We live in Florida, about 30 minutes from the beach. Our home is on a quiet cul-de-sac in a small neighborhood, and we’ve lived there for about four years. We have a four-bedroom house with a room set aside to be a nursery and play area. We turned our living room into a music room, where we have a piano, keyboard, and guitars. We spend a lot of time in the family room talking and playing with our pets, and we also like to take walks and bike rides around the neighborhood.
Our community supports families through various activities. Our church has a large children’s ministry, and local nature centers host children and family activities, such as marine life touch tanks and art classes. There is a big park with trails, a playground, and soccer fields only five minutes from our house. We also live near a community swimming pool. Our town and neighboring cities put on Independence Day fireworks and Christmas parades every year.
We live near good friends who have young children. We enjoy going to parks and playgrounds with them.
Jen’s parents and younger brother live in Ohio. Jen’s parents stay with us for a month every winter, and we take tours of historical sites, go out to eat to celebrate birthdays, and put together puzzles. Jen is close to her brother and talks to him on the phone every week. She enjoys seeing him during her trips to Ohio, which usually happen a couple of times each year.
Jen’s dad has six brothers and sisters, giving her a large extended family. Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, they get together for a Christmas party where they exchange gifts and eat a lot of food. Many of Jen’s cousins bring their children to the party.
Gary’s mom lives in Florida near the beach, and we go out to eat with her once a week. His adult son, Remington, is in college, and he stays with us during breaks. Remington is majoring in computer science. Although he doesn’t know yet where he’ll work after he graduates, he hopes to get a job near us. He enjoys playing video games, and he has a great sense of humor. He’s excited about having a sibling.
Gary has two older sisters who live in Colorado and Tennessee. One of his sisters adopted two children from overseas. One of these children is now in the Navy and the other is in college.
When we were children, both of our families hid Easter eggs for us to find and took us trick-or-treating on Halloween. We look forward to sharing these traditions with a child.
Our family members have supported us throughout this adoption journey, and they’re excited to see us become parents together and welcome a child into the family.
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