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Featured Family: Linda

Describe your childhood:
I had a happy childhood. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and was very close with my family. Some of my fondest memories are of holidays at my grandparents where my brother, cousins and I would have a blast playing together all day. My mother had a daycare in our house so there were lots of kids around. She kept us all busy with crafts, teaching us different things and local field trips - Hershey's Chocolate World was one of our favorites of course. I had a great group of friends too and in the summers we spent most of our days at the community pool, where my brother and I also worked when we were old enough.

Tell us about your home?
I own a two-story, four-bedroom home that is 2100 square feet. It is very comfortable and open concept with lots of light and play areas. My backyard is fenced-in and shaded by trees - which makes the perfect place for a play set. The door to my backyard opens up directly from my main living area so it is really convenient to go in and out, and keep an eye on my child as he or she gets older and more independent and can play outside with friends.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
One of the things I love about the mid-sized city where I live is there is always so much to do, and a lot of it is outside. I spend a lot of time with my family on the weekends and we are always on the go. Every weekend there are festivals and events at the parks and wildflower center. There's a local zoo, amusement parks, a large lake not far away and an annual rodeo. We also like to hike, go on day trips, go to the movies and to sporting events, including my niece and nephew's events. A 3-day weekend usually just means we get to fit more activities in, although I also like to go out of town sometimes on long weekends to visit my cousins and their children.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
No pets, but I often take care of my brother's dog, Roscoe. He's a Rhodesian Ridgeback and he loves kids. Roscoe loves to steal shoes and hide them, play tug-of-war with his toys and ride in the car. We often take him for walks around the lake and sometimes spoil him by visiting the dog park. Roscoe also likes to watch TV - I'm not kidding! His favorite is Scooby Doo, which he watches with my nephew.

What do you hope to teach your children?
I hope to teach my child to be a good person, honest and caring. To believe in themselves and go after his or her dreams. I have always loved learning, which has led me to multiple graduate degrees and a rewarding career. I want to make learning fun for my child and help her or him do well in school, but I also want to teach my child other things about life and the world so she or he can make the best decisions for themselves as they get older and find their own definition of success.

Describe your neighborhood?
I live in a safe residential neighborhood with friendly neighbors and a lot of kids. My development has regular family activities like a Fourth of July parade and celebration, movie nights and holiday events. My neighborhood also has good schools.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
I will tell my child that their birthmother was an amazing person who wanted the best for her child. If my child's birthmother has stories or other things that she would like me to share with my child as he or she grows up, I would welcome the opportunity to give my child the gift of knowing more about his or her biological family. I will also tell my child that I will never forget and will always be grateful for the incredible gift their birthmother gave me.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
I believe education is very important and will spend time teaching and helping my child learn. But I know every child is unique, learns at his or her own pace and has their own likes and dislikes with school subjects. I will likely start my child in a private nursery school and then switch to a public grade school so he or she has all the opportunities for sports and extracurricular activities. Ultimately, I will make schooling decisions based on my child's needs. Once my child is old enough, I would also consider what they want. For instance, if my child does not like sports, but is gifted in a creative art, I would seek out a school where he or she could further their interests in the arts.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
When I decided the time was right to have a child, I first tried IVF using a donor but it was unsuccessful. After determining that I would not be able to have a biological child, I spent more time looking into adoption. There are two adopted children in my extended family and they are amazing and just every bit a part of the family as the biological children. I believe in a way that I was meant to adopt a child and that is why I was unable to conceive. I have a lot of love to give and a family that would more than welcome a child into our family as though she or he was born into it.

What faith will you raise your child?
I will raise my child as a Christian.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
I hope to build a warm relationship with the birthmom. I would like to be as involved as she wants me to be in the pregnancy and birth, but also respect what a difficult decision this is for her and understand if she needs more privacy. I would like to know what her hopes and dreams are for her child and what her interests are so I can share them with my child as he or she grows up.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
I had a great relationship with my parents growing up and still do. They live 10 miles from me and are very supportive. We spend a lot of time together on the weekends and I can always count on them when I need them. They are good role models for me as I embark on being a parent myself and I hope to have as close of a relationship with my child as I have with my parents.

Please describe your personalities:
I am an outgoing, kind and caring person. I enjoy getting to know people and have a lot of friends as a result. I have always been ambitious when it comes to education and my career and as a result have become a strong and independent woman. I am very family-oriented and love laughing and having fun with my family - and being there for them whenever they need me.

What are your hobbies?
I played guitar growing up and recently took it up again when my niece wanted to learn. It has been a blast teaching her and watching how fast she picks it up. I enjoy writing screenplays and hope to sell one some day. I really enjoy just about anything creative, including crafts which I often do with my niece and nephew. My latest project with my niece is we're making a collection of purses for young girls which she wants to sell and donate the proceeds to a charity. I love watching all kinds of sports, especially college football, basketball and the Olympics. My niece is a really good volleyball player for her age so I often go to her games, as well as to my nephew's various sporting events.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
That she has given me an incredible gift and I will always be grateful to her for making the choice of adoption and for caring for our child during the pregnancy. I will hope that she has peace with her decision, is happy and has a wonderful life.

How will a child enrich your life?
I have wanted to be a mom for a long time and have had this feeling that something has been missing in my life. My mother has been my rock throughout my life - any time I have a bad day or on the flip side have something exciting to share - I call my mom. I love the relationship we have and want to have a relationship like that with my child. My niece and nephew have shown me the incredible joy a child can bring and while I spend a lot of time with them, I would like a child of my own. They are also very excited to have a cousin close by and I believe this child will not only enrich my life, but the lives of my entire family.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
I originally wanted to practice law and got my law degree. I opened my own law office, but quickly realized I enjoyed the business aspects of my practice more than the legal aspects. I went back to business school and there fell in love with marketing. It is the perfect balance of business and creativity that I enjoy. I was lucky in that I found a marketing job in the legal industry so I am able to leverage both of my degrees.

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