We would love to add a child (or sibling set), between the ages of 5-12, to our family.
A child who loves outdoor activities, likes to play or watch sports, likes arts and crafts, and who would enjoy being part of a large extended family! We are open to children who have ongoing medical problems that are not terminal. We are open to intellectual potential from slow to above average, but not a developmental diagnosis that makes them intellectually disabled. We do not have a preference as to gender, race or ethnicity, and are open to a child that identifies as LGBTQIA+. We have youth in our lives with diverse identities, and we value and respect them as individuals. We believe in the importance of past connections and will be happy to maintain any healthy relationships our child/ren have.
Our weekdays are pretty routine - Brian rises early, I sleep in a bit later. After work we do chores and enjoy family time. We watch tv, play a game, or talk about our day each sharing our highs and lows of the day.
Brian spends his evenings reading, watching sporting events, or doing yardwork. I paint, scrapbook, and swim a couple evenings a week.
We work full-time, Monday-Friday. Brian manages Capers Market at the Portland Airport and I teach 4th grade at our local school. With my teaching schedule, I am off during the summer and other school breaks. Brian is also attending school to become a teacher. We are excited about having future summers available to spend time as a family!
We love to camp, see new places, play games, watch football, and organize weekend getaways. We enjoy the water and spend summer weekends swimming or floating on a river! We enjoy attending sporting events and spending time with family and friends.
We entertain and invite friends and family over for barbeques, a painting party, or a game night. We host our family celebrations: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day, and our annual Super Bowl party! We have a large extended family with children of various ages that gather at our home to celebrate these events. We also host a cookie decorating and gingerbread house decorating contest during the month of December for our friends.
Our home is situated in a quiet neighborhood of newer homes all spaced close together. There are neighborhood children scattered throughout, many of whom play together and ride bikes along the sidewalks. We'd like our children to attend Lewis & Clark Elementary School, where I work, so I can be close by if needed. In 6th grade, they would move to St. Helens Middle School and then to St. Helens High School.
Our community has many children's activities: sports (soccer, football, baseball, basketball, swimming), 4H and horseback riding activities, and various scouting type opportunities. There are classes and clubs offered through our local community center; we would help our child/ren explore their interests and find activities that suit them.
Brian has three step-children from a previous marriage (now all adults) and has remained active in their lives. He has coached youth football and volunteers at my school whenever he can.
Brian is the favorite "uncle" to our numerous nieces and nephews and young cousins. They can count on him to provide great advice, help with tasks, or provide an abundance of fun! I have been an educator for over 25 years, worked as a math and reading tutor, led summer programs, worked as an educational assistant, and have taught preschool, kindergarten, 4th, and 5th grade.
I have been very active in the lives of my 5 nieces and nephews and 6 great-nieces and nephews. I plan fun outings, camping trips, crafting days, and tutoring services for many of them.
We have completed the following trainings: TBRI - Hope for the Journey conference; Columbia County Child Welfare Caregiver Training: A Trauma Informed Guide (Foundations Training). We've watched "Chaos to Healing: Therapeutic Parenting 101." We have read "The Explosive Child" and "The Connected Child" and have started a reference library with additional resources. Additionally, I have been trained in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and PBIS strategies (through work) and have recently participated in a study of the book "Connection Over Compliance." I recently updated my CPR, AED, and first-aid training. We plan to attend the ThinkKids Tier 1 the next time it is offered through DHS. We are open to continuing with trainings and reading books to strengthen our parenting skills.
We have an extensive support system! Family, friends, and work colleagues are all excited for our growing family - the outpouring of support has been tremendous! We have a built in grandma, as Brian's mom lives with us and my mom lives nine miles away. Both grandmas are excited and have offered support as needed. The rest of my extended family lives within an hour's drive away and we see them on a regular basis. Brian's extended family is farther away, but we still see them a couple of times a year.
We have a great network of friends, many who are educators, who have spent years helping the children in their classrooms. Two of our closest friends have adopted from the foster care system, are current foster parents, and are less than a five-minute walk away! They offered us respite care opportunities if we need it. We have another friend, a retired educator, who has offered to be on standby if help is needed! Our lives are truly enriched through our amazing group of friends! We celebrate events together, play, camp, and vacation together. Their children, of various ages, join in the fun with us.
I have been teaching in the same school for 15 years and have formed relationships with teachers, support staff, and the families of past students. I know several families who have adopted from foster care, or are current foster parents - it was a former colleague that told me about the services offered by A Family for Every Child! These amazing colleagues have already provided us with a wealth of information and advice and have pledged to continue to give support in any way possible.
We have always known we wanted to have a family, but fertility issues prevented us from having biological children. Rather than pursuing treatments, we decided to look pursue adoption. I had a student the last two years that was going through the adoption process through the foster care system. These children weighed heavily on our hearts and we began to wonder if this was the route for us. While we would be offering a child (or children) a safe, loving, home, we recognize that is as valuable for us as it is for them. We have waited a long time and we are ready to move forward.
We want to be parents! We want to take a child camping, support them in soccer or whatever else they might be interested in, and share our love of football with them! We want to go to school events, attend parent/teacher conferences as the parent, help with homework, and teach them how to cook. We want to navigate cranky kids, clothes all over the bedroom floor, and pouting to get what they want. We want to stuff Easter baskets and go Christmas shopping and watch their faces light up as we celebrate. We want to teach them how to drive, help them explore college or career options, and help them navigate their entry into adulthood. We want to be a part of everything!
We have been watching on the sidelines for years. We want to give our love and experience to what may be the most difficult and yet the most rewarding experience of our lives!