We are excited to welcome a new child into our family. We are looking for a child younger than our son (who is almost 6). We may be open to a sibling set (no more than 2) if it is the right fit.
We are willing to accept minor or medically correctable conditions such as PTSD, attachment, learning, or developmental delays, but no serious permanent disability.
We are open to a child of any gender or ethnicity. We have many friends of different races and ethnicities and our neighborhood has some diversity (we have several Latino, Asian and African American families in the area). We also enjoy being exposed to different cultures and traditions through festivals (such as the Asian Festival) and traveling to new places. Our son loves trying foods from different countries such as sushi, soup dumplings and pho, and enjoys his mixed martial arts classes. We hope to travel to counties outside of the United States with him soon (Dan and Tamara have both traveled extensively).
Should we adopt a child of a different race from us, we would invest time and energy making sure we learned as much about their culture as possible in order to welcome and embrace their diversity. This would include reading literature on how to care for children of different races, attending trainings and talking to parents in similar situations.
We believe connection with family is very important, and try to spend a good amount of time with ours. Consequently, depending on the situation, we would be open to our adopted child having contact with their biological family. The range of contact could be anything from writing letters and phone calls to visits. Obviously the contact would only be permissible if it was not harmful physically or psychologically to the child.
Our names are Tamara (age 38) and Patrick Dan Hughes (age 41). We have one child, Patrick Mason Hughes, and he is 5 years old. We are all of Caucasian ethnicity. Both Dan and Tamara were born and raised in Oregon (Cottage Grove and Springfield, respectively). We plan on living in Oregon permanently, as most of our family is local and we love the environment and people here.
We are a busy and active family with two businesses (a brewery and part-time massage therapy business). Some of our favorite things to do are traveling, trying new foods, doing crafts, biking, hiking, swimming, martial arts, reading books, playing legos, hanging out with friends and family (we have a large extended family in Oregon) camping in our travel trailer, and going for walks with our dog Molly. We also enjoy gardening veggies and flowers, going to local farms, attending local fairs and events, and celebrating family birthdays, along with many other activities. We love traveling and make an annual family trip to San Diego, where we explore museums and eat delicious food (and maybe even go to Legoland!).
A typical week finds us going to swimming and martial arts classes, listening to music (we enjoy a wide variety), spending time with the Grammas and cousins, going out to eat, going for a hike or bike ride, family movie nights, and having family dinner at home. Dan works from about 5am until 4pm 5 days a week and Tamara works 2-3 days a week in the evenings. Dan has less flexibility than Tamara, but his hours are generally decreasing as the business grows.
Tamara plans on doing the majority of the childcare, aside from time with the grandparents (usually Mason spends a day or two at one of their houses per week). If needed, Tamara can flex her hours or suspend her work to make the transition of adoption easier. As Tamara and Dan share childcare duties, Mason has not had to be in regular daycare since birth.
We have lived in our suburban single family home for over 12 years. Overall our neighborhood has been great for Mason to grow up in. It feels safe and friendly, has one of the best parks in Eugene within walking distance, and there are many wonderful kids close by for Mason to play with. Generally everyone takes good care of their homes and are respectful.
We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a small backyard, and lots of great sidewalk space for riding bikes and scooters.We have one large dog, Molly. Generally we like to keep our home clean, neat and organized, although this is not always possible with our busy lives.
As we are in West Eugene, we do not have a lot of activities close by, but we regularly drive into town (about 15-20 minutes) for classes, activities and therapy appointments. Mason went to preschool at Bethesda, which is 5 minutes away. Several good public schools are within walking or biking distance from our house. Mason will be attending a private charter school about 10 minutes away from our house. Our new child would likely attend one of these schools, depending on their needs and preferences.
As parents we have had a challenging journey. We spent five years going to multiple specialists and doing many tests trying to find a diagnosis for Mason. Our current challenges are finding a support network and necessary care for a child with a rare genetic metabolic disorder (he has Glycogen Storage Disease type 9, which causes growth and motor delays).
We have had experience working with CDRC, EC cares and multiple specialists in the area, so we have connections and experience with alternative care if we adopt a child with varying special needs. I was a nanny to a little girl with a heart condition for about 2 years, so I have had some experience in working with children with heart disorders. One of my nieces also has Down's Syndrome, so we have had some exposure to working with more severe disabilities.
We have 14 nieces and nephews combined between our two families, ranging in age from 2 to 18 years. Most of them are close by, so we have much experience in interacting with a wide variery of different personalites and ages. Most days we have at least one child visiting Mason (he is a social butterfly), whether a cousin or neighbor child or play date with a school friend. Children seem very comfortable and are welcome in our house.
As far as trainings, we have taken the DHS orientation, talked to other adoptive parents, read books (The Connected Child, etc) and plan on taking additional seminars and trainings in the future.
We have stayed committed to adoption through the state in spite of having very busy lives and Mason's current health challenges. We have wanted to adopt since before we were married. We believe in helping our community, and the most vulnerable in our community are children. We help each other keep focused when we start getting discouraged about how long the process takes (and will take). We also feel very strongly that God is leading us to adoption, and are committed to continue as long as we believe He is wanting us to pursue this option.
We fully expect the adoption journey to take a while, and even when the child is placed with us we expect it to be very challenging as we adjust to our new family dynamic. We plan on relying on family and friends and our network of professionals (therapists and doctors), as well as exploring any avenues necessary (training, etc) to make the transition easier for our new child and our family.