We currently live on a military post in the state of Kansas. We have not moved frequently compared to most military families, but this is our fourth community to live in since getting married fourteen years ago. Each move has brought us in touch with wonderful people and has given us opportunities to explore areas we otherwise may not have visited. We have completely taken each community and made it our home, but this location is our favorite home so far.
Our neighborhood has spacious yards allowing lots of room for running around or playing catch with our kids. We love to go for walks while the kids ride their bikes and rush to find the next of the many playgrounds available here. We have everything from smooth, wide sidewalks to areas for hiking in the woods. There are currently 25 children living on our block and all have become friends. There is almost always someone around to play with. We have frequent block gatherings that are both spontaneous and planned. Our neighbors become more than just friends as we support and rely on each other. Friendships are made quickly here and the relationships last long beyond the time for us to part ways.
Our community, even our block, brings people in from all over the USA. We have even had neighbors from other countries living right next door. We love the diversity and how we get to play and interact with people from so many backgrounds. We have learned to treasure this atmosphere for the growth it brings us in our views towards other people and the cultures of others.
Our extended family is important to us and each relationship with our parents and siblings is uniquely special. We are blessed to be able to spend quality time with our family on a regular basis. Our bonds with our siblings continue to evolve and strengthen in every stage of our lives – in fact, they just might be our best friends. Shawn appreciates time with his dad and brother as they attend sporting events or discuss sports happenings. Shawn's family regularly played board games in their home, so we love to have his brother and sister over for game night to carry on the tradition. Gretchen's family (including parents, two brothers, sister-in-law, a nephew and a niece) spends hours visiting and interacting with the kids. Sitting around for non-stop talking is all we bring ourselves to do after the huge meals her mom offers us!
When we married, Shawn at first was not accustomed to the large family gatherings that Gretchen grew up with (tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, and sometimes even great-aunts, great-uncles, etc.). Despite how intimidating a large family may initially be, all are immediately welcomed and never turned away. We very much look forward to our traditions of big family gatherings for sure each Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Our families are delighted that we are pursuing our dreams of adoption. They cannot wait to be a part of another child's life. Our family is praying for this little person along with those who are important to this child - especially you.
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