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Featured Family: Paul and DeAnna

Describe your childhood:
DeAnna: I was raised by my mom and dad. I was an only child because they were unable to have any more children. I had a very active and fun loving childhood. We spent a lot of time together as a family doing activities like sports, camping, games and art. Growing up I had a dog and a cat and I am a huge animal lover. I enjoyed school and sports. I loved spending time with my family and friends. Paul: I lived with my mom, dad and older sister. I would spend a lot of time outdoors climbing trees, riding my bike or playing with friends. My family was active in our church and I was involved in youth group and other church related activities. I played football and ran track. I was also a part of the jazz band and played the trombone. My family had several foreign exchange students that stayed with us while I was growing up. I enjoyed learning about their culture.

Tell us about your home?
When we first walked into our house over three years ago, there was something about it that just felt right. As it sat there empty we could already visualize where we would put things and how it would all be laid out. The dining room really caught our eye as it had a large bay window that looked out into the back yard. Right outside the window was a beautiful Weeping Birch tree and birds bouncing around on the grass below. At that point, Evan (who was only 3 at the time) started running in and out of the different rooms. He wanted to play chase and peek-a-boo. The joy on his face darting around as I chased after him was all that we needed to see that this house was the one. We put in an offer and luckily we became the proud owners of our ranch style home. Whether we are cuddled up on the couch watching a movie by the fireplace, baking our favorite treat in the kitchen or drawing together on the dining room table, this is our favorite place to be with each other. Our backyard has a large patio that we spend a lot of time in. Paul barbecues while Evan, the dogs and I play on the grass. We also have an area for a swimming pool and a small garden. Evan loves to pick strawberries and water the plants. Our house is filled with love and laughter.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
We are very lucky to have a lot of 3 day weekends with Paulís work schedule. Our favorite thing to do is get away to the coast. We have fun walking the beach searching for shells and rocks, building drift wood forts, playing in the waves, checking out the tide pools and having ice cream on the pier. If we stay in town during a 3 day weekend then we would spend time doing a fun activity: family fun center arcade, the trampoline park where we love to play dodge ball, a movie and dinner, the train park, go to a local lake or state park or get together with friends and family.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have 3 dogs named Odie, Maggie and Dodger. Odie is a 13-year-old Pug. He is such a character. He snores loudly whether sleeping or not. Maggie and Dodger are both 4- years-old and were rescue dogs from our local Humane Society. Maggie is part Terrier and Miniature Pinscher. She is very energetic and loving. Dodger is part Daschund and Chihuahua. He is an amazing fetcher and loves cuddling with everyone. Anytime Dodger hears you sing in a high pitch or if you get out Evanís harmonica he will howl along with you, his tail wagging the entire time.

What do you hope to teach your children?
We hope to teach our children to be kind, loving and hard working. We will encourage them to pursue their dreams at any age because dreams have no expiration date. When life is challenging we will be there for them and let them know that every day can be a new beginning. That the true value in life is not what you have but who you have in it and to cherish each moment as it will soon only be a memory.

Describe your neighborhood?
We live in an active and family-oriented neighborhood in the hills. There are always people out running, walking their dogs or children playing in the yards. Schools, restaurants and shopping are just 5 minutes away. Since we live in the hills, hiking and wildlife is right outside our door. We have many deer that walk around the neighborhood and we always enjoy seeing the babies each year. The climate allows us to enjoy all 4 seasons. We have a mountain nearby for skiing and snowboarding, a university and college, and are surrounded by lakes and rivers. It is a great place to live for outdoor recreation.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
We will tell our child that their birthmother was brave and chose adoption because of her love for them. It was never that they werenít wanted, it was that she wanted them to have even more than she could provide at the time.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
On Daddyís day we usually spend the day going to the movies and then dinner or a barbecue with family. We just enjoy quality time together no matter what we are doing.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
We have an excellent public school system in our area. When they are younger, they will attend public school. As they approach high school we may consider one of the private schools due to all the opportunities they provide for academic enrichment.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
Adoption has always been something that we wanted to do. It started out with the adoption of our son, Evan, in 2009. He brings so much joy to our lives. Then when we were ready to add another child to our family we found out DeAnna had to have a hysterectomy. After that we figured it was just the way that God had planned it. Now we are looking into adoption again.

