BC: With Love, Keri and Brent
FC: BRENT & KERI
1: Hello! Our names are Brent and Keri. First of all, we want to say thank you very much for considering us for adoption. We know this is not an easy decision for you. By showing interest in us, it is a testament to your bravery and selflessness to help a couple who is not able to have children on their own become parents. We are very grateful to be considered as we would be thrilled and honored to adopt your child. We hope that in getting to know us you will feel comfortable entrusting your precious child with us. We know that you love your child very much so we put this book together to help you know us better. | Big Ben In London! | Venice
2: We live in New York and have a house with a big back yard and lots of room. We actually live around the corner from Keri’s parents and sister. Our house is always the favorite house for game nights, barbecues, movie nights and dinners. We have lots of friends and they love to come over and we are always being told that our house is “so warm and inviting.” Most of the couples that we hang out with have children and we love spending time with them. There are lots of trees, kids and family oriented things to do nearby (including mini golf, bowling, movies, hiking, swimming and shopping). We live in a 4 bedroom, 2--bath house that has an upstairs and a basement. We have a large kitchen and living room. All of the bedrooms are upstairs and our “baby room” is just a few steps away from our room. Best of all, we have a really big backyard with a giant deck, hammock, and kiddie pool in the back. | OUR LIFE TODAY
3: Our Home! | The pool is open! | Us!
4: We are both Chiropractors who help people with neurological problems without drugs or surgery. We both love what we do for a living. Keri is well known in our community for helping children with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder and other brain problems. She has been helping kids since she was in school when she was president of the Pediatrics club. Another of her specialties is helping pregnant women who have back pain and other problems such as breech pregnancies. She corrects problems in their pelvis’ which helps their babies naturally turn head down and have a normal natural delivery. We have both helped a lot of people with different neurological disorders. It’s really rewarding to help a person who has a brain injury improve the way they walk or help someone recover the use of a limb that was injured. We believe that our profession, our vocation picked us, not the other way around. We’re blessed to be able to have extremely flexible work hours. When one of us is at work, the other is at home. We changed our schedule a few years ago when we began trying to have children. We made it so one of us could be home during the day. If need be, we could even bring the baby to the office. It is very important for us to make family time our number one priority. We both grew up with parents who worked long hours and we have both worked hard in our careers to be able to have the good fortune to provide for our family without sacrificing quality family time.
5: Dr. Brent in the office. | Dr. Keri adjusting a pregnant patient.
6: We love to take our dogs hiking, to the dog park, to charity dog events.; pretty much everywhere we go. We love to go to the movies and watch movies at home. We both are avid readers and are big on learning new things. We love music, barbecues, and watching fireworks. We love the beach and are lucky to live very close. We take our SUV on the beach almost every weekend in the summer. Our friends meet us there and we have an absolute blast. There are always lots of people around our house, especially on the weekend. We have game nights and have occasional birthday parties, including piñatas. We love to cook healthy foods. We belong to an organic co-op and get fresh vegetables every week from June to November and always have healthy vegetables and foods to eat.
7: Hiking on the coast of Maine with Bella (gold one) and Luna (black one). | Brent with Bella | Keri with Luna
8: About Brent | About Brent I (Brent) was born in Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. My whole family is from the south. I have one younger sister named Jill and 2 older brothers, Randy and Donny. They all have kids. We grew up in the average home and had lots of friends and lots of opportunities. Sports were a big part of our lives and our dad and step dad coached us. We went on lots of vacations and went hunting and fishing a lot. As kids, we spent most of our time outdoors and ran around the neighborhood playing “hide and seek”, “kick the can” and just having a blast. My parents were big on school, studying and getting an education. They have always supported my choices in what I want to do, even if it didn’t exactly line up with what they wanted. All of my family lives in the south and I try to get down to see them as much as possible. My sister, Jill is married and has 3 kids. I am really close with all the kids and talk on the phone every chance I get. When I lived in Houston, I babysat them a lot and my sister says when the kids were little they considered uncle Brent a “big toy” because I spent a lot of time giving “horsey” rides on my back, “whale” rides on my back in the pool, playing catch, wrestling, hide and seek (they made a lot of noise while hiding, but I acted like I couldn’t find them), board games (learned early that I didn’t have to let them win, they did that on their own.) Kylie was born with a liver problem and received a liver transplant when she was 4 months old. It was a scary time, but she pulled through and is now a really awesome young lady who is now driving! That event really brought our family together. Any differences we had at the time melted away because nothing dissolves petty differences like a sick child. What I learned from that situation was that there is nothing more important than your kids.
