We believe in doing the right thing. We believe in taking care of family first, but also serving others. We believe perseverance is important .
May the joy of the Lord be your strength and may peace overwhelm during this time. May security and confidence arise and may your heart be at rest as you consider what adoption may look like for you and your baby. As you read this letter and look through our profile, please know that you are dearly loved and our family is on your side, regardless of the choice you ultimately make.
We realize that considering adoption is likely the most difficult decision you will ever make. As we write to you, there are really no words to describe the empathy, compassion, and admiration that stirs within our hearts. Before we share about our family, we want you to know that our hearts are open. Truly. We believe that the Lord will allow our path to cross with the right mama we are meant to connect with. We do not have set expectations for a level of openness and we want open dialogue about what is healthiest for both you and your baby.
We are sure you often wonder about your future and what things will be like over the next year, two years, five years, and throughout the rest of your life. Our prayer is that you know the Lord has you in His hands. We pray you are secure, safe, healthy, and continue to become the woman God created you to be. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). You have a beautiful child in your womb and God has given you the freedom to choose the best life possible for you and your baby. So, we pray that you take this time to flip through profiles in peace, knowing that He intends for all to unfold for good.
Where It All Began
We have been married for 11 years and met in yoga class. Jay asked Erin out to eat sushi (which just happened to be her FAVORITE sushi place). Our dating journey was fairly easy. We were both ready to settle down and we knew it from the beginning of our relationship. We attended church as a couple on a regular basis. We both got baptized together and the Lord started directing us on a path to spiritual maturity.
While we were dating, Jay was working toward a full Ironman Triathlon and Erin was working two jobs and had a roommate to get out of debt before our wedding. She worked as a swim coach and public speaking teacher at a local high school, and also coached a club swim team in the evenings. Jay worked full time and trained for his triathlons after work. We got to know each other's families well and we fell in love. We quickly became best friends and our friendship still continues to grow each day. We love each other well. We communicate well and we sacrifice for each other. We dated for exactly a year. On our year anniversary, we went to visit Erin's parents. Jay pulled her dad aside, showed him the ring, and asked him if he could marry Erin. He then took her out for sushi and proposed, which of course she said YES!
Eight months after being married a lot happened - we purchased a four bedroom home and immediately became pregnant! Nine months later our son, James, was born. Erin became a stay at-home mom to care for James until he started kindergarten. It's been a beautiful journey. We love each other deeply!
Why We Want To Adopt
We want to adopt for a few reasons... Since we got married Jay always mentioned adoption, even before we knew we needed it as an option to have more children. We became pregnant with James 8 months after being married. Since then, we have not been able to get pregnant. There is no diagnoses of infertility. After praying about whether we should try fertility treatments or adopt, we both felt led to adoption. Also, both Erin's older brother and sister were adopted through Gladney. Even recently, Erin has been walking through the process of learning about her brother and sister's birth families as they research more and reach out to get to know them. It's a beautiful journey. We believe the Lord is reserving a special place in our home for another child.
Meet Erin - Written By Jay
The moment we first met, I knew she was the one. It was her smile and her joy of life. She is the outgoing, beautiful soul that keeps me going everyday. She is the opposite to me in almost every way, but rather than causing conflict, this only makes us better together.
Erin grew up outside of Houston and majored in public relations in college. She worked for a PR firm but changed to be a swim coach and teacher at a local ISD after we met. This job allowed her more flexibility as we were planning to get married and have a family.
She is the main communicator in the family. No matter where we are, she is talking: meeting new people, asking questions, and getting to know them. She loves to learn about people. She never thinks twice about not, and she is always willing to help when needed.
Her faith is paramount in all that she does. She puts God first above all things and is a prayer warrior for our family. She is bold and willing to reach out and ask people hard questions about their faith and help point them towards Jesus. She has mentored many women at our church and helped establish the single moms ministry there.
Erin is the most loving and caring mother I know. She quit teaching and stayed home with our son until he was old enough to go to school. She loved to breast feed James and one of her favorite past times was to just rock him to sleep while singing. Once he was old enough to go to school, she was able to get a teaching job at the private school where James attends. This allows them to drive to and from school together and to be able to spend a lot of time together. She is always encouraging him to talk about his feelings and has helped shape him into the confident young man he is becoming.
Meet Jay - Written By Erin
Jay is quiet, focused, gentle, kind, reserved, and generally flexible. You might call him "Steady Eddie". He is calm, consistent, and collective. He is steadfast, loyal, and strong. Jay is a software engineer for a large corporation and has been working there for more than 20 years. He is also a Lt. Commander in the Navy Seabee Reserves, the construction unit of the Navy. He deployed to Iraq in 2005, where he rebuilt airplane runways, and Afghanistan in 2011, where he oversaw construction projects. Our son, James, was two at the time. Although leaving your family for a year is not ideal, Jay did everything possible to set us up for success, as he always does. We spoke every single day, and sometimes twice a day over Skype. We were well cared for both financially and by family.
