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CJ & Renee
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our family. We truly appreciate it. Know that we admire your strength and courage as you create your adoption plan. We cannot wait to grow our family through adoption. Being a parent is one of our greatest joys. We hope you'll get a good glimpse of our life- it’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s full of love.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
We love to travel! We travel several times per year, whether it is a big trip we've spent lots of time planning or a quick weekend trip to visit family. We cannot choose just one favorite vacation spot. Each place we go is special for its own reason. Our favorite spot overseas is Rome. We absolutely love all the history and the beautiful architecture. Oh and the food! The pasta in Rome cannot be beat. We cannot wait to travel more throughout Italy.
We also love big cities. We've been exploring more of the US recently as a family. Our favorite city to travel to as a family is New York City. We love to walk through the city and find new restaurants, museums, and parks. Central park is so much fun with children! We also love to visit Washington DC. CJ loves teaching us about our nation's history while we walk throughout the city. All the free museums are wonderful with kids. We especially love finding all the famous monuments and buildings that we read about in some of our favorite children's books. We are always planning our next adventure!
Our Professional Lives
Renee is a pediatrician. It’s a great honor to be able to help prevent illnesses in children when able, but also be there for them when they do get sick. To watch children grow from their newborn visit into childhood is really special. Renee has had the joy of following many of her patients who were adopted. Being a pediatrician is also very helpful when it comes to being a Mom! If something comes up at home, there is the comfort of knowing what is best for our children and how to help them stay comfortable and healthy.
CJ is an attorney, but also has a master’s degree in public policy. He works at a non-profit law firm to help better the community and state that we live in. His office works on a wide variety of topics, but he does a lot of work with K-12 education and ensuring that all children have strong, successful schools to attend. He is very passionate about what he does to ensure that those who need it, get the help they deserve.
As a family, it is very important to us to continually learn about and address cultural diversity. We know that no family is just like ours and we want to know the beauty of others. One way we like to learn about other cultures is through travel. When we go to new cities, we love to explore different neighborhoods, new restaurants and really immerse ourselves into their culture. In our everyday lives, we both work with people of many backgrounds. We have close friends who are of different races and religions- including our daughters godfather who is black. At home, we try to use age appropriate means to incorporate diversity into our daughter's life. Right now this includes reading books about those different than us, and playing with toys that incorporate a wide variety of races. We are very open and answer any questions that our daughter may have about those different than us. We are ready to teach our future child about their race and heritage, if different than ours, to ensure they are always proud of who they are. We are committed to learn more about our future child's race and background in whatever ways we can.
Our Extended Families
Family is very important to both of us. Renee has one younger sister and CJ has two younger sisters. Our daughter, Nadia, is the only granddaughter between both families! All of our family lives out of state, but we make an effort to all stay very close. Living in different states means we get to travel often to visit each other! Nana and Papa (CJ's parents) live in Florida and we love visiting the beach with them! Beeda and Papa Ben (Renee's Mom and Step Dad) have a place in Northern Michigan and we love to go sailing and explore the outdoors. Papa Z (Renee's Dad) lives in Michigan but we love to meet in Tennessee for family reunions!
Aside from traveling to family, we really enjoy hosting our families for holidays. Our holidays are usually filled with fun games and lots of home cooked food. We have lots of fun family traditions as well, like Santa hats and ugly sweaters on Christmas morning and visiting the Fourth of July parade each year. Our family is very supportive of our adoption journey, and have been by our side through it all. Our parents are all retired, and cannot wait to get to travel to see their new grandchild!
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a suburb right outside of a bigger city, with Lake Michigan close by. Our city is very involved, with festivals and events almost every weekend. For example, Harvest Fest where there were bounce houses, face painting and balloon animals! Our favorite thing though about our city is the farmer's market. You can find us there Saturday mornings during the summer and fall- we get homemade waffles and pick out all our vegetables for the week. We also have lots of great restaurants, and we love to try different cuisines- Indian and Chinese are our favorite!
We live in a four-bedroom, two-level home. Our home is on a parkway, so there is green space across the street. We take walks there when the weather is nice, and CJ even cross country skis when it is snowing! Our favorite thing about our home is our back patio. We spend as much time as we can out back- gardening, grilling, playing games, and stargazing. We eat almost all of our dinners out back when the weather is nice! Sometimes we even get visits from the turkeys and deer that live across the street. Near our home, we have wonderful schools that we are proud to be able to send our children to. There are also lots of parks near us. We have many friends nearby who have children of their own that we get together with regularly. We could not be happier to live where we do!
From Us to You
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our family! We admire your strength as you embark on this journey. We want you to know that we will love your child with all of our heart and we will welcome them into our family with open arms. We promise to teach your child the story of their birth. We will teach them to be proud of their story, and know it was your loving decision that brought our family together.
We have been married for 9 years, but met our senior year in high school, which was 16 years ago! We have a strong relationship that is based on trust and love. We work well together both in our relationship and as parents. After several years, we were blessed with our daughter Nadia, but after Nadia was born it was determined that Renee could not have any further children. It was then that we knew adoption was how we wanted to grow our family. Our daughter wants nothing more than to be a big sister and we cannot wait to be able to love another child.
As parents we promise to love your child with everything we have. We promise to parent them in the way that best fits their needs, as we know no two children are exactly the same. We promise to be there for them, no matter what obstacle seems to be standing in the way. We will have their back, no matter what. We promise to teach them their background and heritage. We would gladly open up our family to be a multi-cultural family. We will surround your child with people who can teach them about their background, and will attend community events and read books together to learn. Through travel, restaurants, and ethnic festivals, we are routinely immersing ourselves in many different cultural experiences already, which we will continue to do throughout this child’s life.
Your child will grow up in a home that is centered upon education. Both of us have taken education very seriously throughout our lives. Renee is a pediatrician and CJ is an attorney. Our education has shaped us into who we are. Being a pediatrician has allowed Renee to be a better Mom, always knowing what is best for our daughter. Being an attorney has helped CJ to focus on helping those who need it the most. Although our daughter is still young, and just starting school, we are always teaching her new things. We like to learn through play! We learn about astronomy while looking at the stars, we learn about presidents while playing trivia, and we learn about cities while traveling. We feel a home that is surrounded upon education, will allow our children to succeed in the future in whatever way they choose. We will always encourage them to follow their dreams!
Your child will also grow up in a home full of lots of fun! When we are home together as a family, we love to be together and play together. We play lots of make believe on the weekends and have dance parties in the kitchen while cooking dinner. We play bag toss out back while grilling out and have bonfires at night to make s'mores while star gazing with the telescope. Most weekends we make a point to get out and do something fun- whether it be a community festival, dinner at a favorite restaurant, walk to a park or playing with friends. We watch lots of sports- soccer and basketball are our favorite. We also travel whenever we are able and have recently visited many big cities, but hope to start visiting more national parks and explore the beauty that America has!
We cannot wait to be parents again, and pray that you will embark on this journey with us. We hope you can see your child will be loved, unconditionally. We will send you pictures and emails whenever you would like updates, and you will always be a part of the child's life in whatever way seems right for you.
CJ & Renee
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