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Matthew & Dennis
Our adopted cat, Martin, is cute and keeps us good company and all, but we're ready to grow our family, to share our hearts and home with children. While we're certain about adoption, you face a difficult decision. Thank you for considering adoption and us as you weigh your options. If it makes any difference to you, we think Martin is willing to share his toys.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
We both have traveled widely, have friends from diverse backgrounds, and love learning and experiencing different cultures. We believe no one culture is better than another, that each has something different to offer. We do not fear diversity, but embrace it, knowing that it is our differences that make life interesting. We want to impart this openness and curiosity to the children we raise. At the same time, we want them to understand and embrace their own cultural heritage. We have a responsibility to keep our histories, traditions, and customs alive, but they also keep us grounded in an ever-changing world.
Regardless of our children's backgrounds, we will expose them to many different cultures. We spend a lot of time with our friends, included among them are African Americans, Filipinos, Greeks, Haitians, Icelanders, Mexicans, Indians, Pakistanis, Persians, Taiwanese, and Trinidadians. We love sharing in their cultural traditions. In addition, because we live in Washington, D.C., a cosmopolitan city, but also the location of every countries' embassies, we are constantly exposed to different cultures. One of our favorite annual events is the weekend in spring when all the embassies open their doors to the public. It's fun to learn about what makes people proud of their countries. But it's also worthwhile that they provide free food samples.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Dennis About Matthew: I feel lucky to have Matthew as my husband for so many reasons. He's easily one of the funniest people I've ever known. He always makes me laugh and reminds me to slow down and relax and not take things so seriously all the time. His playful attitude is especially on display when he's entertaining children. I admire how smart he is and how he is constantly reading to learn about history and other issues. Matthew is also a very talented violinist and classical music aficionado. He introduced me to classical music, and I appreciate that he enjoys teaching me about it. Matthew is also an incredible cook, which means I'm very spoiled. He loves to make up new recipes and is always in the kitchen working on a new type of cuisine. Matthew is also very kind and generous with his friends and values his friendships above most all things, which is why you'll often find us hosting groups of friends in our home over a meal that Matthew has prepared.
Matthew About Dennis: Dennis, who is an Eagle Scout, is a boy scout through and through. He lives by the oath, "To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." He's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, always putting other people before himself and always respectful. I've never heard a bad thing said about Dennis, which is more than I can say about myself (I sometimes can offend people with my bone-dry sense of humor, although I don't mean to and I'm quick to apologize). Dennis is also extremely humble, never one to boast about his many talents. Any parent would be proud to have a son like Dennis, and I'm hoping a little bit of him rubs off on our children. I know he'll be a wonderful, loving, attentive father.
Adoption in Our Family
Matthew has been surrounded all his life by people who were adopted. His first friends were adopted. His parents' neighbors adopted an infant brother and sister from the Dominican Republic right around the time Matthew was born. He also has several cousins who are adopted, and even had a foster brother for a few years. But the person who has affected him the most is his Aunt Rodney. Matthew's grandmother, at age 15, got pregnant and chose adoption. She never told anyone about it, including Matthew's mother and her three older brothers, who she would later have. When Matthew's mother was 36, she got a knock at the door. It was the sister she never knew she had. Rodney spent dozens of years looking for her birth mother. She even hired a private investigator. She was raised as an only child by her adopted parents, so she was thrilled to learn she had a half-sister, as well as three half-brothers. She and Matthew's mother immediately bonded, but it also saddened Matthew's mother that for 36 years she was kept in the dark about her half sister. This experience helped inform Matthew's appreciation for open adoption. He would never want to put anyone through such anguish.
Our House and Neighborhood
We moved last year into our spacious 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom row house in a residential part of Washington, D.C., specifically so we could start the adoption process and be in a more ideal community to raise children. On a typical evening after work, you'll find Dennis tending our vegetable garden and Matthew in the kitchen figuring out what to cook with all the zucchini Dennis harvests.
