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Travis & Carissa
We appreciate you for taking a moment to learn more about us. First came love, then came marriage, then came our first baby carriage. Now we are ready to do it again! We are thrilled to begin our next chapter and welcome a second baby into our lives. This child will be surrounded by love, support, a few dogs, and fun adventures. Hopefully you will be the one to join us on this journey.
We have been enthusiastic and open about our adoption journey to those who have asked. When we initially began the process a few years ago we learned all we could and then carefully educated our family members and tried to dispel any adoption myths. Carissa began keeping a journal for Isabelle about our adoption journey but it has naturally transitioned into a mother's journal about watching their child grow.
Isabelle's adoption story will always be different than ours. Our experience has been that people wanted to know about the process which is easy enough to explain. Even some of the deeper, personal questions have gotten easier to answer appropriately. Isabelle may have a lot of questions about her adoption and experience feelings that we don't share. We look forward to sharing her story with her. Along the way we'll keep our dialogue open, yet age appropriate. Although there are many different avenues, adoption is the way we have chosen to grow our family.
What it Means to be a Parent
Being Isabelle's parents is thrilling, exhausting, and humbling. Initially the nights were long and life seemed to stand still. A year later and we love watching Isabelle learn to walk, try new foods, and take in the world around us. These days she loves exploring, and reading books with us. On our walks she gets excited to see dogs, trucks, and airplanes fly by. She'll try any food you give her although her favorites are watermelon, raspberries, and whatever is on our plates, which is apparently much more exciting. Now that she can communicate a bit more, she's a lot of fun, always curious, and goofy.
The most important thing we can do is provide a safe place of support and encouragement to build our child's confidence. Yes, we reference child development books and other online resources but have found that every child is different. What works today may not work next week. As parents we've learned to be flexible with our time and what we expect of our child.
What we like most about being parents is that we are always learning about each other and how to raise a kind, smart, compassionate child. Learning is a process.
Education We will Provide
We both took a typical education route of high school followed by college. That worked for us. These days we understand that education is a personal, lifelong process that can take many forms. We will support our children in their education goals, regardless of how traditional or non-traditional it is. Living in New England, we are fortunate to have many quality education opportunities such as traditional higher education, maritime academies, trade schools, miliary opportunities, culinary school, and more on our doorstep. We hope that our children continue to better themselves and learn how to be compassionate members of their community.
In addition to formal education, we encourage everyday learning. We already see many opportunities to teach Isabelle during our fun adventures. In fact, we have a running commentary about the airplanes that fly overhead, the trucks that drive by, the fish at the aquarium, or the dogs that stop by to say hi.
Our House and Neighborhood
Rhode Island - We live in a charming 1920s tudor-style home. The house has been meticulously maintained over the years both inside and out. From most of the east-facing windows we have beautiful year round views of the bay. Inside there are four bedrooms, and three and a half bathrooms. Most of the living happens in the kitchen and the cozy sunroom which has the main TV. One of the first investments we made after purchasing the house was to fence in the backyard for our dogs.
Our home is one of five houses on a tree-lined cul-de-sac off a quiet street. There are two other families on our street with young kids under the age of five. During the pandemic it's been nice to see people regularly, even if from a distance. Ours is very much a family neighborhood. Dogs, kids, lemonade stands, the works. There's an elementary school within walking distance, and a typical New England downtown with boutique shops and restaurants about a mile down the road. We love to eat at the local restaurants with outdoor seating on the water, and then walk to the (best homemade) ice cream shop. Also nearby is a State park with beach access, wooded trails, horseback riding, and picnic areas. One of the best things about living in Rhode Island is being so close to the beaches, forests, mountains, and the city.
Our Extended Families
We both grew up in close-knit families. Carissa's younger brother lives in New Jersey with his wife and two young girls. Carissa and her nieces (age 9 and 7) chat regularly on FaceTime about their new bunny, their garden or lost teeth. During this past year the girls have loved watching Isabelle go from a swaddled newborn to an interactive toddler.
Travis's sister lives in neighboring Massachusetts with her husband and their 4-year-old daughter. Travis and Carissa see them at regular family gatherings (birthdays, Christmas, etc.). It has been fun watching "E" develop her own little sassy personality. She recently got into Barbies and loves going on adventure walks around the neighborhood.
Fortunately both of our widowed mothers have already jumped onto the Grandma bandwagon and love their new roles. Just don't call Carissa's mom Grandma; she chose Lulu as her "I'm not old enough to be a grandma" nickname! Lulu is enjoying life as a Floridian. At the very least it gives us a place to visit when we want to swap out winter sweaters for swimsuits. Travis's mother, who has embraced the "Grammy" moniker, still lives in the family home in Massachusetts. She loves spending time with her granddaughters and has been generous with her time, allowing for us to have a rare Date Night occasionally.
From Us to You
Hello and thank you for considering us. We haven't met yet but can only imagine how difficult this decision is for you. Take a deep breath and remember that you are not alone. We respect you for your strength and courage to consider this decision for your baby. You may not have the answers today or tomorrow, but we hope that with some reflection and guidance, you will find an option that works best for you.
Please find comfort in the fact that we are here with open hearts and open arms to welcome another baby into our family. We will provide a loving home and many opportunities for growth, education, and fun adventures. Each of our children will have a different adoption story, but each will know they are loved by many.
We both grew up in close-knit families but our official story as a family began in March 2018 at our wedding in Rhode Island. It was a wonderful weekend full of love, laughter, a few tears, and definitely cake! Seeing our families come together cemented our desire to grow our own family. We soon found out that it's easier said than done. After mourning three failed pregnancies, it was time to find a more successful route to parenthood. The adoption of our daughter in 2020 gave us renewed hope to grow our family. Now we are ready to continue on our adoption journey.
A new child in our family will already have a sister and three young cousins to grow up with. The oldest, our 9-year-old niece, is super excited to be a babysitter when she gets older. Her younger 7- year old sister wants to save all the animals in the world ?" we can't blame her! Our 4-year old niece is looking forward to taking our children on nature hikes in her backyard.
Our second child will grow up knowing that they are loved by you. As with our daughter, we will teach them about respecting themselves as well as others. Families are made up of people that love each other- regardless of how they are related. We want them to know that in addition to the people we know as our family, that there are people somewhere else that think of them often.
If you are interested, we would like to send you regular updates and pictures as the child grows. We would also respect your privacy if this type of contact becomes too difficult at any time. Regardless, your story is part of your baby's story and will live on with them in a positive light. We are excited to take on the challenges and joys of parenthood for a second time. If this adoption journey brings us one more or multiple children, we have ample room in our hearts and home for raising a family. We have been blessed to have the support of family, friends and our extended community. We will be forever grateful to the expectant mother with the courage to help us grow our family.
Travis & Carissa
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