We can’t even begin to imagine how difficult this time must be for you, but we are deeply touched by your decision to place your baby for adoption, and we respect the courage it takes to do so. We are grateful to you and pray that you will have peace during this process. We are so honored that you would take the time to learn more about us. We would like to use this opportunity to explain who we are and hope that words do not fail us.
What Led us to Adoption:
We have gone through many unsuccessful fertility treatments and endured a few scary complications in the process. Through much prayer we felt that we were led to adoption and 7 years after we were married we were blessed with the adoption of our son Tavin. We have a wonderful relationship with his birthmother based on mutual trust, respect and openness. We can’t wait to add to our family again through adoption.
How We Met:
Well—we can’t remember! How funny is that? We are sure our meeting was a monumental experience and can’t wait for the day that one of us remembers it. We were friends for about a year before we ever went on a date, so because of that we can’t pinpoint the exact place and time of our first encounter. We narrowed it down to a church function somewhere in L.A. (where we were both living at the time). One of our favorite quotes is, “With all the world around us, I’m so glad we found us,” and we added, “even thou we can’t remember when it happened!”
First Date (from Sharlie’s perspective):
It seemed like Andy would never ask me out, so taking the situation into my own hands I asked him out and he said yes. But to give him a hard time for being too chicken to ask me out first, I took him to my friend’s house, where a group of my friends were waiting and made him sing karaoke to all of us. Andy was a good sport and sang—even though he isn’t known for his ability to carry a tune! After that date it took him three months to ask me out again. (I guess I can’t really blame him.) He took me to the Griffith Observatory and we had a great time. He was so nervous about our date (and knew he had to impress me after taking so long to ask me out again) he took his mom up to the observatory the night before to do a test run.
First Date (from Andy’s perspective):
I never considered that Sharlie would think embarrassing me at her friend’s house qualified as our first date, but it did as I am often reminded. Yes, I was very nervous about our first date, so I did in fact do a trial run with my mom. Who can blame me for being nervous when the perfect girl had agreed to go on a date with me? Even with the practice, I still made the mistake of letting Sharlie freeze for almost the whole night while I was bundled up in my warm jacket. Only when I noticed her lips trembling and turning blue did I stop worrying about saying the right thing and offer her my jacket. Fortunately, Sharlie is forgiving and overlooked my temporary lack of observation skills and soon after agreed to a second date –where I made sure she stayed warm!
What We Love to Do Together:
We love spending time with each other and make it a priority to do so. Most holidays we make special treats together to give to our family and friends: Easter- edible bird’s nests, Halloween- caramel apples, Christmas- gingerbread boys and girls and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We enjoy taking family bike rides on the many bike trails near our home. Tavin loves it when we all watch cartoons together, and his favorite part is when Andy makes homemade popcorn in the wok (which he learned how to do from the Food Network). In the summer we can be found at our community pool and in the winter we head up to Tahoe for sledding. Andy and Sharlie enjoy going to plays and musicals for date night and our favorites are Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera and Lion King. We have all of the soundtracks and play them in the car for Tavin when we are driving. Our house has a big backyard and we love spending time out there. Tavin plays on his slide or kicks a ball around with Daddy, and we love to garden and bbq. We have family scripture study and prayer every night. We try to travel as much as we can (Tavin has already been on a plane 6 times!), and when we can’t get too far away we like to explore the local sights: Thursday Night Market in the summer, Concerts in the Park and lots of little hole in the wall restaurants we enjoy. We always try to find new candy to test out. We always buy two of each candy and try them together and then decide if we like them or not (Tavin is super excited to join in this tradition, but we are breaking him in slowly!).. We are very family focused; we try to see our families as often as we can and talk to them weekly. We have lots of fun family traditions: Christmas Eve dinner with poppers and crowns and pajamas for all, Father’s Day golf outing, biking on the strand every time we visit L.A., Nielson’s Frozen Custard run even when it’s the middle of winter, shopping trips and pedicures for the girls and lots of barbeques. Basically whenever we see our family they want to do anything to make Tavin smile and laugh. They love him so much and can’t wait for another addition to our family.
