Gladney Center for Adoption

6300 John Ryan Drive Fort Worth, TX 76132.

817-922-6000
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Michael + Laura

The first thing you should know is that we greatly admire you. How could we not have admiration for the person who would make such a courageous decision to put her child's best interest first? The sacrifice that you are considering has the potential to positively change many lives, which is commendable. We hope that someday we get the chance to express how we feel about you in person. With that, let's not be strangers; allow us to tell you a little about ourselves.

Hello

We are Michael, Laura, & Elias and from the start of our journey to build our family, we always dreamed that it would be more than just the three of us. You see, we both come from large families filled with children...and constantly growing in numbers! Over the years the desire to grow our family has never faded from our hearts. We believe that our dream will soon be realized through the help of this adoption process.

As for the important decision you must make for yourself and your family, we hope that your choice comes with clarity and confidence. We pray that God brings you strength, peace, and comfort throughout this process.

About Us

'About Us' Image

The story of us is the story of how a great love almost never happened. The first few years of dating were spent with thousands of miles of ocean separating us. First, as Laura studied at a university in Spain and later when Michael served in the Peace Corps in a foreign country. We finally were able to live in the same state; only in different cities! Still we managed to stay devoted to each other and build a lasting love.

It's been 12 years of a strong, supportive marriage. We helped each other build our careers, create a loving home together, and brought our beautiful son into that home. In the truest sense of the word, we are a team. We share life's workload, picking up the slack for each other when necessary. We have delighted in the victories and blessings that we've received. Other times we've drawn closer to hold each other up when we were met with difficult moments. We have appreciated and cherished the good times in our marriage, but it has been in the difficult times that we have built a strong and devoted relationship to one another that is unshakeable. We do not believe there is a secret formula to a happy marriage. To us, what matters are the things that occur in everyday life: conversations at the dinner table, laughter from a silly memory, or washing the dishes together. In those seemingly mundane moments, we built the foundation to a lasting love.

Why Adoption

The road that led us to adoption was unexpected and at times difficult to traverse. In spite of those challenges, reaching that destination through adopting Elias made it all worth the while. So, we are here again, hoping to fulfill our dream of completing our family. Anyone who has ever watched Elias playing with his cousins understands how much he desires a little sibling. There isn't a new baby in the family that he doesn't want to hold and snuggle; there isn't a cousin he will say "no" to when asked to play, and there isn't a day he doesn't ask when mommy or daddy will "find" his baby brother/sister. God gave us the desire and laid the path for us.

Please know that as a couple who have adopted before and keep regular contact with Elias's birth mother, we don't take adoption lightly. We acknowledge that which will be our joy will also be your grief and loss. So, we hope to honor you by providing a wonderful life for this child, full of family and love!

Meet Laura By Michael

'Meet Laura by Michael' Image

If you spent a day with Laura, you would walk away knowing that she is honest, family-oriented, so hard-working, humble, and a devoted wife and mother. Those are just a small sampling of her most admirable traits which makes one feel safe and loved by her. However, the joy of living with Laura is getting to watch her play dinosaurs with our son and run like a T-Rex up and down the stairs. She can turn a disappointing rainy day into baking sweet treats and building a blanket-fort in the living room for a movie night. She is practically a mom-superhero: she always has a tissue for a runny nose, she remembers to pack all needed supplies for the beach, and can whip out a first aid kit for unexpected boo-boos in a flash. Laura is my best friend who likes to get crazy with me when we're in our silly moods. She's small but tough and feisty...I love that about her!

There are many deep levels of Laura that many people don't get to see. Eli and I are so lucky that we get to experience every day of life with our amazing matriarch, Laura.

