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Featured Family: Kevin and Laura

Describe your childhood:
Laura: I grew up in a two parent home in the suburbs with my younger sister. I was very lucky to have two parents who loved me very much and who always wanted the best for me. I participated in Girl Scouts, softball, and dance. I joined the band early, starting to play the flute in 5th grade. Above all, I remember always being supported by my family. Holidays were always a special time for us. My mom, sister, and I would spend a whole weekend baking cookies for our neighbors. We would often spend the holidays with our extended family. During that time we would laugh and just have fun together. Kevin: I grew up as the middle child in a family of five. My parents, my sisters and I got to live around the world due to Dad's military service. I was born in Florida, and lived in the Philippines, Germany, Iceland, England, and Washington, D.C. We were a very close family; we would explore the new places we moved to, have adventures in our own backyard, and always sat down to dinner together. We stayed in touch with our extended family when we lived overseas, and saw a lot of them when we were back home in the U.S. Along the way, I found that I loved participating in Boy Scouts, and playing little league baseball and soccer.

Tell us about your home?
Our home is warm and welcoming. We own a townhouse in the suburbs. We have 3 bedrooms and a basement that we can't wait to fill with toys for a child. The neighborhood playground is just steps from our front door.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
We love to explore the area around us. We may go on a short trip to somewhere nearby or we may stay in town. If we stay in town we would spend some time at home taking care of the house, but then we would get out. We may go downtown to a museum or see a game (we're big Nationals fans). We may go to a friend's house to play some board games and hang out with their family. We would definitely stop by and see our family who live in the area.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have two cats. Ripkin and Jackobi are litter mates and have been with Laura all 12 years of their lives. Ripkin and Jackobi are like all cats, they love to lay around, eat, and sometimes play. If you catch Jackobi at the right time he will play fetch with you. Normally the cats are very snuggly. As we introduce a baby to the cats we will take it slow so that they can get used to each other.

What do you hope to teach your children?
We want to teach our children so many things. Learning is at the heart of who we are, so a love of education and learning is one thing that we would like to teach our children. The most important thing we want to teach our children is that every person is important and valuable. We want our children to know that the world is an exciting and diverse place that holds so many amazing things for them. They need to take care of the world and the people around them.

Describe your neighborhood?
Laura grew up here and loves this area. As a military child, Kevin moved a lot, but when he was in the US, he lived in this area as wel so we both call it home. We live in a townhome community. It is very diverse with lots of children of all ages from newborn to teenagers. The neighborhood is a safe one with a playground around the corner from our house. It is a great neighborhood for kids.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
We will tell our child that their birthmother loved him/her. Our hope is that we know enough about our child's birthmother that we can at least share her story.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
We will have a day of activities that lets our child explore the world around them and develop their interests. We'll start with a hearty breakfast together, then head downtown. We'll spend some time touring the museums! Later, we'll play outside and have a picnic lunch. The afternoon will be paddle boats if it's warm, and ice skating if it's cold. Then we'll pick up some flowers, and head home to give them to mom.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
This is still up for discussion. Kevin went to private school and Laura went to public school. Laura taught at a private school and is a counselor at a public school. We recognize that the type of school we choose will depend on where we are living. We will look at the school district in which we are living and then determine if that school system is the best fit for our child's needs. If it is, we will probably choose public school, but if it isn't then we will look at the private schools.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
Early in our relationship we both talked about the fact that adoption was something that we were interested in doing. We both love children and want a big family. We thought we would start a family with biological children and then adopt, but God had other plans. After two years of trying to start a family and lots of prayer, we decided that we were being called to start our family through adoption.

What faith will you raise your child?
We were both raised Roman Catholic. We have a strong faith and we practice it regularly. While we believe that true faith is more than just a religion, we continue to practice our faith in the Catholic Church. Our children will be raised in the Catholic Church. More importantly though, our children will be raised to respect all life and everyone they encounter, they will be raised to know that there is a God and that God loves them.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We would like to know why our birthmother is choosing adoption for her child. If we are able to build a relationship with her we would like it to be one of mutual respect and understanding. We would like to know her story and for her to know ours.