9: Brent's niece Kylie and nephew Nick. | Brent with his niece Zoe. | Brent's sister Jill and her husband David.
10: About Brent (continued....) My relationship with my entire family is amazing. My mom (Mimi as she’s known to the grandkids) is an awesome grandmother. She’s really supportive, caring and kind. She is really great with the kids and is someone everybody can really talk to and feel unconditionally loved. She comes to New York several times a year to visit and is a lot of fun to be around. She’s a very hip, energetic, and cool grandma. She lives next door to my grandma, her mom, known affectionately as “Grandmommy.” She’s 93 years old and still very much with it. Grandmommy was a big part of my life growing up. She was like a second mom to me and she has always been super supportive of me. I have lots of cousins on my mom’s side that we visit once every other year. They all live in Louisiana. My dad and step mom Marsha live in Arkansas. They live right on a golf course. They are known by my nieces and nephew as Grandpa Billy and Grandma Marsha. They are really great with the kids too. They live in a virtual resort with lakes, camping, fishing, water parks and other fun stuff. They are really supportive and great and you can just be yourself around them. My dad is one of 7 kids so I have lots and lots of cousins. They have lots and lots of kids. Thanksgiving every year is a big deal and we all get together in Louisiana. There are about 50 of us who get together and it’s just the best time. We look forward to going there every year. My cousins and their kids are always coming to New York to visit. My family too. Every few years, we host Christmas at our house and the house is packed with people. The kids have a blast in the snow, cooking marshmallows and going to New York City to experience Christmas in the city! I have really solid relationships with all of my family members. There’s not any drama or negativity. We all have a really great sense of humor and laugh a lot. There are a lot of talented people in the family so there is always a talent show of some kind going on when we all get together. In the past my parents have suffered health scares (they’re fine now) but it made me realize that family is the most important thing in life and unconditionally loving your family members is the key. They won’t be around forever and I take nothing for granted. I really love my nieces and nephews. They are very important to me and I’m so blessed to have them in my life.
11: Grandpa Billy and Grandma Marsha (Brent' s Dad and step mom) | Brent's sister Jill, me and Honor (sister-in-law) Brent's brother Randy's wife. | Mimi (Brent's mom), Grandmommy (Brent's grandma) and Brent!
12: About Keri I grew up on Long Island, New York and am the oldest of 3 sisters. My sisters are Kim, who is 5 years younger than me, and Darlene who is 12 years younger than me. We are a very close family. My parents worked very hard growing up and instilled very good values that have helped us throughout our childhood as well as adulthood. My parents, Brendon and Gail were big on education, encouragement and faith. They didn’t have many opportunities in life and so they made sure their daughters had what they needed to go to college and pursue professional careers. We are all college graduates and successful in our lives today as a result. My dad used to have a camper and we would go camping all the time. We spent a lot of time at the beach, traveling around New York, New England, taking cruises, going to Disney World, Aruba and even Mississippi to visit my grandma (she’s from there.) I spent most of my teenage years babysitting my little sister, (nice that my parents didn’t have to hire a babysitter!) I loved her so much and have always felt like she was a little like my own daughter since I bottle fed her, changed her diapers, and did everything for her! We’re like best friends now and are really close. She is a guidance counselor at a high school and helps kids every day make good decisions about their future. My sister Kim just got married to an awesome guy Patrick. We love him and hope they will have children soon too! My mom has one brother, Frank who has a son named Lawton. He’s in college now and is a really nice young man, very smart, and considering law school. My father’s brother John and his wife, Michelle live close and are always around for all the family get-togethers. John and Michelle have an 11-year-old daughter named Leah who is a really smart, great kid. I take her on trips into the city to have a “girls day out”, we have lunch and then go to a museum. My dad has two other brothers, Frank and George who live in California and Georgia. I have a 91-year-old grandma who is originally from Mississippi and now lives in an assisted living home.
