Software Engineer / Stay-at-Home-Mom
Hello! We are Tobias, Claire, Willa, and Martin. We’re a close-knit family who likes to do everything together. Tobias works from home as a software engineer, and Claire stays home with the kids. They are starting 1st grade and preschool this year.
We like to go on family walks around our neighborhood. The kids often stop to pick up sticks and admire flowers. We especially like to go to garage sales. We look for them on Saturdays. We recently found some vintage kids’ books, and now the kids have a new favorite book! Martin’s favorite toy is trains, and Willa’s favorite thing to do is read. They both absolutely love building with Duplo; they often build elaborate birthday cakes, and sing to each other and take turns blowing out the “candles.”
We sing a lot. Every morning we sing a hymn as a family, and during the day one of us is often singing some song that’s been stuck in our head. Even Willa and Martin make up their own songs. We have a piano, and Willa is getting quite good at making up her own songs, and Martin likes to bang the keys.
Us adults like spicy foods, and the kids like sour foods. We add hot sauce to our salsa, and the kids beg for lime juice every time we open the fridge.
We talked about it before we were married. We finally are in a stable financial situation and a nice home and it’s time. We have extra room in our family for a child, and his/her biological family. We’re excited to give a child a forever place in our family. From our understanding, every Christian should be involved in the care of orphans. Our way of doing that is adoption. Adopting is a natural extension of our beliefs. For us, adoption isn’t filling a hole, but an outpouring of God’s love. Adoption isn’t about “completing our family.” It’s about giving a child a loving, safe home, and about maintaining a connection with our child’s biological family. We feel equipped to handle the blessings and challenges of adoption.
We live in a 4-bedroom, 2-story house at the end of a cul-de-sac. There is also a mostly finished basement, so it’s almost a 3-story house. Each of our 2 kids has their own bedroom, with plenty of room for siblings or sleepovers. The backyard is fully fenced in, and we often spend time there as a family. The kids love to swing and run around. The neighbor kids play with ours in the cul-de-sac. Indoors, the kids have a playroom to store all their toys, and next to it is a room with lots of play space. There’s plenty of room to stay active even in poor weather.
Our neighborhood is filled with houses about the same size as ours. The neighbors are all friendly, and we’re a little ways off the main roads so it’s usually quiet.
Our church is very welcoming, and several of the families have experience with adoption or foster care.
Tobias’s family meets together monthly to celebrate birthdays. We all help each other as much as we can. They are a very outgoing bunch, and lots of other friends get invited to the parties. One of his sisters lives with her husband and children in Uganda, helping build long-term stability in the local community.
Claire’s family is smaller, and meets together for big holidays. Her brother is a High School teacher, her Dad is a pastor of a small church, and her Mom is a head nurse at a residential center for developmentally disabled adults.
Tobias is warm and friendly, always learning new things, and dedicated to loving his family. Claire is caring and intelligent, she spends the day taking care of the children, teaching them how to read and be loving and confident people. Willa loves her family, she cares about doing the right thing, singing loudly, and is very emotional. Martin is affectionate, snuggling close and giving kisses on the nose.
We met through a convoluted string of people! Claire’s dad (Tom) is a pastor, and his Kansas church plant was joining a denomination. Tobias’s friend (Josh) was traveling from Nebraska to Texas, to propose to his now wife. Both families are close, so much of Josh’s family went along. Josh’s dad is an elder in the denomination that Tom was joining, so they all stayed at Tom’s house. (Claire wasn’t there, because she was in college in South Carolina.) Claire’s parents joked that she was looking for a husband, and Josh and his parents thought of Toby. A couple weeks later, Josh told Toby about the conversation. Almost on a dare, Toby decided to call Tom! They talked for a couple weeks, then Tom told Claire about Toby, and she agreed to talk to him. We started emailing/calling in March 2013, were engaged in August, and married June 2014!
Whatever’s going on, know that we’re family now and forever. We’ll support you, and help you with whatever you need. You’re strong and you can do this. Things might be hard right now, but you can trust in God. We say this to our children every day and so I’ll say it again to you: “I love you forever, no matter what.”
Remember humility. Nobody knows everything. Find teachers, get advice from people who are experts.
We love the idea of open adoption. It’s so important for the child to have connection to his/her biological family. We will facilitate a relationship between them, as long as it is safe. We hope to have a relationship with our child’s biological family, but we understand feelings can be complicated, and that might not be possible.
If it’s not possible, or unsafe, then we will still be open with our child. Adoption will never be a secret. We will tell him/her while a baby, and talk about it in age-appropriate ways often, so there will never be a surprise.