September 20, 2018
We celebrated Nevan's adoption finalization anniversary this year with a party complete with a giant Hungry Caterpillar cake. He was so excited, especially when he got to meet the singer/songwriter of the song "Happy Adoption Day," John McCutcheon!
Christina & Brian
Dear Birth Parent(s),
Thank you for taking time to look at our book and information-- we can only imagine what an emotional time this is for you, and we honor your choice to make an adoption plan for your baby. We hope that Adoption Services can be supportive of you. We are also available to talk if you want to get to know us better. We hope this letter and these photos will give you some sense of who we are so that you can make the best choice for you and your baby.
We've been married over 8 years, and we have a 3-year old son, Nevan, that we adopted as a newborn. We have an open adoption and stay in a relationship with his birth mother, mostly through social media (her choice; we're open to any kind of contact including in-person). Biological parenthood isn't possible for us, but we really want more than one child so they can each have a sibling. We both have siblings and we know how important that has been for us, and we want the same for our kids! Nevan is really ready for a sibling-- he is wondering when the baby is coming because he wants to teach them all sorts of fun things! Since he is adopted, he understands the process (as well as a 3-year-old can) and he asks all the time, "when will 'the lady' call us?"
Christina is 37, and Brian is 38. We live in Appleton, Wisconsin, in a single-family home in a quiet neighborhood near a park. Brian works for a community nonprofit organization. Christina is a minister at a Unitarian Universalist congregation. We have a dog, Asher, a rescue black-lab-mix who is amazing with kids. Brian plays soccer and a board game group, and Christina loves to dance and is in a book club. We both enjoy cooking, movies, live music, and reading. Nevan is a funny, tender-hearted, energetic, and very musical kid. He will be a wonderful big brother.
Brian’s parents are Pat and Phil. Brian has five siblings (big family!)-- four brothers and a sister, plus a sister-in-law. His parents and most of the siblings live in Chicago; Nevan is the only grandchild and they're eagerly awaiting another one to spoil! Christina’s parents are Michael and Mickey. Christina has one older brother, a sister-in-law and two nephews (ages 4 and 8) who all live in Texas. The nephews love their cousin and are looking forward to another one! Christina’s parents are "snowbirds" and live in Appleton in the summer and fall. Having grandparents nearby is so helpful-- we can't decide who loves it more: us, or the grandparents!
Since Christina is a minister, we are active at our Unitarian Universalist congregation. We are very open-minded and emphasize working to make the world a better place over any particular creed. We hope to raise our children to value acceptance, diversity, kindness, fairness, and generosity. We love having fun: we go to the farmer's market almost every week, we have a membership to the Appleton children's museum, we love all the live music and fun events in town, and we make a big deal out of holidays, with food, decorations, parties, and family fun. We also love to travel. We visited Portland, Oregon last year, and are planning to visit Boulder, Colorado this summer, as well as a long weekend at a working farm in Door County, and we enjoy an annual trip to Texas to a lake house with Christina's family so the young cousins can play together, kayak, and roast marshmallows over a campfire.
We strongly believe family is the most important thing in our lives-- we share our household and parenting responsibilities equally and we really feel like partners. Christina had some childhood health issues and surgeries (now resolved), which meant that she has known since childhood that being a biological mother wasn’t physically possible. She made that clear to Brian early, so we have always known that adoption would be how we create our family. We are so grateful that we have Nevan, but we have a strong desire to grow our family before he is too much older and hope a baby comes into our lives soon!
We are experienced adoptive parents... We know that adoption means that a lot of losses happen-- and we hope to help lessen those losses by being as open as we can with the child, teaching them about their birth family and heritage, and connecting them to people of their biological culture. We also are interested--if you are--in maintaining contact through letters, pictures, and visits so that the ties that you have with your baby can be maintained throughout your lives. We are accustomed to talking with our child about adoption, about their story and ours, and about the beautiful gift of adoption, with all of its joy and sadness. We celebrate Nevan's adoption finalization day with a big party every summer and intend to do the same for a future child. We want them to know that their birth family made an incredibly hard, loving choice to make an adoption plan for them, and that we also made a really intentional choice to bring them into our family-- that no matter what, their adoption means they are SO loved by so many people.
Thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We hope your experience with Adoption Services is a positive one.
With love and gratitude…
-Christina & Brian (and excited big-brother Nevan)