13: Me and my sisters Darlene and Kim...On my birthday!
14: About Keri (continued.....) My grandma and I are really close and I go see her every Monday. I call it Monday’s with Mae. She loves being a great grandmother! She’s really cute and really funny and really wise. Even though she’s having a problem now with her memory, we still manage to laugh a lot, reminisce and enjoy each other’s company. I bring her a Starbucks' hot chocolate and something for her sweet tooth. it brings a smile to her face every time, priceless..... My parents are really helpful and live around the corner. They have helped us a lot since we have been married. When we purchased our house several years ago, they were able to give us tips on what to look for. My father is very handy (he’s like Bob Vila!) and he was a big help with checking the place out before we purchased. My mom goes out of her way to make special gifts and do special things for us. A few years ago, she gave us each a wooden chest, and inside were all mementos from different times in our lives, (pictures, awards, trophies, etc.) It must have taken her months to do them. My family was always big on music growing up. We were and still are a musical family. My mom plays the flute and sings, and my dad plays the piano and tries to sing. My mother won contests in music when she was in high school and still sings for the church choir. She cantors, or sings solos during holidays. She works for the family courts as a court officer and was even asked to sing “God Bless America” for the New York City Court to commemorate the September 11th tragedy. I am also a yoga teacher. Yoga is a great exercise outlet for me. I feel like in today’s world it is important to take time out to get grounded and get charged up! Yoga does that for me.
15: Keri's Grandma and Starbucks! | Keri's mom and dad. (Nonna and Pape!)
16: How We Met I (Brent) was living in Houston, TX where I worked, had my own practice. Keri lived in New York where she was busy with her career too. In the beginning of September 2001 (Keri’s birthday weekend) we both attended a class in Denver, Colorado for our profession. We had mutual friends there and so there were four of us who hung out. Keri and I hit it off and had a really nice conversation and mini birthday party for her. We said goodbye and flew home. When I got back home I emailed Keri to see how she was doing. She emailed me back and we exchanged phone numbers. We spoke on the phone for hours and then began to speak on the phone regularly. We realized we had a lot in common. We have so many similarities it’s really weird. Our relationship has been very synchronistic. Our relationship began as a really strong friendship and remains that way today. I came to visit New York for the 2002 New Years and our connection became even stronger. I just knew at that time that she was “the one.” I don’t know how to explain it, it even seemed beyond the realm of this world. I know that sounds weird but that’s how I felt. She told me she felt that way too. We were best friends and talked about everything. The best part is that we don’t judge each other and love each other unconditionally. So we began a long distance relationship, I would say we were pulled into it. This force brought us together like magnets, like we were supposed to be together. We would travel back and forth from New York to Houston and back every 3 weeks to spend time with each other. We did this for about a year. I then began coming up to New York to work for several days at a time to “test the water” since I was seriously considering moving and starting a life with Keri. In November 2003, I surprised Keri in the middle of her living room (when she turned on the lights I was standing there with flowers and a ring) I got down on one knee (knocking over a table in the process) to propose. She said yes and here we are today. We were married on October 30, 2004. Like I said, we have a lot of similarities that are very hard to explain that have led us to a feeling of “we have known each other for many, many years.” There is a familiarity that we have both noticed, equally.
17: Brent and Keri
18: Our Wedding Our wedding took place on October 30, 2004. We had a really beautiful ceremony at the church. Keri’s mom Gail sang the Ave Maria; her sister Kim sang Brent’s favorite prayer, the prayer of St. Francis. There was not a dry eye in the church. Most of Brent’s family came in from the south and they really enjoyed the New York wedding reception. Brent’s brother Randy was his best man and Darlene and Kim were Keri’s maids of honor. We can honestly say that it was the most fun we’ve ever had at a wedding, and it was ours! Our families had a great time also. Every year on our anniversary we watch our wedding video and laugh. There were a lot of funny moments, and a lot of dancing.
