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Mike & Dana
We want to start by saying thank you... Thank you for having the courage to consider adoption for your child. We adopted our daughter in 2016 and know first-hand what a powerful and life-changing decision this is. We truly believe adoption is a blessing and are so excited to be on this path again. We appreciate you taking the time to review our profile and wish you all the best with everything your future holds.
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption is woven into our family with adoption stories going back three generations. Two of Dana’s uncles were adopted, Mike and his older sister were both adopted, and we adopted our daughter at birth in 2016. Even before we were married, we always considered adoption our first choice for building a family.
As an adopted child himself, Mike has always wanted to give another child the love, support and opportunities he received from his parents. With a similar background, we hope that Mike will be a comfort and resource for our children. Dana also felt called to adopt after spending her early career working in child welfare.
Dana remembers walking into the hospital room and being handed our daughter for the first time. Dorothy was 10 hours old and we don’t know who was more nervous - us or her birth mother - but it was a powerful moment we will always remember. From the moment we met Dorothy, it was amazing how much she was a part of us and how much joy she has brought into our lives.
We have seen first-hand the amount of love, courage, and strength it takes to entrust your child to another family’s hands and we are forever grateful to Dorothy’s birth mother for choosing us. We have an open relationship with her and send photos and letters regularly. We feel so lucky to be Dorothy’s parents and know that our joy will only grow as our family does.
Our Leisure Time
We love to spend time together as a family. Our free time is filled with playtime, reading, binging TV shows, traveling, and socializing with friends and family. We lead an active lifestyle and enjoy being outdoors. We often take family hikes in the local forest, head to the national parks, and go out for weekend camping trips.
Our friends are like family and everyone is equally active. We often travel together, which is always fun for the kids. We have done camping trips in the national parks and long weekends at the beach. We’ve been so fortunate to travel and explore new places. Some of our favorite trips were to Cape Town, South Africa and Istanbul, Turkey. We can’t wait to continue this as our family grows.
We also like to entertain so weekends at home sometimes feel like a family reunion, full of laughter, kids playing and lots of storytelling. Mike is a natural host and loves to reminisce with family and friends. He keeps the history of our family alive and is often surrounded by a laughing crowd as he retells one of many favorite stories.
We also have some interests that are unique to each of us. Mike is an avid golfer and enjoys video games, while Dana loves crafting (knitting, sewing, glass mosaics) and learning about photography. Dorothy has developed a real interest in music and dancing and can often be found singing songs of her own creation.
We feel so lucky to be living this life. While we both enjoy our jobs, we have built a life where work compliments the other things we find important. Our lifestyle is a wonderful balance of stability and adventure that emphasizes time together as a family.
As part of the Foreign Service, we belong to a diverse community and will continue to have opportunities to live internationally, exploring this big world. We are flexible and make wherever we are feel like home because we carry our love, laughter, and pets (2 dogs and 2 cats) with us. We are comfortable exploring new situations because of our strong foundation of family and friends at home.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is travel – we travel to maintain relationships with extended family and friends but also to explore new places and have adventures. We take advantage of being overseas and will continue to travel and learn as a family. We feel travel is one of the best teachers and hope to instill a love of adventure and appreciation of diversity in our children.
Dorothy has already been to 10 countries in her first 3 years and, while traveling with children is more work, it is definitely worth it. Adding another child to our family will only increase the joy we find in travel and it will be amazing to see the kids share these experiences as siblings.
Our House and Neighborhood
Our home base is the townhouse we own in a family-friendly suburb of Washington, D.C. It is in a very safe neighborhood near lots of parks, schools, and shops. Our back gate opens to the community playground and pool so we can always hear children playing nearby. Being near D.C. means we are close to interesting cultural resources, like museums, theaters, and historical sites which makes playing tourist at home one of our favorite things.
