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Tom & Elizabeth
We have been looking forward to this day for quite some time. We are one day closer to hearing a child's laughter throughout our house. We treasure the opportunity that adoption provides and are thankful that you are reading our profile. We are excited to share our love and community with a child, and we would be beyond honored if you chose to journey forward with us.
Our Life Priorities
Our Christian faith takes priority in our lives above everything else. It influences how we spend our time and money and shapes and strengthens our closest friendships. This is true of our immediate families as well. Both of us have been involved in church since we were infants. We are excited to provide the same experience for our child. Though we are not at church every time the doors open, our faith family will play a large role in our family and in our child's life.
Family and friends are probably the second most important priorities in our lives. Though our families live several hours away, we travel back often for everything from weekend-getaways to major holidays. When we can't see each other, we use technology to chat and send photos and videos of children, pets and hobbies.
Having lived in our city for so long, we have built a community of friends that feel like family and acquaintances who form a supportive community. They are our "framily." We lead a small group from our church that meets weekly for Bible study but also gets together for game nights and cookouts. We attend school plays and go on outings with our friends' children. We are also a part of several service groups such as Kiwanis and Young Philanthropists and enjoy service projects and social gatherings.
Importance of Education
One of the things that we have in common is a love of learning. We learn through reading, visiting important sites, experiencing museums of all types, and discussing what we are learning with each other and with friends. We are excited to instill the same love of learning in our child. Tom was the type of kid who was disappointed when school was canceled because he loved to learn in that environment. While Elizabeth was okay with the occasional snow day, she also strove to do well in school. We understand the importance of formal education and school will be an important part of learning in our home. Our school system provides excellent educational opportunities through local schools, magnet schools, and many extra-curriculars.
However, education does not start or end in the classroom, and we understand that children learn in different ways. Elizabeth studied elementary education in college and has worked in both formal and informal education. That experience has given her tools to provide creative opportunities for growth and learning. We look forward to providing opportunities for what our child wants to learn and however he or she learns.
As for life after high school, we both loved our college experiences, and will work hard to provide that for our child if that is the path they choose. We also know that enjoyment and success can be found in the trades and other vocations. We will support our child in whatever educational path they decide to take throughout their lives.
It is important for our child to grow up interacting with people of all races and ethnic groups. Visibility and trust is an important part of being able to respect and love people of all cultural backgrounds. In addition to our friends from various backgrounds, we plan to teach our child at every age that differences are normal and should be celebrated. This teaching will be through age-appropriate toys, stories, books, and experiences that introduce cultural diversity.
If our child does not share our racial heritage, we will make sure that we, as a family, interact with people who share that heritage. This interaction could be at church, school, or extra-curricular activities or by joining community organizations. Because we both are from white communities with western European heritage and we share a Midwestern American culture, we look forward to continuing to engage and learn about other cultural heritages with our child. An important part of this will be teaching our child to appreciate his or her own heritage and ensuring that our child knows we love that heritage too.
We have opportunities to interact with other cultures through our memberships at local museums and involvement with religious and social organizations in our community. We also love to travel domestically and internationally and plan to make sure that the cities and countries that we visit along with their museums, music venues, and restaurants encourage us to explore our own cultures and those of others.
Our House and Neighborhood
Our house is a ranch style, three-bedroom with an unfinished basement. Elizabeth's favorite spot is her sewing and crafting room where she enjoys making clothes and quilts and teaches the occasional sewing lesson. Tom enjoys the living room where he can work on projects for the boards and committees he serves on while watching sports on the television. We both enjoy the quiet of the living room where we can read—a constant for both of us.
When we have friends over, the kids love the extra family room space we have created in the basement with toys, books, and couches with cushions that make excellent forts. We have a large, fenced-in backyard where we host barbecues, play yard games, and gather around the fire pit. Tux, our standard poodle, makes sure the squirrels stay on their toes.
