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Andy & Suzanne
Raising a family is one of the greatest privileges and joys in life and we are grateful that we get to experience this honor and blessing. We are excited to grow our family through adoption and we thank you for considering us. We look forward to getting to know you and hopefully in our profile you will see a couple who, guided by their faith, is intentional, joyful, and easygoing.
What Makes Us Unique
On the surface what makes us unique might be just how different Suzanne and Andy's backgrounds are. Suzanne's heritage is South Indian and she had lived in five different countries by the age of 12. Andy is white and spent his entire childhood in the same small rural Midwestern town. But our friends would say what makes us unique is that we are both intentional and easy-going. We are intentional in that we believe God created us on purpose and for a purpose–so we are called to live life differently and be thoughtful about the decisions we make. We have a plan and a set of core values that we don't waiver from. But this doesn't mean we have to be somber or overly serious. Quite the opposite, we can be intentional and still be fun, playful, and easy to spend time with. Relationships take top priority in our lives–our relationship with God, with each other, and with our loved ones. Because of our unique approach to life, we know that a child growing up in our household will benefit from a healthy, honoring, and trusting relationship between us. We have consistently made decisions to prioritize and protect relationships–changing jobs, taking sabbaticals, and simplifying our busy lives as needed to keep this a top priority.
Our Leisure Time
'Quality Time' is our main love language so we gravitate to activities and experiences that allow us to connect with each other and the people we love. We also love being outdoors so an ideal activity is one that also connects us with nature. This can range from having fun at a park with Jacob, to hiking on a trail surrounded by trees and the sounds of the forest. Andy is a runner so he'll sign up for races and at times we make a trip of it, meeting up with friends like the time he dressed up as one of the X-Men (Wolverine) for a race in California wine-country! Suzanne enjoys decorating and making our home feel warm and festive, especially around the holidays. One of our unique traditions is to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, where we have Irish music playing and green stuff everywhere! We've always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween (honestly, we're just big kids ourselves) and now as parents the fun is at a whole new level! Jacob would be thrilled to go trick-a-treating with his younger sibling! On any given evening you'll find music playing in the background while we cook and eat our meals together as a family, after which there is usually some free-style dancing. We all enjoy reading to wind-down, in fact one of our favorite times we look forward to every day is story-time with Jacob which we certainly will cherish with our next child too.
As an interracial couple we feel that cultural diversity is best addressed by just living it day in and day out and making it a natural part of our lives versus planned interactions. Our children will naturally see and experience this thanks to our extended family, our diverse friend group and the makeup of our street, our community, and the schools they will attend. Jacob's classmates, for example, bring cultural ties that span nearly every continent. At a recent birthday party we counted at least 5 different languages being spoken.
Another way we integrate cultural diversity organically into our lives is through food. We both have traveled extensively and love cuisines from all over the world. Over the span of a week we may have Cuban sandwiches, Ramen, BBQ, and Chinese Dim-Sum. Also food is one of the ways to experience Suzanne's cultural heritage, through the tasty dishes her mom makes from their home state of Kerala, all of which we look forward to sharing with our children as well.
Your child brings their own cultural background, which we will be intentional about discussing and celebrating in our family. We will do this by ensuring that there are relationships with mentors and role models that can be a part of their life as they grow up. If they don't already exist in our current circle, we look forward to making new friends!
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a residential neighborhood within a larger metropolitan area in Georgia. The city has lots of parks and green spaces and trails for hiking, and since we love the outdoors, that's one of our favorite things about the city. We like to think of the town we live in as 'urban residential' where we're close to all the action but can also enjoy a close-knit feel in our community where the streets are lined with trees and the pace is a bit slower. We have everything we need right here, from restaurants to parks to rec centers to schools. It's fun to know that we can head out to any of the parks within a few miles of our house and inevitably run into one of Jacob's classmates there. On our block alone, there are several kids under the age of 5, so playdates and impromptu hang outs on the deck or in the backyard are a common occurrence. Andy jokes that our home's design style is "rustic steampunk," but that is all credit to Suzanne who has made our home feel cozy and inviting in our own unique way by bringing in various wood and metal accents along with warm colors. We love our home and where we live and look forward to building new memories with our growing family.
