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Gary & Marissa

Thank you for considering us to be your child's parents. We want you to know we are very excited to adopt and that we support an open adoption and anything else that we can do that would be in the best interest of your child. If you choose our family, your child would be raised in a loving, patient, and creative home with lots of laughter and support.

About Us

Finance and Human Resources Manager
Child and Family Therapist
Master's Degree in Finance
Master's Degree in Psychology/Social Work
Legally Married

Our Passions

Marissa Crafting

Marissa is very passionate about her job as a therapist and spending time with family. Marissa values independence, education, inner peace, creativity and letting everyone be themselves. In her free time, Marissa loves activities involving music and art. She likes to sing, play the piano, write songs, and listen to all types of music. Marissa greatly enjoys creating art through drawing, painting, photography, and baking. Marissa enjoys spending time in nature and doing water activities like swimming, paddle-boarding, boating, kayaking, and hiking to see waterfalls. Marissa also loves to read books and watch movies that have comedy, mystery, fantasy or adventure story lines.

Gary on the Boat

Gary enjoys spending time doing active and adventurous activities. On most nice weekends you can find him out on the water in the family's boat, on his jet ski, in a kayak or attempting to wakeboard. Additionally, Gary has begun the process to obtain his private pilot certificate which will allow him to fly planes around the region and fulfill a childhood dream. When the weather doesn't cooperate, you might find Gary doing his best not to be beat in video games! Most of all, Gary enjoys spending his time with his loving wife and their cuddly dogs on the couch watching movies.

Type of Education We Will Provide

At the Aquarium With Family

Education is highly valued in our family. We both have advanced degrees that have led to careers we love and that provide us with financial security. The public and charter school districts in our area have expansive educational opportunities, extracurricular activities, and many learning resources for children. We understand that children have different learning strengths and challenges and we will do everything possible to find opportunities that foster a passion for learning and allow your child to experience success. In our state and bordering states there are amazing colleges that have a wide variety of majors and experiences that would allow many choices for your child in preparing for a future career.

We also think that some of the best learning occurs outside the classroom. We will do many things with your child that foster learning including traveling, going to children's museums, doing arts and crafts, and encouraging them to participate in extracurricular activities (e.g. sports, music lessons, art lessons, clubs) they may be interested in. Gary loves science, math, technology, and auto mechanics. Marissa loves music activities, art activities, computer science, theater, baking, and reading. We hope to share some of these activities with your child, but also want them to develop their own interests that we will explore with them.

Cultural Diversity

We greatly value cultural diversity and have family, neighbors, and friends with diverse racial, spiritual, and ethnic backgrounds. Marissa has a niece who is bi-racial and Gary has an adopted cousin who is Chinese. We have friends and co-workers who are Mexican, African American, Filipino and Indian. Marissa has also spent most of her career working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and loves learning from people different than herself.

We enjoy and value learning about other cultures through travel, local activities, art, music, talks with friends, and educational experiences. We promise to make sure your child is exposed to significant cultural diversity and that their cultural identity is respected and promoted throughout their life. As parents we recognize it is our job to provide unconditional love and to support our child as they develop and learn who they are. We understand that people are unique within their cultural identities and we will involve our child in activities that honor their heritage, their interests, and personalities. Our extended family is very accepting of cultural diversity and any child we adopt will be loved and accepted for who they are. Many of our family members actively engage in cultural events and have diverse social circles.


In Italy
In Italy
Gary & Our Niece Having Fun on an Amusement Ride
Gary & Our Niece Having Fun on an Amusement Ride
On the Beach in Oregon
On the Beach in Oregon
Cooking Class
Cooking Class
In the Bahamas
In the Bahamas
Marissa Paddleboarding
Marissa Paddleboarding
A Night Out
A Night Out
In the Tennessee Mountains
In the Tennessee Mountains
Gary Wakboarding
Gary Wakboarding
Marissa & Pepper on the Beach
Marissa & Pepper on the Beach
At the Lake
At the Lake
1 / 12
In Italy
In Italy
2 / 12
Gary & Our Niece Having Fun on an Amusement Ride
Gary & Our Niece Having Fun on an Amusement Ride
3 / 12
4 / 12
On the Beach in Oregon
On the Beach in Oregon
5 / 12
Cooking Class
Cooking Class
6 / 12
In the Bahamas
In the Bahamas
7 / 12
Marissa Paddleboarding
Marissa Paddleboarding
8 / 12
A Night Out
A Night Out
9 / 12
In the Tennessee Mountains
In the Tennessee Mountains
10 / 12
Gary Wakboarding
Gary Wakboarding
11 / 12
Marissa & Pepper on the Beach
Marissa & Pepper on the Beach
12 / 12
At the Lake
At the Lake