Our neighborhood is made up of many side streets with sidewalks set well off the street. The center of the neighborhood is a large park with a playground and soccer and baseball fields used by local leagues. On the north side there is an access point to the local bike trail that reaches 12 miles to the town just to the south. We chose to move here because we knew it would be a wonderful place to walk, ride bikes, and play as a family.
Our Extended Families
We both have tight-knit extended families. All of our parents and both of our sisters live within an hour's drive of each other in Michigan, so when we drive home we are able to spend time with both sides. Tom's family loves to golf together, play cards, and travel. Elizabeth's family enjoys hiking, harvesting apples from her mother's small orchard, and helping one another with home improvement projects.
Tom's extended family lives primarily in Michigan and we enjoy dinners together, rooting for our favorite sports teams, and playing card games. Elizabeth's extended family lives across the United States, but loves to travel for visits. When everyone meets up in the Midwest, we love to tell stories, cook out, and share various crafty hobbies like woodworking, crocheting, and quilting.
We are also blessed to have close friends in our church who are like family to us. Their kids consider us a "bonus" aunt and uncle. We take them to theater productions, mini-golf or bowling, and movie nights. We root for them in their sports leagues and their school activities.
Both our immediate and extended families are excited for our adoption and joined us in praying for a child. They can't wait to welcome them to our family and include them in all of the love and fun that we share.
From Us to You
"Where Uncol Tom?" Elizabeth initially thought this greeting from our 3-year-old nephew meant Tom was the favorite until she learned that Tom is greeted with, "Where Aunt Ewizabeff?" We love our roles as aunt and uncle including nights of blanket forts and board games, sports outings, and trips to waterparks and theaters. As we grow our family, we are even more excited to be greeted with a question about where their new cousin is.
Thank you for reading our letter; we hope it gives you a sense of who we are. While we are excited about the possibility of being blessed with our first child, we also appreciate your courage during what must be a challenging time. Whatever decision you make for your child, we pray that you will be well and find peace.
So, who are we? Elizabeth is creative and crafty, loves teaching, and can often be found reading. Tom is outgoing and athletic. He is in his element around people and serves in several local organizations.
We met and became friends during college, then started dating during sophomore year. After college, our grand adventure started as we got married and moved away from home. Seventeen years later, we have built a life on a foundation of faith, relationships with family and friends, and adventures big and small.
Having grown up in Christian families, our local church is important to both of us. Elizabeth helps behind the scenes, making coffee and coordinating weddings. Tom serves on committees and helps in the tech booth. Our church's support for adoption has been important and provided resources along our journey.
Our church is where we found a circle of friends—our "framily." We get together regularly to play games, see movies, and share meals. As children have come along, we have jumped into the roles of aunt and uncle to their children. We will bring dinner and games over while their parents go on a date. Elizabeth gives sewing and other crafting lessons and Tom provides t-ball and other sports pointers. This community has been with us during our infertility and adoption journey and everyone, especially the kids, is excited to welcome a new addition.
We love to travel and have a goal of visiting every major league baseball stadium. While visiting for a game, we look for museums, national parks, and theater productions nearby. We travel internationally whenever we get the chance and have been to Spain, England, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and Iceland—with many more on our "one-day" list.
Along our grand adventure, we have continually longed for a child. Before we were married, we discussed children and considered adoption as a way of growing our family—assuming it would be after we had biological children. After a long journey through infertility, we are embracing the plan we made almost two decades ago. We have had time to pray and consider this decision and are excited to become parents through adoption.
Becoming adoptive parents means not only inviting a child into our family, but welcoming you too. You will always be part of who your child is and we plan to share the story of his or her adoption from day one. It will always be a celebrated part our lives. We look forward to sharing regular letters and photos with you and are open to in-person visits and electronic communication as well.
Again, thank you for considering our story. We, as well as our family and friends, have been praying for our future adopted child, their birth family, and all those who view our profile. We pray that you experience the Lord's blessing and protection during this season. If you choose us, we are excited to walk this journey with you and love your child forever.
Tom & Elizabeth