Meet Michael By Laura

'Meet Michael by Laura' Image

For as long as I've known him, Michael has always impressed me with his unique interests and talents. He is one of those people who has the ability to listen to the lyrics of a song once and know them by heart. I love to hear him play the guitar, but I especially enjoy hearing him sing a tune. He'll never admit to this but he is a great singer! Over the years, he has developed a love for fishing, which has become a shared interest between him and Elias. Whether it's an offshore trip or just fishing off of the pier, he always has adventures to share of the different type of fish that he caught. To add to the list of interests, he loves reading, bike riding, and cooking. These are all great qualities about him (especially the cooking!) but what I think is most important about him is his devotion to our family. He loves to make me smile and laugh. In fact, he usually goes out of his way and won't give up until I crack a smile. He is also an incredible father to Eli. He is so involved in every aspect of Eli's life: making him breakfast; getting him ready for school; spending endless hours with Eli on the floor playing Legos; or teaching him to ride a bike without training wheels. Michael adds laughter and life to our home every day, and without a doubt, Eli and I would not want to share this journey with anyone else.

Meet Elias

'Meet Elias' Image

Elias (Eli) came to our family from our first adoption through Gladney. Over the last 5 years, we've watched Eli grow in his intellect and curiosity of the world. Eli's personality can be summed up in one word; "Clown". He loves to make the family laugh either through making jokes or acting like a goof ball. At school, his teachers say he is the friendliest person and is constantly inventing new games that the whole class adopts. If play is the way children learn, then Eli is the Albert Einstein of playing! He loves creating stories with different array of toys and acting them out with us. He can turn a hangar and a piece of string into a deep-sea expedition as long as we pretend that we're the sharks! But don't think that Eli is stuck indoors all day with toys because his true love is the outdoors. Exploring new wooded areas, riding bikes on trails, discovering/capturing critters, fishing, and hiking are activities which capture his attention. While we can tell Eli loves spending quality time with his parents, we sometimes get the feeling that he's seeking more. We've realized that Eli has been wanting to share these experiences with a younger sibling for the past few years. He promises that he will protect him/her when starting school; that he will hold his sibling's hand when walking in the zoo; and he will share his Legos with a little brother or sister. There are times when out of the blue he will say something which lets us know that a he's ready to share his life with a new sibling, such as...

...I need to learn how to put bait on the hook to help my new brother/sister fish.

...I will hold my new brother/sister gentle and rock them like this (making rocking motion).

...when is my new brother/sister coming home?

We know in our hearts that Elias loves his family more than anything else. We are confident that whomever is destined to become part of our family will be getting a loving, big brother.

Our Home

We are proud of our beautiful four-bedroom home which sits along a peaceful street lined with old Oak and Magnolia trees. We have a large backyard where we tend to our box garden; do cookouts on the grill; or push Eli on his swing which hangs from our beautiful 70-year-old maple tree. It's the type of neighborhood where we have chats with our neighbors and help each other out from time to time. Families ride bikes together down to the local park where Eli likes to swim in the pool and hit balls on the tennis court. In our same community, we attend church on Sundays and visit with church members for community groups on different nights. Eli attends the same school as our most of the children in our church, which makes us feel like we're right at home. Every once in a while, we will drive into the big city to do special events, but most weekends we don't have the need to even leave our fun community.

Our Hobbies

Eli and Michael are the best of fishing buddies. They watch videos about fishing, play imaginary games about fishing, and actually fish in our local rivers, ponds, and bays as much as possible. Eli can identify many different species of fish and describe the best methods of catching one. Of course, his father is very proud whenever Eli pulls in a nice fish. They both share a love of touching slimy, creepy-crawly creatures and exploring the outdoors.

While Laura enjoys a lot of those activities (minus the creepy-crawly part), she especially loves to work on puzzles with Eli teaching him how to sort and organize pieces. Her methodical nature also translates well into her interest of baking. Luckily Eli has a love of eating mom's baked goods so they make a fantastic pair in the kitchen. Laura has so much patience with Eli helping him add the correct ingredients; allowing him to help cut out different shapes; and later decorate sugar cookies for holidays.

Before You Go

In the book of Psalms (139:15-16), it reads, "You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." God has laid out a great purpose for you and your child. If you deem it so, we would love to be a part of that special plan. Thank you.

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