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Conor & Ethan
The mere hope of growing our family has given us so much joy. It's a hope many families share and some are fortunate enough to have come true. And adoption is an incredible way of giving families like ours that joyous hope, so we want to deeply thank you for considering it. We don't know exactly what this journey will look like, but we hope to always experience it with joy, gratitude, and love.
Our Leisure Time
We both like to spend as much time outdoors as possible. We love to bike, play soccer, garden, hike, or just go for long walks around town. We also like to exercise and try to go to the gym at least a few times a week.
Ethan also enjoys playing video games, especially games with interesting stories. Conor didn’t know anything about video games before their relationship, but he’s really come to appreciate the artistry and the industry developments. We even listen to video game podcasts together on car rides!
Conor likes to continue to learn about math and statistics (he studied math in graduate school). He also volunteers for our local YMCA and has helped with its organization and fundraising.
In general our leisure time is active. Whether exploring a video game world or hiking in Yosemite National Park, we like to be doing things that is engaging, healthy, and fun!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Conor About Ethan: Ethan is thoughtful and playful. He has many other qualities I like about him (he’s smart, funny, athletic, and handsome to name a few) but it’s really his thoughtfulness and his playfulness that I love most about him.
Ethan always considers how he affects others. Words he chooses, environmental impact of his purchases, how much time he spends with my family, if our cat is entertained; he cares and thinks about so much because he wants to make life better for all living things.
Even while caring so much, though, Ethan brings such joy to life. With him, serious things don’t seem so serious, boring things aren’t boring, and fun things are positive. We go on long hikes, sometimes up to 6 hours, and Ethan can be silly and joking the entire time.
Ethan About Conor: Conor is incredibly caring and devoted to those in his life and doesn’t think twice about helping someone whenever they need it. He’s extremely supportive and always seems to know the right thing to say to make people feel better. He cares deeply about helping friends, coworkers, and family members improve their lives in whatever way he can. Generosity in all things is definitely a defining characteristic of his.
Conor is also very smart, loves to learn, and is a great teacher. Despite his bookishness, he’s also very silly and loves to laugh and make others laugh. He’s also very willing to humor bad and nonsensical jokes, which is very much appreciated.
We know that through adoption our child will be different from us in ways that aren’t totally typical. And as a same-sex couple our family will be a bit different in composition.
We imagine it would be perfectly natural for our child to want to understand how they fit in. And we believe it will be important to make sure our child sees diversity as a positive part of their life. Especially if the child is from a different racial or ethnic background from our own, we want to make sure they view that background as a natural part of their lives.
We are lucky to have friends from diverse backgrounds and to be part of a community that has different models of positive families. But we also want to bring any particularly helpful racial or ethnic culture into the home. And we would love your thoughts on this! At its core, we want to make sure that as they grow they have self-esteem and a sense of grounding.
And as they grow, we want to make sure to support them in being part of whatever communities that they feel empower them to be a good person. It’s meant so much to both of us to have been able to find communities that help us feel included and positive about ourselves and we will work so hard to make sure they have that experience.
Our House and Neighborhood
We always try to have a relaxed, fun, welcoming home! We recently finished renovations on our mid-century style house, and we really love how fun and colorful it turned out. We did a lot of the renovations ourselves which was a very fun (and chaotic) learning process.
In addition to the interior renovations, we’ve put a lot of time into turning our yard into a garden. We have a native plant area with flowers and tall grass, a woodland garden under our cluster of trees, and we are planning on building a fruit and vegetable garden along with a patio. One of our favorite parts of our home is the large windows throughout the main floor that let us watch all the wildlife and enjoy our garden even from indoors.
Our house is situated next to a lovely naturalistic ravine, which leads to a wooded bike trail that wends its way around the city. Along the path lies the city art museum, a great public pool surrounded by a large park, a recreational lake area, soccer fields, and even the heart of the downtown.
