Meet Clifford & Rebecca
Dear Expectant Mother,
We cannot pretend to understand how difficult this decision is, but we feel greatly honored that you would take the time to even learn a little about us and consider us to parent your baby. Even though we do not yet know you, we have been praying for you: praying that you would have wisdom, but especially that you would be filled with peace when you make your decision.
It is hard to know someone from words on a paper, but we pray that you will be able to read between the lines of this letter and see what is in our hearts: a deep love for God, for each other, for our families, and for people in general.
We are a multi-cultural family. We both come from different cultures/ethnicities and have adopted siblings as well as in-laws of different cultures. In our extended family there are six different ethnicities! Our child, regardless of ethnicity, would never feel out of place or alone.
Speaking of culture, Clifford grew up in a small village in Belize. He is used to large families and a close community. He is right in the middle of his family: the fifth of eight (living) children. His father was a pastor for many years, so Clifford grew up attending and helping at church. He taught himself to play the keyboard and played for church. He still loves music today.
Rebecca grew up loving mountains and the beauty of nature. She is the oldest daughter of seven children. She has also been involved with children: teaching children’s classes at church, loving on her younger siblings, etc. She also travelled abroad as a teen, volunteering in children’s projects in other parts of the world. Now, most of her family lives in Oklahoma.
Rebecca went to Belize in 2002 for mission work. While working there, she met Clifford. We worked in missions together for several years before we were married. Since then, we have primarily been in the U.S., although we try to spend time each year in Belize. We still love serving the people there and make volunteering a priority: working with youth in the village Clifford grew up in and teaching at a Bible college. Serving others is a passion of our hearts; one we hope to pass on to our children.
We live most of the year on Rebecca’s family’s farm in Oklahoma. We love the opportunity this gives us to be close to siblings, nieces, and nephews, and the fact that our future kiddos will be able to run over to Papa and Gramsie’s house, and have lots of opportunities to be with cousins. We garden, fish in the small lake, walk in the woods, play games on the yard, and have cookouts on lovely evenings. There are almost always a variety of baby animals the nieces and nephews enjoy.
When we spend time in Belize, we have a home close to Clifford’s parents as well. It truly is the best of both worlds: access to grandparents on both sides is just a short walk away. Our Belize home is surrounded by orange, lemon, banana, and plantain trees, and we have a large pineapple patch: fresh fruit is never lacking! Sleepovers at Uncle Clifford and Aunt Rebecca’s house are highly popular, and there is usually a crowd of kids hanging out at our home every afternoon, either hanging out with Clifford outside, or getting some homework help with Rebecca.
We believe parents should be the primary caregivers in their children’s lives. We do not plan to place our child in daycare: Rebecca plans to be a stay-at-home mom. Since our work and volunteer schedules are somewhat flexible, if Rebecca needs to be away during the day, Clifford would be with our child.
Adoption is not new to us: Rebecca has two adopted siblings, and an adopted nephew. None of the nieces and nephews on her side of the family are related to us by blood, but all are dearly loved by their grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Our child would never feel strange being adopted, since adoption is a normal part of our family’s life.
Why do we want to raise a child? We both love children, and long to share our lives, our wonderful families, and our experiences with a child. Since we were married, we have hoped and prayed for children. We want to have the opportunity to introduce a child of our own to the experiences in life, the values we cherish, and the rich beauties of the world around us. We are people of faith. Our relationship with God is the most important part of our lives, and we want to give our child the opportunity to choose that relationship for him/herself. We plan to take our child to church and teach him/her in our home through family devotions.
We opened this letter calling you “friend.” We hope to have the opportunity to get to know you, to have an open relationship with our child’s birth family, if that is what you desire. As our child grows, he/she would already know his/her birth family – no searching for a hidden past will be necessary when he/she gets older. If you choose us, we look forward to getting to know you, sending you emails, talking, visiting, and allowing your/our child to know both sides of his/her family. If you would rather not have so much contact, we will respect that decision as well. We want you to know that if you choose us as a family for your precious child, he or she will always be cherished, loved, and cared for with all the love others have poured into our lives. He or she will always know how much you loved him/her. Whatever you decide, know that we are praying for you.
Clifford and Rebecca