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Carl & Susan
Greetings! We are Susan and Carl, but hope to be called Mom and Dad soon. Since you have reached our profile, we know you have made some difficult decisions already. Susan was adopted and has first-hand experience growing up as an adoptee. Know that we will make great parents and will fully embrace your child as our own. Please enjoy your time learning about us and we hope to learn about you in the future!
Susan's Adoption Story
I, Susan, was adopted from an orphanage in Poland when I was 14 months old. My adoption was never a secret; I always knew. Until I turned 5, my daycare playmate was the boy next door who was also adopted. When I started school, I remember coming home one day confused because I discovered not everyone is adopted! Adoption made me unique and I embraced that part of me.
Since my adoption was closed, except for her name, I knew nothing about my birth mother or why I was placed in an orphanage. Growing up, I never blamed her for placing me for adoption because I knew it was out of love. But it was difficult not knowing basic facts about myself, like the time I was born, whether I had any siblings or details about my family's medical history.
When I was 11 years old, my parents and I travelled back to Poland to visit that orphanage. It was comforting to see where I had slept, eaten, and played. I was 18 when we made an effort to locate my birth mother and were surprised to find out that I had a half-sister! I later met her and a cousin. The strangest part was seeing people who looked like me. The experience was beneficial because it helped me find a missing piece of my puzzle. I am encouraged that open adoptions are more prevalent now because it helps everyone involved - child, birth mother, and adoptive parents.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Susan About Carl: I completely trust that Carl will support me in my decisions and always put our family first. When we met, he was working on his Master's degree, while working full-time. His drive and hard work carries over to our lives together. When he puts his mind to something - like teaching our cats to sit before being fed - he doesn't make excuses and gets it done. I love his sense of humor and his ability to see the best in life, even in difficult situations. I know he will be a wonderful, loving, attentive, engaged father which is reinforced even more when I see him playing with our niece and other kids in the family.
Carl About Susan: From our first date to today, I have always appreciated Susan's ability to openly communicate with me. This has allowed us to build an enormous amount of trust and have those hard conversations while still treating each other with respect. She is also extremely good at preparing for situations and takes the initiative to educate herself in areas where there could be many potential surprises. Susan routinely helps me to be a better person whether by not procrastinating (as much) or coaching me through meal prep, despite my primitive cooking abilities. I look forward to watching her become an amazing mother through her patience and teaching skills as well as our ability to communicate as a team.
What It Means to Become Parents
The most important job for a parent is to prepare their child to become an independent and self-confident adult. We would like our child to enjoy growing up with a broad variety of experiences that will help in learning about who they are and who they want to become. Since both of our jobs are in the tech sector, educating our child in science and technology from an early age will be one of our priorities. We will love helping our child learn about different types of caterpillars or develop their first computer program. We will continue to introduce interesting topics as they are growing up, letting them pursue what appeals to them, and figure out what they like. As parents, we will have to learn when to push our ideas but more importantly when to back off and let our child explore on their own.
Volunteering was an important part of both of our learning experiences growing up and we want to pass that on to our child. Volunteering can help develop empathy, self-confidence, social skills, and an awareness of the needs of others. Our child will make new friends and learn how they can improve the lives of others, the environment, and their community. We plan to start doing this together as a family by volunteering for activities through our church, charities, scouting, or other community organizations.
Our House and Neighborhood
With a family in mind, our main objectives when house hunting were to live in a highly-rated school district, to have a large backyard, and a safe, fun neighborhood. We fell in love with a four-bedroom house in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. It has a wide-open basement that we plan on using as a games and play area for our child and their friends, although it is currently occupied by our two cats and their numerous cardboard boxes. Our favorite room is the nursery, where we have a new crib waiting and shelves stocked with books, games, and stuffed animals from our childhood.
We knew we picked the right house when we went to the annual neighborhood potluck picnic at the local park and saw families helping with the barbecue and kids playing on the jungle gym. In the evenings, we often see our neighbors' kids jumping on trampolines and playing soccer in their backyards. We also know several neighbors who have adopted.