We live in Iowa, which has a wonderful public school system that Ethan enjoyed in his childhood. Several of our neighbors have newborns which would be great for baby time play time. We also have a great community that we met via our soccer teams, and many of our teammates also have newborns. It’s a wonderfully family focused mid-sized city!
Our Extended Families
The families we grew up with and the families we joined through marriage are the most important things in our lives. We love being with them, calling them on the phone, and talking about them!
Ethan is the second youngest of five children; three older sisters and a younger brother. His father, brother, and one sister live nearby so we get to see them especially often. His mom sadly passed away a few years ago, but we keep her in our heart and have a yearly celebration of her life.
Conor has an older brother and a younger sister and brother. His siblings and his parents all live in Chicago, just a few hours away, and they visit all the time. Conor also has a friend who became part of the family as an adult.
Ethan’s family plans things out, has a special way of loading a dishwasher, and has specific cutting boards for specific foods (that Conor still can’t get right). Conor’s family, on the other hand, moves more fluidly. A fun example: after our third date Ethan dropped Conor off at Conor’s parents’ house ... Conor’s parents ran out to say hi ... then got Ethan to stay for a chat ... then got Ethan to join for dinner ... then got Ethan to spend the weekend.
Our families are very different, but we love the funny/challenging/rewarding time we have with both the families we were given and the families we joined!
From Us to You
We feel so unbelievably fortunate to be in this adoption process. When we first started our relationship seven years ago, we talked a lot about how important building a dedicated and loving family is to both of us. Dedicated to loving each other, to loving each other’s families, but most importantly dedicated to loving unconditionally any children we would be lucky to add to our family. And for us, adoption is such a wonderful expression of that kind of deliberate, dedicated love. In adoption, two families find each other and make a decision out of love on behalf of a beautiful child.
And this incredible process of adoption wouldn’t be possible at all if it weren’t for the strength and love of people like you. On behalf of the entire adoptive parent community we just want to express how indescribably grateful we are that you have even been open to this idea.
When we were planning our wedding three years ago, we joked that a great thing about gay weddings is that they aren’t the norm which meant we could do what we think is best without worrying about expectations. So we took advantage and dressed in what we thought was best for a joyous celebration, which for us meant comfortable clothes that we liked and that we could dance in!
But in a more meaningful way, that freedom from norms is a special part of adoption. If we are so lucky that you would choose adoption with us, we would know that our child would always have a special connection with another person(s): you. And we would be so excited to figure out how that special connection works best. We would absolutely respect your wishes, but we would love to share photos, videos, letters and phone calls with you. And we can’t imagine the emotions and feelings going forward, but if visits work out that would be great too.
We try to fill our lives with positivity and understanding. In some ways the two of us are very similar, but in some meaningful ways we are very different. Most notably, Conor’s Catholic faith is important to him while Ethan views life through a non-religious lens. But instead of leading to conflict, we are grateful for the role each other’s beliefs have playing in making them the wonderful person that they are. With any child we’d be lucky to adopt, we know that they will likely be quite different from us in many ways. But we are so eager to support and protect them as they engage with the world as the individuals they are.
We are a mentally and physically active family. We both continue to take classes online classes to pursue our intellectual interests. The bulk of our quality time together is through playing soccer, hiking, biking, or taking long walks around the neighborhood. Most of our closest friends we met through these active interests and we think this has led positive and healthy community. It’s also led to a very diverse community because people who get passionate about soccer or math or video games or Catholicism come from all walks of life and from all over the world. Similarly, in being part of the LGBTQ community, we have been fortunate to make friends with such different experiences and from such different backgrounds.
We take serious things seriously, but for everything else we try to have fun and stay positive. Our home is colorful and welcoming, our conversations are filled with laughter, and our lives are lived with each other’s support. We are grateful for our good days and work through our tough days. But no matter what, we do things together as a family.
Again, thank you so much,
Conor & Ethan
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