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B2K Profile - Revised Cradle Copy

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B2K Profile - Revised Cradle Copy - Page Text Content

BC: Baby

FC: Kerem, Marie, & Sabiha

1: It began on a mid-September evening in 1996, when a girl from rural Wisconsin met the new Turkish foreign exchange student at a local high school football game. | More than 15 years later | Shortly after we met in 1996

2: Merhaba! We are Kerem, Marie, and Sabiha and we are ecstatic to be the future father, mother, and big sister of a very special little one. We have only the highest level of admiration for the relationships formed through open adoption and have experienced firsthand how mutually nurturing and beneficial they can be. We would love for you to share this journey with us, yet we also appreciate the difficulty of the decisions that lie ahead for you. We hope to stay connected to you and to navigate a course together, though we will respect any decision that you ultimately make. Above everything else, we want you to know – and know every single day – that we will love our child more than it is possible to describe in words, we will make his/her well-being our number one priority, and that neither of these things will ever, for one minute of one day, ever be any different. | Our favorite moments are the ones we spend together | At home with newborn Sabiha

3: Adoption Early in our relationship we knew that we wanted to parent through adoption and, in the fall of 2009, we were overjoyed at the arrival of our daughter, Sabiha, who was placed with us as a newborn. Her adoption is open and we communicate and visit with her birth family (including her birth mother, siblings, and grandmother) a handful of times each year. We are immensely grateful for our relationships with her birth family and are proud of the way we have all contributed to building them.

4: When Sabiha was born, our priorities rearranged themselves in an instant and suddenly there was no role more valuable to either of us than that of parent. It became hard to imagine that there was ever a world without her in it. | And many of the things that seemed important before have fallen to the wayside. For instance, our house used to be clean. Really, really clean! The floors may not look their best anymore when we get home from work, but that is not what’s on our minds. Rather, we spend our evenings blowing bubbles in the backyard, reading A Cuddle for Little Duck, visiting neighborhood parks in our city, and snuggling up to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. And, now that the time is right, we are utterly delighted to be expanding our family. As Marie’s grandmother often says, “Love is never divided, it is only multiplied.” These are words we believe in, and we cannot wait to welcome home our future son or daughter. | Marie and Sabiha with a favorite story

5: We are fortunate to have a network of family and friends who have been unwavering in their support and enthusiasm for adoption and for our growing transracial family. There are other connections to adoption within our tight-knit extended family as well. Marie’s sister, Katie, and brother-in-law, Jamie, adopted their daughter, Elena, from Guatemala in the summer of 2007. Marie’s Aunt Beth was also adopted as an infant and has been open with us throughout this process regarding her own experience. We are very grateful that our children will have close family members with whom they have adoption in common. | Elena came to watch Sabiha's dance class | Kerem and Sabiha sliding at the park

6: Growing Up Marie was raised with her younger sister and brother in a close family in Wisconsin. For many years they lived in a country house without many same-age playmates close by. As a result, the three of them became best friends and remain so to this day. They played on the tree swings their dad hung, ate green beans they picked from their garden, read books in a backyard hammock, walked around looking for frogs and turtles (ran away screaming if they saw a snake!), built snow forts, and raced sleds down the big hill behind their house. Marie still feels like a child during her favorite season each year when the leaves start to turn and there’s a chill in the air - and she never misses the chance to carve a pumpkin! | Marie loved playing in the snow | Katie, Chas, and Marie camping with their Grandpa Jim

7: Kerem also grew up as the oldest sibling in a close family. He was born and raised primarily in Ankara, Turkey, though his family moved throughout the country somewhat. Kerem and his two brothers spent much of their time playing soccer with friends and visiting extended family members, many of whom lived nearby. As is the Turkish custom, their home was frequently filled with loved ones – as well as with the delicious aroma of homemade corba (soup) and kofte (meatballs) simmering on the stove. Kerem loves warm weather and, as a young boy, his favorite part of the year was his family’s vacation to the Mediterranean coast, where he could swim in the sea and be in the sun. | Kerem, Taner, and Eren visiting a castle in Bodrum, Turkey | Kerem at the beach in Antalya

