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Featured Family: David and Kailin
Dave and Catherine

Describe your childhood:
Kailin: I always felt special to my parents. Because of China's "One-child Policy," I have no brothers or sisters. Yet, even as an only child, I was not spoiled; rather, I was brought up with strict discipline. Christianity was always an important part of my upbringing. I attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a weekly basis. I was also involved with numerous school activities while growing up. At a very young age, I began playing the piano from kindergarten all the way through middle school. Above all, my parents emphasized the importance of education, while encouraging Christian values. David: I grew up in a very family-oriented environment. My mother brought me (along with my brother and sister) to the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a weekly basis, where we were actively involved in our church community. My father, however, was not a Christian and this often resulted in family conflicts. I quickly learned just how important it is to share the same spiritual values with your spouse. In spite of the differences, my family was closely knit. We always took vacations together especially during the summer months, when we flew out to Wisconsin to visit my maternal grandparents.

Tell us about your home?
We have a very relaxed home environment. Laughter is an extremely important part of our lives! We always try to see the humor in everything because it makes life more positive, fun, and interesting. Like many couples, we often juggle our work schedules in order to make sure that we are able to maximize our time together. (We have come to appreciate the fact that the quality of our time is just as important as the amount of time we spend together.) We enjoy doing a variety of activities together at home, including reclining in our patio swing, barbecuing food in the back yard, and sitting around our fire-pit during the evening hours.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
Our work schedules are such that we have a lot of three-day weekends. To this end, we like going to the beach, or drive up to the mountains to go on a hike. Other times, we enjoy visiting community parks (playing with the Frisbee, or throwing the football); renting "pedal boats" at a local lake, or traveling to a variety of destinations for a quick "day trip." But sometimes we just like to stay at home and relax.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We do not have any pets . . . (Although, we certainly LOVE animals!)

What do you hope to teach your children?
Since we are both Christians, we believe that our Christian values are definitely worth sharing with our children. We enjoy life immensely and we hope to share our love for life (as well as our humor). We also believe in a strong, good work ethic; we believe that anything worth having usually requires hard work, and we value the feeling that comes from doing a job properly. We also believe in firm, but flexible boundaries. But above all, we want to give our children a strong sense of vocation - a sense of purpose that comes from service to humanity and mission work.

Describe your neighborhood?
Our house is on a long street, near the end of a cul-de-sac. It is in a very safe neighborhood, which is lined with green trees, well-manicured lawns, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. We are only minutes away from an excellent charter elementary school, and a couple of community parks - which include tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, and swing sets. There are also beautiful apple orchards not far from our house, as well as a local petting zoo, less than fifteen minutes away.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
We will tell our children that they are deeply loved by their birth mother - and that their mother's love was so BIG that it "spilled over" into another family. Moreover, we will emphasize that their birth mother willingly and graciously chose a better life for her child, because she is a generous and self-less person. Most of all, we will emphasize that our son / daughter is "twice-loved" and greatly cherished.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
I think that it would be fun to take my son or daughter on a long walk, read children's books together, go to the park, visit the playground, sit on the swings and play board games at home. I would also like to teach them how to throw a Frisbee, hit a baseball, ride a bike, and play a variety of sports.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
We are hoping to provide our child with a combination of both private and public education. We believe that it would be great to provide them with Christian education during their formative years (age 0-10), so they will form strong ethics and good moral values at a young age. Then, when they get to junior high school (or even high school) we would like to place them in public school, so they learn how to function in the "real world." We believe that a child's value system should be firmly rooted, but not altogether sheltered from reality. We also believe in the importance of giving our child(ren) a four-year college education after they graduate from high school.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
From the beginning, we always wanted to have children. We were genuinely excited about the possibility of becoming parents! Unfortunately, we were faced with issues of infertility. We even tried one round of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), but to no avail. So, we decided that adoption was the best option. We both feel that a child does not have to share our DNA, in order to share our Love. And we agreed that it would be a wonderful experience to share our resources with an adopted daughter or son. In summary, adoption is the best option for us! We look forward to a fun, interesting, and rewarding experience.

