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Josh & Johanna
Thank you for considering us as potential parents for your child. When we look forward to becoming parents, what we are most excited about is providing a child with unconditional love, support, and guidance as well as a childhood full of happy memories. Choosing adoption is a selfless act of love for your child and we would be humbled to be the family that you would trust with your child's journey through life.
Adoption in Our Lives
Johanna and her sister Kristin were both adopted as infants. Their parents discussed adoption with them openly since before they could even remember. Johanna and Kristin grew up understanding that families form in many different ways, and that family is marked by an unbreakable connection and a sense of belonging which may or may not coincide with a genetic relation. Throughout our adoption journey, we have known that we want to use that approach to discussing adoption. But we knew their experiences decades ago would differ in many ways from ours, and that we couldn't always use Johanna's family story as a guide. Most significantly, Johanna and Kristin are both products of fully closed adoptions and have had no contact with their birth families. This was unfortunately the norm in adoption at the time. Knowing that is no longer the case, we educated ourselves about open adoptions – the many ways they can look, the benefits for children and birth families – and sought out birth mothers' perspectives as well. What we learned has been such a revelation and led Johanna to reflect on her own adoption story in a new way. We fully believe that maintaining strong, honest communication with you will be a crucial part of this child's adoption story, and that your feelings and wishes for contact and communication should always be a priority. Johanna's parents unfortunately didn't have that option to express their gratitude and respect for their children's birth mothers, and we are grateful that we will.
Our lifestyle reflects the values that are important to us. We value stability, balance, and showing caring for each other and those who are close to us. Our days are a balance of work and leisure. We both work from home right now so we have opportunities to take some time and enjoy a leisurely lunch together in the middle of the day. Similarly, when our workdays end we leave all of our work stuff behind and focus on enjoying the moments that make up our evening together, whether it's cooking dinner, working on a project around the house, or watching a movie with friends. In short, we're both committed to the careers we've chosen, but it's important to us that our lives are more than striving for success in the work that we do.
Another key part of our lifestyle is making space for fun activities, with each other and with friends. Our friends are like family, and we get together as often as we can for dinner, game nights, or whatever! We like to do little fun things spontaneously: hop in the car for a drive to the beach, or spend the afternoon hiking somewhere new to us. Ultimately, what we're doing isn't as important as the fact that we're doing it together, and so time spent together at home is just as valuable to us, if not more so. We can't wait to share these moments with a child and find new adventures with them too!
Our Professional Lives
Josh is a clinical psychologist and has worked with the Veterans Administration for about 11 years. In that time, he's taken on many roles. He leads the program that trains psychology students and mentors them personally. He educates medical staff in better understanding and empathizing with veterans who face mental illness and addiction. He is a volunteer faculty member at a nearby university. But his favorite aspect of his job is working directly with veterans as a therapist, supporting them in coping with life's challenges and achieving their personal goals.
Johanna became a social worker several years ago, after leaving a deeply unsatisfying career in mortgage. She spent several years helping parents of babies and young children recover from addiction. She was inspired by the resilience she saw in these families and humbled to play a supportive role in their lives. She also developed an expertise in and a fascination with early childhood development. Currently she manages a team that helps families who have been impacted by intimate partner violence. Her favorite part of her job is getting to celebrate clients' successes with them.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a mid-sized Connecticut city. Our neighborhood is a hidden gem, tucked away from the main roads and busier parts of town. It feels suburban while being close to the benefits of the city, like parks and museums. Our neighbors are racially and culturally diverse, with some who have lived here for generations, and some young families too. Because it's quiet, it's a great walking neighborhood, and kids always play outside, so it's easy to get to know everybody. We're a 5-10 minute drive from lovely outdoor spaces like beaches, hiking trails, and state parks. We're also in driving distance of New York City, and love taking day trips there to see a show or just explore. It's a great location because whatever we're in the mood to do is close by!
