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Christophe & Dennice
Thank you for considering us as potential parents to your child; we realize that you have a difficult decision ahead of you. To us, parenthood means not only sharing our unconditional love and respect for one another with a child, but also nurturing their spirit to help them achieve their dreams. Adventures together are one of our great joys and becoming parents will be the biggest adventure of our lives. We can't wait!
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption has always seemed like a natural way to build our family as it has played an important role in shaping both of our lives. Dennice joined her family during high school and their love and support laid the foundation for who she is today. Her family has supported her in maintaining relationships with her biological siblings, including them in family gatherings at their house and other important events. Christophe's cousin adopted his son internationally, which blessed us not only with a delightful addition to the family but also introduced us to many interesting and fun traditions from his homeland of South Africa. Our entire family feels blessed to have families built in nontraditional ways as it has greatly enriched all of our lives. Our families can't wait to welcome the next new family member.
Our Leisure Time
We love to travel and therefore spend a lot of our vacation time visiting new places both within and outside of the United States. We especially enjoy learning about life in different countries and experiencing all of the unique foods and traditions that each place has to offer. While at home we treasure our time together walking in the park, visiting local museums, eating popcorn at the movies, and cheering for our local sports teams. During the summer we often go on day trips to one of the many ocean cities in the area. Sailing is one of Christophe's growing passions and he is especially looking forward to sharing his love of the sea with our child.
Cooking is another one of our common interests, whether just for ourselves or when entertaining family and friends. The latter affords us the added benefit of spending time with the people we care about. Dennice's baking and Christophe's pancakes are quite the hit with our littlest friends and family members. We love music and are fond of dancing in the kitchen while making dinner. We are excited to welcome a new little one into our kitchen dance parties, as well as on trips to the local aquarium and children's museum with friends and visiting family members. We can't wait to create new adventures with our child.
Our Family Traditions
Our most treasured traditions revolve around gatherings of family and friends. We typically rotate holidays between the US, Canada and the Bahamas, where most of our extended family live. These gatherings bring together family members from all over to reconnect and spend time catching up as a family. All of our celebrations include at least one big dinner, where we share lots of food, laughter and stories. Trips to the park have become an important part of these gatherings, where our nieces and nephews enjoy playing together and sometimes even beating their aunts and uncles on the soccer field. When in the Bahamas, we enjoy beach volleyball and swimming.
Many of our joint traditions have come from combining our favorite childhood memories. Sunday morning waffles and ice cream is one of Dennice's family rituals that we have integrated into our own special occasion tradition. Our 11 nieces and nephews especially look forward to this vacation treat, whenever they visit. One of Christophe's childhood favorites that we both enjoy is "Ma's Cake;" a special occasion recipe. We also incorporate some of Granny's Bahamian favorites into our celebrations in order to bring Christophe's island roots into our home.
Our family traditions strengthen our bonds with our extended families and one another. As we look to the future, we look forward to sharing these traditions with our child, and to creating new ones in the years to come.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a three bedroom house with a front porch and a backyard where our nieces, nephews and family friends enjoy playing ball, badminton and climbing the trees. Our city is very diverse with a wide array of parks, sporting venues and cultural activities. There are also a number of great professional sports teams in the area. The local Aquarium, Science and Children's museums make it a great place to raise children. We are close to Washington DC and all of the activities it has to offer, including the National Gallery and the Smithsonian museums.
Our neighborhood has wide streets, old trees and many green spaces conducive to long walks where we often run into neighbors. Our local public school is a blue ribbon school that is the best in the city. One special feature of our community is "the lakes;" a series of ponds that host a variety of fish and other animals that children often come to visit and feed. The lakes is at the center of a number of neighborhood activities including a Children's Halloween Parade where children, their parents and costumed pets all participate. There is also an annual picnic and summer movie night at the neighborhood Park; this year the movie selected by community vote was "Princess Bride" and the food was provided by a local taco truck. Several nearby market squares hold community activities such as weekly summer concerts where families come to eat, dance and socialize.
Our Extended Families
Christophe is the oldest of seven children, who along with their spouses and children make our yearly gatherings with his extended family (often at Thanksgiving) large and boisterous. His mother, sister, several of his brothers and their families live within a few hours, which allows us to spend weekends together on a regular basis. Most of his extended family lives in the Bahamas, which is a great place for family reunions. The family got together for Christophe's Grandmother's 90th birthday in 2016 and for his cousin's wedding last February. The Bahamas is great for fun family trips and we enjoy family excursions to neighboring islands for beach days and cookouts. Talent shows are another family tradition; we have many budding singers, dancers and poets in the next generation.
Dennice has a brother and sister who have a combined 4 children, as well as two brothers from her biological father that have given us two additional nephews. We get together with Dennice's family regularly as well. Recently, we traveled to Disney Land and Universal Studios (most notably Harry Potter World) together. One summer, we spent a week in the Outer Bank's with Dennice's mom, sister, brother and their families in a large beach house. We had a great time swimming at the beach, playing family card games and exploring together. The wild horse tour was the highlight of the trip for all.
From Us to You
Hello, our names are Christophe and Dennice. We want to begin by thanking you for taking the time to get to know a little bit about us. We appreciate that this must be a truly challenging time in your life, and we cannot imagine the difficulty of the decision you face in selecting a home for your child. Our marriage has been a long and happy one based on unconditional love, trust and respect. We are excited to share that unconditional love with your child and assure you that the stability and joy in our home will provide a nurturing environment for your child.
We have been married for almost 14 years, but our lives together began long before that when we met as high school students. After graduation, college plans and family obligations led us in different directions and to separate coasts for a couple of years but our love endured. Soulmates and life companions in every sense of the word, we are excited to build our family as the next important step in our life journey together.
Children have always been an important part of our lives. We have spent many years enjoying spending time with our many nieces and nephews (we have 11 ranging in age from 6 months to 20 years). As we discussed how to build our family we realized that adoption has always felt right to both of us. We both have personal experience with adoption; Dennice joined her family in her early teens and Christophe has been blessed with two family members through adoption. Our lifetimes of love and memories with our families only serve to reinforce to us the importance of love over biology in building strong families.
Family and friends are extremely important to us, and ours will provide a strong circle of love and protection for your child. Much of our vacation time is spent visiting or traveling with family and friends. We formally arrange a yearly get together with Christophe's immediate family that currently includes his mother, 6 siblings, 3 spouses and 4 children. Each of Dennice's 4 siblings and their families typically visit us at least once a year. We also enjoy vacations with her side of the family about every other year. We are lucky to have family close enough that we can regularly travel to various soccer matches and hockey games as well as for special occasions (like birthdays). Our nieces and nephews are excited and looking forward to meeting their new cousin.
Education is another value that we both share. Dennice is a college professor, who enjoys teaching undergraduate students as well as engaging with the local community through science and math outreach events at local schools and during campus summer programs. We both recognize that formal education is only part of what is important and therefore enjoy spending time at local museums, art galleries and historical sites with our nieces and nephews. Travel leads to greater understanding of different people and cultures and this is another important part of our lives. We are committed to providing a supportive environment in which your child can learn and develop their own passions as they grow into a caring citizen of the world.
We know you have a difficult decision ahead of you. We assure you that should you choose us as parents for your child, we will ensure that they always know that your adoption plan was made out of love for them. We are happy to share the stories of your child's growth and milestones with you through photos, letters, emails and visits, if you so desire. We will always be grateful for the role that you play in building our family.
With love and respect,
Christophe & Dennice
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