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David & Shanda
Hello! During our very first date we discussed our mutual desire to adopt. (Yes, we actually spoke about children on the first date.) As we both have positive experiences with adoption, adoption is our first choice for how to grow our family. Thank you for taking time to read our profile. We would love to chat with you, and we wish you the best whatever you decide.
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption has affected each of us personally. Shanda was raised by her grandparents, and David's grandfather was adopted.
Shanda's birth mother (Tillie) was 17 years old, pregnant with Shanda and had a 4 month old already at home when she made the choice to ask her parents to raise Shanda. When the time came, Shanda's grandparents took her home right from the hospital. She knows that even though the situation was difficult for everyone involved, she benefited greatly from the choices the adults in her life made before she was born. As a result of her own life experience, Shanda has known since middle school that she wanted to adopt. At such a young age, she was able to see how adoption had positively impacted her life.
David's awareness of adoption started with him hearing about his grandfather's positive adoption experience. David has always wanted to be a dad and his grandfather's experience led David to be open to adoption. As a couple, when we discussed children we discovered that we both had a desire to adopt and that was one of the many things that we really liked about each other. It makes sense that, for us, adoption is our first choice for how to build our family.
Our Leisure Time
Our Cultural Heritage
Shanda is Black, Native American, and Hispanic. David is Caucasian. Growing up, Shanda lived with her grandparents on a Native American Reservation. She is thankful for the community she was raised in.
Our cultural and life experiences differ and we've celebrated our differences as we've worked to understand each other. One of our favorite unofficial national holidays to celebrate is Loving Day on June 12th. On June 12th,1967, the Supreme Court declared laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Though neither of us were born then it was a monumental decision that impacts us today. We look forward to sharing history related to race and culture with a child no matter the race that they are. Just as we do in our marriage, we will celebrate similarities and differences with a child. We look forward to teaching them about their history and taking them to events to participate in their beautiful cultural heritage.
We also plan to pay attention to day-to-day matters. Shanda grew up in a small community without any hair stylists or family members who knew how to care for her African American hair. We plan to make sure that any day-to-day needs related to race and culture are learned about, celebrated, and attended to using advice from experts.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a 3 bed + den + loft home in Arizona. We chose this home because it has several possibilities for a playroom for kids, is spacious, and has lots of natural light. The community we live in is close enough to the city that we can easily enjoy events that take place there (like concerts) but far enough out that we can go on hikes in the mountains whenever we want.
We have a large and beautiful community park close to our home. The park has a fun train kids and parents ride together as they enjoy a nice day outdoors. Families also enjoy a water park which includes slides, splash pads, and other water activities. The community center has many opportunities for children and families to participate in sports, classes, dance, and other clubs. We are a short distance from shopping centers, grocery stores, and restaurants.
From our balcony we can see Fourth of July and New Years Eve fireworks displays. From our front porch we enjoy watching an annual Christmas lights parade that includes about 300 ATVs. There is an elementary school across the street from our home. Our neighborhood is kid-friendly and we often see children playing outside, riding bikes, or walking dogs with their families.
Our Extended Families
Shanda talks with her older sister daily. They truly are friends and they enjoy a positive relationship with each other full of mutual support and fun! We enjoy getting to visit with Shanda's sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephews. One of Shanda's absolute favorite experiences was being in a book club with her 8-year-old niece. We like to go on vacations with Shanda's family; these typically include lots of kid-friendly activities like children's museums, the zoo, parks, and Disneyland. We are excited for a child to join in these fun family vacations.
We enjoy regular phone calls with David's parents where we share updates about our lives and various activities we are pursuing. We also enjoy opportunities to visit David's parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. Recently, we celebrated David's parents' 40th wedding anniversary with a surprise party. They were excited and surprised when they came home to see us in their backyard! David's side of the family often plays games when they come together, and we are excited to have a child join in them.
We also have a bonus family! Shanda's best friend of 20 years is like a sister to Shanda and her children call us Auntie and Uncle.
All our families express excitement and support as we go throughout our adoption journey and look forward to meeting their new niece, nephew, cousin, or grandchild.
From Us to You
Hello! Though we've not met you yet, we are praying for you now and we send you thoughts of peace and comfort. You are valuable, and worthy of love and care. We are certain whatever choice you make will be the best one for you and your baby. We pray this letter provides a glimpse into one potential option.
We are in a unique position to love and nurture a child who is adopted. Shanda's experience allows her to relate to a child on a different level. She understands the questions that can arise in the mind of an adopted child because she worked through her own questions. We recognize that many complicated circumstances can lead to adoption, and ultimately, love for a child drives these tough decisions.
We are puzzle pieces that fit together just right. Coming from different cultural and racial heritages, we each brought our own communication styles to our relationship, and we complement each other well. While dating, we bonded over faith and a shared love of books and movies. David fell in love with Shanda as he saw how she repeatedly demonstrated care for people who are hurting, and actively volunteered for political causes to help those in need. Shanda noticed the way David made loving others look easy and natural, and she grew to trust him as she observed that his actions matched his words. We have been happily married since 2019 and we love the life that we have built together.
The fun stuff
We dream of expanding our family to include a child, and look forward to the experiences the three of us would share throughout our lives. Shanda eagerly awaits the day when we can have fun with our child at kid-friendly places like Legoland, children's museums, and parks. David is excited for hiking trips, making music together, and opportunities to teach our child about math and science. As a family we'd enjoy activities like coloring, volunteering together, cooking, reading, going on adventures in our community and beyond, and playing games. Our child would have our support as they go about exploring life.
What about open adoption?
Open adoption is about relationships. Healthy relationships include mutual respect, clear communication, and kind regard for each other. In consideration of that, we will prioritize sharing our child's adoption story with him/her; always speak of you positively, respectfully, and kindly; seek to have open and honest communication; and honor the plan for contact that we all agree on.
We'd love to send you updates and pictures and have a visit sometime within the first five years. We are also open to the occasional phone call. We welcome an open adoption, should that be your wish.
We appreciate you!
Thank you for taking the time to read our profile. We understand that you have much to consider. Our experiences may be different, but we wonder if perhaps there is an area where we are feeling similarly. Are you feeling nervous about the first conversation? We also feel a bit nervous. That talk will likely be filled with all the things one might expect, like a tablespoon of uncertainty, a teaspoon of nervousness, a cup of curiosity, and a bowl of hope. We welcome an opportunity to talk. Please feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat with us.
David & Shanda
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