Hi there, we are Pat and Jordan! We’re thrilled to begin the adoption process and are so grateful for your taking the time to learn more about us and our excitement for fatherhood.
Our connection began in 2013 at Jordan’s housewarming party, a few days after he had moved to Baltimore and settled into a house with some of Pat's friends. An introduction made by a mutual friend turned into a night of staying up until 3am discovering common interests and shared experiences, like our love of musicals and having volunteered abroad after college, swapping family stories, and sharing hopes for our future, including marriage and families of our own. Feeling a sense of connection and comfort, we dove deep fast with one another, a trait that continues to strengthen and inform our relationship to this day.
Nearly four years later, our friends and family gathered in Baltimore for our wedding day, held at a historic city arboretum and garden. It was another joyous moment in our relationship and a step towards the start of our own family. Since that first night of conversation, we’ve discussed adoption as our path toward building a family. It’s a great honor to be considered as prospective parents and we look forward to the day we welcome a beautiful child into our home through open adoption.
Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.
Navigating a pregnancy alone is never easy. Depending on your situation and location, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of basic living expenses, such as food and groceries.
Receiving quality medical care during your pregnancy is vital to both your health and the health of your baby. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
Women who choose to place their baby for adoption may receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. If you feel that you’ll need some help with these costs, it’s important to talk to your adoption social worker about it early in the process. Each expectant mother’s situation is different, and eligibility may vary.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important that you have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Like food and groceries, the cost of some household items - like feminine and dental care items, along with prenatal supplements - may be covered during your pregnancy.
Placing a baby for adoption is a loving, but incredibly challenging decision to make. Many women experience an array of emotions during this time and find that counseling is very helpful in navigating those feelings. If you would like to receive counseling during or after your pregnancy, that can be arranged by your adoption social worker. The cost of counseling will be covered by the adoptive family or adoption organization.
If you need assistance with transportation, your adoption social worker can work with you to find the best solution. You may eligible for assistance with transportation costs or be connected with a transportation service to utilize during your pregnancy.
It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.
Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.
You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.
As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.
We recently returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest, including some time at Olympic National Park. We spent our days hiking the mountains of Hurrican Ridge and Obstruction Point, exploring the sands and water of Rialto Beach, and the trails of the Hoh Rainforest. While it was all incredibly beautiful, the rainforest really blew us away. The forest was a lush green, damp from the misty rain, and more vibrant than can be captured in a photo. There was still so much more to explore - all the reason to return on another trip.
Over the past few years, we've tried countless tips and tricks to keep the birds away from the blackberries. We tried providing endless amounts of birdseed which ultimately fed the squirrels more than the birds. We attempted black plastic netting which mainly caused a mess with the growing vines and managed to catch and kill a garden snake. The white cloth netting, while promising at the start, only ended up capturing a bird within it which led to it FEASTING on the entire harvest. This year, after some good 'ol internet research, we went for an alternative option: Shimmery party decorations and pinwheels from the dollar store. The result? An absolute success! We're finally enjoying a bountiful harvest of berries. Plus, our berry patch looks like an absolute party - shining in the sun and flowing in the wind. It's a win-win!
The weekend travels to family and the theme of baseball continued as we made our way out to Minnesota to visit with Jordan's family for our niece's high school graduation party. While it was a shorter visit than we are used to, we made the most of it with a baseball game in the Twin Cities, some mini golf and time at a beautiful sculpture garden, playing video games with our nieces and nephews, and as always, lots of good food and time together. Always grateful for the time and resources to travel out to be with family to celebrate the big and small moments in life!
Earlier this month, we took a trip to upstate New York with Pat's dad, brothers, and brother-in-law for a guys' weekend getaway. We had a great time checking out the Baseball Hall of Fame, cooking and eating great food, and reminiscing about memories from childhood. We couldn't resist some family competition throughout the weekend either so we entertained ourselves with wiffle ball, darts, and a basketball shootout. Some things never change with family!
