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Don & Paula
We are so grateful that you have chosen to read our profile! We have known since we met that our shared dream is to become parents of an adoptive child. You have our promise that we will provide your child unconditional love, guidance, and support for achieving his or her hopes and dreams. We look forward to doing all that we can to make this process everything that you need it to be!
What It Means to Become Parents
Our greatest desire is the opportunity to be parents and to help a child (or children) discover the amazing journey of life and all that it has to offer. We are aware that as parents we are the child's first teachers, and we are committed to creating a positive environment where they are free to be who they are meant to be and pursue their own dreams and goals as they discover them. Being a parent means being completely aware of our own individual strengths and challenges, and being able to release any expectations and allow the child to find and follow his or her own individual gifts, interests, talents, and dreams.
One of the most important parts of being a parent is to be fully present for a child. Being a parent also means setting healthy boundaries that keep a child safe but still allow them to thrive. To love a child means to love them unconditionally and remind them that our love is limitless, and there is nothing they can do that would change that. We look forward to family fun, laughter, and engaging in fun and playful activities. We can't wait to just be with a child, to listen to them, to read to them, and to hold them. And, as they grow up, to support them and be proud of them.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Paula About Don: I love Don's compassionate spirit. He truly cares and makes every moment and every person feel important. He can find common ground with everyone, including strangers. He has a gift for making people feel comfortable when he's around them. I love and admire the way he is so thoughtful, creating special moments or gifts for me, his family, and friends.
I admire the strength and stability he provides to our marriage and our family. He is also a wonderful listener. I always feel heard with him.
I respect how in everything he does, he maintains a high level of integrity and strives to do his best. He is very intelligent and is a deep thinker, but I love the way he can let go of the intellectual demands of his job and invite fun and play into his life.
Don About Paula: I love Paula's big heart. One of her greatest qualities is her exceptional capacity for love. Her compassion and commitment to me and the people in her life are a blessing. She gives her heart, unconditionally, to all.
I admire Paula's strength and courage. She can overcome any challenge, and she continues to amaze me with creative solutions to any problem or challenge.
Finally, I respect Paula's intelligence. Not only is she incredibly smart, but she has the wisdom and personality to use it well and to be an amazing teacher to others. At the same time, I love the way she can be silly and playful and always make me smile.
Our Life Priorities
Our marriage and our families take priority in our life. We are committed to growing together in our marriage that has been built on support, trust, and unconditional love. In times of challenge or sadness, we have been strengthened by each other's support. We believe we are so lucky and blessed to have found each other, and we know that blessing will only increase when we have children to raise and love. We both were raised in loving families with close extended families, and through them, we know the importance of spending time together, making memories, and supporting each other.
Along with marriage and family, we also prioritize our own spiritual growth. We are always growing as people and believe we are here with a higher purpose—to make a difference. We know having children is our greatest purpose, and it will help us grow even more, both as good people and, more importantly, great parents.
Our House and Neighborhood
We recently found our perfect home for starting our family. We spent a year renovating and getting it ready for a child to become part of our lives. The home has 2 floors, including 4 bedrooms, as well as a fully finished basement with its own family room, laundry room, and kitchen. The backyard has a beautiful concrete patio, as well as a large open yard lined with mature trees and a beautiful garden space. The subdivision is family-friendly with safe sidewalks and a variety of older and younger children. The elementary school is within walking distance from our subdivision. We have a scenic 26-mile bike trail that connects with our subdivision and extends into a Metropark that is over 4000 acres in size. We love that we can hop on our bikes and be in the Metropark in just a few minutes with no need to drive! The park has nature trails, a beautiful sandy beach, playgrounds, and many other outdoor activities to truly experience Michigan's wonderful seasons.
A couple miles north, we have a historic downtown area filled with the character of small and historic towns, including shops, farms, unique restaurants, festivals, and even the most celebrated Halloween street in Michigan. Traveling south, within 25 miles we have all of Michigan's major sports teams and culture, including a science center, an art institute, and an outdoor adventure center on the river.
