Our adoption agency provided us with a list of questions frequently asked by actual birth mothers. These are our answers!
What are your neighborhood, school system and community like? How is it conducive to raising an adopted child?
Our neighborhood is amazing for families. We live on a lovely tree-lined street in Denver, Colorado. At one end of block is a High School, a community center, and a park. At the other end of the block is an incredible view of the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Everything in between is connected by hiking trails, bike paths, and playgrounds.
We live only one mile away from “our tribe” - including our nephews and Nick’s sister. We’re all very close and love the outdoors – so the child we adopt will grow up playing, hiking, camping, and skiing along side their cousins, Aunts and Uncles.
Denver has some very strong schools – we’re both very excited to volunteer in the classroom!
What are your values/religion/belief system? How do you plan to teach those to your adopted child?
We’d describe ourselves as spiritual – but not religious. Our most important values are unconditional love, gratitude, empathy, and kindness. It really boils down to “the Golden Rule.”
We want to expose our child to the great outdoors, so they’ll know the beauty, inspiration, and preciousness of our natural world.
We want to raise our child in an environment of diversity, inclusion and equality, so that they’ll value what makes each of us one-of-a-kind, and learn how to stand up against injustice.
We want to model for our child how to process emotions, how to show empathy for others, and how to ask for help whenever they need it.
We often daydream about who our child will grow up to be - but that decision will be completely up to them. They will grow up knowing that they're loved for exactly who they are. Unconditionally.
We will provide an environment for their imagination, creativity, and confidence to thrive. We will be their biggest fans, their safe harbor, and their rock-solid foundation.
How do you plan on talking to your adopted child about adoption?
Open and honestly from day one.
We both knew we'd eventually find each other. (It was already written in the stars.) We feel the same way about the child that will come into our lives. (They're the "little dipper" to our "big.") We already have love beyond measure on reserve for them. We want them to know our family was destined.
We obviously can’t make a baby ourselves – we’re looking for an angel to make our dreams come true. To be selected by a birth mom will be an overwhelmingly beautiful gift. A generosity beyond compare. We want our child to grow up knowing they’re part of that magic.
What kind of relationship do you want to have with me throughout the adoption process and after? Are you comfortable with the idea of open adoption and open communication?
We truly hope our family will grow to include the birth family of the child we’ll adopt. After all, how could we possibly love a child, but not those who gave them life? As we all get to know one another we hope to let our relationship form naturally; into whatever it’s meant to be.
No matter what form our relationship takes we’ll build it together, and make sure it works for everyone. Especially the child.
What were the best parts of your childhood?
Nick was an absolute ham. As soon as he figured out how to make people laugh, he was hooked. He grew up forcing his hostage sisters and cousins into elaborate skits for the grownups. Since then he’s been in many wonderful plays, musicals and choirs – and one very infamous mime class.
Jeff was a Soccer star. He would run and kick and do that thing where you bounce the soccer ball off your head. (Nick is writing this, and he doesn’t understand Soccer.) Jeff had an adorable relationship with his Nana. They would spend hours together, just the two of them, reading the paper, watching classic TV shows, and making homemade pickles. (Jeff frig’n loves pickles.)
How do you plan to teach her about her culture?
Authentically, and as a family.
We’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel – we love how our journeys have informed and grown our world view. The things that make cultures (and ourselves) so unique, special, and human should be celebrated, honored, and learned from.
As gay men, we know what it feels like to grow up without representation. Finally getting to see a show like “Will & Grace” changed our lives forever. We intended to teach our child about their culture, just as we intend to teach our child about our culture. And we won’t stop there! We feel it’s very important to provide our child with authentic representation of cultures from all around the world.
What are the most important things to you as a parent?
The MOST important thing to us is that our child feels loved and safe. It’s such an important foundation for building trust, confidence, self-esteem, and security.
We also want to make sure that our child feels supported to become whoever they are. Their interests, their passions, their curiosities, their orientation… all of it is okay. We want to help them to become the best version of whoever (or whatever) they are.
We know that parenting will not be a cakewalk - there are bound to be difficult days – but we also try not to take life too seriously. We take love seriously. We take kindness seriously. The rest we can roll with – embracing the adventure, the wonder, and the comedy of errors.
What’s the most valuable lesson that you would pass on to your children?
How to love themselves, and how to process their feelings.
So many of the troubles in the world boil down to people not being able to authentically express their feelings – it’s a vulnerability most people avoid at all costs. It’s just to painful, or awkward, or shameful for them.
The secret is that no one can discover the magic of their talents, their relationships, or their potential without first finding the bravery to wade through the awkwardness vulnerability requires.
We want to model this behavior for our child, like we already do for our nephews.
Oh! And eat your vegetables!
What kind of activities would you want to enroll your children in?
Anything they want. (Just not mime classes… Nick can’t relive the limericks.) We were both involved in a ton of activities as kids. Soccer, tennis, rowing, track, the Boy Scouts, theater, art, music, dance, debate, student council, yearbook… we did a little bit of everything! It was so exciting when something just… clicked!
We want to help our kid discover who they truly are – what their interests, passions, and talents are. They don’t have to do everything, but they can’t do nothing.