Dear Birth Mother,
Where to start…from our hearts, we thank you for considering us as parents for your child. It must be an incredibly hard decision to make and we can’t begin to understand how difficult it must be for you. But we truly believe that behind all hard circumstances in life, positive results can come. Our hope is that we can be that positive result for your child. We want for nothing more than to be able to share our love and compassion for life with him and to pass along our family traditions and help mold him into his own wonderful person. Thank you for considering us to share in this beautiful gift of life.
Not long after Dan started working in the IT department at the same health care organization where Lisa worked in finance, Lisa had issues with her computer and Dan was assigned to work on it. (It has been rumored that she had a lot of problems with her computer!) It didn’t take long for both of us to realize that we enjoyed each other’s company and we became the best of friends. Friendship lead to dating and after dating for a couple of years, Dan proposed to Lisa on her birthday in 2006. Our wedding invitation had the following quote from a conversation we had one day. And she asked him, where have you been all of my life?? ?Looking for you, he replied.” Surrounded in love by our families and closest friends, we were married in a simple ceremony on the beach in Maui, Valentine’s Day 2007.
Even though we now live in Washington state we were both born and raised in Oregon, Dan in Salem and Lisa in Portland. We are both remain very close to our families and we enjoy getting together for weekend bar-b-queues, birthdays, holiday celebrations or just because. Shortly after we moved into our home, we adopted our dog, Tawnie. She is a yellow lab and was rescued at age 10 from a puppy mill. She was in pretty rough shape when we picked her up but it was love at first site for all of us. She is the sweetest dog on the planet. She loves to be petted and is content just hanging out with us wherever we are. She has been with us five years and we are committed to caring for, and spoiling her, to make up for her first 10 years. She has a lot of experience with the little people that visit our home and has at times been a horsey, a pillow, and a pull toy. Through it all she is very patient with them and enjoys the extra attention.
We have always felt that we were meant to be together and while it took a while to find each other, we both know we have found our soul mates. Our life together is very fulfilling and full of love and laughter and we want to be able to share and pass along our love as parents.
Five things we will teach our son or daughter:
- love unconditionally
- always be open to learning new things
- laugh every day
Five family traditions we hope to pass on:
- We were married in Maui and love going to Disneyland and Disney World. Dan’s parents are retired and often join us. We typically trade off every other year, Maui one year, Disneyland the next. We actually went to Disneyland twice this year. Once for our anniversary and Dan’s parents took all of us to Disneyland as an early Christmas present. Cars Land was AWESOME! We can’t wait to share those trips and explore other cultures and countries with our child.
- Celebrating 4th of July picnic and fireworks on the farm in Mt. Angel. Several families come together to enjoy great food, wonderful company, and watch amazing fireworks from the local high school, a nearby rodeo and several nearby towns. At the end of the fireworks, each family lights and lifts off Japanese wish lantern after making their wish. The lanterns gently float up in the night sky and we watch them until we can no longer see them.
- Thanksgiving at our home. Lisa’s family comes to our house for dinner. Lisa’s mom makes turkey dressing that is pure heaven! It’s a long held, four generation, family recipe that she makes every Thanksgiving. Dan makes Chex mix for the holidays and they have a secret dressing / Chex mix exchange so they each have their own private stash. After Lisa’s family leaves, we head over to Dan’s cousins house to join them and the rest of Dan’s family for dessert!
- We spend Christmas Eve night with Dan’s family. We play the left-right game. Each person brings an anonymous gift. We get into a circle and follow the pre-recorded story, shifting our present to the person on the right or left as the story unfolds. At the end of the story, we each draw a number and the gift exchange begins. Each person can keep their gift or steal someone else’s opened gift. We’ve had some pretty funny gifts in the last several years and we look forward to this annual event.
- Dan, his father, and his sister are avid photographers and each year Dan’s parents collect all of the pictures captured from the annual family vacation and create a calendar. Both Dan and his sister receive one for Christmas each year. It is one of the most anticipated gifts we get. We all enjoy looking through them to see whose pictures made it into the calendar!
About Dan, by Lisa
Dan is very patient, funny, compassionate and caring. He is the love of my life and my best friend. He is a big kid at heart and just enjoys life. Whether scuba diving in Maui, taking photos or navigating rides, lines, and people in Disneyland, he has a great time. His outlook is always positive and people really enjoy being around him.
Dan is a natural leader and is well-liked and respected by his peers as well as the people that report to him. (He would never admit that!). He is known for his ability to remain calm, respectful, and positive during challenging situations.
A family friend of ours has a son, Max, who wanted to make a chair for his room. Dan was more than happy to help Max. He is very patient and took his time to explain shop safety for the tools in his shop as well as the step by step process of what they needed to do. At the end of the day, Max had a great chair, Dan had a wonderful day in his shop and I had a snapshot of a future great dad!
In addition to our grown niece and nephew, we also have three great nieces and one great nephew. The youngest girls are twins and were born six weeks early in March of 2010. Although early, both appeared to be in good health and weighed in at 5 pounds each. We happened to be at the hospital visiting the next day when the doctor came in to tell my niece that Ava, the younger of the twins, had suffered a grade four intraventricular hemorrhage. She would need to be transferred to a children’s specialty hospital and would undergo surgery to alleviate the hemorrhage. As devastating as the diagnosis was, we remained positive putting our faith into action. At the time of the original diagnosis, we both knew, without verbalizing, that we would be there, in whatever capacity necessary to support the little girls and our family. Ava underwent multiple surgeries and spent her first three months in the hospital. To see her now, you would never know she was anything but an all action all the time little girl. We feel so blessed to be part of their lives. Dan never wavered in his commitment to the little girls, whether visiting for feeding time, running errands, and driving between home, work, hospital, and back again. He was, and continues to be ready to do anything for them. It speaks volumes to me about what kind of person he is and what kind of father he will be. Caring for them further solidified our desire to have a family of our own.
About Lisa, by Dan
Lisa loves to laugh and has a great sense of humor. She is extremely caring, selfless, and she is a perfect match for me. I love the fact that she always puts others before herself. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see her offering up her time or resources to help others as they have needs. I love to watch her interact with others. She has a natural way of putting others at ease and bring smile to their faces. Either with a generous act or a funny comment she makes, she puts them at ease. At work everyone knows that if they need to know something they go to Lisa. She seems to be the one that everyone wants to keep “in the know” of whatns going on. It’s wonder she can get any work done with everyone always coming to her.
Not a day goes by that I don’t realize how blessed I am to have her in my life. It’s all the little things she does on a daily basis that fill my day with joy. From the heartwarming ways she cares for and about me to the little quirky things she does that I love. For instance, she knows one verse to a lot of songs and the rest she makes up as she goes. Always makes me chuckle and brings a smile to my face.
We live in a home we helped design in a quiet cul-de-sac in a neighborhood called Orchards which is part of Vancouver, Washington. Our home has plenty of space to live as a family yet still feel cozy. Our backyard is a fenced-in oasis with gardens and plenty of space to play. Our dog, Tawnie, loves to help herself to the blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers from the garden. The yard serves as the perfect backdrop for grilling, and entertaining family and friends. The best thing about where we live is that we are close to all the amenities offered in the city but far enough away that there are still horses, llamas, bunnies and other animals nearby. We have great neighbors and live in a safe environment. There are many families in our development from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and ages. Our rural community is a quick 20 minute drive from Portland, Oregon. There are gorgeous state parks and trails located nearby. There is also a fantastic community center that offers everything from swimming and play groups to family movie nights.
Dan and Lisa