Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: About two years ago we bought a house that was built in 1900 and had been sitting abandoned for 2 years, so we renovated it. This was a really fun process and we got to put our own stamp on it. We have five bedrooms and the whole first floor is open so that the kitchen flows into the dining room which flows in to the living room. When renovating we tried to re-purpose old materials from around the city. The counter tops in our kitchen are old bowling alley lanes, so it is really cozy. It is in a lovely neighborhood near the city. We have a back yard that we share with our immediate neighbors. They have two young boys who are often out in the yard playing soccer or football. There are a lot of single-family homes, but also a lot of apartments and duplexes, which I like. It is a very walkable neighborhood. We are three blocks from a 400-acre park that has a wonderful playground, and also hiking trails with streams and water falls. When our niece, who is 6, comes to visit, we love to talk, walk and gather nature supplies for crafts. We recently made an elf house that lives under our back porch; that was a big hit! We also live walking distance to restaurants and a movie theater. There is a bakery that we love for pastries and a hot dog joint that is excellent for families. Our house is also just two block away from the bus line that takes you to other neighborhoods with libraries, museums and a lot of events year-round. It's is really a beautiful old city and we love living here.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: When we have a three day weekend, we like to get out of town taking trips to New York or Cleveland to explore big cities or to West Virginia or Central Pennsylvania to enjoy the country and explore small towns. We will try new food and see what life is like in different places. We also like to visit Jon’s family here in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. Jaime’s family is a little too far, they live on the west coast, to visit on three-day weekends, so we have to plan longer visits to see them.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: We hope to teach our children everything, there is so much to learn, but mostly we hope to teach them to be curious, to be kind and to think critically about their world. We hope to teach them to follow their passion and to trust themselves and their judgment. We also hope to teach them that we are responsible for each other and that when one person is suffering or struggling that we all have a responsibility to address it. We hope to teach them to be open-hearted, accepting and compassionate to understand and celebrate differences. We want to teach them to be lifelong learners, but that the world does not exist in black and white, that it is full of gray areas, uncomfortable areas that can be tricky to understand, and that there may not be a clear answer. We would also like to teach them not to be afraid to fail. We hope that they will learn to pick themselves up when they have failed and try something new.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birth mom?
A: We hope that our child knows their birth mom and, if this is not a possibility, we would like to get to know her so that we can tell him or her all about her. We especially would like to be able to tell our child what their birth mom hoped for their life and what part of them is like their birth mom - do they have their birth mom’s eyes or smile? Do they have their birth mom’s sense of humor or impulse to never give up? We would really like to tell our child as much about their birth mom and their birth family as possible.
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: In every way. We have been blessed with so much and we want to share that with a child. A child will bring activity, humor and a whole lot of love. We know that every day will not be easy but a child will bring so much richness and texture to our lives.
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.
A: The last vacation we went on was to Portland to Jaime's baby sister’s wedding. I, Jaime, went early to help support my sister while she got ready for the big day. My dad rented a big house close to the venue and he and my step-mom, my other sister, my brother-in-law and nephew and Jon and I stayed there. It was great to be under the same roof so that we could spend as much time together as possible. The place that we rented had a duck pond in the back yard and Isaac, my nephew, loved watching the ducks. Jon arrived the day before the wedding. The wedding was really nice and we were able to spend time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles. The day after the wedding Jon and I got an Air B & B on our own for a night in downtown Portland. We went to lunch with my dad and step-mom that day and then we spent the rest of the day bumming around the city. We went to Powell’s, the world’s largest bookstore, a rose garden and checked out a sensory deprivation tank (Jon had booked it because he knew I was a little stressed out with the wedding and wanted a chance for us to relax). And of course Jon had a list of restaurants that he wanted to check out, so we did a little bit of food tourism.
Q: Will you be returning to work? If so, describe your day-care plans.
A: Yes, we will both be returning to work. Jaime is a professor, so her schedule is very flexible and she has 4 months off in the summer. We plan on getting day care 3 days a week and are on the wait list for three excellent places in town. Jaime will be able to stay home as much as she needs to until daycare is secured. Our preference would be that our child attends the university child care center, but all of these options very good.
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?