We are interested in adopting a girl or sibling group of 2 girls, of any ethnic background, between the ages of 0 and 14 (+/-). We are willing to accept minor or medically correctable conditions, but with no serious permanent disability (We are open to discussion on most matters).
We are a large loving family of 8. We came together, 12 years ago and formed a modern-day version of the Brady Bunch. As our oldest children have left the nest, we have more room in our home and our hearts to continue to grow our family. Our 3 youngest children can't wait to be the older siblings.
Karla (40) works for the city as a supervisor with typical office hours. Dana (47) services MRIs at hospitals and clinics throughout Florida and some parts of Georgia.
Dana enjoys cooking and grilling (and eating), watching TV, bike riding, swimming, football, vacationing, scuba diving, motorcycles, and all things cars. He LOVES ice cream. His music tastes vary from Country to Christian Hip Hop, and Rap. He is a sucker for a romantic comedy or any movie that has awesome cars.
Karla enjoys reading (a LOT), like so much so that she likes watching TV with the subtitles on. She also likes hanging with the kids, vacationing, dancing, scuba diving and lifting weights or doing Zumba at the gym. Her favorite cuisines are Mexican, Italian, or Cuban. She loves pizza, cheeseburgers, chocolate, and Coca Cola. She enjoys most movies except for horror or foreign films. Pretty funny right since that would be an opportunity to read subtitles! She definitely prefers the MCU to DC comics, but any superhero movie is a must-watch.
Karla cooks but only out of necessity. Dana on the other hand loves cooking and does so whenever he is home. Together they are a great team, balancing out each other's weaknesses.
We are Christians and attend church weekly on Sundays as a family and sometimes once a week in the evenings. We plan on raising our adopted child(ren) in the Christian faith.
Dana and I volunteer as Youth Leaders at our church for the past 9 years working with middle, high school, and college students. We serve in youth group weekly and our monthly teen gatherings and quarterly fun activities and supervise teen hangout on Sundays.
As a family, we regularly attend church and the kids enjoy participating in youth events and activities.
We enjoy watching TV and going to the movies, getting lost in a book, playing board or video games, going swimming, taking walks or the occasional bike ride, movie-nights on the patio or a fire with s'mores.
We have fun whether we are enjoying a big home-cooked meal or BBQing on the patio or dining out or having pizza around the coffee table. Our conversations are spontaneous, lively and often silly.
We also volunteer occasionally feeding the homeless as a family and participate if the church is serving the community in some capacity.
Some of our favorite vacations are going on cruises, visiting New York City and staycations at Disney World, the beach or camping.
With such a big group with lots of personalities, the kids have enjoyed a variety of activities and we support each other's interests as a family by attending: choir performances, orchestra, and band concerts, dance recitals, football, volleyball and baseball games, cheer competitions, swim, wrestling, and weightlifting meets, golf matches, drama performances, and scouting activities.
Amanda, Tyler and Dana Marie are our adult children that do not live at home.
Remaining at home are: Isabelle a recent high school grad currently attending college full time and working part-time, Emma a virtual homeschool senior and Joshua is a sophomore in high school who is dual-enrolled at the community college and will graduate high school with his AA.
Home and Community
We reside in Central Florida, in a single-family home with a pool and small fenced yard. We are in a small but growing town that has manicured subdivisions as well as rural farms/ranches.
Our home is in a quiet subdivision. We live in a moderately sized house with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Currently, the sleeping arrangements are such that our adopted child would have their own bedroom and have a bathroom to themselves (in the case of adopting siblings, they would share the bedroom).
Our local schools are all A-rated. The high school and elementary schools were recently renovated, and the middle school renovations are underway. We are zoned for bus transportation to all schools. The district also offers free charter schools that offer a wide variety of educational methods and specialize in everything from Fine Arts to STEM and include transportation as well. There are also several private schools that could possibly be an option and of course virtual home school.
We feel that we are in a perfect location 45 minutes to Disney or the beach, and just a short drive to the airport or Port Canaveral if we want to travel. Being in the middle of the state allows us to be a moderate drive from all 4 corners of the state. We can be immersed in great Hispanic cuisine in Miami, or see historical sites in St. Augustine, or catch a football game in Tampa, watch a NASCAR race in Daytona, or swim in hot springs in Ocala. Orlando offers fine arts, museums, and beautiful natural parks and of course theme parks. Our town holds various festivals and activities like movies at the park and several parades each year.
We have parented 6 children who are currently between the ages of 15-25. 4 of them are adults and all are successful, whether they are in college or trade school or in the workforce or beginning their own family.
In addition, we are Godparents to 3 kids between the ages of 1 and 6. That relationship is a lot of fun because we don't parent full time. We love them like they are our own. If ever necessary, in an emergency we would be committed to taking them in permanently. That's part of the commitment we made, and we don't take it lightly. We just hope that there would never be a need for it.
As a blended family, we have experienced similar challenges that we will have when assimilating a new child from foster care. Initially, when we came together our kids were 3-13 with the kids all spaced 2 years apart. We came in as strangers, unsure of each other and the situation. There were new parenting styles, routines, a new home, neighborhood, and schools. Of course, we experienced a honeymoon phase but once it was over we had real work to do. Truthfully, we were unprepared with how divorce brings its own trauma for our kids and how they each processed it differently.
Together we had to make our children comfortable through love and support. Slowly we adapted and we bonded. Relationships are not easy nor are they forged overnight, especially with so many people in the mix. Today we couldn't imagine life without each other. The experience taught us a lot and we hope to use what we learned and continue to grow.
In addition, we navigated time sharing with their bio parents and supported their relationships with their extended bio families. Our belief is that the more people that love our kids the richer that their lives are. We will tie what we learned to our relationship with our adopted children's bio families.
We realize our adopted child may come with more traumatic experiences and challenges. Dana is familiar with a wide spectrum of different children with varying experiences, behaviors, impairments, and disabilities from his years living with foster kids.
Our day to day family is our church family; we and our children have many strong connections there.
In addition, our church has a chapter of Fostering Our Future and we have a support system in place through that organization.
Our closest friends are like our siblings, my kids refer to them as Aunt and Uncle. In turn, their children are our Godchildren. Their family on both sides has taken our family in and through it, we have surrogate grandparents, cousins, and siblings.
Our extended families are not in the immediate area. We communicate regularly and see most of them at least a couple of times a year. They all support our efforts to adopt.
Motivation to Adopt
We knew that we wanted to grow our family when the time was right but knew we would do it through adoption for several reasons but one of them being that it is a legacy passed down from Dana's parents who fostered from before he was born up to his late teens when his mom adopted his youngest sister.
Beyond that, we feel called to love more children. We can care and provide a great life to someone that needs us.
We believe that God has a plan for everyone. We feel that His plan for us intersects with His plan for a child somewhere. We know that it may be a hard road, but we will not give up on them. We will love and care for them for the rest of their lives.
We love the big diverse family and the chaos and rushing around that comes with having multiple children. Ultimately that' s what makes family so awesome, sharing the day to day stuff, the fun, the struggles, the accomplishments.