Holly and Josh

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hollY & Josh


ThanKS

FOR OPENING OUR BOOK


“ WE H AV E ALWAYS CONSIDERED A D O PT IO N AS A POSSIBILITY F OR CREAT ING OUR FA MILY” SO NICE TO MEET YOU

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HelLo Hello! We are Holly and Josh and we are so happy and honored that you have opened our book and are taking the time to learn a little bit about us and our family. We admire and respect your great strength, and we can only imagine what a difficult and painful decision this is. We know your love for your child cannot be measured and we hope through this book you will discover that we will love and cherish your child and celebrate who they are and where they came from. We have always considered adoption as a possibility for creating our family – we have seen through our close friends the great blessings that it brings. After struggling for the past three years to have a child, we see infertility, as painful as it is, as an opportunity to take a new path and build our family through adoption. We are so excited to bring a child into our hearts and family to share a life filled with love, laughter, and encouragement. We look forward to sharing our experiences, the lessons we have learned, and the things that bring us joy with a child of our own. Thank you again for considering us as adoptive parents. We wish you comfort through this difficult time as you make the best decision for you and your baby. Your path and ours to this point have not been easy, but we hope this book is the first step on a journey that we take together that includes love, happiness and a wonderful future for your child.

HOLLY AND JOSH

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OUR

sToRY

We had our first date in December 2016 and knew right away that our connection was something special. Within the first few months of dating, we knew we were each other’s person. Being in our late thirties, the sweetest thing about meeting someone “later” in life is you know exactly what you want in a partner. We can both say it was worth the wait! In February of 2018 Josh proposed, and we were married a few months later in August. One of the best things about our relationship is that we make a great team. We have similar interests that we enjoy together, yet we are different enough to remain individuals. We both love sports, but we cheer for different teams. We both enjoy gardening, but have our own specialties. We both teach, but at two different levels in education. We bring balance to each other, have fun together, and genuinely make each other happy! We cannot wait to share all the love that we have to give with a child, and are so excited to be on this adoption journey to grow our family!

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WHY WE ARE

ADopTing We both love kids and knew we wanted a family soon after we got married. For the past three years, we struggled with infertility. It has been an incredibly difficult time, but the decision to adopt was an easy yes to pursue for our family. Our child will be deeply loved, valued, supported, nurtured, and cared for by us and our entire extended families. We hope to have an open relationship with our son or daughter’s birth family, and believe the more love a child can be surrounded by, the better!

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MEET

hollY

I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a close-knit family. Currently, I am a college professor. I love that my job combines the best of both worlds, teaching and research! I believe that research can change communities and help us better support those around us. Some of the research I’ve been a part of has led to policy changes and better systems to provide sustainable, clean water for areas in South Asia. My work as an Earth Scientist has also brought many opportunities for travel! I’ve been to multiple countries all over the world, and every continent except Antarctica (though I plan to make it there one day). Traveling whether for work or for fun is something Josh and I both enjoy doing together, and we hope to share in many adventures with our little one. In my free time, I love staying active. I grew up playing sports, and still enjoy playing soccer when I can, hiking, skiing, anything outdoors! One of the things I’m most proud of is the life we’ve built together. We have worked hard for what we have, and we want to share it by pouring into the next generation and raising a family together. I have so many amazing memories with my family growing up and sharing different traditions together. My family are die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans, my parents have had season tickets to the games since before I was born! Sharing my love for sports, nature, our dogs, and the life we’ve created with our son or daughter is what I am most looking forward to; continuing on traditions and starting our own, while also supporting our child in whatever she or he is interested in and passionate about.

H O B B IE S: 8

Sports • Spending time outdoors • Gardening • Hanging with family and friends • Traveling


"SHARING MY LOVE FOR SPORTS, NATURE, OUR DOGS, AND THE LIFE WE’VE CREATED WITH OUR SON OR DAUGH TER IS WHAT I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO."

