Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: We currently live in a three-bedroom, split-foyer style home at the end of a cul-de-sac, in a very small neighborhood about 30 miles outside of a major city. Our home is in a very safe, quiet area, walking distance from a beautiful park. We have a large, fenced-in backyard and newly remodeled back deck and lower patio. We love being outside on our new deck, or in the back yard throwing around the baseball and football. Not only have we completed some recent outside renovations, but we have also been getting the interior of our house ready for the arrival of a baby – hopefully soon! One of our bedrooms has been a “man cave” for Jake since we moved in, but he is happy to have that room be converted into the nursery. We also have plans to finish our basement, so that there is room for a playroom or more bedrooms as we expand our family. We know all of our neighbors and count on each other to help let our dogs out and check on the house when we take trips.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: We typically like to take our dog on walks to the park, and do activities in the back yard like throwing the baseball or football. We are also typically very social, hanging out with our friends. We really enjoy taking our dog to the beach and trips to the mountains or the lake. Erin’s parents have a farm so we enjoy visiting them and the horses.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: We have one dog and his name is Walker. Walker is about 7-years-old (not sure because he’s a rescue) and absolutely our pride and joy – we consider him our fur baby. Walker is in phenomenal shape as he regularly runs long distances with Erin. Running with Erin and being outside in the backyard are probably his two favorite things to do. He also loves to cuddle with both of his parents on the couch, and he has even been known to find his way onto the bed at night. Walker loves children, especially our 18-month-old godson, who adores him as well. He is just the sweetest dog in the world and we love him so much!
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: What a loaded question! Can we say everything? Just kidding. First, we want to teach our child to be a good person and to treat people the way they want to be treated, with love and compassion. We want to teach him or her the difference between right and wrong and that hard work and generosity pays off. We want to teach them how to be the best version of themselves and how to make this world a better place. We want them to know that they can do hard things. We will teach them to pray, how to deal with stressful situations and that no matter what, they will always have our love and support. We want to teach them to respect their elders and authority. We plan to teach our children how to make tough decisions and be productive citizens in society. We will teach them how to be independent and responsible adults. We want to teach them gratitude and to give to others even when it is difficult or unpopular. We want our child how to speak up for those who may not have a voice and that sometimes life is tough, but they are tougher. We plan to teach them all this along with how to tie their shoes, ride a bike and write their name.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birthmom?
A: First, talking with and developing a relationship with the birth mom affects how we accurately answer this question. We certainly want to respect the wishes of the birth mom. We will have nothing but nice things to say about this beautiful, strong woman. We will explain to our child that their birth mom’s decision is one of the most loving and selfless acts anyone could ever do and that she simply wanted him or her to have a life that she may not have been able to provide. We want our child to know that we are so incredibly grateful for the decision their birth parents made because it gave us the opportunity to be their parents. We will describe our child’s birthmom as an answered prayer who provided us with a miracle. We will make sure that our child knows we had been praying for their birthmom for years before they were even born that she represented unconditional love by setting aside her pain and loss to provide the best life possible for her child. We also want our child to know that just as God helped her choose us to parent her child, that he also comforted and provided her peace throughout her decision.
Q: Are you active in your church? Tell us about your activities.
A: We are very fortunate to be part of a church that truly believes in expressing God’s love by serving others in the community, the nation, and the world. Every year we participate in our Be Rich campaign where we help inspire and motivate others to support the work of nonprofit partners by generously giving their time and/or money to their projects. We are involved in our church’s Care Portal outreach program by donating items, gift cards or money to different community programs in need such as DFCS, women’s shelters, and shelters for the homeless. Our church has amazing children’s programs that we look forward to getting our child involved in!
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: We as a couple are very happy, positive people but are both aware of the desire and emptiness we have without a child. We have discussed adoption ever since we started dating and knew that when the time was right, we would go forward with our plans to expand our family through adoption. We have a sweet dog that helps fill some of the void in our lives but we both know that we are ready to hear laughter when we bake cookies for Santa and set out carrots for Rudolf (our dog currently just begs for the cookies he cannot have and my husband calls me silly for setting out cookies when we don’t have children). We are ready to start traditions with a child and desire to read bedtime stories and prayers at night. My heart longs for baby to rock to sleep and our arms long to hold and raise a child to serve and love others. Our hearts ache a little when we see parents at the park pushing their children in strollers and teaching their kids to ride a bike. We have a blast in the backyard, tossing the football, but cannot deny that we both dream of having a child outside joining us. Both our hearts skip a beat when we hear our niece and godson call their parents mommy and daddy. We so look forward to hearing those words from our child. One day the “silly” traditions that we do during the holidays will be treasured memories we will get to share with our child and we will know without a doubt that it was worth the wait.
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.
A: The last vacation we took together as a family was this past New Years. We rented a cabin for 4 days in Murphy, NC. It was a somewhat isolated cabin, which is exactly what we wanted for our trip. This trip was designed for us to get a way, unplug from everything, and just enjoy each other’s company. Of course, our dog Walker made the trip with us. We packed coolers full of food and cooked all of our own meals for the entire trip. We went hiking, read, Erin did a little Yoga, and cuddled up on the couch with our dog and some Netflix. It was an awesome trip and something we plan to do again!
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: No. Neither of us plan to stay at home with the child past maternity and paternity leave. However, Erin’s job is very flexible and she is able to work from home some. Both sets of grandparents are almost retired and plan on babysitting often. Jake’s work also provides childcare on campus, so if we have to place our child in daycare for a time period, Jake will be walking distance from him or her at all times.