Patrick, who is from Ireland, came to Pittsburgh for a college study abroad program. He fell in love with the city and got very involved in the local Irish community. When I came back to Pittsburgh (from Manhattan) Patrick had been living in my hometown for 15 years.
We officially met on Match.com, but came to find out that we had approximately 100 people in common who, presumably, would have introduced us to each other (offline) at some point.
My grandparents also immigrated to Pittsburgh from Ireland, and had helped found the Irish community that Patrick was now a part of. On our first date, we figured out that Patrick played on the same Irish football team my grandfather played on and attended events at the Irish Center that my grandfather helped build. The ways our lives already overlapped and connected was almost eerie, and we joked that this is what an arranged marriage must feel like.
Meeting Patrick felt like coming home (literally). Three dates in, we both knew that this was our forever.
We have a four-bedroom home and plenty of space for our growing family. We keep the kids' books next to the couch in our living room, and have a basket full of blankets nearby for cuddle and reading time. The kids love to ride their scooters around the house and make food in their play kitchen. We have a good-sized yard, swings for the kids and a deck just off the kitchen where we keep toys and bikes for the kids to play with when the weather is nice.
We are not precious about things, and we strive to make our home cozy and comfortable for our kids. The cushions on our couches are for building pillow forts, and our kitchen island is for mixing up pumpkin muffins with the kids.
We live in a very quiet and safe community full of young children. We are one block away from a quaint town center that has restaurants, stores, a hair salon and parks. All of the schools our children will attend are walking distance from our house. We know all of our neighbors by name. We watch over each other's houses, borrow tools and bake meals for each other. We celebrate every summer and fall with annual block parties that last well into the night.
We are seeking to expand our family through adoption because I am no longer able to carry children. After a long struggle with infertility, Patrick and I were blessed to get pregnant via IVF, and our twins (Fenton and Loretta) were born in November 2015. Our children were born healthy, but I suffered complications during their delivery and underwent lifesaving procedures that left me unable to sustain a pregnancy.
My husband is one of five children and I am one of three. So the two of us always wanted a big family. We have so much room in our lives and hearts for another child (or two!) and it is our greatest dream to create a home like those we grew up -- full of laughter, love and unbreakable sibling bonds.
Heather and I both have office jobs but very flexible schedules. We each work from home one day a week and have a nanny (from Scotland!) that comes to the house to help us with childcare. We eat dinner together as a family every night, and spend our evenings doing piggyback ride races and reading Curious George stories to the kids.
We bring Fenton and Loretta into our bed for family cuddle time every morning, and take the kids for long, meandering walks around our neighborhood where they collect rocks and leaves (and sometimes bugs!). Our family is our first priority and our time together the most precious thing in the whole world.