the room when they come and being able to foster that and encourage that makes me smile.
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.
A: Last summer I took a big vacation to the Netherlands and Norway. One of my closest childhood friends lives in the Netherlands with their spouse and three kids. When the first was born I was asked to be the godfather and each year since I have taken a week to go visit them and ensure that I have a strong relationship with all three. It was a week of playing on the swings, going to the beach, reading books to them, and learning about lady bugs, but it was amazing. I am planning to go back this summer to visit them and they have already started a list of what all they want to do while I’m there.
After the week, I went to Norway for a week to visit a friend who is more like a brother. He and his wife moved there for work a couple of years ago. They both took time off work and we spent the week traveling around the country exploring. Norway was one of the most beautiful places I have been.
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: My job as a professor gives me more flexibility than most people will ever have in their jobs. I teach 9 months out of the year, which gives me summers completely free to spend with your child. During the 9 months, the time I am required to spend on campus is fairly limited and can be done in a day, two at the most. This will allow me to spend most of my time at home with him or her.
Q: Will you be returning to work? If so, describe your day-care plans.
A: On the days that I do work on campus, I have some amazing day-care options. The university provides a day-care benefit. There are two day-cares that I have looked at that I really like. One is conducted entirely in a foreign language (either Spanish, Chinese, or French). I grew up speaking Spanish and Russian, so I like that my child will grow up bilingual and with an appreciation for all communities. The other is very arts and learning focused where all of the workers are certified teachers.
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: My thought to the birth mother is thank you. You will have allowed me to take in your baby and raise it as my own. You will have entrusted me with a gift that I could never repay and I will do absolutely everything I can for your baby to ensure that they are cared for and loved. In thinking about holding her baby in my arms, I just think how blessed I am to have that baby and how thankful I am to the birth mother for choosing me.