We are Mark and Nicole, and we are so glad that you are reading our family’s letter to you! We can only imagine how difficult these days must be for you. The choices to be made and the moments of wondering how you will best care for this child growing by the minute. And while we cannot completely know all the emotions and things you are going through, we do understand that your love for your child will guide you in the decisions you must make.
Our three biological children (Jonah – 12, Micah 10, and Katelyn – 8) pray every day and we mean EVERY DAY for the birthmother that will have to make hard choices in order for our paths to meet, and we do not know if that is you, but if it is, we cannot wait to see how God continues to write and knit this story of family together…
Oh, how we wish you could hear the reminiscing over the construction of this portfolio book and the laughter of our kiddos as they ask questions about old photos and hear the funny stories! We wanted to sum up our family for you with two words - loving and fun. This family runs on humor and love (well, besides coffee and chocolate, you know, the basic necessities). Having a healthy balance of love and fun is important, and I think our family balances these pieces well.
Don’t get us wrong, we know from experience that life isn’t always “fun”, but we know the God who can still bring laughter and fun into some of our darkest moments. One of the hardest moments in our 18 years of marriage came after we suffered our 4th miscarriage. Our desire was for a large family, but the doctors had no answers. We had so many WHY? Questions! We asked God to take this desire for more children away, however, that longing just got stronger. After many tears, prayer, and seeking, we were able to see that God was preparing the way for us to adopt. Adoption had always been a desire, but we did not know if it would ever be our reality. God sure has a way of orchestrating things that we do not understand… It’s easy to get wrapped up in the grief, and it is important to find ways to laugh through the grieving! We were still able to find humor in the everyday, and we grew a deeper love for each other as we worked through this together. We still did all the fun things with our kiddos: the zoo, movies, a trip to Disney World, serving at church, birthday parties, and spent time with family and friends. Yes, there were times when grief was serious, but we did what our family does best, we would love it out, we would laugh it out! (And when that didn’t work, we would eat all the chocolate and drink all the coffee…then you have nothing left to do than to just hyperactively giggle it out). Yes, it is a messy part of our life, but it accurately explains how we got to the place of adoption, and how accurate those 2 words for our family really are! We know that God put the desire for more kiddos there, so we are trusting that God will write our family’s story according to his plan.
More about Us:
We live in rural Missouri in a lovely 4-bedroom split-level home with a big backyard. We frequently go for walks as a family; down to the historic riverfront part of town. So many friendly people, lots of opportunities for socializing for our family between church, the parks in town, and community events. With a larger town close by, and St. Louis within an hours drive, we have so many opportunities for fun and learning within reach.
Mark is an Associate Pastor at our church where he leads bible studies, plays on the praise team (drums and guitar) and keeps the church functioning. When not at the church, you will find him at home. He likes to teach the kids how to play new games, build things, play hide and seek (At 6’2, you can imagine the creativity that has to be put in to hiding...), or the kiddos choose to be whooped at Smash Brothers on the Wii-U. We make the most of our time together. Togetherness is a major part of our family values. Mark also likes to build and create things. He has built bunk beds, a guitar an outdoor play set, just to name a few! He also loves to draw and to paint. Daddy has lots of knowledge and skills to be passed down to each kiddo as they grow for sure.
Nicole is a stay at home mom. She keeps the household functioning and homeschools all three of our children and is excited to add another little one to teach! She also serves at church as the Nursery coordinator and as Co-director of our buddy bag program. Nicole likes to wood burn, crochet, and most importantly bake and create in the kitchen. As the kids grow, she is excited to teach them how to cook and create for their future families.
Most of our time however is spent together as a family. We are very close.
There is just too much to put into one letter, and with so little space in this book, I guess I need to cut it off! Ha! We would love to meet with you or even talk with you over the phone to answer any other question you may have about us. If your story is written to include making an adoption plan, or even one step further, written to include us, we will be sensitive to your comfort level of openness within the adoption. We personally are open to meeting up some time in the year and playing together as a family. We would love to send you pictures and letters as this little one grows and thrives.
Again, thank you for letting us share our hearts with you. We know that God is writing a beautiful story, and we would love, if you so choose, to be a part of yours.
Mark and Nicole