Friends Say I Am: Easy-going, supportive, fun Favorite Book: To Kill A Mockingbird Favorite Memory: Growing up going to Steeler games with my family, and our wedding Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: The happy, healthy life we’ve built together and research for clean water Bucket List Travel Destination: Patagonia

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MEET

JOSH

I grew up in south-east Pennsylvania. Our home was set on five acres of land with a pond and stream, and from early on I had a connection with nature that has stuck with me for life. I am a high school science teacher and love all different branches of science. Initially when I went to college, I wanted to become a biologist. However, I realized how much I enjoy working with kids, and believe that everyone’s life can be positively impacted by the understanding and application of science. It’s important to me to teach in a way that is accessible to all of my students, including making it fun and interesting for them. When I’m not teaching, I am passionate about gardening and landscaping in a way that is beautiful, sustainable, and beneficial to all of nature. Our own backyard is a place where I’ve worked hard to make sure every plant, insect, bird, and wildlife can thrive. I tend to our vegetable garden, have planted fruit trees, cultivated habitats for bird watching, and am excited for our own child to grow up in a place where they can have hands-on experience caring for the world around them. Hanging out with Holly and our “pack” of dogs are some of my favorite moments of joy and simplicity, and I can’t wait for our son or daughter to join us! Some of the most profound moments in my life are the lessons I was taught by my own parents. Whether it was hiking in the Adirondack Mountains as a family, playing catch in the backyard with my dad, or baking cookies in the kitchen with my mom, these moments provided a safe space for me to learn and grow. My parents taught me the meaning of hard work, but also gentleness and compassion that shaped me into the man I am today. This is why I want to become a dad myself, to pass on life lessons and experience needed to become a healthy, thriving, independent adult. 10


Friends Say I Am: Loyal, always willing to help Favorite Book: Nature’s Best Hope Favorite Memory: Exploring Montana with my brother, searching for dinosaur bones for our Paleontology class. Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Our backyard Bucket List Travel Destination: The Galápagos Islands

H O B B IE S: Gardening • Landscaping Projects • Nature Watching • Family & our dogs 11


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HOLLY IN JOSH'S WORDS “Holly loves so deeply and so expressively it is inspiring to witness. She is happiest when she is loving on our nieces and nephews or our dogs. Whether you're a dog or a human you know you are loved by Holly and you can't help but love her back. She has a big heart that is just waiting to be filled by a child of her own. She will be a great parent because she will love her child more than anyone could possibly love another person.”

JOSH IN HOLLY'S WORDS “I love Josh because he is sweet, extremely smart, and he makes me happy. At the same time, he makes me feel perfectly myself and he challenges me to be a better person. I cannot wait to see him as a parent. He'll be the best dad. He's a science nerd and loves nothing more than to play outside. He loves taking his nieces fishing, helping them set up birdfeeders, giving them duck eggs to hatch or butterfly cocoons to develop. He is so patient and will do anything for his family."

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MEET

OUR PETS

MEET WENDY: Our “gentle giant,” 7-year-old 140 lb. Newfoundland dog. A trained therapy dog, the highlight of her week is participating in a program with our local library where kids read to her. They pull and climb and love on her, and she takes it in stride while giving lots of kisses. She’s the peacekeeper among our little pack, making sure everyone plays nicely together. MEET GUS: Gus is our 8-year-old, 100 lb. Great Pyrenees. He is also a trained therapy dog and participates in the same program as Wendy. He is a sweetheart with the kids, and also the family protector, especially from Amazon and UPS trucks! MEET QUINCY: Our 8-year-old, 20 lb. Boston Terrier. He may be one of the smallest in the pack, but he certainly acts like he’s the boss! Quincy makes friends with everyone he meets and loves kids. He loves to show lots of affection, and he and Gus share a birthday! MEET MURRAY: Murray is our newest family member, a 1 year-old French Bulldog. He is the comedian of the pack, always making us laugh with his funny quirks and personality. He is very laid back, loves to cuddle, and always wants food. 14


In addition to our dogs, you might find other animals in the yard like ducks and turtles. We hope to cultivate a healthy love and respect for creatures of all types, big and small.

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MEET OUR

FAMILIES

HO LLY ’S FAM I LY My family is big, loud, and I love it! I am one of three kids, and though we don’t live close, we remain close-knit and see each other often. My older brother and his wife live in Cleveland and have two kids, ages seven and four. My sister and brother-in-law live outside Pittsburgh and also have two children, ages three and almost two. My parents don’t live far from my sister, and they absolutely ADORE their grandkids. We all get together several times a year, especially for holidays and of course, Steeler games! My dad’s tailgate parties are some of our favorite times together. In addition to my amazing immediate family, I also have a large extended family on my dad’s side, and we love getting together with them. I am part Lebanese, and this side of the family is full of lots of cousins, now grown with kids of their own. No matter how much the family continues to grow, we still love our big get togethers, especially for my parents’ party on Christmas Day. It is fun, full, and everyone is thrilled we are adding another little one to the bunch!