20: Brent’s thoughts on Keri Keri is my best friend. She’s really spiritual and I’ve seen her grow and continue to grow spiritually. She is such a kind hearted, warm, open-minded, compassionate woman. She has been an amazing mom to Eliana. In late September 2012 our we adopted our daughter Eliana at birth! We are so incredibly grateful to her wonderful birth family for entrusting her to us. She is such a sweet girl and we are having the time of our lives with her. Parenting is everything we had hoped for and more! Eliana goes to mommy and me yoga, gymnastics classes, music classes and to the library every chance we get! She loves to have books read to her. And.....more recently is "reading" them herself!! We are so excited to adopt your child and we know that Eliana will be an amazing big sister to your child. They will have one another to share their life experience and their common bond that they were both adopted. Brent and I both have siblings and understand the importance of having siblings. She is extremely thoughtful and always knows how to help people, including me with any problem or difficulty I may have. She’s an incredibly strong, independent woman who’s not intimidated or afraid of much,...except spiders! She’s extremely organized and really knows how to manage her time. She’s extremely good with logically finding solutions to problems in a proactive way for the greater good of the family. Her family is the most important thing in her life. She lives for her family, either immediate or extended family. She is very thoughtful with my family as well; always supportive of making sure I get to be with them as much as possible. I love how she takes care of her appearance for example, but is not flashy about it. She really cares about what is important in life, relationships and is a great friend to have. She always sees the positive side of everything; she’s an optimist and knows “everything will work out in the end.” She is an action person. She’s all about getting things done, no procrastination at all. She is extremely self sufficient, and a self-starter. You never hear her complaining about a problem for example, only strategizing a solution to the problem. She’s very loyal and makes a great mom because she has the all-important capacity to give unconditional love. She’s a terrific mom to Eliana and provides for her every need (and a lot of “wants” too!). She’s conscientious, thorough and has a great sense of humor. She’s very supportive, both emotionally and in helping make her loved ones lives easier. Keri is a great cheerleader. If you’re ever down or having a bad day, she will lift your spirits. When we found out that we couldn’t have children ourselves, she was devastated of course, but soon after said “this is happening for a reason, I don’t know what it is, but I still have a lot to be grateful for.” People like her who are able to take a situation and turn it around into something positive are truly special people.
21: Keri's and Eliana out to lunch in Port Jefferson! | Keri at the aquarium with Eliana! | Keri in Turkey.
22: Keri’s thoughts on Brent Brent is a natural caregiver. If you feel sick, he is there putting cool rags on your head and making you soup. This is one reason why he is a great dad. He is also very funny! He does amazing impressions of Robert DeNiro, Gomer Pyle, and Dr. Phil! His whole face literally looks them when he’s doing the impression; so needless to say, everyone is always asking him to do them. (Including me!) He actually did stand up comedy when he was younger and he even talks about one day doing “open mic” night here. Brent loves his four legged girls. He takes them on a walk everyday and feeds them healthy treats all the time. You should see how Bella looks at him, it’s like she is in love! I always do her voice saying, “I love my daddy..”. I also really love the way Brent is with his patients. There is no patient’s case too complex or difficult for him. He helps people with dizziness all the time, people who have been to the fanciest hospitals with no results. It really makes me proud of how confident and smart he is. Eliana has him wrapped around her little finger...."Daddy" and he comes running! Brent is constantly growing in a spiritual sense. He has excellent values and ideals but is not judgmental at the same time, which is a perfect balance. But most importantly our relationship was friendship first, which is really helpful in a marriage, because we have mutual respect for one another.
23: Robert DeNiro or Brent? LOL | Trying to get jumping pictures mid-air with his nieces (Kylie on left and Adeleigh in middle)! | Daddy loves his Eliana!
