Monday, June 2, 2008

Dear Birth Parents

We are so thrilled you are considering us to be the parents of your child. We believe in miracles and recognize this opportunity as such. Thank you for your sacrifice and the love you are showing to this baby. Our prayers have always included blessings for whoever would be willing to let us adopt their baby. This adoption will be such a wonderful blessing in our lives.

We have found the adoption process is a very humbling, exciting, and challenging experience. To help you feel more comfortable with us as adoptive parents, we’ve included in this letter all the information we would want to know if we were in your shoes. Hopefully, this letter will give you a good picture of our personalities and abilities as parents. We want you to feel comfortable and confident that you are making the right decision.

We’ve known each other for over 12 years. Our relationship began on our very first day at university. We met in an orientation group and somehow ended up sitting next to each other at football games and new student orientation classes. As we got to know each other, our personalities seemed a natural fit. We soon found ourselves doing everything together from screaming our heads off as our football team charged the field, to swing dancing late into the evening, to studying until midnight at the library. It was a great year!

From that first day on, we’ve always been the best of friends. We feel that friendship has been the strong foundation of our marriage. Following a mission for our church and a few more years of schooling , we decided to get married. We were married in Mesa, Arizona on August 19, 2000.

We both had very happy childhoods. We were raised in warm and happy homes with loving parents. We were able to have many lessons in sports, figure skating, piano, dance, etc. We feel we are very well-rounded people and wish to provide the same upbringing for our children.

Education is very important to both of us. We both speak two languages. We each earned our undergraduate degrees from BYU. Karlea graduated top of her class in Advertising and worked until Don graduated. Don finished his degree in Finance, and was quickly recruited to a top-tier commercial bank. We plan to provide as much education for our children as they desire and are able to accomplish.
Because both of us were raised with a mother at home, we want the same blessing for our children. With this in mind, Don is working hard at the bank and Karlea has been at home raising our precious boys.

Don currently works as a corporate banker. He loves his work, but always makes his family his first priority. We are blessed to own a home in Orange County. We have spent several months remodeling it, and are very happily situated here. We have lots of space for kids to play.

Between us we have five sisters, two brothers, one brother-in-law, and one sister-in-law, four nieces, and one on the way! We love our family and have a great relationship with both our parents and siblings. Each of us is blessed to have all four grandparents living and we look forward to our children getting to know them. Our family is completely supportive of our adopting children.

We each have large extended families with whom we are very close. Many of our trips are to family reunions at the beach or lakes, or Don’s family’s ranch. We love to surf and water ski together. We are close to all our family. One of our favorite family activities is to gather as a family, pull out the guitars and enjoy an evening of singing and food.

When we were first married, we both knew that adopting a baby would be in our future.
The first of our greatest blessings was born on June 18, 2003, our son, Matthew. We were able to have him sealed to us six months later. He is the happiest child we have ever seen. He has a smile on his face all day long, and is excited and curious about everything. When his eyes open, his legs start moving. He is on the go all the time. He is happy and kind and loves his little brother. He is thoughtful of his needs and always shares with him. Of course there is some sibling rivalry, but that is to be expected! He has brought such a spirit of joy to our home.

Our second greatest blessing came on November 21, 2006…our sweet baby Connor. We found out about him at Disneyland. It is truly the “Happiest Place on Earth” for us because of him! Connor is our “mellow fellow.” He is much more serious than Matthew. He is thoughtful and more cautious of strangers. He is calm and so sweet. He loves being chased around by his brother. He also loves running anywhere…especially the park. Connor is gentle and will be sweet to a baby. He is such a love.

In our free time, when we get free time, we both enjoy spending time at the beach with our little boys. We explore parks and love going on long walks together. We go to Disneyland frequently and let the kids ride the rides. They love it. We also love to read, go camping, barbecuing, playing sports, horseback riding, whale watching, roller-blading, playing the piano, playing games, eating out, going to the movies, cooking, and dancing. We don’t like just sitting around…well sometimes!!! Vegging is always wonderful! We like to be active and really enjoy the outdoors. Our families have a lot of activities, so we also spend much of our free time them. We also like to travel and enjoy visiting new places.

Again, we are so grateful you are considering us to raise your child. We don’t know what it would be like to place a child for adoption, but we feel you are such heroes for wanting to give your child a home with two loving parents. We are excited to tell a child that his or her birth parents are wonderful people who deeply loved him or her. We believe adoptive children should know that their birth parents were exceptionally unselfish and loving people. We look forward to sending you both updates and pictures if that is something you would like!

Thank you once more for your kindness. We are so very excited to be a part of this miracle as it unfolds.

