FC: José & Marie
1: Dear Birthmom, We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for wanting to learn more about us. We hope that with the help of the following pages you will have a better understanding of who we are and how much we want to share our lives with a child. We know that the path you have decided to take is not an easy one and because of that we hope you find comfort in our story and in knowing that if picked, as adoptive parents, we would love that baby more than anything in this world. With much appreciation, Marie and José Querida Madre biológica Queremos aprovechar esta oportunidad para darle las gracias por querer aprender más acerca de nosotros. Esperamos que con la ayuda de las siguientes páginas usted tendrá una mejor comprensión de lo que somos y lo mucho que queremos compartir nuestra vida con un niño. Sabemos que el camino que ha decidido tomar no es fácil y por eso esperamos que encuentre consuelo en nuestra historia y en saber que si somos elegidos, como padres adoptivos, no habra un bebé más querido en este mundo. Con mucha apreciación, Marie and José
2: José is.... - 35 years old - Of Colombian descent - A Financial Analyst - A graduate from the University of Pennsylvania - The oldest of three brothers - According to him the favorite son :) - An amazing cook (best lasagna & roasted pork, YUM) - An amazing man according to Marie & all that have the pleasure of knowing him | José loves.... - Playing soccer - Cooking - Traveling - Being around friends and family - Camping - Attending sport & music events - Movie & Pizza night with Marie & Zoey
3: Marie is... - 39 years old - Of Puerto Rican descent - A Decorative product specialist - The first to graduate from college in her family - The youngest of three sisters - The favorite daughter, according to her - An amazing cook (best tostones rellenos) - The sweetest person you will ever meet | Marie loves.... - Singing, big on karaoke - Interior design - Bargain shopping - Traveling - Hiking with José & Zoey - Hosting - Her family and friends, they mean the world to her
4: What Marie means to me.... Although Marie and I have a number of common strengths and interests, she brings into my life all of the things I love, but wasn't blessed with on my own. Marie is talented, charismatic, funny, generous, thoughtful, proud and loving, but with all of that she is humble. She's an amazing singer, but you would never hear her say that. She has a great eye for remodeling and color, but if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know that she decorated our house almost entirely on her own. It doesn't take long for her to carry a room, but she'll never leave anyone out of a conversation. She's proud of her roots, but is constantly striving to become a more complete person. Because of who she is, I want to laugh more (and make her laugh), do silly things (though I hate looking silly), be a more thoughtful man and better person. Most of all she reminds me to enjoy the moment and appreciate the things we have in our lives today, because they might not be there tomorrow. I can't imagine better traits for a mother, more importantly the mother of our children.
5: What José means to me.... Before José I never saw myself as a person who wanted children. Bullied as a child I guess I feared them having to endure what I had to. But then I met José & all those fears went away. Never in my life have I been loved or made feel so safe. He is truly my prince charming & the thought of starting a family with him just makes me so happy & excited. The child that we are blessed with will know what it is to truly be loved by a father. If we are blessed with a boy he will know what it is to have pride in himself, how to treat a woman with respect & what it is to have a father who is a friend but also a true role model. If we are blessed with a girl she will witness what a true partner is & how she should always be treated like the one & only & to never settle for less. They will both know the warmth of his hugs & the tenderness of his words. Best of all they will feel & know the unconditional love of what I know will be an amazing dad.
6: Zoey is.... - A rescue from Alabama - A boxer lab mix - Turning 2yrs old in December - Extremely sweet | Zoey loves.... - Peanut butter flavored biscuits - Belly rubs - Chasing squirrels - To think she is a lap dog
7: A boxer-lab, Zoey came to us last year from a rescue shelter in Alabama. She is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. Best of all she loves giving hugs & tries more than anything, even at 50 lbs, to be a lap dog.
8: José's Family | Brother JP | Brother Anthony & wife Kathy | Ana & Arturo/ Mom & Dad
9: Everything starts with my parents, who immigrated to the United States from Colombia when they were young. Despite both being born & largely raised there, they met in Queens, NY. My parents had three boys, I'm the oldest. Since my father was in the US Navy, we traveled with him up & down the east coast moving from base to base approximately every three years. I know it was tough on my mother at times, because we were never very close to our extended family & my father could be deployed for months at a time. My mother is strong & she did the only thing she could, focus on providing us with faith, family values, morals & the wits to decide between right & wrong, in other words a foundation for life. My father supported her efforts & served as an example of how a man, even if only armed with a high school education, can & should provide for his family. Together they showed us that hard work and compromise are a powerful combination in any relationship. My brothers & I have always had a great relationship, as kids we played baseball & soccer together, up until recently we were again on the same soccer team in NY (then I moved to CT). It's great now that we are all in the north east, we haven't seen each other this much since I left home for college. The biggest difference now is that for the big holidays our parents come to us, because it's easier than the three of us going to them...but we still enjoy the occasional trip back to Florida!