8: The Beginning In 1996, Kerem left Turkey for the first time in order to study for a year in the U.S. He ended up in class with Marie’s sister. Marie had just returned from visiting a friend in Turkey and, because of “the Turkish Connection,” Katie arranged a meeting. It happened at a local football game and the rest is pretty much history. After his year of study was up, Kerem returned to Istanbul to complete his college education, while Marie remained in Bloomington, Indiana to complete hers. After three very long years apart, Marie graduated from college – and moved to Turkey 11 days later! On a gorgeous night in the summer of 2001, we were married on the pier at Marie’s parent’s home as our family and close friends watched from boats nearby. | July 2001

9: Now We live in a sun-lit northwest suburban colonial with a yard that’s well worn from large family games of croquet and bocce ball. Our home is decorated with items from our life with special meaning, including a Turkish carpet that was bought for Kerem in Isparta when he was a young boy, a pair of clogs from Marie’s grandma that she danced in as a six year old flower girl in her Aunt Rose’s wedding, a backgammon set that Kerem will use to teach our children to play, and countless works of art by Sabiha! The furniture in the nursery even includes the dresser and wooden rocking chair that Marie’s parents bought for her nursery when she was born. Marie is a learning-behavior specialist in a local elementary school. She loves the diversity of her district - there are 30 languages spoken by the students and staff in her school alone! | Teaching children with various types of learning and behavioral challenges is tremendously rewarding. Marie feels that her professional experience has been, and will continue to be, very useful in raising her own children. Her job allows 12 weeks of maternity leave; and while our son or daughter will be at home with their adoring “Granni” after that, Marie’s teaching schedule has 14 weeks of built-in vacation time each year when she will be at home with our children. | Home

10: Since 2002, Kerem has worked as a design and sales engineer for a mid-size company that specializes in custom-made heating and cooling systems. For the past several years he has had a leadership role there and especially enjoys mentoring new employees. He feels fortunate to work for a family-oriented company that truly values its people. The staff members are very cohesive and think of themselves as a large extended family. In our free time, we love to travel (the mountains for Marie, the beach for Kerem), take long evening walks through our neighborhood, visit farmers’ markets and apple orchards, try new recipes (we both love Mexican food), watch Modern Family, cheer on Kerem’s favorite soccer team (Istanbul’s Galatasaray), and plant potted herb gardens (the only type of plant that Marie can successfully keep alive). | Snowfest in Frankenmuth, MI | Sabiha and her Papa Chuck picking apples

11: Parenting Sabiha is parented with an awareness and appreciation for her own cultural identity, as our future son or daughter will be. We have books, artwork, movies, and toys, which reflect Sabiha’s bi-racial heritage. We have educated ourselves in ways that we feel will better allow her to be connected to her racial identity. For example, we have taken two classes on Afro-textured hair care. We have also made it a priority to regularly connect with other families who look similar to ours. We were a multi-cultural family even before becoming parents and we have always been proud of that. It will continue to be important for us to share with our children the traditions that have been meaningful to each of us. We will spend | Christmas Day eating Italian food with Marie’s extended family. (She was a teenager before she realized that not everyone eats homemade ravioli on Christmas!) On the Bayrams (Turkish holidays), we Skype with Kerem’s family members and share his favorite delicacies, such as güvec, coban salatasi, and lahana dolma – which, after many years of practice, we are getting pretty good at making! | Sabiha's Halloween-themed 1st birthday party

