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Randy & Julie
Hi! We are a family of three that is so excited about becoming a family of four! Family is very important to us and we have a lot of love and affection to share with another child. It is hard to convey in words our excitement and how hopeful we feel about adoption and we want to thank you for taking the time learn more about us through our profile.
Our Leisure Time
Randy is an avid computer gamer and amateur astronomer. Julie likes to read, meditate, do yoga, and play the piano. She co-leads a small book club that meets every month or two. In addition to teaching, she is co-sponsor of the Genders and Sexualities Alliance Club at the high school where she works and the team leader for the Social Studies Department. For family activities we will play board games (some are competitive, some are cooperative), take hikes, or simply go out to eat once a week or so. We try to do special activities, too, like see plays, attend festivals (such as the Renaissance Festival and Festival of Books we recently attended), or do small road trips or camping as a family. The high school where Julie teaches has an excellent drama department, so we like to go see the plays and musicals performed there and, when child appropriate, we bring Penny along. Penny loves to be active outside, playing tag with her friends at school, climbing one of our backyard trees, or tossing the ball around with us in the evenings. Sometimes she will ride her bike in the neighborhood with her dad, or just go exploring on one of the desert trails near our home with her best friend who lives on our street. She also is an avid reader of Harry Potter and The Land of Stories. We think she will enjoying reading books to a younger sibling, playing a full four-square on our patio (right now we are a technically a three-square), and teaching a younger sibling to climb trees.
Education We Will Provide
We live in a good public school district. Our daughter attends the elementary school that is within walking distance (she walks home on Fridays). She also attended preschool through the school district---we think preschool is important, so we definitely plan to have our child go to preschool. We saw that it helped Penny to communicate better, learn to make friends, and even get a head start on reading, which she really enjoys. Julie is a high school teacher in the same school district, so she is fortunate to have mostly has the same vacation schedule as our daughter and is able to spend school breaks taking her to swim lessons, playing around at home, reading together, and going to the library. Julie feels very blessed to be able to have a great schedule so that it will allow her to do much the same with a second child!
We should also mention that we feel strongly about being able to assist our children with seeking a higher education. We work hard to provide our daughter, Penny, with a college savings account that we contribute to. We are committed to doing that with our next child as well so that they can have the same opportunity to explore her/his dreams. While college costs a lot these days, our hope is that we can at least help contribute to their future schooling so that our kids won’t graduate with enormous debt.
Please know that we believe it is important for our children to not only value hard work, but also to value kindness towards others. Education, for us, is not just about building academic skills, but also about learning how to treat others and developing empathy and compassion for others.
As a family who is comfortable adopting a child of another other race we are cognizant of the fact that we will need to actively seek out and provide a daughter/son of a different ethnicity than us with opportunities to learn about his/her ethnic culture and engage with peers. There are many opportunities for this in our community including school activities and programs, cultural events and celebrations, museums, books, etc. We are not experts by any means but we fully intend and are committed to continuing to educate ourselves as well as continuing to explore all opportunities to celebrate the culture heritage of an adopted child. Penny, our daughter, currently meets kids from different backgrounds than her own in her own classroom (in the same school district that Julie teaches in), in her gymnastic classes, through some close family friends, and also through conversations and books we have in our own house. As parents, we will always continue to educate both our children on cultural diversity and make sure that plays an important role in our family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a family friendly suburb of Arizona,. Our home is a single family residence of four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a nice backyard that looks out on natural desert where we can go hiking with our dog. Our neighborhood has a community pool that we enjoy going to as well as a grassy park and playground. There are many families in our neighborhood and our daughter, Penny, likes to visit with them on weekends or even have them over for sleepovers. The school that our children will attend is actually very close to us and we love the fact that it allows Penny to be able to walk home after school. Our neighborhood is the type of neighborhood where everyone watches out for one another and we've always felt very safe here and do not worry about Penny walking home from school or over to a friend's house to play. Most places in the city are about a 30-minute drive, putting us in that nice sweet spot of 'close' but not too close to the metro area.
Our public school district focuses a lot on community; each year they hold a community pride event in which students show off their work, register voters, compete in athletic and academic events, and participate in a parade at the fairgrounds. We truly do love our community and feel it is a great place to raise a family.
Our Extended Families
Julie's family consists of her mom, dad, and her brother and his family; she is also close with her cousins. Julie's parents live very close by (three houses away) and grandpa picks Penny up from school most days. Julie's brother and his family lives out of state. We have spent Thanksgivings in Rocky Mountain National Park hiking and enjoying the Estes Park Parade and Christmases sledding in the Midwest; there are always plenty of younger kids around and we want to add another young one to the family gatherings to share in the fun. While Randy’s family is much smaller, we do have an extensive network of close family friends that you could call our ‘framily.' We feel very strongly that you don’t have to be blood related to have a special family relationship. Part of our daughter’s framily is her Nana, Tata, and Aunt Vanessa and Uncle Brad who are always more than willing to babysit when we need them. We often spend Easters with them enjoying a nice meal and hunting eggs, Christmases exchanging gifts and maybe playing pinball (Tata has learned to make full size pinball machines in his retirement), and weekends visiting for dinner, playing board games or just catching up.
We also have a few family traditions that are special to our family—We like to decorate our Christmas tree while watching the Macy’s Parade. We usually find time for all of us, including friends and family, to head over to a local neighborhood to see the Christmas lights display. A few years ago, an Elf on the Shelf starting showing up at our house as well. It will be exciting to share holidays with another little one and see what new traditions we create together!
Our extended family have been very supportive of our adoption plan. They know how much we would love to welcome a new child into our lives and are looking forward to helping us along this journey.
From Us to You
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. We hope we can convey how much love our family has to give and our sincere desire to bring another child into our family.
We have been married for almost 11 years and have an 8-year-old daughter named Penny. We have wanted another child since the day our first child was born, but found it to be too difficult to have another child biologically. We love being parents! It is important to us that our children know they are loved. We want our kids to grow up to be kind and thoughtful and hardworking, but we also like to have fun with our family. We don’t believe in constantly scheduling and demanding perfection from our child, but we support her in developing a few outside interests (for Penny, gymnastics) and good habits (do your homework, but take breaks). As a teacher, Julie believes learning should be fun. In general, we believe kids need a balance of structure and freedom.
Julie: Both my husband and I work full time, though as a teacher I get to spend a lot of vacation time at home. I am part of a book club and play piano---if these sound like the hobbies of an introvert, then you'd be right. I tend to be on the quiet side, but I love to explore.
Randy: Like Julie I am something of an introvert. I enjoy video games and science fiction and astronomy. I am an only child. I work in information technology. The decision to have our first child didn't come easy for me, but once we had our daughter I couldn't imagine life without her. We are committed and loving parents and want very much to bring another child into our home.
We cannot possibly understand what you are feeling as you consider adoption. We strongly believe that an open relationship between all of us will help this child to know her or his place in the world. We are committed to sending you photos and regular updates to keep you in the loop. As our child grows, we hope that this communication would evolve so that our child could maybe even call or 'Facetime' to talk with birth family members. We also can commit to at least one visit post-adoption (and potentially more, taking into consideration the distance between our families). Our hope is that our relationship with birth parents that choose us will be open enough that our children will feel comfortable asking us questions about their birth families and planning visits to see their birth families. In other words, it shouldn’t be a ‘big deal’ for our child to come to us at any age to ask about their birth parents or wanting to talk to their birth parents. We would hope that our child would expect that they can do that naturally without having to worry.
Thank you for taking the time to read about us and consider us as an adoptive family.
Randy & Julie
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