Yesterday marked a big day in our adoption process. We turned in our application and paper work!!! I think I’ve told you in the past I’m very competitive, and this aspect of my personality got its chance to shine over the past few weeks (well, 13 days to be precise!). They told us that the time in which we took to get everything together was entirely in our hands, but generally it takes 2-3 months to be completed. I heard that, and I immediately set the goal to get the application, paper work, and profile finished in two weeks. I had no idea if the bar I set was even realistic, but as it turns out, we were able to do it.
We completed the final and least anticipated part of the application yesterday when we went in for our physicals. I am my mother’s child when it comes to the doctor, even though on the outside I’m able to maintain a somewhat tranquil demeanor (in the past my mom has been known to physically resist the nurse trying to draw blood). I didn’t require any outside assistance for remaining still while the needles were inserted (and yes, it was a plural two needles used), but of course it wasn’t something I enjoyed. And to add insult to injury, I found out as we were leaving that the second needle was entirely unnecessary! The nurse had told me that we were going to do a TB skin test because it was easier to do than the chest x-ray. What she failed to mention was that the only person it was easier for was herself! In contrast to the quick and completely painless chest x-ray, the TB test requires inserting a needle into my forearm and then blowing an air bubble. To top it off, I have to show up in 48 hours to get it poked by a nurse to confirm that I do not have TB. Well, as I was relaying all of this to Nathan as we were leaving, he informed me that his doctor just gave him the x-ray. Figures.
Anyway, I am thrilled to have this part of the process complete and out of our hands! The part I mentioned that I was having the most trouble with was the letter to the birth mother. Boiling down our hearts and lives into one little letter was daunting. But, I finally was able to finish (literally just moments before we were walking out the door to turn it in), and I am pleased with the final product. I thought I would share it here.
Hi! Our names are Angie and Nathan, and before we tell you anything about ourselves, we want you to know how much we respect you for choosing life for your precious baby! We will never fully understand all the sacrifices you have made to carry your child, but we want you to know that we are grateful for them and we will always think of you and the other women who have made the same choice as courageous.
Right now you are in the middle of one of the biggest decisions of your life. Choosing the family who you want to raise the baby that you love is something we know you don’t take lightly! You are the only one who can make that choice, so it is our desire to share a little bit of our lives with you to help you know whether we are the right family for your baby.
Adoption is something that God laid on our hearts right after we got married in May of 2002. We knew we wanted to have several children, and we wanted at least one of those to enter our family through the process of adoption. The only thing we weren’t sure of was the timing. Then, in December of 2007, after our second little girl, Poppy Joy, died after living just three hours on this earth, we realized that God was leading us to pursue adoption now! Poppy’s short but beautiful life showed us so many things, including the fact that we should live life to the fullest, not taking anything for granted. One of the ways we want to do this is by pouring our lives and love into the child we are blessed to adopt.
Now that you know why we want to adopt, we would love to share some of the details of our lives with you. We met right out of high school, and after dating for two years, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Now, nearly six years later, we can honestly say the time we have spent together has been the greatest of our lives. Nathan is an engineer and has been working for the same wonderful company for seven years. Angie was a middle school reading and English teacher before we had children. However, once Marianna was born, she decided to stay at home with her, and now works part time from home for a non-profit ministry.
The two of us have tried to build our lives and marriage around the foundation of God in our lives. We both love Jesus with our whole hearts, and we realize that everything we have we owe to Him. He has taken care of us, especially over the past six months as we walked the difficult road of letting go of a child, with more care and love than we could have imagined possible. We both recognize that without Jesus at the center of our marriage and our family, everything will crumble and fall apart. That is why it is important for you to know that we will always strive to follow God.
Marianna, who turned two in November, is without doubt our greatest blessing. Being parents has been the best challenge ever! It certainly is not always easy, but the joy it has brought to our lives is something we could never have imagined. If we could use one word to describe Marianna I guess it would have to be “fun.” She loves being silly with her daddy, playing make believe with her dolls, reading books with mommy, and laughing at the games her grandparents play with her. She also is so excited about getting to be a big sister! She knows that she has a sister named Poppy who lives in heaven, but she told us just the other night that she wants a brother or sister who is with her all the time. We told her, “So do we!”
As a family, we enjoy doing as much as we can together. Our time in the evenings when Nathan gets home from work is something we look forward to each night, even if we have nothing more planned than dinner and relaxing together. We also love going to the zoo on the weekends, playing at the park right up the street, and eating breakfast at Starbucks on Saturday mornings. We try to do even the mundane things like grocery shopping together whenever we can. The two of us also love taking every chance we get to play a competitive game of Scrabble!
Another big part of our lives involves doing things with our families, and we are so grateful that both sets of parents live in town. Whether it is playing games or watching sports at Jannie and Smokey’s house (Angie’s parents) or swimming at Captain and Emme’s (Nathan’s parents) we always enjoy being with family. Marianna is the only grandchild in town, and she is always thrilled to go for a visit to either set. She especially loves the fact that her youngest aunt, Breanna, is six years old, making her the perfect playmate! We usually get to see each side of the family at least once each week, and that is something we always look forward to. We are surrounded by love and support, and we are so glad that each and every family member is thrilled about the future child God is going to bring into our home through adoption.
Nathan is easy going, funny, and a wonderful provider for our family. He is slower to anger than almost anyone I’ve ever met, and he is someone I can look up to and admire as a person who is honest and full of integrity. He is fun and competitive, so he loves playing tennis, ping-pong, and just about every church league sport including soccer, basketball and softball. In his free time at home he enjoys playing video games and running around the house with Marianna. He knows how important it is to me that we spend time together, so he always makes it a priority to make sure we have time just for us as well.
Angie loves being with family and friends above everything else. She enjoys opening up her home and having people over for dinner, games, movies, or whatever else! One of her favorite pastimes of late is sewing for Marianna. She usually makes her several outfits for each new season, and she loves teaching others her newly found talent as well. Her other great love is reading. She was a literature minor in college, and reading anything from the classics to modern biographies is what she loves. She no longer teaches in a school setting, but she loves pouring all of those teaching skills into Marianna. The two of them work on letters and numbers, memorizing Bible verses, or learning family connections all throughout the day.
Thank you for giving us this chance to share some of our lives with you. We enjoy everything that God has already blessed us with, but we cannot wait to welcome another child into our lives that we can love and raise. We have been praying for you since we began this process, and we will certainly not stop now! Know that you and the other mothers who have chosen this option for their children are always close to our hearts.
Love, Angie and Nathan
The process isn’t over. We still have two more interviews to go before we are officially finished, but our major part is done, and that makes me very happy!