It's that time of the year again! With Pat's parents spending their winters down in Florida, his siblings and their families typically make annual trips down south to visit with the grandparents, stopping off at our place for an overnight to break up the long drive. We love having everyone take their turn visiting for a night or a weekend to catch up, enjoy some Baltimore food, and have a little rest between drives. Their visits give us the chance to have some quality one-on-one time with nieces and nephews which always feels special. We're grateful to have a home with plenty of space to host our families for as long or as short as they plan to stay.
Last August, our neighbors moved across the country out to Colorado. We've certainly missed catching up across backyards at the end of a long day or hanging out on someone's front porch or back deck on a beautiful day, though having a reason to travel out west isn't the worst of trade-offs. Given that we both have a good amount of time off for the Easter holiday, we decided to make the trip to see their new home in Fort Collins over the break. It was so good to be back together! We spent the time catching up over good food, hiking some Colorado trails, and relaxing with their dogs. There's something special about having neighbors that still feel so close even with many miles between you!
With the spring season finally arriving, we've been making the most of the warmer weekend days (when we've had them!). We recently hiked a new trail not too far from where we live and loved it. It had the perfect balance of flat and elevated terrain, passing through dense woods and then alongside some farmland, and Chula's favorite, a few streams to pass through. The warmer months are definitely our favorite as it means more opportunities for outdoor activities. There will be plenty of more hikes ahead of us this year!
We took advantage of this week's warmer temperatures by spending some time outdoors to begin preparing for the summer garden. We've got some work ahead of us - harvesting the winter garlic, reinforcing one of the raised beds, and enriching the soil by adding some compost - but for now, we start with sowing some seeds to get the seedlings going before they go into the ground later in the spring. So what did we get started?? We planted some eggplant, kale, a variety of tomatoes and peppers, and some marigolds which we'll line the garden beds with to keep out the veggie-eating pests. Looking forward to watching the seeds start to sprout in the weeks ahead!
Having missed Christmas with Pat's family, we made our way up north to visit them for a delayed holiday celebration - exchanging of gifts, good food, and lots of family time. A highlight of the weekend was getting to watch our nephew's basketball game. Watching little kids run up and down the court, doing their best to make passes and get the ball in the hoop never fails to disappoint. That on top of the parent/family commentary always provide a good laugh! Looking forward to more opportunities to watch our nephews and nieces try out different sports and hobbies in the year(s) ahead!
Whenever we travel out to Minnesota to celebrate the holidays with Jordan's family, we're bound to have a white Christmas. This year didn't disappoint with the storm that swept across the midwest, shutting down roads and highways. All the snow made for some great indoor and outdoor family fun including lots of cooking and eating, movie nights and sleepovers with nieces and nephews, and topped it off with a sledding adventure. Did our vehicle get stuck in the snow ditch along the way, you betcha! We made the most of it and dug ourselves out with still enough energy to hit the hills with our sleds!
These past few months have been full of many transitions which have been keeping us busy and on our toes. Jordan transitioned to teaching full-time as a clinical faculty member at a local university and Pat's been onboarding new team members at his job. It's meant a busy start to the school year and now that we've both made it halfway through the semester, we're finally catching our breath. We recently had a chance to step back from it all to take a trip with Pat's family to Cape Cod. Pat grew up spending his summers on the Cape and so it was a really special time to visit his family's old stomping grounds while having some time to relax and catch up with everyone. It was also a time of celebration as Pat's youngest brother ran his first marathon while we were there. We made a great cheering squad with pompoms, signs, and all! It was the perfect getaway to slow down, unwind, and settle in.
Earlier this year when we traveled out to Zion in Arizona, we came across the National Park passport which you can have stamped at parks, historical sites, and landmarks throughout the US. Since then, we've been on a mission to fill it up! We recently took a weekend trip up to Connecticut to visit Pat's family and came across a new spot on our drive back home - The Weir Farm National Historic Site, the first and only national site focused on the arts. It had incredible gardens, a beautiful lake with a hiking path, and little art kits to take with you as you tour the property so you can plop down and create. It was a great visit that offered another stamp for the park passport. There are plenty more stamps ahead of us!
