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Justin & Val
Welcome to our family profile! We are happy you found us. Our names are Justin, Valerie, and Alexandra, and we are excited about expanding our family through adoption. We would be honored to share our love, laughter, and experiences with another child. Some of our interests include traveling, playing music, painting, gardening, reading, and spending time with our dogs.
Adoption in Our Lives
We have a daughter named Alexandra; she is amazing! She is two years old and is curious about the world around her. Alexandra is affectionate and likes to observe others before initiating new activities. She gets along well with children, adults, and our two dogs. Alexandra has a strong will but is easy to soothe when upset; she has a calm and cheerful temperament.
Alexandra became part of our family through adoption. We send pictures, letters, and e-mails to Alexandra's birth family. Alexandra's birth father and his mother came to visit us, too. It will be so special for Alexandra and her new brother or sister to have a bond through adoption. We feel that Alexandra might be able to relate to and sympathize with an adopted sibling in ways we could not (despite our best efforts). We hope to expand our family, so each child can experience a sibling relationship.
Our Leisure Time
We enjoy a variety of activities in our leisure time. Traveling to lakes, beaches, state parks, or theme parks is both relaxing and exciting. We like to try new things while traveling, like parasailing, snorkeling, exploring caves, and riding roller coasters. Since Alexandra became part of the family, we have traveled to see the forest, mountains, beach, and desert. We even traveled to experience the total solar eclipse together! Alexandra has been part of our travels to meet with extended family and friends.
When we are around the house, we like relaxing and enjoy activities, such as gardening, throwing a Frisbee to the dogs, playing in the autumn leaves, riding a sled down the backyard hill, taking trips to the children's museum, painting, reading, and playing music.
Relaxation and entertainment are central to our leisure time priorities and we would love to share these fun experiences with another child.
What It Means to Be Parents
We think of parenting as an awesome responsibility and a fulfilling adventure! A parent's role changes over time. Initially, parents are translators by interpreting the baby's coos and cries, and focusing on the baby's most basic needs. As time progresses, parents become guides by being role models. Parents learn when to lend a helping hand and when to step back and let the child take important steps alone. It is important to help a child explore his or her own skills and interests, which can lead to defining and achieving goals. Eventually, parents become consultants, allowing the young adult to take the reins, but still being there for advice when requested. Throughout a child's life, being a parent means unconditional love and understanding, especially during challenging situations. Our favorite part about being parents is watching our child experience all the wonders of life for the first time!
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a beautiful Georgian-style house in Illinois. Our house is surrounded by flower gardens that we have been building upon each spring. The first floor includes a family room with a bay window overlooking our backyard. We have a large deck and sloping lawn that is fun to sled down in snowy winters. Our family room fireplace is a cozy place to warm-up while sipping hot chocolate. Our home theater is in the basement, complete with an old-fashioned popcorn machine. If we cannot walk our dogs to the nearby pond, we can exercise using our treadmill and weights in the basement. Upstairs, we have four bedrooms and two full bathrooms. One of the bedrooms is used for hobby supplies, such as Justin's guitars and Val's arts and crafts.
Our city has been rated safest and one of the best to raise kids in America. The public libraries were ranked best in the country for many years, and we visit them often. One of the libraries and our district's elementary and junior high schools are both less than two miles away. Alexandra enjoys visiting a children's museum and taking mommy-and-me music classes through the park district. Our family also enjoys the Riverwalk and independent shops downtown. In the summer, we try to attend some of our city's popular music and food festivals. A forest preserve, complete with a dog park, lake, and hiking trails, is located just down the street.
Our Extended Families
We are fortunate to have family members that live nearby. Justin's parents and sisters live within an hour's drive and we regularly visit. One of Justin's sister's is married with two children. Our visits include greetings from our dogs and walks around our gardens. We cook meals for each other or order take-out and treats with coffee accompany the meal. Our family visits are fun and low-key; Alexandra likes to entertain company with her sweet and fun personality.
Valerie's uncle, parents, and sister's family also live nearby us. Her uncle and parents also enjoy gardening. Valerie's sister's two daughters love coming to our house and playing with Alexandra. Valerie's family likes to try different restaurants together and meet-up for holidays. Alexandra has enjoyed trick-or-treating with these two cousins each year.
We also use technology to keep in touch with family living out-of-state, like Justin's brother and his daughter. Justin set-up family video calls every other Sunday.
We are so happy to have new family members through adoption. We keep in touch with Alexandra's birth parents and were happy to have in-person visits with her birth father and his mother. We love being able to share Alexandra's latest milestones and her funny mannerisms with them.
Our family has been very supportive of our decision to adopt again and would love to see a new little addition sharing in the love and fun!
From Us to You
Thank you for considering adoption. We know that this is not an easy decision and hope that you have support throughout the process and beyond. We admire your bravery during this challenging time and hope that you find peace in your decision. Thank you for taking the time and effort to review our profile.
The desired level of openness is an important and personal decision. Our updates will include pictures and letters. We are open to communicating through e-mail, phone/video calls, and scheduled visits.
We want to assure you that the child's needs and desires are our foremost concern. Justin and Valerie have been married for over ten years and parents for two years. Our journey to becoming parents has been challenging, but ultimately strengthened the bond between us. After unsuccessful attempts at natural conception, we found that our best chance of conceiving was through in vitro fertilization. The second attempt ended in a miscarriage. We were devastated. Justin and Valerie both took time to seek counseling and guidance through this emotional experience. After the miscarriage, we did not want to pursue having a biological child any longer. Adoption became our new avenue to parenthood.
We are both health care professionals. In fact, we met during our first year of pharmacy school. Justin is now a teacher at the same school they attended, and he enjoys imparting knowledge, skills, and wisdom upon his students. He also works at a Veterans Affairs hospital, giving back his pharmacy experience to our nation's precious veterans. Valerie works at a community hospital and has a special focus on medication safety. We share values of being helpful, patient, and understanding of other people. Even though we still want to continue our careers, Valerie only works as needed so she can spend more time being a mom.
Our family grew in July of 2016, when we adopted our sweet and beautiful daughter, Alexandra. Our extended families have welcomed her with open arms. We are so happy and privileged to be parents. At first, we were nervous about having contact with Alexandra's birth family, but we soon got over that. They are amazing people who opened their hearts to us from the start. Our open adoption includes sending pictures and letters to Alexandra's birth parents. We also share an online photo folder, exchange emails, and have occasional video/phone calls. Alexandra's birth father and his mother came out to visit us twice, and we hope to continue in-person visits with them.
We both grew up in the suburbs. We live in a safe neighborhood that affords many opportunities for personal growth and development. The public school system is highly ranked, as are the libraries. There are many recreational areas nearby, including forest preserves, an arboretum, children's museum, and downtown shops. We have two loving dogs, Snuggles and Brogan, who enjoy playing as much as cuddling. Our extended family lives nearby, as well as nationwide, and we enjoy traveling to see them. We also like to travel just for the pleasure of a new experience. We are both musicians; Justin plays stringed instruments, such as the guitar, and Valerie plays clarinet. We also both like reading novels, either hard back, electronic, or audio. Painting and gardening are relaxing hobbies that we share, as well.
We value assertiveness, integrity, and individuality. It is exciting to us that we will not likely have all the same interests as our children. We are happy to learn and support our children's growth as they explore their developing abilities and personality. Our role as parents is ultimately to cultivate their successful independence. We look forward to nurturing this growth and sharing our love for life through adoption.
Justin & Val
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