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Perry & Tim
Thank you so much for taking some time to learn more about our family! We have certainly spent time dreaming about the child who will join our family and want to share who we are and how we will open up our home and our hearts. Thank you for considering us as potential parents.
What It Means to Be Parents
For us, parenting means creating a safe, loving home where a child can grow up to be their true and fullest self. It means openly showing love and affection and also establishing clear boundaries so that a child feels safe and secure. Parenting is being the anchor that a kid can always swim back to when they feel overwhelmed - even as they find the courage to do more and more on their own.
We are very excited to be parents and to invest in a new generation. We are grateful for the love, care, and encouragement we received from our own families and look forward to "paying it forward" to a child that we can love and call our own.
We do expect parenting to be challenging. Very few worthwhile things are easy. We expect to be challenged and to grow as a family through this experience. We feel uniquely prepared at this moment in our lives to expected the unexpected and jump into parenting with our whole hearts.
Our Cultural Heritage
We have learned a lot about each other's cultures over the years of our interracial relationship. We believe that it is a source of strength in our relationship and a place of constant learning and discovery.
Perry is an African American man with deep roots in a city in the American Southeast. His large extended family cares a lot about preserving their culture and family history. This includes an aunt who is the "family historian," family reunions that have focused on cultural events like dancing, food, and storytelling. Perry's mom is actually a visual artist and storyteller who specializes in showcasing African American culture. She's written collections of folk tales as well as a biography of B.B. King.
Tim is a Caucasian man whose roots are primarily English and Scottish. He is a minister in the Presbyterian Church, which has Scottish roots. He also has family in the American Southeast and appreciates the food, music, and hospitality of that region.
Our Religious Beliefs
Both of us grew up in practicing Christian families that help shape the people that we are today. As you might imagine, being gay has complicated our faith journeys - mostly for the better! Today, we are members of a progressive faith community that is inclusive, creative, and passionate about justice. Because Tim is a pastor, this is both a professional and personal matter. We do think of our church community as an important part of our extended network of relationships. A child who grew up in our family would feel surrounded by a community of loving families - including other children their age. They would inherit a value system and tradition that teaches them love and respect for God and all people. As our child grows older, we would encourage them to pursue their own personal beliefs, however they happen to develop. We believe that growing up in an active faith community will benefit a child in many ways, regardless of whether or not they choose to embrace that faith as an adult.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in Maryland. Our home is a large, three-story row home which was built in 1880. It has all the character of an old house and all of the amenities of a new one. We have four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, which will be very helpful when our parents come to visit! We were attracted to the neighborhood because of its proximity to so many cultural attractions like the zoo, the theater, a symphony, and an enormous park. We also liked the fact that our neighborhood is culturally diverse and full of families with children. Sometimes we like to sit on the front stoop in the evening and imagine our child rolling up and down the block on a bike with the other kids on our block.
We recently acquired a piano and both of us are learning to play it. We love the idea of a family that shares music and stories together.
Our block is very close knit. Last week there was an outdoor movie night and this weekend there will be a fish fry for everyone from the surrounding blocks. We feel this kind of community is actually quite rare and we feel lucky to live here.
Our Extended Families
Tim's family is fairly spread out around the East Coast, although his parents still live in the town where he grew up. Our annual family gatherings are a highlight of the year, as we gather in one of the cities where we live for holidays or at the beach in the summer. As Tim's parents are nearly fully retired, they are in serious grandparent mode. They love to visit and are so excited to have another child to treasure as a grandkid. Tim's family is fun-loving and share similar values.
Perry has a large extended family, mostly located in Mississippi and New Jersey but he's never surprised to run into a cousin. Annual family reunions often attract as many as 75 people and they enjoy playing games, learning family history, and eating food together. To be a member of Perry's family is to be a part of a proud family that cherishes its roots. He grew up on a farm that has been in his family for more than 100 years.
From Us to You
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our profile. As we have gone through this process, we've thought about you quite a lot, and want you to know that we deeply respect the difficulty of your situation and the courage it takes for you to consider these options. We are sharing our lives and hearts with you in the hopes that it will help set your mind at ease.
Tim is the pastor of a progressive Presbyterian church in our city. It is a warm and inclusive community with an unusual amount of diversity. He is also a social worker with a decade of experience working with children and youth.
Perry works for a large sports company that gives him exciting opportunities to be creative and entrepreneurial. His company is only a mile away from the church and it is easy to imagine a future where we are able to balance our professional and parenting responsibilities.
We both grew up in strong families that meant the world to us. As we eventually came to the realization that we were gay, a huge part of that awakening was realizing that family would be different for us than the families we were born into. Our marriage - in the church where Tim served as pastor - was such a beautiful moment of healing and reconciliation for us. Both of us felt instinctively that we are called to be parents - to share our love and our home with a child. We knew, long before we met each other, that this would likely happen through adoption. Perhaps because of our faith, both of us see adoption as a beautiful and sacred act. We will love an adopted child with all of our hearts as a part of our chosen family.
Knowing that we are part of a larger community that loves and cares for us makes this decision easier for us. Our extended families will be present and part of the child's life. We will share your child's growth and experiences with you through photos and emails and phone calls, if desired. We will always be open and honest with a child in regards to their adoption story and will make sure that they know how much you love them and how hard this decision was for you. You will always be reflected positively to them and we are open to the idea of visits in the future if the time is right.
When we imagine raising a child, we imagine a house full of activity and love: cooking pancakes on a snow day, working on math homework at the kitchen table, walking as a family to the neighborhood pool or the zoo. We imagine a child discovering their own gifts (sports, art, theater, music?) and getting the encouragement they need to fully develop those gifts. We imagine a lifetime of love and laughter and memories. We will be delighted to honor the role you will continue to play, whatever that may be. You are significant to us and always will be.
Thank you so much for your consideration and for your courage and clarity during these days. You will be in our prayers as you take the next steps in this journey.
Perry & Tim
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