Mary + Andrew
We want to first thank you for taking the time to get to know us. While we do not know the exact circumstance that brought you to Gladney, we are glad you are here. We understand there are many difficult choices ahead on your journey. Our hope for you through this process is to find peace, hope and understanding, whether you decided to parent or create an adoption plan.
As we start this adoption journey, we are also filled with so many different emotions. We are excited for this new chapter in our lives and the possibility of becoming parents, but we would be lying if we didn't say there is still a little anxiety in the unknown. What we do know is that we are ready to bring a child into our home. Should you choose us as adoptive parents, know that our hearts and our home are open to you and your family. No matter where this journey may take you, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
With love, Mary and Andrew
Our Hearts for Adoption
Before we were married, we talked about adopting a child. While we didn't know what that journey would look like, we always knew adoption was a part of our plan for growing a family. In struggling with infertility for several years, our plan to adopt has come to the forefront of our family planning.
We could not be more excited to embark on this new adventure. Our belief is that by opening our hearts to adoption we are growing our family two-fold. One in welcoming a baby into our home and two in embracing a whole new family in a birth mother and birth family.
Andrew: We met in November 2015 through a mutual friend. I had just started my company and was volunteering with a non-for-profit in my hometown. I was reconnecting with old friends from high school who became a large part of my social circle. I asked a friend to bring a few of her co-workers through the organization I was volunteering for. Mary was one of the people who came. I asked Mary to a Friendsgiving with a group of friends that night and she agreed. We met on my birthday, and I often tell people Mary is the best birthday present I ever received.
Mary: When I think back about the day we met, I am often surprised at how my "yes" to a new opportunity led me to meet the love of my life. I was new to the city and while I am friendly, it is out of character for me to go to an event where I don't know anyone. But Andrew made me feel so comfortable. The friends we made that night are still some of our best friends!
From that moment on we spent almost every day together. We quickly introduced each other to our friends and family. And after only a year of dating we knew we wanted to get married. We were engaged in March 2017 and married in May 2018.
We love to have fun together. Whether we are traveling the world or running errands on the weekend, we enjoy spending time together. We are by no means perfect; we work very hard on our marriage. However, we remain committed to each other as we know a strong partnership is the key to a strong marriage and a strong family foundation. We are practicing Catholics and our faith has also been a source of strength during tough times.
I can't wait to see Mary become a mom!
In Mary's Words
To know Andrew is to love him. Andrew, is an incredibly loving and caring person. Some of his biggest strengths are his loyalty, selflessness, his dependability and his pure love and joy for life. It is rare to find Andrew without a smile on his face. Andrew's dependability is something I love and admire deeply. You know if you ask Andrew to do something, it will get done. These qualities are amazing to have in a partner and I know will be amazing qualities for a father. Through our struggle with infertility, Andrew has been my rock. He has stepped up in so many ways, physically and emotionally to take care of me. Another thing to know about Andrew is that he is one of the biggest goofballs. He loves to make people laugh, even at his own expense.
Andrew is an entrepreneur that owns several businesses within the real estate sector. While Andrew works extremely hard to provide for us and to keep business to support his employees, he also knows how to have fun. Andrew loves spending time with friends. He loves hosting dinner parties at the house where he can make his signature margarita. He also loves any type of competition, whether that be board games, pickleball or video games.
The motto of Andrew's high school was "men for others" and I see that played out in his life every day. He is selfless in so many ways. He has spent countless hours helping several nonprofits in our area. Namely, for the last four years Andrew has been the President of the Board for a nonprofit that help wrongfully convicted people out of prison. It has been an honor to watch him help the organization from a business side and to see him become friends with many of the clients who have been exonerated.
Andrew is going to be a wonderfully fun, loving and caring father.
My name is Fred. I am a 5-year-old Goldendoodle living my best life with my mom and dad. My parents got me when I was just a puppy, so I have spent my whole life with them.
My days are spent walking around the house following my mom around wherever she goes. Since she works from home, I get a lot of attention. I go to the park, less than a block away from our house, to play ball almost every day. It is my favorite activity. One of the highlights of my day is greeting my dad with a big kiss when he gets home from work.
I love to snuggle up on the couch with my mom and dad after their workdays and relax while they watch tv and chat. I sit next to my dad at every meal because I know I will get a little treat if I am a "good boy."
While I have been an only child for 5 years, I know it can't last forever. I am excited to gain a new sibling. I hope they like to play ball.
