Monday, August 28, 2006

Dear Birthparent Letter and Photos

It's done. This emotionally process of pouring out your heart onto a piece of paper that will be shown to total strangers is done. This has been hard, but it's as good as I can get it. I am not an English major - please bear that in mind. :)

Can you imagine, though? Being faced with having to choose a family to raise your tiny baby? And all you have is a bunch of letters and pictures of smiling people that you don't know. How could you ever decide? I am hopeful that these are moments where the Holy Spirit steps in to gently prod and push so that each child is placed with the right family.

My thoughts tonight are with Joy and her birthparents. May God bless us all.

(Note:please forgive the formatting - it won't work on this blog tonight!)

Dear Friends,

We cannot imagine the heartache you must feel to hear that your baby has a diagnosis that was unexpected. Many times we have cried and our hearts have been filled with sorrow as we have imagined a doctor or nurse taking your hand and telling you that this child you have carried for nine months is going to have a very different future than the one you expected. But there is hope. God can turn anything to good. Our family feels inspired to raise and love a child with special needs. We are excited to welcome your sweet baby into our family. We will provide your baby with unconditional love and acceptance of who she is. We will see that her medical and educational needs are met.

Our family’s lives have been richly blessed by adoption. Shelly has two siblings who are adopted from China. We have learned that true love isn’t related to blood or skin color, it comes from the heart. Shelly’s adopted siblings are 28 and 30 years younger than she is, but we have so much fun together. As we tease, tickle, and giggle with them, we definitely act more like brothers and sisters than grownups and children. We all love them!

Your baby will grow up with four big sisters; we call them our “ladybugs.” Our girls are the center of our lives. They are all beautiful and smart (but we aren’t prejudiced at all J ). Their names are Becca, Sammi, Jessi, and Lizzy. Becca is our little mother hen who adores babies! She is 10 and very thoughtful. Sammi is 7 and loves to live. She is very active and adventuresome. Jessi is 5 and our cuddler. She loves people and just wants love and cuddles in return. Lizzy is 3 and our clown. One of her first sentences was “I funny.” She delights us all.

Jason (the Daddy) is a quiet person who has a funny sense of humor. He loves to play jokes on people and to laugh and enjoy life. He loves electronics. We are always teasing him about all his multitude of technological devices that he carries around.

Jason also has a love of learning all the details of history and science. He has a passion for the History Channel and Modern Marvels (a science show). He can be found many a late night, after everyone is fast asleep, up watching a show that is fascinating to him, but that none of the rest of us is interested in.

Jason also has a very high sense for fairness and rules. Do not plan on cheating or making up rules when playing a board game with Jason. Yes, he is one of those who will get out the rule book and read you the applicable rule.

Jason also is involved in the electoral process and the affairs of our nation. He routinely volunteers his time to help run elections as a poll worker and an election judge. He keeps abreast of the current affairs and supports local candidates through their campaigns.

As a youth, Jason performed internationally with a dancing and singing group. He was able to study the dance styles of jazz and ballet. He sang and choreographed routines for the group. Now he just shares those talents with his daughters.

Jason loves to tickle us silly! He adores coming home and all the kids running up to him saying “Daddy’s home!” The biggest thing Shelly loves about Jason is that he loves unconditionally. He is patient, supportive, and loves us all.

Shelly (the Mama) is a quieter person who likes to hang back, watch and learn before barging into something. She is very observant and has a really good memory. She is also a very curious person. She wants to know things – anything. Shelly loves to research and figure things out. She says she doesn’t know how she would live without the internet at her fingertips!

Shelly is what some people would call a home body. She loves to be home and enjoy the comforts there. She finds her inner strength from studying God’s word and from calm, peaceful music.

Shelly loves leaving the world behind by diving in and getting lost in a good book. She enjoys throwing herself into another realm whether it’s a Sherlock Holmes’s mystery or a science fantasy adventure. So if she’s not busy with the kids and normal life, then you’ll find her crawled up in her big, green library chair reading.

Shelly’s absolute weakness in this world is peanut M&M’s. They are the bane of her existence. She cannot eat just one. She’ll make herself sick on those. She tries very hard to avoid them, but she loves chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. This spills over into brownies, cakes and chocolate chip cookies. Her perfect afternoon would be to eat chocolate with the coldest, iciest water and a good book – pure delight – and if Jason is reading on the seat next to her, then that’s pure heaven.

We met at church. Jason needed to see the play, ‘Oliver’ for an English project and Shelly was asked to go along. One thing led to another and two months later Shelly asked him to marry her. A little backward and fast, but he said yes, so it all worked out.

Our marriage works really well for us. Where she is weak, Jason is strong. Where he is weak, Shelly is strong. We compliment each other and we are glad we can hold on to each other through life’s craziness.

Early in our marriage, our precious son passed away. That first year after he died was as close to living in hell as we ever hope to come as we moved through the grieving process. We believe in life after death, but still we wondered what he was doing and if he was happy where he was. Knowing that we would never see him again in this life, our arms ached with emptiness and we felt that life was over and could never go on. We were grateful that we had each other to hold onto during that time. Neither of us has placed a child for adoption, but we imagine that you will similarly wonder what your sweet baby is doing and if she is happy. We invite you to be honest with us and let us know if you would like to visit with our family or what kind of contact you would like with our family. We want you to have the reassurances that you will need that your baby is loved by her new family.

Please know that your baby is wanted, loved deeply, and being prayed for by a Mom and Dad and four sisters who can’t wait to meet her and smother her with love and kisses.

With much love,
Shelly and Jason

1 comment:

Cyndi said...

Shelly - that is beautiful and tear jerking. You did a wonderful job. Joy is lucky to be going to such a wonderful family! love y'all