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Chip & Marianna
Thank you so much for reading our profile and considering our family. We are so excited to grow our family through adoption. Our family is playful and adventurous but also full of deep and unconditional love. Thank you for your bravery and careful thought in this decision.
Why We Chose Adoption
After we had been married for five years, we wanted to start a family, but quickly learned that due to significant fertility issues, we would not be able to have a baby on our own. This came as a shock since we were otherwise young and healthy. However, with prayer and each other's support, we quickly came to feel that however we became parents, whether through adoption or fertility treatments or both, we would become the family that we were meant to be. Initially, we pursued both options but it quickly became clear that the fertility treatment option would allow us to become parents much more quickly. We were very eager to have a baby as soon as possible and we could not believe our good fortune to have boy-girl twins. Once the twins were in preschool, we were ready to have another child and were lucky to become pregnant again via the same route with a little girl.
However, the desire to have another child, and specifically to have another child through adoption, kept returning. Over the years, the feeling grew stronger for us both. When Chip said to Marianna one night, "I think this is the perfect time to start the adoption process," her immediate answer was "Yes!" We told the kids, not knowing for sure how they would react, but they were (and are) so excited to welcome a new baby brother or sister to our family.
We have tried to raise all our children to have a spirit of adventure. We plan to give each of them the chance to explore the natural wonders of National Parks across the U.S., and to see the world, experiencing other cultures through international travel. Starting from their earliest years, we have taken them to beaches, mountains, national parks, and big cities. In all of these places, we have steadily taught them how to be a safe traveler, hiker, and swimmer.
On our national park trips, we love to get away from everything. Away from technology, schedules, and homework we all feel so calm. We have some of our best conversations while on the trail, from discussing life's big questions to telling jokes and funny stories we all remember. Our children have a love of nature and want to help protect it for future generations.
We have been fortunate to take advantage of our public school dual language programs. One of our children is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and another is getting close to fluent in Spanish. We wish we had this chance ourselves growing up, so last summer, we started weekly Spanish classes as a family (turns out kids learn much faster than adults!). Hopefully we can all use what we have learned on visits to Spanish and Chinese speaking countries.
We chose to raise our family in a diverse community. Our children have close friends of other racial backgrounds including black, Latino, and Asian. Our youngest child will grow up seeing these children in and out of our house playing with their older siblings and will know other biracial families and transracial families formed through adoption. Our unique area also draws people from all over the world and our family has friends who have moved here from China, Brazil, South Korea, Argentina, and England. Celebration and awareness of our differences and unique experiences/perspectives in the world is something that is valued by our family.
We look forward to becoming a transracial family and have the full support of our family and friends. Our family is comfortable talking about our differences and feelings and continuing to educate ourselves in the ways in which we can support our child in feeling confident, beautiful, and proud in his or her own racial identity while still feeling a deeply connected, equal, and valued member of our family. We will be sure our child knows we want him or her to be honest with us about their experience in our family and in the outside world and that we are always on their side. Specifically when we think of a child of African American heritage joining our family we are glad that African American members of our community hold respected positions of leadership including roles as teachers and school principals.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a university town just outside a major city in North Carolina. We chose our town in part for the school district, which is rated top in the state. It offers excellent academic preparation for college, a racially and culturally diverse group of students and teachers, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities so that each student can explore their talents.
Our neighborhood is very safe and is packed with kids of all ages. Each of our children has several friends within a few blocks' walk away. We get together often with neighbors for organized holiday events, barbecues, and just playing/riding bikes on the quiet streets. Within a couple of blocks of our home are two playgrounds and miles of well-maintained hiking and biking trails. We also belong to a local pool/tennis club where our kids enjoyed swimming lessons and now swim team.
We have a large, three-level suburban home. All our bedrooms are upstairs where everyone has their own space but we are also easily available if needed in the night. The baby's bedroom will be the one closest to ours. Our favorite room is the screened porch where we can look out on the trees and listen to the birds. The kids' favorite room is the lower level finished basement that opens to the backyard and is devoted to games, art, crafts, movies/video games, indoor soccer, and space to run, jump and be as loud as they like on bad-weather days.
