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Brandon & Emily
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about our family. Faith and family mean everything to us, and we know our family isn't complete just yet. Our daughter Felicity is excited to become a big sister; she tells everyone she meets! We hope you'll consider our family as you decide what's best for you and your child. We're looking forward to growing our family through adoption.
Why We Chose Adoption
Adoption is something we have wanted to do and talked about before we were even married. Growing up, Emily had several friends and family members who were adopted, and she lived near a ranch for kids who didn't live with their families for a variety of reasons. Seeing these kids and hearing some of their stories led us to develop strong feelings about adoption and solidified our desire to adopt. During our pregnancy with Felicity, Emily developed a serious medical condition that put her and our daughter's health at risk. Both Emily and Felicity are healthy now, but doctors have strongly discouraged future pregnancies. Knowing our family was not complete, coupled with our desire to adopt, we jumped right in and cannot wait to bring home your little bundle of joy! We have a saying in our family – LOVE is what defines a family. And it doesn't matter how our family grows, we will love you and your little one unconditionally no matter what!
Our Life Priorities
God is our first priority. Spending daily time praying and reading our Bibles is important to us. It's something we discuss with our daughter; however, we don't force it on her. It's something she will have to choose for herself, but we do expose her to our faith. It isn't something we can separate from ourselves because our faith in God guides our thoughts, decisions, and actions.
An important part of serving God is serving others. We actively seek out opportunities to serve our community in any way that we are able.
Our second priority is our marriage and our daughter. We put a lot of work into building and sustaining trust and open dialogue. It's easy to get caught up in to-do lists and the day-to-day, so we make it a point to plan time to spend together as a family, as a couple, and one-on-one with our daughter. Beyond this, we prioritize making time to spend with friends and other family members.
We are very open to adopting a child from another culture and welcoming his or her culture into our family. We have friends raising their children in multicultural homes. Some homes were blended through marriage and others through adoption. These friends have shared their experiences with us and taught us so much already. We plan to research and learn as much as possible about our child's heritage, so we can incorporate it into our daily lives and family traditions. We are fortunate to live near diverse areas where we have opportunities to learn more about a variety of cultures. We believe it is important to be aware and respectful of other cultures, and the best way to achieve this is by educating ourselves. As a family, we read about other cultures, try new foods, attend cultural festivals, and travel domestically and internationally.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a quiet neighborhood in a small town 15 minutes from the downtown of a larger city, where we enjoy going to the farmer's market, local restaurants, shops, and festivals. Nearby is a great children's museum and local zoo. We live about an hour from a national park, where we enjoy hiking and camping. We're also about an hour from a theme park, which we visit several times a year.
We picked our house because of its open floor plan and water access. The open floor plan makes it easier to keep an eye on little ones while cooking and folding laundry, and it's great for having family and friends over.
Our home is on the river, and we enjoy kayaking, swimming, and boating. Our neighborhood and a nearby field are great places to get out and walk, and we have a big yard for running and playing games.
We know several of our neighbors and consider them close friends. Next door is a family with two young boys, and we enjoy getting together and letting the kids play.
Our home is in a great area for kids to grow up, play outside, and have diverse experiences.
Our Extended Families
We have a tight-knit family. Our families celebrate every occasion together.
When we get together, we all enjoy playing games while catching up. At our recent Christmas Eve lunch, Nonnie handed us a saran-wrapped ball layered with candy and a prize in the middle. She handed us oven mitts and dice, and we took turns trying to get the ball unraveled. It was hilarious! Neesy often brings games like Family Feud and Bingo, and Papaw has ensured we all have snow cone makers and cornhole boards. No matter who hosts, we usually play at least one game of cornhole.
Anytime we need a last-minute sitter, Papaw and Mamaw are out the door and on the way as soon as we get off the phone, even though they live an hour and a half away. They're also famous for unannounced visits; they often stop by on their way to or from Gatlinburg. Pawpaw is the "gummy bear" man. He keeps a bag of gummy bears just for Felicity and will be doing the same for your little one. Pawpaw and Mamaw are two of the best grandparents anyone could ever have and they cannot wait to hold your little one in their arms!
Whether it's a holiday, family vacation, or weekend visit, spending time with family is a big priority for us.
From Us to You
We're excited to grow our family through adoption and are hoping for an open adoption. We would like your child to get to know you through visits if you’d like. We would also love to regularly share pictures and stories. Of course, we will support you in whatever level of openness you desire. We will discuss adoption with your child the way we tell our daughter about her birth. It's the story of how she joined our family, and adoption will be the story of how our family grows again. We would like your child to have their birth parents' perspective. This would give them the complete picture of their adoption story, and we believe it is an important piece for them to have when (or if) their birth parents are ready to share it.
We're an active family. We enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, cycling, photography, and trying (with only slight success) to grow food in our garden. We have some shared hobbies, but we also have some separate interests. Brandon enjoys all things with wheels--motorcycles, cars, bicycles, dirt bikes, you name it. We both enjoy working out, hiking, camping, and photography. Emily enjoys reading and learning new things, like how to grow things in our gardens. We will encourage our children to be active in ways they enjoy as well. Felicity has enjoyed swim lessons and gymnastics and is now also taking dance classes. We spend a lot of time cooking together in our kitchen, too. Felicity likes going to the park, playing with the boys in our neighborhood, and making gummy bears and cookies.
Although neither of us plays any instruments or sings well, we still fill our home with music. We have instruments and are often heard singing and playing around with lyrics. Felicity has created her own version of "If You're Happy and You Know It." She changed it to "If You're Cranky and You Know It." She has verses for "just calm down," "just take a nap," and "eat some chocolate." While we understand the value of teaching boundaries to children, we also see the importance of creating space for choice, flexibility, and creativity. Whether music, art, dance, photography, or some other art form, we will encourage our children to find a creative outlet they enjoy.
We want our children to live full lives, develop healthy habits, find things they're passionate about, and find joy and peace in Jesus. Our church has given us a supportive community where our daughter is showered with kindness and encouragement. Felicity always looks forward to catching up with her friends, Mr. Jim, Ms. Lisa, and Mr. Sam (AKA The Candyman). It’s important to us to make time for each other. As a couple, we make time for date nights and weekends away. As parents, we make time to spend one-on-one with Felicity and time to spend as a family. We plan to do the same with your little one as well! Whether it’s a play date at the park or pizza after practice, we look forward to spending quality time with the littles! We have found time spent one on one with Felicity is priceless, and it helps build and maintain positive, trustworthy relationships. We have found there are times Felicity and one of us are doing something together and she confides in that parent, reinforcing the importance of quality one-on-one time.
Brandon & Emily
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