Dear Birth Mother,
Hello. We are excited that you would consider us to become the adoptive parents to your baby. This is our pledge to you: we will give your baby a “love bath” every day he or she is under our roof. As a teacher and a pastor, our lives revolve around kids. Both of us know the importance of a secure, caring family environment and would cherish the opportunity to provide this to your little one.
Mark grew up in North Dakota, in a small town of about 7,000 people, while Allison is a native of San Diego. They live about five miles from the house Allison was raised in. Both of us have memories of growing up with the best of childhood – riding bikes, going to the pool (or in Allison’s case, the beach), family cookouts and camping trips, birthday parties, and holidays, and we want to create that same experience in our home for a child.
Mark is 43 years old and has worked almost his entire career in education or ministry. He currently oversees the children’s ministry at a large church in Carlsbad, about 30 minutes north of San Diego.
He also holds degrees in teaching, communications, and a seminary degree from Bethel Seminary San Diego.
Allison is 37 and attended Baylor University, then worked in the mortgage industry in Dallas for a while before moving home. She realized that teaching was her real passion, so she got her master’s in education from Azusa Pacific University. She taught at a Christian school for a few years, and now is a 6th & 7th grade math teacher at a public charter school just up the street from where we live, in Vista.
Mark is not only fascinated by how kids grow and learn, but he is a bit of a kid himself. He just might have a radio-controlled car that he plays with in an empty lot near their house, and he just might have insisted that they set up the model train he had as a kid under their Christmas tree. (It looked great!) He is a big believer that kids need to grow up experiencing the outdoors – exploring, discovering, building, trying new things, and taking their time. Kids operate on a different timetable, and we can learn a lot from that! The best thing for him is watching a child master some new skill, figure something out on their own, or become responsible and get that “I can do it!” look on their face. Mark is musical (guitar and singing), an introvert, and a writer.
Allison is the life of the party and loves to have family and friends around. Any occasion is an excuse to throw a party! Add kids to the mix, and it just becomes even more fun.
Both sets of our parents are still living. We see Allison’s parents and her sister & brother-in-law and their four boys often. Like Mark, she also believes kids should play and explore and learn new things. She is into running, reading, decorating & style, entertaining, and bargain hunting!
It was Allison’s social nature that drew Mark to her. When they first met, Mark was leading his church’s ministry to 4th, 5th and 6th graders and Allison started volunteering. Mark had two initial thoughts: 1. “Wow, she’s beautiful”, and 2. “She would never date someone like me.” So he wasn’t very bold at first. But Allison reached out in friendship, and over time Mark realized he needed to pursue a relationship – and that he wouldn’t be satisfied until he’d done that. We started dating in late 2013 and we were engaged exactly 7 months after our first date, and were married a year and a day after our first date. It was the best day of our lives!
Since then, the last two and a half years have been filled with travel, buying a house, and getting into the rhythm of being a married couple. We like to have fun. Allison keeps Mark on an even keel – otherwise he’d work too much. Allison also keeps him from eating junk food. He cooks way more and pigs out way less now that they’re together. Come to think of it, Allison has pretty much made Mark better in every way! For his part, Allison says she appreciates Mark’s patient spirit, his kindness, and his thoughtfulness to surprise her with a gift, a bouquet of flowers, or a treat at just the right moment.
We are happily married. At the start of 2016, we bought a house, and the first year was super fun as we decorated for holidays, entertained, furnished the house, and got settled in the neighborhood. And Christmas – that’s kind of a big deal at our house. (We’ll confess: Christmas music might start to be heard around Halloween time.)
In closing, we are excited to be given the chance to raise your child. Although we have tried to conceive naturally, we have been unsuccessful. Through two miscarriages, fertility treatments, and other setbacks, our faith has been tested and our hope dimmed. But we still do believe that God has a baby for us, somewhere, and that we will become parents. While we get to interact with kids every day at our jobs, what we want most of all is to bring a child into our home and raise them as part of our family. With a child in tow, we imagine still seeking out the fun experiences that we do now – but with a little boy or girl riding on Mark’s shoulders or holding onto Allison’s hand.