Last week we traveled to Charleston, SC for a family wedding and extended our time there for a little family vacation. It was such a joy to gather with Jordan's family to celebrate his cousin's wedding and to explore a new city. Jordan's uncle brought along his boat for us to get some time out on the water to see the coastline and watch the dolphins pop up at different points throughout the ride. We even had the chance to get together with some of Pat's close friends from childhood who also happened to be in the city at the same time. It was a great time away with family and friends!
One of the perks of Pat's parents splitting their time between Florida and Connecticut is that his family passes through Baltimore as they drive to or from. Most recently, our nephews and niece came through for an overnight at our house along with Pat's older brother and sister-in-law. Though it was a quick visit, we made the most of it with homemade pizza, a pancake breakfast, time at the playground around the corner, and a walk down the street to the bookstore where our nephews picked out some books for their birthday presents. We love having the opportunity to host our family at our house and to share with them what we love about our city. We're looking forward to more time with both our families in the summer months ahead!
This year's Easter holiday was a quiet one for us - no travels, no plans, but lots of enjoyment and rest. We spent the weekend preparing our flower gardens by adding some new native plants, enjoying the Oriole's game at a local brewery, and stopping by Baltimore's Sherwood Gardens to see the annual tulip display. It's a sure sign that springtime has arrived in the city. We're ready for the warmer weather and progression of blooms that lie ahead!
Earlier this month we headed out west as Jordan had a work conference in Las Vegas. After a few days in the city, we headed out to Utah and Arizona for some time to explore some national and state parks - Zion, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and the Hoover Dam. Having grown up on the east coast (Pat) and midwest (Jordan), it was absolutely breathtaking to see the diversity in landscape and climate as we drove between sites throughout the week. We can't wait to find more time to travel back to explore more!
We've been grateful for slower weekends these days, taking advantage of the stillness of winter to get outside for hikes and fun with friends. A nearby university made an outdoor skating rink and opened it to the public for free - skates and all! Another reason to love our city of Baltimore. It was so fun to get back out on the ice and skate around, dodging the pre-teens weaving in and out of the crowd and the children falling left and right. We stayed upright the whole time, so we're calling it a success!
Last month, after nearly two years of COVID, we finally had the chance to make it down to Florida to visit Pat's parents. They recently started splitting their time between there and Connecticut for the winter months and we were grateful to escape the cold after the start of the new year to have some time with them in their new home. We spent our days going for walks around the neighborhood, reading on the couch, visiting our favorite flea market, making and eating lots of good food, and golfing at sunset. We can't wait to find some time to go back for another visit!
This Christmas holiday, we spent time with Pat’s family in Connecticut. The nice thing about living in Maryland is that his family is close enough to make a weekend trip or holiday travel by car. The majority of the time was spent catching up while we relaxed around the house, going for walks along the water, and planning, preparing and eating lots of great food. For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, the food spreads were expansive and delicious with family favorites like stuffed clams (that Pat’s dad harvested himself), calamari, antipasto, lobster tails, steamed artichokes, lasagna, and an endless variety of pies and cookies. If we aren’t eating together, we’re discussing what dish or meal is coming next. And while our holiday visits with Jordan’s family happened over FaceTime calls and phone chats, we shared some of his family’s food traditions with Pat’s by introducing them to Pink Squirrel and Grasshopper ice cream, two homemade flavors of almond and chocolate mint. We’re grateful for the delicious food, time with family, and overall good health to round out the year!
One of the best parts of visiting with family is the time that we get to spend with our nieces and nephews. As some of them are starting to get older (while others are still preparing/learning to walk) it’s been so fun seeing how their different personalities are taking shape and informing their interests. Whether it be reading stacks of books, creating art, training their dog, or practicing their baking, it’s a joy to join them in their interests, share some of our own, and watch their skills progress.
Before feasting away with the family for Thanksgiving, this year Pat’s youngest brother Evan convinced us to join him in a turkey trot along with Pat's parents. It turned out to be a beautiful day and a great little run along the town’s waterfront. While it meant an earlier rise, we were still home in time for the second half of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and made a little extra room for more food in our bellies!
