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Burke & Emily
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us! Adoption has always been our first choice for family building and we're excited to start our journey. As we have not come to our decision to adopt lightly, we know that you have a lot to consider ahead. We hope that you connect with our profile and know that you will find the right fit for your child!
We love adventures. When we first started dating, Emily lived in Philadelphia, PA and Burke lived in Raleigh, NC. Many weekends were spent driving back and forth to see each other or meeting in new destinations.
In our 10 years together we have done countless trips to southeast Asia, Europe, and many of the National Parks in the United States. We've lived in a van for 10 days in Iceland, viewed the stars and sunrise at the top of Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, and have swam with whale sharks off of the coast of Mexico. We love planning trips and as we've considered parenthood, have started to talk a lot about what adventuring with children might entail.
We carry that adventurous spirit into our lives closer to home, too. We both love trying out new restaurants and recipes at home, checking out musicals and concerts in our local area, and doing neighborhood walks to look at holiday decorations nearby. We learn so much about other cultures and derive tons of creativity from adventuring, which is why we enjoy it so much. We're excited to share that love of learning with our child.
Our Individual Strengths
While we both love to laugh, both love adventure, both are loyal and highly motivated, we both have individual strengths that add balance to our relationship.
Burke is highly analytical and has the mind of an engineer - he's great at figuring out complex puzzles and he always reads the fine print to get all of the details. He is very practical, laid back, and spontaneous. He's not always a big talker. He is great at living in the present and is well known among our friends and family for always trying new hobbies and pursuing his interests.
Emily is known for being empathetic and a good listener, though she can also be very talkative. She has a love for things that are beautiful and values creative presentation, like a color coordinated garden or a beautifully decorated cake. She loves a to-do list and is well-known among family and friends for spending a lot of time thinking about and planning for the future in all things such as trips, jobs, and home projects.
Our Pup, Bruno
This might sound a bit over the top, but our dog Bruno is one of the great loves of our lives. We both grew up with pets, but adopting Bruno in 2018 marked the first time both of us were solely responsible for another living being.
We redid our backyard so it would be a suitable place for him to play. We enrolled him in puppy training classes and made sure to take him to the dog park several times a week to get socialized with other dogs. We still take him to the dog park now, and he has a solid group of doggy friends that come over for play dates. We did, and do still follow all of our vet's guidelines to make sure he stays healthy. He sleeps in our bed at night and is a member of our pack, our family.
To many people the way we treat our dog is excessive, but we feel it's proportional to the amount of joy and comfort he brings us on a daily basis and his standing as a full-fledged family member. A snuggle with and a smile from Bruno picks us up when we are sad or tired. Adding a member to the family will be an adjustment for him, but he loves our nephew and friends' children, so we expect him to embrace a little one.
Our House and Neighborhood
We specifically moved to our North Carolina neighborhood in 2018 because of the diversity and proximity to downtown. Ours is a historically black neighborhood, and some of our favorite neighbors have spent their whole lives here. Shortly after we moved in, we got our dog Bruno, and he helped us meet a lot of people early on - now everyone stops to say "hi" when we see them on our daily walks.
In addition to our older neighbors, there are a lot of younger couples and families that we socialize with at neighborhood events. One of our neighbors has a pool and hosts parties on summer weekends for singles and families with kids, and we live close to a community center that was recently redone with a state-of-the-art gym, splash pad, and playground that often hosts family-friendly events. Just outside of our neighborhood is a vibrant downtown that hosts weekend cultural events and festivals. Some that we've attended this year include the bluegrass, Caribbean, and PRIDE festivals and jazz in the park.
We feel lucky to live in our bungalow in such a prime location. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and our favorite thing - a backyard, which is rare in downtown. We've been re-doing the backyard since we moved in and are so happy with the progress we've made; we envision it being the perfect place for our child to play when we're not out in the neighborhood!
Our Extended Families
We both put a lot of value on family and generally spend 1-2 weekends a month (if not more) with our parents and siblings. Burke's family lives three hours away in Charlotte, and most of Emily's immediate family live two hours away on the coast. When we're not hosting them at our house or visiting with them at theirs, we take trips together; in May, we went to Korea and Japan with Emily's family and in October, we got together with Burke's family in Utah for a family wedding.
When we get together with Burke's family, we always find an excuse to celebrate. This can involve exchanging holiday gifts, fancy desserts, and doing scratch off lottery tickets. Burke's dad is a great artist and always makes the best cards and banners to celebrate every occasion, and his mom never forgets a birthday, anniversary, or special event.
Emily's family is active, and getting together usually involves some sort of exercise - long walks on the beach or kayaking in the intercoastal waterway at her parent's house. We all like cooking together and playing games. They are also animal lovers - between our household, Emily's parents, and her two brothers we have six dogs!
Our families couldn't be more excited about our adoption plan. This will be the first cousin on Burke's side for our niece and nephew and the first grandchild for Emily's parents, and all are looking forward to welcoming this child with open arms.
From Us to You
We have been discussing the possibility of adoption for six years, started researching about two years ago, and just started the process in the last six months. Adoption has always been our number one choice for family building, but we spent a lot of time along the road asking ourselves:
We touched on this in our introduction, but want to underscore this message in our letter to you. Our decision to pursue adoption came from a lot of soul-searching and tough conversations. While we don't know your experience, we can imagine that making the decision to offer your child to an adoptive family is not a choice you are making lightly.
Regardless of if this is an easy or difficult decision for you, we respect that there are a lot of considerations to make about who will parent your child best. We want to answer the questions we posed above in the hopes that it will enable you to feel more at peace with your decision.
How will having a baby change our lives?
We have been a couple for 10 years and married for 4, and we were friends for several years before we started dating. When we first got together, Emily was 26 and Burke was 31. We have changed a lot over the years and have grown together throughout our partnership. We have each, in turn, seen each other through wonderful times and through tough times and have a solid relationship built on love and communication. We know that welcoming a baby into our home will bring with it a lot of joy and challenge. The reason we want you to know about our history is so that you can picture your child in a home that can provide strong stability, even when things are challenging. We support each other and have a strong foundation to lean on. Beyond our home, we also have the support of numerous family and friends who will love your child to the moon and back.
What will we sacrifice? What will we gain?
We have strong ideas of how we would parent in an ideal world, like feeding healthy meals, limiting screen time, and creating engaging educational activities for our child, and know that all of those things require a lot of work. We will be the type of parents that will work to provide for our child, whatever it takes, because that's what our parents did. We know that might mean we have fewer resources and less leisure time to adventure around the world, and that our adventures may be closer to home. Parenthood is its own great adventure and we're excited to embark. We know that we will gain so much in the process - the privilege of contributing to our child's growth and development, the gaining of a new family member with which to share the world, and the opportunity to selflessly love and care for another. Our hope is that we also gain a relationship with you, which will expand our circle of loving family. We want you to know that we are open to exchanging letters, phone calls, and possibly even visits in the future.
Are we ready to become parents?
The answer here is a resounding "yes!"
We want you to know that we are here as you are considering your decision and we are happy to answer any other questions. We promise to love your child and support them throughout their life. We consider it a bonus if you are able to be part of our adventure.
Thank you for taking the time to consider us and read our letter.
Burke & Emily
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