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Doug & Karen
Hello! Everyone's life is a story. It is filled with happiness and sadness, opportunities and challenges. Being excellent parents is so important to us as we have so much love and fun we want to share. We want to hear your story and are thankful for the opportunity to share ours with you at this time.
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption is already close to our hearts as we chose to adopt our daughters Maddy and Kayleigh. We feel so blessed to have such strong relationships with them. Both of our daughters needed speech therapists that worked with us to help them achieve their best potential. This extra help gave them the skills to be where they are at today. We love Maddy and Kayleigh so much and would do anything for them!
Ever since we adopted our youngest daughter, it has been in our hearts to adopt another baby. We love being parents and we feel ready to expand our family. We are eager to hear the sound of little feet pitter-pattering around our home.
Maddy Through Her Own Eyes: Hi, I'm Maddy. My parents adopted me when I was a baby. I get to do so many fun things such as gymnastics. My favorite thing to do at gymnastics is the trampoline. On parent's day at my gym, the coach invited my mom to flip on the trampoline. The other kids thought my mom was so funny! The best part of being in my family is having a sister. I love being a big sister. My friends think Kayleigh is so cute and always want to come over and play with her. My family loves to go on fun vacations. Last year, we went to Disney World. It was so much fun. I can't wait to take my baby brother or sister to meet Mickey Mouse.
We are excited to welcome a baby of a different ethnicity than ours and we are blessed to live in an area rich in cultural diversity. We feel it is important for our children to have daily contact with children of all different ethnicities. Some of our closest friends and family have been touched by adoption and they are so excited for the new baby. Cultural diversity is important for us and we want our child to experience culture in ways that will help them become a respected and strong individual just as we have done with our daughter Kayleigh.
Our youngest daughter Kayleigh is from a different ethnic background than us and we have celebrated her ethnicity from the very beginning. We want Kayleigh to feel proud of her background and that we immediately flew half way across the country for her to become our daughter. We continue to enrich our lives with so many aspects of her ethnicity not only on a day to day basis, but also during the holidays. We are excited to hear about your cultural and family traditions so we can include them with the new baby and our family.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Doug About Karen: Karen is an incredible mother. She and our girls have special mother-daughter relationships. Before becoming a stay at home mom, Karen not only earned a college degree but also furthered her studies and earned a doctorate of education specializing in students with learning and emotional disabilities. Her hobbies include exercising and baking delicious desserts. I frequently find her baking chocolate chip cookies or decorating cakes in our kitchen! After the baby arrives, Karen is thrilled to continue in her role as a stay-at-home mom.
Karen About Doug: Doug is an amazing man with brown hair and brown eyes. He is a wonderful and dedicated father. He and our daughters play together every day. One of their favorite activities is swimming at our pool and sandy beaches nearby. Doug loves taking Maddy, Kayleigh and me (Karen) out to dinner. He earned his college degree in business and owns a successful construction company. His hobbies include biking, going out to eat at restaurants, and vacationing. Doug enjoys traveling with our family to Walt Disney World and even took us on our first Disney cruise. He is counting down the days until he can take our little one on our family's next cruise.
Our House and Neighborhood
Our diverse neighborhood in Michigan is perfect for raising a family. We live in a family friendly community with many parks, playgrounds, basketball courts, walking trails, ski slopes, pools and beaches nearby. Our schools are the best in the state. In fact, many students from other schools nearby want to attend our school district because they not only have excellent teachers but also have great students. Our schools are diverse and include many adopted students.
We recently built a new home in a beautiful neighborhood. We spend the majority of time in the kitchen cooking and hanging out in the family room. Our family also loves spending time outdoors. In the winter months, we find ourselves going outside together on a snowy day. We love to play in the snow and build a snowman. Our snowman wears a bright red scarf and a large hat that stays on until the snow melts in the spring. We are so excited for our future child to help us build our next snowman.
Our Extended Families
We both have families that are welcoming of our adoption. In fact, Karen's mother was adopted. Most of our family members live close to us. Karen's parents are married and along with two nieces are very involved with both of our daughters. Several years ago, Karen's sister passed away after battling cancer. Doug's parents are married as well and he has three siblings along with many nieces and nephews. Both sets of grandparents have houses on the beach and we spend many weekends in the summer enjoying the beach with our extended families. Our family has so much fun building large sandcastles on the sandy beach. We search for the perfect shells to decorate these sandcastles. Each summer we outdo the previous summer's sandcastles and can't wait for a new little one to help us decorate the sandcastle with shells he or she may find along the beach.
All of our family members continue their tremendous support throughout our past and current adoption experiences. We have many family traditions that include large birthday, Christmas, and Easter celebrations. Birthdays are a big celebration with both sides of our families that include a tradition of having a special birthday dinner with cake. After eating a delicious meal as a family, all of the kids, and sometimes the adults, break a piñata filled with candy and toys. In our family, a party is not a party without a piñata!
From Us to You
Our names are Doug and Karen and we are so glad that you took time to read our letter. We don't know your circumstances, but we know that it is from a place of love for the baby you are carrying. If you select us as a family for the baby, we will forever keep our promise to be the very best parents. We realize you may have so many questions, and we hope this letter lets you know more about our family and lives.
We have a strong marriage and would do anything for our daughters and future baby. We would like to adopt as this is what we feel God has called us to do. Adopting is a dream come true for us. We did try to conceive naturally, however, we were unsuccessful and did not pursue any fertility treatments as we always felt it in our hearts to adopt. We welcomed Maddy and Kayleigh when they were babies as their parents blessed us with the opportunity to adopt.
We cherish our adoptions with our daughters. We send frequent updates with pictures and letters about Maddy, Kayleigh, and our family. Both of our daughter's biological parents are able to look at the pictures and read all about how special and loved each one is. Although we did not have the opportunity to meet, Maddy and Kayleigh's biological parents are very special to us. Our family has a tremendous amount of respect for them and we think of them every day. Our daughters also have a special "Adoption Day." This is a day where we celebrate their adoptions individually. It is filled with games, presents, and a delicious dinner with all of our immediate and extended family members and friends. Our family also celebrates other adopted children's "Adoption Day" parties in our community.
It is our desire to create and honor an adoption plan together with you. We want the baby to know their adoption story and to feel proud of it. We want them to be able to understand they are loved even before birth. Just as with Maddy and Kayleigh, our families want to share with your baby a deep level of love and respect for you.
The most important part of our parenting style is God and family. Going to a diverse church as a family is very important to us. We attend the service as a couple while our daughters attend Sunday school. We believe parenting should be positive and children should be given choices. If children know they are loved and are given clear expectations, then they can flourish. We would like to tell your child about his or her birth family at age-appropriate levels and we plan on sharing their adoption story with him or her from the beginning. We look forward to sharing your child's life with you and we are open to reunions with you at appropriate times.
We do want you to know that we have loved every moment that we have spent preparing for this adoption and are so ready to love and welcome another baby into our lives. We will forever keep our promise to be the very best parents. Our families and circle of friends, many who have adopted, are so excited to meet and cherish this little person.
Thank you so much for reading about us. As we stated, we look forward to hearing about you if that is what you choose. Thank you for considering adoption.
Doug & Karen
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