Before we begin this letter we want to extend to you our respect and love, and wish you strength and wellbeing during this time. Please know that this letter is truly from our hearts and it is a privilege that you would consider us as a family to love and raise your child. We recognize that you are putting your child’s needs first and we hope to support you through your journey. As a family we would welcome your baby as a precious gift and provide them with the greatest possible care, and we would be forever grateful.
We would love to share with you a little about who we are, what has brought us to this place in our lives and how we imagine our future as a family of four. We met almost 10 years ago through mutual friends and our adventure began. Two years later, June 2010, we set off to Central America and married on a beautiful cliff top in Costa Rica, just the two of us. We didn’t know at that stage but we were pregnant with our daughter; as you can imagine it was a pretty magical time!
We always imagined having two children and when we were faced with secondary infertility we reached a crossroads that started us on our amazing adoption journey. Pursuing further fertility treatments didn’t resonate with either of us, and our conversations moved to completing our family through adoption. It sounds so silly but once we made our decision to adopt our hearts literally grew!
We recently purchased our first house, a short ferry ride from Vancouver. Our home is in a beautiful, warm, vibrant, family centered community surrounded by forests, beaches and mountains. We have a big garden with fruits trees; a swing set, trampoline and a little creek running through the back yard…blue prints are underway for an epic treehouse. Our daughter attends Kitty Kindergarten at our wonderful community elementary school where they take advantage of the surrounding beaches and forests for classes. It is a vibrant community for families with parks, recreation centres, swimming pools, hiking, beaches, an ice rink, a cinema, libraries and a ski hill with in a short distance.
We often take advantage of the short trip to the city to visit friends and family. We love science world, the art gallery (where they have great family activities on Sundays and an amazing café), the aquarium, or a family favourite: Maple Wood farm. We love celebrating holidays and Christmas is a favourite. Every year we dress up in our finest clothes and go to the Nutcracker ballet followed by dinner at a fabulous restaurant. The gondola trip up Grouse Mountain to see santa and his reindeer is magical and of course we visit the Christmas Train in Stanley Park (with a flask of hot chocolate) at least once. Christmas day is the one day of the year when cooking is done entirely by Chris and family and friends descend on our house.
As parents and a couple we share the same values. Being a family and raising and providing for our daughter and future child are our number one priority. Tolerance, compassion and respect for others (and ones self) are invaluable lessons. We want to give them the space to grow and we want to fill their worlds with experiences, love, support, guidance and FUN.
While we do not practice any firm forms of discipline we do value boundaries and providing what is needed rather than what is wanted. We want to cultivate an‘open dialogue’ relationship, where our children feel that they can come to us with anything and know they’ll receive our unconditional support. We want our daughter and your child to know that anything is possible, and that we will be there to celebrate, encourage and comfort at every step of the way.
While we reserve any expectations of our little humans, we do value the importance of a good education. We plan to provide financially for our family should they chose to continue into further education; we have established an education fund for Kitty and intend to do the same for your child. Happily the education fund can be used for ‘traditional universities’ and ‘non-traditional’ fields of learning, such as a full emersion into classical guitar in Argentina!
We want to create healthy bodies and grow healthy minds. We eat a well-rounded, fresh, healthy diet and we are incredibly active. We communicate openly and mindfully and we model empathy and tolerance. Kitty loves to meditate in the evening and we have some wonderful meditations for children, she says it helps ‘bring her feelings back to zero’.
In her own words she “cannot wait to be a big sister”. We have included her in our conversations about adoption and we’re so proud of her beautiful contributions. Kitty is such a confident, compassionate and nurturing soul. She is full of life, adventures and ideas…many of which include her future sibling. Kitty has collected rocks, shells and stones (her jewels) since she started walking and we have glass jars FULL of them. We decided to decorate some of them and return them to the beaches for other people to enjoy. She is incredibly close to her cousins in Vancouver and has a wonderful group of friends. When she is a little older Kitty plans to be an animal doctor in the morning, a painter and a ballet teacher in the afternoon and a singer in the evenings!
