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Stephen & Vanessa
We've always known that adoption was going to be part of our lives together. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to adopt and hope you can see from our profile what an amazing family we truly have. We can hardly contain our excitement as we embark on this journey of completing our family.
How We Met
We love our love story. It's our favorite story to tell. We met in high school where we became good friends and shared many memories through the years. After high school, we went to different colleges and started our careers on different paths.
We like to say that fate brought us together when Vanessa drove by her new house one day and passed a street that was the same as Stephen's last name. A few days later, she stopped on her way home and took a photo of the street sign. She sent it to Stephen with a note saying hi and asking how he'd been. It happened to be that Vanessa and her family were going camping about a half-mile from where Stephen was living at the time. We decided to meet at a restaurant to talk about old times but ended up talking about planning the rest of our lives together. After five-and-a-half hours sitting at a table, we knew we were about to embark on an incredible journey.
Four months later, we purchased our first home. Two months after that, Stephen proposed on our first night in our new home and we were married just six months later. As if we didn't already know that it was truly meant to be, the best part of the story is that we each unknowingly ended our wedding vows with the exact same sentence..."You are my most favorite, of all time, in the history of ever."
We are a culturally diverse family. Vanessa's mother, grandmother and aunt were born in Bolivia and much of her family live there. Her family is also Argentinian and Scottish while Stephen's family is of Scottish and Irish descent. We both grew up in a community that is a kaleidoscope of cultures and find beauty in the diversity of where we live. Our family has been fortunate enough to adopt as well as have inter-racial marriage add even more diversity of experience to our core familial unit. We know that these experiences have made us stronger as a family, more aware and more appreciative. One thing that makes us similar, is celebrating our differences. We are proud to raise our son with the understanding of values such as acceptance, equality and integrity. We believe that, no matter a person's race, color of their skin, abilities, language spoken, gender identity or religious beliefs, it is the love that we share, common core values and eagerness to learn about each other that help bring us together. We look forward to adopting a child that will be the final thread in our unique family tapestry.
Our Son, Silas
The most important thing to us, as a couple, was to have children. After struggling with infertility for what seemed like an eternity, we were able to conceive our son, Silas, through In Vitro Fertilization. He is now 3-and-a-half years old, and is a shining light in this family. One of our greatest joys as parents is knowing that we are raising an incredible human being. He is kind, funny, friendly, inquisitive and affectionate. We spend a lot of time making sure he has opportunities to experience growth in all areas of his development and the journey of giving him the freedom to find out who he is has been a true blessing in our lives. We talk with him, every day, about his baby brother or sister that we anxiously await to complete our family. Silas' eyes sparkle every time we do and our hearts are filled with joy as we think about the strong sibling bond that we intend to foster.
Our Extended Families
Family is our everything and, although we have a rather large one, we are all very close. We purchased a home, with Vanessa’s parents, in a community where we grew up. Since we have lived here all our lives, our mutual friends are more like family. Both sets of our parents are retired and enjoy spending as much time with their children and grandchildren as possible.
Vanessa has several siblings who live all over the map, which makes vacationing extra fun. In fact, we took a trip to New York last year which was Stephen's first time in the city and we enjoyed subway rides, shopping, and some of the best Italian food we've ever had. Stephen's parents live in a beautiful beach house near his sister and her family. Some of our favorite weekends are those spent on the sand, right outside their living room window.
Our free time is most often spent with the ones we love. So if it's taking a train up the coast to Washington, hopping on a flight to NY or coordinating a trip to Disneyland, we always have family in mind. Because we are so close with our immediate and extended family, we have a wonderful support system and "team" who is just as excited about this adoption as we are.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a charming neighborhood where the streets are lined with giant, 150-year-old oak trees. Several children live on our block and that makes for fun traditions like trick-or-treating, hanging Christmas lights and taking turns playing in our front yards. Our home is a spacious 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom ranch-style house that we have named Rancho Rosal, after the hacienda in Punata, Bolivia where Vanessa's grandmother grew up.
Trying to pick a favorite space in the house is almost impossible. We love backyard barbeques and the relaxing sound of trickling water from our koi pond. We spend a lot of time eating meals around our large dining room table as we look out the bay window onto the yard and see neighbors walking their dogs or just taking their nightly stroll. Our son, Silas, and his friends LOVE to play in the play room since it is full of endless opportunities to explore, create, build and imagine. The current favorite is seeing how long of a train track we can build!
From Us to You
First and foremost, your child will always know the full extent of your courage and the love that you have for them. Their life story begins with you and you are the most important part of it. We promise to share the rest of their life story with you as they grow, reach new milestones and experience the love that, we too, have to offer. We promise that you will have letters and photos to be a part of their development. We promise to also share email updates and keepsakes, should you so desire. We promise that they will be cherished, not only by us, but by every member of our family and circle of friends who is eagerly waiting to meet them.
We have been married for four years. It has been truly amazing and we can honestly say that we are best friends. In fact, just the other day, Stephen and our son, Silas, were sitting on the couch and Stephen said to Silas "I love you buddy, you're my best friend" and, without hesitation, Silas replied, "No I'm not Daddy. Mommy is!" Stephen will do just about anything to make Vanessa laugh and vice versa. We are in a constant battle of who can make the other person laugh the hardest, at the most unexpected time. That is pretty much who we are, in a nutshell.
The journey to where we are today began when two kids met in high school and became good friends. As fate (and a lot of prayer) would have it, we reconnected many years later and that friendship turned into the greatest love of our lives. We could not wait to be married and start a family. We always knew that we wanted to adopt and, after suffering through infertility, having a biological child with the help of In Vitro, experiencing more infertility and loss, we both know that there is nothing more that we want in our lives. We are excitedly waiting for our little family to be complete through adoption.
Our family has been deeply touched by adoption. When Vanessa was just 8 years old, her aunt and uncle adopted her cousin Danny. We actually say that the family adopted him. Vanessa grew up with Danny and he was more like a brother to her. Now, he is one of our best friends. He is a role model for our son and, while he doesn't know it yet, we hope that he will be our adopted child's godfather. In addition to having been affected by adoption within our family, we have several friends who are either adopted or have adopted children. It is a great comfort to know that we have a village and wonderful support system as we experience adoption ourselves.
We are very fortunate to have careers that allow us to put family first. Vanessa received her Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Development and works as an administrator at a child care center, just two miles from our home. Stephen received his Bachelor's Degree in Communications and owns his own woodworking and general construction business that allows him to set his own schedule.
Family has always been important to both of us. We look forward to family gatherings and take pride in the beautiful home we have made, which tends to be the gathering place for all of our family and friends. We enjoy barbeques, year round, since the weather is always sunny and warm where we live. We even have a pond on our property with 10 Koi fish who have really funny names. We'd love to share them with you some day!
We hope this has given you a glimpse of who we are and we would love the opportunity to tell you more.
With hearts full of gratitude,
Stephen & Vanessa
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