Sue and Dan,
Hi, we are Sue, Dan, and Ethan and we live near San Francisco, California. Originally from England, we moved to the US in 2008, fell in love with the country and decided to make California our home. In 2012 we were blessed with the adoption of Ethan, which really was a dream come true for us.
It has been an amazing experience and privilege to raise such a wonderful boy and we’re excited for him to have a sibling to share his childhood with. We have so much love to give and look forward to expanding our family by adopting another child and watching he or she and Ethan grow up together.
We want to thank you so much for considering us as your child’s future loving parents and protective big brother. We hope this letter helps you get to know us a bit better and see just how excited we are to welcome another child into our lives.
We have been together for over 14 years and married for nearly 10. We met at work in London shortly before Sue was due to take a six month trip around the world. We stayed together while Sue was traveling and there has been no looking back! Our shared love of travel and experiencing new places and cultures has continued and is one of the many things we look forward to sharing with our children.
We had always wanted to experience living in a different country so when the opportunity arose to live in San Francisco, we jumped at it. Initially, we were only planning on being here for 2 years, but that was nearly 8 years ago! It is such a great place to live and enables us to have a wonderful lifestyle. After adopting Ethan, we wanted to have a true family home and settled in a small town outside San Francisco called Corte Madera. We love the area as it has amazing schools, trails, beaches, shops, parks and restaurants. We live in a 4-bedroom house with plenty of space for our growing family.
One of our big loves is travel, both overseas and exploring the US. As most of our extended family is based in the UK, we go there at least once a year. During these trips, we typically head to Sue’s family vacation home in Spain where Ethan enjoys splashing in the pool with cousins, eating out, and being with family enjoying the laid back Spanish lifestyle. During the last few years with Ethan being young, we have been doing a lot of shorter trips too, making the most of having mountains and beaches so close.
When not traveling or working, we enjoy being outside with our friends and Ethan. We love to stay active and make the most of everything California has to offer— biking, swimming, skiing, snowboarding and camping to name a few. We also like to do more casual activities such as strolling the farmer’s markets, playing on the beach, taking Ethan out on his scooter to the local park, and just playing in our backyard with trucks, sand pits, and water toys, basically just enjoying Ethan and watching him play and laugh.
We feel very fortunate to have a kind, supportive and caring family. It is so much fun having family to visit and ready-made vacation spots! Sue’s brother and wife have three young boys and recently moved to England from Ireland. They kept their home in Ireland as a vacation home, so we have been planning a time we can get everyone over there to play. Dan has two sisters, one in Sydney and one who lives in London. Both have two sons and it’s very funny to watch the boys talk to each other over Skype. Although there are miles between us all, when we’re together it’s like no time has passed at all. We’re very lucky that our families are all able to make time together a priority and we all enjoy making the effort to see each other.
They say all good things come in small packages and Sue is living proof of this! Not a day goes by when I am not incredibly grateful to have her as my wife. She is the most compassionate and thoughtful person I have ever met, always putting others before herself, and it is impossible not to let this kind-hearted nature rub off on me, as it does on others. Sue is someone who brings out the best in people and I have no doubt she will be as wonderful a mother to our next child as she has been to Ethan.
Sue used to work in finance for a large bank in the city, but after Ethan arrived she decided to become a stay at home mother. This works really well for all of us and allows her to take Ethan out for lots of activities during the day, such as going to the park, music classes, swimming, and play dates with friends. Doing these activities means that Sue knows many people in the community and every time we go out we seem to bump into one of Ethan’s play friends and their families!
Having Sue stay at home has also made it easier to spend time with our families in the UK providing Ethan time to play with all his cousins and spend time with grandparents. Sue is very close to her family and despite the distance between them; she is always making plans enabling everyone to keep close together. Becoming a mother meant so much to Sue and she seems to have endless love to give. She can’t wait to watch Ethan and a new baby bond and share experiences together.
This year Sue has taken part in several half marathons and we enjoy cheering her on and making it a fun morning out. Ethan is excited to be her training buddy and climbs in the jogging stroller when he sees her getting ready! Sue also loves to bake and I love the fact that I can come home and hear about Ethan and her adventures in the kitchen!
