Our first draft of this letter read like a resume; a recitation of what we do and what we’ve accomplished. We thought knowing that your child would go into a financially stable home might be the most important thing to you.
But, after reflecting on our lives and childhood, and trying to put ourselves in your shoes, we wanted to do a better job of letting you know who we are, not what we’ve done or what we have. For us, there’s no single material item or diploma on the wall that’s made us love each other and our lives; it’s been the people in our lives and the time we’ve spent with them.
So, who are we? We are the son and daughter of educators, the grandkids of farmers, a professor, and a doctor. We’re very recent descendants of immigrants who came to this country with nothing more than hope. We grew up in towns smaller than some city high schools. We left our towns, went to college, went to grad school and law school in New York, moved to Chicago, and after spending almost our entire childhoods in the state of Illinois, we traveled the world. This combination of farmers and doctors, small towns and big cities, and insular communities paired with the vast diversity of the world gave us a lot of perspective. A lot of empathy. A lot of compassion. And it led us to each other.
After 15 years of being together and 12 years married, those experiences have continued, as has our ever-evolving views of the world. After several years of unsuccessful attempts to have a child, we grew closer, and our compassion for others deepened. Although we can’t know the full array of emotions you’re experiencing, we’d like you to know we’re people who care to know what you’re feeling.
Melissa’s care and compassion are on display every day in her school, where she is the principal. Through earnest empathy, she relates to and loves children of all backgrounds, ethnicities and socioeconomic status; it’s also why that love is reciprocated by every child in that building.
Cory’s work as an attorney and now real estate developer aren’t obvious markers of sincerity and empathy. But, through his professions and charity work, he’s found ways to provide housing for the homeless, treatment for the mentally ill, and safe spaces for some of the most marginalized members of society. He works every day to design buildings and spaces to benefit his community.
We are so appreciative of you considering giving the gift of adoption to families like ours. We can’t know what you’re feeling right now, but we want you to know we care. We care about you, your family, and regardless of your decision, we care about the child you’re bringing into this world.
In our adoption interview, we were asked what our specific goals were with and for a child we might adopt. We thought about it, and both decided that the only “goal” for the child was for them to be happy. For them to feel safe, happy, and loved, just as we were as kids. Those will always be our goals, no matter what.
We can’t think of a better way to return the favor for all that you’d be giving us.
Melissa & Cory