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Benjie & Amy
We believe adoption is a beautiful blessing and we are so excited to become parents. We are grateful that you are considering us as potential parents for your child. Our home is filled with love, kindness, and lots of laughter and we can't wait to share that with a child! We hope this introduction helps you find the right fit for you and your child.
Qualities We Admire in Each Other
For Benjie, Amy is about the smartest person he knows, but it's her faith and her courage that Benjie admires most. She is a female college professor working in a mostly male field. She was the first woman to get a Ph.D. in theology from her college. She has always been brave enough and feisty enough to do things that are a little bigger, a little louder or a little more ambitious than what might be expected. She has the courage to use her voice. And she uses it to draw attention to others who are overlooked or don't have as much of a voice. Amy's courage to do this comes from her faith that she was made to be who she is for a good reason. That strong faith gives her strength. Benjie has often needed it to give him strength too!
Amy loves Benjie's heart – he is kind and generous, empathetic and hopeful. He is warm and open about his life which makes him a trusted friend. He gives of himself for others and always makes Amy feel special and loved. She admires how he thinks deeply about big ideas and helps others understand and communicate difficult concepts. She is also always impressed by his ability to work through problems (at work or wherever else) and empower others to do the same. Amy loves spending time with Benjie; he is her best friend.
Our Leisure Time
We enjoy everything from a quiet day at home reading to visiting Six Flags to get our roller coaster fix! Amy enjoys the creativity of cooking and baking (pies are her favorite things to make) and drawing and painting even though she doesn't get to do those things as much as she would like. Benjie is a musician who plays the piano and the guitar. We love playing cards and board games with friends, hiking, and going to the movies.
We really look forward to sharing our love for swimming, hiking, cooking, volunteering with our church in our community, reading, going to the zoo, teaching a child how to play baseball and tennis (and watching them learn other sports that we aren't as familiar with), going to plays, exploring places we've been but want to experience again with a child (places like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Disney World, and Washington, D.C.), and exploring new places near and far. We're also excited to take up new activities and learning new things with a child, like learning how to plant and take care of a garden together and exploring our world in new ways through art and science.
We understand that adopting a child of another race means that we can't be everything for the child. This means that we need to make sure there are lots of opportunities to connect with those who will share experiences with our child that we will have not have experienced ourselves. There will be lots of talking, lots of working through things that we don't understand about one another.
We recognize that we will be learning for our entire lives how to learn and listen well. We understand this learning process will involve us reading a lot and listening to others who can walk alongside us. We'll need to take an attitude of humility in order to do that. We will lean upon those in our community who can help us and make sure the child is regularly around those of a similar cultural background who can be mentors and friends in ways that we cannot because of that difference.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Massachusetts surrounded by historic sites, beaches, and tons of local events (festivals, arts, cultural, and sporting events) for families throughout the year. We currently live on a beautiful seminary campus with lots of families with kids of various ages and from many different backgrounds, trails for hiking, a playground right outside our door, and lots of room for community events. There's a community garden, big lawn areas to play frisbee golf, and have picnics. We live right down the street from Amy's college where we have access to a variety of sporting, music, and arts events throughout the year as well as a pool and lots of activities for families. We also live close to a beautiful library with lots of reading times and fun activities. We are very active in our church community that has a vibrant kids programs with vacation bible school every summer.
We have a cute apartment that has big windows and nice big bedrooms. Our favorite room is our living room - we like having friends come over to cook dinner and to play games. We moved to the area just a couple of years ago so we are in the process of looking for a home in the same area. We're taking our time to find just the right one. We love opening our home to family and friends and want more space to do it!
Our Extended Families
Benjie is the oldest of three siblings and is very close to his family even though they are a bit spread out. Benjie grew up moving around quite a bit. He even lived in England and Switzerland for a few years! His sister currently lives in the Chicago area and his brother, his wife, and two daughters live in Texas. When we get together as a whole family with Benjie's parents' home in Tulsa, OK or on the beach in Florida, it's always a blast. Benjie's family loves to spend time together playing games of all kinds, swimming in his parents' pool in the summer, going to fun arts activities (performances, museums, etc.) and traveling together.
Amy is the oldest of four siblings and is also very close with her family. Amy's parents are building a new house in the Denver area and her two brothers both live in Denver (one is married with a son and a daughter and the other has a lovely girlfriend and two adorable dogs). Amy's sister goes to graduate school in Oregon but will eventually move back to Colorado. Most of Amy's extended family (lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins!) also live in Colorado. Amy's family is a lot of fun - they love spending time with one another laughing, eating, and playing games. They also travel together (Grand Canyon most recently).
Both families are delighted that we will be adopting and cannot wait to meet the newest member of our family!
From Us to You
Our names are Benjie and Amy and we are so grateful that you are considering us as potential parents for your child. Perhaps this whole process feels funny to you – it sure does to us! But we know that you have an important decision before you, and we hope this letter helps you get to know us a bit.
The two of us have been together almost 10 years now. We met through church friends – we like to joke that we were the only people in our group of friends who arrived anywhere on time, so we wound up hanging out a lot! The truth is it was our love for deep conversations and great stories that drew us together. We both love to learn, to discover new people and ideas – and to debate about our favorite movies and TV shows!
When we met, Amy was studying hard to become a college professor someday… and Benjie was playing piano at weddings every weekend, working hard to build his own small business. When we found out we couldn't have children on our own, it took some time for us to process that news. But then we realized the door was open to something else that would be just as beautiful: Adoption.
Living with us, your child would grow up as part of a tight and loving family that loves to laugh, play and invent silly songs and stories. But he or she would also have an important extended community, both through the Christian college where Amy works and through our close church family. For us, relationships like these are essential. We are close to our families on both sides and can't wait for your child to get to know his or her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on family vacations and at the annual Christmas bash! But we also believe that in God's kingdom, family is bigger than just flesh and blood. That's one reason we've specifically chosen interracial adoption.
You might be nervous about this – we sure are! We are white, and we know that there is no way we can be everything your child needs. We know that we need to seek out people and communities where we will be in the minority. In Amy's job, she is surrounded by amazing students and colleagues of color every day. So we will be asking for lots of help! We know your child will need friends and adults that look like him or her and will need to be able to talk about shared experiences.
We know that this adoption choice means we will be learning for the rest of our lives, and that we will not do this perfectly. But we sure will try! Your child deserves all of this and more.
If you are willing, we hope we could come to consider you part of the "extended family" someday too. We would love to send letters and pictures on a regular basis, and to exchange emails, phone calls, and even visits as your child grows up if that's something you would like.
We are already praying for you, and for your child too! We hope this letter has been a help for you as you make this important decision, and we can't wait to see what beautiful story God might be writing next for all of us.
Benjie & Amy
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