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Adam & Dru
We have been talking about adoption for 20 years. Our dream family of two biological and two adopted children is ignited by scripture, and strengthened by years of prayer, conversation, and research. After 15 years of marriage, two biological sons and one adopted daughter, we are excited to complete our family with one more child. Our hearts are filled with hopeful anticipation!
Adoption in Our Lives
Our desire to adopt is inspired by our faith, not due to difficulty conceiving. Adoption has always been part of our dream for a family.
While researching adoption we learned connecting a child's biography with their biology is in the best interest of everyone. Our daughter's adoption is open, and she is thriving. We navigate the openness with her birth mom. We've spent time visiting in person and video chatting/sharing pictures online. We've gotten together to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, and just for fun. Our commitment to maintaining a healthy relationship with our daughter's birth family is unwavering.
We talk about adoption openly in our home. We have pictures of our daughter's birth family, we pray for them often, and we talk about them in conversation like we do with other members of our family. Imma calls her birth mom 'Mommy K', which sometimes surprises other people. We remind them we're not threatened by her relationships with her birth family. We celebrate having them involved in her life! We talk about them with respect, value the advice they give us about Imma's hair, and love that she has so many people that adore experiencing her grow up. We are ready and excited to build a relationship with our next child's birth family with an openness that makes them feel comfortable.
Adoption has always been part of our family's dream. Interracial adoption became a priority while Dru was teaching in an inner city school. The population was primarily low socio-economic Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic families. Dru was working on her Masters in Reading at the same time and learning about the achievement gap in our country's education system. She was greatly impacted by education policies that put students of color at an immediate disadvantage as well as the differences in expectations/discipline of African American students compared to Caucasian students in her school. That exposure to injustice is what committed her and Adam to adopt two African American children.
We prepared for our first adoption by reading about African American culture, conversations with African American friends, and interactions with other interracial families. Once our daughter was born, we invested in her culture through relationships with her birth family. They've taught us how to keep her hair healthy, shared a favorite family song to sing to Imma, and we share pictures/messages online regularly. Imma knows her birth sisters and cousins, and her birth family knows her adopted brothers. Blending our families takes energy and intentionality, and it is life changing for all of us. We will give the same amount of energy to our next child and their birth family by creating relationships that makes everyone feel comfortable and maintaining them as the child grows up.
What Made Us Who We Are Today
Faith is the foundation of both our families. Dru's dad is a retired United Methodist pastor, so her family was always committed to their home church. Adam's family was also involved in the leadership of their church through choir and Sunday School, so they attended weekly as well. We were both taught the importance of tithing to our church, giving extra offerings to organizations in our community, and volunteering at our church using our unique gifts. Those are the same lessons we teach our children now.
Adam is an ordained United Methodist pastor. He served the local church for several years before transitioning careers. He still preaches several times a year and is a mentor to newly ordained pastors in the church, but his current career is as a Financial Advisor. His company is unique in the financial industry in how it connects faith and financial planning, so he's able to help his clients holistcally.
Dru has two degrees in education. She taught elementary music for seven years before staying home with her kids. Dru chose to work with elementary students because she's most passionate about the early stages of music making where students improvise with their bodies, voices, and instruments. She is able to maintain her love of music by singing in a community choir, playing piano, and singing with the kids.
Our House and Neighborhood
We've lived in Missouri for 10 years, but we just purchased our 'forever home' last year. It's on a cul-de-sac, has a long, flat driveway perfect for playing, and a great backyard. We have a big garden bed that Dru is pumped to fill with vegetable plants this spring! Our family's new favorite thing is our trampoline outside. Our two-story home has four bedrooms and a big unfinished basement, so we've got lots of room as our family grows. Our favorite parts of our new home are the bright kitchen with an epic island and our sunroom just off the kitchen. Someday it will have comfy furniture for adults/teenagers, but it's currently a playroom for the kids. There are two community parks close by, and we're members of a local pool. Our street is diverse, and there's a mixture of older families and young families like ours. People often take walks with their kids and pets, so we've enjoyed getting to know some of our neighbors this last year.