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J OS H ’S FAM I LY I am one of four kids, and all of my family is local to us. My parents still live in the home I grew up in, and we love going out in the summer time to swim in the pool and explore the pond area with my nieces (and nephew when he gets older). My older sister has two girls who are college age and are great babysitters! My younger sister has two girls, ages seven and three, and one boy just a few months old. My brother also just welcomed their first child, a girl, back in the fall. Holly and I love being the fun Aunt & Uncle, and it brings me so much joy to take my nieces out for a boat ride, teaching them to fish, catch tadpoles, feed the ducks, and do all the things I got to do growing up. I’m excited to add our little one and do this all again with our son or daughter and my newest niece and nephew, as they’ll likely all be close in age. My family gets together often and takes turns hosting different holidays, but our favorite tradition is waffles and bacon on Christmas Eve, then presents early on Christmas Day. My family is supportive and excited to see Holly and I become Mom & Dad!

FAMILY-FRIENDLY SPORTS RIVALRY We are blessed to have such a rich support system around us, and grateful that our child will grow up with built-in best friends with their many cousins! A fun thing about our families: We all love sports, but we are die-hard fans for different teams. Josh’s family cheers for the Philly teams, and Holly’s family for the Pittsburgh teams. All in good fun, it’s a cross-family, cross17 state sports rivalry!


OUR

HoME

We live in a great, small town in Pennsylvania that is the perfect half-way point between our two jobs. Our home is a contemporary style with four bedrooms, two and half bathrooms, and the best part: a huge backyard on three and a half acres of land. It is two stories, and one of the upstairs bedrooms we have set aside as the nursery. It’s a big, spacious room that we are in the process of renovating to make the sweetest space. Our favorite feature of our home is the large, two story windows we have that overlook the back of our property. We often see wildlife right from those windows, and love getting to take our dogs for a swim in the stream that our yard backs up to. They have plenty of room to run in the backyard, and we are excited to have such a beautiful space for our child to enjoy the outdoors. We turned our basement into a home theater, which makes it fun for us to host family and friends, or just relax together on the weekends. We have a deck and patio area that is great for entertaining as well, and Josh, the cook in our family, enjoys whipping up something delicious in our kitchen. Our quirky little town is known as the mushroom capital of the world (a mushroom drops instead of a ball on New Years Eve), and it’s a great mix of a small town feel while also having lots to do. There are plenty of shops and restaurants, our school district is one of the best in the state, and our neighborhood is full of young families. We have several nature preserves nearby we enjoy exploring, walking trails, and parks. Our home is something we are so proud of, a peaceful environment we’ve helped to cultivate, and we can’t wait to raise our family here! 18


"WE CAN’T WAIT TO RAISE OUR FAMILY HERE"

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IN OUR

family WE...

LOVE TO GET TOGETHER AND ENJOY OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

LOVE TO PLAY OUTDOORS. 20


SUPPORT AND VALUE EACH OTHER AND THOSE AROUND US, EVEN THOSE WE DISAGREE WITH.

VALUE EDUCATION.

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ThAnk You FOR CONSIDERING US

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beFoRe YOU GO Thank you again for taking the time to consider us as a family for your baby. We hope that this book gives you a sense of who we are and conveys the love and joy in our family and our excitement and hope for sharing that with a child of our own. We want you to feel secure knowing that your child will have a strong, loving, open family to nurture and support them throughout their life. If you were to choose us, we commit to: • Embracing your child with all the love in our hearts • Raising your child with strong values and close family ties • Creating a happy, laughing, fun-loving environment for your •

child to learn and grow Providing your child with the support and resources to reach

for his or her dreams Sharing this wonderful experience with you and your family

We wish you the best as you make this important decision for you and your baby. Whether or not you choose us for your child, our hearts are with you as you move forward in your journey.

WITH LOVE,

HOLLY AND JOSH

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