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Mike & Dana
Welcome to our profile! We want to start by saying thank you. We adopted our daughter Dorothy in 2016 and know what a blessing adoption can be. We are so excited to grow our family once more through adoption and thank you for the courage you have to consider this option for your child. We wish you all the best on this path and with everything your future holds.
Adoption in Our Lives
Adoption is woven throughout our family with adoption stories going back three generations. Two of Dana’s uncles were adopted in the 1950s, Mike and his older sister were both adopted as infants in the 1970s, and we adopted our daughter in 2016. Even before we were married, we had always considered adoption our first choice for building a family.
As an adopted child himself, Mike has always wanted to give another child the love, support and opportunities that he received from his parents. With a similar background, Mike believes he can help our children navigate the process of understanding adoption. Dana too felt called to adopt after spending her early career working in child welfare and realizing how many young people and children need support and a loving family.
Dana remembers walking into the hospital room and being handed our daughter for the first time. She was 10 hours old and we don’t know who was more nervous - us or her birth mother - but it was a powerful moment we will always remember. Having adopted Dorothy, we have seen first-hand the amount of love, courage, and strength it takes to entrust your child in another family’s hands.
Dorothy’s adoption was an amazing experience full of love and we feel so lucky to be her parents. We are excited to adopt again and look forward to welcoming another child into our family!
Our Leisure Time
We love to spend time together as a family. Downtime is very important to us and we try to take full advantage every weekend. We enjoy traveling, reading, watching various TV shows and socializing with friends and family. We lead an active lifestyle and enjoy being outdoors. We often take family hikes in the local forest, head to the national park for an impromptu safari, and go out for weekend camping trips.
Living overseas, your friends become like family. Our friend group is a very active one, with lots of young families. We often travel with other families, which has been an amazing experience. We have done camping trips in the national parks to go on safari and see wildlife, spent weekends in beautiful rental homes on the Kenyan coast, traveled to Cape Town, South Africa for a week and popped over to Istanbul, Turkey for a weekend. We also like to entertain so even a weekend at home can feel like a family reunion, full of laughter, kids playing and lots of storytelling.
We also have some interests that are unique to each of us. Mike is an avid golfer and enjoys video games, while Dana is hooked on various types of crafting and learning about photography. Dorothy seems to be developing a real interest in music and dancing and can often be found singing songs of her own creation.
Living overseas has been a wonderful experience and our lifestyle affords us lots of great opportunities. We enjoy a safe life with many resources and creature comforts at our fingertips which means we can spoil ourselves with activities and adventures. Dorothy loves her private music class and the gymnastics lessons she does with friends. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ridiculously cheap, and we eat better here than we did in the U.S.
The Embassy community also has a clubhouse with great amenities. There is a large heated pool, a restaurant, a store where we can buy American snacks (like Oreos!), as well as an outside playground, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts along with a big open field perfect for a game of soccer or flying kites. Children freely play around the neighborhood and everyone loves having this safe, relaxing place to spend time together.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is travel. We are taking advantage of being in Africa and have already done a lot of regional traveling. We hope to instill in our children a love of travel and will continue to travel with our kids in the future so they can see the big world and all the beautiful diversity. Dorothy has already been to 10 countries in her short life. Adding another child to our family will only increase the joy we find in travel and it will be amazing to see two kids share these experiences as siblings.
Our House and Neighborhood
Because we work for the Department of State, we often joke that the world is our home! We are currently posted in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya is a very kid-friendly post and has been the perfect place to spend the first 3 years of Dorothy’s life. The American community here is very close-knit which lets us still access our favorite American experiences. With frequent gatherings we spend every American holiday together; the Christmas celebration at the Ambassador’s residence is especially fun for the kids as Santa always makes an appearance!
We live in a beautiful home in a safe, suburban neighborhood. It is close to the U.S. Embassy and adjacent to other embassy families. We’ve made an open room on the first floor a playroom for our daughter and enjoy spending time hanging out there as a family. We have a large, fenced yard which allows us to have a nice garden and keep chickens.
