S: Betsy & BJ
FC: Betsy & BJ with Jack
1: About Us | We believe in living each day to the fullest. We're best friends and make a great team. Whether we're trekking around Disney World or running an errand to the grocery store or Lowe's, we love spending time together and finding fun in whatever we do. Your child will grow up enjoying the small pleasures of life, always seeing the positive, surrounded by laughter. | We've been blessed to see all sides of adoption. Not only are we excited to be adoptive parents but we also have family, neighbors, and friends who have adopted. Betsy knows first-hand as her sister made the decision to place her only child for adoption. Your child will know his or her adoption story and that your decision was a selfless act of love. | There's nothing we love more than spending time with our families and we do it as much as possible. We love to host gatherings at our house, big pasta dinners or cookouts. Your child will grow up in a large close-knit family, knowing the love and support of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. | Our family celebrates a birthday | BJ & our adopted cousin Makayla | Us in Disney World
2: Our Beginning | I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania and my mom still lives in the same house where my older sister and I were raised. I was very fortunate to grow up with my grandmom in the house. My love of holidays especially Halloween comes from her. One of my grandmom's specialties was homemade Halloween costumes. This photo is a great example of her work. I will continue the tradition of fun, homemade costumes with your child. | I was born and raised in a small town in western Pennsylvania. I have nine brothers and sisters so our house was always very active...and loud. As a kid one of my favorite things was to climb the pine trees in front of our house. That's part of the tree behind me. My mom still lives in this house and we all return for special events and holidays. Even now, when we get together it's usually still very loud. I'm close to my mother, three brothers, six sisters, seven in-laws, and 17 nieces and nephews. Your child will have many cousins to play with...By the way, we have nice climbing trees near our house. | Betsy... | ...BJ
3: Even though we grew up on opposite corners of Pennsylvania, fate and graduate school brought us together. We met in a Counseling class that involved a lot of self exploration and group sharing. It’s here where Betsy first glimpsed BJ’s “unique” sense of humor and BJ was immediately drawn to Betsy’s easy, outgoing personality—this is where it all began. | We started out as classmates but quickly became a couple. Our official first date was an end of semester picnic but because of unexpected rain we ended up inside a campus dining hall. The food wasn't great but the company more than made up for it. | Planned location for the picnic | ...And us on our dining hall date.
4: Betsy (by BJ) | Betsy believes in paying it back...and forward. She knows she's been blessed and believes strongly in giving back to the community. She's active with charitable and civic groups. She is particularly proud of being a mentor to young college women. | Betsy loves planning trips and adventures. However, she loves spending time at home just as much. In the garden, decorating for the holidays, or cooking for friends and family, Betsy knows it takes love and a caring nature to make a house a home. | Betsy always puts others’ need first. Our older neighbors don't get out much anymore, so Betsy always makes a point of checking on them, making sure that they have everything they need, or just chatting. Even when she is busy, Betsy always finds time for them and especially the weekly Scrabble game that she has come to love just as much as they do.
5: BJ (by Betsy) | Family is very important to BJ. He was only 8 years old when his father died and the loss only brought what was already a very tight family closer together. To this day, he is very close with all of his brothers and sisters, his mother, and all of his nieces and nephews. Anytime we're at a family gathering, you'll usually find BJ surrounded by little ones. | BJ is a doer. He doesn't sit still for very long. He enjoys using his hands and he always seems to be working on a project around the house. He's also a very good cook and is as comfortable in the kitchen as he is in the workshop. | One of the things I love most about BJ is his quirky sense of humor. Not everyone "gets him", but he finds the up side of any situation. He loves to laugh, but he also hates to have his picture taken, so most of his photos look like he's not having a good time.
6: Family | Family is our foundation. Your baby will grow up with 18 aunts and uncles and 21 cousins as young as 2 years old who will be an active part of his or her life. | One of the best things about BJ's family is that, despite it's size, they get together in some form on a weekly basis. Almost all of his siblings live within an hour of each other so they are able to share in those special "first" experiences. They are a truly devoted family who will be extremely involved in your child's life. | Betsy's family lives a little farther away but we still visit with them often, here or there. Every summer, we spend a week at the shore with her extended family; a tradition of almost 30 years! This summer, the pool was an addition to the deck so Betsy's niece Hayley could enjoy the water. She didn't seem to appreciate the surf as much as we did. We rent the same house every year and can't wait to include your child in this tradition.
7: We firmly believe that, no matter the occasion, the true blessing that comes from family is the ability for different generations to enjoy each others' company, learn from each other, and cherish the time together. Our niece Emily is full of energy and ready to welcome a new playmate into the family. | We love the holidays and have established traditions for most. Christmas is very special to us because it allows us to celebrate both families. Betsy's side hosts a traditional Slovak Christmas eve celebration including a visit from Santa. The next morning, we're off to BJ's side for a big Italian feast and another round of gifts. We hope to continue to honor these traditions with your child. | Since we've gotten married, we wanted to create some of our own traditions. One of the ways we do this is by hosting our annual Memorial Day cook-out. Betsy's family always travels out to join BJ's family for the fun, usually making a long weekend of it. The cook-out always ends with a round of s'mores. All the children enjoy the sticky goodies.
8: Where We Live | We searched to find just the right house to start our family and the moment we walked in, we knew we were home. It's the perfect size for a family of three. The rooms are spacious with lots of room to play and grow. | We live on a tree-lined street in a college town, close enough to Pittsburgh to take advantage of all the city has to offer, but far enough away to enjoy true small town living. Our town has a great public school system. We're in a kid-friendly neighborhood where the neighbors all know each other by first name. | There are two schools, a playground, and a public library all within walking distance of our house. We can't wait to bring your child to the playground and let him or her play with all the other neighborhood kids.
9: Jack | One of our favorite parts of our home is our large fenced-in backyard. It's the perfect play area for Jack, our 9 year old Westie-mix dog. We rescued him from a shelter when he was three and he immediately worked his way into our hearts. He has only one eye so we named him "Captain Jack" because he looked like a pirate. | Jack is a great dog with an easy-going personality. He travels well. He's good with children, even babies. Other dogs visit to play with him and Jack always gets along just fine with them. We've always loved dogs. We both grew up with dogs and that taught us valuable lessons in caring. We hope that our dog Jack will help your child to experience both the responsibility and love that comes from living with a pet.
10: Values We Live By | We believe in leading by example and both of us were fortunate to have been brought up by parents who set a shining example. We learned about hard work and dedication and we understand the sacrifices our parents made to give us the most out of life. We are dedicated to providing the same opportunities to your child. | In addition to teaching us the value of honest work, both our families encouraged us to reach our fullest potential and both believed that education was a tool to do that. We are very fortunate to work in higher education where we can see the benefits of learning on a daily basis. We love our jobs and enjoy a very supportive work environment. In fact, Betsy works five minutes from home and we have flexible work schedules. We plan to provide your child with every educational opportunity. | We recognize that hard work and education is not all there is. Without love in the family, these things are meaningless. We were both raised in families that taught to love unconditionally, support each other through good times and bad, and to always put our faith in each other and God.
11: We promise you we will love and support your child unconditionally, and we will live out each day forever knowing the trust you have put in us. Through this adoption process we hope to get to know you; we would like to tell this child about his or her adoption story and what an amazing journey it was. We are loving, honest, and hard-working people. We love each other very much and know we will be there for each other through the thick and thin no matter what we may be challenged with. Most importantly, we could not be more blessed by simply being considered to take part in this wonderful gift that is raising your child. We know that this is the greatest thing we will ever do. Thank you~ (hand signed Betsy & BJ)