Hello! I’m Shawndra from Redlands, California. I just want you to know how much I respect and admire you for considering such a difficult decision. I cannot comprehend what you must be feeling right now. What I can empathize with is the desire to do what is best for your child, because it is one that I share. Thank you for reading on to learn more about me and my plan to provide a loving and nurturing home for your child.
Dear Birth Mother...
I am eager and excited to open my home and heart to a child through adoption. Growing up the oldest of all my siblings and cousins not only gave me the experience of caring for children of various ages, but also the deep desire for a family of my own. Since I have not yet met Mr. Right, having children of my own is unlikely. However, I do not want to let that destroy my dream, and am looking to create my family through other means.
I believe that strong faith, family and friends are the foundation for a happy and fulfilling life. Books help to expand my mind and stretch my imagination. From the moment I realized the letters on the street signs created the name, reading has transported me to times and places I may never see and gives me food for thought. Like books, music also transports me beyond the physical world. Whether it's classical, country, sacred, or soft rock, songs often speak to my soul and express emotions that are beyond words. Finally, chocolate helps to soothe life's disappointments and validate its achievements.
At first glance, I seem quiet and thoughtful. When part of a large group or surrounded by strangers, I prefer to observe and listen. But when hanging out with a small group of family or friends, I become more outgoing: cracking jokes, enjoying friendly debates, and playing strategy games. I believe that the quality of my relationships are more important than the quantity. I'm neither a pessimist nor an optimist, but a realist. Whether the glass is half full or half empty depends on what is in the glass. Even in the worst of times, I prefer to laugh than cry. My sense of humor runs more towards the dry and sarcastic instead of the slapstick. While I appreciate the creative and artistic talents of others, my talents are more practical in nature. I am good at planning and organizing, which comes in handy for parties and vacations. I also enjoy problem-solving, both mathematical and puzzles of all types.
My Friends Say...
Shawndra's friends consider her to be an adventurous spirit, with a wacky sense of humor. One friend has said "What I admire most about Shawndra is her willingness to try new things at least once." We appreciate her ability to take our teasing in stride, and then give as good as she gets. We have found in more serious conversations, her remarks are insightful and thought provoking. Family, friends, and co-workers have found her to be dependable and responsible, while at the same time being an inventive problem-solver. As one co-worker said, "She thinks out of the box". Another employee is inspired by some of her unique solutions in discussions about parenting problems.
List of Favorites!
Cats (big ones at the zoo and little ones at home)
Baseball (Go Dodgers)
Anything with coconut-free chocolate
Favorite Sport to Play
Favorite Children's Book
The Chronicles of Narnia
Favorite Collection Item
Spun glass, passed down from my mother
Hobbies and Interests
I like to lead an active lifestyle with daily bike rides, swimming laps, and weekend hikes with friends. Water skiing in the summer and snow skiing in the winter are seasonal favorites. I can't wait to teach my child the importance of the great outdoors in having a healthy lifestyle. While not very good at playing group sports, I do enjoy watching baseball and will cheer for the Dodgers from opening day to the World Series. The Olympics are another favorite, and I try to catch as many events as I can. On quiet evenings, I like to work on my latest cross-stitch project while watching TV or curl up on the couch and read a good book. Having grown up in a musical family, I enjoy both listening to and creating music. I play the piano and am a member of the hand bell choir at my church, which performs several times a year. I firmly believe that teaching children music, regardless of their talent, is important to their education and mental health. Travel, both domestic and international, is on my bucket list, and I have enjoyed visiting Thailand, Honduras, and Germany with more to come. These trips provide me with chances to improve my meager photography skills. I am also excited to help my child appreciate diversity by exposing them to the different cultures found on this earth.
While I hope my child will come to appreciate some of my hobbies and interests, I am also eager to help them discover what they enjoy, even if it is different from my own.
Qualities I Value in Others
- Ability to laugh at themselves
- Tolerate differences in opinion
- Treat others with respect
- Responsible and ethical behavior
- Curiosity and a desire to learn
A few years ago, I bought a medium sized condo in the town I grew up in. Located just around the corner from historic downtown full of small Mom-n-Pop shops and Victorian houses, it is within walking distance to the weekly market night and the summer music festival. The town supports a variety of events throughout the year, including the spring bicycle classic, the best 4th of July fireworks around, and the Christmas parade complete with Santa Claus. An easy driving distance to both beach and mountains provides access to a variety of outdoor activities in all seasons. The town has managed to retain that small town feeling while still being close to the big city amenities. There is a playground on the corner, a private school and daycare just down the street, and a small fenced in backyard between the house and the garage. The house is currently ruled by an adorable devil named Razz. He is a lilac point Siamese, just entering his senior years. When he is not tearing around the house and telling me all the highlights of his day, he likes to cuddle up on the couch in the evenings.
My logical nature makes me good at my job working as a reporting analyst for one of the largest medical organizations in the area. An alternate work schedule allows for extra family time on Friday afternoons. My employer has many family related benefits, and with my vacation accrual, I will be able to take at least three months off in order to bond with my future child. Whenever I return to work, I know I am in good hands because there is a company run daycare and private school nearby!
Lessons I Will Teach Your Child
- The value of hard work
- Riding a bike
- Swimming and diving
- The fundamentals of music and playing the piano
- The beauty found in nature
Meet My Family
My family has made me what I am today. My parents have endowed me with a love of music, a good education, and the belief that laughter is the best medicine. Still married after 40+ years, they live nearby and are ready to retire to the roll of grandparents. I have one sister, who is already embracing the possibility of becoming an aunt. Both of my grandmothers are still living and eager to dote on great-grandchildren. Add to that several aunts, uncles, and cousins and family gatherings become quite the party. I also have a strong network of friends that provide important social support. We try to plan regular game nights and Sunday brunches, along with special events like Super Bowl parties and chili cook offs. Kids are a welcome part of our group, and several are already included. The final component of my village is my home church, where many of the older members remember my childhood years. In addition to weekly programs designed for children of all ages, there are activity clubs for both early elementary and middle to high school students. The church has several family friendly events, like a children's choir, vacation bible school, and the annual church social.
Traditions are important to a firm foundation in a family. As a child, I remember weekly dinners at my grandparents after church. This is a tradition I would like to continue with my child and parents. I also look forward to continuing the traditions of attending the annual Christmas concert at my church and the free summer music festival in my home town. In addition to existing traditions, I want to start new ones. Like reading together every night before bed and making Christmas cookies.
My Thoughts on Parenting
I believe a parents first responsibility is to keep their child safe and healthy while teaching them to become a responsible and productive member of society. A love and respect of all people, even those who disagree with you, is learned by example. Parenting in today's world requires innovation and strategic thinking. And I plan to ask for help and advice from others when needed. I firmly believe it takes a village to successfully raise a child. As a single parent, that village is even more important. While parenting is hard work, I look forward to it knowing that it can also be very rewarding. When raising an adopted child, I think knowing about their birth family is also helpful. Knowing where they come from is an important part of knowing who they are. With your permission, I would like to tell this child about you and provide the opportunity for you to have a relationship.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know more about me and considering entrusting me with your child. Know that I do not take that responsibility lightly. At this point my life is secure and stable, and I eagerly look forward to achieving my lifelong dream of a family. I promise to love this child with every inch of my being, and to provide for every need. I vow to use the tools of a good education, exposure to culture and music, and interaction with nature to mold them into a healthy and well-rounded individual. Most importantly, I want to make sure you are a part of it all through pictures, videos, letters, and stories about your courageous and selfless choice. I hope to hear from you soon.