Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Friends

First we want to express the love and respect we have for you. We know that in considering adoption, you are exhibiting pure love for your baby. We pray daily that you will be happy and healthy, that you will have good things in your life, and most of all that you will be blessed with the wisdom and courage to make whichever decision is right for you and for your precious baby. We want you to know that we honestly care for you, for your well-being, and for your happiness. We feel honored that you might consider us as prospective parents to your child and we want you to know that any child placed in our home will be loved and cared for unconditionally. We would gladly welcome an open adoption. Having said that, we would like to introduce each other. We want to thank you in advance for getting to know us- the good, the quirky, and the imperfect. Our names are Malone and Brittany.

Brittany is a very outgoing and social person that is, in all ways, my better half. Brittany graduated from BYU-Idaho in December 2007. She has a green thumb and loves gardening. She loves to keep indoor plants and frequently shops at Wal-Mart to “save” their houseplants. Brittany has a passion for reading. She loves almost all genres of books from historical fiction such as Naya Nuki by Kenneth Thomasma to mystical fantasy like the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. One of her favorite things is to curl up with a book and eat cinnamon bears. When the weather is warm, Brittany loves to be outdoors and especially to go camping. She loves the feeling of sitting next to a warm fire under the stars and roasting, oddly enough, Starbursts. One of Brittany’s many strengths is her mothering nature. She loves serving in the nursery at church and spoiling her nieces and nephews. Brittany is the most wonderful woman I know and I’m sure that, given the chance, you will come to love her too.

Please forgive me if I brag a bit about my amazing husband. After high school, Malone served a mission for our church in Sacramento, California. Then, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kaskaskia College. Not long after that, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from BYU-Idaho in December 2007. He is now pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry. Knowing this, you might assume that Malone is a bit of a nerd. To be honest, you would be right. But that is one of the biggest reasons why I love him. He has such a love of learning. Although he has worked hard in his studies, he would be the last person to brag about it. He is determined to use his knowledge to help better the lives of others and hopes to assist in discovering a cure to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or other debilitating diseases. My role in all of this is to stand by and support him and make sure that he doesn’t dress too much like a nerd.

Malone has many other interests. He loves to grill on his barbecue, and it might surprise you that he is an expert cinnamon roll baker. In his leisure time, Malone likes to play games on our Wii, especially Mario Kart. He also loves to have movie/game nights involving some “manly” kind of movie like the James Bond movies, Iron Man, or Reign of Fire. Penguins are his favorite animals and his favorite sport is baseball. When the weather is good Malone loves to be outside. It doesn’t matter whether we’re just outside for a long walk, riding our bikes, or taking a weekend camping vacation to the lake.

Brittany and I met when Brittany’s family moved to Illinois in 200l. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought she was a bit of a brat because she was so upset about having to move. But as time progressed, I started to develop a little crush on her. Of course, I was only 18 and she was 15, so it was nothing serious. Then I left for my mission, and Brittany and I wrote back and forth as good friends.

Although I had had a crush on Malone for several years, I was also looking forward to meeting all the “hot guys” at BYU-Idaho. So I was determined to forget about my “little crush” on him. But I couldn’t. I kept writing back and forth to him, and was ecstatic when he got home from his mission. At that point, it was obvious to everyone that we were falling in love. After a while, my best friend decided she had had enough of our silliness. So she emailed Malone and said, “I know that Brittany likes you, and I’m pretty sure that you like her, so why don’t you two just get together already?!” Thank goodness for my friend, because she brought us together.

From there, things moved quickly. I was madly in love, and I wanted to share the rest of my life and eternity with Brittany. I was so nervous when I proposed that I forgot to get down on one knee! But Brittany "reminded" me and then said yes! On December 17, 2005 we were married in the LDS temple in Nauvoo Illinois. We discussed our desire to have children right away, and we have tried nearly our entire marriage to expand our family. Our journey with infertility has been a bumpy one in which we have discovered that Brittany has a condition called PCOS and a condition during pregnancy called Incompetent Cervix. The latter condition was responsible for the premature birth of our son Gavin who passed away only a week later. Throughout this journey, we have always known that we wanted to adopt. So, after much discussion and prayer, we know that adoption is right for our family.

That brings us to now. Although we can never understand what you are going through, we share common ground. You see, last year our family watched as Brittany’s sister placed her son for adoption. So we know that by adopting a child, we are making sacred promises to his or her birth parent(s). We commit to never break those promises. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. But we promise to do everything within our power to parent perfectly because we know that any child placed in our home is a precious child of God who is loved and sacrificed for.

Take care and know that we will be praying for you.

With love,
Malone and Brittany

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting To Know Us

A book I highly recommend:
Malone: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Brittany: The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

My favorite flower is:
Malone: I love surprising Brittany with her favorite flowers
Brittany: White roses with hot pink tips

A game I like to play is:
Malone: Mario Kart on the Wii
Brittany: The Great Dalmuti card game

The music I listen to most is:
Malone: I usually listen to a variety, but most often I probably listen to jazz.
Brittany: Pretty much everything except super hard rock or elevator music.

A movie I watch over and over is:
Malone: Lord of the Rings
Brittany: Sabrina with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond

A T.V. show I watch regularly is:
Malone: Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel
Brittany: Everybody Loves Raymond... It's always good for a laugh

My favorite quote is:
Malone: "Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value" -Albert Einstein
Brittany: "You're not geniuses, I know that. But the work of the world isn't done by geniuses. It's done by ordinary people who have learned to work in an extraordinary way."- President Gordon B. Hinckley

My favorite thing to buy is:
Malone: I love to buy a new game every once in a while
Brittany: This might sound silly, but I absolutely love buying Christmas things on sale after the holidays are over.