How We Will Speak of Adoption in Our Home
Adoption has touched our lives in so many ways. My (Mary's) aunt and uncle adopted three children from Korea. We each have close friends who are adopted and several friends who have adopted. Through these experiences we know how important it is to ensure that any adopted child knows their story and knows where they come from. From the moment we are blessed with an adopted child, we plan to tell them their birth story. We would love for our child to know their birth mother and birth family. Adoption is such a beautiful gift, and we plan to celebrate it every day.
Our home is a 2-story red brick traditional Tudor home with 3 bedroom and 4 bathrooms. In the spring and summer white hydrangeas bloom in the front of the house. It was one of the features that made us fall in love with it. We spend a lot of time in our living room, dining room and our finished-out basement.
We have a pool in the backyard, so our summers are spent outside hanging by the pool. Inviting friends over for cookouts and pool parties. Many of our friends have children, so our pool is often filled with kids laughing and splashing the day away.
We live in a quaint neighborhood about 15 minutes from downtown in a mid-size metropolitan city. Our neighborhood is full of parks, running trails and has a town center with shops and restaurants. Because our neighborhood offers so many amenities, there are tons of families and children in the neighborhood. When the weather is nice, we see kids in groups riding bikes up and down the streets and families out on their daily walks.
We are so lucky that our home is close to several schools, both public and private.
We have been fortunate to have had amazing opportunities throughout our lives to travel to various places around the world. Growing up we were each exposed to different countries and cultures from an early age.
Andrew: My family enjoys traveling all over the world. My parents love giving us the gift of experiences so as a child I was able to go to many different countries. My favorite country to visit was Peru. We got to stay on an island in the middle of the Amazon for several days and got to hike up Machu Pichu. I also got to eat many exotic foods. From safaris in Africa to watching the Russian ballet and everything in between, my travel experiences shaped who I am as a person.
Mary: My family did not travel as much as Andrew's family, however, we did have unique opportunities such as visiting family in Bermuda every year, traveling throughout the United States, and even living abroad. I was able to live in Mexico City during part of my middle school years. In Mexico City, we went to an international school, so we had the unique opportunity to learn different customs and to meet people from around the world. In college I studied abroad in Spain which has given me a broader view of the world and gave me an even deeper appreciation for a different way of life.
As a couple we have had the chance to see some incredible places. One of our favorite trip was our Italian honeymoon. We spent a week in Rome visiting all the major tourist attractions and then traveled all over Tuscany relaxing and exploring wineries all over the region. We recently had the chance to spend time in Africa. My (Andrew's) brother lives in South Africa so we were able to spend time with him and travel to several countries to safari. We hope to take another family trip to Africa one day so our children can see all its beauty and to see some wildlife.
We also love traveling throughout the US. Hawaii and New Orleans are two of our favorite places to visit.
Traditions, Holidays, and Celebrations
Mary: Christmas is a staple holiday for my family. Every other year we spend time with my mom's sisters and our cousins. The days around Christmas include an all- family white elephant gift exchange, church on Christmas Eve, a Christmas Eve Mexican feast that my dad prepares and big family Christmas Day lunch with all my cousins. I have 13 cousins on my mom's side of the family so there is usually lots of fun and chaos during Christmas. It is also a special time for my immediate family to spend time together, exchange presents and create new memories.
Andrew: My birthday falls around Thanksgiving, so I have always loved the Thanksgiving holiday. My mom's family tries to get together every other Thanksgiving. Between my aunts, uncles, 11 cousins, their spouses and children we end up with a large group of about 40 people. We play tons of board games and card games in honor of my late Grammy and Papa who loved to play games. Each year before our Thanksgiving meal we pass around Turkey Notes. They are little poems and musings my great grandmother would write throughout the year and save to be read out loud by each family member at Thanksgiving.
Together we have started several traditions including an annual crawfish bowl that we host every May. It is a fun way to kick off the summer and enjoy the company of friends. We also host a New Orleans themed dinner around Mardi Gras every year. We invite some friends over for gumbo and other traditional New Orleans food. And of course, we top it all off with a king cake!
We can't wait to share these fun traditions and activities with our future children and even add some new ones
We promise to love our child unconditionally. Our child will be raised in a home where they will always feel welcome, wanted, cared for, and safe. We will teach them to cling to God in good times and in bad. We want to raise our child to be compassionate, confident, and kind individuals. We want our child to learn to give back to our community and serve others as that is important to us.
We promise to nurture our child's passions and support what makes them happy, whether it be sports, music, art or anything else they may want to pursue. We want to give our child a wealth of opportunities to learn new things, discover their talents, travel the world and to continue to strive in every stage of life.
Our child will be part of a large and loving support system of family and friends. Along with us, we promise our child will have a community of trusted people to rely on and many children to play with.
Mary and Andrew