We have thought a lot about this letter. How do we begin? What do we say to someone we don’t yet know who is facing a difficult decision of making an adoption plan? Although we cannot fully understand how you are feeling at this moment, we want you to know that we admire your strength and bravery. We appreciate the immense amount of love you have for your child and deeply respect your desire to find the right family that will love and cherish your baby. We hope that through reading our story, you will have gotten a glimpse of the love we have for each other and our family and the love we have to share with another child. Please know that no matter what you choose, we wish you, your child and your families all of the best.
Darren & Belinda
Our story began with a “wink” on an online dating site. We emailed, talked and texted back and forth for over a month before we finally had our first of many dates on February 25, 2011. The more time we spent together, either with family and friends or just us, we knew that we’ve found our forever.
We got married in September 2012 in a beautiful outdoor wedding that was held in the backyard of Belinda’s family home in Wisconsin. Our ceremony centered on family—Darren’s son, Brendan, was the best man and his daughter, Katie, (both from a previous marriage) was the maid-of-honor. We pledged to love each other and our newly created family.
We had talked about adding to our family when we got engaged and started trying to conceive right after we got married. After several years and multiple doctors, we were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, our dream and excitement of adding to our family never wavered. We are both excited about adoption and cannot wait to share our love with another child!
Darren is FUNNY and KIND and LOYAL and GENEROUS. We laugh together every day. He is also a true family man and an AMAZING father to both Katie and Brendan. He is always there for the kids and has a unique relationship with both of them. With Katie, Darren is the first to ask her about the latest book she’s reading and will even read some of the same books as her just to talk about the characters and plot. With Brendan growing up, it was the typical “guy stuff”- watching and playing sports, computer games, and some of the bands they both like.
My husband is a GEEK but that’s what makes him PERFECT for me! He’s an IT Professional by day and Star Wars and Superhero lover by night. We’ve seen all of the Marvel’s, DC Comics and Star Wars movies multiple times and he can quote many of the lines! Darren’s also a BIG sports fan. The Detroit Tigers and Lions are his favorites! He’s a season ticket holder for the Tigers and he makes sure he takes each of the kids to a few games a season.
All-in-all, Darren is my anchor. I truly don’t know what I would do without him. I’m so excited to begin this new chapter in our story together and see him open his heart to another child!
Belinda is an incredible wife, partner and mother…I really can’t ask for much more! I always enjoy my time with her. She’s very kind and generous is always eager to please her family, whether it’s cooking a favorite meal, baking us one of her amazing goodies or getting us small gifts that she knows we’ll enjoy - just ask about all my Star Wars shirts! Belinda is also a very hard worker, both at the office and at home. Her tenacity has allowed her to excel in all facets of life.
In her free time, Belinda loves to sew and has created some beautiful quilts that she has made for family and friends. She also loves to bake! She makes some amazing birthday cakes for me and the kids! She also makes an assortment of Christmas cookies each year which she gives to family, friends and coworkers.
But the most important thing to understand about Belinda is that she always puts family first and expresses her love to all of us with everything she does. She became a mother to my children six years ago and has embraced the responsibilities and has naturally adapted to the role of Mom. She’s brilliant, funny, loving and I’m very proud to call her my wife.
We purchased our ranch-style home in 2014. It has three bedrooms upstairs and a fourth in our finished basement. Katie’s bedroom and ours is upstairs along with another guest room right across from the master, which we hope to convert into nursery/bedroom! The kitchen is amazing and lots of tasty meals and cookies have been made in it!
Why we love our house:
We believe that family is the center of our life and our family cannot wait to spoil a little one! Our parents are all as excited as we are about having another grandchild to love! This child will also be surrounded by a huge circle of aunts, uncles and cousins as well as friends (who have become family) who will provide him or her constant love and encouragement.
We get together often with both of our families and not just during the holidays. We have family barbecues or pizza nights at one of our favorite pizza places. Although Belinda’s family lives in Wisconsin, we see her side often and plan family vacations or extended visits to Michigan for them to come see us or us to Wisconsin to see them.
In addition to our human family, we also have our furry family! Rosie, our three year old lab is a 70lb lap dog! She loves to give kisses, cuddles and is constantly wanting to play fetch. She’s such a sweetheart! Then there’s Cheddar, AKA Cheddar Cheese. He is the “man” of the house and if there is an empty box left out, it’s his! If there is a lap that is empty, it’s his! If there is a hand not busy, it’s his to have pet him! He’s also a talker and will let you know when he’s wanting attention (or food)!
Any child who joins our family will be blessed with two incredible siblings - Katie and Brendan. When we told them we were wanting to adopt, Brendan was so thrilled he almost cried and Katie has been calling this baby, “Baby X” because we don’t know if it’ll be a boy (XY) or girl (XX).
Katie is a sweet, kind and beautiful girl. She’s probably one of the most creative people we know. She LOVES to read as well as write stories and will spend hours on the computer typing up her latest script or chapter book. She’s even gotten into making her scripts into short movies. She is really excited about being a big sister and has plans of reading to her future sibling and even making them the star of one of her movies!
Brendan has grown into an amazing man and is probably the BEST big brother that any sister could have. He’s generous, kind and has always looked out for Katie. He’s recently gotten married to a wonderful woman, Gina, and they are expecting a little girl in June 2018. Even though Brendan doesn’t live with us anymore, he and Gina still make it a priority to get together with us weekly and are both very excited about having their daughter grow up with another baby in the family!
Living in Michigan, we are blessed with four distinct seasons that each have shaped our family traditions and we cannot wait to share these special moments with another child.
Winter: Every Christmas, we turn on the Christmas music and decorate the house as a family. It’s a lot of fun and each of our kids get a new ornament every year to put on the tree that one day they will have a collection to start their own tree with their own families.
Spring: Spring brings about planting our small garden full of tomatoes and herbs, which will later transformed into homemade tomato sauce. We also try to go on a family vacation every spring!
Summer: Summer is all about being in the sun and beautiful outdoors! Baseball games, going to the park to hit the tennis ball around, camping, hosting barbeques in the backyard and just relaxing on the deck with a good book, while listening to the birds.
Fall: Fall is a special time for Darren and Katie. Each year, they have a tradition to go on a haunted hayride and as she’s gotten older, go to haunted houses. (Belinda would go too, but she doesn’t like scary things!) He also takes her trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Fall also brings out the football rivalry in our family - Lions vs. Packers!
We are so grateful for you taking the time to get to know us and considering us for the incredible honor of being able to share our hearts and lives with another child. We hope you can see that we have so much love to share with another child and are excited to grow our family.
We promise to devote our lives to providing a happy, healthy and joyful life for this child. We will raise them with an understanding and appreciation of where they came from, including the courageous sacrifice that you’ve have made. We know that seeing your child enjoying fun times, celebrating holidays and birthdays and having a big sister to play with throughout the years will bring you joy and we look forward to sharing our joy with you with photos, letters and updates over the years to come.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Darren & Belinda