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Perry & Tim
Thank you for taking some time to learn more about our family! We have spent lots of time dreaming about the next child who will join our family and want to share who we are and how we will open up our home and our hearts. Thank you for considering us as potential parents.
What it Means to be a Parents
For us, parenting means creating a safe, loving home where a child can grow up to be their true and fullest self. It means openly showing love and affection and also establishing clear boundaries so that a child feels safe and secure. Parenting is being the anchor that a kid can always swim back to when they feel overwhelmed - even as they find the courage to do more and more on their own.
We adopted James in October of 2019 and it has been the most beautiful and life-giving thing we've ever done. We've learned new things about each other by parenting together - and look forward to expanding the circle to include one more.
Parenting brings challenges too, of course. Very few worthwhile things are easy. However, we have already learned so much in our first adoption experience and we feel prepared at this moment in our lives to expect the unexpected and jump into parenting with our whole hearts.
How We Met
Tim was the pastor of a progressive church in his city for several years before the summer that Perry came for a summer internship with a local company. We met online the second week of that internship and had one of the best summers of our lives. When the time came for Perry to return to graduate school in another state, we were committed to the idea of a long-distance relationship.
That year apart was challenging but it solidified our commitment to each other. Tim was delighted when Perry managed to find a great job in his area after graduation. It was time for him to respond with a commitment of his own, so he surprised Perry with a ring and a proposal in the summer of 2016. We got married in 2017 in the church where Tim served as pastor, surrounded by friends and family. It was a dream come true - and one that was hard to imagine when we were children.
Our Cultural Heritage
We have learned a lot about each other's cultures over the years of our interracial relationship. We believe that it is a source of strength in our relationship and a place of constant learning and discovery.
Perry is an African American man with deep roots in a city in the American Southeast. His large extended family cares a lot about preserving their culture and family history. This includes an aunt who is the "family historian," family reunions that have focused on cultural events like dancing, food, and storytelling. Perry's mom is actually a visual artist and storyteller who specializes in showcasing African American culture. She's written collections of folk tales as well as a biography of B.B. King.
Tim is a Caucasian man whose roots are primarily English and Scottish. He is a minister in the Presbyterian Church, which has Scottish roots. He also has family in the American Southeast and appreciates the food, music, and hospitality of that region.
Our Extended Families
Tim's family is fairly spread out around the East Coast, although his parents still live in the town where he grew up. Our annual family gatherings are a highlight of the year, as we gather in one of the cities where we live for holidays or at the beach in the summer. The pandemic has disrupted these traditions but we look forward to resuming them soon!
As Tim's parents are nearly fully retired, they are in serious grandparent mode. They love to visit and are so excited to have another child to treasure as a grandkid. Tim's family is fun-loving and share similar values.
Perry has a large extended family, mostly located in Mississippi and New Jersey but he's never surprised to run into a cousin. Annual family reunions often attract as many as 75 people and they enjoy playing games, learning family history, and eating food together. To be a member of Perry's family is to be a part of a proud family that cherishes its roots. He grew up on a farm that has been in his family for more than 100 years.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Maryland. Our home is a large, three-story row home that was built in 1880. It has all the character of an old house and all of the amenities of a new one. We have four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, which will be very helpful when our parents come to visit! We were attracted to the neighborhood because of its proximity to so many cultural attractions like the zoo, the theater, a symphony, and an enormous park.
We also love the fact that our neighborhood is culturally diverse and full of families with children. In warmer weather we like to sit on the front stoop in the evening, chatting with neighbors as kids roll up and down the block on their bikes with the other kids. It's fun to imagine a new addition to the family participating in that fun!
When the pandemic ends, we aspire to be a home full of friends and family. We feel that this kind of community is actually quite rare and we feel lucky to live here.
From Us to You
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our profile!
As we have gone through this process, we've thought about you quite a lot, and want you to know that we deeply respect the difficulty of your situation and the courage it takes for you to consider these options. We are sharing our lives and hearts with you in the hopes that it will help set your mind at ease.
Tim is the pastor of a progressive Presbyterian church in our city. It is a warm and inclusive community with an unusual amount of diversity. He is also a social worker with a decade of experience working with children and youth. Perry works for a large sports company that gives him exciting opportunities to be creative and entrepreneurial. His company is only a mile away from the church which makes it easier to balance our professional and parenting responsibilities. In October 2019, we adopted James and immediately fell head over heels in love with him. Adoption has already blessed our lives in immeasurable ways.
We both grew up in strong families that mean the world to us. As we eventually came to the realization that we were gay, a huge part of that awakening was realizing that family would be different for us than the families we were born into. Our marriage - in the church where Tim served as pastor - was such a beautiful moment of healing and reconciliation for us. Both of us felt instinctively that we are called to be parents - to share our love and our home with a child. We knew, long before we met each other, that this would likely happen through adoption. Perhaps because of our faith, both of us see adoption as a beautiful and sacred act. Adopting James certainly confirmed this belief and we are so excited to do it again.
Knowing that we are part of a larger community that loves and cares for us makes this decision easier for us. Our extended families will be present and part of the child's life. We will share your child's growth and experiences with you through photos and emails and phone calls, if desired. We will always be open and honest with a child in regards to their adoption story and will make sure that they know how much you love them and how hard this decision was for you. You will always be reflected positively to them and we are open to the idea of visits in the future if the time is right.
As we imagine our growing family, we imagine a house full of activity and love: cooking pancakes on a snow day, working on math homework at the kitchen table, walking as a family to the neighborhood pool or the zoo. We imagine children discovering their own gifts (sports, art, theater, music?) and getting the encouragement they need to fully develop those gifts. We imagine a lifetime of love and laughter and memories. We will be delighted to honor the role you will continue to play, whatever that may be. You are significant to us and always will be.
Thank you so much for your consideration and for your courage and clarity during these days. You will be in our prayers as you take the next steps in this journey.
Perry & Tim