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Joseph & Angela
The most exciting decision of our relationship was the moment we decided that we wanted to become parents. Our path to parenthood has taken some unforeseen turns, but we have found that excitement again with the opportunity of adoption. We are overjoyed at the thought of you taking the time to read about us. Most likely our separate journeys to this moment have been very different, but now we are all here because of a child.
Our Leisure Time
Much of our leisure time is spent enjoying nature. We very much like camping, hiking, and the history of national parks and forests. In summer/fall, we will enjoy the mountains and beaches, and in winter/spring, we like to explore the deserts. There are many national and state parks within a few hours drive and we enjoy both staying in cabins or tent camping. Sequoia/Kings, Yosemite, and Joshua Tree are our favorite national parks. We bring books along so we can identify the various wildflowers, birds, trees, plants, and rocks. We both also enjoy nature photography. We like sitting around the campfire after a day of hiking, chatting about things we saw or experienced that day, and telling stories. We may also pull out our star charts and do some stargazing on a clear moonless night. We like learning about the human and natural history of the areas we visit, including sites of historical significance.
We also enjoy live music of all types whether it be concerts, musicals or theater...or creating our own. A few other things we also enjoy would be going to a San Diego Padres game, going to the San Diego Zoo/Sea World, visiting museums, taking a walk on the beach, riding dirt bikes in the desert, or visiting friends and family. At home, we like to read, do puzzles, play board games, and cook a good meal.
We plan on being open and honest about our child’s adoption from the very start. We don’t want it to be a mystery. We will honor the way we became a family in a general sense by positively speaking about adoption regularly. In addition to their actual day of birth, we also plan to literally celebrate the significant day they came into our lives. We want them to embrace and experience how special and unique they and our family are. We hope the openness will encourage the child to feel comfortable to ask any question they may ever have about their adoption. We will always encourage an open and healthy relationship with their birth parents. We will make sure they know about their birth parents' and their biological family’s history, culture, and heritage. Above all, we will make sure they feel loved, supported, and confident in where they are now and where they came from.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Joe About Annie: My wife is a smart, fun, creative, and confident woman. I really love how important family is to her and how outgoing and warm she is with anyone she meets. She is 100% my best friend. She values integrity and honesty, is practical, and also has quite an adventurous streak. She is always planning new things to see, do, and experience. I asked her to marry me not only because I fell in love with her, but because I knew I wanted to start a family with her. I am lucky she said yes!
Annie About Joe: I am lucky that my husband asked me to marry him! We complement each other perfectly. Whatever one of us lacks, the other brings in abundance. Joe is caring, thoughtful, intelligent, patient, and easy-going, to say the least. I love his love for family. I admire his unwavering patience. I respect the hard-work he provides for our family, marriage, and relationship.
Our Extended Families
We both come from large families. Joe’s family is spread throughout many different states, while Annie’s family is mostly in the Mid-west. Family is extremely important to both of us. We make time to travel to visit out of state family as much as possible. Our Thanksgiving tradition is camping in the desert. We do all the fixings for a big Thanksgiving spread. Our brother-in-law is the designated turkey chef. He has the whole set-up to fry a delicious turkey every year, rain or shine. The annual 4th of July celebration is always at Joe’s nephew's house. Their community does an amazing fireworks display and has a lake for boating, waterskiing, swimming, and hanging out on the beach. We usually take their boat out on the lake, BBQ, and cruise their neighborhood on the golf cart. Several other families also attend every year.
Family that lives in close proximity gathers for Christmas Eve. We usually rotate who hosts, but we get together to eat dinner, play games and music, and exchange gifts. Annie's mom travels to be with us most every Christmas. While she is here, we always have an adventure planned. We love to see and experience new things!
Both of our families are very large, but maintain strong stable connections. Getting together with either side is always filled with fun and laughter. Any type of gathering, no matter how small, ends up turning into a family reunion! They are all very excited and supportive of our adoption plan! They will welcome a new family member with open arms and endless love.
