S: DANA & ERIC
FC: DANA *& ERIC
1: We'd like to dedicate this book to the Birth mother for your bravery, courage, and selfless love for your child. This book is also dedicated to our future child. We'd like to introduce you to your new family, our friends, and us, your parents. We vow to give you unconditional love, strong Christian values, and a closely knit family.
2: We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible-Oscar Wilde"
3: Our names are Dana and Eric Hampton. and we thank you for taking the time to review our memory book. True to the words of Oscar Wilde, our greatest experience was adopting our first son, Bryce, two years ago. It was so amazing, we wish to have that moment all over again. Our first Birth mother, who is very dear to our hearts, saw something in us that we hope you will see too. Perhaps it was love, honesty or maybe faith. In the following pages, we hope you get to know us better and pray it will help you to see our family as the answer to raising your child. Following this, is a brief description of us, and then, we expand on our lives through pictures and stories on the remainder of the pages.
4: Eric and I have large extended families and we always knew that we wanted to have children as part of this wonderful group. After seven years of trying to have our own children without success, we realized God has a different plan for us. Even before we adopted our first child, Eric and I agreed that our children would have a strong foundation in the Christian faith, because God is the cornerstone of all life. They will be surrounded by our family to teach them about unbreakable bonds and various traditions. Education and hobbies based on their interests will help them to be independent and have a strong sense of self. Most importantly they will have us as parents to provide the love that binds all of these things together and guide them on this strange road called life. Eric and I balance each other well. We're similar in morality, faith and family, but we have different personalities and hobbies which make our relationship work. Eric will be excited to be a coach on their team if they decide on a sport and I'll want to teach them how to speak French. Eric can't wait to teach them how to play golf if they want and I'll hope they take an interest in music and the theatre. Bryce already enjoys playing with his toy golf set and every Tuesday we go to a group children's music class. Soon he'll start swim class.
5: Wherever their interests lie, we'll be supportive and involved perhaps learning something new. Eric and I decided that I am going to be a stay at home mom even before Bryce entered our lives. We've desperately wanted to be parents for so long and now we are able to cherish every second. I get to see Bryce grow and when he does something new I take a picture or video and send it to Eric at work. We can't wait to see what things our new little one does . We can't understand the difficulty of your decision or the intensity of emotion you face right now. One of my favorite quotes is from To Kill A Mockingbird when Atticus Finch tells his children, "You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it." Even though we don't understand your situation, perhaps we can help you make the decision once you've read our profile. We pray that God will guide you toward a decision no matter what family you choose and give you peace. This is about what's best for your child;_perhaps we have that in common. If you choose us, we promise that your child will understand that your love and sacrifice helped to make our family possible. We are happy to keep contact with you over the years and keep the relations as open as you want. We hope you enjoy looking at our memory book as much as we had fun making it. This is only a brief glimpse of who we are and hope you would like to meet us to find out more. "
6: Dana and I met at Penn State and started to date after being friends for two years. Initially, her warmth, creativity, and curiosity about life and other cultures drew me to her. Over the years, I still discover new things that make my love for her grow. She is a loyal and dedicated friend who is sensitive to the needs of others. Dana is the kind of person that you meet for the first time and feel like you've known her all of your life and are better for it. As an aunt and godparent, Dana has the opportunity to love and care for her 10 nieces and nephews as they grew up. They adore her, showering her with hugs and kisses during their time together. Dana has loving parents and three siblings that helped to build a foundation of love, family and faith that will provide the building blocks for our child's future. | Dana-My Friend and Wife
7: I've seen her with the same motherly love and warmth when I see her with our son Bryce. Being a mom is her true calling in life and I hope that those who read this book are able to see that too.
8: I met Eric while at Penn State and instantly liked him. He is funny, intelligent, sensitive and everyone loves to be around him. During our friendship, I saw his unshakable love for his family. His mother's and father's family live within 10-15 miles of each other, so Bryce and our future child will be the center of many family gatherings. | It's no surprise that because of Eric's affection, he has many, loyal friends. Throughout the years, he goes to great lengths to keep in touch with them and I know they appreciate it. Eric is wonderful with children whether teaching football for midget league or taking active membership in his church's youth group. Eric has an innate ability to connect with children because of his playfulness and wonder for life. | Eric-My Friend and Husband
9: And as for me, well, my heart melts every time I see him with Bryce. He's such a wonderful dad that it makes me love him even more. I can't wait to see our family grow. | When my nieces and nephews were very little they were cautious with strangers. That wasn't the case when they first met Eric. They instantly took to him as does Bryce. Eric is a well rounded person. He likes sports but he also likes gardening and baking. He's been a pharmaceutical sales rep for 11 years which shows his dedication and commitments. After 13 years of marriage, he knows me better than I know myself. His unfailing love and support have helped me to endure the difficult times of life and share in its joys. | WORLD'S GREATEST DAD
10: BRYCE | Because of a very special woman who made a difficult decision based on love, our little miracle was born on December 10, 2009. It's been an honor to watch him grow and learn and help him to navigate his way. Eric and I are fascinated every time Bryce discovers something new because we get to see the wonder in his eyes.
11: Bryce is an affectionate baby whether its towards other kids, grown-ups, or animals. I know he'll make a good big brother who will have lots of love for his little brother or sister. | Our little guy loves to help everyone. Whether it's watering plants or picking tomatoes I know he'll be a big help to his little sister or brother, helping them to talk, walk or play games.
12: Doting Grandparents | The one thing grandchildren in our families don't lack is unwavering love and attention. Bryce and our new little one will enjoy unending hugs, homemade cookies, many horsey rides and the kind of joy only a grandparent can give.
