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Ryan & Mary Ellen
First of all, THANK YOU! For stopping to read a little about us, for being the amazing person you are and for having the strength for the journey you are on. Our journey has been a unique one, and perhaps sharing it with you will be the most amazing part yet! We have so much love to offer, and hope you will consider us as you move forward.
Our Life Priorities
What comes first? First is love. And trust. But beyond that is the opportunity to explore. We both feel that education is the foundation for forming valid and sound opinions. We want our child to speak languages, and visit foreign places, and be a kind neighbor and a good friend. We have known each other more than half of our lives, and we still learn all the time. We have both traveled our own paths, and celebrated togetherness, but there is something to be said for forging your own path in life. Our joy is that we did such and it brought us together, but the true magic is having the faith to get on out there, because you know you have support waiting for you at home. Education, life experience, trust in love, these are life priorities, and we plan to provide all of them in droves.
Our furbabies are the center of our world. Friends and family joke that they would like to come back as a pet in our home. Our happiest times involve the dogs romping or lounging, and the cat watching from her window perch inside. Cosette is our 8-9-ish Coonhound rescue from New Orleans. She is a kind and sweet loving old lady who adores a good upside down nap. She has taken over the home office, so when you can't find her it's because she is "in a board meeting", i.e. napping on the office couch. Gizmo is our 3 year old St. Bernard, and she is the Nana of the family and takes care of us all. Throughout all of Mary Ellen's pregnancies, she was up for each bathroom trip, to lay in bed and grieve, and to take care of her Mama. Geno is our 7 month old pug and the only boy in the house besides Ryan; his heart is so full of love and he always wants to share it in the form of kisses and snuggles and snorts. Wonton Soup is our rescue cat, she is shy until nighttime and prefers her pets and snuggles in very specific locations throughout the house. They all love the children and babies that visit, and love on them in the same manner they are doted on by Mama and Dad.
How We Met
There is something so powerful about the first person you fall in love with, like a piece of them stays with you no matter where life takes you.
We met in 1995, at a high school house party. Mary Ellen was 15, Ryan was 17. He watched from across the room as the boisterous sophomore "held court" in a larger group. At some point in the evening, he walked over, picked me up and fireman's carried her outside the house, set her down, and introduced himself. (Easy to do at 6'4"). And so it began.
We dated in high school, and then remained close friends as life and college took us on different adventures. Part of the fun of going home to Pittsburgh for holidays through the years was our inevitable time together, we could never quite stay away. We cheered each other through the successes and happiness of our 20's, and were always there for each other during the hard times.
Some days we still laugh that it took us until our mid-late 30's to "get it together" and realize we already had what most people dream of.
Our House and Neighborhood
At the end of the day, we often take a few minutes to appreciate how much we love where we live. Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, we are simply blessed. We bought our house from a landscape architect, so much of our joy is in maintaining its beauty throughout the seasons. We were both gypsies scooting around the country and lived in lots of places in our 20's and early 30's, but now we are home for good. We have an amazing community that welcomes all, is super safe, and promotes art and health. There is always an art or music festival going on, and everything is kid friendly. We live in a quiet, safe neighborhood with lots of kids and within a mile of our choice of schools.
Our home is 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, Mary Ellen's home office, and a 1/2 acre fenced in backyard. Our favorite room is probably the kitchen/open living room, or the backyard (our second living room, we love being outside!).There is lots of room for the dogs and soon hopefully a kiddo to run and play, the ideal layout for Easter Egg Hunts and Haunted Halloween Trails, or simply reading in the garden. We grow an enormous amount of fruits and veggies, and really enjoy honing our green thumbs, as well as our culinary skills.
There are community parks and hiking trails galore, rivers, and swimming holes and pools locally, that's what this area is known for!
Our Extended Families
We hit the jackpot when it comes to our extended families. We are very close with Ryan's mom and Mary Ellen's parents, all of whom visit quite often through the year. We are also both lucky to have siblings and lots of cousins that we grew up with and are still extremely close to, some of whom, along with an Aunt and Uncle, live minutes away. Family events, whether combined or separate, always involve kids and pets moving around underfoot while the adults tell stories, tell jokes, enjoy music, and of course cook! With a giant Irish, and an Irish/Italian family as our backgrounds, no event is ever complete without entirely too much food! Our family is so so excited to meet our new addition, they have been showing up in droves to help get everything ready, and lending ears, hugs and hope throughout the process. We are both the babies of our large families and we know this child with be spoiled with love and support by absolutely everyone.
From Us to You
Please choose us, we are so ready to meet you if that's what you wish! We are excited not just for a baby, but for you. To be a part of our lives as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. The prospect of making a lifelong friendship with you is so appealing.
We feel that part of the attraction to us is that we have done so much so far in life, and are so excited for the experience, guidance, and ability to provide all the adventures that life has to offer, while maintaining a home to always come back to. Education, sports, and community are so very important to us, which is why we chose to settle down right where we are. We are sitting outside in our magical hideaway, thinking how to get down on paper what we want to say to you. All the while the pups keep stopping by for kisses. So the bottom line has to be love. We love each other so deeply and fully, we love our life and our home, we adore our family, and we just want to share that love with both you, (however you see fit), and of course your baby. We promise to always provide love first, and support and safety.
So why pick us? We can promise your baby a lifetime of laughter and joyful experiences, a complete extended family that is currently waiting in line (somewhat patiently,) to find out when there will be a new addition for them to adore. We have been so ready to be parents for a long time, and each loss we had on our journey to you, while heartbreaking, has led us to be even more committed and excited for adoption as a part of our journey. We want to commit our lives to your baby by being everything we can be and more. This is how it is meant to happen, and we are hoping you see this as a sign that you are meant to be part of our lives.
We have spent our lives gearing up for now, we worked very hard and established a comfort level professionally that Ryan will be able to stay home while baby is little, and be a stay at home parent to guide the early years, assisted by lots of enrichment activities, while Mary Ellen will actually be able to step back at work now that she has earned her stripes in her profession, and be home in time for after school pickups, soccer practice, and of course family dinner, which is a must at our house. That's the time for no electronics other than some tunes, and time for family conversations and catching up on everyone's day.
This letter has proved difficult to write, as there is simply so much to say we don't know where to begin, except by asking you to begin, and consider us as the adoptive parents for your baby. We have no doubt that our love and commitment will shine through should you give us the opportunity to be a part of you and your baby's life.
Full of love and hope,
Ryan & Mary Ellen
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