Why We Want to Adopt

May 15, 2020

I (Mandy) found out that I wouldn't be able to become pregnant when I was 16 years old. In order to wrap my head around what this would mean down the road, my mom and I related it to the show Friends. I could either be a Monica and adopt, or have a Phoebe through surrogacy. When Chris and I first started dating, I let him know on one of our first dates that I would not be able to have biological children. He was extremely supportive and accepting from the start! We talked about this more and more throughout the years, and we always veered towards growing our family through adoption. As we started doing more research, we learned stories of family members' connections to Gladney and adoption. Chris's older half-sister is a birth mom. She made an adoption plan with her first baby at an early age through Gladney. We found out last year that Chris' grandmother (who had recently passed away) had been a transition home for infants through Gladney. Everywhere we turned, we spoke with more and more people who were adopted or were going through the adoption process. This assured us that we were making the right choice for us in this moment of time.

Chris's Family

May 14, 2020

I grew up outside Dallas with my parents and younger brother and sister who are twins. They are actually a year and four days younger than me. So, we grew up really close, sharing friend groups. Having three children within a year, my mom always says that I helped her raise my siblings by shoving pacifiers in their mouths if they were crying. My parents were supportive of our interests, coaching our soccer and baseball teams. When I was younger, every summer we would spend a month at our grandparents' farm in SW Pennsylvania and a month at our other grandparents' lake house on Possum Kingdom Lake. They are some of my fondest memories being all together with cousins racing down the road in gokarts in Pennsylvania and going fishing off the dock of the lake house.

My parents were accepting of our friends and allowed our house in middle school to be the hangout spot.

Mandy's Family

May 14, 2020

I grew up in a small town on Long Island, New York with my parents and two sisters. My parents, sisters, and I are very close. We talk all the time. Chris gets frustrated when he puts down his phone and after ten minutes or so there are 30 new text messages in the family chat. I FaceTime with my parents every night, sometimes multiple times a night. My older sister has two daughters who we FaceTime with every couple of weeks. Aunt Mandy or Uncle Chris is always asked to read a couple of stories every time. My younger sister will call me on her way home from work to chat and catch up. Without a thought we'll buy plane tickets if my sister needs help with my nieces one weekend. We're always there to celebrate all the milestones of eachothers lives.

A plus to the close knit of my immediate family is that I am super close with my extended family in that they are basically my immediate family. My extended family all lived within 15 minutes of my house. I even went to school with some of my cousins. We basically grew up together. This allowed my family to be extremely close knit in that my cousins are like brothers and sisters to me. Our families went on vacation together every year including to Cape Cod, MA which became like our second home. I grew up going to my grandparents' house for Sunday breakfast with everyone. Any time that we are all together makes my heart so happy. It's like I never left NY and Chris fits right in. Holidays are my favorite as it's when we are all together especially now that we are all older with our own families. During holidays, you'll find all 30ish of us crowded in the kitchen or around the table with the nieces and nephews running around, laughing, shouting loudly, and having so much fun. Picture a New York Italian family and that is us.

A big part of my family are our vacations to Cape Cod. We've been going every year since I was seven years old. Last year, my parents fulfilled their dream and bought a house there. It's been amazing to have this home for all of us to visit every year. My mom even created a little play area in a walk-in closet with books and toys for all her grandbabies. We spend a lot of time up there with my nieces playing. If we're not in the play nook, we're on the beach. The beach is part of who we are. We always joke "you can never shake all the sand from your flip flops, nor the ocean from your soul."

But my family is also not just blood relatives. My best friends are also my family. We do a lot together and the way I am with my sisters and cousins is how I am with my friends. It's always difficult to leave NY when I visit, but at the same time I can't imagine being so far away from my best friends here. Our friends' children our nieces and nephews as well.

Our Home

Apr 13, 2020

We bought our home in November of 2018 in Texas. We weren't seriously looking to buy a house, just browsing online when the most perfect house popped up. It checked all the boxes on our "must have" list, which we honestly never thought could happen in a city. We have a large backyard, which reminds us of each of our childhoods. Our home is across from a lake, where Chris enjoys boating. Our home has such a unique character that we were drawn to and it just felt like home from the beginning. Our home exudes warmth, comfort, and has such great light at all hours of the day. We have three bedrooms, currently our master bedroom, a guest room, and the to-be nursery. The rooms are all right next to each other, which we love so that our room is easy access for those late-night feeds. We have a large kitchen with an attached dining space, which is perfect because it's the usual hangout spot for when we have friends and family over. The best part of the house though is our reading nook. At the front of our house is a circular room with floor to ceiling windows which overlooks part of the lake. Here we have a large overstuffed chair that is perfect to curl up in, listen to our record player play some oldies, and top it off with a blanket for those random cold Texas nights. This is where we imagine the playroom will be with books and toys strewn everywhere. You will find all throughout our house, pictures and keepsakes. All our decor has meaning to us in some way. We have a lot of passed down knickknacks or items family members have made us throughout the years. I'm also a vintage freak and my mom and I have been collecting antique items together for years. I love when items have history and a story to them.

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