When we told Jordan’s family that we had bought tickets with our neighbors to the Ravens and Vikings game, his parents quickly booked a flight out to Baltimore to join us. It turned into a great weekend with the most beautiful fall weather, lots of good local food and drink, and a hell of a football game. While Jordan and his parents were disappointed by the Vikings' loss in overtime, it couldn’t take away from the joy of having them in town for a long-overdue family visit.
The summer months may be long gone but our first-year garden continues to produce! We recently harvested some carrots which we weren’t sure were going to grow as it was the first time either of us had tried growing them. They weren’t the prettiest veggies but they did the trick when it came to stir-fry, a roasted side, and an addition to salads. Maybe next year we’ll get them to grow a little bigger....or not.
One of the surprising gifts of the adoption process has been getting to know other adoptive families in our area. We got to know another queer couple through our agency’s adoption trainings and have felt so lucky to journey through the process together. They’ve been a great support system, sounding board, and place for connection. We were thrilled to be able to celebrate their wedding day which had been delayed due to COVID. It was such a blessing to be able to meet their family and friends and look forward to seeing how both of our families will grow and take shape through adoption.
At the start of the pandemic, it was clear that sewing was a survival skill. Masks were hard to come by but friends and neighbors who knew how to sew produced them quickly and abundantly. Pat’s always had an interest in creating as both a form of self-expression and a creative/stress release and bought himself a second-hand sewing machine at Scrap Bmore, a local crafters’ thrift store of sorts. His paternal grandmother and great-grandmother were incredibly talented seamstresses and he saw this as a way to remain connected to them, particularly as he inherited a stash of their fabric scraps. Recently, the fabric and sewing store in our neighborhood started offering in-person classes again and Pat signed up to learn the basics. With a pillowcase, a couple of zipper pouches, a sewing machine cover, and a bandana for Chula behind him, he’s ready to keep building his skills and hopes to start taking on garment making soon!
The start of the school year always seems to be a whirlwind with both of us having to find our footing again as we enter into a new academic year, Pat in his full-time work and Jordan teaching an undergraduate course. We leave the summer months wishing they can last a little longer while also looking forward to reconnecting with students and anticipating the change of seasons and holidays ahead. So, we take our final extended road trips and start to settle back in at home.
August is one of our favorite months of the year to travel out to Minnesota to spend time with Jordan's family. The drive out there is part of the adventure in and of itself as it amounts to a little over 20 hours in the car, broken up over the course of two days, with Chula sleeping through most of it in the backseat. By the time we reach, we're more than ready to enjoy the beauty and stillness of the farm, lots of good midwestern food, and plenty of time with the family.
One of the highlights of this summer has been being able to start safely reuniting with friends and family. We recently traveled to Rhode Island to gather together with some of Pat's college friends, their spouses, and their children. It had been over 2 years since the last time we were all together and it was such a joy to catch up, eat good food, and hang around the pool all day. We left the weekend feeling so grateful for our friends and looking forward to the day when we will add a kid to the mix!
We recently welcomed our new niece into the world and while she doesn't look thrilled in the picture, we had a great visit with family and got to hear all about our nephews' first few weeks settling into life with a baby sister. It's been exciting to see our extended family grow with little ones being added throughout the years. We're looking forward to more summer visits with family, both in Connecticut and Minnesota, making the most of the nice weather and vacation days. :)
We've shared before that one of our families' favorite things to do when they visit Baltimore is to enjoy the food, particularly the crabs. Pat's parents passed through town for a night and we thought we'd treat them to an evening of picking crabs down by the water. It was the perfect night for it too as the Baltimore humidity was low which you always have to take advantage of in the summer! We capped off the night with one of our favorites - soft serve ice cream. And now we're ready for the next round of family visitors...and really any excuse for more crabs!
We've loved adding new plants to our gardens over the years and this year we were really excited about the prospect of enjoying some fresh blueberries from our two bushes. Thanks to the bird netting that we added this year, we've officially been able to reap the rewards of the harvest! So far this season, we've been able to pick about 2 pints worth of berries. The bushes are still quite small as it's only their second year in the ground so we're hopeful that each year we'll get more and more as they continue to grow. All in all, nothing beats walking out in the backyard, picking a few off the bushes, and popping them right in your mouth!
