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Rob & Erica
Adopting another child is an opportunity for more in our lives. More love, more laughter, more hugs, and more fun. We have always dreamed of being a family of four and having a younger sibling for our son to grow up with. Being parents has been the greatest adventure of our lives, and it is one that we hope you will consider us as parents for your child.
Why We Chose Adoption
When we found out we were pregnant with our son, Liam, we were cautious. We had already endured a miscarriage together, but truly could not contain our excitement. The pregnancy turned out to take quite an emotional and physical toll on both of us. Erica was sick for the majority of the pregnancy and at six months along was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. The pregnancy did not get easier, and it took about 18 months after giving birth for Erica to go into remission. Although Erica is healthy now, and the symptoms resolved we were instructed not to get pregnant again. Hearing this information was devastating; we always pictured our family being larger, and Liam growing up with siblings.
In our life, there has been no greater adventure than watching our family grow together. Through each challenge and success, though, we find ourselves saying we want more: more dancing, singing in the car, bedtime stories, and hilarious little kid moments with cuddles in the middle of the night. Liam shares our need - he informs us often that he can't wait to have a little brother or sister in his life. This is our hope for adoption: to fill a need in our family for more love, more laughter, and more support for each of us through all of life's adventures and challenges.
Our Cultural Heritage
Growing up, Rob and Erica enjoyed learning about their own cultural heritage. Erica's hails from Polish-Italian and Swedish-German families; Rob's background includes Native American bloodlines to the Cherokee tribe. Exploring our mutual heritage gave us the foundation to grow into who we longed to become and it's something we will continue to research in the future, as we believe it's an important part of knowing who we are.
Our hope is to pass a multi-cultural lifestyle on to our children. We want our children to feel rooted in who they are and where they came from, with pride in their history and confidence in their future. We want our family to embrace difference and strive to teach Liam to be a friend to everyone.
Our goal as parents is to help our children understand and embrace their own culture and heritage, biological or adopted. Each of us brings a different background and we share that heritage as a family.
Education We will Provide
Education, and a lifetime of learning, is very important in our family. It required discipline, hard work, and the love and support of our families to get through graduate school. Now, with our children, we intend to instill our love of learning at young ages. Part of our love for learning has come from reading (anything and everything) from a young age, and our being encouraged by our parents to explore questions instead of easily being given "the answer". We look forward to the challenge of finding the fun and love of learning within our children.
Growing up we were both in Scouts, honors societies, school councils, research teams, and Rob even attended space camp. We hope to provide even more opportunities for learning, facilitating our children to thrive with what they enjoy learning and challenge them to push the limits where they may be uncomfortable. We are blessed to live in an exemplary school district that shares our passion for learning and provides extensive resources and extracurricular activities to give our children a stellar education. (And Rob looks forward to going back to Space Camp, one day, with the kids!)
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a bustling suburb in Kansas. Our neighborhood is filled with young, diverse families. The neighborhood has large, expansive play fields where the kids congregate for soccer, baseball, or a game of tag. All of our neighborhood kids play together, the adults pitch in if anyone needs help, and in the summer there are outdoor celebrations for holidays and baseball playoffs. Our neighbors take active interest in our lives which gives a great sense of community. The area we live in is safe and has exemplary school district ratings. Since an active outdoor life is important to us, our home is centrally located to parks, lakes, and community pools (which are wonderful!). Our town home is two stories tall, with three bedrooms and two baths. Our favorite part of our home is the open living area; we can spend time cooking in the kitchen while playing in the living room with our son.
As for the best parts of Kansas? While there are many wonderful things, our favorites are the great, big, open skies and the kind people who live here. The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking and our mid-Western friends are even better!
Our Extended Families
We are both blessed with large loving families. Even "small" family gatherings often turn out to be a lively affair with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews because we can't imagine anyone missing out! Naturally as we have all continued to grow up our extended family has continued to grow in size, with each new addition a cherished little contribution. Although we may be spread all over the United States, it hasn't stopped our families from seeing one another each month. If anything it has given us a reason to travel and explore more often while making happy memories along the way.
Between visits we make a point to video chat with our families a few times a week, often with our son reading books with his cousins and grandparents. We are sport enthusiasts from birth, often trying to fit in a variety professional events with each visit, and if nothing else a party to commemorate the game. This past summer we were lucky enough to have Erica's entire family at a baseball game together to celebrate her grandfather's 80th birthday. Everyone was dressed in full Pittsburgh Pirates gear, and had fashioned signs to show our family pride.
From Us to You
Every parent has a goal to do their absolute best for their child. At this moment we are hoping and praying that you determine us to be what is best for the little lovey you are carrying. We cannot imagine the burden you bear in making this decision and hope that in getting to know us that burden may be lifted.
Our story together began in August of 2009 when Erica began physical therapy school and Rob was finishing his own physical therapy degree. We were friends before we began dating, but undeniably fell in love. Our first year of knowing one another was a whirlwind of vacations, weekend getaways to adjacent cities, meeting each other's family members, and discussing our dreams for the future. We were married in October of 2011 and in April of 2014 our family went from two to three. During our eight years together we have been through multiple moves, weddings, funerals, births, and everything in between. Our decision to adopt has not come about lightly. We have spent years discussing our best course of action hoping to become a family of four and for many reasons have decided adoption is the path we should take.
Before we were blessed with the birth of our son, Liam, we struggled with a miscarriage and an extremely challenging pregnancy for Erica's health while she carried Liam. It wasn't until after giving birth to Liam that we realized how close Erica had been to requiring major surgery to correct the toll Crohn's disease had taken on her body. It took almost two years from the time Erica was diagnosed with Crohn's disease during her pregnancy until she was formally in remission. Those two years were filled with the joys of having our first child and the devastation of having three separate physicians advising us to take measures not to become pregnant again. The decision to pursue adoption became much easier when we considered the quality of life we wanted to provide for our children. That quality of life did not include a sick mother who required surgeries and hospitalizations. Being in remission has meant we can live an unrestricted life like anyone else and we can all fully experience the joys of being a healthy and thriving family.
Despite being a happy and healthy family we still felt incomplete. We still dream of being a family of four. Liam continues to let us know he would love to have a sibling each time we see families with multiple children out playing together. Adoption had frequently come up in conversation, even prior to becoming pregnant with Liam. We had always considered adoption to be a rewarding opportunity to grow our family while providing unconditional love to a tiny human. What we have only recently come to realize is how we need another child as much as they may need us. When we picture growing older as a family we see our children playing together, becoming friends as they become adults, sharing in their experiences as they find love and start their own families, and allowing us the gift of being there to support them as their parents.
Being a parent has been an honor and a gift beyond our wildest imaginations. It has changed us each personally, how we view the world, our relationship with one another, and has helped is to truly understand what is important to us. Adopting a child is one of the most important things we will do in our lives, but it is only the beginning of a story that we cannot wait to be a part of.
How the story of our adopted child plays out will be an adventure to behold. We hope, and intend, to share this adventure with you in the form of letters, photographs, etc. We thank you for taking time to get to know us and hope to get to know more about you soon.
Rob & Erica
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