Kitty’s kindergarten teacher says that Kitty is hard working and focused, has a great sense of humour and brings her smiles to all she does.
According to Chris, Lizzie is warm, funny, compassionate, loyal, welcoming, and a brilliant mum (Mom)!
As a dual citizen of Canada and the UK Lizzie was raised in England but has spent her adult life in British Columbia. While her parents still live in the house they were raised in, her three siblings and their families live in North America. Lizzie, Chris and Kitty are incredibly close to Lizzie’s siblings and their 8 nieces and nephews. They all try to get together once a year and Lizzie sees her sister (who lives in Vancouver) at least one a month, where dinners often turn into dance parties.
Lizzie is a Registered Veterinary Technician and dreamed of working with animals since she was a little girl. She works part time at a wonderful clinic near the family home and plans to take the full year maternity leave when the time arrives. Once or twice a year Lizzie volunteers with the Canadian Animal Assistance team, a charitable organization that works in communities that do not have access to proper veterinary care.
Lizzie is a lifelong vegetarian and has practiced yoga and meditation for almost ten years. Through this she has developed her appreciation for mindful living and creating a nurturing home environment. Together Lizzie’s and Kitty have become quite skilful bakers and love cooking up a treat for the Friday family movie night.
Lizzie loves reading with Kitty (their favourite author is Julia Donaldson), earl grey tea, family hikes, Friday family movie nights, travelling, beach bonfires, dancing and being with their friends and family!
Being a mother comes first and everyday has a new adventure. The simplest activities often hold the biggest pleasures, we can spend hours on the beach with and the dogs making up stories and finding ‘jewels’. Kitty loves to move and create and has done yoga, music and ballet since she was 2! Together we’ve taken cookie making classes, clay modelling classes and farming camp! She has also spent the last four years taking swimming classes and we’re so proud of how brave she has been
Talk about bringing your work home…we have two cats and two dogs, all rescues. Otter and shmoo cat came via Lizzie’s volunteer work with the SPCA. Our two dogs, Paco and Reggie are the best of friends and have seven legs between them; Reggie is a tripod! Reggie is the HAPPIEST dog you’ll ever meet and he has big plans to meet EVERYBODY. Once he is a little older we plan to qualify him as a therapy dog, he has overcome so much in his short life and he such a sunny little guy.
According to Lizzie Chris is one of the kindest and most patient people you will ever meet. He also has boundless energy when it comes to playing with children and Kitty’s friends call Chris the ‘fun dad’.
Chris is originally from Northern Ireland, and first visited Vancouver in 1996 to follow his passion for skateboarding. Having fallen in love with Vancouver in his short visit he vowed to return and make the city his home! In the summer of 2000 he returned as a Canadian permanent resident, continue his skateboarding passion, and cultivated his interest in Garden design which he went on to grow into a successful business. His knowledge of plant material has been passed onto Kitty, and together they make flower arrangements from the spoils of their walks together.
Chris is one of those people who are good at every sport. Cycling, snowboarding, skateboarding, running, golf (if you can call that a sport!). He has cycled up Cypress Mountain and snowboarded down it! His cake making skills cannot go unmentioned. He has by default become the family birthday cake maker and decorator for Kitty and her cousin’s birthdays.
At work Chris is head designer and co-owner of a landscaping company and is a passionate botanist. At home he is head of renovations, head of wrestling with kids and dogs and mastermind of awkward photographs.
We are blessed to have wonderful family and friends who support us. We are grateful to have a happy and secure marriage, our wonderful daughter and to be in a position of financial security. We feel so steady in our life and so ready to open our arms to the final piece of our family’s puzzle. Through open adoption your child will always know they were placed for adoption out of love. We promise you your child will always be surrounded by love. We promise you that your story will always be honoured. We promise you that we will always respect and value the importance of you, and we will always embrace openness in adoption at a level you are comfortable with.