Susan and Andy

Dear Expectant Mother,

Just by reading this, you are demonstrating your love for your child. Love is wanting and doing the very best for your child, no matter how difficult the path might be for you. Please know that we will love and cherish your child, too – every day and with our whole hearts. We promise you that your child will know you, your love for them and the brave decision you made. You will always have a place in our family and in your child’s heart.

We will welcome your child whole-heartedly into our lives. We will laugh with them and delight in their joy. We will hold them when they cry and hold their hand when they need our strength. We will squeeze them tight when they need nothing but our love and we will step back, even if our hearts are breaking, when they need their independence. We will be there cheering when they succeed and we will be there comforting when they fall. We will treasure every moment with them, the good moments and the not-so-good moments, because all of those moments are the real moments of parenthood. And we will love each other through all of it.

OUR STORY

We met in Washington, DC, where we both had moved for work. Andy was attracted to Susan’s strong independent streak and intelligence. Susan fell in love with Andy’s kindness and generosity. Married 15 years, we are each other’s companion and strength.

Our greatest delight is our daughter Tessie. Unfortunately, Susan experienced complications post-delivery and can no longer have children. In our hearts, we know that our family is not complete. We wish to welcome a new child into our family and experience again the sheer joy of watching a child grow. We are excited to watch Tessie be the great big sister we know she will be.

Our Family

Meet Susan:

I grew up in Wisconsin with my parents and 3 older siblings. We lived minutes from extended family and celebrated holidays and birthdays together, creating lasting family traditions. My siblings and their families still live in the Midwest and my mother is delighted when my childhood home is filled with the now eight of us and our nine children.

I volunteer at Tessie’s school running a literacy and academic enrichment program. I love reading and learning. I really enjoy helping students discover great books and finding ways to help enrich the students’ education. Prior to Tessie, I had a great experience practicing law. I enjoyed the research and writing, being an advocate and finding solutions. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I find I am still advocating and solving problems – just now for my child and family instead of clients!

I can be serious and practical but I love to joke and laugh. Friends say my sense of humor is witty and dry; my daughter just finds me silly. We give each other big hugs and bunny kisses. Most important to me is that no matter how the day has gone, and sometimes it goes very sideways, I end each day snuggling my sleeping child and whispering how much I love her. I long to go to two rooms each night, giving out hugs, kisses and loving whispers.

Meet Andy:

I grew up in Massachusetts. I come from a family of educators and activists which shaped my worldview. I have one sister and three step-sisters and an amazingly supportive extended family. I learned from a young age that it is not the labels that matter but a family’s love and inclusiveness.

I was a camp counselor as a teenager and that describes who I aim to be today—a caretaker, an organizer, a positive energy in all situations. I love being a father. I revel in everything from having tea parties to splashing in the lake to teaching Tessie baseball.

My career at a large Chicago bank provides for my family and allows flexibility for family time. I strive to be home every night for dinner and bedtime. On days I work from home, I like walking Tessie to school and taking time out to play with her. In the past, I have volunteered at Tessie’s pre-school and with an inner city reading program. Currently, I volunteer at our church and at Tessie’s school.

Meet Tessie:

Tessie is kind and soft-hearted. Her favorite colors are pink and purple. She takes ballet and figure skating classes. Tessie spends hours lost in books, reading about fairies, unicorns and fantastical worlds. She loves all animals and is an explorer of natural habitats. Tessie will be a great big sister, wanting to share all her knowledge and wisdom!

Meet Tootsie:

Tootsie, a black lab-mix puppy, is the newest addition to our family. Our beloved family dog Butterscotch passed away recently, as did Tessie’s beautiful Betta fish named Roseberry. After several months and lots of reflection, we decided our house was too empty and that we needed some puppy energy and love. Tootsie is a soft, smushy sweetheart of a puppy who loves everything and everyone she has met.

Our Home and Our Family Adventures

We live north of Chicago, in a city along Lake Michigan. Our neighborhood is a community; it is heartwarming how many neighbors call out “Good morning!” while we walk to school and ask how Tessie’s day was as we walk home in the afternoons. While our quiet, diverse neighborhood feels “tucked away”, we are within walking distance to the downtown area, the library and public transportation. Several great neighborhood parks are nearby.

Our home is filled with laughter and music. We have dance parties, sing our favorite songs and play instruments together. The hub of our home is the large kitchen and family room. It is where we play board games, create art projects, bake our favorite muffins, construct robots and have tea parties. We also love relaxing in our backyard. Tessie’s favorite spot is probably the swing under a tree. There is a sandbox and playhouse for kids to enjoy. We watch birds at our birdfeeders and catch fireflies in summer. We make s’mores and sing around the fire pit. In winter, we bundle up, go sledding, make snow animals and dig snow caves.

We love to go on adventures and explore together. When we can, we like to travel, especially camping in the warmer months. We enjoy the lakefront throughout the year. We often go on nature walks, either at the lakefront, our city’s arboretum or a nearby nature preserve. We take advantage of all that our area has to offer, visiting zoos, museums and farms.

Thank You!

Thank you for getting to know us and learning about the life we can offer your child. We believe that loving and raising a child is an adventure – sometimes surprising, sometimes heartbreaking, but always amazing. We hope you will trust us to go on that adventure together.

If you would like to contact us, you can email us at andyandsusanACFB@gmail.com or reach out to our adoption counselor, Linda Fiore, via email at linda@centerforfamily.com or text/call 773-919-5702.

With gratitude,
Susan and Andy