Our House and Neighborhood
We have lived in our current neighborhood for 6 years! We love it! It is a safe, quiet and friendly area of our beloved city. It is also quite diverse and filled with many young families. Our community is safe, has good schools, and has many beautiful, well-maintained parks. The small neighborhood park is 2 blocks down the street from our house, along with the neighborhood swimming pool. There is a wonderful sports complex close to our house as well. It has two large playground areas and lots of open space for picnics, kite flying, running and playing!
In addition to the great parks, we also love the location of our community. Two hours in any direction allows us to explore ocean beaches, deserts, mountains, or a choice of bustling cities. We take advantage of the many attractions those cities have to offer. We visit museums, zoos, amusements parks, botanical gardens, historical sites, concerts, sporting events, and all sorts of other events.
Our house is so cozy and comfortable. As much as we love to explore, we also love being home. It has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. We knew we wanted to live there as soon as we saw a picture of it! To make sure we really liked it, we scheduled a tour. As soon as we stepped inside, it was definitely our new home. We moved in with the bare minimum from our apartment. We lived about 3 weeks out of an ice chest waiting for a refrigerator! Since we have been here for 6 years, we have been able to acquire more than enough to make it our own.
From Us to You
Writing this letter is so many things… scary, intimidating, exciting and hopeful. How do we put all our feelings into words? First, let us say that you even being here to read this letter is beyond courageous. Thank you for taking the time to read about us, Joseph and Angela. Better known as, Joe and Annie.
Here is a little backstory. Joe and Annie knew each other in high school. He was 2 years older, but we shared a group of mutual friends. Joe moved away, but friends would occasionally gather when the word was out that he was in town for a visit. Annie had always had a crush on him, but our lives went in different directions. We reconnected by social media. We traveled back and forth for a year and a half maintaining a long-distance relationship and falling in love. Joe moved to where she lived in the dead of winter, got a job and hated every minute of winter life. He soon wanted to go back to the sunny west coast and Annie wanted to go with him! In our love and commitment to each other, we decided that we wanted to expand our family and become parents. Failure to conceive, lead us to infertility treatments, more failures, and eventually a lost pregnancy. These difficult times in our lives will be the reasons that we DO become parents. We have been pointed in the direction of adoption and we are excited!
Open adoption was a new concept when we first began learning about this journey to parenthood. We believe it will have many benefits for all involved. Knowing there will be many people that love this child, we look forward to sharing photos, milestones, and achievements. We would enjoy and be honored to mail photos and letters!
Annie has fallen in love with nature thanks to Joe’s passion for the outdoors. He has always loved exploring the mountains, especially the Sierra Nevada mountains. We love to camp and hike. So much so that we were married in Yosemite National Park with our hiking shoes on! We look forward to sharing our love of nature with a child. Gathering firewood, setting up a tent, learning about different plants, insects, and animals, and respecting our environment are a few topics that we look forward to teaching. Leaving the top off the tent is one of our favorite traditions. The nights with no moon are always the best! We lay in the tent and watch the stars, wishing on them and telling stories. The next day we read about the constellations that we located and explore new ones to find. There is also nothing better than loved ones gathered around a campfire, cooking and eating together, telling stories, and enjoying each other’s company.
Gathering with family and friends has always been and will continue to be a major part of our lives. We connect and bond over music, food, storytelling, and laughter. We usually try to get everyone to play board games too! Annie grew up playing card games and dominoes with both her grandpas and her dad taught her to play chess, checkers and poker. There is A LOT of competition when it comes to playing Scrabble! She would like to think she is the best, but to be honest her grandpa, mom and brother are truly the top players.
We also love to learn. Learning is rewarding, so we will strive to nurture this within a child. Loving and supporting our friends and family starts with learning about them. Understanding differences begins with learning. Being confident is about learning. Education is a form of learning that we hold important. Therefore, we will do our best to encourage, not only learning, but also education. We are a great team. We know when we are given the opportunity to be parents, we will cherish every moment and strive to do our very best.
Joseph & Angela