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Graham & Courtney
Thanks for taking the time to get to know us. We're a young couple that first met on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Eleven years later we're eager to meet our first child. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and like go with the flow. The flow has lead us to you. Thank you for considering us as potential parents who will adore, cherish, and wholeheartedly appreciate your gift every day.
When Graham graduated from college he biked from Courtney’s apartment in Brooklyn to her parents’ house in Washington. It was a three-month long adventure that he’d thought about doing for years and was lucky to have the opportunity to do with a couple of like-minded friends. They camped almost the entire way across the country. Each state offered new sites and welcoming strangers who offered them meals and warm showers. Eight years later Graham and Courtney packed up their bikes and flew to Europe. We biked from Brussels to Amsterdam in two weeks, planning our route along the way. Graham was able to share his love of long distance biking with Courtney. And Courtney got to see a part of the world she’d always wanted to see. It was a trip that rejuvenated our decade long relationship and confirmed we would go to the ends of the earth for each other. Traveling spontaneously like that, by bike, not knowing where we’d end up the next day, was a freeing, once-in-a-lifetime experience for both of us. We can't wait to enjoy our next adventure with a child in tow!
For starters, we want to celebrate important dates throughout our adoption process, with our child every year. The day we found out about matching with a mother, the day we met them, etc. And we want to make these celebrations days that we all look forward to.
We'll tell them that our lives, and yours, led us to find each other and that was not an accident. It was meant to be. When we tell our child about their adoption we’ll tell them that when you made your decision to put them up for adoption you were thinking about the life you wanted them to have. We’ll tell them that you made a selfless decision, that you love them, miss them, and think about them all the time. We hope to raise them in a way that makes them feel like they have extra love and support because they don’t only have us, but they have you. We’ll tell them that being adopted makes them unique and that we cherish them even more because of the way they came into our lives.
What Makes Us Unique
Since we first started dating we've always gone out of our way to make each other feel special. While Graham isn’t exactly known for his writing skills, when he writes about Courtney he becomes a pro. He’s been known to leave poems on her pillow, write messages on mirrors, and slip notes into her purse before a day at work. So many poems, love notes, and cards that she was able to make a book of them. Last year we celebrated our ten year dating anniversary. Courtney scanned every last piece that she’d saved over the years and made a book called Ten Years of Graham. She hopes to be able to do the same thing in another ten years and has already started collecting Graham's words of love. Finding creative ways to make each other feel cherished and special is something we can’t wait to do for our children.
Our Extended Families
We're lucky to have very supportive, inclusive, and warm families. We live a few miles away from Courtney's parents and sister's family. We see them several times a month for family dinners, game nights, and to run around with our energetic nephew. Once every few years we all travel to Oregon, and have been staying at the same rental house on the beach for over 20 years. We also travel together to Hawaii every few years.
Graham's family lives in South Carolina. We love visiting in the summertime, catching up over homemade pie, and spending the entire trip lounging and swimming off the dock in their backyard. Graham's sister and brother-in-law try to visit at the same time and we love watching their silly dog Aplo play with their parents dog Jack. In the wintertime his parents make bonfires for us and we spend hours around the dinner table soaking up our time with them.
Everyone is so excited for our family to grow. We crave just being around them, for holidays and any old day of the week, and we can’t wait to share each one of them with our children.
Our House and Neighborhood
We moved from New York to Washington state to be near family. However, you can take the couple out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the couple. We bought a large fixer upper very close to the city. While we live on a tree-lined street in a family-oriented neighborhood we are walking distance from family-friendly restaurants, parks, shops, schools, grocery stores, libraries, and downtown.
Our four-bedroom house is our passion project. We both enjoy swinging hammers and being as thoughtful as possible in the designing process so that our personalities can be seen in each room of the house. We’ve put our sweat and tears into the house over the last four years, making it warm, comfortable, and inviting. It’s a work in progress, but each project we do ourselves makes us love it more and more.
Several times a day we walk our five-year-old dog around, greeting other dogs and neighbors along the way (he is so friendly people can’t help but stop and say hello). We like to walk him past a small corner playground two blocks from our house and talk about the day we get to bring our kids there. We feel lucky to have found such a great area that has both a fun cultural city vibe, and a quiet, kind, and safe neighborhood feel.
From Us to You
Thank you in advance for reading our letter. We’ve been trying to start our family for a while now and adoption is simply an extension of that. Our hearts are eager to welcome our new baby, and you, into our lives. While we know that we’ll love our future children with all of our hearts, we’ll also love you. For the gift you’re giving us, for the characteristics we’ll cherish in them that come from you, for the positive effects that come from having you in their lives, and in ours. Our hearts have led us to you, and we hope you feel the same way.
We’re a young couple that met in college. We’ve been together for eleven years (married for five) and find ourselves saying that we’re more “obsessed” with each other every year. We’re surrounded by lifelong friends and devoted family, but we think that everything is more enjoyable when we’re together. We expect that raising our children will be no exception.
We aren’t parents yet but to us being a parent means committing our life to someone other than ourselves. To focus our energy on raising a person who is kind, thoughtful, and will bring happiness to others. We look forward to spending our time with such a cool person. Within our first few years we most look forward to having them tag along with us wherever we go. Courtney is already scouting out cafes they can go to sit with a snack, people watch, and learn about the world, together.
Courtney’s family celebrates everything, big and small. It’s a way to enjoy life a little more and appreciate things along the way. We want to take every opportunity we can to remind our child that their adoption is a positive part of their lives. We’ll do that by annually celebrating the important dates along the way. The day of their birth, the day we first met them. And of course, the day their adoption was finalized. We’ll make these days that we all look forward to and that reassure us that we were all meant to be a family. You will always be a part of these celebrations, whether in person, phone call, or spirit.
Another thing we look forward to is creating a tradition around our communication with you. Of course, when they’re younger we’ll choose photos and milestones to share, but as soon as they’re old enough to help (maybe two or three) we want to include them in the decisions and communications. We imagine all three of us huddling around the computer clicking through photos, letting them choose which ones to send each time. Asking them what they’d like to tell you about. From the very beginning they’ll know that you care about what they’re up to and how they’re doing.
The most important thing to us is that we raise a good person. Someone who cares about other people’s feelings. It’s also important to us that they learn how to work for the things they want out of life. And we want to teach them to persevere when it isn’t as easy as they expected. We want them to go away to college and become independent people. And we want to raise them full of acceptance and comfort so that they always know they can come home, and more importantly want to.
We know that you’ll always love your baby, and we respect you for loving them this much. We’ll honor that respect by following through with our commitment to you. We believe that everything happens for a reason. And all of our struggles have happened in order for us to be among the many adoptive families in front of you today.
With sincere enthusiasm,
Graham & Courtney
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