Greg & Amanda
Dear Birth Parent,
Thank you for reading our letter! We are especially thankful to you and to your family for making such a selfless sacrifice for the benefit of your baby. We respect your courage and willingness to take this step, and are hopeful that this letter will provide some insight into who we are and what type of parents we would be for your baby.
HOW OUR FAMILY STARTED
We met when Amanda moved to the Bay Area for work and started attending the same church congregation. Greg first noticed Amanda in our church’s‘new member’ orientation meeting, which Greg was facilitating. Luckily we ended up in the same circle of friends, and started taking various road trips together, with countless hours to talk, laugh, and share experiences. Much to our friends’ dismay, and despite an undeniable chemistry, several years passed before we really started dating each other seriously. Greg takes full blame for that unexplainable delay… 🙂
As a couple we continued to look for new adventures. We both enjoy hiking and being in the outdoors, so over the next couple years we visited many national parks, skied together, and hiked some beautiful trails. On one of those trips, in a place called Inspiration Point (cheesy enough?), overlooking a lake in the Tetons, Greg proposed to Amanda. We were married soon thereafter surrounded by family and friends. We now live in Northern California, where Greg is a senior vice president at a bank where he manages online and mobile software development teams. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Amanda was a school psychologist working with elementary and middle school children with special educational needs.
In October 2014 we adopted our sweet little daughter Sophie. She has been an indescribable light and blessing to us, and we couldn’t love her more. We have been fortunate to maintain an open relationship with her birth parents, along with her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and two half sisters. We feel like those relationships will be very important in Sophie’s development and identity in the future. We are all excited to be able to bring a new baby into our home and a brother or sister for Sophie!
WHY ADOPTION IS OUR PATH
Our journey as a couple has been an unpredictable one (aren’t they all?), but we feel that it is part of God’s plan for us. Soon after we were married we were thrilled to learn that Amanda was pregnant with our first child, a baby girl that we planned to name Madelyn (Maddie) Mae. Amanda was induced after carrying the baby full term. In a twist of fate that we cannot fully understand, Amanda and the baby both acquired a very rare bacterial infection during the baby’s delivery. Maddie, though beautiful in every way and weighing a healthy 6 lbs, was not able to fight off the infection and passed away the next day. Amanda also nearly lost her life, but after 2 weeks in the ICU and several additional weeks of recovery at home, Amanda was able to recover fully.
While we feel the loss of little Maddie Mae every day, we are eternally grateful that Amanda survived and that she has returned to full health. We also learned very quickly after adopting Sophie that we could love an adopted child in every possible way as much as we loved Maddie. That love would extend to your child if we were so blessed to bring him or her into our family.
ABOUT GREG, by Amanda
It’s hard to summarize in only a few paragraphs the person you love most in the world. I think the characteristic that first attracted me to Greg was his ability to laugh and enjoy himself. He has a wonderful sense of humor and connects with others through humor. Because of his smile and warmth he is immediately well-liked by others. He is good at talking with people and makes everyone feel important.
Greg comes from a family full of talent, and he has a knack for excelling at everything he does. For example, he’s very musical and plays the piano and saxophone. He also has an amazing voice (but doesn’t sing to me nearly enough!). I love his ”fuego” for so many things, including wildlife, sports, skiing, and mountain biking. I am inspired by his passion and find so much joy in participating in these activities with him. Probably his greatest hobby is college football and he looks forward to the fall because it marks the beginning of the college football season. When he’s not serving as a spectator he loves to play recreational sports and never misses an opportunity to “play catch” with his nephews (he even carries a football in his trunk, “just in case”).
Greg is also a giving person and looks for ways to help and serve others. He served a two-year mission for our church in Guatemala where he learned to speak Spanish. He loves the Latin American people and culture. He has returned to Central America many times, and has participated in several Habitat for Humanity and other humanitarian projects helping to build schools, homes, and hospitals. On a more recent visit we were able to spend two days working at a girls’ school helping them learn English through music. This was a very rewarding experience for me to see Greg in his “element” while we were there. His enthusiasm and love were contagious!
Most importantly Greg is an amazing Dad. He and our daughter, Sophie have an amazing connection and can often be seen playing tag or “basketball” or cuddling up to watch a movie. Sophie giggles constantly when they are together and they are truly best buddies. Greg’s love for Sophie knows no bounds and he is eager to see her each morning (to get his morning hugs and kisses) and loves our little family time in the evenings after work. Greg has told me many times that being a dad is the most favorite thing he’s ever done and can’t wait to bring another child into our home.
ABOUT AMANDA, by Greg
Amanda is the light in any room. While she never likes being the center of attention, her kindness and warmth emanate in a way that I have not seen with many other people. She makes people feel immediately comfortable in the way she interacts with them. Recently I have been amazed at how she has built relationships of trust with the young teenage women with whom she works in our congregation. Most of these young women come from very challenging and impoverished home situations with parents who work very long hours, so they look to Amanda as a leader, mentor, and friend that can point them in the right direction. They also fully enjoy her willingness to have fun and show her sense of humor!
At the core of Amanda’s light and inner strength is her faith in God and in his role in her life. When she was younger, she had to go through a kidney/liver transplant. But you’d never know it now (in fact I knew her well for 4 years before I even found out about it!), as she leads a very active and healthy life. That early-life challenge – along with other important experiences along the way – gave her a spiritual strength, fortitude, and conviction that has become even more evident to me over the last couple years.
Amanda is easily the best cook and baker that I know (sorry Mom) – and she is known far and wide among friends and families as such. She has the ‘magic touch’ with anything she makes, and her chocolate chip cookies in particular, are legendary. On a similar note, she can work wonders with a flower garden!
But above all, Amanda is an extraordinary mother. Her education and experience as a school psychologist have not only trained her in how to deal with special-needs children, but have also expanded her capacity to love. I love watching Amanda interact with Sophie – she is such a great teacher and helps Sophie learn new things in such a kind and understandable way. Amanda loves to read books, play games, take her to new, interesting places,and especially just snuggle. Amanda is a perfect mix of strength and softness in a way that is an eternal blessing to me, to Sophie, and to our future child.
We live in a quiet, friendly neighborhood in Northern California. We live in a comfortable 4-bedroom home, with a fenced-in backyard and plenty of space for a little one to play. The baby would have his/her own room right next to ours. Our neighborhood pre-school and elementary school are close to our home, and the elementary school has a 10/10 “GreatSchools” rating. Within our surrounding area there are many mountains, lakes, zoo, children’s museums, and other family-friendly activities.
WE ARE SO EXCITED TO ADOPT!
We have felt strongly over the last few months that there is another child that we are meant to raise. Our home is incomplete without that child, and we are very ready and excited to start this next adventurous chapter in our lives. We thank you again for considering adoption, and for taking the time to read about us! We can be reached through Little Angel Adoptions at: (888) 281-8948. We wish you all the best in your decision-making process.
Our Respect, Love, Thoughts and Prayers,
Greg & Amanda