13: Nobody can do for little grandchildren what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children- Alex Haley
14: Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. --Brad Henry
15: Our desire to raise a family stems from the wonderful families with which we were blessed. Whether it's Christmas Eve, Sunday dinner or a family picnic we enjoy spending time with them. Our families provide much love and support so the kids thrive and feel confident. They are very excited that we want to adopt another child and cannot wait to share in the joy of the newest member. | Every year, my family and I get together at my dad's lake house. Last year, we decided to go to the beach and had a great time. We always take a picture of the kids on the last day to see how they've grown from last year. | My nieces jumping off the dock together. | We like to play a lot of games and have fun as a family.
16: This is our sweet dog, Harry. We adopted him when he was five years old. He's such a gentle soul and 'loves to be loved.' | As you can see, Harry is extremely patient and a loyal companion. His favorite thing to do is sleep, so I imagine him on the floor by the crib keeping the baby company. | P | E | T | S | HARRY | Harry loves to play in the snow. I think he'll be running and jumping in the snow with the kids, or maybe even pulling the sled.
17: We adopted Aspen from our local animal shelter, and he's made a great addition to the family. He rolls over so we can rub his tummy while he purrs. Other times he likes to be chased around the house. He is good with children and even will play with their toys alongside them. | ASPEN | I used to think socks just disappeared in the dryer. Now I know Aspen is the real culprit.
18: HOLIDAYS Holidays are a fun time in our family. During Christmas we get together with both families to participate in tradition, midnight mass and of course, opening presents ! During Halloween, the neighborhood gets dressed up for Trick or Treating (including the parents)! Then we make a weekend trip to Eric's parents for the annual Halloween party to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. We always decorate the house for different holidays and make sure we are surrounded by family to make new memories.
19: Every year, the kids get together to make Christmas cookies. This is Eric's nephew, Tristan who was very proud of his cookies. Pretty soon Bryce and our newest little one will be old enough to join in the fun.
20: The finished product ! | Bryce is directing his dad on what to do | Carving the family pumpkin | We're at the annual Hampton Halloween Party where we raise money for breast cancer research. | Eric dresses up to take Bryce trick or treating while I dress up to hand out candy. We hope things like this create memories for the kids on which to reminisce.
21: Eric and I have a lot of hobbies we enjoy doing. Eric has always liked softball, football and golf. He golfs regularly with his friend, Steve, and is a part of his church's softball league. Eric hopes to return to coaching kids if one of our children's team would need extra help. I developed a love for gourmet cooking and gardening that I plan to share with the kids if they want. Right now Bryce can put a cup of flour or sugar into a recipe or help me to water the flowers. I'd love to share that with our next child and if nothing else, they'll know how to cook a great meal as an adult. I also belong to a French club so I can practice my rusty French. I've made a lot of friends from all over the world. We'll be excited to see what interests our children develop and to nurture those into hobbies they will have later in their lives too. | HOBBIES
22: Eric's cousin, Steve, teaches Eric about the fun of kayaking. He likes to try new things. | 4 | 2 | Eric's Hobbies
23: Dana Strawberry Pie 1 9-in pie crust, baked 1 quart fresh strawberries 1 cup white sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup whipping cream Arrange half the strawberries in the baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Put on medium heat and bring to a boil stirring frequently. | OH LA LA! | Dana's Hobbies | Here are some flowers from last year. I'd like to plant vegetables this year and then our kids can take part in helping them to grow in the future.
24: HOME SWEET HOME
25: The Kitchen-we bake a lot of cookies in this room | The Living Room-it looks clean now but once the toys come out, it's pandemonium and fun | Mantown-Eric watches football here with his buddies, but it's also a place for the kids to run and play during the winter months | The backyard pool-it will be important for the kids to learn how to swim early | We think our kids will be at our house because of the pool. We'll know where they are. | Our backyard is big enough to build snowmen in the winter or play kickball in the summer
26: Eric and I like to take a vacation every year, sometimes far away like Aruba or sometimes to my dad's lake house. As the kids get older we will do more things they like such as Disneyworld or the Grand Canyon. | Bosnia and Hercegovina
27: Where would we be without friends? The following page shows some of the friends we have gained in high school, college, work and various places through our lives. The photos show the best of times with them, but these are also the people who have held our hands when times were difficult. Charlie Brown said it best to Snoopy, "Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well don't worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will always shine tomorrow and I will always be here to take care of you".
29: Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero--Marc Brown, Children's book author, most notably Arthur | Seeing Bryce interact with other children, I know he would make the best big brother because he's so attentive. When I ask him if he'd like a little brother or sister he gives me a loud, resounding, YES !
30: Eric and I hope you enjoyed looking through the pictures of our life and reading about the hopes of our future family. We included a lot of pictures of our son, Bryce, to give you a glimpse into how we are raising him and how he fits into our extended family. We would continue to do the same for your child, and now, we have the experience to make us even more confident parents. Eric and I have discussed that in adding another child it will be important that each little one get special, one-on-one attention from both of us. Other times, we will bond as a family and create fun memories. Our children will know they are a wonderful gift and be cherished for the blessing they are. If this book has piqued your interest about us, we would love to meet you and answer any questions you have. Please contact Denise Bierly, Esq. at 814-237-7900 If this is where your journey ends with us, I wish you God's grace as you make your decision. Sincerely, Dana and Eric Hampton "Adoption is God's Love given twice." --Kelsey Stewart, birthmother and author of The Best for You