Rose and Justin
Dear Birth Mother
Hello! We are Rose & Justin from Pine Mountain, Georgia! We admire the choices you are making and the possibilities you are creating for your child, as well as for people like us who so wish to be parents. We will raise a child who knows unlimited love, and that the story of how our family was brought together is a story about how deeply you care and how grateful we are.
We have been in a devoted relationship for over a decade, and after many adventures together, we have the home and jobs of our dreams. We want nothing more than to share our lives with a child.
Even though we do not have struggles with fertility, we have long thought adoption was a meaningful way of building a family, and now are more than ready to give a child all they need.
10 Fun Facts About Us:
- We have lived in Central America and Asia and traveled to over 40 countries.
- We are close (at heart) with extended families on both coasts.
- Our favorite date is taking a picnic to the creek on our own 12 forested acres.
- We get dressed up and go to Atlanta for the jazz festival, dance performances, and museums.
- Rose can’t sleep, Justin reads aloud to her.
- Sometimes, Rose surprises Justin with a 1/2 or 2/3s birthday party.
- We like to make… curries, tortillas, sourdough bread, and salsas from scratch.
- We’re writers and professors now, but in the past Rose edited children’s books and Justin taught science to schoolkids.
- In warm weather, we enjoy camping under the stars and, in winter, sitting around the fireplace in our living room.
- All of this is about things we’re eager to share. But, as parents, we also think our job is to help a child discover their own talents and tastes.
About Us: We met while teaching creative writing at the same college in the mountains of North Carolina, and soon moved across country to live in a cabin in the Oregon wilderness.
After that experience, we knew we’d always be together (though our accommodations are more comfortable these days).
We were married on the East Coast, in Rose’s parents’ flower garden, just like she always wanted, and then flew to the West for a celebration on Mount Hood, hosted by Justin’s parents.
Now, our favorite place to be is at home on our land. We are always trying out different international recipes, but our pattern of taking turns in the kitchen (and making lots of leftovers) doesn’t change. While interests in the arts and the outdoors are what initially attracted us to each other, we’ve found that what we have most in common are family connections.
As professors, we get summer and other breaks and have flexible schedules that mean one of us can always be at home, even after we return from our generous parental leave. What we love most about teaching creative writing is encouraging young people to find their own voices and introducing them to the work of diverse artists. Also, our colleagues and friends are fascinating people from all over the country.
Meet Rose by Rose: As a child, I spent every winter in Central America, where my father worked as a conservation biologist. In the US, I had fun inviting friends over to our home to pick berries from my mother’s garden, swim in the river, and make terrariums. My parents encouraged my creativity, and that’s why I am a writer now. My parents also provided security and structure, and they are why I am practical and reliable too. Nobody in our household is going to miss a dentist’s appointment, worry about how to pay for college, or run out of their favorite snack because I stocked up.
I’ve published three books of poetry and am a professor of creative writing. I pride myself on being a good teacher, and showing up for my students beyond the classroom. And I love that, as a professor, I will be able to take time off when we bring our baby home, and continue to work from home. I look forward to the chance to be a pretty cool mom to a teenager, as well as the adoring mother of a small child.
About Rose by Justin: Rose gives the most thoughtful gifts, loves both special occasions and our everyday life at home, and she has a truly remarkable relationship with her mother. Before I met Rose, I always thought I had the perfect childhood, but the stories of her youth are downright magical. There is nothing I look forward to more than having the chance to build such a world together for our own child. Her attention to detail, beauty, and grace is what makes her a wonderful writer, and it is also what makes her a wonderful partner. I have no doubt, this will make her a wonderful mother as well.
My Fun Facts…
- Favorite Holiday: I like holidays so much that my cousin and I invented additional ones such as Summer Carnival, with games involving hula-hoops, balloons, and trying to squirt whipped cream at targets.
- Favorite Book: Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry.
- Future Goals: To learn something my future child chooses—whether it’s words to a new language, or new ways to braid hair—together.
Meet Justin by Justin: I grew up in a large, fun-loving and tight-knit family. When my sister got divorced many years ago, I moved in with her and became a full-time nanny for Taylor, my two-year-old niece, staying for almost two years. She’s in college now, but we still talk on the phone most weeks, and she served as the “best man” at our wedding. I’ve played organized sports for most of my life, even coaching a women’s collegiate soccer team for several years, so I’m well equipped to be a sports dad if called upon. The flexibility of our schedules as college professors also allows us to teach on alternating days, meaning that one of us can always be at home spending quality time with our child.