One of our favorite things about our house is that while it's fairly spacious, it has a cozy, lived-in feel. It's great for two of our favorite ways to spend time - quiet nights at home together with our dog Seth, and entertaining friends and family. Even though there are lots of comfy spaces for company, when we have friends over we end up gathering in the kitchen because that's where the real fun is! We love cooking and baking, and we love to show people we care by making something delicious. Josh's gumbo is famous among our friends, and Johanna has desserts covered – her specialties are peach almond cake and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Our Extended Families
We're both very close to our families and stay connected even though we no longer all live in the same states.
Josh's parents, Steve and Jackie, live in his hometown of New Orleans. Both are semi-retired and travel a lot to see their children and grandchildren. We love to get back there and visit them too. Josh's sister Camille and her family live in Maryland and his brother Andrew and his family live in Colombia. We get everyone back together when we can for beach trips to the Gulf Coast during the summer or for a Cajun Christmas in New Orleans.
Johanna's parents, Louis and Carol, sister Kristin and her family live a few hours away. We see them every month for a weekend of food and fun. We love playing with our nephew Ben on these weekends. He's ten, and very creative and funny. We have a long repertoire of games that we've invented together and play every time with names like "Yardman" and "Wolf Puppies!" Josh's brother and sister each have a baby daughter, Sofi and Maddie. They're adorable and it's so exciting to see them grow!
From Us to You
Thank you, again, for taking the time to learn a little bit about us. We imagine that this decision that you're faced with is a really difficult one, and we feel humbled that you would consider us to be parents to your child. We know you're making a selfless and loving choice for your baby. We don't take that for granted, and we promise to honor your faith in us by raising your child in a stable, nurturing home full of happy memories and unconditional love.
We've been a couple for over twenty years, and married for twelve. We decided about three years ago that we want to be parents. After many years together, we had bought a home, were stable in our careers, and were surrounded by loving, supportive friends and family. We reached a point at which we both could envision sharing the life we'd built with a child. We also felt like our partnership and communication were really strong, and could see ourselves using those strengths to work together in raising a child. We believe that a parent's role is to guide and support a child in growing into the best version of the person that they are, and we felt not only prepared but excited to step into that role. As we talked about and imagined our future child, we felt more and more certain that the great life we had built would be completed by having a child to share it with.
In the last few years, we suffered several pregnancy losses. With each loss, we felt our desire to become parents grow stronger even as our dream seemed to get further away. Throughout these difficult times, we talked often about adoption as a path to building our family. We ultimately decided that adoption was the right way for us to move forward. Johanna and her sister were both adopted as infants, so we always have known from experience how much love, warmth and happiness adoptive parents can provide their children.
Throughout our long relationship, we have learned how to be supportive and understanding partners to each other. Our relationship is strong because we both are always looking for opportunities to make each other happy, whether it's with a spontaneous weekend trip, a quiet dinner together, or just a funny text in the middle of a hectic work day. We both believe that a good life is the sum of these kinds of moments. As parents, we really look forward to creating the same kinds of happy memories, both big and small, for a child.
We also know that even in the most loving and supportive families, not all childhood memories are happy ones, and challenges are an inevitable part of growing up. An important part of parenting is helping children be resilient through these struggles, and we feel uniquely prepared to do this for a child. Not only have we learned to support and uplift each other through our own tough times, we have both made careers out of our strengths in helping people to cope with their own challenges. Josh is a psychologist who helps veterans, and Johanna is a social worker who specializes in child development. The qualities that led us to our professions will also make us great parents - our empathy, patience, and ability to bring out the strengths in others.
We want you to know that you will always be important to us, and we value the role you will play in our family, whatever you choose for that to be. We're happy to share letters, as well as emails, photos and videos, of both everyday moments and important milestones. We are also open to phone calls, and to arranging yearly visits. We are excited to develop a relationship with you that will continue throughout your child's life. We want your child to know you, and so even when you aren't with them we will always hold you up as a loving mother who made a brave and selfless choice for them.
We are so grateful to you for letting us share our story with you. We hope to learn your story too.
Josh & Johanna