Our neighborhood is racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse with lots of families with young children. Our neighbors are friendly and constantly doing things to promote community, like hosting block parties, book clubs, and volunteer activities. We love to sit on our front porch and chat with our neighbors and wave to passers by. Just a few blocks away is a big park with a fun playground that is always teeming with kids. A few blocks further, the city is building an outdoor community pool. Also within walking distance is an indoor community pool. We are also adjacent to Rock Creek Park, a really beautiful urban oasis kind of like New York's Central Park, that is great for exploring nature, jogging, biking, hiking, and picnicking. And the elementary, middle, and high schools your child would go to are all within walking distance.
D.C. is great for families. Most of the museums are free, the National Zoo (also free) is nearby, and there are tons of family-friendly cultural events taking place all the time, including concerts, plays, and musicals that we enjoy going to.
Our Extended Families
Dennis's family lives two hours away in Delaware. We get together often, either here in D.C., in Delaware, or at our vacation home in the mountains of West Virginia. Last Christmas in Delaware, Dennis's nieces and nephew treated us to an impromptu talent show. That's how Dennis learned to do the floss. Should you choose us, he will teach your child all three of his dance moves: the floss, the Macarena, and the sprinkler.
Matthew's family lives in Florida where he grew up. We visit each other every few months. When we're in Florida, you can usually find us swimming with Matthew's niece and nephew in his brother's pool or at the beach. We like to take Matthew's family to the museums and historic sites around D.C. when they visit. When we were at our vacation home as a family last Independence Day, we were blown away by our little town's amazing fireworks display. We're excited to share this special place with new members of the family.
Family is central to us. Though we no longer live where we grew up and where our families remain, we keep in close contact, spending holidays together, vacationing together, visiting on weekends, and regularly talking on the phone (Matthew's mom loves to FaceTime).
Our parents are delighted to be grandparents once more, our nieces and nephews can't wait for another cast member for their talent shows, and our friends are excited for their children to have another playmate.
From Us to You
You may have already read a lot; thank you for taking the time to read about us.
We (Matthew and Dennis) have been together for nine years, married for almost three of them. We have a deep and abiding love for each other. We get along really well and respect each other. In fact, we started out as friends and consider each other best friends. We know each other's likes and dislikes. Dennis knows Matthew needs coffee first thing in the morning. And Matthew knows Dennis always has room for ice cream. Dennis knows Matthew is passionate about justice and equality. And Matthew knows Dennis is just as passionate about Mariah Carey.
We're both hardworking professionals with jobs we enjoy (Dennis is an architect and Matthew is a writer/editor). But we are equally serious about our hobbies and spending time with family and friends. For example, Matthew is an incredible cook, who often whips up tasty meals. And Dennis enjoys gardening around our new home (he grew a vegetable garden that has kept our fridge full of salad all summer long) and is forever working on home-improvement projects. We both like to ride our bikes, take long walks, and visit the many museums in D.C. Most of all, we enjoy being with our friends and family.
Early on when we were just dating, we talked about family and how important family is to each of us. We learned that we both wanted to have a house full of children. But we also learned that we both wanted to grow our families through adoption. Other means, like surrogacy, never entered our minds.
It's also never mattered to us whether the children we raise look like us or have our personalities. We believe what matters most is that children know they are loved and are safe and cared for. That's what connects children and parents together and what makes a family, not some aspect of their DNA or whether children look like their parents. We know from personal experience. We have friends and family who have adopted, and we've grown up with adopted children. Love makes a family, and we have a lot of love to give.
That you would consider placing your child in our care takes great faith and trust. We do not take that for granted, and we want to assure you we will always put your child's needs before our own should you choose adoption and us. Your child will know that they are loved and are safe and cared for. But don't just take our word for it. We want you to be a part of your child's life however you feel comfortable and in keeping with what's best for them. We certainly won't be hiding the fact that they are adopted, so some kind of relationship with you would be ideal. Of course, we will send you letters and pictures to keep you updated on your child's development. But we're also open to more contact, should you desire it and, again, in keeping with what is best for the child. Depending on where you live, we may be able to plan the occasional in-person visit.
Thank you for considering us. Regardless of the decision you make, we hope for the best for you and your child.
Matthew & Dennis
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