Dear Expectant Mother,
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my story and my reasons for wishing to adopt. I greatly respect your courage in choosing adoption for your child. Please know that I am very excited to welcome a child through open adoption and that I will love him or her unconditionally.
I love children dearly and have devoted my career to working with them, so I hope to provide your child with a wonderful life. Our home together will always be filled with love, compassion, laughter and understanding. We will also be surrounded by a supportive "village" or extended family, including my family, as well as my large community of friends and their children.
I hope after reading my letter that you will contact me so you can learn more about me and so I might hear your hopes and dreams for your child.
My Family & Friends
I was born and raised in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. My childhood was filled with joy and opportunity. I grew up with two sisters, Susan and Liz, with whom I am still close and who live nearby. My parents instilled in us an understanding of the importance of family, education and human values, such as being kind to others and giving back to the community, as well as a love of nature. Every night, we had dinner together as a family and shared about our day, current events and whatever else was on our minds. I treasure this tradition from my childhood, and I intend to provide the same loving time for my child.
After school and on weekends my sisters and I played sports (softball and tennis), took music lessons (piano and clarinet) and played with our friends. In the summer, we often took family camping vacations to the national parks. I have many fond memories of these trips, especially when my cousins from Chicago joined us, or when we went to a family camp in Northern Wisconsin together, which we still do. I am excited about the prospect of sharing my love of nature and travel with a child.
My parents were married for 35 years. We lost my father to cancer many years ago, but my mom is still an important part of my life. She is spunky and active, and she is very excited to become a grandmother for the first time. She plans to play a major role in my child's life.
I still enjoy many of the same activities I loved as a child: hiking, biking, music, movies, travel, and reading, as well as just being with the people that I love. On the weekends, I am usually outdoors with friends and family; we might also visit a favorite restaurant, or perhaps see a new movie. I also love to travel—some of my favorite places are cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, but I also love the beautiful scenery found in Alaska, Yosemite and any national park. I have traveled abroad to Japan, Egypt, Israel and Vietnam, among other countries. I can't wait to go to more exciting places and experience the world together with a child.
With all my interests and passions, the true root of my life is my intimate and important relationships. Connecting with people, including children, is at the core of who I am. Friends say that my ability to listen and empathize with others, to share in their joy and in their difficulties, is what creates such a strong bond and what makes me unique. For this reason, I have many close friends, most of whom go back more than 25 years and who live throughout the world. I have made an effort to get to know my friends' children—to really spend time with them and get to know them, so these children and their parents are truly my "village." This community will be an important part of my child's life through fun activities, holiday celebrations and trips together, and they couldn't be more excited about it.
I live in a spacious and lovely home north of San Francisco in a quiet neighborhood with a view of a beautiful mountain and a large backyard. There are parks nearby and an excellent elementary school within walking distance. I also live close to family, so my child will grow up surrounded by love.
My Work & Passion: Working with Children
Being a parent is a long-held desire, since I have been passionate about children my entire life and built my career around that love. My first job after college was as a counselor in a group home for boys. After completing my Master's degree in social work, I spent 15 years at community centers overseeing youth and family programs, such as preschool, after-school, camp and teen programs, as well as parent education. Currently, I am the director of program operations at a non-profit agency that provides services to support families in need.
Hear from my friends...
Mike, friend for many years:
I have long admired Karen's interactions with children. I have never seen her in any way lose her cool with children or become flustered. She is present, open, kind-hearted, and generous. She manages to be this way without being a pushover and while maintaining appropriate expectations for their standard of behavior. As a parent, I have often looked upon her with envy, wishing that I could bottle her qualities for my own use.
Asha, friend from college:
As long as I've known Karen, she has talked about her dream of being a mother. As we got older and friends began to have children, she made a great effort not only to maintain and build her friendships despite the changing circumstances, but to really know each child. She took the time to listen—to understand his or her temperament, find out favorite hobbies and outings, and, most of all, to play. On the floor, in the park, on a walk—it didn't matter. Karen could always engage a kid in something fun, even if it was just a shared joke.
Thoughts on Adoption
I have a wonderful life, but raising a child remains a missing piece for me. As a single parent, I will ensure that my child and I will have a wide community of friends and family as support. I intend to take at least three months off of work when the child arrives so that we will have dedicated time to bond with each other. Once I return to work, my mother will help care for the child. I also hope to rearrange my hours so I can work less and do some of my work at home.
I know that with my love for and understanding of children that I will make a very good parent. Spending time with children is one of my favorite things to do, especially reading, playing and laughing with them, and I always take the time to listen to their feelings and ideas. Becoming a parent feels like something I have been training to do my whole life and I feel very excited and ready for it.
I hope to teach a child by example to be a kind, loving and giving person: someone who understands people's differences yet treats everyone with respect. These values, along with the importance of family and education, were an integral part of my upbringing and helped shape the person I am today. I grew up in a spiritual home and believe in learning from history to make our world a better place. I am excited about the chance to share these values and beliefs with a child.
"Karen is always fun to be around. She is a very comforting person. With her, I always feel at home."
–Vivian, age 8
"Karen is really nice and really fun and she is one of my best friends."
–Noah, age 11
I look forward to an open adoption and invite your ideas about the level of contact you would like with your child. It is so important for children to know their birth story and I want whatever contact will help your child grow up healthy and confident. I appreciate your taking the time to learn about me and would love to hear from you.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-877-402-3315. You can also contact our friendly adoption attorneys, Susan Romer and Karin Stoeckenius, at 1-800-U-Adopt-US (1-800-823-6788) or email at email@example.com. You may also visit their website at www.1-800-u-adopt-us.com.