August 19th, 2017
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Darcy and Duane

Hello there! We are Darcy and Duane!

We are honored that you are taking the time to consider as adoptive parents–thank you! We hope you see in the next few pages that we are eager to cherish, protect, guide and love your child with all we are. You have our deepest admiration and respect and we are ready to walk alongside you on this journey.

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On our very first date we talked about adoption as a way to have a family…here we go!

 

Our Life Together

We first met at a singles group at our church but the real spark was lit at a swing dancing class. Darcy laughed the whole time dancing with Duane (his moves were “unique”). Duane was caught up by Darcy’s witty story-telling when they ended the night with dessert at a diner. A year later, we got married on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where we released into the sky a paper lantern carrying our wish to have family.

Our life together has been an amazing journey since that day: morning snuggles, day trips to the coast or snow, surfing and scuba diving adventures in far flung places like Australia, camping weekends and sharing life with an enthusiastic and sweet little girl. We enjoy dreaming about all the exciting things we are going to do together as a family of four!

Introducing My Amazing Wife Darcy 

By Duane

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When I met Darcy, I knew very quickly she was a rare find.  A warm spirit, keen intellect, fun sense of humor, spiritual grounding, close knit and loving family, large circle of friends, and a career she loves.

As a Counselor at a middle school, Darcy chose a career that is a perfect fit for her and her students.  I have often said that she chose well because she loves being a resource and support, digging deep into children’s lives to help them work through tough circumstances.   We both love that she is able to work part-time so that she can enjoy her passion of counseling and be actively involved as a mom.

Watching Darcy caring for our daughter has been very heartwarming. Her playful spirit comes alive when she is chasing Libby around the kitchen, stomping in rain puddles, and making funny faces– Libby lights up around her mom! Her softest side is seen when she pulls Libby in for a boo-boo kiss, cuddles on the couch for nightly books, and sings a special song to Libby before sleepy time.

A Little More About Me, By Darcy

My childhood was filled with family fun like jumping ocean waves, baking afterschool snacks with my mom and swimming with my sister in the backyard pool. Summer camp, high school cheerleading, and Disneyland were favorite parts of growing up. My parents have taught me the value of family closeness, education and hard work while sharing with us unconditional love, hugs and family dinners. As a mom, I love sharing experiences with Libby like finger-painting, building sand castles, and quiet times in the rocking chair.

I love everything around water (lake, pool, bathtub, ocean) and fire (candles, campfire, fireplace). These are places to have adventures or to reflect by yourself.   My hobbies range from artistic metal welding (yes, Duane teases me about this) to reading, kayaking, scuba diving and home decorating. I have been lucky enough to kayak in Antarctica, sing with children in Africa, motorscooter in Viet Nam (I totally got lost!), snorkel in Israel, cave tube in Belize, and taste my way through parts of Europe. I am so eager to travel with my family and explore with them the amazing world around us.

You may be surprised to learn these things about Darcy:

  • I have been to all 7 continents—Antarctica is my favorite.
  • We meet with a small group of friends every Thursday night to share life.
  • Summer camp was huge in my life both as a camper and on staff—my camp name was “Darce Vader”.

Darcy’s Favorites

  • Swinging with Libby in the hammock
  • Games! We have played our travel Yahtzee in 5 time zones!
  • Avocados
  • Favorite show when I was a little kid: Little House on the Prairie
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • The Container Store—so fun to find bins and gadgets for everything!
  • Peanut butter in my morning oatmeal
  • The TV show The Amazing Race
  • Belting out sing-along tunes in the car or kitchen

 

Introducing My Amazing Husband Duane

By Darcy

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There are so many things I love about Duane: positive, enthusiastic (he shouts, “Today’s a great day” when he wakes up!), affectionate (he rubs my feet almost every night), patient, athletic (he runs, bikes, skis, surfs, plays soccer). The first thing that caught my heart was how he works at growing relationships through real communication—even about the hard stuff.

Duane delights in being a father! In the mornings, he and Libby play “hop on pop” in bed as she crawls all over him and they laugh together. I melt when he plays guitar for her and they sing together. They play soccer, share tea parties, and have dance parties in the family room.

Duane works from an office in our home doing online marketing. He calls his clients “Kings and Queens” and talks about the honor of serving them. Since he works from home, he gets to be a dad throughout the day: changing diapers, swooping in for a tickle, stopping for a hug when Libby (or Duane!) is fussy.

 

A Little More About Me, By Duane

I grew up in Michigan with my three older brothers in a neighborhood filled with kids.   Life was fun, and a bit crazy, as you can imagine with four boys in one house.

Summers were spent at our cottage on a small lake.  We swam, water skied, sailed, fished, pitched horseshoes, enjoyed campfires, and rode bikes and motorcycles.  Fun memories include teaching the majority of our friends how to waterski and our family reunions with more than 40 relatives joining us for a fun times at the cottage.

Being the youngest, I found myself curious about all the activities (and trouble) my brothers were involved in and did my best to experience them all.  As an adult, I am very proud to still enjoy close relationships with all of my brothers.

