I have always planned to have children, and have always hoped for a large family. I chose to adopt as a single parent when at the age of 30 I had not yet met a man I wanted to raise a family with. I was incredibly blessed to be able to adopt my first daughter in 1999, right before she turned two, after being her foster mom for well over a year. Four years after Sierra's adoption was finalized, we welcomed home a six year old sister, Abbey, from Guatemala, and two years after that we brought home a 10 month old baby brother, Bobby, also from Guatemala . My family was beginning to grow as I had always dreamed. Very unexpectedly, in September of the same year, I discovered my fourth child, Elly, on a waiting child website. After meeting with her birthmom, I was thrilled to be able to bring her home in November of 2006 at the age of 4 months. On New Year's Eve 2014, I picked up little Alyssa from her birth parents. She was almost 3 at the time. Our next arrival was Emma. She joined our family in the summer of 2016, and is now almost 13. Our newest arrival is Lexi. She is almost 9, and came to join our family in April of 2018. I realize how incredibly lucky I have been to have the opportunity to adopt my seven wonderful kids. However, the desire to adopt more children has not left me, and I am eager to add another child or children to our family.
My children and I spend almost all of our time together, and we love to have fun. We have season passes to our local water park and we also love amusement parks and the beach. We love to go to garage sales and auctions too. We even love to just hang out at home and play in the back yard. Of course my teenagers love to go to the mall (and I do too!). My children have taken horseback riding lessons, dance lessons, and ice skating lessons, and they have played on soccer and track teams. My oldest daughter was a cheerleader, and my next oldest was an avid soccer player, and even played on a successful travel team. My oldest two play the flute and clarinet and were in the band and chorus. My oldest daughter is quite a singer (She actually tried out for American Idol and The Voice a couple of times!), and she is teaching her little sister Elly to follow in her footsteps. You should hear the singing that goes on when we are riding in the car! We are quite active and love to keep busy.
School is a big part of our lives, and it is the center of our small community. My kids and I ride to school together and often come home together each day. It's great being a teacher because my children and I have the same schedules. And, of course, because we all get to be home together in the summer!
I have an older sister and a younger sister, whom the kids are close to. They adore my older sister's husband, Uncle Ron. My oldest sister has two adult children, and her daughter also has two daughters of her own. We get together with the cousins frequently. My youngest sister is single and is a nurse, and she is also considering adopting to add to our family! We celebrate birthdays and holidays with our relatives, and it is always lots of fun. Our house seems to be the gathering place and we always have the whole family over for Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving, and usually for Easter too. Many happy memories are made at these times!
I have been a teacher for over almost 30 years, and I was a foster parent for over 17 years. I have had experience with children with special needs, and I am comfortable adopting a child with a variety of special needs. I am familiar with advocating for the children and seeking out whatever services they may need. We are very fortunate to live just 30 minutes from major hospitals and specialists located in the NYS Capital, Albany. Albany Medical Center, with its Children's Hospital, and St. Peter's Hospital are two of the largest in the area. In addition, we are just 135 miles from NYC, where additional doctors and specialists are easily accessible.
My children and I are eagerly anticipating adding a brother or a sister (or both!) to our family!