Dear Expecting Parent,
My name is Suzie and my husband is Austin. We are both 34 and live near Fort Wayne, Indiana. We realize you may be reading many letters from couples offering the best possible life for your child. We want to thank you for reading just one more letter - our letter - and we hope we’ll be a good fit for you and your baby.
The first time Austin and I caught a glimpse of each other was at a college track meet that he was competing in. For such as big guy he looked good in spandex shorts (at least, I thought so). He was all I could think about, but it wasn't until a few years later when we were in our best friends' wedding together that we bonded over Wayne's World and the best man's speech (which I, of course, take credit for). We started dating long distance, which taught us how to trust each other and communicate daily. Then we realized we had to be together - we changed jobs and moved in together back in Austin's home town in northeast Indiana. In June 2013, we got married in the town where we first saw each other at that college track meet. I walked down the aisle to a Wayne's World song for old time's sake.
We spent our first five years of marriage laughing, having fun, bantering over Fantasy Football, having conversations between our bulldogs (Bruzer & Molly), and figuring out how to do a budget. We found a nondenominational church in our small town that we love, and have built a support system there. It’s a place of encouragement and comfort for us and will be for our child as well.
Home and Community
We've owned our home for four years now, and the longer we're there, the more we love it. It's a single story home with 2 1/2 acres surrounded by cornfields. It's very serene and private, but we live just a few minutes from town where we use the YMCA, go to church, and spend time with friends.
One of Bruzer's favorite things to do is sit outside with me in camping chairs while we watch the hummingbirds fight over my feeders. We have worked on finishing our basement over the past few years, and are so excited to have a big, cozy area to host family Christmases and holidays, and cuddle up to watch movies next to the fire in the winter.
After we decided to adopt we revamped my "art room" into the perfect little nursery, complete with all the books from both of our childhoods. I always look out of our kitchen window and picture the swing set our child will have, and a sandbox, too. I love to picture Austin teaching our child about the mechanics of the specialty cars and motorcycles he loves so much - he's such a patient teacher (I know, because he has to explain mechanics to me all the time!).
I'm an introvert and a homebody, so I love being at home. Austin is an extreme extrovert, so he enjoys socializing with friends, family, and meeting new people. Everyone in the community knows him, and would tell you he is such a good guy who is fun-loving and down-to-earth, will do almost anything for a friend, and is the life of the party. I love reading, talking on the phone with my mom, and singing. I took singing lessons for many years, and I used to sing my oldest niece to sleep as a baby, and she would be mesmerized, so I can't wait to do the same for our baby. I danced ballet and played volleyball growing up, and Austin played football, wrestling, and competed in track in school. He also likes playing golf when he gets a chance.
I work in a library putting on arts and crafts classes (among other types of programs), and doing Outreach at the local nursing homes. I love my job, and can't wait to have my child involved at the library, in story-times, and programs for kids.
We can't wait to watch our child thrive and fall in love with many different things. We both love sports, but we also love going to art museums. I love reading and Austin loves motorcycles and ATV'ing. We love trying different restaurants, but sometimes we love lounging around with our lazy dogs.
Most of all we enjoy spending time with our immediate families, and you'll find that they're often involved in a lot of things that we do. They are very eager to welcome our child. Austin & I have five nieces and two nephews, and they have called me "Oh-ho" and him “Austy-pants” for as long as I can remember.
Austin was around family a lot growing up, and because his parents were so young he got to know three sets of great grandparents and both sets of grandparents, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. With Austin being an engineer and me being a librarian and an artist, we hope to expand our child's world beyond imagination so they feel accomplished and loved in whatever direction they take in life, and most importantly that they have fun doing it!
One of the most important things to us as a couple and as parents is honesty. Your child will know you, their birth mother, who loves them and will know that this is part of what makes their story special. We've started an adoption book, recording all of our experiences with the adoption process that will be a part of their "birth story."
We want you to know most of all that the plan you make for your baby is the plan we wish to honor, whether it be open or closed. We want to build a lifelong connection with you, but we understand that it has to be on your time. This is the short version of "us" - we hope you will find us down-to-earth and easy to talk to, and we can answer any questions you have.
You can also contact our adoption counselor, Maggie Benz at:
Good luck with your decision - we are praying for you.
Suzie & Austin Pender