|Occupation:||Pool Tech/Sub Contractor/Missionary|
|Interest:||Playing the guitar and piano, volleyball, missions|
|Occupation:||College English Professor/Missionary|
|Education:||Bachelors in Christian Education|
|Interest:||Hiking, reading, playing piano, health research, missions|
|Married:||5 1/2 Years|
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us as a family. We realize you face an incredibly hard challenge: choosing a family for your precious little one. We cannot pretend to understand how difficult this decision is, but we feel greatly honored that you would take the time to even consider us to parent your baby. Even though we do not yet know you, we have been praying for you: praying that you would have wisdom in this decision, but especially that you would be filled with peace when you make your decision, whether you choose us, or someone else. Ultimately, we want what we are sure you want for your child: the very best opportunity for life in a loving, happy family.
It is hard to know someone from words on a paper, or even from photos in a book, but we pray that you will be able to read between the lines of this letter and see what is in our hearts: a deep love for God, for each other, for our families, and for people in general. If we had to choose a theme for our lives, it would probably be love and hospitality. We are Clifford and Rebecca, and we’d like to share a little bit of our lives with you in these pages.
We are a multi-cultural family. We both come from different cultures/ethnicities and have adopted siblings as well as in-laws of different cultures. In fact, between us and our siblings, there are six different cultures/ethnicities! Our church is also multi-cultural. We plan to continue to surround ourselves with people of various cultures so that our child, regardless of ethnicity, would never feel out of place or alone.
Speaking of culture, Clifford grew up in a small village in Belize. He is used to large families and a close community. He is right in the middle of his family: the fifth of eight (living) children. His father was a pastor for many years (he is now retired), so Clifford grew up attending and helping at church. He taught himself to play the keyboard, and became one of the musicians at church while he was still a teen.
Rebecca grew up on the Northwest, loving mountains and the beauty of nature. She is the oldest daughter of seven children. Her dad was self-employed, so she grew up working in family businesses. She also was involved in a lot of work with children: teaching children’s classes at church or in her parents’ home, loving on her younger siblings, etc. She also travelled abroad as a teen, volunteering in children’s projects in other parts of the world. Now, most of her family lives in Oklahoma.
Rebecca went to Belize in 2002 doing mission work. She fell in love with the country and the people of Belize. While working there, she met Clifford. We worked in missions together for several years before we were married in 2015. Since our marriage, we have primarily been in the U.S., although we try to spend time each year in Belize. We still love serving the people in Belize and make it a priority to volunteer there each year, working with youth in the village Clifford grew up in and teaching at a newly founded Bible college. Volunteering to serve other people is a passion of our hearts, and one we hope to pass on to our children someday.
We live most of the year on Rebecca’s family’s farm in Oklahoma. We love the opportunity this gives us to be close to siblings and nieces and nephews. We love the fact that our future kiddos will be able to run over to Papa and Gramsie’s house, and also have lots of opportunities to be with cousins. We garden, fish in the small lake on the property, go for walks in the woods, play games out on the yard, and have cookouts on lovely evenings. There are almost always baby cows to look at, and there are currently a big batch of baby chicks, and a smaller batch of ducklings that our nieces and nephews enjoy holding.
When we go spend time with Clifford’s family in Belize, we have a home right close to his parents as well. It truly is the best of both worlds: access to grandparents on both sides is just a short walk away. In Belize our home is surrounded by orange, lemon, banana, plantain, and cocoa trees, and we have a large pineapple patch: fresh fruit is never lacking! Sleepovers at Uncle Clifford and Aunt Rebecca’s house are highly popular, and there is usually a crowd of kids hanging out at our home every afternoon, either hanging out with Clifford outside, or getting some homework help with Rebecca.
Our family vacations always include the outdoors. We love going back to the Northwest (which Rebecca still calls “God’s country”), hiking in the mountains, camping, and just enjoying nature. Other favorite activities include board games and putting together puzzles.
We are people of faith. Our relationship with God is the most important aspect of our lives, and we would want to give our child the opportunity to choose that relationship for him/herself. We plan to not only take our child to church, but also teach him/her in our home through family devotions.
We believe parents should be the primary caregivers/people of influence in their children’s lives. Because of this, we do not plan to place our child in daycare. Rather, it would be our goal to have him/her in our care. Rebecca plans to be a stay-at-home mom. Because our work and volunteer schedules are somewhat flexible, if there are times that Rebecca needs to be away during the day, Clifford would have the ability to be with our child.
Since we were married, we have hoped and prayed for children. We have shed many tears of longing for children. In the meantime, we have poured our lives into our nieces, nephews, and other children in our lives. We look forward to receiving the blessing of a child through adoption and pouring our love into a child of our own.
Adoption is not something new to us: Rebecca has two adopted siblings, and her older brother has an adopted son. None of the nieces and nephews on her side of the family are related to us by blood, but all are dearly loved and doted upon by their grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Our adopted child would never feel strange being adopted, rather, it is a normal part of our family’s life.
Why do we want to raise a child? Our lives have been richly blessed by others. We both love children, and long to share our lives, our wonderful families, and our experiences with a child. We want to have the opportunity to introduce a child of our own to the wonderful experiences there are in life, to the values we cherish, and to the rich beauties of the world around us.
When we are blessed with a child, we hope to share with him/her our love for people, and to give him/her every opportunity to be a healthy, thriving contributor to society. We do not have a set agenda or goal for our future child, a certain calling or profession we want him/her to fulfill. Rather, we want to equip him/her with what he/she needs to follow their interests and become successful in life, whatever that looks like for him/her.
You may have noticed we opened this letter calling you “friend.” That is because we hope to have the opportunity to get to know you. We hope to have an open relationship with our child’s birth family, if that is what they desire. As our child grows, he/she should already know his/her birth family – no searching for a hidden past will be necessary when he/she gets older. If you choose us, we look forward to getting to know you, sending you emails, talking, visiting, and allowing your/our child to know both sides of his/her family. If you would rather not have so much contact, we will respect that decision as well. When our child gets older, he or she may desire a relationship with you, and we would support our child’s search.
We hope that this letter has given you a small peek into our lives and given you the confidence that there are loving, caring people willing to welcome your little one into their lives. We have a great deal of respect for you and the choice you are making. Even though we do not yet know your name, we have been praying for you to have the wisdom and courage to make the best decision for you and your family.
As we close, we want to again say, “thank you.” Thank you for making hard decisions in the best interest of your child. Thank you for loving your baby enough to consider us as parents. We want you to know that if you choose us as a family for your precious child, he or she will always be cherished as a treasure. He or she will be loved and cared for with all the love others have poured into our lives. We will raise him or her to the best of our abilities. Please know that we have a network of family and friends waiting to love on a baby in our lives and to support us through all the years of parenting. Whatever you decide, know that we are praying for you.
Clifford and Rebecca