The only thing missing from our home is a child to experience everything we love about our neighborhood!
Our Extended Families
Taking time to appreciate our loved ones and reconnect as a family is one of the most important parts of our lives. Both our families live nearby. Paula's parents live on many acres of a tree-filled lot that has been the spot for impromptu baseball games, basketball, soccer, summer slip-n-slide, tractor rides, kite flying, and many more activities spent engaging our nephews. Our Friday night game nights at their home have also been a hit. We usually begin with a delicious meal cooked by Paula's mom followed by board games and silliness and laughter that carries late into the night.
Our family traditions and holidays are special times filled with generational recipes and togetherness. Don's mother loves to cook a special meal for Don's birthday every year (his brothers get one too). Don and his father continue a special tradition that began in college of attending comic book conventions together. Summers are filled with reunions, picnics, and barbecues. At Easter, we organize an egg hunt for our nephews that includes a personalized letter from the Easter Bunny and eggs filled with treats and thoughtful gifts to find throughout the yard.
It brought tears to our family members' eyes and smiles to their faces to learn from us our desire to adopt. Our nephews said it was about time they got to meet their cousin. We are very excited to surround a child with love from our family and extended family.
From Us to You
We are so happy and excited that you chose to read our letter! This path that you are walking is filled with many difficult decisions. We hope that we earn your trust and faith as you read our words, watch our video, review our photos, and get to know who we really are throughout your journey.
Our goal and dream is to have children. From the start, we talked about adoption as a great option for us if we could not have kids biologically. After a few miscarriages, we knew that adoption was right for us. And so, after we found our forever home in a beautiful subdivision away from the hustle and bustle of the big city (but not too far away), we started this process in the hope that we would find you. We are so excited to adopt, and we cannot wait to share our love with a child. We have so much love to give!
We grew up in the same area, went to the same high school (one year apart), played on the boys and girls tennis teams, and even were at the same college for two years, but we never met. Paula's best friend even lived down the street from Don. Our lives followed parallel paths that never crossed until we both stood up in our best friends' wedding. This led to our first date where we talked nonstop into the night and the early morning hours, discussing our dreams, goals, and lives. It was as if time had stood still, and we both realized we didn't want to be anywhere but in that moment. It was a connection and spark we had never felt before. We knew then that we were meant to be, after missing each other so many times.
Both of us have spent our entire lives helping kids, including tutoring, coaching, and just enjoying fun times, activities, and trips with our four nephews as they have grown. We did not have everything while growing up, but we both worked hard for what we now are able to offer a child.
Don works as an attorney. He has spent his career helping cities and schools. He has a special way of relating to everyone. He loves the challenge of being able to help people work toward solutions. When he's not working, Don loves to play hockey on a league with his brother. He loves all things Star Wars, and he loves to read.
Paula is a middle school English teacher. She loves to create a community of learners who are compassionate and grateful. She also loves to inspire children to read and find their voice in writing. As our family grows, Paula plans to be a stay-at-home mom so that we are fully present to care for the needs of our child. She loves to keep active through yoga, walking, or biking with Don on the beautiful trail connecting to their subdivision. Paula also loves to garden and grow vegetables for the family. Occasionally, Don and Paula challenge each other to a duel on the tennis courts.
Much of our time is also spent connecting and spending time with our extended family. Our parents are a big part of our lives, and they will be amazing grandparents for our child. But we also want you to know that Don's dad tells very cheesy jokes! We hope that's okay with you. The two of us can be cheesy too, but always with love and fun.
In closing, we want you to know that we will love your child unconditionally, and we will honor your wishes for his or her future, as well as your hopes for our relationship with you. We are happy to send email updates, pictures, and letters that mark milestones in your child's life. You will always be reflected positively. This child will know you as someone who loved so much, you chose us to be there when you needed us most. We take that responsibility very seriously, and we won't let you down. Thank you for allowing us the chance to share our hearts with you, for getting to know us just a little bit more, and no matter who you choose, for making a wonderful and amazing choice for your child's adoptive parents.
Don & Paula