Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Loving Moms Hope to Adopt Again

Lisa and Kathy

Meet Kathy and Lisa

Hello! We are Kathy and Lisa from Georgia. We are so grateful that you are reading our letter and hope it gives you a glimpse of who we are as a family. Growing our family is something we have wanted for a long time, and we can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you giving us the chance to make our dreams come true.

The Family on Christmas Morning
Having gone through the adoption process with the adoption of our daughter in 2005, we truly appreciate the many feelings you may be experiencing during this process. We know this is an important decision for you, and we hope you find a family that feels “right” for you. We welcome the opportunity for you to get to know us better, and we would love to learn about your hopes and dreams for you and your child.

Getting to Know Us
We met in Washington, DC, over 15 years ago while Lisa was working for the Associated Press and Kathy was in graduate school for social work. Believe it or not, we first met online in a discussion forum about one of our favorite bands, the Indigo Girls. We talked for weeks online, and Lisa finally convinced Kathy to meet for coffee at Starbucks. At our first coffee date, we had an instant connection and felt like we had known each other for years. We always smile when we are watching movies filmed in Washington, DC, because we almost always see the patio of the Starbucks where we had our first date!

When we first began dating, Kathy was a big animal lover and Lisa didn’t have a single pet (though she was raised on a farm!). Lisa was extremely neat and organized, and Kathy was someone who liked to be organized through the piles-of-stuff system. Lisa liked to work like crazy and Kathy was someone who enjoyed more balance in life. Kathy has always liked to come up with the big plans or dreams, and Lisa has always been the more conservative one who gets a little nervous (and excited) about the ideas Kathy comes up with. All of these differences were things we had to work through the first 3-4 years, but our relationship became much stronger as a result.

Early on in our relationship we both worked hard and had an active lifestyle. We both enjoyed going camping, traveling, going to concerts (our musical tastes vary from the Dixie Chicks to Melissa Etheridge to U2 to the symphony), attending sporting events regularly, enjoying the company of good friends, and visiting with our families whenever we could.

Though we loved living in Washington, DC, we both knew we wanted to have children one day, so we decided to move to the Atlanta area since we felt it is a much better place to raise children. After years of watching our friends become parents, we finally knew we were ready to have children, too. We felt our relationship was strong and our lives were in a place where we could be devoted to raising our children.
Kathy and Maggie at the beach
Having a biological child was never important to either of us because biology had not proven to be an important factor in our lives. Lisa had the positive experience of being raised part of her life by an adoptive family, and she was closer to this family than her biological family. Kathy had worked with many children in her social work career whom she loved and wished she could adopt, so she knew biology was not important to her. We both also have the experience of having many people in our lives who we consider family whom have no biological relationship to us. All this is to say that adoption is the way we wanted to bring children into our family.

In 2005, we were blessed with adopting Maggie into our family. She is incredibly loving, outgoing, and active. She would have a play date 24/7 if we let her. She is such a kind soul, and amazes us each day with her limitless love and care for others. She loves going swimming, playing soccer, doing karate, gymnastics, and riding her bike. Maggie goes to school at an excellent Montessori school in the neighborhood. This is an excellent school and we particularly like it because her classmates come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. She is excited about having a little brother or sister, and we know she will make a great big sister because she is very loving, gentle, and protective.

Maggie knows she is adopted and talks to her birthmother periodically. She knows the story of her adoption, and it has been helpful for her to have so many other friends who are also adopted. She sees her birthmother as an extension of our family, and we support her in maintaining their relationship. We have the utmost respect for Maggie’s birthmother, and welcome her into our family to the extent she is comfortable. We have honored the level of contact we promised her, and we would do the same with you if you chose our family.

We are an active family! Though we enjoy our quiet, do-nothing time at home, it seems most of our free time is spent with friends and family doing all kinds of fun activities. We enjoy gatherings with other families so the kids can play and the adults can talk. Some of the things we enjoy: climbing nearby Stone Mountain, swimming, playing on the swing set, go to bouncing places with friends, exploring places like the Children’s Museum and the Georgia Aquarium, going to sporting events, seeing shows like musicals or the circus, doing story time together before bedtime, walking our dogs, and playing board games together.

We are members of a wonderful Methodist Church in Atlanta. This is an amazing church that prides itself on the diversity of its members, and its wonderful children’s program. Every Sunday we feel like we are with family, and Maggie loves it because she has so many friends there, many of whom are adopted themselves. Our church family is excited about us adopting another child!

We have had many wonderful travel experiences as a family. Each year we take two trips with other families who have created their families through adoption—every Spring Break, we rent a big house at Disney World together, and during the Summer we travel to the beach or lake together. We all enjoy these trips so much, and we think it is great for our children to grow up with other children who share the adoption experience.

