Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

We just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!!!! We also want thank all of you for reading our blog and spreading the word about our hopes to adopt. Our adoption journey has already been one of the most amazing experiences of our lives and we don't even have a child yet! The amazing support and love shown by our family, friends, readers of this blog has been more then we ever could have hoped for.

This year we really lucked out, as we get to celebrate the holiday at three different places. That means dessert on three different nights!!!! But, most importantly we are lucky to be able to spend the holidays we people we love.

Below is an old story (1998) we read on CNN about an adoptive family that is finally together for their first Christmas.

Wishing you all the best!
John and William

Adopted twins see their first American Christmas
Two little girls and their new parents
December 25, 1998
Web posted at: 8:59 p.m. EDT (0059 GMT)

(CNN) -- On October 30 at the Miami airport, John and Robin Zarrella wondered whether they would ever see this day.
Nearly six months had passed since a video arrived from Los Ninos, a U.S. agency specializing in international adoptions.
On it were two little girls. identical twins. Based only on the tape, some basic medical records and a leap of faith, John and Robin decided Anastasia and Angelina, orphans half a world away in Russia, should be theirs.
"It was hard to imagine the suffering they had already endured," said John. "Our road was nothing like theirs."
At 2 months old the girls were taken from their mother. They recovered from abuse and malnourishment in a hospital and spent a year in an orphanage.

To protect orphans from falling into bad homes, the governments of Russia and the United States required extensive paperwork. The Zarrellas were fingerprinted, and their backgrounds were checked by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. They took physicals and AIDS tests, and met with a caseworker who evaluated their home and interviewed their sons, 9 and 11. Then came a big break. The Zarrellas could go to Russia to see the girls. Adoption was likely, but not guaranteed.
"After six months of paperwork and a year waiting, we couldn't get there fast enough," said John.
Flying to Russia, they brought three boxes and a suitcase filled with donations of clothing for the orphanage, and another suitcase with diapers and baby clothes for the twins.They touched down in Moscow, where they piled their luggage in two cars. Suspicious of the packages, a police officer stopped one of the vehicles briefly, looking for drugs. They then flew east over the Ural Mountains and at midnight arrived on the edge of Siberia in the town of Chelyabinsk. John and Robin had gone through 10 time zones in 21 hours.

"Our first glimpse of the city came ... through the double-paned glass of the apartment (of) our host," said John.
"Somewhere in the distance beyond the tenements was an orphanage and two little girls who were about to change our lives."
The next afternoon the family held the twins. A caretaker brought Angelina Kseniya first. Awoken from her nap, Anastasia Marie came next. There was some confusion over who was who. A red string tied around Anastasia's wrist told them apart. Tamara, an adoption agency employee in Chelyabinsk, and Mila, an interpreter, told the couple they would sort them out eventually.
"You will see. They are different. When you take care of them every day, you will see," Mila said
"We held them and played with them. Somehow they just seemed to know Mom and Dad were here at last," John said. "It was just meant to be."John and Robin spent an hour with the girls but then had to leave. The children wouldn't be theirs to take until the Russian court approved the adoption. That afternoon they had an early celebration. Their first stop was a local food mart to pick up vodka and pickles, a Russian tradition. They went to the dacha, or summer home, of their driver Victor.

The next day the Zarrellas spent 2 1/2 anxious hours in court. Snow fell as they left the building, but inside they were warm. They were officially the parents of Angelina Kseniya and Anastasia Marie.
"We didn't get much sleep that night, or any other night for that matter," Robin wrote in her diary.
They spent the following day going from agency to agency to complete numerous documents like adoption certificates, birth certificates and passport applications. By the time they finished, it was too late to pick up the girls. They spent one more night apart. The next day on the way to the orphanage, they stopped at a church to buy pictures of the Russian saints for whom the girls were named. At the orphanage they took part in one final event. With champagne, cake and candy, they celebrated with the staff. The gathering served as a symbolic birthday for Angelina and Anastasia.

On Friday the twins celebrated Christmas, still enjoying the gifts of November: a new country, a new home and a new family.

Super Star

One of John's co-worker's daughter had a piano recital a few days ago. Here is his daughter at the piano, and to quote her very proud father "here is the next super star in training!" We very much look forward to the day when we'll be able to support our future little one in any and all endeavors she takes on!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How cute are these two!?!

Obviously, fashion is not that huge of a deal in the big scheme of things but I am always amazed at the role that fashion plays in our world today. I always enjoy seeing the new looks that come with each season. With that being said, I found this picture as a looked through a few of my favorite fashion blogs. These two are clearly a little tired (hopefully, after this picture was taken they got to go home and take a well deserved nap!) but they are just so darn cute, and oh so fashionable! I give them the 2008 best dressed under 3 years old award! Hopefully, these little guy's parents engaged them and made getting dressed something fun and creative to do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hugs and stickers.