Jay's parents, Gran and Papa, live about 45 minutes away and came in every week to spend time with Erin and James. Our family is extremely close. Jay graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He enjoys hunting a couple of times a year with James. He enjoys a few, close friends over many people. He has had the same best friend since high school (they both played trombone in the band together, share the same birthday, and deployed to Iraq at the same time). Jay's work schedule is incredibly flexible. He works from home three to four days per week, giving him time to coach James' sports teams, lead in Boy Scouts, and attend school-related activities like class parties.
Jay is a great listener. He genuinely takes time to stop, talk, and discuss things in both good and hard times (which is needed because I like to talk and process things!). Jay's number one focus in life is to love his family and spend time with them. He is an amazing father and wants to have more children to love and raise together. Jay is our rock and we are grateful for him.
James is a passionate little boy. He's a leader and he's going to be an amazing big brother one day. He takes care of Storm and Lyla (the dogs) by feeding them each morning. He recently got a 29 gallon fish tank for Christmas and is learning a lot about how to care for the fish. He has been researching them for quite a while.
James loves to learn. He is engineering minded like his dad, but a communicator like his mom. We recently gave him an IQ test and he scored incredibly high in verbal communication and is a very smart boy. He makes all A's and B's at school, and has been selected to be in an advanced program. James loves his friends, playing legos, riding scooters at the skatepark, playing outside, playing video games (especially Minecraft and Fortnite), going to Taekwondo, and watching TV with the family. He is a bundle of energy and joy.
James is a toe walker, which we have tried to correct for a long time through various therapies. Over the years, we have learned that James has sensory processing disorder. Sometimes noises are too loud for him or large spaces can be overwhelming. Although occupational therapy has almost completely resolved many of these symptoms, he had just begun physical therapy to help him stretch and lengthen his heel cords. We want to share this with you because we want you to know that we understand that every child will need special care and attention in their own unique way.
What Makes Our Family Unique
Education is important to us. Through Jay's military career and our savings, we are excited to pay for college for our children! And we aren't picky about their career choice... we don't have unrealistic expectations of what our children should be, where they should go, or what their future should look like. Our only expectation is that we help them discover who they are, what they are good at, and support them to live the life they are called to live.
When we have a big life decision to make, we share it with the family and then we stop and take time to pray and then come back together to see if we're on the same page. We believe that unity is important. For example, after I gave birth to James, I stayed home with him for 6 years. That decision to stay home and forego a paycheck was one we prayed through and decided to trust the Lord. Although it's not easy to give up a complete salary, we both knew it was right and we don't regret one day of it.
A typical day in our household probably looks a lot like the average American family. Erin wakes up early to workout at 5 a.m. and comes home to get dressed and drive she and James to school. Since Jay works from home most days, he is able to help wake James up and get him breakfast/moving/dressed for the day! They attend school from about 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. (a little longer than other students since Erin works there) and then we drive home together, grab a snack, and head to Taekwondo or therapy. Afterward we do homework and have dinner together as a family before bedtime.
This Is Our Home
We live in a neighborhood full of families and children. We have a nice backyard with a deck patio to sit and relax and a large swing set for the kids to play on. Our home is 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths with the master bedroom on the main level and three bedrooms and a large game room upstairs. We live across the street from the kindest, most loving neighbors. We have a group of families that surround our house and we call ourselves "The Burwood Brawlers". The men are in a fantasy football league together so our families get together for many football games to eat, hang out, swim, as well as holiday parties and family days at the lake during the summer months. Our favorite place in our home is the den area. We have an open concept home so the den and the kitchen are connected. During the weekdays we eat together in the kitchen at the table, but a couple times per week, we love to get in our cozy pajamas and eat dinner together in front of the TV. This is some of our favorite relaxing family time.
We have two dogs - Storm (a Chihuahua / Whippet mix) and Lyla (a Black Lab / German Shepherd mix). They are a big part of our family. We take Lyla to the dog park a lot. She is only nearly a year old and loves to play. Storm is 4 and likes to snuggle.
We Promise You
As we end our time here with you, we want to pray over you. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. May all of the promises He has for your life and your baby's life come to pass. We pray that your heart is full of comfort, trust, hope, and truth. Amen!
As you make the biggest decision of your life, we are here to support you. You are brave and honorable. If you choose to allow us to walk alongside you in this journey, our arms are wide open to receive, nurture, and fully love your beautiful baby. There are significant moments and milestones in each of our lives that mark us forever. May this moment be one that you look back on with complete peace.
with love and big hugs,
Jay and Erin
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