Our Extended Families
Both our families are so excited to welcome a new child and 100% support our decision to adopt. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (six so far but expecting more!) are within driving distance and we love to celebrate Christmas or other holidays together or just get together for a quick weekend trip to the beach or the mountains.
Chip's family loves to enjoy watching sports together. They all grew up playing multiple sports, especially soccer; and when they were not playing sports, they were getting together to watch Steelers football, Penguins hockey, college football, basketball, or soccer. One of Chip's family's favorite traditions since he was little has been to go to Disney World together every year and the whole family is already talking with excitement about introducing our youngest child to all the magic of Disney. Marianna's family all live just a few hours away. Grandma "Sissa" visits frequently and always brings a big box of new kids crafts for the weekend. Marianna's family loves nature and the outdoors and has a cabin in the Virginia mountains nearby, a perfect place to relax and go hiking together.
In between visits we all stay in touch with Facetime, even the toddlers have so much fun talking to their cousins and grandparents this way.
From Us to You
We do not know you, but know it takes an exceptionally brave and loving person to nurture a baby through pregnancy and consider an adoption plan. Should you choose us as parents, know that we will always speak of you openly and with respect and gratitude. Your child will always know they were brought into this world and into our family through your selfless love. We want to respect your privacy, but we would welcome an open adoption. We will share your child's growth and happy moments through letters and photos, and if you wish via phone/video chat. When the time is right we would love to coordinate in-person visits.
We have been married for 20 years and parents for 13 years. We learned early in our marriage that having a baby on our own would not be possible and we had dreamed that someday we would be able to grow our family through adoption. We are so excited to begin this new stage in our family's life and Melanie, Aidan, and Ella cannot wait to meet their new baby brother or sister.
We will support your child with unconditional love for as long as we live. We want our home to be the safe stable place that all our children know is always there, so that they can have the confidence to go out into the wider world and follow their dreams. We want them to see a world of opportunities and open doors, ready to explore, and empowered in the knowledge that they have the ability, skills, and support to build their own amazing and unique life path. We believe every person has a special way to contribute to the world and make it better and we are excited to experience this journey with our children.,p>We are lucky to live in a fairly idyllic community. We enjoy excellent schools, extracurricular activities, racial and cultural diversity, nature, and the culture of universities, museums, live music, and theater. The sidewalk lined streets and cul-de-sacs of our neighborhood are full of friends jogging, biking, and walking dogs or babies in strollers. Our home is a happy gathering place for our children's friends to play soccer in the yard, paint or make slime in the art room, or play legos and board games in the playroom. After hours of swimming at the pool, we love to come home on summer evenings and have family friends over to cookout and make s'mores over the fire pit. We enjoy a month-long celebration of Christmas! Every year we decorate the house and tree, sing carols, make gingerbread houses, look each morning for that oh-so-silly elf-on-the-shelf, go to the Nutcracker ballet, and see our children in the Christmas pageant at church.
Our greatest joys as parents are in the every day moments. It is magical to see a child's face light up the first time they stay up on their bike without training wheels (with one of us running beside them praying they don't fall again!). We love to see them filled with pride when they come home from school with a new art project, an award for good character, or announcing they got a solo in the chorus concert or a good grade on a challenging test. But the most special time in our family is reading and snuggling at bedtime, such a sacred nightly tradition even our 13-year-old twins would not go to sleep without at least a good night talk and a hug and kiss from us.
Family and faith are and will always be at the center of our lives. Your child will never be alone, as they will always be surrounded by the love of parents and the world's most kind and playful siblings, as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who are like family. We will raise them to know that God is always with them, loving them and loving both their adoptive family and their birth family.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know our family. We would love to answer any questions you may have for us.
With gratitude and respect,
Chip & Marianna
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