What faith will you raise your child?
We will raise our children as Christians. We want to help nurture and develop their relationship with God. We read from a daily inspiration book as a family, it gives us encouragement and insight on a verse of the Bible and helps us understand how it relates to our life today.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We hope to build a friendship with her. We would like to keep a line of communication open that can continue throughout our childís life. We want her to feel comfortable with her decision to have us raise her baby.

How did you meet?
Paul and I met at my work. I actually worked with his mom and I saw a picture of him on her desk. In the photo he was holding a cute baby boy. I casually mentioned that he looked like a proud daddy. That was when I found out he was the uncle. A few weeks later Paul stopped by my work and his mom introduced us. She actually told me she had something to show me in her office so I followed her in there. As soon as I walked in the door I almost ran right into him. Startled I quickly turned back around and walked out. Paul had to chase after me. After that first conversation I knew he was the one. He still gives me a hard time about running away from him.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
DeAnna: My parents were very supportive and loving. My mom always encouraged my creative side and spent time with me doing arts and crafts. My dad always tried to teach me things that would help me out in life. They cheered me on in all that I did. We talk every day and see each other a few times a week. Paul: My parents encouraged me to respect others and be independent. They taught me about faith and the importance of having goals in life.

What attracted you to each other?
DeAnna: Paul had very kind eyes and a gentle smile that initially attracted me to him. After getting to know him I fell in love with his easy going nature and how caring he was. To this day he will leave me little notes around the house just to say he loves me and misses me. Paul: Initially, I didnít understand why this pretty girl who wanted to meet me ran away. After I gave her a hard time about it I found that her quick wit kept me on my toes. I have been chasing her ever since.

Please describe your personalities:
DeAnna is nurturing. She is always comforting Evan and telling him how much she loves him. As a family we like to also use the sign language form of I love you. Every day I see her use the sign with Evan and he smiles and does it back. DeAnna is smart. She picks up on things very quickly. DeAnna is very creative. She can see something in a book or online and easily make it, whether it is a drawing, painting or something to sew. Evan will see a toy or character from a game that he likes and she will get out felt, pom poms, wiggly eyes and a glue gun and make an entire set of them. He gets so excited watching her create them. DeAnna has a quick wit that keeps me laughing every day. We love to banter back and forth. Paul is patient. When he helps Evan with a game or school work he gives him time to think it through and doesnít rush him. He is kind by always helping to encourage or convey his love. He has a goofy playful side that makes him easy to be around. He is not someone who judges others. He will spend hours when he gets home from work playing with Evan and his toys. He is strong. He stands up for what he believes in.

What are your hobbies?
DeAnna enjoys cooking, dancing, photography, soccer, restoring furniture and art. Paul enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, camping and martial arts. As a couple we enjoy board games, hiking, camping, traveling, movies, bike riding and just being together as a family.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
I will be extremely grateful and amazed at what a strong woman she is. I will try to convey that same love that she has for her child their whole life through. She will forever be dear to me.

How will a child enrich your life?
A child will enrich our lives in every possible way. They teach you how to truly give and receive love. It is a true joy to be a part of their self-discovery. Having a child allows you to focus on what really matters in life-the people we love. It will also give our son Evan the chance to have a sibling connection that he desires.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
DeAnna: I received my Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education. I was always very active and involved in sports when I was younger and wanted to learn more about living a healthy life. After I graduated college I worked for several physicians doing everything from assisting in minor surgeries to coding and billing the claim. Once I was a mother I felt a strong desire to be home more with my family. At this point I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. Paul: I joined the military out of high school because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. After serving for eight years I got a job at a Veterans Rehabilitation Center doing medical supply. I enjoy working with the other veterans and being able to help them in their recovery.

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