Our House and Neighborhood

Our Home

We live in a suburb that is approximately 35 minutes from a major city in North Carolina. Our community has several nice parks with playgrounds, boat areas on the nearby lake, and multiple recreational centers for family and children (e.g., YMCA, baseball recreation park, tennis and golf club). One of the reasons we chose our current community is that the public and charter school systems have excellent learning opportunities and we want your child to have all the educational resources necessary to meet their academic and social needs.

Our community is friendly and has many local events including farmers markets, festivals, athletic events, religious events, and holiday activities. The suburb we live in is quiet with numerous natural trees and lake views, along with other families that have children of varying ages. The large city we live near hosts a wide variety of activities and is home to professional sports, universities, art museums, performing art theaters, excellent restaurants, and cultural events.

Our house is a two story brick home with a large front porch that has a beautiful lake view. Our house has four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a large kitchen perfect for entertaining, bright living room, bonus movie room, home office, and a room devoted to art, music, and relaxing. Outside we have a large deck, open play area and an in-ground swimming pool with hot tub.

Our Extended Families

Gary & His Parents

Gary has one sister who lives 1.5 hours away and she and her husband have a one month old daughter. Both Gary's sister and her husband are in the Air Force. Gary's father lives nearby, is retired and is excited to be available to babysit and take his future grandchild fishing. Gary's father comes over most weekends to go boating, have family meals, and to do outdoor activities with us.

Marissa With Her Niece & Sister

Marissa's parents live in Wisconsin and are retired. They are excited to visit and be a part of their new grandchild's life. Marissa's parents were both elementary school educators and Marissa's mother currently teaches piano lessons to children. Marissa's sister and niece also live close by and frequently spend time with our family on the weekends. We have three small dogs that are silly and love children.

Our house is the main gathering place for holiday dinners and family events because we love to cook and spend time with family. Our family loves traveling and doing water activities on the nearby lake together. We often go to the mountains or the beach for fun on long weekends. We also like to watch movies, play video games, and have board game nights. We are excited to include the child we adopt in our fun, laughter, travel, and family activities!

From Us to You

We are incredibly grateful you are considering us to be parents for your child. We have thought about how challenging it could be for you to make the decision to put your child up for adoption and some of the worries or questions you might have for adoptive parents. We are willing to answer any questions you have and if you decide we are the right family, we will commit to making sure you know your child is safe and loved throughout their life. We hope the information below will answer some of your questions.

Parenting and supporting the child we adopt is our number one priority. Family is incredibly important to us and we are preparing the best we can to raise children. We are both established in our careers and have flexible schedules that will allow us to be there when your child needs us. We admit we are first time parents and have a lot to learn, but we are confident we will figure it out and have a happy family life. We are excited to meet your child and have them change our family in new and exciting ways! We are looking forward to supporting what kind of person they will become and we promise to provide an environment where they are encouraged to learn new things and develop into who they want to be. We are supportive of all types of diversity and will provide them opportunities that allow them to feel comfortable with their identity and explore and celebrate who they are. We want your child to have an amazing life that makes them happy and is full of love and support. We want them to know we are their biggest fans, coaches, and helpers for life. We think some of the most important qualities in good parents include patience, kindness, empathy, warmth, flexibility, structure, and unconditional love. We have extended family and friends with young children that are very excited to meet your child and do fun activities with them. In the future, we are open to adopting at least one or two children over time so your child could have siblings in the future. We believe sibling bonds are very special for children.

We have many adventures and activities that we would like to include your child in including holiday traditions, traveling internationally, boating on the lake, going to the beach, attending cultural events, and exploring the mountains. Since Marissa's family lives in Wisconsin there will be opportunities to go to the great lakes and do winter activities like sledding, building snowmen, and skiing. We want your child to have meaningful educational experiences and be able to participate in activities that support their strengths and interests. We want your child to develop the skills to someday live independently, reach their personal goals, and have self-confidence.

