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Tom & Dana
Every night at dinner, we raise our glasses and say, "CHEERS TO FAMILY!" and we thank you for reading about ours. Adoption has always been a part of our plans for growing our family. To you we pledge to love your child unconditionally and support them in all they do and who they become. We will provide a home that celebrates who they are and honors your courageous act.
Our Leisure Time
We believe in lazy family days and not overscheduling our lives. We value outside time—digging holes, finding worms, and “decorating” rocks. We want our children to feel secure, supported, loved, and have fun, which is why couch forts and impromptu dance parties are common in our home. Other favorite pastimes include traveling, camping, biking, and hiking with our dogs. Visiting national parks is a family tradition, and we enjoy visiting different parks across the country.
Tom has recently gotten into woodworking and has already made some lovely things for our home, including bookshelves, a "free little library," and a super hero playhouse! However, these things fall away when his beloved Clemson football team is on TV! Having grown up on a lake, Dana loves the water and regularly seeks out new places to go kayaking. She also has a passion for reading and can often be found curled up with a book. In her spare time, she likes to write and has published short stories. A passionate cook, Dana loves going to farmers markets and collecting cookbooks.
We hope that teaching our children to explore and discover different places and activities inspires them to find something they love whether that’s karate, knitting, drawing, basketball, or cooking. Whatever it is, we’ll be there cheering them on, wearing ugly sweaters and catching their foul balls.
Education We will Provide
We have invested a lot of time and effort into our own educations and will give our children the encouragement and resources to do the same. We want our children to be motivated to learn and to independently seek out their own answers to things. We also want our kids to learn by doing. That’s why our home is filled with books, puzzles, art supplies, and toys that encourage them to play, make, and explore.
Once our children are school-aged, we're committed to them attending schools with academic rigor, as well as promoting a love of learning, outdoor play, artistic endeavors, and learning at their own pace. We have chosen a school for our son with a tight-knit community where children, parents, and teachers work closely together to create a positive learning environment. We both volunteer at the school, and Dana serves on the Board of Directors.
Also, even though we both went to college and graduate school, we don't believe that type of education fits everybody. We'll encourage our kids to attend college, but would also be happy if they wanted to train for another kind of career. As long as they find something they love to do, then we'll be happy.
Our Son, Luke
Our son, Luke is a six-year old whirlwind of energy, who cannot wait to be a big brother! He’s a funny, independent kid, who loves to tell jokes, play with Legos, cuddle with his dogs, and build things with his dad. He’s begun making his own plans for a brother or sister, whom he lovingly refers to as, “Dory Pumpkin.” He already has a special basket of toys and stuffed animals that he looks forward to sharing. Although an active child, he's very gentle with his younger cousin and the smaller children in our neighborhood, always stopping to care for them when they're hurt or upset. We say prayers every night that "brother" or "sister" will find us and that soon enough, he'll have a younger sibling to help take care of. When asked what he wants to do with a younger sibling, he loudly cheers, “Everything!”
Our Extended Families
We want our children to know that as much as we love them, it’s important they also have the love and support of extended family. Although we do not have family in our immediate vicinity, we are grateful for the strong relationships we have with them. There’s a lot of Face Timing, car rides, and plane trips to visit our parents in South Carolina and Michigan. Our son, Luke, especially loves visiting Dana's sister and his cousin in Florida and swimming in their pool! Tom also has a sister in Seattle, with whom we like to visit. During these times together, we chat, play card games, or explore new places together.
Having grown up in Wyoming and Michigan, our family traditions include a lot of time outdoors. A recent vacation with Tom's family took us to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park where we did a lot of hiking and boating. Dana's family has a lake house in northern Michigan and we travel "up north" every summer where we spend time on our pontoon boat, fishing, and swimming in the lake. It's a wonderful time to be with family and relax.
We have discussed our plans for adoption with our family, and everyone is thrilled to welcome a new member to our family. They can't wait to visit and shower the new little one with love and attention.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a historic garden community in Maryland, located outside of Washington D.C. This quaint town allows us to easily walk or ride our bikes to the library, local swimming pool, movie theater, and restaurants. Walks are frequently interrupted with play time at one of the many playgrounds along the way. We enjoy spending time at the near-by hiking trails or parks, and particularly love walking around the lake a few blocks from our house. It's a wonderful community-oriented town with many young families that gather for Fourth of July fireworks or the famous Labor Day Festival. Being outside Washington D.C., we also frequently hop into the city, taking advantage of the various restaurants, museums, events, and city attractions.
Our three-bedroom home sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac where we have a large, fenced-in backyard. The woods around our home provide lots of shade for playing on the playset or swinging in our hammock. We love to spend time on our deck where we play games, read books, enjoy family meals, and simply take in nature. We also love to entertain and regularly have friends over--many of whom have young children. We are a tight-knit community that helps and trust one another to support and guide the children. We also make sure our homes are well stocked with snacks since at any time one of our homes may be filled with a pack of children playing together!
From Us to You
Thank you for taking the time to read about us. We appreciate the effort you are taking in finding the right family and want to tell you how brave you are for putting your child first. Adoption has always been a part of our plans for growing our own family, and we’re honored you’re considering us.
When reading our profile, we hope it gives you a good sense of the kinds of people we are, the fun we have, the things we value, and the loving home we’d provide your child. Please know that as adoptive parents, we promise to provide unconditional love, support, and opportunities for your child. To you, as the birth parents, we promise to treat you with kindness, honesty, and respect. We will honor your selfless act and celebrate your child’s story?"one that began with love for your child.
Our own story began in 2004 when we met at a friend’s Labor Day party. Five years later we were married, and our commitment to each other and our family only continues to grow. Early on when we began planning for a family, we discussed having children both naturally and through adoption. We always had faith that we’ll have the children we’re meant to have in whatever way that comes. After having our son through IVF in 2013, we encountered many medical challenges, including five miscarriages. Although this was devastating in many ways, we also realized that this was no longer the right path for us. Since adoption had always been an option for growing our family, it became an obvious route for us to pursue.
Through the adoption process we’ve given a great deal of thought and consideration to how families are made. Certainly, relatives are created through birth, but families are made through effort, commitment, and especially love. We know this through the neighborhood families and adoptive families we know and love, and through our church and larger community, who have all become part of our extended family. That’s why we have no doubt that this child will be just as loved, cared for, and a part of our family as any biological child would. This feeling is also certainly true for our six-year-old son, who has been waiting to dote on a new brother or sister without any thought about such a thing as blood relation.
We’ve been able to establish a nice work-life balance for our family where Dana has a great part-time work schedule, most of which she’s able to do from home, so that somebody is always around for our children. With our next child, Dana looks forward to mommy/child exercise classes, music classes, and other fun activities. Tom also has a nice work schedule and can also occasionally work remotely.
We would be proud to be known as an adoptive family and want this child to know his or her story. However, we also want you to have comfort knowing how well he or she is growing up in the world. Therefore, we are open to meeting prior to your child’s birth. Also, dependent on your comfort level, we are comfortable exchanging letters and pictures and also occasionally speaking on the phone, Face Timing and visiting you, if you are open to that. We are committed to doing what’s best for everyone.
As you go through this process, we’re certain you’ll read about many wonderful families. We hope that by reading about ours, you’ll get that intangible “feeling” that there’s something about us that feels like a good fit. Whatever you decide, we’re rooting for you, your family, and your growing child.
Tom & Dana
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