Over the last several years, Sue has been learning Spanish. Her family having a vacation spot in Spain has been a good incentive! Now she is trying to share that love of learning languages with Ethan and we are hoping that as our children get older we can all learn together.
Dan is a wonderful person to live with. As the big brother to two sisters, I think all that sisterly influence worked wonders and contributed to his easy going personality; they trained him well! Even after a hard day in the office, he comes home with a smile on his face and is keen to hear all about our day. When he has more time on the weekend he loves to cook and is often planning an exotic curry or homemade pasta dish to make us. He makes me laugh every day even with his never-ending supply of bad jokes (I try not to encourage him too much with those!). I really love Dan’s ability to find the bright side in everything; it makes our home a happy one.
Dan has always been successful in his career and was recently promoted to partner within a large accountancy firm in San Francisco. He is well known for his calm and thoughtful approach and is a well-trusted and successful member of the firm. Although Dan works hard, he makes sure he spends plenty of time with me and Ethan and we often spend long weekends away so that we can all spend lots of quality time together. Dan is fortunate to be able to work from home at least once a week which ensures that Ethan gets “daddy bath time”, which he loves! “Daddy bath time” results in most of the water ending up on the bathroom floor, but it’s worth it to see how much fun they have!
Dan loves pushing himself even if that means swimming in the cold San Francisco Bay, competing in triathlons, camping in the rain at national parks with his friends or throwing himself down the slopes on a snowboard. Dan swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco and also did a swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge, which is a six-mile swim in the San Francisco Bay – amazing!
Ethan adores Dan and giggles at him endlessly. Dan seems to have a magic touch, but it could just be that little boys love being swung around by their dads!
Ethan came into our lives through adoption in 2012. We found out about him approximately 6 weeks before he was born and travelled to Kansas to be there for his birth.
Ethan is a very playful social child. He is the kid you see in the playground in the middle of all the older kids trying to keep up. His big laugh brightens any day and he has the most amazing smile. He loves anything with wheels – trucks, trains, police cars, sirens, etc., so our house is filled with toys he can ride, push, or pull!
Sue takes Ethan to lots of classes such as music, art, and swimming to give him as much opportunity to discover which things he particularly enjoys. At the moment he loves music classes where everyone sings and dances so we bought him a toy guitar to play at home. It is just amazing to see him dancing, strumming the guitar and singing along; maybe we have a little musician on our hands!
Now that Ethan is older we think he is at an age where he will be a great big brother. From talking to him about how we plan to adopt again he is so excited to have a baby in the house. Ethan mixes with lots of other children at preschool and also at the classes he takes and we can see how caring he is to the younger children there. Your child will not only be a precious son or daughter to us, but he will also have a very protective big brother to look after them.
Thoughts on Adoption
After trying unsuccessfully to have children on our own, it soon became clear that adoption would be the best way to create our family. Dan’s mom, uncle and cousin were adopted and everyone in our family has been very supportive of our decision to follow in their footsteps. We see great value in open adoption and keeping family ties intact. We want our child’s background to be something we celebrate and discuss openly. For us, nurturing a child’s potential and seeing them grow into amazing human beings is what we look forward to the most.
The process of adopting Ethan has really shown us the sacrifice that is made by birth parents and how much this decision is all about love. They will always know that many people love them.
Initially, Ethan’s birth mother didn’t want any ongoing contact however upon spending time with us in Kansas she decided she wanted more contact, which we embraced as we will always support Ethan when he wants to find out more about his birth family. It was lovely to have that time with Ethan’s birth family. We share information and updates frequently and they also share information about their lives. We feel we are lucky to have had such a positive adoption experience and I know from talking to Ethan’s birth family, they gain great comfort seeing how happy Ethan is and how much we, and our entire family, love him.
We would love to adopt again and create a larger family full of even more fun and happiness! We believe strongly in the importance of sibling relationships and and we’re excited to watch them grow up together and build lasting sibling memories full of fun and adventure.
We promise to provide a safe, secure, loving home filled with laughter and two deeply dedicated parents. We hope that you will consider us as you look for what is best for your child.
If you would like to learn more about us or to arrange an initial phone call, please call Cindy (anytime) at A Loving Alternative (800) 556-5635.
Sue, Dan, & Ethan