We live in a quiet single family neighborhood. It’s an amazing place to raise a family. From our house it’s a short walk or bike to several big playgrounds. Our favorite is next to a swimming lake, and has play structures, a sandbox full of toy trucks, nature paths, and sports fields. We go there for festivals, outdoor movies, indoor soccer classes, and bouncy castles. Our favorite events there this year were the Halloween festival with its ride-on tractors, carnival games, and corn maze; and “touch-a-truck” where kids get to sit in fire trucks, Humvees, and more. Our neighborhood also has several good schools, a kids’ dance studio, a library, and a grocery store that gives free fruit to kids. Our block is full of kids, many of whom use our driveway basketball hoop.
We spend a lot of time in our front yard gardening, playing catch, splashing in the kiddie pool, or eating on the porch. Soon, we’ll have a playhouse in the backyard too. Our finished basement playroom has a slide, legos, board games, puzzles, books, and other toys. Our main floor has a living room and fireplace, kitchen, dining room, and family room in an open layout so we’re always together. One area is set up for arts and crafts, one is set up for reading, and one has a wooden train set. Our three bedrooms are upstairs together, so we’re always close if needed in the night.
We’re close with our parents and siblings (John has a brother and sister, and Anu has a brother). They live two states away, and visit for a week or so almost every month. When John’s family comes to visit, we stay up late and play cards and board games. When Anu’s family visits we cook Indian dinners and sweets. We also have regular dinners with Anu’s nearby cousins.
We blend a lot of different family traditions together. Anu’s parents moved from India to the United States before she was born. They embraced American culture, and so she grew up with Christmas trees and Halloween costumes, plus cultural traditions like learning classical Indian dance and celebrating Indian festivals. John’s parents moved from the Midwest to the west coast before he was born. He grew up surrounded by a family of close family friends and has exchange student brothers across the globe.
Everyone is excited to welcome a new child to our family through adoption. They’ve supported us through our journey to build a family. They’ve watched us parent our son, and they know we’re meant to grow our family.
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