24: Eliana with her great grandma! (Keri's grandma!) | Eliana with Aunt Jill! (Brent's sister) | Eliana with Aunt Darlene! (Keri's sister)
25: Keri, Brent and Eliana! | Memaw and Pepaw with Eliana! (Brent's mom and dad) | Eliana and Pape (Keri's dad)
26: Holidays Thanksgiving is a fun time. Every year it is different. Sometimes we go to Monroe, Louisiana to see Brent's extended family and sometimes we go to Keri's parents. For a southern Thanksgiving we eat fried turkey, butter beans, green beans with pork, cornbread dressing (not stuffing) and biscuits! A northern Thanksgiving is a baked turkey with stuffing, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy and candied yams. The food is so different at both but totally delicious!! We have a great time just relaxing with family. Eliana loves turkey and potatoes so she really enjoyed Thanksgiving this past year!! We got her a cute outfit with a turkey on it and she learned to say, "gobble gobble".
27: Thanksgiving time! | Eliana with Aunt Darlene! (Keri's sister)
28: HOLIDAYS (CONTINUED......) Christmas Eve is spent at our house where we have our family over. We make a big Italian dinner. The house is filled with our family and friends and it’s a really great time together. Christmas day we go to Keri’s parents for more gifts, food and just enjoying each others company. We look forward to having a Christmas day of fun where we watch your child with his or her big sister Eliana open presents. We do Christmas lights, a real tree and lots of cooking and music. If we’re lucky, it will snow and we often go into New York City to see all the lights and the tree at Rockefeller center. Every few years Brent’s family comes up with all the kids and we have a blast complete with snowball fights, carriage rides in the city and roasting marshmallows over the fire. Our local fire department puts lights on their fire trucks and gives rides to kids around the neighborhood with lights and sirens blaring. Easter is a fun holiday also. Keri’s parents usually have an elaborate egg hunt for kids and adults too! We usually have a big family meal and play board games like Cranium, charades or Pictionary.
29: Mimi (Brent's mom) posing with her grandbaby Eliana!!! | Kylie (Brent's niece) snuggling with Eliana and Oreo!! | Eliana with Santa Claus!
30: Holidays continued.... | Brent's niece Zoe with Eliana | Brent's Cousin Ryan and his daughter Savannah | Brent's Cousin Kim, Aunt Virginia, Aunt Mary and Grandma Marsha!
31: Brent's niece Kylie's ballet for entertainment on Thanksgiving.... | Brent's family, enjoying the company! From left to right: Uncle David, second cousin Cain, second cousin Rylan, Uncle Bobby, cousin Kay, cousin Kim, second cousin Jackie, cousin Richard, Brent's dad Billy, cousin Amber and second cousin Sarah. | Keri with her little owl Eliana!
32: Aunt Michelle (Keri's Aunt) with Eliana on her first Christmas! | Eliana opening presents on her second Christmas with Aunt Kim (Keri's sister)! Mommy's taking the pictures!
33: Eliana with Mommy and Daddy on her first Christmas!
34: HOLIDAYS (Continued....) Halloween is fun for us. Our neighborhood is a favorite for trick or treaters, so much that people drive their kids from other parts of town to our neighborhood, I assume because the candy is more abundant. We dress up and dress up Eliana to answer our door to give candy out! And then we walk to Keri's parents house to trick or treat! We really have a great time. The 4th of July is a great holiday also. This year we went to Arkansas to visit with Memaw and Pepaw and all Eliana's Texan cousins came to visit! We stayed in a lake house and had BBQ's and fireworks and we decided that now we are going to do this every year! We have a New Year’s Eve party at our house that has been a tradition for the past several years. There is always a theme like the 80s, country/western, etc. and our friends and Brent’s cousins come in town to stay with us and celebrate! Occasionally our neighbors will come over for get togethers, barbecues, or we’ll go to their houses. We are all very friendly with our neighbors. They all have kids and on the weekends when the weather is nice, our neighborhood sounds like a giant playground full of screaming happy kids. We live about 2 blocks away from an elementary school (Keri went there when she was a kid).
35: Eliana's first Halloween dressed up as an elephant!! | Brent's niece Zoe, Brent's dad Pepaw and Eliana.......Happy July 4th!
36: Brent's niece Kylie, Eliana and Brent's niece Zoe on July 4th this year!