I love to collect:
Malone: Penguins and dvd's
Brittany: Willow Tree figurines and Christmas village pieces

If I could afford to buy anything at the moment I would buy:
Malone: A Mazda RX 8
Brittany: Our own home

If my house were burning down and I could only rescue three things, they would be:
Malone: Brittany would be my first priority, our hard copy pictures, and our vital documents.
Brittany: My husband of course, my cedar chest full of irreplaceable memorabilia like pictures and my wedding dress, and our computer hard drive.

A smell that makes me pause is:
Malone: The smell outside after it just rained
Brittany: Apple cinnamon and baking cookies

My favorite sport to watch is:
Malone: Baseball
Brittany: Soccer

The city I would like to visit most is:
Malone: Domestically- Seattle, Washington where my dad served his mission, Internationally- Johannesburg, South Africa
Brittany: Domestically- Orlando, Florida, Internationally- London, England.

My favorite restaraunt is:
Malone: Really, any good sushi or Mexican restaurant is my favorite.
Brittany: Olive Garden

A moment when I achieved absolute happiness was:
Malone: The moment Brittany agreed to be my wife.
Brittany: The day Malone and I were married for time and all eternity.

My favorite meal is:
Malone: Brittany's homemade chicken noodle soup.
Brittany: I love anything Malone throws on our barbecue, but I especially love it when he makes steak with mushrooms and carmelized onions, real mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and for dessert Malone's cinnamon rolls.

A piece of music that makes me sentimental is:
Malone: A Wonderful World by Louie Armstrong
Brittany: You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban

Someone or something that made me laugh this week was:
Malone: My little nephew Kieran. He doesn't giggle like most babies, he chuckles. It's pretty darn cute.
Brittany: I work with disabled adults, and my clients make me laugh EVERY day!

My earliest memory is:
Malone: The time I colored pictures and then stuck them all to the wall with shortening. All my mom could do was laugh.
Brittany: Sitting on my grandpa's lap while he was tickling me. I suppose I was about two or three years old.

My first paying job was:
Malone: Working for my grandpa cleaning up his machine shop.
Brittany: Aside from babysitting, my first real job was as a 4-H Camp counselor. Which, ironically, is sort of like babysitting.

The memory that still makes me laugh is:
Malone: When I was a kid, I discovered how well sopping wet toilet paper sticks to ceilings.
Brittany: When I was younger, I convinced myself that frozen orange juice concentrate would taste exactly like a slushy, so I got a can out of the freezer. After one bite, I knew it was NOT a slushy but I didn't want to get in trouble so I buried the evidence in my backyard.

My best birthday was:
Malone: When I turned 10, my parents had a bowling party for me and I got to invite all my friends.
Brittany: When I was about six or seven, my dad handmade me a new bed. That was pretty much the best year EVER!

A smell that reminds me of my childhood is:
Malone: My mom's cowboy cookies
Brittany: My mom's perfume. I would never wear it myself, but I love it because it reminds me of her.

The story behind my name is:
Malone: I am named after a church leader in Tallahassee Florida whom my parents really looked up to.
Brittany: Well, my first name was really just chosen because my parents thought it was cute. But my middle name, Ann, was named for my two grandmothers- JoANN, and ANNabelle.

My favorite color to wear is:
Malone: I like to wear blue for Brittany because she loves the way it brings out my blue eyes.
Brittany: I like dark colors like purple, black, navy, etc...

The strangest possession I own is:
Malone: My parents started giving me penguins for Christmas, and it has snowballed into a giant penguin collection.
Brittany: I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I own the original 'N Sync CD.

My favorite dessert is:
Malone: Heath Bars
Brittany: I love the cake batter ice cream from Cold Stone in a waffle bowl with strawberries mixed in.

When I exercise I like to:
Malone: Listen to books that I've uploaded to my cell phone.
Brittany: Listen to music or a book that I uploaded to my phone. Really, I like anything that takes my mind off the burning in my muscles.

My favorite thing to do on a date is:
Malone: One thing we love to do is to stay at home and cook a great meal together and then play a fun game.
Brittany: I love it when Malone surprises me by taking me out to a nice restaraunt, to a show, or out to some other fun thing.

The best vacation I ever had was:
Malone: My family always did a lot of traveling, but I especially loved one of our many trips to Florida. We snorkeled in the ocean, and I held a live seahorse in my hand under water. We spent a lot of time on the beach and we all loved crab fishing.
Brittany: My family took a camping trip to Goblin Valley state park and we played hide and seek in the rock formations until we were sick of it.

The best thing about being married is:
Malone: To always have someone there to talk to or spend time with. It used to surprise me that no matter how much time Brittany and I spend together, we never get sick of each other.
Brittany: Being able to snuggle with Malone whenever I want.

The thing I am most passionate about is:
Malone: Making sure that Brittany is happy every day.
Brittany: Loving my husband and expanding our family

What is one thing you did as a child that you hope your child will NOT emulate:
Malone: When I was five, my parents played a trick on me that I took seriously. They would stand in another room and call into the heater vent things like, "This is the heater god, you must eat your vegetables and clean your room!" So I decided that I should "sacrifice" some of my toys to the "heater god" by throwing them down the vent. I guess after a while I had decided that toys were no longer enough, so I tried to "sacrifice" my little brother by tricking him into falling down the vent. Oops!
Brittany: From what I hear, it's pretty common for small children to be fascinated with splashing their hands in the toilet. But my mom always told me that I was never satisfied with just playing in the water with my hands. She says I actually used to climb into the toilet and flush it. Gross, right?