A Little Bit about Andy:
Andy grew up mostly in Southern California. His mom and dad raised Andy and his four brothers who were all very busy boys. Each of them played sports of all kinds but mostly baseball and football. Andy’s Dad played professional baseball as a pitcher. Andy went to Oklahoma City University for his undergrad on a baseball scholarship where he too was a pitcher. He served a church mission in London England. Later Andy obtained his MBA at BYU. He now works at a construction company where he manages their land investments. In his spare time Andy is an avid golfer (which is good since we live on a golf course), and plays on a softball team with a bunch of his buddies. Andy also spends time coaching baseball at all levels—he’s an excellent teacher. He is gifted in the kitchen and would make Chef Emeril proud. Andy’s mom instilled in him an appreciation of the arts as she often took the family to museums and the theater, and she continues now including Tavin (he loved the Dinosaur exhibit we just went to the best!). Andy loves being a Dad and he is good at it. Every evening when Tavin hears the garage door opening he runs over to it and yells, “Daddy!” Andy always runs to pick him up and they usually end up wrestling and laughing on the ground for a while.
A Little Bit about Sharlie:
Sharlie grew up in Salt Lake City. She has one older brother who recently moved to New York. They remain close and spent New Years in New York together and still talk every couple of days. Humor was something that her mom passed down and there are many times Sharlie, her mom and brother laugh so hard they are all in tears. Sharlie inherited the artistic gene from her dad. He taught her photography and graphic art from the time she was young. She now owns her own photography business. She also loves jewelry making, oil painting, scrapbooking and anything else crafty! Sharlie finished her BS at UVSC in English Literature (which means that there are lots of books in the house-including lots of kids books). She used to work at an Ad Agency but quit to stay at home with Tavin. She loves being at home with him all day long and is constantly looking for new things to teach him. Sharlie also loves to dress Tavin in the cutest clothes and since Tavin doesn’t object, he is always looking sharp. She is a natural leader and has been involved in many committees and clubs at school, church and the community. Sharlie has a flair for uncovering the fun in life and revels in finding unique things for the house: like the disco ball we have up in our living room year round—it’s a reminder that life is meant to be enjoyed every day. She also goes out of her way to make the people in her life feel special (remembering birthdays, leaving them surprise notes and treats, making them personalized graphics, etc), and uses her skills to throw awesome birthday parties (Tavin got a cookies and milk themed party and Sharlie ended up making over 30 dozen cookies!).
A Little Bit About Tavin:
Tavin is a happy kid that loves to laugh and have fun. He is determined and knows what he wants. He loves coloring and playing with Play-Doh with Mommy and throwing a ball around with Daddy. His first words were, Mom, Dad, bodyslam and pizza. He loves playdates with his friends, swimming and going to the park. We recently babysat a baby for 2 weeks and Tavin instantly took on a protective older brother role. If the baby cried Tavin wanted to check on him, he showed the baby how to play with toys and was really sad when the baby had to leave. After seeing this I knew what a good big brother Tavin was going to be and am excited for him to have that chance.
Our Thoughts on Adoption:
We understand that you will be an important part in bringing a child into our lives and can’t begin to express our gratitude. We are so humbled just thinking about the selfless act you are about to embark upon by placing your child for adoption. We are lucky to have been witness to all sides of the adoption process: we adopted Tavin and have a great open adoption with Tavin’s birthmother; Andy’s brother placed a baby for adoption and we were there with him and his girlfriend every step of the way; we have great friends, young and old, who have been adopted, and we have been able to speak with them openly about adoption from their viewpoint. Each of these experiences, no matter what aspect of adoption it consisted of, has been extremely positive and we have seen how adoption has blessed the lives of many. Our desire is to make this adoption process a positive one as well for all of those involved. Since you would be providing us with the ultimate gift, we want to give you something in return. We would love to keep you updated throughout the baby’s life with pictures, letters and more as each of us feel comfortable.
We would love to share more with you and invite you email us anytime. We hope that this letter has given you a glimpse into our lives. In a nutshell we have enjoyed our lives thus far, have a strong marriage & family, and our extended family and friends support us. We can’t wait for the opportunity to love, care for and nurture another precious baby. We know the Lord’s hand is in all things and have faith that our baby will arrive when the timing is right for all of us. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. We look forward to meeting you and are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
-Sharlie, Andy and Tavin