To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Katie B* and I am writing to tell you a bit more about Paul and me.
We live in a quiet town called Mountain B****, Alabama. It’s a suburb of B****. We have lived here most of our life, excluding the time we spent at college in Auburn, Alabama.
I have always loved children and yearned to be a mother. Even as a toddler, I tried taking care of the other children in my preschool class. I have fond memories of taking care of my younger cousins and neighbors. When I was about 12 years of age, I started babysitting. I have many people that I cared for that I am still in contact with all these years later. Paul has many memories himself of caring for his younger sibling and cousins. We both spent years in our teens caring for our nieces and nephews together. His older brothers have six children, between the two of their families. My brother has two daughters.
We have known each other since we were in our early teens. We have always attended the same church, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. We grew up active in the youth group - often serving on different teams to do mission work. Some of these included visiting the sick and homebound, building homes for the homeless, and working with the younger children in such things as vacation bible school. I have even been to a very small town called Cinco de Mayo, Mexico - just outside Matamoros. There, members from our church worked to make repairs on their church building and also spent time doing projects with the children.
In my years of college, studying elementary education, I also worked in a local daycare and taught Sunday school at our local church, St. Michael’s. My education included a class specifically on special needs. I have even considered returning to get my masters degree in special education.
After graduating, I taught first grade in a local catholic school, St. Rose Academy. It was a blessing to be in a school where the Dominican nuns teach, too! I learned so much from them and from the children I taught.
By this time, Paul and I were married and wished to have children of our own. We were not able to conceive, so we began and completed a domestic home study. Not too long after we completed this, we were blessed with a pregnancy and a beautiful baby boy. We were in love! He was small, but so sweet - born early at 35 weeks and weighing only a little over 4 pounds.
When our first child was about 16 months old, we realized he wasn’t speaking as much as we believed he should be at his age. At this time, he was diagnosed as having Apraxia of Speech. He was placed in two separate therapies to help him progress. After a year and a half of help, he tested at a typical range! It was hard work, but it certainly paid off!
Our second son, was born a month earlier than our first. He was just 3 pounds and 14 inches at birth! He spent more time in hospital than his older brother, but we were so thrilled to see his progress. After three weeks, we were able to take him home.
As an infant, he had many special situations. He had double hernia surgery when he was just a few months old. He had reflux, which proved to be quite an issue with his ability to eat and take in calories. We took months, working with his pediatrician and specialists, trying to figure out the best way to treat his problems. He developed a sensitivity to oral textures and started vomiting often. This was yet another hurtle to cross. Yet we did it! We were then faced with his slow growing and gaining - even with sufficient calorie intake. We sought the knowledge of yet more specialists. We have seen geneticists, gastroenterologists, therapists, allergists, and even received several pediatricians recommendations. As a family, we have been able to work together during times like this to overcome and persevere! He is now eating, growing, strong and THRIVING!
We truly believe that children - ALL CHILDREN - are a gift from God. They are each created uniquely in His image.
When faced, yet again, with the struggle of infertility and a miscarriage, we have been called to adopt.
We are certainly aware of the struggles of having a child with special needs - we have two of our very own. We have felt the ups and downs and are constantly trying to do what is best for our boys. Yes, I might have called myself a ‘perfectionist’ but I believe that my use of this word might have been confusing. Perfection, in my thoughts, is striving to do what is BEST for my family and my children. I know only God is perfect. As a mother and a wife I am constantly called to challenge myself to do better and to strive to be like Jesus’ mother, Mary.
When we first saw D****’s face, we felt an immediate connection to her. We have prayed now, for over a year, to bring her home and make her our daughter. My sons have prayed endlessly to bring home their sister. Our family and friends have all joined in prayer with us. We are asking you to approve our family, so that we can begin our lives together.
We know what struggles come with bringing a new child into the family. Through our adoption training classes we have also come to know the struggles that adoptive families face. We have knowledge of what behaviors and challenges a child with special needs, like Down Syndrome, have. We have a very strong support group of therapists, doctors, friends and family that are certainly willing to help us and help D****.
Please accept this letter and the letters from our friends and family as proof that we will certainly love and care for D**** - as we care for our own children! We appreciate your time and your care for D****. It means so much to know that she is well-loved. This process might not be easy, but we understand it is necessary.