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Brandon & Emily
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about our family. Faith and family mean everything to us, and we know our family isn't complete just yet. Our daughter Felicity is excited to become a big sister; she tells everyone she meets! We hope you'll consider our family as you decide what's best for you and your child. We're looking forward to growing our family through adoption.
Why We Chose Adoption
Adoption is something Emily has always wanted to do and something we discussed before getting married and several times throughout our marriage. Growing up Emily had several friends and family members who were adopted, and she lived near a ranch for kids who didn't live with their families for a variety of reasons. Seeing these kids, and hearing some of their stories led Emily to develop strong feelings about adoption, about making sure any child she adopted felt wholly wanted and wholly loved. After being married for three years, we discussed adopting older children from foster care, but we ultimately decided to attempt to have a biological child at that time. During Emily's third trimester, she developed a serious medical condition that put her and our daughter's health at risk. Felicity and Emily are both healthy now, but doctors have strongly discouraged future pregnancies. Because we want more children, we feel now is the right time for our family to adopt. We again considered foster care, but many of the children available for adoption are older than our child. Because we want a younger child and an open adoption, we believe infant adoption is the best way to grow our family. Regardless of how our family grows, love is what defines our family.
Our Life Priorities
God is our first priority. Spending daily time praying and reading our Bibles is important to us. It's something we discuss with our daughter; however, we don't force it on her. It's something she will have to choose for herself, but we do expose her to our faith. It isn't something we can separate from ourselves because our faith in God guides our thoughts, decisions, and actions.
An important part of serving God is serving others. We actively seek out opportunities to serve our community in any way that we are able.
Our second priority is our marriage and our daughter. We put a lot of work into building and sustaining trust and open dialogue. It's easy to get caught up in to-do lists and the day-to-day, so we make it a point to plan time to spend together as a family, as a couple, and one-on-one with our daughter. Beyond this, we prioritize making time to spend with friends and other family members.
Although we don't currently have strong ties to any ethnicities or cultures, we enjoy learning about other cultures. We read about other cultures, try new foods, attend cultural festivals, and travel domestically and internationally. While we are very curious and often have many questions, we try to be respectful as well. This is a topic Emily recently discussed with a close friend who is the white mother of two biracial boys. Emily's friend shared her experience raising her sons to know and celebrate their cultural heritage. As Emily was listening to her friend talk about her experiences and how she incorporates her boys' heritage into their lives, Emily knew this friend would be an amazing mentor to us if we adopt a child with an ethnic heritage different from our own. We will research to learn as much as possible about our child's heritage, so we can include it in our daily lives. We are fortunate to live near diverse areas where we have opportunities to learn more about a variety of cultures. We believe it is important for all people to be aware and respectful of other cultures, and the best way to achieve this is by educating ourselves about other cultures.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a quiet neighborhood in a small town 15 minutes from the downtown of a larger city, where we enjoy going to the farmer's market, local restaurants, shops, and festivals. Nearby is a great children's museum and local zoo. We live about an hour from a national park, where we enjoy hiking and camping. We're also about an hour from a theme park, which we visit several times a year.
We picked our house because of its open floor plan and water access. The open floor plan makes it easier to keep an eye on little ones while cooking and folding laundry, and it's great for having family and friends over.
Our home is on the river, and we enjoy kayaking, swimming, and boating. Our neighborhood and a nearby field are great places to get out and walk, and we have a big yard for running and playing games.
We know several of our neighbors and consider them close friends. Next door is a family with two young boys, and we enjoy getting together and letting the kids play.
Our home is in a great area for kids to grow up, play outside, and have diverse experiences.
Our Extended Families
We have a tight-knit family. Our families celebrate every occasion together.
When we get together, we all enjoy playing games while catching up. At our recent Christmas Eve lunch, Nonnie handed us a saran-wrapped ball layered with candy and a prize in the middle. She handed us oven mitts and dice, and we took turns trying to get the ball unraveled. It was hilarious! Neesy often brings games like Family Feud and Bingo, and Papaw has ensured we all have snow cone makers and cornhole boards. No matter who hosts, we usually play at least one game of cornhole.
Anytime we need a last-minute sitter, Papaw and Mamaw are out the door and on the way as soon as we get off the phone, even though they live an hour and a half away. They're also famous for unannounced visits; they often stop by on their way to or from Gatlinburg. Papaw also keeps our daughter Felicity well-stocked in gummy bears. He always has a giant bag for her, even if he just gave her one last week!
Whether it's a holiday, family vacation, or weekend visit, spending time with family is a big priority for us.
From Us to You
Thank you for reading our profile. We realize this might be overwhelming. As you consider adoption, we would like to share a little about ourselves. We have been married for nearly 10 years, and have a four-year-old daughter named Felicity. Brandon is a mechanical engineer, and Emily teaches high school English in American Sign Language to students who are D/deaf and hard of hearing. We value our relationship with God and put Him first in our lives. We look for ways to serve God by serving and loving others. As we look to God and His Word for guidance, we find we don't always align with other Christians, and we're okay with that. We're not here to judge others but to live a life that's pleasing to God. A big part of that is loving the people God puts in our lives.
We're excited to grow our family through adoption and are hoping for an open adoption. We would like this child to get to know their birth parents through visits, and we would love to regularly share pictures and stories. Of course, we will support our child's birth family in the level of openness they desire. We will discuss adoption with our child the way we tell our daughter about her birth. It's the story of how she joined our family, and adoption will be the story of how our family grows again. We would like this child to have their birth parents' perspective. This would give them the complete picture of their adoption story, and we believe it is an important piece for them to have when (or if) their birth parents are ready to share it.
We're an active family. We enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, cycling, photography, and trying (with only slight success) to grow food in our garden. We have some shared hobbies, but we also have some separate interests. Brandon enjoys all things with wheels--motorcycles, cars, bicycles, dirt bikes, you name it. We both enjoy working out, hiking, camping, and photography. Emily enjoys reading and learning new things, like how to grow things in our gardens. We will encourage our children to be active in ways they enjoy as well. Felicity has enjoyed swim lessons and gymnastics and now talks excitedly about taking dance classes. We spend a lot of time cooking together in our kitchen, too. Felicity likes going to the park, playing with the boys who live next door, and making gummy bears and cookies.
Although neither of us plays any instruments or sings well, we still fill our home with music. We have instruments in our home and are often heard singing and playing around with lyrics. Felicity recently created her own version of "If You're Happy and You Know It." She changed it to "If You're Cranky and You Know It." She has verses for "just calm down," "just take a nap," and "eat some chocolate." While we understand the value of teaching boundaries to children, we also see the importance of teaching them to color outside the lines. Whether music, art, dance, photography, or some other art form, we will encourage our children to find a creative outlet they enjoy.
We want our children to live full lives, develop healthy habits, find things they're passionate about, and find joy and peace in Jesus. To keep our daughter healthy, we have not been going to church during the pandemic, but we still make time to pray together and talk about God and the Bible. Additionally, we show our daughter that we make time for each other. As a couple, we make time for date nights and weekends away. As parents, we make time to spend one-on-one with Felicity and time to spend as a family. There are times Felicity and one of us are doing something together and she confides in that parent, and that reinforces the importance of quality one-on-one time. It helps build and maintain positive, trustworthy relationships.
Thank you again for reading our profile. We realize you may be facing challenging decisions, so, no matter what you decide, please know you, your child, and your family are in our prayers.
Brandon & Emily