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2: Dear Birth Parents, We are Chris and Gina from Northern Virginia. We are ready to give our love to your child and expand our family through the miracle of adoption. Thank you very much for taking the time to learn who we are. We have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for you. While we can't fully understand what you are going through, we know that this is a difficult time. Your decision shows courage and selflessness, and we pray for your well-being each and every day. | Wherever life takes you, we hope you find comfort in knowing that your sacrifice means so much to us. We imagine that you have a lot of questions and after looking at our photos and reading about us, we hope that you walk away with confidence that we will provide unconditional love and support for your child. It would be an amazing privilege to be the parents of your child. We always considered adoption, but when it became clear that we could not conceive biologically, we realized that all that really matters is the chance to be parents. To the extent that you're comfortable, we'd like to open our hearts to an open relationship with you. Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck and hope that you find peace in your heart. Gina & Chris

4: My mom and dad were young when I was born and their marriage lasted only a few years, but they were incredible and consistently collaborated with one another to ensure I benefited from the love and support of both parents. Although they were faced with the challenge of working through their marital differences, there was never a disruption for me at home, at school, or on the playground. | My love of sports developed because my dad and I would go to games together and he also coached my baseball and basketball teams, which is a tradition I’d like to carry on. He encouraged me to do my best in all aspects of life. My mom was always my go-to person to share good and bad news. She taught me the importance of listening attentively to others and empowered me to become a school counselor so that I can provide students with their own safe haven to share thoughts, to express frustration, and to celebrate victories. | CHRIS BACK IN THE DAY

5: GINA BACK IN THE DAY | My sister is three years younger than me, and even though we look nothing alike, my mom insisted on dressing us like twins. Chris now considers my sister to be his own, and we agree that we'd like more than one child in our family to have a house full of laughter and fun. | We always went on a family trip, usually to the beach. During the summers, my dad would take us fishing, and my mom would make us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. | My mom was a high school French teacher, and my dad taught junior high science and social studies. My sister and I actually had class with both of them, and we still tease them that if someone was bad in class, they gave us detention to set an example. While our parents might be considered strict, they were extremely involved in our lives, attended and cheered at all of our sporting events, and knew all of our friends. Those are definitely characteristics that I hope to carry on.

6: HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS | We met during our junior year of high school, started dating right before high school graduation, and actually went to senior prom together. | We attended the same college and watched one another grow into adults and supported one another as we balanced school, work, family, and friends. Chris had the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. Because of the distance and time difference, we learned to strengthen our communication skills and racked up a pretty high phone bill!

7: Chris proposed in San Francisco after we were together for 9 years. When he asked, I didn't immediately say yes. Instead, I asked if he was sure. After that many years, he was!

8: THE HONEYMOON ISN'T OVER! | We married in our hometown at an outdoor ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. We had a wonderful party with food, dancing, and games to celebrate. I hadn't talked to or seen Gina all day, and wedding anxiety kicked in. However, our moms provided comic relief. They couldn't light the unity candle and stood in front of everyone giggling.

10: GINA'S BETTER HALF | Chris and I met in high school and immediately became friends because he is laid back and patient, which makes it easy to talk with him. The best part is that you know he is actually listening and engaged. On the day of our first date, Chris was visiting the University of Pittsburgh (where we eventually went to college together) with his dad. I assumed that he'd need to reschedule our date because the school was 5 hours from our hometown. Plus, their football team was playing his family's favorite team, Notre Dame, in the last game ever at Pitt stadium. Well, much to my surprise he hurried back and picked me up on time. Over the last 14 years, Chris has continued to surprise me and has always been the reliable rock I can count on. He can always put a smile on my face and knows just how to cheer me up with a hug or make me laugh with a goofy joke. After years of working, Chris decided to make a major career change and went back to school to make his dream of becoming a counselor a reality. I'm so proud of his continued drive and ambition to make himself a better person and give back to the community. I can see how his good-natured attitude will translate into positive role model for your child.

