|Lemony Snicket||Author||Eoin Colfer|
|Hot chocolate with
|Series of Unfortunate
|Take 5||Candy Bar||Snickers|
|Yearly family reunions
with the extended family
|Childhood Memory||Camping and hiking trips with my family|
|My Kid Sister doll, her
name was Emily
|Brownies – the fudge kind||Dessert||Chocolate Pie|
|Switzerland||Dream Vacation||European Castles|
|Christmas||Holiday||4th of July|
|Cooking Light or Rachael
|Taking Jon to Disneyland
for the first time
|Memory with Spouse||Hearing Rachel say “holy
crap that’s big” after seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time
|Gilmore Girls (why did it
have to end?)
|TV Show||West Wing|
|Josh Groban||Music||Classic Rock|
|Breakfast foods||Thing to cook||Barbecue|
|Driving by the giant inflatable Santa (obscenely giant – it makes me laugh)||Tradition||Waking up early on Christmas to open presents|
One of my favorite poems…
When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang up my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I LOOKED….and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.
-Mary Rita Schilke Korzan
We made it to Milwaukee a couple of days ago, and have been spending time with our dear friends and their cute 1-year old little boy. Last night we took a boat tour on the river and Lake Michigan with them, and I found myself wishing (a lot) that we had a little one in our lives. It is amazing how much this little guy can change our hearts and perspective on life in just a few days. The waiting is hard, but these moments give a glimpse of the sweetness that lies ahead. This has been a fabulous vacation!
We spent the last few days crossing South Dakota and Minnesota. The picture was taken in Wind Cave, just a little bit south of Mt. Rushmore, but we also saw the Crazy Horse monument, spent time driving through the Badlands, and played a lot of games together. We took along Jon’s parent’s GPS and had fun plugging in our destinations and the laughing at where it actually sent us. The first night of our trip we plugged in a restaurant. The GPS took us up the side of a mountain. As we headed up there, we got excited for a resort town type restaurant/dinner. When it told us we were at our destination, we were facing the side of a mountain with nothing there. It is lucky we didn’t chuck the thing out of the window. Note to all: the Broken Spur Cafe in Casper, WY does NOT exist (at least that we could find).
South Dakota is beautiful. We could have spent a week there and still have not seen everything there was to see. Mostly it was nice just spending time together. We even ended up extending our trip longer than planned. Our phones were out of range for most of the trip so we were able to focus on what matters most…our family!
Please excuse me as I stumble trying to convey my thoughts on this subject. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last couple of days about the terminology of birthmother vs. first mother. I first heard the phrase “first mother” as I was perusing the web over the weekend and I LOVE it. I like how it sounds. I like what it implies. To our family the birth/first mother’s role encompasses so much more than merely the pregnancy and birth. Someone once told me that when you love someone, a part of you will always love them and they will forever have a place in your heart. Just as the first mother will always love her child, we, as a family, will always love her for role she plays in our family. I am humbled daily to think about the legacy of love the first mother passes on to her child and eternally grateful to someday have the opportunity to add to the legacy, as the second mother.
We’re getting ready to head out on a road trip! We’ve spent most of our vacations west of the Rockies, but this time we’re heading through South Dakota and Minnesota on the way to Milwaukee. Mount Rushmore, Minuteman Missile silos, and lots of nothing, plus a few lakes and the Mississippi River. Should be a good trip, and we’ll post pictures as we go (hopefully)!
We both come from wonderfully supportive families. We are fortunate to live nearby both sets of parents. Some of our favorite time is spent up at our family property in Idaho. We even helped build a lodge with our extended family! We love to take weekend trips there and spend time playing games, canoeing, flying kites and Dutch oven cooking. Both families have been enthusiastic supporters of our decision to pursue adoption. They are waiting with much anticipation to love and spoil a new addition to our family.
We also have the privilege of living close to our niece and two nephews. We’ve been lucky enough to watch them grow and participate in their lives. We’ve spent time carving pumpkins, baking Christmas cookies, riding the train, playing at the park, painting fingernails and building LEGOS…and we’ve loved every minute of the laughter and smiles they’ve given us in return. We look forward to building experiences like these into traditions with our children.
Rachel is a beautifully creative woman, who delights in new experiences. She never hesitates to express her compassion for other people, as she did when my mother was recently bedridden for 3 months. Rachel would take time at least 2 or 3 times a week to stop by my parents’ house to have lunch and wash my mom’s hair, in addition to the evenings we would go together. Patience and nurturing seem to come easily for her, and when we have time with our nieces and nephews, she doesn’t hesitate to play right along with them, regardless of how silly the playing may seem to a less understanding adult. As our family grows, Rachel will always be a willing participant (if not leader) in the fun. One of my favorite experiences with Rachel was when we went to visit our family in Florida, and had the chance to play at the beach on the Gulf of Mexico. It was Rachel’s first time in the ocean, and she seemed even more excited about it than any of the kids, and would have stayed just playing in the waves and walking barefoot in the sand all day. Rachel takes the time to try to understand why people (especially me) feel and think the way they do, so that she can support their decisions and actions. I know she genuinely cares for me, and will be able to show our children that same love.
Jon is a kind soul who thrives on being able to bring joy to others through serving them. He is patient, thoughtful and loyal. It seems like Jon knows how to do practically everything! He is the handyman in our house and constantly amazes me with his skill in fixing things. Jon is a careful observer and learned how to do things by working with his dad around the house. Jon’s dad likes to recount that when Jon was younger he was so enthralled by learning how things worked that he took the doorknob apart one day, to see how it worked, and as his dad walked through the door and touched the doorknob, it fell out of the door. Jon has an incredible wealth of knowledge (some useful, some not so usefulJ). In fact, our out-of-state friends kept calling him one night as they were playing the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” board game knowing he would have the answers when they were able to “phone a friend.” He got all the answers right! Jon is a history buff. His fascination for understanding other cultures has cultivated a deep respect for all people in different walks of life. He is going to make the best Daddy! I know he’ll be an active part of our children’s lives as he teaches, plays alongside and loves them. He is my hero and the solid rock in my life.
Words cannot express the gratitude we feel in our hearts for mothers who provide selfless and loving stewardship for their children. We have longed to have our lives and hearts touched by the positive influence of a child. In spite of our struggles in this journey we have grown closer together. We are united as best friends fully committed to each other and our future family.
As many couples do, we’ve spent countless hours dreaming of our future family and what kind of parents we will be. In addition to giving our children heaps and heaps of unconditional love, we want to be the kind of parents who lead by example, and foster an environment where it is safe to make mistakes and where dreaming big is encouraged. We want to teach our children to be accepting of others and non-judgmental. As a family, we will celebrate their journey into our family and honor the brave woman who gave them life.
We won’t say we know what you’re going through, because frankly we can’t. What we do know is how grateful we are to you for even considering our family. Should you choose us to parent your child, we are interested in maintaining a relationship with you with updates, visits, and photos, if that is your choice. We sincerely hope you are getting the love and support you need from those around you and that you’ll feel peace through the upcoming days and months, whatever your decision.
Jon and Rachel