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J.T. & Becky
"Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about." Our daily desire is to be parents again and for our son to have a sibling to love and grow with. We know the gift of adoption will fill the missing piece of our family. We hope you enjoy learning more about us and that we can fulfill the dreams you have for your dear child.
Our biggest priority in life is providing a stable, loving, and Christian upbringing for our son. We strive everyday to make sure he feels loved, understood, and safe. "I love you!", is a frequently heard statement in our home. We attend church regularly because we feel it is important that our son know he is loved by God as well. JT feels that financial stability is also an important priority in our lives. Becky handles all our finances and makes sure that we live comfortably within our means and can still travel occasionally. Another top priority in our lives is spending time with family and friends and letting them know we love and care for them. There is truth in the saying, "Everyday is a gift." We try to appreciate every moment spent with those we care about.
These priorities will be the same for our adopted child. Their well-being will be one of our main concerns. Being teachers, we have seen many children struggle due to the lack of a good home environment. We know how important it is to provide children with a structured and loving home life. Our parents and extended families provided us with a positive upbringing complete with rules, limits, and expectations. As parents we work everyday to follow the good example we were given by our families.
Education We will Provide
Being public school music teachers, education is extremely important to us. Becky's cousin runs a very successful Preschool program that we will hopefully be able to enroll our child in when they are 3 years old. After Preschool, our child will be enrolled in the local school system where we both work. Becky teaches general music to grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. JT teaches instrumental music (band) to grades 6th through 12th. So between the two of us, one of us will always be a teacher for our child and be present in their education. When our son Wyatt, was diagnosed with Autism, he was placed in our local Special Education system. We have been very involved with Wyatt's education due to his special needs. We have never missed his education planning meetings and we stay in almost daily contact with his teachers since they are also our co-workers. We will be just as committed to our next child's education needs. We will make every effort to support their needs and talents as they grow in our school district and later go on to college. We look forward to watching them discover their own unique gifts through the wonderful academic, fine arts, and athletic programs offered in our schools and communities. We are fortunate to have a large university and several community colleges in our area that provide opportunities to young students of all ages.
How Adoption has Affected Us
We have been fortunate to experience the blessing of adoption in our extended family. Becky's cousin Jennifer adopted her two children from the country of Guatemala. Jennifer was in a horrific car accident when she was 21 years old that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She worked hard to build her life back up after this setback and once she felt her life was headed in a good direction, she decided to choose adoption to become a mom. Jennifer chose international adoption and we were all thrilled when she announced that she would be adopting a baby girl from Guatemala that she named Bailey. While waiting for Bailey to come home, our family was always anxious to get the latest pictures and details about this special girl. A few years later, Jennifer adopted her son Nathan from Guatemala and we again looked forward to every update about him. Nathan's birth mother eventually had two more children who were adopted by a family in a nearby state. Jennifer keeps in contact with them and they get together occasionally so that Nathan can know his siblings.
Without the blessing of adoption, our family would be missing these two beautiful kids. Adoption gave Jennifer a beautiful gift, the opportunity to be a Mom! Jennifer's cousin Shane adopted a baby girl through American Adoptions one year ago. We loved hearing their inspiring and successful adoption story. We look forward to having adoption bless us as it has these wonderful families.
Our Extended Families
We are blessed to have the encouraging, loving extended family that we share. Both of our families have watched us struggle with miscarriages and infertility, and are very supportive of our adoption plan.
J.T.'s parents, Jim & Bonnie, or 'Grammy & Poppa' as they like to be called, are devoted grandparents to our son and are always glad to help us when needed. We are lucky to have them live just a few minutes from us. They love taking our son Wyatt to McDonald's when he is spending time with them. J.T. has one sister, Susan, who is married with two young children.