12: As Sabiha is now, our future child will be part of two large extended families that will delight in taking an active role in his/her life. We are fortunate to see Marie’s family often. Kerem’s family is all in Ankara, though we stay connected by talking with them weekly. We are also able to see them at least every two years when either we visit Turkey or they come to Chicago. Even though our respective families live so far apart, they have become close in their own right. When | Kerem’s parents and siblings spent a month with us in the summer of 2007, each of Marie’s parents threw a party to welcome them. And, in the summer of 2009, Kerem’s family returned the favor when Marie’s dad and brother joined us for a trip to Istanbul and Ankara. Our child will travel between the two places frequently in his or her life and, hopefully, feel a sense of home in each. He or she will also be taught to speak Turkish so that communication with his/her babaanne and dede (grandma and grandpa), amcalar (uncles), and other extended family is fluent and natural. As parents, we will continue to emphasize the importance of putting family first, of honesty and integrity, of education, of having fun and getting outdoors to play - of breathing fresh air and coming home with grass stains! | Sabiha and her Uncle Eren at the fair

13: We will jump in leaf piles, cut lilacs and peonies from the yard, eat iskender in Turkey, read Beatrix Potter, visit Frankenmuth’s Snowfest with Marie’s Uncle Gary and Aunt Beth, swim in the Aegean sea, listen to Kerem’s Uncle Mehmet Ali play the saz (a Turkish folk instrument), ride It’s a Small World at Disney World, make Grandma Martha’s homemade crepes, see many new places, and treasure being together. Our son or daughter will be supported in following the goals that he/she sets and will be encouraged to try new things – to play soccer (Kerem would love to coach!), sing in musicals, take a dance class, play an instrument, or anything else. We will provide our child with a nurturing environment, one that is both emotionally healthy and financially stable. | Kararinizda iyi sanslar diliyoruz. Bizi dinlediginiz ve dikkate aldiginiz icin cok tesekkür ederiz. We wish you the very best of luck in your decision and thank you sincerely for your consideration. Kerem & Marie | A gorgeous fall day together | On vacation in the Northwoods

14: Daddy Squeeze | With our niece, Elena | With Kerem's parents and brothers in Chicago: Kerem, Marie, Eren, Dilek, Faik, and Taner

15: Sabiha with her Babaanne and Dede | Marie and her cousin, Heidi, with their girls in Charleston, SC | Grandma Martha and her crepes | Marie and her mom in Alaska | Marie's dad and Sabiha getting ready to make popcorn

16: Kerem and his Grandma Emine | Sabiha and her dad doing "push ups" | Sabiha's 1st children's book signing | With our friends, Ryan and Anna, in Turkey

17: Top Sabiha kayaking with her Uncle Chas Bottom (left to right) Marie and her sister, Katie, making onion soup at a cooking class "Girl Talk" on the trampoline with cousin Paloma Sabiha loves to decorate the patio with sidewalk chalk

18: Sabiha and Elena | Kerem and his brother, Taner, after a soccer match | Aunt Beth, Marie, Jan (Marie's mom), Aunt Janelle, Uncle Bill, Uncle Gary, and Kerem at Snowfest in Frankenmuth, MI

19: Jane, Chas, Jan, Marie, Sabiha, Kerem, Katie, Elena, and Jamie in Lac du Flambeau, WI | The slide is Sabiha's favorite activity at any park | Sabiha and her cousin, Paloma, riding their train pillows

20: Left Marie with her brother and their cousins on a big family vacation in Breckenridge, CO Amy, Ann, Heidi, Marie, Mike, and Chas | Above and Right Kerem and his family sight-seeing Sabiha and Uncle Gary Our family with Turkish friends visiting Chicago Sabiha and her Great-Grandma playing pat-a-cake

21: Top Kerem, Marie, Uncle Gary, Aunt Beth, and Chas at the Indy 500 Marie and her mom at a book signing for their favorite chef Marie and Kerem Left Kerem and Sabiha (as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba) ready to trick-or-treat!

22: Elena taking Sabiha for a ride in her Jeep | A day in the snow for Sabiha and mom | Kerem and Chas taking a break from apple picking

23: Sabiha and Paloma sledding in our yard | Katie, Jamie, and Elena during our family vacation at White Sand Lake | Getting ready for an evening out together | Sabiha taking care of her baby

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Marie Korunmus
  • By: Marie K.
  • Joined: over 7 years ago
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: B2K Profile - Revised Cradle Copy
  • Tags: None
  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Updated: almost 7 years ago