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Featured Family: Michael and Janet

Describe your childhood:
Janet: I had a wonderful childhood with two parents and a younger brother. My brother and I spent a lot of time riding our bikes, playing games, reading books, watching TV and being with our grandparents. Our entire family was involved in 4-H and church activities. When we got older, we spent a lot of time at high school sporting events and band concerts. When I was in high school, I also worked at the Dairy Queen and hung out with friends. Mike: I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, with my parents and my younger sister. The community was very stable with few people moving in or leaving, so most of the people I started school with, I also graduated with. Thus, I am still very close with many of my classmates. I grew up riding my bike all over town, swimming every day during the summer, and sledding on the hill next to our house every winter when it snowed. I went fishing with my dad and grandpa multiple times each week during the summer. I played whatever sport was in season; football, basketball, baseball and wrestling with my friends. I delivered papers for several years and worked on local farms for spending money.

Tell us about your home?
We live in a three bedroom ranch with a full, unfinished basement. There is a play set in the backyard with two swings, a climbing wall, slide, monkey bars and sand box. The kitchen area includes our dining room table for family meals.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
We like to visit family or catch up on projects at home.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have an 8-year-old dog named Maggie. She is half black lab and half German short-hair. She loves kids and adults. Her favorite things are going for walks, chasing squirrels and rabbits, and going for rides in the car. Maggie stays with Mike's parents when we travel. They enjoy her companionship and she loves staying with them. Mike's dad cooks eggs for Maggie for breakfast every morning when she is at their house.

What do you hope to teach your children?
We would like to teach our child about God; how to be a friend and socialize; how to share; to have good manners and communication skills; life skills (examples: cook, do laundry, clean, drive a car, change a tire, balance a checkbook); how to problem solve; values including honesty and being trustworthy; about music (singing and/or playing an instrument if he/she is interested in learning); how to play sports; and how to read and write.

Describe your neighborhood?
We live in a quiet neighborhood with lots of young families and several retired people. There is a walking trail two blocks from our house that includes an area with playground equipment and picnic tables.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
She is an amazing woman who shared an incredible gift with us.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
One of my favorite memories from childhood was going with my dad to the doughnut shop for doughnuts and chocolate milk or hot chocolate, depending upon the time of the year. I would like to share that experience with my child. I would also like to take them fishing, to museums, and to the zoo.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
Public education - we live in one of the top school districts in our state with quality education and a variety of academic and extracurricular activities available.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
It has been our desire and dream to have children and raise a family. We spent six years trying to get pregnant. Throughout our marriage, our desire to love and support a child has grown. We've felt that God is calling us to be loving parents, and that adoption is His plan for us.

What faith will you raise your child?

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We would like to have an open and honest relationship (ask us any questions to learn all that you would like to know about us). We would be very supportive, kind, and caring.

How did you meet?
We met on Match.com. Online dating wasn't something either one of us had planned to do, but we both decided to give it a try. We had a few phone conversations before agreeing to meet for dinner in a public place as our first date.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Janet: My parents and I are very close. My parents taught me to use common sense, the importance of faith and serving others, the importance of studying and getting good grades, and to work hard. We did everything together as a family including spending time at home, attending school, church and community activities together, visiting grandparents and going on vacations. Mike: I am close to my parents. I fished with my dad several times each week during the summer. They were very supportive of my activities, attending games and taking me to all of my practices. We attended church, vacationed, and visited my grandparents regularly. We currently live about 40 miles from my parents and I see them a couple times a month.

What attracted you to each other?
I (Mike) was attracted to Janet because she is very passionate about her relationship with her family, faith, and volunteering. I (Janet) was attracted to Mike because he is very responsible, a great provider, easy going (one of the most laid back people I've ever known), independent, strong and handsome.

Please describe your personalities:
Janet: Quiet, shy when in large groups of people that I don't know, reserved, calm, kind, caring, loving, sweet, detail-oriented and organized. Mike: I am a very analytical person. I am very patient, and do not get stressed out. I enjoy learning and developing new skills. I have a large number of friends and love spending time with them.

What are your hobbies?
Janet: Reading, volunteering in the community at church, missions work, playing the piano and cooking. Mike: Reading, personal finance, fishing, hunting, golf, and attending sporting events.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
Thank you for this selfless decision that you made and for sharing this precious gift with us. I can't begin to express how grateful I am.

How will a child enrich your life?
A child will teach us so much - celebrating the miracle of life, taking more time to appreciate and enjoy every moment and experience in life, how to give more, unconditional love and more gratitude.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Janet: I enjoy writing and helping others and have a passion for nonprofit organizations. After graduating from college, I was applying for jobs and was hired for a position with a volunteer association. I loved working with volunteers, being responsible for a variety of responsibilities and projects, and having opportunities to continually learn and grow. Although the work is challenging, it is fun and enjoyable. I see it as a career and a calling to serve. Mike: My strong analytical skills made a choice in accounting very easy. I also enjoy personal finance issues, and reading and deciphering new tax pronouncements. I love the interaction I have with my clients, and assisting them in managing their business and personal financial situations. I love what I do, and in a way, my hobby (personal finance) has also become my vocation. I consider myself very lucky to have a career that I love, and fit my skills very well.

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