One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to hand out stickers to the kids while their parents are waiting. Often, right when they walk in the door they start running to the desk to get their sticker! Today I realized that everyone of those kids always say “May I please have a sticker?” and “Thank you!” Small stuff like that will go along way with those kids, so a pat on the back to their parents! Today I gave one of my favorite clients children a sticker and as they were leaving he walked over to me (he is about two and half years old) and said “Hug.” He then put out his arms for me to bend down and give him a hug. Made my day!!! Such a cute little guy.

I just can't wait to be a dad!!!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Nearly every Thanksgiving we spend the day with my aunt Sue. Even before Sue moved to Atlanta we would go to her house in Connecticut, or Omaha. It has always been such a fun and relaxing day for everyone. Like many families, we spend the day cooking, chatting, and watching the Macy's parade on TV. So much fun, and so relaxing! Some years lots of other family members will join us, and others it will just be five or six of us.

Last night, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I pulled out a few CD's for the annual "John Petersen Holiday Hot Mix". I like to think of myself as the DJ for the holidays. So, as I was going through our CDs, I found an Elton John album that I used to listen to pretty often. There is one song called "blessed" on the album and I remember hearing it for the first time about 6 years ago. AMAZING!

This morning, I played the song again in my car and it just fills me with so much hope. I know that our adoption journey has had some ups and downs, but hearing this song again helps to remind me just how excited I am for William and I to be dads.

For those of you who haven't heard the song, here are the lyrics:

Hey you, you're a child in my head
You haven't walked yet
Your first words have yet to be said
But I swear you'll be blessed

I know you're still just a dream
your eyes might be green
Or the bluest that I've ever seen
Anyway you'll be blessed

And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that
I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that
You'll be blessed

I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you're blessed
And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that
You'll be blessed

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Just a great picture!

We posted this picture this picture of John and his cousin Katie's daughter back in October of last year. I was looking through some old pictures and just couldn't not post it again. I love how she just seems to fit right into John's arms. It's amazing to think that in the year since this photo was taken we've had two matches with potential birthparents, and John's cousin has had two more children (TWINS)!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lots of visitors!

Although we're not exactly sure why, we've had a lot of visitors to our adoption website recently. We have link to our website from several other sites, but those have been there for sometime, so we can't track the increase in visits back to anyone particular place. We wouldn't be at all surprised if our good friend Bridget has started some sort of online campaign for us. She's been great (we posted about her some time ago) and continues to be one of our biggest supporters. It's great to know that our name and website is getting out there. We've been flooded with good wishes, and even a few college students have asked us for interviews so for papers, etc. This is a great sign! I guess it goes without saying that the more people we have looking at our website and learning about us, the more likely that the "our" birthmother will find us.

Thank you to everyone whose taking the time to read our blog, spread the word of our adoption hopes, or just sharing your kind thoughts!

~W & J

Friday, August 29, 2008

Books, books, and more books

William just posted a blog about one of our favorite books being turned into a movie (I hope it comes out well!), so I thought I'd add a quick little post to point out a few of our other favorite books. Here's our current top five favorites:

1. Where The Wild Things Are (we've both loved this one from when we were kids)
2. The Giving Tree (makes me cry.. but I just love it!)
3. This Is New York (one of our favorite places to visit, and neat book)
4. Tell Me About The Night I Was Born (This is a great book about adoption)
5. And Tango Makes Three (The story of two penguins who adopt an egg)


Where The Wild Things Are.. the movie

Many of you may have noticed that since starting the adoption process we have collected a pretty large library of children's books. One of the very first books we bought was "Where The Wild Things Are." It's been my person favorite book for some time, and I've pictured myself reading it to my child for as long as I can remember. John also really enjoys the book - it's a close second to his favorite book "The Giving Tree."
We were very excited to find out that the book is also going to be a movie. The movie actually finished filming in November, but hasn't been released yet. From what we can tell there's been a little disagreement between the studio and director. I REALLY hope they get their issues resolved soon. We can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back in the book! #2 (We need your help!)

We're once again going back into the book. Our second match fell through yesterday when the birth family decided to parent. Although we continue to be very sure that our time will come, we have to admit that this one was difficult. The potential birthmother gave birth on Tuesday to a most adorable baby boy. We hopped on the first plane available and arrived just a couple of hours after he was born. At first, things seem to go very well. Unlike in our previous match, we had never actually met the birthparents in person so we were relieved when we all hit it off immediately. They baby was to be released from the hospital on Thursday morning, and the birth parents were scheduled to sign relinquishments that afternoon. Wednesday night was the first sign that things might not go as planned, and by Thursday morning they had asked to push back the signing of the papers until Monday.