10: Marie's Family | Yolanda, Sister | Rosa & Anthony,Sister & Nephew | José & Gloria, Dad & Stepmom | Bruce, Nephew | Heather, Niece
11: My family means the world to me. My sisters are my best friends and my dad has always been my idol. I lost my mom when I was 22, going on 23 years old. The day that happened my sisters and I bonded like never before. We are each others confidant, critic and biggest fan. My dad a native Puerto Rican came to NY and made a life for himself and his family. With only a 3rd grade education and broken English, he accomplished the American dream by providing his family with a beautiful home, bus trips to Walt Disney and amazing roasted pork every holiday. Our household was very strict, but even with all the rules and restrictions there was lots of love including Saturday morning cartoons with the strictest one of the house, Dad (a.k.a Papi). Being that my sisters are 9-years older than me, my niece and nephews are more like my siblings. Their ages range from 19-22 and their interests are each very different from one another. One thing they seem to have in common is that they all love to spend time with the family and are extremely excited about babysitting their new cousin. I am excited about that as well and can't wait for them to experience a dirty diaper the way I did when I babysat them :).
12: Our home | Our 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, home sits on a cul-de-sac surrounded by beautiful trees and wonderful neighbors. It is truly an amazing place for raising kids.
13: In preparation for a child we renovated the whole second floor of the house. New windows, floors, bathrooms, you name it, we did it. Being a decorator at a paint store has definitely come in handy. As of right now the bedroom next to ours has been assigned to the baby. It is primed and ready to be decorated. We cannot wait to find out what we are having!!! Check out a few of the design ideas we have for the room. | For Girl | For Girl | For Boy
14: We have been together since 2004. Every happy moment and/or bump in the road has not only made our relationship stronger, but has also made us fall deeper and deeper in love with each other. We are truly blessed to have one another and we thank God for it everyday. | Our Story
15: We met through mutual friends at a party Marie's company was throwing. Our connection was instant. We talked all night, seven days later we had our first date, 3.5-years later José would ultimately propose to Marie at the same location.
16: Our wedding Key West, Florida
18: Our lives together
20: Why adoption? | During our courtship, when we talked about family we always talked about having a child biologically and adopting another. Somehow we were always on the same page when we discussed kids, we didn't need deep discussions to know that adoption was always part of our plan. On November 2010 we were blessed with the news that we were 1-month pregnant, through IVF. We were so happy. We surprised our parents during Christmas with little booties and the whole family was jumping for joy. Everything was going great. The baby was extremely healthy and Marie was glowing. Soon after our news we found out that three of José's cousins and two of Marie's close friends were also having kids around the same time. Everyone was so happy with the thought of all these babies just growing up together. It was truly an amazing time. Fast forward to February 2011, Valentine's week, José returned from a work trip. After 5 months of being pregnant Marie's water broke and we rushed to the hospital. Based on what we saw on the monitor everything was fine. The baby was alive and even waved at us. However, because Marie was so early in pregnancy the baby's lungs had not developed and the doctors informed us that the baby would not survive. Our only option now was to terminate due to risk of infection. Our little girl was born on February 19th. She was so precious, you would have never imagined anything being wrong. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing. Hearing from the doctors that what happened was just bad luck was even worse.
21: After many failed attempts with IVF we decided to give ourselves a break. During that time we registered for a infertility/adoption conference. Since we were already familiar with the options regarding infertility we decided to focus on the adoption seminars. In one of our sessions there was a guest speaker who told us about her own experience in such a way that we immediately connected with her story. It reminded us of how much we wanted to adopt from the beginning and how it was always part of our plan. Our goal has always been to have a family, our experiences remind us that certain things in life just cannot be planned. All we want is to fill our house with the laughter and love of a child. To watch them grow and be able to provide and guide them through life. To support them in every decision and hold their hands through those that are hard to make. To share everything we've accomplished, to help them accomplish more. To travel the world and show them things that we never had the chance to experience. To help them understand their heritage and always be proud of who they are and where they came from. To let them know that they are loved not only by their adoptive parents, but also their birth mother who created this amazing plan for them. To remind them that nothing is possible without God. To be a Mommy and Daddy. Why adoption? Because it will give us this opportunity.
22: If you have made it this far in the book, we hope that we were successful in giving you an idea of how much we love each other and how much we want to share that love with a child. Adoption is not normally the first choice for a Latin family, but for us, who have always swum against the current, we are proud to say it is our path. We cannot wait to start this amazing journey with you. We pray that we are able to hold each others hands through all of this and that together we provide this amazing child the wonderful life it deserves. Forever grateful, Marie and José
23: PS. Zoey is excited too.