Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Loving Parents,

It's very difficult to know how to write a letter like this.  To be honest, we want to say everything perfectly, we want to offer you comfort, we want you to like us.  At the same time, we realize that all these goals can not be met in a single letter.  We do not know you or what you are going through, and we do not know if you will ever get a chance to like us.  However, we do know that you are loved, and that a lot of couples just like us are praying for you.

If you've come this far in the letter and we still have your attention, we feel honored.  Thank you for taking the time to get to know us.

Our thoughts on adoption:

Before we adopted our son, Elijah, the only thing we really knew about adoption was that we wanted to adopt a child.  This time around, our perspective is a little bit different.  He has brought so much joy into our lives!  We are currently in an open adoption relationship with Elijah's birth family.  We want him to understand how much he is loved.  We maintain our openness through phone calls, pictures, a blog with frequent updates, and personal visits.  We love our son's birthmother and feel like she has become an important part of our family.  We also maintain a strong relationship with his birthfather and grandparents.  We recognize that not all birth families desire this level of openness, and that is okay.  However, we want all of our children to know their own story; the story of how they came to be a part of our family.

What Karen has to say about Matthew:

Before I met Matthew, I made a list of all the qualities I was looking for in a husband.  Matthew is my list.  After 8+ years of marriage I still feel like the luckiest woman in the world.  When he's not around, I miss him.  When I'm having a bad day, I anxiously await his arrival because I know his hug will make me feel better.  He's not only an amazing husband, but he's a wonderful father and an all-around great guy. Matthew is a natural leader, he strives to be an example to everyone he encounters.  For this, I am grateful, because our son Elijah wants to do everything just like his daddy.  Matthew has a knack for knowing when someone is in need.  He spends a lot of his free time in the service of others.  I'm grateful for the example that he is to me and to our son.   

What Matthew has to say about Karen:

The first thing I noticed about Karen was her constant smile.  She is genuinely one of the happiest people I know, and that makes people want to be around her.  She makes me want to be my best self.  Before we were married, she worked closely with many autistic children, which gave her an added dose of patience.  (Something I'm very thankful for.)  Military life has kind of pushed Karen outside of her comfort zone and given her opportunities to grow, and she has done just that.  Karen has developed into an amazing mother.  She spends most of her time with our son, Elijah, who soaks it all up.  It is so fun to watch him learn from her, and to watch her love every minute of their time together.  I love my wife!

One last note:
We thank you for reading our letter, and we hope that you have felt God's love for you through this difficult process.  We pray that He will guide you and comfort you as you make the decisions you're currently faced with.  We know that adoption is all about love, and pray that you will feel that love.

With every best wish,
Matthew, Karen, and Elijah