Our Thoughts On Open Adoption:
We are very excited and eager to add to our family through adoption. We tried to get pregnant for five years before we were blessed with the birth of our son, Sam. As we discussed our desire to grow our family we knew that adoption was going to be the way in which to do this. But, we didn’t know too much about what open adoption meant. From what we have learned at The Cradle, we have come to appreciate the many reasons that make open adoption such a great option. We believe that for a child to know that their birth parents were so involved in choosing their adoptive family contributes enormously to the child’s self-esteem and to their feeling loved. We also think that knowing their history and having a connection with their birth family helps a child to understand who they are. To us, adoption requires a lot of faith, love, and determination from everyone involved, and we feel fortunate to be a part of it.
We have a close friend, Cherrie, who Marina grew up with, and she placed her child for adoption because she realized she wouldn’t be able to support her child. Although it was a very hard decision to make and she loved her baby, she wanted him/her to have all the privileges a stable and loving family could provide. She has an open relationship with her son and his adoptive parents and hearing her talk about their relationship has proven to us how special openness can become.
Although we have been fortunate with the privilege of loving one child, we are asking for the privilege of loving another. Our friends and family are all very excited that we made the decision to adopt and they can’t wait to welcome another member into our family. We look forward to getting to know you, hearing your ideas regarding openness and starting the adoption journey together
We have been together for fourteen years and married for twelve. We met when Erik applied for a job where Marina worked. Being in HR, Marina was responsible for interviewing Erik and as stated earlier- he got the job.J We got to know each other a little through work but didn’t start dating until we knew Marina would be leaving the company. After only five months of dating, Erik, who is an artist by nature, proposed at one of his favorite places in Chicago-the Art Institute garden. People stopped to watch and clapped as they heard Marina say “YES”. We were married two years later on a beautiful summer day in June.
We both come from very close knit families. Marina is Croatian and Erik is half Danish and half Lithuanian. Although our immediate families are average in size, Marina has a huge extended family; many are here in Chicago but a lot more are all over the world. Aside from our families, we also have a lot of good friends that have children and we often get together. We would much rather be around friends and family than talk to them over the phone. We just took a family trip to Disney World this past summer with Erik’s side of the family and we had a blast. It has become one of our favorite places and we can’t wait to go again and share that experience with our next child. Like most families today we both work. It allows us to live a comfortable life, own our own home, and provide a good future for our family. However, it is important that our jobs allow us plenty of time to be with each other, Sam and our next child, and we believe we have found a nice balance between work and play. Our child care plan includes Marina’s mom and Erik’s cousin. Grandma will babysit during the day and Erik’s cousin arrives in the afternoon to babysit until we get home from work. Since Erik is only a 1 ½ miles from work, he tends to stop over during lunch. This is the plan we use now with Sam, for school breaks and summer and it works out very well. Marina will take three months off work when the baby initially comes home and Erik will also take vacation time.
We look forward to our time together outside of work. Erik, who drove from California to Florida, to help his Aunt move, has taught me the great adventures of traveling and exploring new places. But whatever we are doing, even if it’s just dinner and a movie, we love to be in each other’s company and have the time together. Erik has interests in painting, drawing, writing short stories, working out and all forms of sports. According to Erik we must root for the White Sox, the Bears and the Blackhawks. Marina is an avid reader and likes to read mystery and romance books. She also enjoys decorating, baking and entertaining guests. Baking is such a pleasure for Marina because she loves the scents it gives a home. Like, when you walk into the house and you can smell the chocolate chip cookies baking or the warm apple pie you just can’t wait to cut into. Also, watching Erik’s mouth water as he’s constantly asking if it’s done yet, is so childlike and funny to watch.
Sammy just started 1st grade and likes having his own place to go where he tends to take charge. He can’t wait to be around his friends. We think Sam is going to make a fantastic big brother because we see how he loves to interact with other children. We feel that there is a certain bond between siblings that will help Sam and his brother/sister rely on each other and depend on each other while defining who they are individually. Sam came to us as a surprise and he came 11 weeks early. He just decided he was ready to make an appearance. He was very tiny (2 lbs) when he was born and he was diagnosed with Myotonia. This means that some of Sam’s muscles are weaker than others. This has caused Sam to have some developmental delays, (he didn’t start walking until he was three) but he has made great strides and is doing very well in school. Watching him grow up and become his own person amazes us each day. This is the fun part of being a parent and we look forward to having this opportunity with our next child.
The Way We Spend Our Time:
While we love to be active, during the week we enjoy our time at home where we do homework with Sam, watch a good movie or just hang out. There are times where we do our own thing too-Erik is playing Picasso or writing his next book, Sam is puttering around playing with all his toys and Marina is curled up with a good book or trying a new dessert recipe. If the weather is nice we may go for walks through our subdivision, go to the park, or go visit Erik’s Dad and take him out to dinner. We look forward to the times where we will each have a child to push on the swings or take down the slides.
The weekends are time for fun and adventure. We seek out fun, family oriented activities like neighborhood festivals, zoo outings, swimming at the neighborhood pool, and going to the City. We also like to try out new restaurants and foods from other cultures. We spend a lot of time doing these activities with family and close friends. Sam loves spending time with his cousins, who are near in age and adding a brother or sister to these activities will only make it that much better. Since we love to entertain, we regularly have small BBQ’s with some close friends and family at our house and then a huge “end of summer” BBQ, where we invite all our friends, family and neighbors. Our holidays are spent with both families and we always host at least two in our home. We love planning for these events and continuing the traditions our parents started. We can’t wait to share these traditions with another child and
encourage them to be an important part of the planning and celebrating. We envision our next child playing around the house with Sam, joining in our tickling sessions and being a part of our family adventures. It will be important to us to select activities that both children can participate in together. We can’t wait to have two children to read bedtime stories to and splash around with during bath time. We will watch Sam and our second child’s relationship flourish and help create wonderful childhood memories they will cherish.
We have made our home warm and inviting. It‘s an open and cozy two story house with a fenced in yard that has a swing set and large deck. We also have a basement which has been divided into two play areas- 1 for Erik and the other for kids. The kid’s area has a safari jungle mural on the wall that Erik drew & painted himself. Erik has also painted a Winnie the Pooh mural in the nursery. It has Winnie and friends on a bridge smiling and looking down into the crib. We live in the south suburbs (Tinley Park) and our town has been voted as the top place to raise a family by “Business Week Magazine”. Our neighborhood has many community activities throughout the year and there are two parks within walking distance. Our subdivision is full of families with children of all ages from infants to high school.
You probably have a lot of thinking to do and we wish there was more we could do to help you in this process. If this small glimpse into our lives makes you think we might be a good match, we hope you will choose to learn more about us through our long profile. Our long profile also holds special thoughts written by us for your baby. We would love to have the chance to learn more about you. With respect and affection,