S: Blake and Marisa
BC: Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our family. We pray the Lord will lead and guide you, surround you with peace and show you His great love for you and your baby.
FC: Blake & Marisa
1: We have been praying for you and your baby. Your child is a gift from the Lord and a daughter of the most HIGH God. Thank you for considering an adoption plan for your child and please know you are loved and prayed for by our family. Romans 8:28 states, " And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to His purpose." Our family is very excited about growing through the addition of a child through adoption. God has a wonderful plan for both you and your baby! Perhaps it is his will that our paths would intersect at this time and that both our journeys would be forever changed. We admire your courageous commitment to continue your pregnancy. It must be a challenging and confusing time, but we believe God will lead you to a wonderful adoptive family for your child. We are trusting that God will give you wisdom in discerning the family he has for your baby. Our two sons have been such a tremendous blessing in our marriage; it is humbling and amazing to us that God is paving the way for our family to experience the rich blessing of adding another child to our home. We would like to make several promises to you that reflect our values in raising children: 1.We are committed to a Christ-honoring, lifelong marriage 2.We will love, respect, and care for our children in a way that reflects the love of our spiritual Father 3.We will celebrate and encourage their ethnicity and individuality. 4.We will make whatever sacrifices necessary to provide our children with the best life experiences we can 5.We place a high value on education and will train our children to pursue knowledge and wisdom, both through the highest formal education desired and through lifelong informal learning 6.We commit to nurture our children's spiritual growth through: prayer with and for our children, involvement in ministry within and outside the traditional church, and Bible study We trust His word in your life and ours and pray this book will give you a glimpse into our lives. Our love for the Lord, each other, our sweet children, family and friends is a gift we look forward to sharing with the child GOD has chosen for our family. -Blake and Marisa
3: All four of us in a wedding together | Christmas is our favorite time of year | Hallelujah Carnival at church | The boys insist on a silly picture for every family shot we get!
4: About Blake... First, I love my family very much. God has blessed us with good health, great friends, and careers we enjoy! I grew up near Atlanta and I have a Masters and Doctorate of Ministry. I enjoy watching sports, playing basketball, swimming, and reading.
5: We stay very active! I coach the boys in basketball, baseball, and soccer. | I love serving as a pastor and have been in ministry 12 years. | Top 10 reasons my daddy is the best! | 1. He wrestles with us 2. Plays sports with us 3. Takes us to church 4. He guides us 5. He tucks us in at night 6. He's kind and funny 7. He protects us 8. He plays games with us 9. Takes us fun places 10. He loves us a lot
6: About Marisa... | Being a wife and mother is my highest calling. I love my husband and children and am blessed to be home with them most of the time. I also have a calling to minister to women in childbirth. I love my "job" as a doula and childbirth educator. It is amazing to encourage and educate women in a crucial time of their lives. In my free time I enjoy reading, spending time with friends , crafting, decorating and exercising. | Top 10 reasons my mommy is the best! | 1. She's very kind 2. She kisses a lot 3. Buys us gifts 4. She cooks good 5. Makes stuff with us 6. Takes us to the beach 7. Lets us do fun things 8. Has acceptable rules (did he just say that?!!) 9. She helps at school 10. She cleans a lot
7: Being available to my family is very important to me. I am blessed to have a job, but it is 2 hours a week and a birth a month. This leaves me with most of my time to be with the boys, develop friendships, volunteer at school, support Blake in his role as Pastor and help others. We have so much flexibility in our jobs that our children have not had to be in daycare and get to spend their summers at the pool, playing with friends and taking family vacations.
8: Love . . . rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:6-8 | Having a strong and stable marriage is something we do not take lightly. We work hard to have date nights, vacations alone and intentional time at home together. We understand that a solid marriage is a gift to our children and a foundation for them to develop into who the Lord has called them to be. | Blake is my best friend! He is so kind and gentle with me. He is humble and shows his love to me in tangible ways. He has been such a faithful husband and father. It is his highest calling. | Marisa is the most compassionate person I know. She is radiant and beautiful inside and out. I am blessed to share life with her!
9: The boys are so excited about having a sister join them in the fun! They look forward to protecting her, dressing her (that would be Rylen!), having her be a cheerleader at their sporting events, teaching her the Bible, going on vacations with her and playing in the back yard. | Coleston and Rylen are truly the best of friends. They understand what a gift they have in each other and love to play together. They were so excited when they "had" to start sharing a room together. Although they have differences, they are best buddies!
10: We are very blessed to have our own "adopted" family. We have wonderful extended family out-of-state and we visit with them a few times a year. When we first moved to North Carolina, we were adopted by two loving families. If we can't make it home for holidays or family can't come to us, we have our local family. We are so thankful that in the family of God, we truly are brothers and sisters in Christ!
11: Marisa's brother and sister-in-law at their wedding | Grandma and Grandpa took us to Disney! | Blake's mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece | My VERY best friend who is the children's "Aunt Ashley" | Our adopted family at Ry's dedication | Marisa's adopted sisters
12: The Nursery | What a sweet time it was to put a GIRL nursery together! | The Nursery
13: Blake and I met at the Baptist Convention Center in Black Mountain., NC. We both wanted a summer to work for the Lord and spend time away from distraction. God knit our hearts together that summer and gave us a bond in Christ. We have been married 11 years and they have been full. God has given us many ups and downs but by His grace, we have grown in our love and commitment to each other. | Children are a GIFT from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 | In The Beginning...
14: Coleston is a very active little boy! It seems as if he came out with a ball in his hand. His favorite activities are baseball, basketball and soccer. He wants to play football when he is old enough. He basically loves all sports! He loves to watch ESPN with his daddy and talk sports like an adult! He is very gifted in school and is part of a few special classes to excel in his education. We are privledged to attend many weddings and he is such a dancer! He is a daddy's boy and calls Blake his best friend.
16: Rylen is by far the funniest child most people have ever met! We are sure he could have a t.v. show about all the funny things he says and does! He is also very compassionate and mommy's snuggle bug. He is an amazing raspy, southern accent. Rylen loves to talk to anyone and has never met a stranger. We have a few friends whose children have been injured in accidents and he is their number one cheerleader. For 2 years he was sure he was a doctor and wore scrubs every day. We had 7 pairs and that was his wardrobe unless mommy was really mean and made him wear "normal" clothes. He loves to play the piano and draw.
17: Rylen is most excited about taking his little sister to Grandma's house. She does lots of fun things with her grandchildren!
18: Our Home God has blessed us with a good home in a wonderful community. Our prayer is that the Lord makes our home a place of grace, warmth, and hospitality. | Our wonderful elementary school. We have been blessed to have supportive and loving teachers for the boys. The student body is very diverse. | Our living room is a place where many activities happen. We love to watch movies together, play board games,have indoor picnics and many wrestling matches! | Because we love to have people over, our kitchen is a busy place. I enjoy the openness of being a part of the crowd while cooking.
19: We are a very active family. We love to do everything together. We try to make the most of every moment we have. Whether that is riding bikes together, going to the beach, playing at the park or our newest favorite activity, tailgating at NCSU football games!
20: Family vacations are special traditions we have. We love to go to new places, travel with friends, family and special "couple" vacations.
21: Developing friendships and teaching our children the value of friendship is very important to us. We love to spend time with our friends and encourage our children to have their friends over.