When I was younger, I travelled to many far-flung wilderness locations like Patagonia and Antarctica, but my outdoors time these days is rooted much closer to home. I’ve built a network of trails here on our property, as well as a screened gazebo, and I can’t wait to try my hand at an elaborate treehouse. Throughout my life I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who have a high capacity for joy, wonder, and compassion, and those are the values I’ll strive to instill in my future child.
About Justin by Rose: Justin runs marathons and climbs mountains, but his greatest strength may be his kindness. I can talk to him about absolutely anything, he is my best friend, and our other friends’ kids are drawn to his grin. He finds ways to make pretty much every situation fun.
He balances the little things (like doing the dishes and vacuuming) with being an exciting teacher and writing amazing books. Since the day we met, I have known he will be a patient, warm father who will always have time for a child’s questions, problems, and enthusiasms.
My Favorites & Strangest…
- Favorite Halloween Costume: Aladdin (I had a large rug strapped to my back all night).
- Favorite Place to Be: Close to water—I love to fish, kayak, and swim
- Favorite Thing to Do with My 12-Year-Old Nephew: Either go to the bouldering gym or do an Escape Room.
- Strangest Side Job: Presiding over the weddings of my friends (to date, I’ve done this 3 times).
Rose’s family lives nearby and does up holidays with homemade pinatas, gingerbread houses, and more traditions. Rose may not have siblings, but her cousin Lily was—and is—like a big sister, and now Lily’s baby girl is named Hannah Rose.
Visits to Justin’s family are packed with laughter, fancy meals, games with his niece and nephew, and getaways to the Oregon mountains and coast.
- At Christmas, after we decorate our own tree with handmade ornaments, we make an outdoor tree for the birds (or squirrels), hung with seeds and fruit.
- On New Year’s Day, we go for a hike, preferably to a waterfall.
- For Easter, we dye eggs to hide, and all the relatives—and pets—hunt for them.
- Each Thanksgiving, we try international variations on the classic meal such as jerked or tandoori turkey, plantains in addition to sweet potatoes, or pomegranate sauce instead of cranberry—but there’s no messing with the pumpkin pie recipe.
- Every month, we write an entry in a journal recording big events, what’s blooming or if there’s snow, and little stories we’ll want to remember.
Where We Call Home
We live surrounded by nature and can hear our creek from our windows, yet we’re just minutes from good schools, sports fields, and shops, and it takes just a little over an hour to reach Atlanta’s rich cultural opportunities. Our house itself is filled with examples of literature, music and art from people with all kinds of backgrounds and identities. Also within minutes from our house are a huge state park, a lake great for swimming, a butterfly conservatory, bike paths, and other activities. The neighborhood holds monthly dinners, and our specialty is hosting cookouts.
Meet Reddy & Molly: We have a little Siamese cat, Reddy, who is the bossy older brother of our big rescue dog, Molly. Every evening, we take what we call family walks with these two, and Molly’s stuffed hedgehog toy. When Rose was younger, she had goats, zebus, chickens, parakeets, an iguana, and frogs, and we are both sure there will always be pets in our home.
5 Things We Look Forward to Doing with our Child in our Community:
- Standing inside the hollow of the famous giant poplar tree in the park for a family photo.
- Watching Blue Morpho butterfly cocoons hatch at the butterfly center.
- Bicycling through one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the world at nearby Callaway Gardens.
- Going to Atlanta’s aquarium, 3-D theater, and puppetry center.
- Packing school lunches with fruit from the u-pick farm (and cutting apple slices into heart shapes for a surprise- until the child is old enough to be embarrassed).
In Closing: Thank you for reading about us. We are eager to create a childhood filled with celebrations and games, crafts and kittens, nature and art, travel and homemade meals, help with homework and (eventually) college, grandparents and cousins, role models at home and in the community, and all the support and guidance we can offer. We hope we’ve given you a glimpse of this life, and that we’ll get a chance to talk with you.
Most importantly, we want you to be assured that we will always speak of our child’s birth mother with appreciation and respect, and that we fully support the decisions you make.
~ Justin and Rose