How did you meet?
We met through friends. For years we each heard about "My friend Laura," or "My friend Kevin," but we didn't meet. Finally 4 years ago, our friends made it happen. We were at a restaurant for a birthday party and Laura got up to use the bathroom and when she got back to the table, her friends and moved her things so that she and Kevin were sitting across from each other. After a couple months as Facebook friends we decided to start dating and not long after we were engaged.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Laura: I had a great relationship with my parents. I grew up in a typical suburban home. My mom and dad were always there for me. I knew that I could go to them with anything and they would help me if they could. My dad and I always talked about sports. He taught me about football and baseball and even though he passed away almost 4 years ago, I still think about calling him when something happens that I want to talk about. My mom and I are still close. We talk almost once a day. We live near each other so we get to see each other frequently. She will be an important part of our children's lives. Kevin: My parents were amazing. They were filled with love for one another, and for my sisters and me. They provided a nurturing and loving home, and let us explore our interests. I could always come to them with questions and know that I could get an honest answer. As an adult, I've continued to have a great relationship with them. I call them several times a week to see how they are doing, and to continue to ask them questions about things I don't understand!

What attracted you to each other?
I (Laura) was attracted to Kevin's intellect and the way he cared about everyone around him. I was also attracted to his quiet and quirky humor. He could just make a side comment that would make me laugh. Really, I think I recognized early on that our common interests and beliefs made us a perfect match. I (Kevin) was attracted to how much joy Laura brought to to everyone around her. It was clear that she cared about so many people: her family, her students, and strangers on the street. We had a number of common interests, but it was her personality more than anything that attracted me.

Please describe your personalities:
Laura: I am quiet and reserved at first, but once you get to know me you'll find that I'm not too quiet. I have a quirky sense of humor and will make random funny comments, but I can't tell a joke to save my life. I care deeply for the world around me. I am a caretaker and will make sure the people around me are always okay. Kevin: I am relentlessly positive. I have a good view on life, and try to make others feel good too. I enjoy joking around when the situation allows it, and am serious when focusing on school or work. In a conversation, I tend to listen far more than I talk.

What are your hobbies?
Laura: I love to read and craft. I try all different types of crafts from quilting to knitting to making cards. I also love to cook. I enjoy trying out new recipes and will often spend a long time happily puttering in my kitchen. Both Kevin and I love getting out to explore, so you may find us at a historical site or a museum depending on the day. Kevin: I have an eclectic set of hobbies that I enjoy but am not very good at. I am a poor distance runner, but love getting out and pounding the pavement. I have just gotten into astronomy after looking at the rings of Saturn with my $20 drug store telescope. I enjoy traveling, and getting to discover new cultures and food. When we come home from a trip, I like to try cooking something new that we discovered while we were on the road.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
My first thought is one of gratitude. I admire her strength to place her baby for adoption for whatever reason. I also will always pray that she is safe and healthy. I do not know how much interaction we are open to after the adoption. I know that we are okay with letters and pictures, but I'm not sure that we are open to meeting. That being said, I will always respect her and her choice and love her for the gift she has given us.

How will a child enrich your life?
This is a tough question. We believe that we have a great life, but the truth is we want a family. We want the chance to raise and love a child. Sharing experiences with a child, helping that child to grow and explore will definitely enrich our lives. Experiencing the love of a child and having the opportunity to love a child and teach that child to love the world is something that we want.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Laura: In high school I thought the only thing I wanted to do was make a difference and I decided the best way I could make that difference was through teaching. I pursued teaching through college, but after I graduated I decided I wanted to be a full-time Faith Community volunteer for a homeless shelter for people under 21. I spent a year as a full time volunteer and then another year as paid staff. Working there I realized that there were more ways to help than just in the classroom. Eventually, I combined my experience there with my experience in education and became a School Counselor. Kevin: I grew up in an Air Force family, and wasn't sure that it was for me. I decided to do ROTC while I was in college to pay for school, and to use the four-year service commitment to see if the Air Force life was for me. I found that I really enjoyed it, especially the opportunities to travel and learn. It's been 17 years so far, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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