11: Gina is my best friend and my biggest supporter. She cheered me on over the past three years as I completed my master’s degree and encouraged me when I was overwhelmed and exhausted. After my mom passed away in 2011, she helped to restore my motivation for becoming a counselor. She is an incredibly generous, caring, and loving person. When we first met, we quickly became friends. I always thought Gina was beautiful, but I never thought I would be so fortunate to turn our friendship into such a strong relationship. Gina has such a passion for life. She works harder than anyone I know and I can see this translate to other facets of our lives. She brings an incredible amount of energy when playing with our friends’ children, and they immediately latch on to the opportunity to play with Aunt Gina. I know that she will be such an amazing mom, and the role seems to come so naturally to her. When Gina and I met, I had never gone more than just a few hours away from our hometown in Pennsylvania. However, Gina’s mom taught French and planned many trips to Montreal, Quebec, and Paris. She was exposed to so much more in high school but never once bragged about it. Instead, she shared her experiences and empowered me to invest more of my time traveling the world and growing as a person. The best part was the fact that we were able to do this together, and we cherish the opportunity to share these experiences with your child. Gina is a hockey fan, and although I consider myself to be a well-rounded sports fanatic, it’s fun that she gets to teach me about the game. As she cheers on her team, it makes me think of how tremendous she will be as a “soccer” mom. | CHRIS' BETTER HALF

12: 'TIS THE SEASON We spend the holidays with family and friends. We continue traditions, like baking Christmas cookies, and start new ones, like celebrating 4th of July in Northern Virginia with a cookout and pool party. Besides spending time with the people we love, one of our favorite things about the holidays is the food. On Thanksgiving, we have to save room for Gina's mom's sweet potato casserole and Chris' Nana's stuffing balls.

13: On Christmas Eve, we spend time visiting with Gina's family. As a tradition, we go to mass, eat dinner, open presents, and stay up late talking. | We also get a huge laugh out of picking costumes and dressing up for Halloween and St. Patty's Day.

14: OUR FAMILY TREE In our family, we laugh loudly, smile often, make mistakes, try again, say we are sorry, cherish friends, honor family, volunteer, share, love deeply, and are thankful for all that has blessed us. | We grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which is only 4 hours from our current home in Northern Virginia. Our families still reside there, and we see them frequently when we visit for the holidays, birthdays, or just for fun. They also make trips to our area to explore and take advantage of all of the tourist attractions.

16: OH, THE PLACES WE'VE BEEN! | Our favorite hobby is traveling, and there isn't a place that we don't want to go. One of our goals is to visit all 50 states by the time we're 50. We're only about half way there, but we also have to fit in traveling abroad. We welcome the chance to include your child in our adventures and make these trips a family affair. | Key West | Amsterdam | Ireland | Puerto Rico | Australia

18: GINA'S PERFECT SATURDAY | Favorite Sport: Hockey Favorite Candy: Milk Chocolate Favorite Snacks: Ice Cream and Popcorn Favorite Fruit: Watermelon Favorite Season: Summer Least Favorite Chore: Grocery Shopping Least Favorite Vegetable: Creamed Corn | Chris and I would wake up without an alarm and take a jog or bike ride to our local farmer's market. We'd have lunch at the market and get some fruits and vegetables. In the afternoon, we'd relax by the pool, read, or watch a game. In the evening, we'd have friends over and grill.

19: CHRIS' PERFECT FRIDAY NIGHT | Favorite Sport: Baseball Favorite Candy: Dark Chocolate Favorite Snack: Potato Chips Favorite Fruit: Watermelon Favorite Season: Spring Least Favorite Chore: Dusting Least Favorite Vegetable: Lima Beans | Even though Gina may not be the biggest baseball fan, she is my ideal companion to go to a game. She cheers with excitement and really enjoys "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch. We typically grab a bite to eat and then sit back and enjoy the warm weather and each other's company.

20: HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS... And our heart is currently in Northern Virginia, where we've been living for the past 6 years. | We grew up in an area with ample space to run around and play outside, and we want to raise our children in a similar environment. We live in a garden-style condo and have a community pool, and our neighborhood has parks, hiking trails, playgrounds, and bike paths. | Plus, we are fortunate to live close to Washington, D.C. We still love touring the city and visiting the museums and monuments. We are surrounded by a variety of cultures and ethnicities and take advantage of the diversity by trying new restaurants and festivals.

22: We promise to -open our hearts and love your child fully and completely -continue to learn and grow as your child does -share our traditions and begin new ones -surround your child with supportive family and friends -open the door to on-going education -travel the world and encourage new adventures -teach your child that the sky is the limit and anything is possible -give your child opportunities to play sports, instruments, sing, and dance -teach your child to be strong and open minded -eat fruits and vegetables but also enjoy cupcakes and ice cream.

23: Thank you again for considering us as parents of your child. We hope that this book has told you a little bit more about us. Your courage is extraordinary, and you will always be a part of your child. We promise to make sure he or she knows how selfless you are. We respect your decision to follow your heart and pray that God will give you the peace and comfort to do what is best for your child. With love and support, Gina and Chris

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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Published: over 5 years ago