Lisa at Disney World

Kathy Talks About Lisa
Lisa is from a small town in Pennsylvania, and was raised partially by her grandparents and partially by an adoptive family. As soon as she was old enough, she left home and went to college to study business. If there is one thing everyone knows about Lisa is that she is a hardworking person at everything she does. In addition to working so hard at her day job, she also volunteers at the church and to help our friends with various projects even when she doesn’t have the time or energy to do so. She is definitely someone you can count on and is a truly loyal friend.

Lisa is an amazing wife and mother. She has always been the romantic in the family (when we first met, she sent me GIGANTIC flower arrangements at my office). She still enjoys giving and receiving flowers and cards for special occasions and everyday life. Date night is a favorite activity for her! She loves to go to movies and romantic dinners.

As busy as Lisa is, she always makes sure she attends Maggie’s school events and extra-curricular activities because she knows how important it is to be there for our family. She is such a good momma that she will leave work in the middle of the day to be at Maggie’s school for whatever activity is going on. I know she will be just as excited to do this for our next child.
Though Lisa is very serious during the day at her job, she is really a big kid at heart, which is partially why she has so many people who care deeply about her. Lisa loves to come up with ideas like pitching a tent in the living room and inviting the neighborhood kids over for a sleepover. She is also the first to volunteer to take Maggie and her friends to the latest children’s movie, and then load them up on concession stand goodies!

Lisa enjoys working on projects around the house, often with her little helper Maggie at her side. In her down time, she likes to workout, read crime novels, read up about the latest in the entertainment world, and watch reality TV shows (she loves Top Chef, which is particularly funny since she doesn’t cook!).

At the end of the day, she is the one to make sure we all cuddle as a family. We really work well together and balance each other out.

Lisa talks about Kathy
Kathy is the most giving and loving person that I have ever met. She gives from her heart to both Maggie and me unconditionally. Whether we have a cold, a skinned knee, or hurt feelings, she shows compassion and really cares how we are feeling. When I first met her, it was her maternal wisdom and the way she talked that drew me to her. That’s one of the many reasons that I committed to her as my life partner and wife. She is an advocate and force to be reckoned with for all that she cares about. And this is what makes her the constant rock in our lives and the caring person that I love so deeply.

Kathy and her parents in North Carolina

She is the “supermom” that plans our fun events and family vacations. I can come home from a crazy day at the office, and she has researched a full week’s vacation or a weekend event to present to us. She keeps us on track on a regular basis to truly “have fun” in life—not to get bogged down with the day-to-day stuff. I may be the big kid, but she’s the actual cruise director in our family and ensures that we all have a great time and make unforgettable family memories together. And she makes sure to photograph every outing or special event, and then update all our family and friends with a website or Facebook update. This makes her even more endearing as a mother, wife, and friend.

Kathy is the one who is home with Maggie because of her flexible work schedule. Somehow, she manages to be a full time mom and to work full time. Though she still likes to operate from the pile system mentioned previously, she is always super organized when it comes to making sure our child’s needs are met. She is always researching schools, summer camps, the latest toy or parenting article. She is very active at our daughter’s school, and she loves to shop for clothes and books for Maggie.

She is always the first to invite friends over for cookouts, sporting events, and Thanksgiving or our Christmas parties. She is known for cooking a massive Italian dinner feast for our friends and family every Christmas. A little known fact about Kathy is that she likes to go to musicals. This is something special she and Maggie do together, and I know she is looking forward to sharing this love with our next child.

She loves Maggie unconditionally and it has been amazing to see her grow as a mother. Maggie would state “you are the best momma ever” if she were writing this up herself. I have seen a bond grow so much between them that Kathy can read her like a book and be there for our child. She gets down on her level and discusses feelings and views with Maggie so intently. At the end of the day, Kathy keeps our entire family in touch with our feelings and helps us to remember to be compassionate to others.

Where We Live
Our home is in Decatur, Georgia, a charming suburb of Atlanta. We are fortunate to live in a very friendly neighborhood. Every evening our neighborhood is filled with families pushing strollers, walking, riding skateboards and big wheels, or taking their dogs for walks. It is a great neighborhood because it is one where we all know each other and look out for one another.

We live in a great home that has plenty of room for children, including a big fenced-backyard that has a play set. Our house has three bedrooms, and we are so excited to turn our 3rd bedroom into a nursery for the new baby! There are lots of families with young children in the neighborhood, and we have great schools nearby.

We love to entertain our friends and family, so our house is often the place to be for cookouts, play dates, game nights, and dinners. We have known our 12 year old neighbor since he was 3. He spends a lot of his time playing at our house, and he has been like a big brother to Maggie, teaching her how to swing, play soccer, and the beginnings of skateboarding!

Our three dogs (Tucker, Sadie, and Sara) and cat (Kenny) are all wonderful pets and are great with children. Each has their own personality, and all of them are very cuddly. Tucker is very protective and is the boss of the other dogs, even though he recently became our blind dog. Sadie’s nickname is “Licky” because she is always giving kisses and can’t seem to get enough attention. Sara is our newest dog, and she is incredibly playful and cuddly. Kenny is our cat with about 100 lives. He is 15 years old, and acts more like a dog than a cat.

