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Clay & Sheila
WE ARE SO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING ADOPTION. If you've never been here before, we can only imagine how overwhelming it must be. This is our first adoption, too. But we have complete confidence in our ability to give your child a safe home, where she can grow and achieve any goal.
Why We Chose Adoption
We believe adoption is a great gift to all parties involved: the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child(ren) all benefit. Those who have been around adoptive families, as we have, know that what defines successful families is not biological similarity, but the love and loyalty family members show to each other. Because we believe this, we have always had adoption in our family plan.
Our sons, Ronan and Vaughn, are very sweet boys who are excited about adding another child to our family. Ronan loves learning and building things. He is brave, and tries very hard at everything he does. Vaughn is laid back and good at entertaining himself. He is happy laying around and doing puzzles, or just looking at pictures in a book.<>Our child will always understand that two sets of parents have their interests at heart; us and their birth parents. Further, we are open to an ongoing relationship with the birth parents so that visitations and communications can occur from an early age in the child’s life and they never have a ‘gotcha’ moment where they are told “you are adopted.”
We are serious about giving another child a rich, full life with lots of love. Adoption is a wonderful way to build a family and we cannot wait to meet our newest family member!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Clay About Sheila: I love Sheila because - aside from being the most beautiful woman in the world - she is very energetic, smart, and self-confident. She is always planning a next adventure for me and our boys, dreaming up a new home improvement project, or training for a run.
She is an extremely fast reader and I admire her passion for cooking also. I respect how hard she had to work to become a doctor, and how she makes me a better person by inspiring me to be as good a dad as she is a mom.
Sheila About Clay: I love Clay because he is patient, thoughtful, and loyal. Whether it is sitting with the boys to work on a craft project or making me a cup of coffee in the morning, his thoughtful acts set the stage for a loving home.
Clay is an awesome musician. My favorite times are when he is sharing this passion with our kids. Banging around on drums and singing with “party lights” on truly create some big memories! I also love that Clay is kind and stands up for what he believes in ... I would be so proud if our boys followed in his steps!
Our Family Traditions
One of our family traditions is spending 5-7 days over the summer in Alabama. Sheila’s parents own a house on the coast and we have a great time swimming, eating seafood, and generally relaxing. There are many places to explore there within a short drive, such as Mobile and Pensacola, FL. Fishing, boating, and jumping from docks to splash in the water also teach the children all about beach living.
A local family tradition we have is the Snake Saturday parade in North Kansas City. This parade occurs the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day every March. We have suffered through some cold ones, but it is generally a nice sweater weather event with a sizable part of the metro area in attendance. We wake up, eat pancakes with green food coloring shaped like snakes, and then head out. There are many floats that celebrate our metro area businesses, schools, and civic organizations. Clay always likes hearing the marching bands, and the children like running for the candy that is handed out on the route.
Our House and Neighborhood
Our neighborhood is full of wonderful folks and about half of the houses have school age children. Any child that we adopt will have many other children to play with on the bus to school! Our neighbors are very kind, and supportive of our plans for adoption.
We live in a five-bedroom house with four bathrooms. There is a netted trampoline in the back yard. The house has an attached two car garage with additional door for tricycles, bicycles, a wagon, scooters, and a thing called a plasma car. The children have a dedicated playroom, as well as an under-the-stairs, “kid’s cave.”
There is a swimming pool in the neighborhood and teaching children to swim safely is a priority for us. We go to our neighborhood library every week to pick up a bag full of new books for our evening reading activities. There are several well-maintained parks with playgrounds nearby.
Our Extended Families
All of our immediate family lives within a three hours’ drive from us.
Recently, we spent a weekend at an indoor waterpark hotel with Clay’s family. There were four different slides, and the kids spent hours running up the stairs then splashing down each one. By the time we left, our boys and their cousins were completely exhausted!
The following month, we met up with Sheila’s family for a stay in St. Louis. One thing we often do to check out a town is to visit unique food places. The Soulard Farmer’s Market was big fun for us, as was the Italian Hill neighborhood.
About once per month we are either staying with a part of our close family, or they are with us. We are a diverse collection of people but being a supportive family is what defines us all.
One of our favorite traditions is summer vacation with Sheila’s family on the Alabama coast. The children get to walk around swamps, float in the ocean, eat great seafood, and more.
From Us to You
Hello. Thank you so much for considering us to be adoptive parents for your wonderful child. We know that you love your child intensely and will make the best decision for that child’s well-being.
We met online in 2011, and after a long-distance relationship for about eighteen months we became engaged. One of the things that we immediately bonded over was our shared desire to create a strong family full of love and open communication. We’ve now been married for over seven years and have two wonderful sons. The boys are eager to have another sibling, so that your child will immediately be surrounded with a loving support system.
Clay spent much of his adult life as a music teacher. From private guitar and drum lessons, to teaching digital audio workstations at the college level, he has learned to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people. He now supports faculty at a local university with their audio-video technology needs, teaching them how to use software to perform at their best. There is no doubt, he will also be a great teacher to your child. He loves being a father and his favorite part of the day is getting hugs when picking up the boys up from day care.
Sheila is a family medicine doctor who values family above everything else. She is a super-momma, who shows everyone that they can do whatever they want if they put forth their best effort. She works four days per week so that she can be at home with the children on Tuesdays. Book club, running, and cooking are all extra activities that she enjoys also.
Our boys’ four grandparents and six first cousins all live less than three hours away. They are often visiting, and we are often visiting them! Rest assured that your child will be surrounded with support. Indeed, in any situation where extra help may be needed for an extended time, our retired parents will be able to stay in our guest room and provide that help.
The boys go to a wonderful daycare with caring teachers four days out of the week. We feel like this gives them a head start before going into our excellent public school system. It also allows them to socialize with other children their own age.
Our family gatherings often involve group bargain hunting at local markets, and board games. Checkers and Settlers of Catan are two staples of our family tables. Our parents are also good about letting us get in a date night while they watch the kiddos.
We understand that a child who has a relationship with birth parents will be more successful, and so we intend to maintain communication with you through pictures and letters. If you are available for visits, that would also be something we would be interested in discussing with you.
Picking a family for your child must be a difficult decision and we want to do everything we can to make this the best possible experience for you and your child, not just right now, but throughout your child’s life. Please let us know of any questions you may have. We hope to hear from you soon.
Clay & Sheila