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Eric & Andrew
We can't wait to grow our family, and hope that exploring our profile gives you confidence in us as unique parents who are committed to providing your child with a stable home full of passion for fun, art, learning, nature, and amazing food. Our philosophy for life is to dream huge, but always take the time to appreciate the little things every day. We hope that our silly little family makes you smile!
What It Means to Become Parents
Being a parent is about fostering a safe and understanding home for a kid to grow into the best version of themselves that they can be. Filling that home with traditions, stability, joy, practical teaching, emotional support and challenges to guide that growth is what parents get to do. Our success as parents will be defined by having raised an independent, happy, successful adult with a clear moral compass and passion for living the life they want.
Eric is most looking forward to the teaching aspect of parenthood. He loves to learn and then in turn pass on his knowledge. Eric is a food scientist and is often explaining to people the science on how to make the chewiest cookies or the fluffiest rolls. He cannot wait to help with homework and give advice about which classes to choose in order to reach our kids' goals in life.
Andrew is most excited about continuing childhood family traditions such as decorating Christmas cookies, carving pumpkins, and dying Easter eggs. He cannot wait to teach our kids board games for family game nights. He wants to take our kids to all the great spots in our city like the zoo, science center, and countless parks.
Our Family Traditions
Andrew's family is strong on traditions. Especially at the holidays. Every single family member has a day that is celebrated for their birthday with Mom, siblings, in-laws, and nephew/nieces. We go trick or treating with the kids every year since we have been together. Usually, we get together for fireworks on Fourth of July, yard games and barbecue for the summer holidays. Christmas Eve morning the whole family goes to Mom's house at 8 a.m. for presents and breakfast and spending the entire day together until midnight mass. Leading up to Christmas are family visits to the way of lights (a beautiful drive through a light display with a petting zoo), a day of Christmas movies, baking Christmas cookies, and decorating mom's tree together. Every holiday and birthday get together includes hours of playing games together or competing in some way.
Besides the family traditions we have started our own traditions as well such as strolling through the Christmas lights at the botanical gardens hot chocolate in hand. Our birthdays are only a day apart and we believe the birthday person should get to make the decisions for the day. They decide on food, activities, what to watch and they don't have to do any activities they don't enjoy that day.
We live in a large and progressive city with a diverse population and a significant amount of cultural programming available through many educational hubs. For example, our botanical garden hosts annual festivals celebrating the artistic traditions of China, Turkey and Japan through music, dance, crafts, and unique experiences like lantern making. Our city has plenty of cultural neighborhood hotspots with traditional arts, cuisine and language opportunities, all of which are a quick 10-minute drive from our house. We also maintain great friendships with many interracial families who keep close ties with their families that live abroad.
At home, we are excited to research and learn about cultural heritage as family. In fact, we are looking forward to learning a new language together with our child! We are confident exploring a unique culture through art and food together, and plan to honor heritage through our kitchen and craft closet. Andrew loves to design and create artwork and toys, and Eric has experience preparing all styles of international cuisine.
As a same-sex couple, we are sensitive to how important it is to feel accepted, and have each experienced discrimination in our own lives. We are committed to providing a safe, well-informed and impartial space that allows our child to explore their own unique culture on their own terms.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Missouri in a tight-knit community on the edge of a major city. Our neighborhood was established in the 1940's, and our neighbors are a mix of retired older couples who grew up or started their own families here, and young couples who recently moved to the neighborhood. Our town has seen great development and investment over the last 5-10 years, with a growing population of diverse and younger people from all sorts of backgrounds. Just a short walk from our house is 9-Mile Garden, a food truck and community park space that stays busy with neighborhood families and events. Grant's Farm - a nature reserve and zoo area where kids can feed and pet goats, llamas, and all other sorts of animals is just around the corner!
Our house is a simple mid-century ranch that we have poured our hearts into landscaping and improving with brightly colored gardens filled with flowers, vines and trees that keep hummingbirds and butterflies nearby (which we like to watch from our back porch!). When we moved in, there were no plants - only grass, and we are proud of everything we have grown ourselves. We have two bedrooms, a small but mighty kitchen, and a recently renovated great room that lets us entertain our friends and family and relax comfortably.