Because we work for the Department of State, we also have the exciting opportunity to periodically live overseas (typical tours are 2-3 years). We have found the American community overseas to be close-knit, with frequent gatherings and wonderful amenities. There are lots of supports in place for families and we have always felt very safe and comfortable. Government-provided housing is large and well-maintained. In our current post, Nairobi, Kenya, we have a 4-bedroom home in a safe neighborhood near the Embassy and next to other embassy families. There is a playroom and a large fenced yard where we have a garden and chickens.
Embassy communities overseas typically have clubhouses with great facilities. For example, in Nairobi there is a large pool, a restaurant, a store where we buy American snacks (like Oreos!), as well as a playground, sports facilities, and a big open field perfect for a game of soccer or flying kites. Children play freely around the neighborhood and everyone loves having a safe, relaxing place to spend time together.
Our Extended Families
We are both from very close-knit families. Originally from Texas, most of Dana’s family now lives in Kentucky. Her parents, who Dorothy calls Bibi and G-Dan, have been married 39 years and are retired schoolteachers. They are truly young at heart and love to go hiking, read, and kayak at their lake house. Dana has one younger brother, Drew, who is married to his college sweetheart; they had their first child – a boy – in August.
Mike’s family lives in Boston. His parents have been married 49 years and have the most wonderful marriage. Even after all that time, they crack each other up. Time at their house is full of stories and laughter. Dorothy calls them Noni and Pupa and loves to run around their backyard and garden. Mike’s older sister, Tara, is a doctor and lives in Ireland. She spoils Dorothy rotten and is excited about a new baby joining the family.
Our family is spread out geographically, but that doesn't stop us from being close. We text and videochat almost daily and visit often in order to share our lives. Both families are extremely excited and very supportive of our decision to adopt again. They welcomed Dorothy with enthusiasm and a new baby will find an equally loving and supportive crew.
From Us to You
We have some experience with adoption - Mike was adopted as a baby, and we adopted our daughter Dorothy in 2016 - which means we know that each situation is unique. So while we cannot fully appreciate what you are going through right now, we can offer you an honest picture of who we are and our heartfelt wishes for a child. We hope this will help you know if we are the right family for you and your baby.
We have been together for 8 years and knew almost immediately that we had found in each other the perfect partner. It was like we had known each other for years and suddenly all the “love at first sight” clichés made sense. It took a few months for our lives to catch up but we were married less than a year later in a small courthouse ceremony.
While our backgrounds are different - Mike grew up in Boston and entered the Marine Corps after college, while Dana grew up in rural Texas and entered social work - we share underlying values. Each of our parents instilled in us a dedication to family, a commitment to education, a love of public service, and a desire for adventure. We have complimentary personalities and a very solid, loving marriage built on mutual respect and communication.
We know that adoption is not the easiest road but we cannot imagine building our family any other way. We have chosen this path as our first option and are committed to the idea that a family is love, not biology. Having an adoption story will be normal in our house and we plan to help our children with their questions by drawing on Mike's insights, Dana's background as a social worker, and sharing their adoption stories.
Becoming Dorothy’s parents in 2016 changed everything overnight and our home has been full of joy ever since. In our view, our role as parents is to set loving boundaries to keep them safe and to nurture them emotionally, physically, and spiritually so they grow into the unique, special person only they can be. One of our greatest joys is introducing our daughter to new experiences and we are so proud of her adventurous spirit and kind heart. We can’t wait to see what the future holds and plan to give our children every opportunity we can.
We feel so fortunate to be able to offer a stable and happy home, educational opportunities, and lots of love and laughter to another child. If you choose us to become your baby's parents, we promise to bring them in with excitement, love them unconditionally and work every day to make sure they have an amazing life of adventure filled with supportive family and friends.
We will be forever grateful if you decide we are the parents to raise your child. We promise to always honor your choice by sharing your story and speaking of you with admiration and respect. We have an open relationship with Dorothy's birth mother that includes periodic visits and regular photo and letter updates. We look forward to building whatever level of relationship you feel comfortable with and is most beneficial for our child.
Thank you again for considering us. Wishing you peace now and always.
With great respect,
Mike & Dana
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