Per the original plan, the baby was released from the hospital to us on Thursday. We all discussed that we'd try and spend time together over the weekend. Additionally, the birth father advised that his mother, aunt, and sister were flying into town and that they would want some "alone time" with the baby. So, we took the little one back to our hotel. He was an absolute pleasure to be around. He had a really great first night "home" from the hospital (but of course we didn't get a wink of sleep). The following night, the birthfather's family arrived in town and we brought the little one over to them to spend the night. As you've probably already guessed, we got the call late the following evening that they had decided to parent. It was heart breaking - BUT we were very happy to hear that they now had the support necessary to provide for the little guy. We harbor no bad feelings for them what so ever, and wish them the best of luck in their parenting journey. As before, we continue to feel honored to have been picked as potential parents for their child. The way we see it we've now received two stamps of approval from potential birthmothers. Also, it was a great learning experience. Having never been through the process before, we now know exactly what to expect at the hospital, and know exactly what one needs to make it through those first few days with the baby at the hotel.

Once again, we're asking you all for help. We are more eager then ever to start our new family! We need you to talk to your friends, family, and associates about adoption. Somewhere, right now, a potential birthmother is considering adoption and all it takes is a recommendation from a friend to move us to the top of the list! Thank you all for your continued support!

~William & John

Friday, June 13, 2008

Southern Voice Article - Baby Makes Three

While we were in New York city last week we received an email from Matt Schaefer a reporter for the Southern Voice newspaper. He said that he was doing a father's day article and wanted to meet with us so that he could include our adoption story. Of course, we we're happy to oblige. After a few scheduling emails (we we're going to be in New York for a few more days) we agreed that a phone interview would probably be the best thing to do. So it was, that a few days later we found ourselves on the speaker phone completing an interview with Matt. Matt's a nice guy, and had clearly done his adoption research prior to the interview. We talked about our experiences; talking with potential birthmothers, matching, unmatching, etc. After about an hour, the interview was done. For us it was fairly normal, although we haven't had our adoption story featured in a newspaper before, we talk about our adoption journey almost constantly.

So today the article came out - we're famous! Okay, maybe famous is going a little overboard, but we were excited to find out we're the feature story (with our picture on the cover!) The article is pretty good. A couple of minor misquotes, but I think that's pretty much par for the game.

Check at the article at:

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back in the book (unmatched)...

After being matched with a perspective birthmother for the past several months we are sad to say that we are now unmatched. Although we will probably never know exactly why she changed her mind (we haven't heard from the perspective birthmother in almost a month) we sincerely hope that her and the baby are doing well. She was a brave and courageous young lady and we were honored by her choosing us as parents for her child if only for a few months. With that said, the adoption process has taught us many things including that things happen for a reason - our child is out there waiting for us. We are happy to wait a little bit longer if that's what it takes!

What happens now? We're going to need all of you to start up the networking engine again! That's right folks; remember our monthly emails asking you to talk about adoption with everyone you know... they're coming back. So many of you have been extremely supportive throughout this process, and we know that we can count on you now. I know I've said it before, but a large number of adoptions happen each month from the "recommendation" of someone else. By that I mean, statistically speaking each reader of this blog knows someone, who knows someone who is considering placing their unborn child up for adoption. It's exciting to know that there are only a few degrees of separation between us and our possible birthmother. Something as simple as a chain email could easily put a birthmother in contact with us. The many comments we've received from readers have been amazing. It's abundantly clear that our friends, family, and even anonymous blog readers know how excited we are to become parents and that we have so much love to give a child. Now, we're asking all of you to take a moment to spread our story - we know that with your help our dream of becoming parents will happen soon!

Thank you all for reading. More posts to come soon!

~William & John

How to contact us:
*Facebook users can join our Facebook group started by our friend Bridget-"William and John should be daddies."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

b. braithwaite

We've been spending a lot of time window shopping since we matched. One of our favorite places is b. braithwaite. It's a great little childrens boutique. Particularly amazing for the Atlanta area. Visit and check out their room collections to get an idea of where we'll be getting some of our ideas for the nursery!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

So much love to give...

The holiday season is over - and it was a blast! We had some time to relax (and eat!) and gather with friends and family. As it always is, during the holidays it's great to see and be in touch with so many people. Like many, the holidays always find me reaching out to people who I haven't had an opportunity to speak with in some time. Of course, since we are in the adoption process and searching for a birthmother many of the holiday conversations end up with discussion about adoption. Everyone we know continues to be interested in our progress.

I continue to be amazed with how much support our friends and family give us. They are all rooting for us, and can't wait to see a baby in our house. Without a doubt, everyone always says "you guys will be such great parents. You have so much love to give a child, he or she will be so lucky." Well, although we don't know if luck is the right word, we definitely know that we do have SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE our future child. We really believe that love is the foundation of any great family. Love is what brings a family together and, if fostered, love will keep a family together. Love is what brought John and I together, and it's what makes our extended families so amazing. We know that raising a child isn't always going to be easy, BUT we know that with the love that is in our hearts we can and will make every necessary sacrifice to ensure that our child grows up to be an amazing person (and enjoy all the fun times along the way!).

Okay - I know that's a little more sappy then you might be used to from me. I can't help it. I guess reminiscing about the holiday season has got to me.

Thanks for reading.