Laura + Michael
We are grateful to be able to introduce our family to you. We are Michael and Laura, and we have two daughters. Our oldest is Samara, and our youngest is Peyton. We don't know the circumstances surrounding this difficult decision that you find yourself making, but we admire your love for your baby. If we get the opportunity to know you and your story, we know there are so many beautiful and incredible things about who you are. But without having met you yet, we know you are brave, full of love, and so courageous. You are seen. You are loved. Our deepest hope and prayer for you is that no matter what choice you make you feel supported, loved, and taken care of. We've tried our best for this book to give you an honest and authentic view of who we are and what our lives are like. We have huge families on both sides who are ready and excited to welcome another precious little one into the family. We want to assure you that we are happy with whatever amount of openness and relationship you'd like to have. We want to respect your needs, desires, and boundaries. We want you to always feel seen, important, and honored. Thank you for considering our family. With love, Michael & Laura
Early in our relationship we talked about wanting to adopt. It has always been something that we hoped to do. When we had been married four years, we had both our daughters. And while their pregnancies were not easy or uncomplicated, they did happen pretty quickly. After we had our youngest, Peyton, we began a season of infertility and loss. Over the past 7 years we have had quite a few painful miscarriages in the midst of years of trying for each pregnancy. A few years ago we agreed that we found ourselves both in a place where we wanted to choose adoption over continuing to try for another baby biologically. We are full of hope. We are hopeful our home can have the sound of a baby giggling and exploring. We are excited to watch our girls with a little one. We find so much joy in our two daughters, and we can't wait to add to our family. Our girls talk non stop about all of the ways that they will want to love and help care for the precious little one that we get the honor of raising. Our hearts are full of love. Our hearts are full of hope. Our hearts are more than ready.
We met the summer before our senior year of high school. We began dating shortly after we met each other, and dated all throughout our senior year of high school into college years. We mainly spent time at each other's homes, and built a great bond with each other's families. We went to church together, mission trips, concerts, and so many cute (and free!) dates. The year after we graduated high school our relationship was long distance due to college location, but it helped us both grow and invest in our relationship in many different ways. During Michael's sophomore year of college he proposed at a lake while playing scrabble. Laura instantly said yes, and we celebrated by splitting a dessert of Red Lobster. We got married later that year. We have been married for 11 years now. Not every season in the past 11 years have been easy. We have walked through loss and heartache, as well just changing a lot from the people we were when we were teenagers. But what we have found in each other is better because things haven't always been easy. We both believe that our marriage is a gift, and it is one that will forever be worth any sacrifice to fight for it and keep it healthy and thriving! We have built a life together that is so beautiful. It isn't perfect, but it is full of joy and connection.
Michael Shares - "In all my life, I haven't met another human being quite like Laura. She is fully present and put together, and always ready to lend help. She's beautiful, kind, smart, and super nurturing to our children. She enjoys playing board games, watching The Bachelor, drinking coffee, researching health stuff, planning play dates, and being with family. Laura is full of joy and hope, even in the toughest of times. Her spirit is steadfast and true. Being a stay at home mom, she is such a blessing to come home to and see her be so attentive to Samara and Peyton. She teaches them, provides structure for them, and cares for them so deeply. She has lots of love to give. I'm so thankful for her patience to put up with me and keep me grounded. I don't know where I would be without her. She truly is everything I hoped and dreamed of when I prayed for my wife. I love her smile and her warm hugs. Some of her favorite things are taking learning how to naturally support our bodies through various methods, taking hot baths, and letting me take her out on dates."
Laura Shares - "Michael is one of the funniest humans I've ever met. He never passes up an opportunity to make everyone laugh with his jokes and puns. He is also incredibly smart. He loves learning new things and being open minded. I know for sure he will still be learning new things even when we are 60 years old. One of my most favorite things about him is how kind and affectionate he is with us. It is a common occurrence to hear one of our girls say 'Daddy, can I have some snuggles?' and his answer is always yes! He is the best dad, and it has been such an honor watching him decide what type of Dad he wants to be - and then put in the intentional work to become just that! He never stops seeing the best in others, and choosing a perspective that focuses on the good. He is a kind and faithful man who loves the Lord, and loves to do what is right. He loves people deeply - and he always reminds me to see the good in others. He loves playing (and watching) basketball, reading, playing disc golf, and the Dune series."
