The Stedford-Spagnoli Family Profile
We are looking to adopt a single boy between the ages of 3 and 7. We have a son who is currently 6 and feel a child close to his age would be the best match. We prefer a child who is white but will consider other races. We are open to adopting a child with minor/moderate or medically correctable conditions such as PTSD, attachment, learning, or developmental delays, but no serious permanent disability.
If we adopt a child who is a different race from us, we would make it a priority to learn about his birth culture and integrate his cultural practices into our family traditions. We are open to a relationship with the birth family, as long as it is beneficial to the child.
Hi there, we are Samantha (39), Gino (45), and Leo (6). Our home is 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, PA. We love reading, riding bikes, hiking, coloring, playing games, playing with toys (especially LEGOS), and watching movies together. We visit museums, the zoo, local farms, and participate in other regional activities. Leo says that if he gets a brother, he will read to him every day and teach him how to read if he needs help with that.
Samantha and Gino work regular hours but our schedules are flexible. Leo is in first grade. We live close to our families and our parents help with childcare. When we bring a new child into our home, Samantha will be able to take 6 weeks of paid maternity leave to help with the adjustment. After that, we can flex our hours as needed to best accommodate our new child.
Home and Community
We live in a safe, friendly neighborhood with lots of families with young children. We are good friends with our neighbors and our kids often play together. We have a single-family home with a spare bedroom for our new kid and a playroom downstairs with lots of fun, safe toys. We do not have any pets. Our school district has one of the best elementary schools in western Pennsylvania.
We live close to parks and trails and often go hiking or biking on nice days. We often spend time in the city of Pittsburgh, which has many options for families, including parks, museums, outdoor recreation, sports, and lots of events and activities for children.
We are parents of a 6-year-old son. He is smart, sensitive, and thoughtful. We work to teach him healthy ways to express his emotions.
We never use corporal punishment. We consistently teach Leo why we have rules in place and what behavior we expect from him. We are constantly evaluating and adjusting our parenting style based on our experience of what seems to be working and what is not.
We are fortunate to have an amazing support system with many family members and friends who are excited for us to be on this journey. We have family close by (within 20-30 minutes) who spend a lot of time with Leo, including our parents, siblings, and cousins. We are very close with many of our neighbors who also have small children and who have been incredibly supportive. And, of course, our adoption agency (TRAC) has a strong support network of staff, support groups, training, and materials and resources to help us along the way.
Motivation to Adopt
We realize there are a lot of children in need of a loving home and have chosen to grow our family by adopting from the foster care system. Our family wants to open our home and our hearts to make a child feel welcome, accepted, and loved and provide any support the child needs to help cope with the transition and past trauma.
We expect that our life will change significantly when we adopt a child. We expect to adjust our daily routines and traditions to accommodate and make the new child feel welcome. If the child needs extra support, then we will adjust our schedules to help take care of those needs.
We expect the child will experience feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, helplessness, and sadness. As much as possible, we will keep habits and routines that make the child feel comfortable, even if they are different than our own family traditions. We realize that unexpected things will occur and we might not be prepared for every situation that arises, but we purposefully chose an adoption agency with a strong support system and network that we can turn to when we need help.