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Chuck & Valerie
We are so excited to raise a child together as Mom and Dad! Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about our life, our dreams, and the dreams we have for a future child. We hope this helps to give you a vision of what life with us would be like. We look forward to learning more about you and how we fit into your adoption plan.
Adoption in Our Lives
When we decided on adoption to grow our family we had already seen the gift it could be. Our niece and nephew are adopted and have known since birth. Chuck has a half-brother that his mother chose to place for adoption with her sister. Although he knew him growing up as his "cousin" it wasn't until he was an adult that they were told he was their adopted brother. So we had seen varying degrees of openness.
What we didn't know was that as soon as we began sharing our plans with friends and family we would find out just how prevalent adoption was! It seems everyone we met had a story to tell. Some were adopted themselves, some had chosen adoption for a child, and some had adopted children. Valerie's best friend's mother was adopted. Valerie's mom reminded her of friends who had a very open adoption. We were even reminded of situations that weren't legal adoptions but people stepping in to parent. All of them produced one thing: an amazing family.
We are planning on sharing with our child just how loved and cherished they are from the beginning. That we wanted to be parents so desperately that we went looking for them and that their birth mother actually looked through all kinds of people and chose us specifically just to be their parent! Other children get their parents by fate and luck, ours will get theirs by choice!
We currently have an incredibly unique opportunity for an adopted child- they'll get the best of both worlds when it comes to siblings. We have two children from Valerie's previous relationship. Our daughter has graduated from college and is living close by on her own. Our son is finishing up army reserve training and about to start college. Our next child will have the benefits of having our full attention as an only child at home but still have all of the doting, love, and bonding that comes with siblings.
Our son has a younger half-sister at his dad's house and has shown what a great big brother he is. He takes all of the climbing, singing, and fun his little sister has to offer. He volunteered in the church nursery about every other week through high school and is wonderful with children. Some of the parents even requested him to babysit.
Our daughter was great with her younger brother growing up and babysat for years. She still volunteers to bring our older niece to events (Taylor Swift in particular) and was over the moon excited when she found out we would be adding to our family. I think the wait to be matched may actually be as hard for her as it is for us!
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Our favorite vacation spot is Maine. Our first vacation together was a driving/camping trip from Virginia, up the coast of Maine. During that first trip we went to Acadia National Park and climbed "the BeeHive" a moderate trail that ended with a beautiful view. Valerie learned how amazingly supportive Chuck was as she exposed her fear of falling. Chuck was amazingly patient, encouraging, and helpful. We took time on the top for a snack and to spend time enjoying our success before a celebratory Maine lobster dinner.
After leaving the coast we went to the lake where Chuck's grandfather built a small "camp" (aka cabin) on the lake. Valerie instantly fell in love with the area and it's remote, small town feel. We went back every year after that. We brought Valerie's son and Chuck took him out on the canoe and taught him to fish. We spent the evenings and rainy days playing board games and reading.
We love it so much we bought the place his grandfather built and are renovating it. We can't wait for our child to grow up spending vacations in that spot and building family memories!
Our House and Neighborhood
We just moved into our newly constructed dream home in a beautiful wooded neighborhood in a fantastic school district. There is plenty of land and Chuck can't wait to take a child for a walk through the woods and down to the small stream behind our house. Valerie can't wait to have someone else to join the nieces and nephews tumbling in the huge yards. The house is tucked away in the middle of the lot, which is on a cul-de-sac, so there's plenty of privacy and safety. Our city is also located a short drive to museums, national monuments, cultural events, and so much more as a child grows up to expand their horizons and experiences.
Our lots are all very large, but our neighbors are very welcoming and close. We have a LOT of children of all ages in the neighborhood. The neighbors have already suggested a welcome party when our family expands! There are neighborhood "pot lucks" to get together and everyone looks out for each other. For Halloween the neighbors make "hay rides" for the kids and large groups of children get in a trailer set up with hay bales to go house to house for trick or treating. For the holidays Santa comes to the model home for everyone to stop by, visit, and take pictures. He also comes through the neighborhood on a fire truck one weekend in December!
Our Extended Families
We have a huge extended family. Most of Valerie's extended family still lives in the area and Chuck's sister and family also live close by. We see them all very regularly and our families have blended to consider each other family. Chuck's sister even refers to Valerie's parents as Mom and Dad. Our family is also very welcoming so sometimes we have "honorary family"- friends of family who don't have other family so they become part of ours. Recently we have begun hosting the combined family events at our home as Valerie loves to cook and entertain for a large crowd. For Thanksgiving this year we had between 20 and 30 relatives.
Since announcing our plans to adopt all the relatives are excited to be adding to our larger family. Everyone can't wait and our nieces and nephews, and grown children keep asking when the baby will be here. They all have big plans for things they will teach them, play with them, and we even have some offers for help with care! Chuck's sisters’ children are also adopted so the whole family already knows what a very special gift adoption is. The support and encouragement we receive from all of them is amazing.
From Us to You
What an amazing journey we are all on that has brought us together with you. Life has been that way for us, full of surprises, twists and turns and we are thankful for all of it, good and bad as it has brought us right here.
We thought we'd start by sharing how we came to you. We met later in life at a meeting for a civic group that we both belonged to in 2007. We had strong shared values and loved giving back to others. We became friends first, sharing hobbies like music, travelling, and doing community projects together. Neither of us can tell you when we went from "friends" to "dating". It was just a wonderful natural progression.
In 2013 we decided that we would like to raise a child together. Chuck had been an excellent role model to Valerie's two children from a previous young relationship who were high school and college aged. We were engaged and married in mid-2014. Since Valerie's first two children were unplanned we were both surprised when we were still not pregnant by the end of 2014.
We were devastated to find out that we had secondary infertility. We explored all sorts of different options and realized that what we really wanted was a child to raise and share life with and biology didn't matter. We have a niece and nephew who are adopted so have lived how wonderful adoption can be. We are sure that God will bring us the right child (or children!) and we can't wait to share all that we have with them.
We are both at a place in our lives where we are still young enough to enjoy sports and activity (Valerie still performs in dance recitals and Chuck loves the outdoors) and established enough to provide a good home, a stable family, a college fund, and whatever other needs a child may have. We also want to travel more and explore. We've seen friends with children that were able to show them the world full of other culture and experiences and can't wait to do the same.
Valerie is looking forward to sharing her love of Disney with a child. The future nursery already has Tinkerbell's shadow sitting on one of the wall plates. We'll likely add Peter Pan and whatever other characters the child falls in love with. Even if they aren't Disney. Thomas the Tank, Princesses, Cars, Toy Story... and when they are old enough we can take them to meet them at the park!
Chuck is looking forward to sharing music with a child. He's already worked with nieces and nephews and our son on various instruments. He loves that family gatherings usually include a group playing and getting everyone involved so a child will definitely be playing instruments from a young age. Val's father is a musician and has a knack for finding them at a bargain and restoring them to their former glory so there will be no shortage of choices available.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about our lives and the life we are excited to provide for a child. We look forward to sharing more memories, stories, and pictures that include the child you place with us. We aren't sure what the best way to share those with you will be and are open to discussing what works for you. In this day of social media maybe a blog or email, but we also know how great it is to have a physical letter and printed pictures. So let us know what you prefer. We also know that situations change and we can adjust over time as your changes.
Chuck & Valerie
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