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Jamie & Lindsay
Hello! We are Jamie and Lindsay. We are so excited to build our family--specifically a multiracial one--through adoption. As a nontraditional family we believe: 1) There are all kinds of versions of family and the one uniting factor is love. 2) Happiness depends on a compassionate and strong spirit. 3) Life is better when your community is diverse, and when you give back. 4) We are at our best when our family approaches the world as a team. Through an open adoption, we hope to count you as part of that team to whatever extent you're comfortable.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
Celebrating diversity is our top priority and our dream is to build a multiracial family. We are committed to living in a diverse community. We pride ourselves on having a diverse group of friends who give us the opportunity to witness the challenges and rewards of identifying with multiple cultures and raising multicultural families.
We are excited to integrate our children’s cultural diversity—and other cultures—in their lives and ours. This includes incorporating books, music, movies and food that represents an array of cultures in our everyday routine. We are always looking for opportunities to go to different festivals, art fairs and other related community gatherings here in Madison and in big cities near the area such as Milwaukee and Chicago.However, we know that embracing another culture requires more than these efforts alone. We will ensure that our children learn about the brave individuals who have paved the way for equal rights—heroes who share their skin color or ethnic background. Just as important is for our children to get to know the community leaders who look like them and are making a difference every day locally. We’ll also seek out doctors, teachers and other service providers of color that will teach our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. Most importantly, we want to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children about the world in general.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Jamie about Lindsay: In my wedding vows to Lindsay, I promised to always embrace those pieces of Lindsay that makes her, her: Her silliness, which encourages kids and adults alike to have a sense of humor. Her courageousness, which sometimes means she's willing to explore the jungles of Panama after dark in an effort to help protect frogs. Her knowledge, which constantly blows me away, whether she's spouting out scientific facts about space from her time as a science writer at NASA or sharing her creative writing stories with me. And her optimism in all aspects of her life, which I'm most excited to see passed down to a child one day.
Lindsay about Jamie: One of the things I love most about Jamie is her gentle and ferocious spirit. She has a fierce sense of justice both for individuals and marginalized communities. Jamie is the first to give up her seat on a crowded bus to an elderly person and she has no problem discussing issues related to race, sexuality and ethnicity. I hold my love for Jamie most dear, knowing that even in a society that doesn't always celebrate nontraditional families, I have a devoted partner who strives to make me happy, talks until a conflict is resolved, is committed to approaching life as a team. Jamie will be an exceptional cheerleader to our kids.
What we value most in each other: We are both committed to celebrating diversity and combatting racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of hate. Our conversations about politics and current events tend to focus passionately on these themes.
What It Means to Become Parents
Our goal as parents is to provide a compassionate, supportive environment for our kids where they have a chance to develop a healthy sense of self, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, skin color, faith, politics or interests. As a lesbian couple, we know what it is like to feel society's prejudice and have had to develop the tools necessary to cope and be resilient, including drawing on the loving, unconditional support of family and friends. Our children will benefit from the same loving community and from adoptive parents who approach the joys and challenges of life together as a team. In addition to helping our children build resilient spirits, we want to foster in them a sense of humor, of curiosity and of compassion, traits that have served us both well at all ages of our own lives. We want our children to feel our full support in trying out new interests, developing new opinions and discovering what makes them happy. Most of all, we see our primary role as providing our children with all of the opportunities they need to find their place and happiness in the world.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a three-bedroom house with a master bedroom, an office and a nursery that we plan to decorate with a safari/animal theme. Our home is full of books, dog and cat toys, photos of family and friends, and is the perfect place for hosting family and friends. We have a fenced-in backyard with a sizable garden where we grow kale, cucumbers, lettuce and other veggies; flower beds and tomato beds; and often spend summer days grilling and picnicking in the backyard.We love living in a diverse neighborhood. Our house is located in a peaceful neighborhood between two beautiful lakes--Lake Wingra and Lake Monona, where we often take our kayaks out for a paddle. During the winter we can take our cross-country skies out on the lakes and explore the trails around us by snowshoe. We're fortunate to live within walking distance of Henry Vilas Zoo, a free zoo Lindsay often visits to see the frogs and other animals she loves. We're also just blocks away from the UW-Arboretum, where Jamie spends her mornings running and dodging the wild turkeys that live throughout. We're a mile walk from Madison's farmers' market--one of the largest farmers' markets in the country--which goes around the State Capitol building. This is a frequent favorite destination during the summer, especially for chocolate croissants and fresh flowers. We're also within walking distance of the Madison Public Library, where Lindsay checks out a new stack of books every few weeks.