Samara is our oldest daughter, and she is ten years old. We can't remember life without her, and it's insane how quickly our time with her is going by. Samara is such a responsible and sweet girl. Her heart has always been so tender, and somehow she just gets more and more beautiful as the years pass by. Her favorite thing to do is anything that has to do with arts and crafts. She amazes us with her ability to take the most random things and make the cutest crafts or gifts with them! It is common to find her drawing or making crafts. She also loves music and learning how to play the guitar. Her favorite music to listen to right now is Taylor Swift. She also loves playing basketball, and she has really enjoyed the friends she has made on her team. Samara might be the kindest human we've ever known.
Peyton is full of light. She is eight years old, and the most lively part of our family. She loves anything that she believes a princess would love, and would be content to spend her days dancing and singing. Peyton lives for the days when we have play dates with her best friends. She is a social butterfly, and gets so much joy from being around other people that she loves. Her favorite Disney movie is Descendants, she is obsessed with movie soundtrack. Peyton is also really sweet. Her love language is physical touch, and she can never have too many snuggles and hugs. She randomly offers back rubs and hugs as a way to brighten up anyone's day. Her favorite question to ask is 'how has your day been?' to literally everyone - and she intently listens as people share. She really does bring light and joy to those around her. She is independent, and we are so excited to watch her grow into a fiery young lady.
We have two very large families, and we are very close to both of them! Family is huge to us. We'd both say our best friends are our siblings, and one of our favorite ways to spend holidays and free weekend sis with our extended families! Michael is the second oldest. He has one brother and two sisters. Michael's parents are married, and spend most of their free time traveling to see their kids and grandkids. They make a great effort to stay involved as grandparents - and not just physically but emotionally. It's been a joy to watch them build relationships with everyone's children. Michael's siblings are all married, and together we have 5 nephews and 3 nieces on that side. We spend a lot of weekends watching nieces and nephews play sports, or just spending weekends together hanging out. Laura is the second oldest as well. She has three brothers and two sisters. Two of her siblings are married, and we have 3 nephews on that side. Our nephews and our daughters are a close knit group, and they often joke about wishing they were siblings or could live with each other. They have a blast together - that is always a given! A few Laura's younger siblings haven't married yet, but they are super involved in our family. We spend a lot of weekends with this side of the family as well, making intentional effort to have deep relationships with siblings and be close with our nephews.
Our Favorite Things
On ordinary days our favorite things are playing board games as a family and playing outside together as a family. Samara and Peyton usually beat us at board games, but we can still beat them at Mario Kart racing on the Nintendo. No matter what game we play, it's always filled with laughs. In the evenings, we usually play a game after dinner or spend time outside. We have a small basketball court in our backyard, so often times we'll play basketball or four square as a family. On weekends that we aren't with extended family, we love going hiking, to the zoo, or just chilling at home playing games. When there are local events going on we usually attend those, such as parades and town festivals. We live in a small, close knit community. We all love bowling, putt putt, and going to an arcade as well! We love to vacation as a family! Usually we have one or two bigger vacations each year, and we always discuss what we all want to do the most. We really cherish being able to unplug and getaway to spend focused time together - just us. Some vacation spots that we hope to go to in the future are Seattle, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. We are doing our best to be intentional with our children. We both want to build such a strong and healthy connection with our children that when they are grown - our relationships are full of joy and light. We believe how we spend time with them and love them now will bring many, many benefits in the future! The things we value most would be our faith in Jesus, our community and family, gratitude, honesty, kindness, and joy. It is important to us to set ourselves and our children up for a long and healthy life! We do our best to find the balance between a holistic lifestyle while still enjoying all of the fun and enjoyable things life has to offer.
Before You Go
We want to say thank you again for taking the time to get to know our family. We are so honored and humbled that you are considering us as adoptive parents. We aren't perfect, but we have a lot of love to give. We also want to be sure that you know we are completely willing to have as much openness as you'd like for there to be. We value kindness, honesty, and connection in our lives, and we're ready to give these things and more to you. Our promise to you - to always be open and honest. We will always choose kindness over selfishness. We will always choose to honor your desires and needs. We will always choose to love you. Our promise to your baby - that our hearts will pour out every ounce of love and affection that we have to give. Our hope is to be a safe foundation for him or her as they grow and become their own person. We promise to teach your baby about love, faith, kindness, connection, safety, and gratitude. We promise to offer a home that is full of joy and encouragement. One thing we have learned from our losses is that we aren't entitled to have any children. Each child and each day is simply a gift, and it is one that we have extremely deep gratitude for. We vow to give all of our love, our understanding, our support, and honor to both you and your baby. No matter what choice you end up making, our prayer for you is that you are filled with peace and surrounded by support.
Michael and Laura