As much as we love being overseas, we’re always happy to come back home to Virginia. We own a charming townhouse in a very family-friendly suburb of Washington, D.C., with lots of parks, schools, and shops nearby. We're also close to a lot of interesting cultural resources, like museums, theaters, and historical sites. It is a very safe area and kids can play freely, which reminds us of our childhood. Our back fence opens to the community playground and pool so you can always hear troops of children playing in the neighborhood.
Our Extended Families
We are both from very close-knit families. Originally from Texas, most of Dana’s family now lives in Kentucky. Her parents have been married 39 years and are retired schoolteachers. They are truly young at heart and love to travel, go for walks, read, and volunteer at a local nature preserve. Dorothy calls them Bibi and GDan. Dana has one younger brother, Drew, who is married to his college sweetheart and they just had their first child – a boy – in August.
Mike’s family lives in Boston. His parents have been married 49 years and have the most wonderful marriage. Even after all that time, they crack each other up. Time at their house is full of stories and laughter. Dorothy calls them Ma and Pupa and loves to run around their backyard and garden. Mike’s older sister, Tara, is a surgeon and lives in Ireland. She spoils Dorothy rotten and is excited about a new baby joining the family.
Our family is spread out geographically, but that doesn't stop us from being close. We talk, text, and Skype frequently and visit regularly in order to stay in touch and share our lives. Our families are extremely happy for us and very supportive of our decision to adopt again. They welcomed Dorothy with enthusiasm and a new baby will find an equally loving and supportive crew.
From Us to You
We hope this letter, our pictures, and the information in our profile will help you get a better idea of who we are and what our family is like. We aimed to share as much about ourselves as we could to help you know if we are the right family for your baby. Thank you for considering us.
We have always known that adoption would be part of our future, since it is a part of our past. Mike and his sister were adopted as infants and we adopted our daughter in November 2016. We've chosen this path as a first option and are committed to the idea that family is love, not biology. Our family is at a place where we feel ready to begin this new chapter by welcoming home a second child.
We actually spoke about adoption the day we met ... After that first chat in 2012, it didn't take us long to know our relationship was special. It's like we had known each other for years. We were in our early 30s and were both independent, strong individuals, but knew we wanted a partner to share our lives. We lived in different cities, but decided to make the investment in a long distance relationship. The months apart really helped us learn how to communicate and build a great partnership, while maintaining our own identities.
Our personalities balance each other out and help us face the challenges that life brings. While we are opposite in some ways, it works for us, and as a couple we are far more complete than either was before we met. While we are not always perfect, we have a very solid and loving marriage that is built on mutual respect and communication. We deal with conflict through compromise and always keep open and loving hearts.
We feel very fortunate to be able to offer a stable, happy and loving home, educational opportunities, and lots of love and laughter to a child. If you choose us to become your baby's parents, we promise to bring them in with excitement, love them unconditionally and work every day to make sure they have an amazing life filled with loving family and friends.
There are so many things we want to share with a child! We will include them in our hobbies such as travel, but will also provide space to develop their own interests. We intend to raise our child in a church community, but allow them to define their own beliefs. We think our role as parents is to set loving boundaries to keep them safe and to nurture them emotionally, physically, and spiritually so they grow into the unique, special person only they can be.
We have experience with adoption and, while not the easiest road, we cannot imagine building or family any other way. We hope that Mike and Dorothy being adopted will be a comfort to our child. Having an adoption story will be the norm in our house and we plan to help them with their questions by drawing on Mike's insights, Dana's professional background as a social worker, and sharing their adoption story.
We will be forever grateful if you decide we are the parents to raise your child. We promise to always honor your choice by sharing your story with our child, and speaking of you with admiration and respect. We have an open relationship with Dorothy's birth mother including visits and regular photo and letter updates. We are open to defining a relationship that is most beneficial for our child and respects your boundaries. Once our child is older, we will support their choices related to involvement with their birth parents.
Thank you again for considering us. Please know how very grateful we are and always will be. Wishing you peace now and always.
With great respect,
Mike & Dana
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