With love,

Don, Karlea, Matthew and Connor

About Don and Karlea

Don: Like Karlea, I am the oldest of four children. I teased by brothers and sister relentlessly when we were young, and now that we are older, they’ve teamed up for some revenge. Growing up, my family believed in working hard, laughing loud, and playing often. As a father, I am excited that I get to renew some of the traditions my parents started, including water skiing trips on the Colorado River, music lessons, hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, trips to science museums, Snow Skiing at Mammoth, Christmas with grandparents, and of course, surfing up and down the California coastline.

Karlea about Don: Don is a very calm and gentle man. He is a very patient person, and very slow to get upset about anything. He is extremely thoughtful of others’ feelings, especially mine. He is one of the most unselfish people I know. One of the things I love most about him is his willingness to say he’s sorry and do whatever it takes to keep peace in our home. He is an incredibly hardworking person, but he always puts his family first. I so appreciate that. Don likes to tease, and one of his favorite things to do after work is to chase Matthew and Connor around the house and tickle them. He spends every Saturday morning playing with the boys and making them breakfast. What a wonderful tradition for our children. Don’s greatest desire is to be a good husband and father. He is fun, and makes me laugh in every situation. He his thoughtful and is my very best friend. I am one very lucky girl!!

Karlea: I grew up the oldest of four girls. I have a wonderful relationship with each of my sisters and my parents. I had a very happy childhood, and was given many opportunities to learn and develop my talents. I spent many years figure skating, dancing, playing sports, and taking piano lessons. I’ve lived many places in my life, which may explain my fondness for traveling and seeing new things. I lived in Canada for 8 years where I learned to speak French. I love to learn new things, and loved being in school. I attended BYU where I earned a B.A. degree in advertising and minors in Business and French. I continue to learn so many things by being a wife and mother.

Don about Karlea: Karlea is one of those gifted people who seems to perfect anything she tries with ease. Five years ago when we received our first son, I wasn’t quite sure what to do as a father, but Karlea took on motherhood as though she had been doing it all of her life. Karlea is a naturally talented mother who leaves the boys and I spoiled rotten! Karlea is loving, smart, out-going, competitive, on the ball, and perpetually out taking care of friends and family. She is really cute when she gets all fired up over someone she knows being treated poorly. Everyone who knows Karlea loves hers (almost as much as I do!).

About Matthew

"According to Matthew"

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Pancakes, Mac&Cheese, and PB&J
Favorite Song: Let's Get It Started (Black Eyed Peas)...heard it in the radio and it was love
Favorite Book: Hiccapotamus
Favorite Treat: Dark Chocolate...yes, he made me write "dark."
Favorite Movie: Star Wars and Bolt
Favorite Video Game: Lego Indiana Jones
Favorite Activity: Playing at the park

Matthew is our kindergarten boy who turns 6 on June 18th. His amazing birth mother let us be there for his birth, and he has been with us ever since! Matthew is our busy, busy boy. He is going and active all the time. The minute his eyes pop open, Matthew is ready for something to do or somewhere to go. The first question out of his mouth every morning is, "Mom, what are we doing today?" He has a love of life that is contagious...and a bit tiring for mom and dad sometimes!!!
He loves it all, but especially loves to play outside. He loves the park or feeding the ducks or riding his bike around the neighborhood. He also loves to go to Disneyland and ride all the rides. He's not too fond of the characters though. He enjoys visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific and learning about all the different fish and sea animals. He loves going to the beach and throwing rocks into the ocean or flying a kite on the sand. He loves wrestling with dad after work. He also loves Jack, our dog. He loves to play games with Jack and make him fetch his bone.
Matthew loves to learn. He is really good at math and is enjoying learning to read.
Matthew loves playing with Connor. He is mostly very aware of Connor and his needs. He is concerned that "Connor has one too." Of course there is the occasional sibling rivalry and boys will be boys right?!! He is big helper around the house. He is such a joy to us and a wonderful big brother.

About Connor

Connor's Favorites

Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Food: Cereal
Favorite Song: Hot Potato (Wiggles)
Favorite Book: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
Favorite Treat: cookies
Favorite Movie: Wall-e
Favorite Video Game: Whatever Matthew's Playing
Favorite Activity: Playing at the "ocean"

We brought Connor home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day 2006 when he was 2 days old. Can you imagine anything better to be thankful for than a precious new baby?

Connor is 2 and a half...need I say more?! He LOVES being outside. He loves to run and have Matthew chase him. His favorite place is the park and could spend his entire day there. He loves to play in the sprinklers outside. Basically he loves anything to do with water. He loves the pool and really loves the ocean. He is timid of the waves for about 5 minutes before he charges the water to get some splashing in. He loves bubbles and chases them around until he pops them all. He adores Matthew and wants to be right where he is. He loves everything Matthew does and wants to do the exact same thing. Connor laughs and laughs at Matthew's antics. The boys truly love each other's company.

Connor is very sweet and cuddly. He loves to climb up for hugs and then get back to whatever he was doing. I love that about him! He is the most precious boy and will be such a sweet, protective brother to a new baby in our house.