Our Extended Families
We come from very different backgrounds but both of us value family very dearly.
Andy's parents were teachers and he grew up in a small town in southern Illinois, in a house that his Mom still lives in today! Andy has one older brother, who still lives in Illinois with his wife and four children. We see them several times per year, usually to celebrate July 4th along with dear family friends, and to spend the Christmas holidays together.
Suzanne's family and upbringing, in contrast to Andy's experience, involved moving internationally from the time she was born till they settled permanently in the United States when she was 12 years old. Suzanne's parents, semi-retired doctors, live in Tennessee and we try to see them every other month. Suzanne has a younger sister who lives within 2 miles of our home. We often spend our weekends with each other, cooking or grilling out on our decks, sharing laughs and stories, while our kids play. We have a strong connection as we have a lot in common, being close in age, being interracial couples, and becoming first-time parents within the last few years.
Our families are excited about our plans to adopt. Both of our parents absolutely adore being grandparents and look forward to having more children to dote on. Our siblings are fully supportive and can't wait to create new memories with our growing family.
From Us to You
Before we say anything, we want to thank you. Thank you for being open to considering us, and for giving us a chance to share a little about ourselves. We cannot imagine how much is on your mind and heart and the courage this requires as you think through your options. We have been and will continue to be praying for you.
To begin, we want to share a bit about our marriage and partnership. We met back in 2008 while working for the same company and had an instant connection where we formed a strong friendship. Over time it very naturally blossomed into more. We have been together now for 13 years and married for 9 of them. Our marriage is based on a deep desire to love and honor each other, a commitment to maintaining open communication, and most importantly our decision to follow Jesus. Over the years we have experienced growth in our relationship through a lot of happy times as well as some hard times. The hardest being when we experienced a late-term loss of our first child during pregnancy. We held close to each other and to God, and let the amazing people in our lives support us. As people who are fairly independent by nature, this was not easy to do but very necessary to our healing and moving forward. We feel this experience, as painful as it was, made us grow stronger as people. It allows us to better empathize with those having to make difficult trade-off decisions, as well as recognize the importance of grieving.
It was with deep gratitude that a few years later we were blessed with our 'rainbow' baby, Jacob, and now fast forward to today - we feel honored to be on this journey to have our next child. When we think about growing our family it brings us such joy, we love being parents and love children just for who they are. We have learned so much from having Jacob, we truly believe each child has something to teach us, and we cannot wait to experience life through the eyes of our next child. We look forward to getting to know their unique personality and see what they are interested in. We are eager to experience all those 'firsts' together and to enjoy the new dynamic our next child will add to this picture of family we have today.
Also, rest assured, your child is not just going to be loved by us and his older brother, but by a big warm family! As you've likely heard, 'it takes a village' and we love that in raising our children, we have such a wonderful village made up of a very loving family, a strong and diverse network of friends and a welcoming community.
Here is what your child can expect from us as parents. We will provide nurturing, unconditional love to help our children grow into who they are meant to be. We will equip them with life skills like how to make good decisions and solve problems on their own. Culture and what is popular will not define how we live - we will set our own course based on values and beliefs we hold dear. We will have fun and laughter every chance we get. We will help our kids be comfortable in their own skin, knowing that God loves them perfectly just as they are.
And here is our commitment to you. We will be open and honest with our child in regards to adoption and to the courage and love you showed in making the decision to let us parent them. We will share with you about our child's growth and experiences through photos, videos, letters, and emails. We want to work together with you to figure out and maintain the right relationship to help our child grow into a confident, healthy, happy adult.
Again, thank you. We hope you see our heart and intention in this letter. We are thinking of you as we write this, and praying for both of you, your child, and our future child. We eagerly look forward to when our paths will cross.
Andy & Suzanne
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