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Andrew & Katie
Throughout our many wonderful adventures, which have taken us around the country, across the ocean and back, adoption is the one we have been looking forward to the most. We are very excited about finally being in a place where we can begin this journey, and build our family through adoption. We are more than honored that you are considering our family.
Education We Will Provide
Education is very important to both of us- we were the first in either of our families to get Ph.D. degrees, and are very thankful for the opportunities that our education has given us to travel and live and work in many different places. We both grew up being curious about the natural world, and our parents stimulated our interest by taking us to zoos, museums, and libraries. We want to support and encourage our child's pursuits, whatever they may be, by participating in extracurricular activities and cultural events. We also plan to cultivate a healthy world view by traveling extensively in and outside of the United States. Something important to both of us is introducing a second language into the home—one which we can all speak together as a family. Andrew has a background in German, and we plan to choose that or another language to learn together. Last year we taught a science class for middle school students, and had a wonderful time seeing their excitement as they discovered truths about the natural world—we look forward to doing this with our own child too.
Our pets are definitely unconventional. Both of us are allergic to cats and dogs, so we chose vegetarian reptiles as pets.
Gregor is a sulcata tortoise. We got her (yes, "her"- we found out she was a girl a few years later, but kept the name) as a baby when she was a little bigger than a quarter. Now, eight years later, she is the size of a platter and still growing. We try to take her outside every day for about an hour to eat grass in the yard. It has been a great way to meet and catch up with the neighbors.
Thoth is a male rhinoceros iguana who we also raised from infancy. He is very much like a cat- when the weather is nice, he spends most of the day getting sun in the front window. He is very gentle and has spent a lot of time around children.
Both Gregor and Thoth eat lettuce, grass and fruit, and have a few favorite spots in the house. We recently made them an Instagram account to promote reptiles as pets, and have enjoyed connecting with other reptile lovers around the world.
We have had the opportunity to live in many diverse places, and while doing so, we have done our best to take time to explore. We especially like to adventure to places that are unusual, with historical or literary significance, or just "off the beaten path."
While in the UK we took trips to see the castle of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Hadrian's Wall, and Robin Hood's grave. We also spent time in Germany visiting castles and cathedrals.
We also like to take road trips around the country and visit local attractions. Recently, we visited Rock City and the Okeefanokee Swamp in Georgia.
We also love hiking adventures whether it is in cragy mountains in Arizona, thick forests in the northwest, or the open moors of England.
These are the kinds of adventures we both had and enjoyed before we met, that we now enjoy together, and that we look forward to sharing with our children.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in the historic part of our college town in Iowa. One great feature of our town is the numerous parks and playgrounds- there are two within walking distance from our home. We also live near the downtown, where there is a wonderful public library, with a huge children's section and many classes and activities for children of all ages. In the summer time, there are free concerts held in the park on Thursday evenings and a new aquatics center with water slides. Our neighborhood hosts two family events: a summer barbecue and winter soup potluck. We brought our tortoise last year and she was a big hit with the kids!
Our house is a two story, four bedroom house with plenty of room for our family and for guests to visit. We have a large family room that we use for playing games, watching movies, and would be a great play room. One of our favorite rooms in the house is our "library," which contains our books, craft materials, and nice reading chairs. We also love our grass yard, particularly in the summertime. We have great neighbors and love the area of town where we live.
Our Extended Families
Our extended families live on the West coast: Andrew's in Oregon and Katie's in Arizona. We see each of our families at least once a year, but Skype and talk with our families weekly.
Andrew has three siblings and two of them live nearby his parents. Combined, they have six children between the ages of 0-12. When we visit, we usually have a big get together at Andrew's parents' house, which allows the cousins to play together and the adults to catch up. Some favorite family activities are canoeing and board games.
Katie has one sister with a 1-year-old who lives near her parents. Her side of the family enjoys sightseeing in Arizona, hiking, and (when the weather's warm) swimming in the pool. Katie's extended family mostly lives in Michigan, and every other year there is a big family reunion- this year's featured lots of great food and plenty of games for the kids.
Both of our families are so excited about our plans to adopt and are looking forward to welcome a new member of the family!
From Us to You
Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about us. We greatly admire your courage and love for your child in considering adoption.
We made the decision early in our relationship (5 years ago!) to build our family through adoption when we were able to do so. We have both been humbled by the support of our families and friends as we move forward. While our life journey has been more of a meandering path than a straight line, we are excited to share new adventures with our child and look forward to providing the resources and support so that they can become the best person they can be.
In our contact with you, the most important consideration for us is your level of comfort. We are happy to exchange letters, photos, and e-mails and arrange yearly visits. The main thing is for us to support you in a level of contact that is the most beneficial, now and as time goes by. We plan for our child to grow up knowing about his or her parents: you will be spoken of highly in our home, and we will treat adoption as a normal course of life. Through our interest in literature and mythology, we have several favorite stories where the main character is adopted, and we plan to use these as examples of how awesome adoption is, so that adoption is valued and praised throughout our child's life.
Our careers as researchers allow us the unique opportunity to share parenting and for both of us to spend the critical early years bonding with our child. While our extended families and some of our close friends live in other parts of the country, this provides us with the great opportunity to travel and be constantly discovering new adventures. Additionally, we are excited to introduce our child to our wide variety of friends, which include people from all ages and stages of life.
Another area which we are particularly excited to share is our love of the natural world. We can't wait to see the excitement of learning new things in our child, and we will endeavor to share all we know with him or her, although we are positive that he or she will have plenty (perhaps more) to teach us as well!
When describing us recently, one of our friends used the word "resilience." We thought this was a good observation, since resilience has been a major feature over our 7-year marriage, as we have moved locations, jobs, and priorities. These adventures have allowed us many wonderful opportunities, but perhaps most importantly, an opportunity to grow in our love for, and reliance on, each other. Together, we will do all we can to be the best parents we can be. And, while of course there will be challenges, we feel well equipped to overcome any difficulty through love and respect and to thrive as a family.
Thank you for considering adoption- we admire your bravery. Please know that we will do everything we can to support you as you make your decision.Sincerely,
Andrew & Katie
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