Our Extended Families
We have both always had close and positive relationships with our families.
Eric's family mostly lives in Charleston, South Carolina - but we like to visit with them as often as we can. Cooking and entertaining are the highlight of trips to Charleston, with Southern classics like fried turkey and pimento cheese on every Thanksgiving visit at the family's huge dining table. As with all steps of our journey through life, our family in Charleston has encouraged our choice to adopt since the very beginning of our relationship, and we're thrilled to share that Eric's brother will be having his first baby at the end of 2021!
Andrew has always been extremely close with his family - and we live less than 10 minutes from everyone. While Eric's family is encouraging and relaxing to visit with, Andrew's family is FUN! We play all types of board, yard and video games every week, birthday and holiday that we can. Badminton, Super Smash Bros. & Settlers Of Catan are some of our current favorites. Eric really appreciates how close Andrew is with his family, and we are excited that Andrew's mom just purchased a home in our neighborhood! Andrew's brothers and sisters can't wait to have a new niece or nephew to teach games to.
Our family is the perfect balance of full-throttle fun, relaxation and unconditional love.
From Us to You
We are Andrew and Eric - thanks for reading our letter!
We know that adoption isn't an easy choice for most, and we want to make sure that you feel confident in our family as a safe, healthy and challenging place for your child to grow into the best version of themselves that they can be. We aren't perfect, but we each come from a deeply supportive family that has encouraged us to pursue the things in life that we are the most passionate about; and we stay closely connected with each of our families today. Plus, we are ridiculously in love with each other.
Like a lot of LGBT couples, we met online, but actually chatted for about 6 months before going on our first date 7 years ago, even though we lived in the same neighborhood. Eric baked some emergency cookies that were waiting at his apartment in case the date didn't go well, but we ended up sharing them together on the couch and watched cartoons after dinner! After the first date, we fell for each other pretty quickly; and decided to get married 3 years later.
Since then, we bought our first house where we still live, and have spent lots of time and energy into renovating, landscaping and generally making it the cutest house on the block. We started a routine that we call our daily "bloom check" right after we started planting our garden. During our bloom check, we each grab a drink, and walk through the yard with our dogs to see what flowers are blooming and talk about how our days at work went. We love this part of our routine, and feel like a simple walk through our yard every day helps us appreciate our life, hard work and each other.
Naturalist activities are a key part of our life, and we spend most of our outdoor leisure time at the zoo, botanical gardens, our yards, and local state parks. Even when we travel, we enjoy visiting places where we can experience nature. We have recently traveled to Rocky Mountain, Olympic and North Cascades national parks. Our honeymoon was spent in a jungle bungalow in Corcovado National Park, one of the most incredible nature preserves on the planet, and we hiked through the jungle to examine animals, plants and insects.
Each of us are lucky enough to have careers that we love almost as much as our leisure time. Andrew is just finishing nursing school, which was a career change that would allow him to help people every day, and offer plenty of flexibility to stay home as needed. Eric has been obsessed with food since middle-school; and has gradually worked from being a chef into a food scientist that gets to play in the kitchen every day. We are both passionate about our work, and still take college classes part time to stay sharp.
We feel well prepared to welcome a child into our family, and aren't afraid to work hard, research, and dedicate ourselves to being parents. Our deliberate work building our married relationship, finances, and stable home life have all been an effort to be the best parents we can be. We're just as happy getting our hands dirty in one of our gardens as we are playing dress-up. Sometimes we spend the whole evening laughing together, sometimes we just enjoy each other's company quietly, sometimes we comfort each other after hard days. We are looking forward to sharing pictures and letters of the big moments, the little moments, the mistakes, and the successes.
Every kid is different, and we can't wait to see who ours will grow up to become. We haven't met them yet, but we know that we will raise them to be well-loved, ethical, independent, creative, free-thinkers who have everything they need to be whoever they want to be.
Eric & Andrew
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