Our home life is a mix of laid back and active. Some weekends we like to relax and other weekends we like to travel or do fun activities with friends and family. We love celebrating birthdays and holidays by baking, planning celebrations, and creating new traditions. We have three gentle, silly, and cuddly dogs that your child can hangout with as they grow up. These dogs are our best friends and they love children so we are expecting they will be your child's best friends too.

If you choose us we want you to know we will always honor your role as the child's birth parent and the brave choice you made by choosing adoption. We are supportive of open adoption and will send you letters and pictures on a regular basis to keep you updated. We are also open to communication by telephone, emails, and in-person visits so your child can know you if you are willing to do this. We value you and would like a level of communication that you are comfortable with and is helpful for your child. Thank you for reading our letter. We hope you find the best possible family for your child whether it is us or a different family.


Gary & Marissa


Matt Damon
Ryan Reynolds
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence or Mindy Kaling
Elephant or Dog
Brene Brown
The Happiness Advantage
Candy Bar
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Kit-Kat or Hersheys Cookie and Cream
She-Ra or Care Bears
Childhood Memory
Family vacations at the beach
Baking and decorating cookies with family
Childhood Toy
Dress up clothes and art/craft supplies
Children's Book
Berenstein Bears
Matilda and Nancy Drew
Los Angeles
Charlotte, NC or Hilton Head, SC
Classic Movie
Christmas Vacation
The Never Ending Story or Newsies
Day of Week
Cookies, Pastries, or Glazed Doughnuts
Disney Movie
Toy Story
Dream Car
Dream Job
Writer or Business Owner
Dream Vacation
Thailand, Bali, or Spain
Family Activity
Spending weekends outdoors
Boating or watching movies
Flower / Plant
Bird of Paradise
Dandelions or Lilacs
All Indian Food, Spaghetti, or Chicken Fajitas
Form of Exercise
Swimming, Kayaking, and Hiking
Trivial Pursuit
Scrabble or Monopoly
Home improvement
Singing, Reading, Painting, Drawing
Holiday Song
Silent Night
O Holy Night and Do You Hear What I Hear
Holiday Tradition
Decorating the Christmas tree
Holiday baking
Ice Cream
Cookie dough
Lime Sherbet or Strawberry
Junk Food
Ice cream
Buffalo Wings or Chips and Salsa
Leisure Activity
Hiking or Crafting
Road and Track
People or magazines about cooking
Memory with a Child
Playing at the beach
Baking chocolate chip cookies
Memory with Spouse
Trip to Italy
Traveling to Italy and making pizza together
The Greatest Showman
Movie Munchie
Sour Patch Kids
Popcorn or sour patch kids
Movie Quote
I feel the need. The need for speed.
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all
Movie Type
Comedy or Mystery
Book of Mormon
Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera
Musical Group
Jimmy Eat World
Something Corporate or Matchbox 20
Nursery Rhyme
Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Olympic Event
Snowboarding or gymnastics
Personal Hero
My mother
Wicked (The Musical)
Robert Frost
Quality about my Spouse
Caring personality
Loving and Funny
Dont let others define your success
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out"
Longhorn Steakhouse
Bahn Thai or La Unica
BBQ chicken
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
As I have loved you so you must love one another (John 13:34)
Shopping Store
Home Goods or Target
Stand by Me
Rise up by Andra Day
Sport to Play
Sport to Watch
Hockey or Basketball
Sports Star
Michael Jordan
Kevin Durant or Shaun White
Sports Team
Carolina Panthers
Charlotte Hornets
Subject in School
Chorus or Math
Black panther
Thing to Cook
Waffles or crepes
Time of Day
Weekend family breakfasts
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner
TV Show
The Office
The Rookie or The Office
TV Show Character
Michael Scott
Dwight from The Office
Type of Music
Indie/Alternative or anything with meaningful lyrics
Vacation Spot
Hilton Head
The beach
Video Game
Gran Turismo
Dr. Mario or racing games

Contact Us

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Please note that an Adoption Specialist will get back with you prior to this message being forwarded to us. American Adoptions can talk with you to determine what your needs are and help us all get in touch with each other. Thank you for your interest in us!

You can also call 1-800-ADOPTION (236-7846) and ask to speak with an Adoption Specialist or Michelle, who is a birth mother herself.