Our city is very family friendly, with lots of nearby parks, community pools, kid’s sports programs, beautiful lakes, and lots of family events, our own 4th of July parade and fireworks, and frequent concerts. We live only a short drive to Atlanta where we can take advantage of the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Zoo, the Children’s Museum, professional sporting events, concerts, and the Center for Puppetry Arts.

What We Do For Work
Kathy is a social worker by training, and has worked the past 6 years as the founder and executive director of a nonprofit agency for gay families. She is very passionate about helping people and political activism, and has worked hard to make Georgia a better place for the many gay families living here. Kathy loves this job because she is passionate about what she does, and it allows her a flexible schedule so she can be a stay-at-home mom when the new baby arrives.

Lisa has worked as an accounting manager in broadcasting for over 20 years now. She is responsible for 6 radio stations and 3 nationally syndicated radio shows. Lisa especially enjoys getting to meet celebrities when they come into the radio stations. Lisa has flexibility to work from home, which will be especially helpful when the new baby arrives. One of our favorite things about the type of work Lisa does is that it gives us access to just about all the entertainment and sporting events that come to Atlanta. Just this last year we have seen Ringling Brother’s Circus, Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice, Mary Poppins, the Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert, and the Atlanta Dream basketball games to name a few!

Lisa, Kathy, and Maggie at home

Our Family
Family is so very important to us. Truthfully, we consider many people in our life who are not biologically related to us as family, in addition to the family we are biologically related to. Most of our close friends who live near us are like family to us, and we are all very fortunate to be able to count on each other when we need to. Having close friends we can count on is something important to us, and has been especially helpful since we have become parents.

Maggie’s birthmother is also a part of our family. We are actually in touch with several of her family members who were involved with the adoption process, and we expect Maggie will get to meet her younger siblings when she is a little older. We talk with her birthmother quite regularly through the phone and e-mail, and send her regular photos. We have visited with her once since Maggie was born, and we expect to see her again this coming year.

Kathy’s has two brothers who live nearby, and between them they have 5 children who would be cousins and playmates to a new baby. Kathy’s parents live part of the year in Florida and the other part of the year in the North Carolina mountains. We have a close relationship with her parents, and visit with them frequently.

Lisa’s sister lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children (two more cousins!). We don’t see them often because they do not like to travel, but we do stay in contact with them. Lisa’s mom lives in Arizona, and we stay in regular contact with her and try to visit with each other whenever we can. Lisa’s mom was recently here for Maggie’s baptism.
Maggie and Lisa in North Carolina

After becoming parents to Maggie, we realized we had no idea what parenting was really going to be like. We had no idea the sacrifices we would make, or the incredible joy we would experience watching her grow up and explore the world together. Without a doubt, we both feel that parenting has been the most important and rewarding work of our lives. It is really hard sometimes, but neither of us would trade it for anything in the world, which is why we would like to share our lives with another child. We love being parents and are excited to expand our family!

We both believe giving a child a safe, nurturing and loving home is the foundation for good parenting. We are also fortunate to have the financial resources to give our children great family vacations, the best schooling, and lots of extra-curricular activities depending on our kids’ interests.

Our Promises to Your Child:
We promise to love your child unconditionally, always, no matter what! We will give lots of hugs and kisses, and be ready to hold them when they are sad, have a boo-boo, or just need to be held. We will provide them with a safe, stable, and loving home. We will encourage them to explore their talents and interests through activities and play. We will inspire your child to be a kind, compassionate and loving soul. We will be there to sing, dance, play silly games, and laugh each day. We will expose them to different cultures and people through friendships, travel, food, and other activities that will inspire them to understand and appreciate different cultures. We will make sure they get the very best education so that they can pursue whatever dreams they may have. We promise to create lots of great memories by going on family vacations every year. They will always be surrounded by loving friends and family who will support them in life.

We will tell them their adoption story, and always treat their adoption as something to be celebrated. We will make sure they understand your love for them, and maintain a level of contact with you that is agreed upon during the adoption process. Your child will be surrounded by other children who have been adopted so they will never feel alone or different because of their adoption.

Kathy, Maggie & Lisa at a basketball game!
Closing Remarks
We know it is impossible to sum up our lives with a few words and photos, but hopefully we have given you a glimpse into our hearts. If you choose us, we will be eternally grateful to you for fulfilling our dream of adding a child to our family. We make this promise to you - we will do everything in our power to make sure your baby is not only unconditionally loved and cherished, but given every opportunity in life to learn, laugh, explore, make mistakes, and triumph. They will know of the love you have for them and the courage it took for you to give them this opportunity.

Thank you again for taking the time to learn about our family. If you feel we are the right family for you and your baby, or if you would like to learn more about us, please contact our Adoption Caseworker, Olga, at AdoptHelp at 1-800-637-7999, toll free. Or you can e-mail KathyandLisa@gmail.com or call Kathy at 404-808-3350.

Much Love,
Kathy and Lisa

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