What faith will you raise your child?
We are both Christians, who come from a Seventh-day Adventist faith tradition; to this end, we hope to raise our children in the same community of faith.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We would like to provide strong emotional support, warmth, and encouragement in whatever way that we can. Above all, we feel that it is most important to give the birth-mom the freedom and space for her to decide how she would like to relate to us.

How did you meet?
We met on a Christian, dating website. Even though our first date was a little awkward (since David was extremely nervous), we knew that we had a future together. We went on our first date on January 12, 2008 and got married in September of the same year! At first we were worried that our family and friends might think that we were moving forward too fast. But in our hearts, we both knew that this relationship was "meant to be." The past few years have been incredible! We are blessed.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Kailin: The Chinese culture is largely based on principles of honor, respect, and "saving face." To this end, my relationship with my parents is often stoic (i.e., void of emotion) and our conversations are largely based upon the exchange of information, rather than talking about "feelings." And even though I love my parents very much, I hope to form a more healthy, emotional attachment to my own children. I have learned to appreciate the importance of demonstrating love through my words and my actions. David: My relationship with my mother played a significant part in my life. She has always been (and continues to be) a source of personal encouragement and support. Her willingness to listen and love unconditionally, has been a tremendous positive influence in my life. My father, in contrast, often ruled the household with an "iron fist." Although my father was never physically abusive, his anger was certainly NOT something that I would like to emulate in my own family. In fact, I prefer a spirit of kindness, patience, peace, and joy, rather than the harsh, authoritarian style of discipline that I experienced as a child.

What attracted you to each other?
When we first saw each other's personality profile we were immediately attracted to the description that the other had posted. Both of us had invested a great deal of time in filling out the information. Both of us enjoyed reading the other's profile, because the description was fun, interesting, and seemed worth pursuing. Above all, we were attracted to the other's faith tradition, and commitment to Christianity.

Please describe your personalities:
Kailin: Often shy, but not too reticent. Good sense of humor. Friendly. Fun. Interesting. David: Good-natured. Easy going. Relaxed. Humorous. Loves to laugh.

What are your hobbies?
Kailin: Playing the piano, singing, watching TV, playing video games on the Wii, playing tennis, and going on walks. David: Reading books, video editing, gardening, cleaning the house (Yes, I know it's weird, but I actually enjoy it), playing tennis, going on walks.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
It is almost hard to imagine! But the first word that comes to my mind is "grateful." I would feel exceedingly grateful for this amazing gift that she has given to us! And the second word that comes to my mind is "blessed." I would feel extremely blessed to be the recipient of this new life. A baby is truly is a blessing from Above - an undeserved gift, from a woman who was willing to go through immense pain to deliver this baby, but in a self-less act of love, she has blessed our family with someone we can cherish forever.

How will a child enrich your life?
We are both excited by the joy of sharing new experiences together. We believe that parenting offers us a variety of new, unique perspectives as we learn to guide and encourage our children. Above all, we believe that imparting our Christian values to a new generation will add greater depth and meaning to our lives, as we celebrate life together as a family.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Kailin: Being a Registered Nurse gives me the opportunity to help people who are sick and suffering. This, in turn provides a great sense of personal fulfillment, as I minister to their physical needs. At times, patients can be impatient (and even rude), but I try not to lose sight of the big picture - that I am here to serve humanity. David: I have always felt a certain "calling" to become a Pastor, but for many years, I did everything that I could to avoid it. I even spent time doing social Work, followed by a career in marketing & business development. So, in many ways, this is my third career. I absolutely LOVE ministry; it is incredibly fun! It brings me a great deal of personal satisfaction working with different people, and guiding them through a variety of circumstances and life situations.

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