Within biking distance, there are indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and basketball courts, and several baseball fields. With Washington, D.C., so close, we expect to take many family field trips to the National Zoo and other Smithsonian museums like Air and Space, Natural History, and American History.
Our Extended Families
We both have fairly sizable extended families living all over the country. Due to the limited travel recently, we've organized family video calls to keep in touch since we cannot physically be together. Our adoption plans were happily announced over one of these calls and we've received awesome feedback with many family members reaching out to offer their support.
Traditionally during the holidays, we all converge in the Midwest. No matter the celebration, the families come together to cook, enjoy time with each other, laugh, share stories, watch sports, play games, or enjoy countless rounds of cards. At an early age, kids in our families learn to play the family games - euchre, scrabble, and rummy. Over the last two years, there have been multiple weddings in the family, which bring all of us together for further bonding, baking, and building memories.
Susan's parents live nearby in Washington, D.C., and come to visit every weekend. We happily serve as their guinea pigs for new recipes found in the monthly cooking magazines. Carl's parents, after living in Maryland for 30 years, ventured out west to South Dakota. When we visit, we like to hike through various national parks and visit Mt. Rushmore. Carl's sister, her husband, and our two-year-old niece are local and we try to visit them every month or so. Our niece was actually born on our wedding day, so every year we celebrate two major events simultaneously!
From Us to You
Our lives and yours are coming together in an unusual way, but years in the future we will all look back and not be able to imagine it any other way. When planning our wedding ceremony and talking with the priest about the foundation of our relationship, Carl said it perfectly - trust and understanding. We view our relationship with you in the same way. Over the next weeks or months of getting to know each other, our hope is that you are able to trust us with raising your child and that he or she will understand the important role you played in their life. We are open to future in-person visits so that our child can get to know you in person, and not just through video or phone calls.
We are both at a stage in our lives where we have a family home, stable jobs, and time to devote to a child. We met online, but very quickly knew that we were the ones for each other. Carl proposed a year later with a ring and Reese's Cups, Susan's favorite candy, and in six months we were married. Over the past two years of marriage, our main priority was to buy a house that we could imagine our child growing up in. Our four-bedroom house is a bit too big for us right now, but we know as soon as a newborn joins us, he or she will take over everything! This is our "forever" home and we look forward to introducing our child to our favorite hiking trails, enrolling them in swimming lessons, and having them play with their friends in our backyard or at one of the local parks.
A couple of months before we got married, we were sitting in an airport terminal waiting for a connecting flight to London. Next to us was an older couple and we got to chatting about their lives and experiences. The gentleman told us that one of the best decisions they made early on in their relationship was to take small vacations every year and a large one every five years. They brought their kids along and it allowed them to experience people and cultures they wouldn't be able to otherwise. After talking with them, we both agreed that this would be a wonderful tradition for us. We don't want to just tell our child about different cultures, but to provide them with unique experiences that expand their perspectives of others. One of the many things we want to instill in our child is a sense of humility, where they are willing to listen to someone else's point of view and be open to new ideas.
We are both so incredibly excited to bring a child into our home and to see their first steps, first words, first day of kindergarten, first time driving a car (scary!), first date, and many, many more important life milestones. It is going to be a crazy, fun journey and we want you to be there with us, if you would like. Even if we are on opposite sides of the country or just an hour's drive away, we imagine our child knowing about you and understanding the special bond that you two share. We want to share pictures and letters describing what their latest obsession is, whether they can name all the dinosaurs from the Jurassic period or can identify all the constellations in the night sky. We look forward to encouraging our child's passions throughout their life, and introducing them to new challenges that pique their interests.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We hope it provides some insight into our home, relationship, and goals we have in mind for our child. Should you choose us, know that we want you to be included in our child's life. We look forward to our journey together.
Carl & Susan