One thing that we love about Baltimore is that we get to enjoy so many great things about city life while still having access to water. We recently spent the day kayaking with our neighbors at a state park right outside the city. It was so peaceful making our way through the marsh, taking in the different flowers and plants that lined the waterway, and watching the turtles and otters poke their heads up from the water. It seems like there's always something new to explore!
Both of us grew up with gardens in our yards, though they looked quite different. Pat's was a strip of earth along the neighbor's fence while Jordan's was a good chunk of land (by Pat's standards) out behind an old barn, nestled between the cornfields. When we bought our house a few years back, we knew we wanted to dedicate a portion of the backyard to building a garden of our own. This was the year we decided to take it on! We spent the weekend building some raised garden beds and filled them with a mixture of vegetable plant starters and seeds from our local nursery. We're looking forward to watching the garden grow throughout the season and enjoying whatever it may produce!
Throughout our relationship, camping has been one of our favorite ways to either get away for a quick weekend outside the city or to stop off in different locations on road trips throughout the country. This past weekend we decided to see if our dog Chula would take to a night of tenting so we made our way to a campground outside Lancaster, PA. After a long hike around the park's lake, dinner made over the campfire, and some soft-serve ice cream from the camp store, we managed to tire her out enough to sleep through the night....better than we did. It's safe to say there will be plenty of more camping adventures ahead of us!
Snowball season has arrived! When the heat arrives in Baltimore, the snowball stands start to open for the season. They're a summer staple here in Baltimore - finely shaved ice, flavored syrup, marshmallow topping, and maybe even some soft serve ice cream, if you're lucky/you fancy it. The first snowball of the season always feels special as it brings with it the anticipation of summer. And so with that, here's to another season of Baltimore's summer heat and refreshing snowballs!
This spring season has resulted in most of our time being spent outdoors and in the garden. Last year we planted some blueberry bushes and black raspberry plants in a section of the flowerbeds that we cleared out to make room for some new additions. The trouble was that the birds got to the fruit before we could. This year, we're doing what we can to keep the birds from getting to the berries so that we can enjoy the harvest. Some bamboo poles, lots of netting, and a little twine will hopefully do the trick!
This past weekend we traveled up to Connecticut to visit Pat's family for our nephew's, who is also Pat's godson, First Communion. It was the first time in a long while that we were really able to visit with family given the pandemic and it felt so good to be with everyone. We spent the weekend as we typically do when visiting family - hanging out catching up and eating lots of food. We even got some Connecticut pizza and a big family brunch out of the weekend which is always a highlight. With vaccines more readily available and the summer season lightening up our schedules, we're looking forward to more time with family all across the board!
One of the things we love most about our home is the gardens that we inherited from the previous owners. Made up primarily of perennial flowers, springtime means there's always something blooming in both our front and back yards. We're grateful for the planning and investment of the previous owners which has offered a wide assortment of blooms - daffodils, irises, a variety of lilies, hydrangeas, peonies, and more. Since moving in, we've added some plants of our own including blackberries, blueberries, and most recently a fig tree. The gardens come with quite a bit of work though. This year, we received a truckload of free mulch from a tree removal company which has resulted in a driveway full of woodchips. Slowly but surely, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, we're filling our garden beds and clearing the way for our car. Here's to hoping for good weather in the week(s) ahead to get this springtime project wrapped up soon!
It always feels good to step outside the city every now and again, though those moments have been harder to find during quarantine. Easter weekend marked the starting point of both of us being fully vaccinated and so it served as the perfect opportunity to get away as a little step back into the world of traveling. We made our way to West Virginia, a short drive from home but just far enough to feel like a relaxing holiday retreat. The weekend was spent hitting up the antique shops of Charlestown, hiking some trails in Harpers Ferry, and eating our way through Shepardstown - the perfect combination of activities. We are looking forward to more travels ahead (especially to visit family!) as more and more people get vaccinated and places begin to open up. Until then, we'll continue to stay busy at home in Baltimore!
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