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Doug & Janet
We were both taught that a child who is adopted is loved twice. First, loved by a mother who made a choice for them to have a better life and again loved by the parents who are given the gift to raise them. We hope that you will consider giving us the opportunity to help your child be twice-loved as they grow up.
Adoption in Our Lives
Janet and her brother were both adopted at birth (five years apart) and Janet has recently connected with her birth mother, birth father, and other biological siblings. This initial connection was somewhat shocking (through a simple email on ancestry.com), but has been a positive and happy experience. Janet has met her birth mother and now understands what a tough decision she made to place her for adoption. She also sees how much relief and peace her biological mother feels now that she sees that Janet was given a wonderful and stable life by her adoptive parents. Additionally, Doug’s dad was adopted from an orphanage. Adoption is a part of our family story and is a journey we have eagerly pursued.
As long as Janet can remember, her parents explained to her that she was “twice loved” -once by her biological mom and then again by her adoptive parents. Growing up Janet felt that being adopted was unique, and it shaped part of what made her special. She would use her own story, and the stories of our other immediate family who are adopted, to explain adoption to your child.
Our Leisure Time
Our family loves spending time outdoors. Depending on the season, we can often be found on the weekends hiking, biking, rafting, or skiing together. Doug also enjoys climbing mountains with our dog, Finn.
In 2017, we purchased a small cabin with three other families to ensure that we had a place to spend time with family and enjoy the mountains. The cabin is a great place to get away from it all. We love drinking coffee on the huge porch that looks out over the mountains. Cassin’s favorite part of the cabin is the bed in the loft, where he enjoys playing with his many stuffed animals. And Finn loves chasing the squirrels under the deck!
In addition to spending time in the outdoors, we enjoy having quiet dinners together, reading books on the couch, and spending time with friends. We also try to go to a concert at Red Rocks (the best place in the world to experience music) at least once each year.
Our Family Traditions
Traditions in our family center around holidays, especially Christmas. We often get together with both families around the Holidays. Every Christmas Eve, our family bundles up and we head out in the car to look for Santa Claus. It doesn’t take long to spot a red light (Rudolph’s nose) in the distance, and then we are off driving in circles trying to track the jolly elf down. Santa always eludes us and delivers presents to our house while we are gone, though sometimes we catch a glimpse of him when we pull into the driveway or see reindeer and sleigh tracks in the snow.
Favorite holiday foods in Janet’s family include tamales and posole (a Mexican soup). At Doug’s parents' house, Christmas is not complete until we’ve had our fill of Dutch Letters (a pastry with sweet filling) and a choice between beef chili and clam chowder. And, of course, both of our families enjoy decorating and eating Christmas cookies.
Our Extended Families
It’s hard to explain the level of excitement that both our families had when we shared that we were beginning the process of adoption. For Janet’s parents, they recalled the joy and love they experienced when they found out that she had been born and that they would adopt her and then later adopt her brother. They can’t wait for us to experience this joy. For Doug’s parents, his Dad recalled the special history of his adoption in his own family. All sides of our family are over the moon at the prospect of adding another child to our family and continuing our tradition of adoption into a third generation.
We have been very lucky to have Janet’s parents and brother nearby. Doug’s parents and brother live in Iowa, but they visit us in Colorado often and we visit Iowa often as well. Summer usually involves an annual 4th of July trip to Iowa with bike rides along the river, home-made ice-cream, and walks in the woods between our family’s homes. Cousin time at the pool or in the woods are an absolute highlight of the Iowa trips for our son. Fall includes visits to the annual chile-festivals and the State Fair in Janet’s hometown, and hosting Thanksgiving with all of our families together.
Our House and Neighborhood
We started to type that we live on a quiet street and then remembered there is one sound that should be mentioned, screams from a roller coaster! Our family lives in Colorado in a house with easy access to the mountains. We live next to the park in our small town, 10-minutes from an urban center, and within walking distance of a vintage amusement park.
Our house was a farm house built in the late 1800’s and renovated in 2012. It includes three bedrooms and a big kitchen where we enjoy entertaining our friends and family. The best part for us is our big yard where we are often found digging in our gardens, sitting on the covered front porch, or grilling out. Our “small town” block is nestled within a larger urban city so major league sports, arts venues, and large city parks are equally as accessible as attending small-town ice-cream socials or swimming at the neighborhood pool.
We are also lucky to live very close to good friends with small children. We often make last minute play-dates to meet at the parks in early evenings or on weekend mornings.
From Us to You
How do we start a letter to individuals who could alter the trajectory of our lives? Words seem insignificant to describe the hard decision you are considering right now and the role that you will play in our lives if you help our family become complete. Janet (who was adopted a birth) has recently met her birth mother and now imagines that the two hardest questions you are asking yourself are, “Will my baby have a good life and home? And, will my child be upset that I made this decision?”. We can only hope to assure you, as Janet assured her birth mother, that she had made the best decision for her life when she completed the selfless act of placing Janet for adoption. We hope you too will someday be able to feel this way as you consider allowing us to adopt your child.
We know you have had a chance to learn about us, but we’d like to share more about our family. We met as next-door neighbors and a year later moved in together. We dated for four years before getting married in 2012 and recently celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary together. We’ve had many adventures together in those six years, including attending two presidential inaugurations, traveling to Africa, and spending many days hiking up mountains and floating on rivers across the West. We are also lucky to have strong friendships from our childhood and college years, close friends that live near us, and immediate family who love and support us nearby.
In 2014, after considering both adoption and pregnancy, we were able to get pregnant with our son. Cassin was born in December 2014. Being parents to this wonderful little boy has been the absolute best part of each of our lives so far. Cassin is now 3 ½ and started pre-school this fall. We knew from the beginning that we wanted our son to have a sibling.
We have experienced two miscarriages since 2016. We have grieved and at the same time become more committed to becoming adoptive parents and expanding our family. Given our own histories with adoption (Doug’s father was also adopted), we believe that the decision to be a mom and dad again is only a matter of when rather than “how.” We have so much love to give and there is a little one out there ready to love us back.
Having recently met her birth mother and spoken to her birth father, Janet has been delighted to understand parts of her biological family history and to have some “mysteries” of where she came from solved. She has been excited to learn that she has more than 6 half-siblings, and has been touched to hear the story of how her biological mother prayed for her and her parents, even after all these years. We want our child to have more information about your life and history if you choose to share it with them.
We also want you to know how your child is doing and who they are becoming through sharing regular emails and letters, as well as inviting you to connect in person. We would love for you to meet us prior to the baby being born and hope that we could begin to build a relationship that supports you during your pregnancy and helps establish your trust in us as parents. Open adoption gives us the gift to know and share even more with your child.
A letter can never capture the weight of the decision that you are making, or the impact that decision will have on making our family complete. We only hope that the love we will show to your child every day will honor your choice.
Doug & Janet
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