It is impossible to convey all that is in our hearts. All we can do is to share a little bit about our family and hope you can catch a glimpse into who we really are—both as individuals and a family.
Andy and Mary have been married for 13 years. We met in high school and formed a lasting friendship that endured beyond our graduations and into college. Though we didn't see each other very often, since we were attending different colleges, we always seemed to find our way back to each other when we were home for the holidays or summer break. Snowmobiling in the mountains, trips to West Yellowstone to see a play, and just hanging out watching movies—it was years of building a foundation of trust and love. Mary says, “Andy was the one person I couldn't do without. So many of my friends lost touch, but I never could let go of Andy.” Six years after our first meeting, it occurred to each of us that maybe there was more going on that just friendship. If our love story were made into a romantic comedy (starring Amy Adams as Mary and Hugh Grant as Andy), it would be called “DUH!” because everyone saw it but us. We were married in June of 1999, and it's been a wild adventure ever since! Working through college, moving for jobs, and the journey of adoption for our two amazing kids, Nate and Lizzie—it hasn't always been easy, but there isn't anyone else we'd rather have by our sides.
Andy (Mary says) is the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. That is what drew me to him most and made Andy so special to me for so long before we began dating: he is genuinely kind and thoughtful to everyone around him. Andy's been through a lot in his life. Surviving cancer as a teen-ager made him strong and determined, but he has managed to retain a love of life and a wicked sense of humor. Andy loves playing practical jokes and telling a good story. He teaches me that there is hope and humor in everything. He is my harbor in the storm, my best friend. As a father, Andy excels at tickle fights and making waffles on Saturday mornings. He and Nate always have a blast building Pinewood Derby cars, and he is Lizzie's preferred companion for just about everything. What a kind, patient, devoted father he is!
Mary (according to Andy) is really passionate about life—it must be the red hair! She lives her life joyfully and thoughtfully. Mary really loves music. She says she wakes up sometimes in the night with songs running through her head. She shares this love with our kids, and it's always fun to hear them start sining for no reason; Mary and Lizzie do that all the time. She's a good writer and dreams of someday writing a book; I think she should! Our kids can count on her, no matter what. She's the one who takes care of them when they're sick, helps them with homework, and advocates for them at school.
Nate came to our family in 2002. A chunky little three-month-old wasn't what we had planned for, but the best parts of life can't be planned! He is tall and lanky now, with an athlete's build. He loves playing sports. His favorite is baseball, and he likes basketball, too. He likes jumping on the trampoline, building with his Legos, and drawing comics of our daily adventures. He loves visiting his many cousins. Nate is really excited to adopt.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) is all about moving. Dancing, running, jumping, climbing...she's our extreme sports fanatic in the making! Lizzie somehow ended up with Andy's sense of humor and loves to laugh. Mary sometimes says, “Lizzie laughs and angels sing.” One of her favorite past times is bugging her big brother, of course, which is kind of a six-year-old little sisters' job (at least, that's what we tell Nate).
Our life together is spent swimming at the Y, camping in the nearby mountains, and taking road trips to visit our extended families. We throw fishing in there sometimes, with mixed results. We are a family who reads (“They get that from Mary,” says Andy.) and listens to all types of music. We love family movie nights, snuggled together on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn. We are a religions family, and attend church regularly.
Where and to whom this adoption journey will lead us next, we do not know. We are excited to see what is in store for our family, just around the next bend. We hope it's you!
Andy, Mary, Nate and Lizzie