Our Extended Families
With just a 90-minute car ride from Jamie's parents who live outside of Chicago, time with Jamie's family varies from watching Jamie's dad zoom around the racetrack in his race car, to indulging in their favorite Chicago-style deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati's). We also spend lots of time with Jamie's sister Jessica and her husband Greg, who live in the Midwest. Celebrating Christmas with Jamie's families includes a Christmas Eve hike with Jamie's aunt, uncle and cousins after sharing a meal.
Lindsay's immediate family includes her mom Pam, stepdad Al and younger sister, Courtney. Pam and Al live in Milwaukee, about an hour away. Lindsay is especially close to Courtney, who lives in Chicago, loves music, is a social justice advocate, and looks forward to being the "cool aunt." Living close to family has allowed us to see Lindsay's family frequently, often enjoying meals together at new restaurants, walking Madison's farmers' market or spending holidays watching movies, playing games and cooking. Lindsay also has a great relationship with her 5-year-old niece Cassidy in Denver (her half brother Jeremy's daughter), and her stepsister Meg in San Diego.
And finally, we count our diverse group of friends among our extended family. Lindsay is still close to a number of friends she grew up with and we both rely on the love and support of friends from around the world we've met at different stages. Our friends and family members are as excited as we are to welcome a little one.
From Us to You
Just two weeks after our wedding, we packed up all of our earthly belongings, strapped our bikes to the back of our car, set our scrawny black cat and two spirited labs into the backseat, and made the 13-hour trek from our old home in Washington, D.C., to our new home in Madison, Wisconsin. With our parents and siblings in Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, this was where we had dreamed about building our own family through adoption. So here we are, 870 miles and three years later, writing to you, a caring person whose own unique journey might now intersect with our own.
We met in Washington, D.C. through mutual friends in 2011 and were married on November 7, 2014. Before we even met, we had both decided we wanted to build our future family through adoption, specifically a multiracial family. This is one of many shared visions at the core of our relationship, in addition to our common values, including compassion for all people, celebrating diversity and caring for nature.
We are both passionate environmental advocates--Jamie fights climate change and Lindsay helps save wildlife around the planet--and love spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking and gardening. Jamie is a triathlete and in 2016 became an Ironman finisher and Lindsay is a bookworm, often reading books about time travel, animals and cultures around the world.
We want our children to have a life full of love, opportunities and free of hardships and restraints. We envision a life for them where they attend a pre-school in our neighborhood whose mission is world peace and social justice, and where they have the opportunity to go to the college of their dreams. We want our children to have their own little library full of their favorite books, and to learn from a young age how to give back to their community through volunteer work. We envision a life where they can explore any opportunities they want, whether those are extracurricular activities in music, sports or academics, professional opportunities, or opportunities to travel.
We know that giving our children the best possible life doesn't just mean providing financially or making sure they have the opportunities to thrive. We want our child to understand his/her full story--and that story starts with your love. We would enjoy the chance to get to know you, to support you, and ensure that you are a part of our child's continuing story through an open adoption. This includes frequent updates with pictures and in whatever form you might prefer--whether that may be through in-person visits, email, hand-written letters, phone calls or text messages. We'll follow your lead with whatever regular contact you're comfortable with throughout this life-long relationship.
Most importantly, our child will grow up in a safe and loving home, full of opportunities to explore the world, a nurturing environment that celebrates his or her identity and in a home where he or she will know from the very start the loving, incredible role that you have played.Warm regards,
Jamie & Lindsay
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