I know it takes work to keep up with kids so I stay physically fit and active playing soccer, skiing, running and mountain biking.  As a dad, I look forward to the days of exploring with my kids their favorite activities (and a healthy splash of ‘trouble’)!

 

You may be surprised to learn these things about Duane:

  • My parents named all 4 brothers in alphabetical order: ABCD. Alan, Brian, Craig, Duane.
  • I studied French, Spanish and Japanese. I lived in Japan for a year.
  • I have had 3 ‘Little Brothers’ from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.

Duane’s Favorites:

  • Everyone sharing what they are most thankful for that year at Thanksgiving dinner
  • Winter! I love skiing! Pandora
  • Michigan State Spartans
  • Working in my garden
  • Reading Hop on Pop to Libby
  • Eating chocolate chips straight from the bag
  • The TV show The Amazing Race
  • Our kitchen—the party always ends up in the kitchen!

 

Meet Libby

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Libby loves people! She asks every day which friends we are going to see that day, including her grandparents, and cheers no matter what the answer is. She captivates grocery store clerks, neighborhood walkers…anyone that comes into view for a big wave and greeting. When anyone is crying, she asks “you sad?” and moves to give them a hug—even strangers, which can be interesting.

Darcy and Libby enjoy their special outings during the day together such as gymnastics, library story time, and music exploration (Libby sings with gusto!). As a family, we enjoy outings to the river or the school playground, both are just around the corner. She is just starting to understand that we are trying to bring home another child and calls her dolls either brother or sister as she tucks them in their beds. Her friendliness and compassion will be great for her role as big sister.

 

Home Sweet Home

We moved to our new neighborhood for the family-focus and the amazing elementary school just 4 houses away. Because we live so close to the center of it all (the school), there are children around every day riding bikes, climbing trees, shooting hoops. Everyone decorates for holidays, plays together in their front yards and gathers at the playground after soccer practice. We can walk to a beautiful river with a bike trail, nature center, plus water access for swimming, rafting or fishing. We live in northern California so we are less than 2 hours from the ocean AND the mountains–both of which we enjoy regularly.

Our house is filled with love and fun and the laughter of Libby and friends. We have a pool so that is a center point for gatherings like BBQs and playdates. We have a large open kitchen/family room with a special play place for Libby filled with toys like her mini kitchen, art easel, stuffed animals and building blocks. Every night is spent snuggling as a family on the couch and reading books before bedtime.

 

Our Loved Ones

We are both close with our families. Darcy’s parents, married for 50 years, live only 4 miles away at a house on the river with wild turkeys and deer. They could not be more devoted to their granddaughter and watch her when Darcy is at work. Libby prances around when she knows they are coming over –almost every day. Darcy’s sister’s family lives near Malibu beach where we enjoy surfing and stand up paddle-boarding our niece and nephews.

One of Duane’s three brothers lives close enough to enjoy weekends of ski racing, triathlons and white water rafting together. He is an active uncle that dotes on Libby. His other brothers and father visit regularly from Michigan and Florida and continue the family joking and playing that is unique to a family of four brothers.

Darcy’s family has a cabin on a small lake in the mountains that is the central gathering place for family adventures and getaways with friends. Our time there is spent skiing, sledding, and doing puzzles in front of the fireplace in the winter. The white Christmases are so beautiful; we turn out all the indoor lights at night and watch the snow fall gently on the pine trees while snuggling on the couch. The summer is full of kayaking, sailing and laughing on the deck by the water’s edge while Grampy grills dinner. We can’t wait to share the small town lake community with our children: the Fourth of July parade where the kids decorate their bikes to ride behind the fire truck, the snowmen building contests, the bonfires with s’mores. Our favorite lake event is the weekend of Lake Game Days with three-legged races, a huge tug-of-war in the lake, balloon tosses, a chili cook-off and movies on the beach. It is family fun the old-fashioned way and holds such sweet memories for our family.

Both of our families are thrilled with our plans to adopt and are eager to embrace the new addition to the family.

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We Promise

To love, cherish, protect and guide your child with our whole hearts wide open.

To share with your child our deep respect and profound gratitude for your special role in their life.

To stay up late with them finishing science projects and even later watching shooting stars.

To live a life together: To practice spelling words at the kitchen table. To eat dessert first. To use please and thank you.

To hug. To forgive. To cry and laugh with. To watch over and worry about and celebrate.

To parent with love, patience, consistency, forgiveness and humor.

To help them grow to be kind and strong and compassionate.

To provide quality education and foster a love of learning.

To be there for your child, forever. They will always have us to count on plus their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. They will not be alone in this world.

It will be our number one priority for the rest of our lives to ensure that our children are thriving: happy, healthy, surrounded by loving family and good friends, and confidently pursuing their dreams.

Our Final Thoughts

We hope you have seen a glimpse in our hearts and our lives. We don’t know how you make the type of decision you are trying to make just from reading some words and seeing some pictures. What we want you to truly know is that our hearts are in this, that we feel the weight of the trust you are exercising and that we will honor our vow to make the best possible life for your child. We wish you the best as you seek for the right family for your child.