Education is top priority for all our children, so we were committed to settling down where our kids would have the best public education. The elementary, middle, and high school are all within a five minute drive of our home. We also live close to an amazing zoo. Our family loves going together! We ride the train each time we go and visit our favorite exhibits - the penguins and sea lions.
Our Extended Families
Dru is the youngest of four daughters. While growing up, holidays, birthdays, and vacations were all spent with family. Today that tradition continues. Dru's parents have a house in the country with woods for hiking, a huge field for kickball and soccer games, and an in-ground pool. Everyone gathers there for Thanksgiving and pool parties. With 13 grandchildren and 10 adults, it's a full house! We watch football or basketball games and movies, play games outside, and play cards/board games at the game table by the fireplace. Everyone has favorite foods, so we plan our meals ahead of the each trip to make sure we eat everyone's requests. Food is our family's love language.
Adam and his sister saw the vastness of the U.S. on their family vacations growing up. One of their favorite trips was visiting the Southwest. Adam remembers his dad waking their family up before dawn while at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Both Adam and his sister complained about having to get up so early, until they were met with the breath taking view of the sunrise hitting the canyon floor. Adam's parents still enjoy trips in their travel trailer in their retirement, which leads to regular visits to spend time with their grandkids.
Both our families fully support our adoption plan. Our daughter has been welcomed into our extended family just like our biological sons. Everyone is giddy about our next adoption - they can't wait to love on another baby!
From Us to You
We met our freshman year of college and knew right away we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. While dreaming about our future family, we saw four children: two biological and two adopted. Scripture ignited this dream. James 1:27 talks about being truly devoted to God through caring for children who need a home. Now, we've been married 15 years, have 3 children, and we're excited to complete our family through one more adoption.
Adam is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. He served the local church through full-time ministry for seven years before transitioning careers. He is still active in the church by preaching several times a year, presiding over weddings and baptisms, and mentoring newly ordained pastors. His current career is as a Financial Advisor. His company is unique in the financial industry in that it connects faith and financial planning, so he's able to help his clients holistically.
Dru was an elementary music teacher for seven years and has a Masters in Reading. Currently she is a stay-at-home parent. Dru uses her teaching experience every day with our children: understanding different learning styles, lots of patience, positive reinforcement, and using humor and games to make tasks more fun. Dru serves home-cooked meals every day, avoids processed foods and harmful chemicals as much as possible (uses natural cleaning supplies, soaps, lotions, and shampoos), and limits electronics so our kids can play.
Adam was a full-time graduate student with a part-time job, and Dru was teaching full time and going to graduate school at night when Israel, our oldest, was born. Adam rearranged his class schedule so he could be home with Israel during the day, and Dru continued to work to support the family. Once Adam finished graduate school, Dru resigned from her teaching position to stay home with the kids, and Adam worked to support the family. Since both of us have been the provider and the parent at home, we know how to support each other - especially on stressful days!
We delight in our children. Israel (11), Ezekiel (9), and Immanuel (3) are smart, funny, kind, energetic, curious, and full of joy. When Zeke was born, we marveled at how Israel adored him. After Imma was born, we watched them both become protective big brothers together. Imma lights up any time we talk about bringing our last baby home. She is so excited to be a big sister.
Our support system is incredible. Dru's sister and her family live in the next neighborhood, and our families share meals, movie nights with our niece and nephew, trips to the zoo and the pool, and watch each other's kids. Both Dru and Adam's parents love spending time with their grandchildren, so our kids are lucky to know all their grandparents. Our closest friends are fiercely loyal. They've supported us through our adoption journeys as well as the trials and joys of work, marriage, and parenting. Any time we need prayer coverage, conversation, laughter, and company, we have friends who meet us where we are and walk alongside us.
Our daughter's adoption is open, and we cherish having her birth family in her life. We are committed to creating relationships with our next child's birth family as well. Meeting in person, sending letters, emailing, sharing pictures, video chats, phone calls - we're open to working together to create a relationship that makes everyone comfortable.
The respect we have for birth parents is the foundation for our approach to adoption. We expect our family and friends to share that respect, especially in front of our children. We are also praying fervently for our last child's birth family. Thank you for considering us in your adoption journey and for sharing our love for new life - one of God's greatest gifts!
Adam & Dru