Becky was raised in a large, close extended family. Her parents, Bob & Robin, still live in the home her Dad built in 1978. Grandma Robin is the ultimate "spoiler" of the grandkids and PawPaw Bob likes to share his love of music, hunting, and fishing with them. Becky's oldest brother, Ryan, is married with two awesome sons. They are loving and caring cousins to Wyatt and are excited about having another cousin. We always look forward to going to church and lunch every Sunday with our nephews and Becky's Mom. Becky's twin brother, Rustin, recently married and will be starting a family soon. We look forward to raising our little ones together! Becky's family has a large reunion every few years. The family bluegrass band plays at the reunion and we enjoy catching up with her many cousins and seeing all the kids make memories.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a rural community in beautiful Southern Illinois. The community is lucky to have a spacious family park with playgrounds, a pond, athletic fields, and a community pool. The park hosts a spectacular Halloween trick-or-treating event that we enjoy taking our son to. Our town has a large festival every spring with a parade, carnival, and live concerts to celebrate the Italian heritage of our community.
We have lived in our quaint 3 bedroom home for 15 years. Becky has lovingly landscaped our yard with many bushes, trees, flowers, and plants. Our finished, full size basement is where J.T. enjoys relaxing and playing video games on his Playstation 4. Becky enjoys being in the kitchen baking goodies for family events or sitting in the main living room, cross-stitching in her oversized chair, with our Scottie dogs in her lap. Wyatt likes playing his Wii or creating race tracks for his Hot Wheel collection in the main living room. We have a lovely bedroom with a large window waiting to become a nursery for our adopted child.
Our quiet neighborhood is full of many friendly families, a few have young children. When the weather is nice, we like to visit with each other while our kids ride bikes or play basketball. During the Christmas season our neighborhood is full of beautifully decorated homes and yards. J.T. works hard hanging lights every year to make our home shine during the holidays.
From Us to You
"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish, will come true." - Cinderella
We are J.T. and Becky. Twenty-one years ago, we met in college while both of us were earning our degrees in Music Education. We married in 2001 and currently work together as music teachers in our local school district. After several years of infertility struggles, we were overjoyed to discover Becky was pregnant with our son Wyatt. Wyatt is now 11 years old and is our biggest blessing. He was diagnosed with Autism when he was four years old. We are proud to say Wyatt is thriving and continuously progressing with the help of his amazing doctors, teachers, therapists, family, and friends. Everyday we give our best effort to be good, loving, and strong parents for Wyatt.
Although we have heard the lyrics to the Cinderella song quoted above many times, the words had a new meaning for us when Becky miscarried our son, Todd in 2013. Another miscarriage a year later made us feel as if our dreams of having another child would never come true. When we decided that adoption was the path meant for our family, we instantly felt a sense of peace. Our dream and our wish WILL come true! We are in awe of the strength and love you have for your baby. We feel these song lyrics could reflect your journey as well. We know your heart will grieve after your child is born and you bravely place them in the care of others. But we know you also have a dream for your child. We know your wish is for them to have love, support, and opportunities. Through contact with you; such as letters, pictures, and e-mails; we will continue to share with you the dream that you fulfilled for your child and our family. We constantly brag on our son to everyone who will listen! We cannot wait to brag and share with you all the special events and even day-to-day moments your child will have.
We can promise to give your child a life full of love, music, pets, travel, and laughter! Our life is about music! From singing loud in the car to playing instruments at school, home, and church; your child will be surrounded by music. However, if their passion lies in other activities we will support them all the way. We look forward to watching them become their own unique self and to see if they share the same talents as you and your family.
In our home, your child will be raised with a love for animals. We have two Scottish terrier dogs, Nessie and Teddie, and two parakeets, Fred and Ginger. We love our pets! They provide us with love, laughter and comfort everyday. As teachers, we have the ability to travel every summer. We enjoy visiting Disney World or taking a Disney Cruise Line vacation every 3-4 years. We can't wait to experience the magic of Disney through the eyes of our next little one!
Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily. When Becky goes shopping, she occasionally looks at the baby items and wonders what she would pick if she had a little one. Then she thinks of you and wonders if you do the same. Becky is curious if you would pick the same items or would your style be different? We recently celebrated Mother's Day with our families and had you on our minds the entire time. We prayed for you during our Mother's Day service at church. When visiting family, we talked about how we will all have another Mom to celebrate when our adoption dream comes true. We are excited to be able to celebrate you when our lives come together.
We pray that your heart and mind find peace as you search for the family that will give your child the opportunities you wish for them. May God comfort you and guide you through your journey.
With love and admiration,
J.T. & Becky
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