37: Brent's nephew Calvin, Eliana, Brent's nephew Nick, and Brent's nieces Zoe and Kylie
38: Vacations We love to travel! Together we have been to Hawaii, Mexico, Italy, England, Turkey, Greece, and several states in the US. We believe in seeing the world and other cultures. We both believe that when a person is able to see how other people live, they appreciate not only what they have, but they develop compassion, love and tolerance for other people. Every year in the summer we travel to Maine as a family and bring our dogs. We rent a small cottage and go hiking, kayaking, fishing, and shopping or we like just hanging out enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Our close friend MaryAnne is from Maine originally and her family still lives there. We love to visit their farm and play with MaryAnne’s many nieces and nephews. They’re kind of an extended family to us. We believe in family vacations. Eliana loves Maine!
39: Brent hiking with our love, Eliana! (Mommy is taking the picture!)
40: Why we would be thrilled to adopt your child! We both love children and would love you to entrust us with raising your child. We have always seen ourselves as parents with a lot of love to give. We don’t need your child to fulfill us, make us happier, and make us get along better, because it’s the “thing to do now” or any other superficial reason. We don’t want our children to grow up thinking they are responsible for our happiness or contentment. We are fulfilled now, we have learned to be happy and stable in our lives and we want to share that with another child. Our cups are running over with love. We both believe above all else in unconditional love. We don’t believe in having our child look, do or act a certain way for us to love them. This is how we plan to raise them. They will know that we love them no matter what. Unconditional love is the motivation for all of our decisions in child raising. This means that we will teach your child right from wrong, what’s good for them, not good for them, protect them, teach them to be self sufficient, and teach them to express love and compassion for other living beings. We will instill a sense of pride, laughter, unconditional support and teach them that they can be anything they want to be. All of this will be motivated by our love for your child, not out of fear, anger, worry, or other negative emotions, but love. We want your child to know that it’s OK to be who they are. We want to promote and support their individuality without compromising their integrity or compassion for others.
41: My sister Kim with her best friends baby! | Eliana going for a ride in her sled!!! | Bella as a little pup with her daddy Brent!
42: We plan to travel with our children. We will bring them with us to different countries. We want them to experience the world at large, to see that there are other cultures, other ways of living. We believe this is a way that they will learn about others and realize that the world is bigger than just our neighborhood, so they have an interest in the world. We believe in letting children express their emotions in a healthy way. We have been around some of the most challenging children on a daily basis for many years and have seen almost all kinds of reactions. That is great for us becoming parents, because we have seen so much. We do not believe in spanking, but a stern look can get the point across. There will be “time outs” and consequences for unacceptable behaviors. We believe that a child with a healthy brain has a better chance of having a more fulfilled life. Most of their brain activity is as a result of their environment. We believe in a healthy diet, lots of touch, affection, stimulation and movement. Crawling is a big deal. Crawling, exploring, touching, looking at stuff, seeing different people, develops a healthy brain. We will encourage music, singing, dancing, and art. We have amazing access to doctors and holistic wellness. We have been helping people keep their kids healthy to prevent disease for many years.
43: Keri's Uncle John, Aunt Michelle and Leah! | Keri's Mom, Grandma and Dad! | Keri and Brent on the beach in Galveston, Texas.
44: Family..... | Aunt Kim (Keri's sister) with Eliana! | Eliana snuggling with Keri! | Eliana with her cousin Leah!
45: Uncle Patrick (Aunt Kim's husband) with Eliana! | Pape (Keri's dad) with Eliana......don't touch my apple!
46: The most important thing we believe about raising children is the understanding that children mimic their parents. The best thing we can do to raise a healthy, happy child is to be an example for your child. We must live the way we want them to be. We are very eager to get to know you better and for you to get to know us better as well. To contact us, please call: 1-888-411-0530. If you have any questions about the legal process or about us, or about anything ....please free to contact our lawyer: Suzanne Nichols at 1-800-255-1415. She is so easy to talk to and can be extremely helpful! We are honored to be considered, thank you again! Lots of Love, Brent and Keri